Posts Tagged ‘soup’

The weather outside is never frightful when it comes to youth hockey season in the Midwest, especially when one of our teams has a two-week lull in their game schedule. And luckily for these guys (and their little sisters), their parents are as passionate about hockey and having fun as they are. So the First Annual Lake Campbell Winter Classic was established this January. And don’t be surprised if, after these kids are off to college, you’ll find us parents keeping the icy tradition alive. (Yes Ann, I just invited us to your house every January for the rest of our lives.)

Lake Campbell Lake Hockey 2015

First Annual Lake Campbell Winter Classic 2015 Photo courtesy of Ann Park

What does hockey have to do with chili? (Because I know you aren’t asking yourself what this has to do with beer.) Ann, our hostess, shared a scrumptious pot of chili at the party and even though I had to eat and run my daughter to hockey in Watertown, I kept thinking about how good it was to have a steamy bowl of chili topped with cheese, sour cream, and crunchy chips. So when I made a batch of Once a Month Beer Chili Spaghetti the next week, I eyed that meat mixture with beans and corn chips on my mind.

beer chili


Sure, I could have made my old staple, Make-it-your-way Rainy Day Chili but there’s just something about this addicting meat sauce.

Beer Chili

Recipe for beer chili spaghetti and/or beer chili meat mixture (makes approximately 4 cups):

2 pounds ground sirloin or lean ground beef

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons salt

1¾ teaspoons paprika

1¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 tablespoon onion powder

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

¼ cup chili powder

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 12-ounce beer

If you are making a meal of beer chili spaghetti and a few meals of beer chili, make 12 ounces of spaghetti noodles and add some of the hot pasta water to the meat mixture and then use some of the leftover meat sauce to make chili. If you are making this meat sauce to make all chili, you’ll need to at least double the beans and tomato juice below. You only need to add pasta water to the portion you are using for spaghetti. 

To make the chili (very imprecise directions):

Take a cup or two of the beer chili meat mixture and add:

1 or 2 (15-ounce) cans red beans (drained)

1 or 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans in chili sauce

Chili powder to taste

Cumin to taste

Tomato juice – I used part of a 46-ounce bottle. It depends on how much meat sauce you are using and how thick or juicy you like your chili.

Chili Toppings:

Sour cream

Corn chips

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Heat together the meat mixture, beans, and tomato juice. Add the additional chili powder and cumin if desired. When hot, serve with sour cream, corn chips, and shredded cheese. Store leftover chili in airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you are more in the mood for BBQs, make  BeerBQ Joes and put corn chips on top.

Icy & spicy wishes,



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Want to know what the morning is like for your kids when it’s daddy’s turn to take them to the clinic? I came across this story I wrote in 2006 for a dialogue assignment in graduate school. The assignment must have been to go to a public place, listen to dialogue and write about it. It has nothing to do with food (although sippy cups make an appearance and I’m sure I brought coffee) but it makes me smile. Rest assured, when daddy has his little girls, they are in good hands.

day with daddy

A day at the clinic with daddy

“Come here honey,” says the man in the red and yellow plaid shirt. The little girl jumps into her daddy’s lap as he says, “should we take your coat off?” Out comes a sweet little giggle as she looks at her big sister as if to say, “I get to go first!” Daddy takes her coat off to reveal an adorable red, white and blue name-brand sweater with matching pants. I notice her clothes look worn, which is nice because it means her parents allow her to play without the fear of getting dirty.

“Okay, get down,” he says as he helps big sister climb aboard the daddy lap. As her coat flies off, her pink princess shirt sparkles in the dim clinic lights. There’s no evidence of illness between either of these playful little girls. Since they seem to be under the age of four, I assume it is daddy’s turn to keep their immunizations on schedule.

As the two energized girls start slapping hands with each other, little sister says to big sister, “I am Blue Power Ranger.”

“No,” replies big sister, “you’re Red Power Ranger.”

As daddy rescues little sister’s pants from falling down around her socks, daddy says, “You’re Losing-Your-Pants Power Ranger!”

Each girl takes her turn playing the dancing-turn-around game with daddy. It’s obvious by the delight radiating from the girls’ faces, spending the morning with daddy is the best!

“Come here,” daddy tells big sister. She climbs back on the daddy lap like a carnival ride. She points to the bright colors in the JoAnne Bird painting hanging behind him.

“Is those horses?” squeals big sister.

“Those are Native Americans,” daddy explains.

Big sister jumps down and both girls grab their purple Blue’s Clues sippy cups, guzzling the red liquid as if they just finished a 5K.

“AHHHHHH,” says little sister. She takes a big breath and sucks down one last chug before she flings the purple cup onto the floor.

Daddy sits in the wooden chair humming a little tune while tapping his feet. It’s obvious by the pure joy radiating from daddy’s face, spending the morning with his little girls is the best!

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It doesn’t feel right to leave you without a recipe so here are three of my kids’ favorites.

Magic Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup | Random Sweetness Baking

Cake Batter Birthday Pancakes

Cake Batter Birthday Pancakes

Jars of (JELLO) Rainbows

Jars of Rainbows

It’s been seven years since I captured that morning with daddy. It’s hard to believe those girls are almost tweens. Time flies…

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It’s a mystery to me why chicken noodle soup warms the soul and seems to have healing powers that even the kids recognize. The first time I made a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup, my son happened to be sick. But after he ate the soup, he felt so much better that he started calling it magic chicken noodle soup. Hmmm. Sounds like the making of a new children’s book…

Now, I use store-bought chicken broth so it’s not truly homemade soup. But, it’s better than any canned soup, and with the fresh carrots and celery, it’s a meal you’ll be happy to serve your family. (Just don’t forget the dash of magic.)

{Chicken Noodle Soup}

2 to 3 cups cooked chicken (1 large rotissarie chicken shredded, OR 1 pound unbreaded chicken breasts cooked and shredded)

3/4 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 finely diced white or yellow onion (If you use a red onion, the kids will “see” it floating in the soup and the soup will lose all of its magic.)

2 Tablespoons butter

10 cups (80 ounces) chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 cups uncooked medium egg noodles

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain, dump into a large soup pot and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the carrot, celery and onion in butter until tender.Stir in chicken, seasonings, and 4 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil. Pour the soup into the large soup pot and add the remaining 6 cups broth. Cook 15 minutes or until completely heated through. Makes 12 servings.

This recipe makes a large enough batch for a couple of family meals and a few lunches.

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