Uptown Down Home Chili

It feels good to be back in the kitchen! My fall travel schedule for work has been pretty hectic but I am happy to say that last Thursday was my final recruiting trip for the year-whoop whoop! I am really excited to be home during the week, rather than eating in strange cities and airports or hosting pizza sessions on various college campuses across the country. As my inaugural meal back in the kitchen, I wanted something hearty and something that my husband loves. This chili recipe I actually got from my mother-in-law and it is packed full of meat, veggies, beer and shrooms. That description even sounds manly when you say the ingredients out loud. I wanted to make it even easier than the recipe suggests, and rather than cooking this one the stove, I threw everything into the slow cooker. A mere 8 hours later it was ready and waiting to be topped with smoked Gouda and served alongside sweet, buttery cornbread.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

You Will Need:

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lb ground sirloin
  • 2 Tbsp grill seasoning (I used McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 1/2 lb baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 lb shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with their juices or 1 generous palm full ground chipotle chili powder, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 bottle imported beer
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock (8-ounce box)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 8-ounce piece smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
Here We Go:
  • Heat a deep, large skillet or a pot over high heat
  • Add 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and the meat
  • Season it with grill seasoning and sear it up, browning and crumbling it, for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Drain and transfer meat to a plate
  • Add meat, mushrooms, onion, celery, peppers, garlic,Worcestershire sauce, chipotle in adobo,  garlic, beer, beans, tomatoes, stock, thyme and cumin to slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 8 hours
  • Top bowls of the chili with shredded smoked Gouda
Serves 6-8
Happy Feasting!


Guacamole, Tomato, Goat Cheese and Bacon Dip

This dip is sure to be a crowd favorite and is so addicting! One of my friend's made this dip when we were at her house for dinner, and she said that the idea was inspired by Southern Living's article on more ways to use bacon! I'm sure we can all agree that bacon makes everything better, but add some guacamole, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and you will have your guests hovering over this dish until the bowl is licked clean. The beauty of this recipe is that you really can't mess it up. Add as much of each ingredient as you would like. It is more about layering each ingredient rather than using precise measurements.

Given to me by Julie Antrim

You Will Need:
  • Guacamole (I also like store bought Wholly Guacamole)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5-6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 8-10 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade

Here We Go:

  • Layer the above ingredients in the order that they are listed
  • Serve with crackers or chips

Serves 6 as an Appetizer
Happy Feasting!


Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Fresh White Corn Quiche

Before the fresh ears of corn and farmer's market tomatoes completely leave the shelves, I thought I would make one last summer dish. I'm usually not a huge fan of quiche but for some reason, I think largely due to this list of ingredients,  I decided to give it a go and see if this quiche was any good. Well, it was good alright. In fact, it was so good that even the hubs was on board. This is chocked full of fresh veggies, egg, cheese and a delish buttery, flaky, pie crust. What's not to love?

Source: A Hint of Honey

You Will Need:
  • 1 pre-baked pie crust
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 ears corn, kernels sliced off
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 packed cup sharp white Cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Prepare crust according to package directions
  • To caramelize the onions, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add the onions and season with salt and pepper
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and soft and golden brown, about 25-35 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning
  • Scatter onions in the bottom of the pre-baked crust
  • Top with the tomatoes, corn, basil, and chives
  • In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, milk, and cheddar
  • Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pour over the filling
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, until the center is set and the top is golden brow
  • Let cool slightly before serving

Makes 1 Quiche
Happy Feasting!



SC's Texas Sheet Cake

So unbelievably rich and decadent, yet worth.every.single.calorie. I got this amazing recipe from a friend and was waiting for the perfect occasion to bake this cake. What better occasion than my own birthday?! My boss made this cake for me and even let me take home the leftovers. If the picture is any indication, this cake did not last long in our house.

Given to me by Sarah-Catherine Gibbs

You Will Need for the Cake:

  • 2 sticks of butter

  • 1 cup of water

  • 4 Tbsp of cocoa powder

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 tsp  salt

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

You Will Need for the Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter

  • 6 Tbsp milk

  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 box confectioners’ sugar

Here We Go for the Cake:

  • Bring butter, water, and cocoa to a boil in a saucepan and set aside

  • Sift flour, sugar, salt, and soda together in a mixing bowl and add heated mixture

  • Beat well with handheld mixer (or wooden spoon) and add sour cream and eggs

  • Add vanilla and beat for one minute

  • Pour into greased 9X13 baking pan

  • Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
Here We Go for Frosting:
  • Bring to a boil the butter, milk and cocoa

  • Stir in sugar and vanilla

  • Remove from heat and use a handheld mixer (or wooden spoon) to beat in the sugar and vanilla to get rid of the lumps

  • Make the icing the last few minutes the cake is baking because you will want to pour it over the cake right out of the oven and let it cool until set

Happy Feasting!


Grilled Marinated Pork Tenderloin

I wish I could take credit for this recipe because it might be the most flavorful pork that I have ever had, but this recipe came from a good friend. Let me tell you that it doesn't get much easier than this recipe, as far as preparing a main course. Take said pork, put into Ziploc Bag and add marinade. Let pork marinate for at least 24 hours, grill and enjoy. So simple and so unbelievably flavorful!

Given to me by Cameron Kluttz

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup White wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 t minced fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 -1lb Pork Tenderloin
    *Note: Marinade will be ample for up to 4 pounds of meat (3/4-1lb will serve 2 people)
 Here We Go:
  • Mix all marinade ingredients in a Ziploc plastic bag and add the pork tenderloin making sure to coat all sides
  • Seal bag and let marinate for 24 hours, refrigerated, until ready to grill.
  • When ready to grill, pre-heat the grill to a medium high heat
  • Place tenderloin on hot grill
  • Sear 2 minutes on one side, then flip over  and repeat
  • Grill for 12-15 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F in the thickest past of the tenderloin
  • Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing
Serves 2
Happy Feasting!