Sugary Sweet Chili

I love chili. No, I mean I REALLY love chili. I very rarely make the same kind twice. Recently, on one of my favorite food blogs, Prevention RD (Original recipe from Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles) ,I came across a chili recipe that had sugar in it. Now, before you judge it, try it!  I have never in my life had such a delicious bowl of chili. Its the first time that I’ve ate chili without some type of crackers crumbled in it. There was not a single bit of it leftover. 


1 1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 14 oz can tomato sauce

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 6 oz can tomato paste – fill can with water and add to chili also

1 can bush’s chili beans in sauce

1/2 packet chili seasoning – I used a whole packet

1/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

black pepper

1 tsp hot sauce

shredded cheddar for garnish


Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add in ground beef and onion. Season with salt and pepper and brown.  Add in everything except the cheddar and simmer on low heat for about an hour. Ladle into bowls and top with a handful of grated cheddar.

Cider Spiked Pumpkin Soup

Today in Kentucky, the weather is chilly, gloomy, and raining. Perfect day to have soup for lunch!  I looked around in my fridge to see what all I had on hand that would go good together and this is what I came up with. Many pumpkin soup recipes contain heavy cream. My soup has no cream at all in it and it is perfectly thick and hearty. I felt sort of like a mad scientist in my kitchen adding a pinch of this and a drop of that, writing down everything as I went along. I’m the only pumpkin lover in my house so I only made a small amount. I wish I would have doubled it and froze it in single serve portions for later. This soup is so perfect for a chily fall or winter evening. Its intoxicatingly good. I’m so pleased with how this turned out.  I wish I would’ve had some plain greek yogurt to drizzle over the top. I think the tartness of it would’ve been wonderful with the sweetness of the pumpkin soup.


2 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 tbsp butter

4 tbsp grated onion- I grated it because I didn’t want to have to deal with blending it to have a smooth soup

1 garlic cloved, minced very fine

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning blend

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp light brown sugar

pinch of cloves

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp salt- You can add more at the end if needed

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 heaping cup pumpkin puree

2 tbsp apple cider

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp black pepper



In medium sized sauce pot, heat butter over low heat. Grate in onion and add in minced garlic. Cook about 2 minutes. Add in poultry seasoning, nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves,curry powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken stock. Whisk in pumpkin and apple cider. To the sauce pot, add 1 large bay leaf. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy!

*2 LARGE servings



Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup

This is my go to recipe for vegetable soup. Its the recipe that my mom always used when I was growing up and she still makes it to this day. Its very quick and easy. Can’t beat that can ya?  You can have this soup from stove top to table in about 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the better is it though. The leftovers of this soup is pure Heaven by the way.  I like to serve this with grilled cheese sandwiches.


1 lb ground beef

1 bag mixed frozen vegetables for soup

Tomato juice- Enough to cover the veggies. I used four 11.5 oz cans

1 cup water




Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and brown. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pot, add frozen vegetables, tomato juice, and water. Bring to a boil for 5. Reduce heat. Add in browned ground beef and stir. Simmer 2o minutes. Season with salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Is the weather chilly where you live yet??  Here in Kentucky, especially during the evenings, its obvious that fall has arrived!  Every year when the leaves start falling and theres a slight nip in the air, I get into soup mode. I could eat soup everyday.  I’ve made tortilla soup many, many times.  Most of the time, I use a different recipe just because I like to experiment. I’ll share my favorite with you one day. Don’t let me forget!  Anyway, I found this recipe on Sing For Your Supper blog. She had adapted the recipe from a William Sonoma cookbook. The broth for this is SO flavorful. I could’ve ate the it alone and been satisfied. The addition of the zucchini in this dish is great. It becomes super tender and just melts in your mouth.


2 large chicken breasts, roasted in the oven and shredded

6 cups chicken stock

1/2  onion, chopped

2 small zucchini, peeled and chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2  tsp pepper

juice from 2 large limes



Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and zucchini and saute about 3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add in shredded chicken, reduce heat, and simmer 15- 20 minutes. Turn heat off and stir in lime juice.  Pour into bowls and top with your choice of garnishes. I used crushed tortilla chips, shredded monterey jack cheese, and chopped cilantro.

*Serves 4

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Since the holidays are quicky approaching, I decided to make some cheap meals for the next couple of weeks, especially since Jeremy and I are going to Gatlinburg the first week of December. I found this recipe on the novice chef blog. It really only costed me about 4.00 to make both the soup and sandwich because I had most of the stuff on hand already. I served this with a grilled cheese sandwich that was made with bacon, sliced tomato, provolone cheese, and shredded cheddar.


2 cans black beans- 1 drained and rinsed, 1 w/ liquid

1 onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and minched

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tbsp evoo

3 scallions, chopped


Heat evoo in large stockpot. Add in onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Season with cumin,oregano,chili powder, salt and pepper.Saute for about 5 mins or until tender. Add in both cans of beans and chicken broth. Simmer 1o mins.  Transfer 1 cup of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup. Stir to combine. Simmer another 5 mins. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Tyler’s Chicken and Dumplings

I dont know if its just a southern thing or what but everyone that I know loves chicken and dumplings.  This is the first time Ive ever made any kind other than the way my mom always makes hers. These were good but I still prefer moms recipe! There are quite a few steps to this recipe and well Im just feeling lazy so Im just gonna post the link to this!


Beef Stew

This is my first attempt at making beef stew. It turned out quite nice if I do say so.  It will definately warm you up during the colder months. Nothing says comfort like a big bowl of beef stew!  I adapted this recipe from the ultimate beef stew from Tyler Florence. Ive come to realize that is it impossible to get a good picture of soup/stew.


1 2lb beef roast, cut into 1 in. cubes

1/4 cup flour

1/2 lb baby potatoes, halved

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 lb baby carrots

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 med. onion, chopped

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

2 bay leaves

1 1/4 cups red wine

1/8 cup evoo

2 1/2 cups beef stock

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

pinch of sugar


In large pot, heat evoo with thyme sprigs over medium-high heat. Once oil begins to smoke, remove thyme Dredge beef cubes in flour until well coated.Add beef to hot  oil and brown on all sides. Deglaze pan with red wine. Stir in beef stock until combine. Throw onions, potatoes, garlic, bay leaves and sugar in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  During last 5 mins of cooking time, add peas to stew. Stir to combine.





Steakhouse Chili

I love this chili. Its so good. Its a nice change from my usual chili recipe. Its slightly sweet but spicy. Its been so cold outside here today, this was the perfect meal to warm me up! This recipe is from the October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray.


1 tbsp evoo

4 slices bacon, finely chopped- I used 2 thick slices

2 lb. ground beef- I used 1 lb.

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 tbsp chili powder

salt and pepper

1 15oz can tomato sauce

1/3 cup worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp hot sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups beef stock- I used low sodium

sour cream and chopped fresh parsley for garnish


Heat evoo in large skillet. Cook bacon for about 3 mins or until fat starts to render. Add ground beef and brown, about 8-10 mins. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 mins. Stir in garlic, chili powder, just a little salt (the bacon provides lots of salty flavor), and lots of pepper( I used about 10 grinds on the pepper mill).

In med bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Pour into ground beef mixture. Stir in beef stock.

Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer about 1o mins or until chili has thickened.

Ladle into bowls and top with a big dollop of sour cream and some finely chopped flat leaf parsley.



I made this chili on the first day of fall. I couldnt wait for the weather to get a little chilly just so I could make this. Soup season is officially here! YAY!  Ive tried several chili recipes over the last couple of years and combined many of them to make this one. I served this with grilled cheese sandwiches and oyster crackers.


1 lb lean ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 can rotel

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1/2 can kidney beans

1 can tomato sauce

1/2 can water

1 pkt. McCormick mild chili seasoning

1/2 pkt. McCormick hot chili seasoning

salt and pepper

1 tbsp evoo


Heat evoo in large saucepan over med heat. Brown ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Add onion and bell pepper to browned beef. Cook 5- 8 mins. Stir in rotel, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, beans, cocoa powder and seasonings. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 mins.


Chicken and Dumplings

Since fall is in full swing and the weather has been chilly here this week, I decided that chicken and dumplings would be the perfect meal for tonight. I love chicken and dumplings so much. They really take me back to my childhood.


3 bone in, skin on chicken breasts

water, enough to cover the chicken and 1/2 cup for the dumpling batter

salt and pepper

2 1/2 cups self rising flour

1/2- 1 cup water

1 heaping tbsp mayo- my mom swears by this…she says it makes the dumplings fluffy!


Put chicken in large stockpot. Cover with water and season with salt and pepper. Cook on med heat for about an hour or until chicken is tender enough to shred with fork.

Remove chicken from pot and transfer to plate to cool. Shred.

At this point, you may need to add a little more water to broth to make enough to cook dumplings.

In bowl, combine flour, mayo, and water, starting with 1/2 cup(you can add more flour if the batter is too thin). You want the batter to be sort of like thick pancake batter. Drop dumpling dough by the heaping tbsp into boiling broth. Reduce heat and bring broth down to simmer. Cook dumplings about 5 mins, flip them, and cook another 5 mins. Stir in chicken. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve!

* You can double the batch of dumplings  if you need to


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