Sunday Night Chili

Football season afternoons, cold winter nights, and cool rainy spring evenings all mean one thing — what’s for dinner is chili.

This recipe will easily feed four adults with enough left over for a lunch or two.


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic (the stuff in a jar is fine)
1 12 oz. bottle of Guinness Stout (Original or Draught)
1 28 oz. can Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with Basil
1 14 1/2 oz. can Hunt’s diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. can Bush’s black beans
2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional or up to 1/4 tsp. for more heat)


Chop the onion and set aside.

Mince the garlic and set aside.

Drain the tomatoes and set aside.

Drain and rinse the beans and set aside.


Brown the beef in a skillet on medium low until all of the liquid has evaporated and the beef starts to caramelize.

Add the onion and cook until tender.

Add the garlic and cook one minute more.

Add the Guinness and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits of beef and onion.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, mix well and simmer on low for 45-50 minutes. Stir periodically to prevent sticking.

Top with grated cheddar or sour cream and serve with a side of Texas Toast or Fritos.

Instant Pot Journey: Trash Night Penne

Trash Night…

… is the night I go through my fridge or freezer and pick one thing that’s been sitting longer than I’d like. It either gets cooked or tossed. On this journey, I eliminated frozen Italian sausages, 3 partial bags of frozen veggies, the remains of a container of sour cream and the last of a block of parmesan.Continue reading

Crock Pot Beef Stew


  • 1 pounds stew beef
  • 1 cup flour
  • oil, for browning meat
  • 1 package Crockery Gourmet Seasoning For Beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can Condensed French Onion Soup
  • 1 can Condensed Beef Consomm√©
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 celery, cut into 1/4 ” chunks


  1. Coat stew beef with flour and brown in hot oil over medium high heat 2 minutes per side. Do not crowd pan.
  2. Transfer beef to bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Combine beef seasoning and water. Add soups, water, garlic and tomatoes. Pour over meat.
  4. Spread potatoes, carrots and celery on top of meat.
  5. Cook on high 6 hours or low 10 hours.

Wicked Easy Pork Loin

Weekends were made for crockpot cooking. It’s the one time when you can actually sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal, but who wants to spend a lot of time preparing it? Crockpot to the rescue.

What you’ll need…

1 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin (not tenderloin — they’re not the same thing)
1 pkg. Superior Touch Crockery Gourmet Seasoning Mix for Pork
1 can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup
2 cans water
course black pepper
dried herbs (optional)

What you’ll do with it…

Place the roast fat-side down in the bottom of a crockpot.
Mix the seasoning mix, soup and water with a whisk.
Pour the soup mixture over the roast.
Sprinkle on a liberal dose of pepper and herbs. Don’t add salt… the onion soup has plenty.

Cook on low 2 hours.
Turn the roast fat-side up and baste.
Continue cooking on low 5-6 hours more, basting every 2-3 hours.
Let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve it au jus with the liquid straight from the pot or use the liquid to make gravy if you want something a little thicker.

If you don’t want to worry about turning the roast, start it fat-side up… but I think it turns out better if you turn it and baste it.

Holiday Leftovers: HoneyBaked Ham & Bean Soup


Bone from HoneyBaked ham (fat and scraps in tact)
1 pound bag of dried mixed beans
12 cups water
1 T garlic powder
1 T dried onion flakes
2 T cajun seasoning
2 T Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
1-2 cups diced onions and carrots
1-2 cups diced ham


Soak beans in room temperature water for 24 hours. Don’t attempt to cheat with the hot water method. It’s not the same.

Place the beans, water, ham bone, water, spices and vegetable base in a large crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Add the onions and carrots. Continue cooking on low for another hour.

Add the diced ham and cook on low for one more hour.

Super Easy Bok Choy “Stir Fry”

Bok choy is my new favorite vegetable. Add a little garlic, ginger and vinegar and you’ve got a great summer side in 15 minutes.

Mix a few tablespoons each olive oil, minced garlic and minced ginger in a cool dutch oven. Just let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Remove any wilted leaves from 8 or 10 stalks of bok choy. Cut off and discard the root end; cut the rest into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Leave the little center heart in tact.

Cut 6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms into bite-sized chunks and coarsely chop a red bell pepper.

Warm the oil in the dutch oven over medium high heat until it starts to sizzle. Toss in the red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Toss in the shiitake and cook for another minute. Pour in a few tablespoons of lime-flavored Kikkoman Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Dressing & Sauce, 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, toss it around and simmer for another minute.

Add the bok choy and stir well. Make sure it’s coated with the garlic infused oil and vinegar. Cover the dutch oven, cut the heat back to medium and let everything steam for a few minutes — 3 minutes will give you cooked but still crunchy bok choy.

If you want to make it a complete meal, toss in thinly slice grilled steak tips and serve it with sweet (aka sticky) rice.

Guiltless Dessert

1 regular size package instant sugar free vanilla pudding mix (100 calories)
1 regular size package sugar free lemon jello (40 calories)
2 cups water
1 cup fat-free whipped topping (120 calories)
2 medium bananas, sliced (210 calories)
Extra whipped topping for garnish (15 calories per tablespoon)

Boil water, add jello, stir until dissolved and cool.
Whisk in the dry pudding mix until smooth.
Whisk in the whipped topping until smooth.
Stir in the sliced bananas and chill until set.
Serve in chilled custard cups with 1-2 tablespoons of whipped topping on top.

Serves 6 — about 100 calories each.