Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili


My husband was craving chili big time last week.  And chili is one of those weird things I have a hard time making on any day of the week other than Sunday.  It’s a Sunday food, no?  It needs time to simmer on the stove and smell the house up beautifully while everyone gets cozy and football is blaring in the background.

But last week on Sunday I had an event to attend.  Which meant no time to let that chili bask in its glory on the stove.  So I decided to try a stab at it in the slow cooker. Results?  Delicious.  So simple.  And perfect for days where time has got the best of you. Continue reading

Asian Steak and Cabbage Bowl


So, how was it?  Did you go crazy for your kids halloween candy?  My husband did.  I had no part in it.  Except for the DOTS.  And peanut butter cups.  I may have had a Snickers, too.  Or two.

This weekend basically consisted of lots of junk food…pizza, burgers and fries, way too much candy..and not enough sleep.  So, back we are to reality and it feels so very good to have meals at home, sleep schedules for the kids and real-life food in the fridge.  It doesn’t take much for me.  If I’ve got those three things I am ONE HAPPY CAMPER. Continue reading

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas


So, I’ve never made genuinely homemade enchiladas.  Yes, I’ve put together a pan of these Mexican delights with a jar of store bought enchilada sauce but they are always just mediocre.  Homemade enchilada sauce always seemed so intimidating. So time consuming.  But after a little trustee old interweb research I finally found a super simple method that blows any store bought sauce out of the water.  Thank you, Emeril Lagasse.  From the bottom of my Mexican-food-loving heart.   Continue reading

Beef and Bean Chili


Well, we’ve come and gone from our winter getaway.  Sun, warmth and peace was had and, much to my dismay, winter greeted us back home with a big, fat hello.  Every year we go away around this time.  And every year as we are sitting on the beach the sun soaks all of its optimism into my body. We talk about how the winter will always be so much more bearable if we make it a priority to get away somewhere warm for a short time.  And how we aren’t even sure if we could live in a place so consistently warm all year around.  How much we love the seasons change in Minnesota.   And how our winters are really not that bad.  And then it happens.  The airplane lands back in our home state. Continue reading

Messy Joes


Who really likes the word “sloppy” when it comes to food, anyway?  It makes me think of a lunch lady and hair net and a big scoop of God knows what on a compartmentalized plate.  If you tell me your serving me slop for dinner… sorry, but peace out folks.  In the case of the “sloppy joe” sandwich I think I’d prefer to call it messy.  Messy as in you take a bite and the sweet, savory, saucy filling comes slightly oozing out of the other end.  And then some of the juice may run down your arm.  And you might need a couple of extra napkins for your face.  Absolutely my kind of sandwich and this recipe will put that ridiculous can on the shelf to shame; both in taste and nutrition.  Your family will thank you 🙂

Messy Joes

adapted from Gourmet, October 2007


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, chopped

2 Medium Carrots, chopped

5 Garlic Cloves, chopped

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika

1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine

15 Ounce Can Crushed or Pureed Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Whole Grain Rolls, for serving


Heat olive oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and carrots and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add beef and garlic and cook until the beef browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper,  chili powder, cumin and paprika and cook for 1 additional minute. Add wine, tomatoes, worcestershire, honey and balsamic and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a heavy simmer/light boil and let the mixture simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve on whole grain rolls.  Serves 4-6.