Vickie’s Almost Famous Chili

Fall is for football games, pumpkins and mums at the front door and a big pot of Chili simmering on the stove.   I was in a Chili Cook Off  years ago with several girlfriends and I discovered that there are about as many recipes for Chili as there are people who love it!  We called our team “The Red Hot Chili Peppers”.  Our recipe had about 25 ingredients and cooked all afternoon.  We won the Chili Cook Off but I’m sure none of us ever made that Chili recipe again because it had too many ingredients and cooked too long for all of our busy schedules.  That’s why I call my recipe “Almost Famous”.  I never won a Chili Cook Off with this recipe – but it scored big with everyone who has ever tasted it.

This recipe only has to simmer 15 minutes – so it can easily be cooked after a long day at work.  So, grab your Chili pot and get ready to round up some great chili for your gang!

 

Vickie's Almost Famous Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces chili beans ( I use medium, but feel free to use mild or hot)
  • 15 ounces dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons instant dried onion flakes
  • 2 packages chili seasoning packets ( that are supposed to each season 1 pound of beef)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Condiments to sprinkle on top of each bowl of chili: chopped onions, Fritos corn chips, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and drain well.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to blend well.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve piping hot with the condiments sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Brown the ground beef and drain well.

Add the remaining chili ingredients and stir to blend well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Ladle up a big bowl of this yummy chili and serve it topped with chopped onions, Fritos corn chips, a big dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

Remember, let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

 

 

Crab Cake Lunch on Kaanapali Beach

What could be better than a crab cake lunch on Kaanapali Beach?

Next week I will feature my Crab Cake recipe with the trick I use to keep the crab cakes from falling apart when I cook them.  Crab cakes are really very easy to make and you can either use fresh crab or canned crab.  My recipe uses canned crab since it’s not always easy to buy fresh crab.   

Here are the wonderful crab cakes I had for lunch on Kaanapali Beach.  I like how they served them on wilted fresh spinach and I’ll be using that same idea when I feature my Crab Cake recipe next week.  I also liked the grilled lemon half as an extra nice touch…

Here are some pictures of my beautiful walk along Kaanapali Beach….

 

I think a trip to Maui is really a trip of a lifetime!  The beauty is abundant.  Walks along the pristine beaches are invigorating and there is so much to enjoy in the nature around us.  Kaanapali Beach has a lot to offer in not only beauty but also things to do.  You can stay busy every minute if you want to.  The Westin has scenic helicopter tours, hiking trips, shopping tours plus much more.   I have decided not to do a lot of the tours and activities.  I just want to soak up some relaxation while I am here.  

Remember — Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!

Rib Eye Peppercorn Steaks with Brandy Sauce

Rib Eye Peppercorn Steaks are super easy to make in less than 10 minutes.  The steaks are lightly pressed with crushed peppercorns and then sauteed quickly in butter and oil.  Then you combine white wine, lemon juice and a little brandy in the pan drippings for the sauce.  So easy and so good!   

 

Rib Eye Peppercorn Steaks
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 2 to 4 rib eye steaks
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • little lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Crush the peppercorns and press well into steaks using a wooden spoon.
  2. Heat oil and butter in pan, add half the butter. When foaming, saute steaks 4 to 6 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steaks and how done you like them. Add remaining butter if needed.
  3. Remove to heated platter to keep warm.
  4. Add wine, brandy and lemon juice to the drippings in the pan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the sauce over the steaks. Serve at once.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons peppercorns

2 to 4 rib eye steaks

3 to 4 tablespoons oil

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons brandy

little lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Crush the peppercorns and press well into the steaks using a wooden spoon.  You can crush the peppercorns as I am doing, or put them in a Zip lock bag and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet.

Heat oil in pan, add half the butter.  When foaming, saute steaks 4 to 6 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steaks and how well done you like them.  Add remaining butter if needed.

Remove to a heated dish to keep warm.  Add wine, brandy and lemon juice to the pan and bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the steaks.  Enjoy!

 

 

Video: Rib Eye Peppercorn Steaks





Rib Eye Peppercorn Steaks are lightly pressed with crushed peppercorns, sauteed in butter and oil and then splashed with white wine, lemon juice and brandy

Crock Pot Spaghetti

This Crock Pot Spaghetti recipe is so easy – don’t wait long to make it!  The spaghetti sauce cooks all day in the crock pot and when  you get home, you’ll be greeted  by the wonderful aroma of homemade goodness!  The best part is –  you add the dry spaghetti the last 30 minutes and it cooks to perfection in the sauce.  No extra pans to wash!  This recipe makes a lot and we always look forward to leftovers.  


Crock Pot Spaghetti
 
Recipe type: Pasta
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground chuck, browned and drained
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 29 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 6 cups tomato juice
  • 16 ounce package thin spaghetti - broken in half
  • Grated Parmesan cheese ( optional for serving )
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the dry spaghetti and the cheese in a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or HIGH 3 to 5 hours.
  3. Turn to HIGH during the last 30 minutes and stir in the dry spaghetti.
  4. Note: If you use anything other than thin spaghetti, you may need to continue cooking another 10 minutes.

Video: Crock Pot Spaghetti





This Crock Pot Spaghetti is so easy to make! The sauce cooks all day in the crock pot and when you come home you add the dry spaghetti the last 30 minutes!

To view the complete how to video, click here:  


 Ingredients:

2 pounds ground chuck, browned and drained

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic – minced

29 ounce can tomato sauce

3 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained

6 cups tomato juice

16 ounce package thin spaghetti

Grated Parmesan cheese – optional, for serving

Combine all ingredients except dry spaghetti and cheese in a 6 quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or HIGH 3 to 5 hours.

Turn to HIGH the last 30 minutes and stir in the dry spaghetti.  If spaghetti is not fully cooked, continue cooking another 10 minutes.

 

Remember – Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with the how to photos – click here:   Crock Pot Spaghetti

 

Cooker Chops

Great recipe for entertaining!  Fast, easy and tastes wonderful!  No one believes it was prepared in a crock pot.

 

Cooker Chops
 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Four 1½ inch thick pork chops ( loin chops with the bone in)
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, cut into 4 slices
  • Wondra Instant flour
Instructions
  1. Spray crock pot with Pam. Put chops in the crock pot and lay a sliced onion on each chop.
  2. Combine the Cream of Mushroom soup, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce and whisk together.
  3. Pour the mixture over the chops.
  4. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  5. Remove chops. Thicken sauce with the Wondra flour.
  6. Ladle sauce over the chops.

 

To view the complete video recipe, click here:  http://youtu.be/jax2APUx7PM 

 

 

Spray the crock pot with Pam and put the pork chops in the crock pot.  Place an onion slice on each pork chop.

Combine the cream of mushroom soup, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Whisk together.

Pour mixture over chops and cover with the lid.  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove chops to a warm serving platter.  Thicken the sauce with Wondra Instant Flour.  Use a whisk to combine the flour into the sauce.  Ladle the sauce over the pork chops.

Lets make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

 

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Cooker Chops

 

 

 

Italian Beef Recipe

 

Looking for a great Italian Beef recipe?

 

Video: Italian Beef Recipe


You can have this Italian Beef recipe in the crock pot in less than 5 minutes! This is THE BEST Italian Beef you have ever tasted!

 

 

Italian Beef
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Main Dish - Beef
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 pound beef chuck roast
  • 1 can beer
  • 3 packets Good Season's Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix
  • Hoagie Rolls
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Peperocini peppers ( for serving)
Instructions
  1. Place beef chuck roast in crock pot. Sprinkle with 3 packets of dry Good Season's Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix.
  2. Pour one can of beer over the roast.
  3. Cook on low 8 hours.
  4. About one hour before serving. shred the beef in the crock pot using 2 forks. Discard any fat pieces. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning and stir. Continue to cook in the sauce.
  5. To serve, put Italian Beef on hoagie roll. Top with shredded Mozzarella cheese. Heat each sandwich 30 seconds in the microwave to melt cheese.

Directions:

Place beef pot roast in crock pot.  Sprinkle with 3 packets of dry Good Seasons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix.

 

Pour one 12 oz bottle of beer over the roast.

Cover and cook on low all day.

About one hour before serving, shred the beef in the crock pot using 2 forks.  Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning  and stir.  Cover and continue to cook on low the last hour.

To serve, put Italian Beef on hoagie roll.  Top with shredded Mozzarella cheese.  Heat each sandwich 30 seconds on High in microwave to melt cheese.

 

To download the printable recipe with the how-to photos, click here:Italian Beef

“You can have this Italian Beef recipe  in the crock pot in less than 5 minutes and at the end of the day you’ll have delicious Italian Beef ready for dinner.  What could be easier!”

 

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com