This isn't quite Chili with a Kick, not too spicy... More like Chili with a Little Sass, just enough attitude without being too spicy. ~ Barbara @ Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers *and* Kitchen Comforts

Chili with a Little Sass

3 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
32 oz can of tomato sauce
32 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of light red kidney beans
2 15 oz cans of dark red kidney beans
2 4 oz cans of diced green chilis

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt


2 packets of your favorite chili seasoning

TOPPINGS (all optional)
sour cream
shredded cheddar
tortilla chips
diced jalapenos


Brown the ground beef, strain the drippings

Keep the ground beef in the strainer while you sauté the diced onion

Once golden brown and slightly translucent, add ground beef back and rewarm

Mix together the seasoning (or use the packets)

Rinse the beans in the strainer

Add beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and seasonings to the ground beef mixture

Mix thoroughly, and simmer over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes

Serve with toppings

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

Nothing goes better with Chili then a little cornbread. Especially when said cornbread is sweet buttermilk cornbread, hot out of the oven, slathered with butter and drizzled with honey, with a crispy outside from a hot cast iron skillet. Is your mouth watering yet? I'm going to share my cornbread secrets with you, and I've been told many a time that my cornbread is the best! ~ Barbara @ Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers *and* Kitchen Comforts

Cornbread Drizzled with Honey

Secret #1: Buttermilk

Secret #2: Honey

Secret #3: Hot Skillet

Don't have buttermilk? I keep a buttermilk powder on hand for baking when you want the buttermilk flavor, without added liquid. However, you can use it to substitute in a pinch.

Now, this week I got to up the secret factor, because I got to use some AMAZING honey, and I don't know if I'd ever be able to live up to it with any old honey again. I got my honey from Haff Apiaries (701.663.1619‎) in Mandan, North Dakota, it's raw unpasteurized honey and the best I've ever tasted. I also used White Lily White Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix, this is hard to find up here in North Dakota, so I order it online. While I do think it makes a better cornbread, you can use whatever corn meal you have.

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

2 cups White Lily White Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour

1½ cup buttermilk
1½ cup milk
2 Tbsp buttermilk powder

1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tsp honey
¼ cup vegetable oil


Generously grease 8-10" cast iron skillet (I use butter flavored shortening for this, butter just doesn't do as good a job).

Preheat skillet in oven to 425

Measure cornmeal (and flour, if needed) into a bowl and stir (with a wooden spoon) it up to break up large clumps.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until just moist, it will have some clumps.

Pour into skillet and put in oven for 20 - 30 minutes (depends on the skillet size, start checking on it at 20 minutes. You want the top to get to a nice deep golden color.

Note: Barbara said: Kiy: You can use a cake round, you just won't get quite as crispy a crust. Or any oven safe skillet.

Marinated Roast Chicken

Originally submitted by Sandy Schreiber and modified by

This sweet marinade of soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger infuses chicken breasts, thighs and wings with intense flavors and makes for moist, succulent chicken in the oven or on the backyard grill.

2 cups soy sauce
2 cups brown sugar
1½ cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips

Kiy Note: I am halving this recipe!

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, sugar, and ginger. Place chicken into the
    mixture. Chill in the refrigerator 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  3. Place marinated chicken in the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven at least 1 hour, or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Nutrition Facts:
Servings per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving:
calories: 562cal
total fat: 5.5g
cholesterol: 129mg
sodium: 3045mg
carbohydrates: 77.5g
fiber: 0.5g
protein: 49.9g

Preparation Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Ready In: 9 hours and 30 min.
Servings: 10

Quick post as I am beat and SO ready for bed! Last week's menu went really well. I made a new (to me) version of the Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas, I will try to post about it later this week.

So, without much chatter, here's our menu for the week. Oh, and don't forget to head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for MPM!

  • Thursday: Breakfast! Grits, eggs, chicken sausage, toast
  • Friday: Leftover Buffet
  • Saturday: Free Nite

Original Post: Menu Plan (October 26 - November 1)

Yes indeed, Miss Emi and I made it home yesterday morning. We are pooped, but happy to be home with daddy and Max. I hope to have a blog post up early this week detailing our adventure but I just want to say that Emi was a true trooper and good as gold. She handled all the changes that we tossed at her, charming all she met along the way. I am so proud of our little girl!

On to the menu for the week. Needless to say, after two basically sleepless nights on the train I am still playing catch-up on sleep. I am going to take this week very easy, meal-planning-wise, and try to use up stuff in our freezer and pantry.

Jeff thought he'd be in charge of meals the first few days (does this fab man of mine know me or what?!), so he had Saturday, Sunday and Monday meals all planned out.

Saturday's lunch he wanted to go all out, so we had marinated steaks on the grill with Rice-a-Roni (15+ years of marriage and I had no idea he loves that stuff!) and corn.

Saturday dinner was dog's on the grill with baked fries and cole slaw.

Sunday's brunch I actually was up to doing something, so he made coffee (oh, glorious wonderful coffee) and emptied the dishwasher (sweet sweet man) and entertained Miss Emi while I make pancakes. {I have to admit, I don't really follow this recipe any more, I just use it as a guideline. Typically I use 3 cups of the wheat pancake mix, about 4 oz of ricotta cheese, 2 eggs and 1.25 cups of milk - we think they are light and fluffy, sometimes I add a splash of water as the batter can get a bit thick. This makes a pretty big batch but I also make some tiny Emi-sized pancakes for later in the week usage.}

Sunday dinner was garden veggie burgers on the grill, mac and cheese, and applesauce.

What a treat to not have to worry about meal planning. Yes, they were odd meals for us and we used some convenience foods but we didn't order a pizza or send Jeff out for Quiznos or Chinese (our downfalls!). So we feel we did well this weekend.

Monday's dinner is something we like to do now and again. It's a bit pricey but not as pricey as ordering a pizza. Jeff picked up a couple of gourmet frozen pizzas. Yep, odd, but we like them. We did this much more when we lived in Japan as our lives were nuts back then. Mainly because I was on so many committees and rarely home. Now that life has changed (insert Miss Emi!), we are still nuts but in a different way. :)

Don't forget to head on over to Laura's at Organizing Junkie for more MPM!

  • Monday: Gourmet frozen pizzas, grapes & apples

  • Tuesday: Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas, cantaloupe slices
  • Friday: Leftover Buffet
  • Saturday: Free Nite
    • We tend to need a night of not making dinner for various reasons. I am factoring this in my menu plan each week, but it won’t necessarily always (or often) be on a Saturday.
For those who have made it all the way to the end, here is a teaser of blog posting to come. Miss Emi in one of the shops we hopped to! Thanks to my mom, she is much more organized than I am and already has all her photos downloaded from her camera and (I am sure) sorted into folders on her computer. Me, I still need to unpack my camera! :)

Original Post: Menu Plan & HOME!