Homemade Chili (Stove or Crockpot)

Always on the search for a good recipe, a long time ago, I set out to find a match for Wendy’s chili because it is one of my favorites. Since I am the self-declared “Google Queen” I started there. I then went to my other favorite option Pinterest.
I tried several different recipes claiming to be “Wendy’s copycat recipes”. Let me just say that if Wendy’s chili taste like some of these recipes posted and claiming to be a match in your neck of the woods…. I am SO SO sorry for you! Yuck-o!
However, after many failed attempts I finally came across one that I liked. Unfortunately, I can not link to its original author because it was just an uploaded cell phone screen shot as a pin, with no link back. *I hate that* (If someone can show me the original website that published this particular recipe, I would be more than happy to link it to them.)
Anywho, I tried it and I loved it. Now that one of my dear friends and assistant Samantha has posted on her Facebook recently asking for a good chili recipe, I figured now would be a great time to share this delicious recipe.
So…. this one is for YOU Sam!!

Wendy’s Copycat Chili

2 lbs fresh ground beef
1 qt tomato juice
1 (29oz) can tomato puree
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder (use more or less to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin (use more for added flavor)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Stovetop Instructions:
In a large skillet, brown ground meat with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Drain fat & liquid. Place the meat mixture in a 6-qt pot along with all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and allow chili to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Crockpot Instructions:
In a large skillet, brown ground meat with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Drain fat & liquid. Place the meat mixture in crockpot along with all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Blessings from the South!

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Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Another Cool Weather Favorite…..
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 bag frozen vegetables (peas/corn/carrot/green bean mix)
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
4 chicken breasts,cooked and cubed
Salt & Pepper
1 frozen pie crust
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F
1. Sautée the onion and garlic in oil.
2. Microwave the veggies until just under tender.
3. Add the chicken, cream of potato soup, vegetables and S&P to taste.
4. Transfer to a casserole dish or four ramekin dishes.
5. Unroll the pie crust on top of the casserole dish or cut to size of ramekins.
6. Brush the egg on top.
7. Cut a few slits in the crust and bake at 400°F for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
If you prefer a soupier consistency, add milk or cream. However, don’t add too much, or it will spill over the top and cause the oven to have crusty burnt pieces things on the bottom of the oven. In this case, you will probably want to place the ramekins on a cookie sheet while baking.

Mandarin Orange Chicken

This recipe can be made with chicken or tofu, but if you are making both chicken and tofu, but I think you have to keep a close eye on this cooking, since they don’t cook at exactly the same rate. I personally don’t care for tofu, so I have no idea what it would taste like in the recipe.
Mandarin Orange Chicken
1 package skinless, boneless chicken breasts OR
1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/3 cup Soy Ginger Sauce
1 TB honey
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 TB olive oil
1 TB minced garlic
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1 small can water chestnuts 
steamed white or brown rice
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Brush both sides of the chicken or tofu slices with sauce and arange in a 6 x 9 baking dish, overlapping as needed. Mix sauce with honey and spoon on top of the tofu or chicken. Top with orange slices. Bake 30 minutes, or until the tofu is lightly browned. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil and saute garlic until lightly browned. Add broccoli and water chestnuts and cook until crisp-tender. Serve over rice and baked tofu or chicken with additional sauce on the side.
Let me know what you think!

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The Heart of Your Home, The Dedicated House, Time Warp Wife,

Crawfish & Corn Soup

It’s the time of the year when the only thing you want to eat is something hot. Saturday was a cold and wet day here in South Louisiana, so my sweet hubby (being a much better cook than I) made a delicious Crawfish & Corn Soup.
Honestly, the only thing I would change is to add some cheese to it….. of which I did in my own bowl. 🙂
Crawfish & Corn SoupIngredients:
1/2 cup butter
2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 (15 ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 dash hot-sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
2 pound crawfish, peeled
Melt butter in a large pot over low heat, and stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly to make a blonde roux, about 5 minutes.

Add yellow & green onions, green bell pepper, celery and garlic, cook until wilted. Pour in milk, heavy cream, creamed corn, whole kernel corn, and cream of potato soup. Season with Creole seasoning, hot-sauce, salt & pepper. Stir to blend, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add the crawfish, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Easy Chicken & Dumplings

I haven’t been feeling well this week and dinner has quickly turned south. Hot dogs, corn dogs, pizza delivery….. Ugh. I am done. Its also finally starting to cool off down here in the Deep South, so what better idea than my Easy Chicken & Dumplings for dinner? I literally spent no time at the stove and we ended up with a delicious dinner.

Need: 2 stock pots (I know, I know! Two? Well…. it just goes faster that way!)

In one pot, boil until cooked, then drain in a strainer:
2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins (frozen, straight from the bag is what I do)
2 cups seasoning blend (onion, bell pepper, celery that is pre-chopped)

While chicken is boiling, In the other pot:
2 – 32 oz. boxes Swanson Chicken Broth
2 – 12 oz. cans Evaporated Milk
3(approx) tablespoons Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic (I get mine at Winn Dixie)

This is really to taste. I don’t actually measure the seasoning and it will really depend on your own taste as to how much you will want to use.

Combine the above in the pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Don’t forget to stir or you will end up with scorched milk. 

Once you have a rolling boil, you need:
4 rolls of CHEAP can buttermilk biscuits – I am talking the cheap small ones. Cheaper the better, honest!

Take each biscuit and break off into pieces. You will get 4-6 pinches off of each biscuit. Throw into the boiling broth/evap. milk mixture.

Finishing Up:
Really, after about 15 minutes of the biscuits boiling in the liquid you could be eating, but I like mine to thicken up and be more of a stew consistency than a soup consistency. Its really a matter of preference. 

Once you have added your pulled pieces of biscuit, you need to break the chicken into bit size pieces and add it to the pot.

From the time my biscuits go in, I am usually serving bowls of this up within 45 minutes.



Succulent Sunday Recipe – Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

I am from South Louisiana. Let’s face it, folks…. we are known for our love of food. We love to grow it, we love to cook it, we love to eat it, and we love to share it! From delicious chicory coffee & beignets at Cafe Du Monde to the Thin Fried Catfish at historic Middendorf’s,  we know how to eat some good tasting food in South Louisiana!

Arguably one of the most well known chefs in Louisiana, is Chef John Folse. A renowned chef and resturant owner in Creole and Cajun cooking. From hosting food shows to writing books, Chef Folse has made his name in the food world.
One of the best cookbooks known to man (at least in my humble opinion) is The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine by John D. Folse. Its not just a cookbook. Its loaded with beautiful photos of Louisiana and a history lesson on top of it all. Its not cheap, but this is one of those cases where I can promise you, you get what you pay for!
From his book & also his website, I will share with you my favorite “go to” cold winter recipes of Chef Folse’s.

Note: The following recipe is from Chef John Folse’s website

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yeilds: 8-10 Servings

Chicken and sausage are the most popular gumbo ingredients in Louisiana. The ingredients were readily available since most Cajun families raised chickens and made a variety of sausages. Oysters were often added to this everyday dish for a special Sunday or holiday version.


  • 1 (5-pound) stewing hen
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 24 button mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced green onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig of thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Louisiana hot sauce to taste
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • steamed white rice
NOTE: You may wish to boil chicken 1–2 hours before beginning gumbo. Reserve stock, bone chicken and use meat and stock in gumbo. Using a sharp boning knife, cut hen into 8–10 serving pieces. Remove as much fat as possible. Cut smoked sausage into ½-inch slices and set aside. In a 2-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until golden brown roux is achieved. Stir in onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Blend chicken and sausage into vegetable mixture, and sauté approximately 15 minutes. Add chicken stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 1 hour. Skim any fat or oil that rises to surface. Stir in mushrooms, green onions, bay leaf, thyme and basil. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook an additional 1–2 hours, if necessary, until chicken is tender and falling apart. Stir in parsley and adjust seasonings. Serve over steamed white rice.

“Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!”

Succulent Sunday Recipe 1 – Chicken Pillows

I have become a Pinterest addict like so many others I know. But one of my favorite thing to pin is recipes. Anyone who knows me, and has been in my kitchen, know the love I have for cookbooks. I have 100s of them. I pull recipes out of magazines, I have more recipes saved in my Favorites online…. I just love to try new recipes. My two favorite things to cook: chicken and any sort of dessert.

Chicken! Go figure… We raise them and its my favorite thing to eat. (Although our girls aren’t for eating anything but their eggs!)

Recently, while on Pinterest, I stumbled across this amazing chicken recipe from this amazing cook named Nikki at Chef In Training. Nikki has many recipes on her site that I just cant WAIT to try.

So I tried her Chicken Pillow recipe.

This Photo is not mine.
I assume it is a photo taken by Nikki herself at Chef In Training.
Mine did not turn out NEARLY as pretty and I wanted to make sure that the
photo I gave you was a appetizing at the meal itself!

To say the least I was pleased with the recipe! My family had mixed reviews but all in all, this is definitely something we will be trying again (with some minor modifications).

Here is the recipe from Nikki:
1 can of 8 Pillsbury crescents
8 oz. block of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2-3 cups shredded chicken, cooked (I usually just buy a Rotisserie chicken and shred it up to make it even easier)
1 egg
saltine crackers, crushed
TOPPING:1 can cream of chicken
sour cream (a couple spoon fulls worth)
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F

Soften 1/4 cup butter and 8oz. block of cream cheese. Then stir to a smooth consistency. Add cooked shredded chicken to the bowl.

Lay out the 8 crescents on a cookie sheet.

Stretch the crescent out. Place a couple spoon fulls of the creamy chicken mixture into the center of the crescent to fill it. Then fold the crescent around the mixture so that none of it is showing. I’ll call this the “pillow”

In a separate smaller bowl, put the egg and a little bit of water, maybe a couple Tablespoons worth and beat together.

Dip the “pillow” into the blended egg.

After dipping into the blended egg, proceed to dip it into the crushed saltine crackers and place on cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining 7 crescents.

Cook the pillows at 400 F for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them your oven might cook them quicker.

For the sauce topping:

Put can of cream of chicken and milk into a sauce pan. Add as much milk as you want to get it to the consistency you want i.e. thicker or runnier. When hot enough add 2 spoon fulls of sour cream and cheese to your liking.

My MINOR modifications:
1. I will be taking out the sour cream and using more milk (or maybe some cream) from the sauce next time. With the sour cream it made the sauce too rich for my liking.
2. I added salt & pepper to the pillow stuffing concoction.
THAT’S IT!! I served it with fresh mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. This was an AMAZING recipe & I cant wait to try it again! Please visit Chef in Training for more recipes that I am sure you will enjoy!
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