Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Crock Pot Chili

   Every Halloween it's our tradition to make chili.  There are literally hundreds of recipes to choose from!   Some chili's are spicy, some mild, some are made with chicken, some with beef, the list goes on and on.  This year I decided to make my own version of chili using a variety of ingredients that lend themselves to my palate (and my boys) and was crock pot friendly at the same time.  

2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 lb. ground beef, (I used Grass Fed Beef)
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
2 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon pepper
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons ground oregano
1 28oz. & 1 14oz. can Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 6oz. can tomato paste
3 tablespoons salt
1 cup dry white wine
2 14oz. cans dark Kidney beans
1-2 14oz. cans light Kidney beans
2 teaspoons Ancho (ground chile's)
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley


1) Saute together onions, green pepper, sausage, and beef until they begin to brown.  Drain off as much fat as possible.
2) Next, add garlic, pepper, chili powder, cumin seed, mustard powder, oregano, salt, tomato paste and the two cans of tomatoes.  Transfer this to a crock pot and set the temperature to low.
3) Meanwhile, de glaze the pan you cooked the above ingredients in with the 1 cup of white wine.  Cook the wine down to 1/4 cup and then add to the crock pot.  At this point the chili can cook on low for 5-6 hours.
4) An hour or so before serving add the kidney beans, fresh parsley and Ancho.  Continue to cook!
5) Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, pumpkin seeds, black olives, fresh parsley, or whatever else you please.  Enjoy!

Oh...and yes our pumpkin seeds are HUGE! 

Because our pumpkin was HUGE!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Potato & Leek Soup with a Kick

 Today's recipe comes to you from a good friend of mine, Donna.  She loves quick meals containing fresh, organic ingredients.  Her travel schedule leaves her little time to cook, therefore she is always in need of meals that are incredibly easy.  This meal is wonderful because all of the cutting and most of the time consuming preparing is done for you, not to mention it was not expensive to make!  All you have to do, is buy the ingredients, saute, blend, and serve with salt & pepper to taste.  Talk about... As Easy As Salt & Pepper!!! 
 Did I mention if living in Minnetonka, Minnesota you get to visit the new Whole Foods???


1 quart organic Chicken Broth
1 Package Potato Leek Soup kit, see photo below
1 package Apple and Pear Salsa, see photo below
Salt and Pepper to taste


1) Pour potato and leek soup kit ingredients in a saute pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. 
2) Pour container of chicken broth, and allow the potatoes to soften, 7-10 minutes.
3) Pour mixture in blender along with apple, pear salsa.  Blend until desired consistency and serve with Salt and Pepper.  


Clean up the kitchen with...Bar Keeper's below!