Taco Chili


This is our snow day. Are you impressed? Maybe not, but when you live in a tropical land of heat and humidity; well, this is our snow day.
Impressive or not, a day to stay at home calls for hot chocolate by the fire, a bundled up walk, board games, and a big pot of chili.

When our church met in the evenings in our pastor’s house last year, we would cook dinner for everyone to enjoy after the service. We began with about 30 people but after a few months, we were feeding up to 120 hungry folks! One of my go to dinners for those nights was several big pots of taco chili. Chili is one of those recipes that’s good to have in your back pocket. It’s inexpensive and delicious. It can be made healthier with the use of ground turkey or chicken and it can easily feed a crowd. Seeing as I won first place in a chili making contest, I feel the authority to share my recipe with you. I call this recipe taco chili because I use black beans and corn and lots of cumin. Enjoy!

taco chili
serves 4-6


1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1/2 T oregano
1/2 t cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 lb ground beef
1 28oz can whole tomatoes

Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, chips, avocado, cilantro, onion

to make:

Chop your onions and garlic. Heat one Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a non stick pan. Add the chopped onions and ground beef. Use a spatula to break up meat. Cook until beef is browned through and onions are translucent. Add chopped garlic cloves and cook for one more minute. Drain any grease into a jar or trash.

Into your slow cooker, add can of tomatoes with juice. Drain beans and corn, add to the slow cooker. Add meat, onions and garlic. Add all seasonings. Stir using a spoon and break up whole tomatoes with spatula or fork. Allow to cook over low heat for 4-6 hours.
**You can also make this in a large soup pot and allow to simmer for an hour. The longer it cooks, the better the flavor.

Serve warm with preferred toppings!


Nutella, Fruit, Pecan, & Bacon Waffles with Honey

Our very first wedding gift was a waffle maker from one of Matthew’s coworkers. I remember the giddy feeling of opening a gift for our new married life together. At first we were skeptical about whether or not we’d use it, but we were convinced we had to keep it, if only for what it represented. I’m thankful we did because waffles are a delicious once-in-a-while treat for lazy Saturday mornings or to mix it up on a week day night.
They may not be bikini friendly, but sometimes you just need to raid the fridge and make delicious Nutella, bacon, pecan, strawberry, banana, honey waffles for dinner.

Nutella, Bacon, Strawberry, Banana, Pecan Waffles with Honey
(Adapted from Joy the Baker)

3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups milk
1 stick of melted butter

Cooked, chopped bacon
Pecan pieces
Sliced strawberries
Sliced bananas
Drizzle of honey or drizzle of maple syrup

Set up your waffle iron on a level, clean surface and turn on to preheat.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. Whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, banana, milk and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold. Try not to over mix the batter or the waffles will become tough. It’s ok if a few lumps remain in the batter.
Cook according to waffle iron instructions.