Super Bowl…On the Menu-Mississippi Chili 

Being from Mississippi, living in South Carolina, and then moving to Texas helps you realize that different parts of the country think differently whenever you mention certain foods—such as tacos, barbecue, and chili.
Chili has been one food disputed among aficionados for decades… geographic preferences, personal tastes, types of meat, inclusion of certain ingredients have been the subject of many heated debates….and cook-offs throughout the country…

I recently stumbled across this recipe for Mississippi-Style Barbecue… 

Honestly, I had never heard of Mississippi-Style Barbecue…but as I read the recipe, I remembered that this was the way that my mom taught me how to make chili…and kinda like assuming everyone in America loves Sour Cream Pound Cake as much as my family does, and then finding out that some people have never even heard of Sour Cream Pound Cake…here’s the recipe for Mississippi-Style Chili…just in time for the Super Bowl

Chili – Mississippi Style

Cook 2 pounds lean ground beef in a skillet. Drain. Add…

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce or tomato sauce with tomato bits
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf

    Simmer for one hour. Remove bay leaf. Stir in…

    •  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, undrained
    • Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring periodically. 

    All chili contains chili peppers, meat (usually beef), and seasonings such as garlic, onions, and cumin…but beans and tomatoes are additions that cause controversy. 

    Beans…As far back as the early 20th century, the question of whether beans should or should not “belong” in chili has been an issue of debate. Beans commonly used for chili include small red or pink common beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, great northern beans, or navy beans. In 1999, the Chili Appreciation Society International specified that beans could not be used to make chili for official competition.

    Tomatoes…Tomatoes are another ingredient on which opinions differ. Wick Fowler, north Texas newspaperman and inventor of “Two-Alarm Chili,” insisted on adding one 15-oz. can per three pounds of meat when making his chili. 
    Brick Chili...As far back as 1850, dried bricks were formed—from beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt—and then boiled in pots along the cattle trails. 

    In the 1880s, Rancher Lyman Davis from Corsicana, Texas, began producing heavily spiced chili, based on chunks of lean beef and rendered beef suet, and selling the chili by the pot to local cafés. 
    In 1895, Rancher Lyman Davis developed Wolf Brand Chili and began selling brick chili in small towns and rural areas of the American Southwest…in the days before home refrigerators were common.


       In 1893, the Columbian Exposition in Chicago popularized chili.

      In 1908, Willie Gebhardt, originally of New Braunfels, Texas, produced the first canned chili.

      Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors could be found throughout Texas and other states where Texans had moved. Each establishment proudly claimed to have the “secret recipe.”

      In 1977 the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili as the official dish of Texas.
      Chili verde (green chili) is a moderately to extremely spicy New Mexican cuisine stew or sauce usually made from chunks of pork that have been slow-cooked in chicken broth, garlic, tomatillos, and roasted green chilis. Tomatoes are rarely used. The spiciness of the chili is adjusted with poblano, jalapeño, serrano, and occasionally habanero peppers. 
      Cincinnati chili is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce developed by
      Greek-Macedonian immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s consisting of ground beef, stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, Mediterranean spices and sometimes chocolate in a soup-like consistency.

      Vegetarian chili…A variety of vegetables, a rich tomato base, and just the right amount of spice make this vegetarian chili a satisfying option in only 35 minutes. Vegetarians will ask for this chili again and again. You may even convert meat lovers to vegetarian chili!


      White Chili…White chili is made using white beans and turkey meat or chicken breast instead of a tomato-based sauce and red meat (beef). The resulting dish appears white when cooked.

          10 Super Bowl Dips Worth Double-Dipping

          Super Bowl parties always require a good dip…(as well as a good something to sip)…

          Here is a collection of ten delicious dips that are definitely worth double-dipping into….(just make sure nobody’s looking first)…
          1.  Seven Layered Dip 
          2.  Fava Bean and Goat Cheese Dip
          3.  Creamy Avocado Dip
          4. Muhammara
          5.  Pimento Cheese Dip
          6.  White Bean Dip  
          7.  Alton Brown’s Edamame Dip  8.  Brandade  9.  Herbed Goat Cheese Spread 10.  Slow Cooker Reuben Dip

          Don’t Wish Later You Had Called to Get It Catered 

          • The first, and possibly the most important, question that you must ask yourself when planning the ultimate Super Bowl party is what food you are going to serve and who’s gonna cook it.
          • If you are planning on having your Super Bowl catered, it is never too early to call in your order.
          • The places most likely to have the perfect Super Bowl snacks have probably already received dozens of orders already…don’t wait too late, or these places may tell you that they are not taking any more orders.
          • Here are a few options that keep you out of the kitchen so that you can actually enjoy the game…
          • Freebirds
          • HoneyBaked Ham
          • Olive Garden
          • Panera
          • Pluckers
          • Wing Stop

          Chasing a Three Year Old Was a Whole Lot Easier Back When I Was Twenty-Something

          Never thought that I would be nearly fifty chasing a three year old 24/7…but life happens…

          And so many of us are raising, or even adopting, our own grandchildren these days…(so not getting on my soapbox about different generations right now…

          But there are several advantages of spending lots and lots of time with your grandchildren.

          1.  Assurance-–Knowing that your child is safe and well taken care of while your kids, aka their parents,  are at work or school is so important…do you really want to entrust the maintenance and upkeep of your most precious investments with just anybody who puts up a sign and calls themselves a daycare center…

          2.  Example-–You have a unique position to serve as a role model for your grandkids that they might not otherwise get. they watch how you go through the day and how you interact with other people. You set the precedent for how they will treat their own kids…and they will treat their own kids…and they will treat their own kids…hopefully producing generation after generation of people who make a positive difference in the lives ariund them.

          3.  Relationship–Having the privilege of getting to spend both quantity time and quality time with your grandchildren is a privilege that many grandparents never get. my husband was active duty military when my kids were little…and we never lived closer than eight hours from our own parents.

          4.  Trust—Develop a relationship that allows you to be that You are that one person, or often one of the very few people that a child can tell or count on if there is a challenge that she is at first unwilling to approach with a parent. spending quality time and quantity time with your grandchildren teaches intimacy, trust, and commitment.
          5.  Success…Finally, active grandarenting gives you unstructured time to build the foundation for academics and real life that lie ahead. These early years can create a love of learning in your child and give him the confidence to try new things.

          Makin’ Bacon

          Breakfast is usually the hardest meal of the day. More than 31 million Americans, about 10 percent of the U.S. population, actually do not eat breakfast. 

          Yet breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day because eating breakfast…

          • gives you energy to start a new day
          • helps with weight control
          • improves performance and productivity throughout the day
          • lowers cholesterol level

          Most people quote lack of time as the reason they skip breakfast…But if you will prepare on weekends, lack of time shouldn’t be a valid excuse to skip breakfast one more day…even on a Monday…

          Here are a few breakfast foods that can be made ahead… 

           1. Bacon—Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place one pound of thick-sliced bacon in disposable aluminum broiler pan. Cook 20-25 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Store up to one week in the refrigerator. Reheat in a non-stick skillet or microwave, a few slices at a time, to serve.

          2. Boiled Eggs in the Oven—Preheat the oven to 325. Put an egg in each individual cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove eggs from muffin tin and place into an ice water bath for 30min.

          3. Coffee Cake/Copycat Bisquick Recipe—(This baking mix can be used to make any recipe originally calling for Bisquick…such as this recipe for Apple Kuchen Coffee Cake or any other recipe that calls for Bisquick found on the Betty Crocker website).

          Copycat Bisquick Mix

          Stir together…

          • 9 cups flour
          • 1/4 cup sugar
          • 1/3 cups powdered milk
          • 1 tablespoon salt
          • 1/3 cup baking powder

          Cut in 2C shortening until the consistency of corn meal. Place mix in a covered glass or plastic container and keep in a cool, dry place. Use within a month.

            4. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches…Coat six 10-ounce ramekins with nonstick spray. place on baking sheet. Stir one egg into each ramekin, beating slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 12-14 minutes.Place one egg over each English muffin bottom. Top each with 2 slices deli ham and 1 slice cheddar cheese. Top with other muffin halves. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in freezer.To reheat, remove plastic wrap from the frozen sandwich. Wrap in paper towel. Place into microwave for 1-2 minutes.

            Method to My Madness…January Review



            Some days I feel like I am writing about so many different topics that there seems to be no method at all to my madness…but my goal is to actually walk  through each part of my day and share some things that I have learned that month. So looking back on January…the month of Greenery…

            Starting the Day Off Right...I’ve decided to study Genesis this entire year studying Genesis based on the following four Bible study methods…I am a huge fan of Warren Wiersbe and his Be Series of commentaries on every book of the Bible, and I am currently working through Be Basic  a  study of the first eleven chapters of Genesis.


            Getting Dressed…Steps to Creating an Intentional Wardrobe

            1. Take everything out of your closet. Now everything will either need to ‘earn’ its way back into your closet or head straight out the door and either taken to the curb or Goodwill.
            2. Throw away anything that is stained, has holes, and is actually falling into pieces, wouldn’t be caught dead in, and why in heck did I ever buy that in the first place..
            3. Pull out those things that you absolutely love or absolutely hate. 
            4. Immediately put those things that you absolutely love back in the closet, checking for clothes that need to be ironed, have a seam that needs to be repaired, need to be taken to the dry cleaners, have a button sewn back on, and so forth.
            5. Immediately put those things that you absolutely hate in the bag for Mission Arlington bag.
            6. Now decide what clothes to keep and to give away…Don’t hold on to anything that scratches, itches, tugs or rides up take it out of the pile…does not honestly doesn’t fit you…doesn’t make you feel good…is starting to show its age, has not been worn for a good six months. Good enough’s and ‘ok’s should not make the cut. One perfect sweater is always better than five imperfect ones. 
            7. Sell or donate anything that is in good condition.
            8. Now create a capsule wardrobe of about forty pieces. 
            9. Figure out which pieces you should buy BEFORE you hit the shops. Spend as much time as necessary finding the “perfect.”
            10. Find an app to keep track of what clothes you already own and teach you “what not to wear” such as… ClosetSpace…… Hautelook… The Hunt…Polyvore…Stylebook…Styliciou… Trend Tracker …WEAR  
            11. Adopt a one-in-one-out policy…everytime you buy something new, get rid of something you already own.


              Beginning with Breakfast…Biscotti

              Biscotti di Prato 

              • 3 1⁄2 cups flour
              • 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
              • 3 whole eggs
              • 1 egg yolk
              • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
              • 1/2tsp baking powder
              • 1 cup shelled almonds, toasted

              Preheat oven to 325°. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Put flour into mixing bowl. Add sugar, 2 eggs, one egg yolk, baking powder, salt, and water. Cream ingredients together until stiff dough forms. Add almonds. Divide dough into fourths. Roll each quarter into a 1 1⁄2″ x 10″ log.  Arrange on prepared baking sheet 2″ apart. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Brush onto dough. Bake until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Use a long metal spatula to transfer dough logs to a cutting board. Carefully cut logs crosswise with a serrated knife (logs will be a bit fragile) into 1⁄2″-thick cookies. Return cookies to a baking sheet. Arrange, cut side up, in a single layer. Bake cookies until pale brown, 20-25 minutes. Set cookies aside to cool completely before serving. 

              Dropping the Kids Off…working on mood boards to convert piano room into playroom.  

              Heading Off to Work…worked on getting my new Happy Planner broken in…      
              Lasting Through Lunch

              Thai Chicken Salad

              • 1/2 C vegetable oil
              • 2 Tb rice vinegar
              • 1/4 C sugar 
              • 1 clove garlic
              • 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
              • Juice of 1 lime
              • Dash of salt and pepper

              Place in ziploc bag w/ 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to marinade. Cook the chicken in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool a bit, then chop up all the chicken into bite sized pieces. Combine the following salad ingredients in a large bowl…

              • 1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups shredded)
              • 1 large carrot (1½ cups shredded)
              • 1 green papaya (1½ cups shredded)
              • ½ cup fresh cilantro
              • ½ cup green onions
              • ½ cup chopped peanuts
              • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped
              • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
              • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

              Add the chicken. Toss the chicken and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled…Dressing…Whisk together…

              • ½ teaspoon minced hot pepper
              • 2 cloves garlic
              • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
              • 2 tablespoons vinegar
              • 2 tablespoons sugar
              • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
              • ½ teaspoon fish sauce 
              • ¼ cup peanut butter
              • ¼ cup water
              • 1 Tb Thai sweet red chili sauce

              Toss the salad with the dressing. Top with 1C crushed salted peanuts. Serve chilled. 

              Thai Chicken Soup…
              Make the stock the night before…Sauté ½C thinly sliced onion…¼C sliced galanga…3 cloves garlic. Combine…

              • 14oz coconut milk
              • 12C chicken broth
              • 6 slices fresh ginger
              • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1″ pieces
              • 2 tsp Thai style fish sauce-

              Bring to a boil. Add onion mixture. Let simmer 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.After straining the stock, add…

              • 1½# cooked chicken, cut in bite-size pieces
              • 6oz angel hair pasta
              • 4 chopped scallions 
              • 1C sliced mushrooms
              • 1Tbsp lime juice
              • 1Tbsp fish sauce 
              • 1tsp sugar
              • 1tsp Thai chili paste

              Cook until noodles are cooked. Serve with cilantro, scallions, bean sprouts, lime wedge and sriracha.


              Making Dinner Plans...Foodies Read 2017

              • January…Baking and Roasting…
              • February…Boiling
              • March…Braising 
              • April…Broiling
              • May…Deep-frying
              • June…Grilling
              • July…Pan-frying
              • August…Poaching
              • September…Sauteing
              • October…Simmering
              • November…Steaming
              • December…Stewing

               Afternoon Tea at Home: Deliciously indulgent recipes for sandwiches, savouries, scones, cakes and other fancies: by Will Torrent

              Patisserie at Home: Step-by-step recipes to help you master the art of French pastry also by Will Torrent…


              Satisfying the Sweet Tooth...(will provide links to cake recipes later)…

              Getting Healthy..I’ve started keeping snacks like this in my fridge so that I always can grab a bite before heading out the door…

              Coconut Peanut Butter Bites

              • 1 cup oatmeal 
              • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
              • 1/2 cup peanut butter
              • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
              • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
              • 1/3 cup honey 
              • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
              • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

              Nutella Energy Bites…Combine following ingredients. Scoop into 1″ balls. Store in refrigerator.

              • 1C old fashioned, rolled oats
              • ½C crispy rice cereal (or shredded coconut)
              • ½C Nutella
              • ¼C peanut butter
              • ½C ground flaxseed
              • ⅓C honey
              • 1Tbsp coconut oil
              • 1tsp vanilla
              • ½C chocolate chips

                Peanut Butter Cranberry Granola Bites

              • Melt together 1/4C honey and 1/4C peanut butter in small saucepan.
              • Add 1tsp vanilla.
              •  Mix honey mixture with 1 3/4C rolled oats…1/2C dried cranberries.
              • Roll into 16 granola bites. 
              • Store in a sealed container.

              Pumpkin Energy Bites…Combine following ingredients. Scoop into 1″ balls. Store in refrigerator.

              • 1C old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
              • 1/4C pure pumpkin puree
              • 1/2C wheat germ
              • 1/3C honey
              • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
              • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
              • 1/3 cup white chocolate morsels

              Raw Cookie Dough Bites (Grain, Sugar, Dairy, & Egg-Free)…Combine following ingredients. Scoop into 1″ balls. Store in refrigerator.

              • 2C blanched almond flour
              • 1/2tsp baking soda
              • 1/4tsp sea salt
              • 1/4C coconut oil (solid but soft)
              • 1Tbsp honey
              • 2Tbsp almond butter
              • 2tsp vanilla 
              • mini dark chocolate chips
              • stevia to taste, if additional sweetener is needed


              Creating a Home…Food Subscription Boxes 

              • 1. Blue Apron
              • 2. Batch​
              • 3. Carnivore Club
              • 4. Cocoa Runners
              •  5. Degustabox
              • 6. Farm to People
              • 7. Graze  
              •  8. HelloFresh
              •  9. Healthy Surprise
              •  10. Love with Food Tasting Box
              •  11. Mantry
              •  12. Nature Box
              •  13. Orange Glad
              •  14. Peach Dish
              •  15. Plated
              • 16. Treatsie
              • 17. Try The World
              • 18. Turntable Kitchen
              • 19. Vegan Cuts
              • 20. Vegin’ Out


              Celebrating Life…books about mornings and productivity are on the top of my reading list. Here are a few books that I have added to my Kobo shelf lately…  

              1. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (before 8am) (Hal Elrod)
              2. The Perfect Morning Everyday: The Way to Health, Happiness and Well Being …(Michael J. Rothermel)
              3. Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm and Focused All Day Long
              4. Wake Up Successful – How to Increase Your Energy and Achieve Any Goal with a Morning Routine (Steve Scott)  
              5. The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast (Jeff Sanders) …The 5 A.M. Miracle is a “easy-to-follow 30-day plan” that might make even night owls like myself friendly at 5 in the morning.
              6. Morning Routine: to Wake Up Successful – Learn to Start your Day with Motivation and Energy to Upgrade Your Life Forever! (Jacky Naismith) 

              So goodbye Greenery January…welcome Pink Yarrow February…

              Diabetes—A Southern Rite of Passage Perhaps

                Being diagnosed with diabetes, or at least borderline diabetes, seems to be a Southern man’s rite of passage. All the deep fried foods, pies with meringue up to the sky, and Mama’s home cooking eventually wreak havoc on the anatomy sad to say.Today more than a third of people in the United States are obese, and many more are overweight. No wonder Southerners are put at a heightened risk for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease…most of us know how to cook…and how to cook very darn well…

              This last year my husband went through this “rite of passage”…So our New Year’s resolution to lose weight, improve our diets, and actually start exercising take on more urgency.

               So right now we are looking for the right resources to help our family to…

              • eat healthier  
              • get in shape  
              • keep the weight off once we finally do hit our goals
              • keep us on task with our health 
              • lose weight 
              • monitor our activity and our diet
              • stay motivated
              • stick with our plan 
              • track overall progress
              • work out smarter and faster

              …all without having to pay big bucks for a personal trainer and dietician. 

              Right now, I have started studying the different available apps…but this has been more than a little overwhelming…If anyone has advice or would like to join us along this journey, please let us know…



              The Four S’s of Good Writing


              1. Study it……Read for the following…(these are honestly almost the only types of questions almost any teacher can ask you about any subject…got me through grad school)……

              • Charts…(this shows that)…
              • Definitions…(this means that)…
              • Examples…(examples of this include)…
              • Functions…(this does what)…
              • Lists…(including the following)…
              • Parts…(this consists of)…
              • Steps…(this involves)… 

                2. Set it up…..Now arrange the notes that you’ve collected during research together… and figuring out what information you will include and what you will not in your article. two good ways to do this are mind mapping and outlining…
              Mind Mapping…Mind mapping can help you see how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together into an article or a series of articles.
              Write a single keyword or Big Idea in the center of a whiteboard or piece of paper…

              1. Start linking associated ideas, words, and concepts around that keyword or Big Idea.
              2. Spend time moving topics around at will, grouping and regroupinginformation until it makes the most sense to you.
              3. Reread and evaluate the ideas you generated. 
              4. List all the ideas that you actually do want to include in your paper.
              5. Cross out any ideas that you do not want to include.
              6. Group related ideas together.
              7. Arrange these groups of ideas from the most general to the most specific.
              8. Label these arranged lists with main and sub headings

              Outlining…Choose three main points to focus on about the topic at hand. Dedicate one paragraph per main point….one article per main point if writing a series. Sketch outlines for each of these three sections. Start putting together rough drafts..Creating an outline will helps a writer…
              decide if you even really wants to write about this topic

              • decide if you really can write an article or series about this topic
              • decide if you needs to wait on writing about this topic
              • keep from going off on some irrelevant tangent
              • plan ahead
              • provide even more value to the reader
              • save time, stress, and worry
              • stay organized and on track

                3. Say It…As a writer you should try to write an article that “involves” the reader by…entertaining and making your readers laugh…inspiring your readers… offering advice based on your own past experience and expertise…teaching your readers how to do something or make something. A few good prompts to now start actually writing include….
              Few people know that…

              Few people realize that..

              • I believe that….
              • In response to…
              • In summary…
              • It has been my experience that…
              • Let me tell you a story about…
              • This is important because…

              Choose a title…Choosing a title early in the writing process will help keep you focused on both your topic and your purpose. Create a title that identifies what your post is about…

              Write an Introduction….The first paragraph should serve as a brief and simple introduction—what topic you’ll be covering, why it’s important, how the article will help to solve a problem or to answer a question.
              Write a Conclusion…End with a call to action Offer encouragement or tips on how to reach the goal. Sum up your main idea. Tell your readers what to do next. 

                4. Scan It...Read back through what you have written, asking yourself…

              • Am I writing this from the right point of view?
              • Am I writing this with the right tone of voice?
              • Do all of the ideas in the article make sense?
              • Do any sections or sentences need to be explained further?
              • Does the article have a specific purpose?
              • Does the article accomplish its intended purpose?
              • Have you made your best points obviously stand out? 
              • Is any additional information needed?
              • Is it appropriate for my target audiences?
              • Is it clear?
              • Is it organized?
              • Is there any irrelevant information that should be deleted?
              • What is my “bottom line”? 
              • Am I satisfied with my conclusion?
              • What would you say is the most successful part of your article? Why?