Chili Our Way

Chili Our Way


We had chili last night.  It is an easy meal to prepare and easy to serve to the girls who were coming and going last night.

This is Mom’s recipe minus the beans. I didn’t have any and the girls aren’t crazy about them anyway.  Just a few, please.

Growing up we had it regularly once cool weather came.  It was one of the go to meals Mom made for company too.

Of course I have made it my own.

The key to good chili or any dish with ground beef is to brown it well and completely. Don’t season it except for onion, garlic and salt before it browns. Please.  Because you can’t tell if it is done enough.

Chili is an economic meal though with beef prices these days…

A benefit to being a military family is the introduction to regional food preferences including how to serve chili!

I read  a post here this morning. I didn’t know Southerners didn’t put beans in their chili. Mom did but she was from Arkansas so that might put her roots into question as southern.  I mean, Southerners eat a variety of beans a lot or at least country ones do.  They knew about protein and healthy way before it was the thing.

Anyway, I use tomato juice and diced tomatoes.

Shelly, the Wild Side blogger makes a fancy Texas chili.  It looks like it would be pretty good.

It has a nod to the Mexican influence, cocoa.

I have have chili powder added to chocolate cake. It was in an Italian restaurant in China owned by a Chinese business woman who had a Thai – American chief train her chiefs.  It was wonderful. I just had to throw that in to show how different regional foods make their way across the global.

So what not the reverse? Sometimes she tells us if you don’t have cocoa add a kiss or two. Now, that would take care of the sugar part.

That recipe also called for beer. Now I love beer added to BBQ sauce especially for ribs. I just don’t know about in my chili.

I usually don’t add sugar.  Never have added beer but will try the cocoa.

Some folks do add sugar.

A fellow lieutenant always added jalapeños to everything including chili during the cooking. I love the hot from jalapeños but I’ll add my own after I spoon it up,  thank you very much.

Years ago, a Sunday school lady brought us a meal since I was recovering from surgery.  My kids loved it.  Her secret ingredient? Ketchup!  Tomato and sweet. I don’t know where this military wife was from except from the school of making food your kids will eat.

Friends from Puerto Rico introduced rice as the base for serving chili like a rich sauce.  My kids like it but I always skip it.

In China the midwest family we worked with served us chili for dinner with hot gooey homemade cinnamon rolls. Now that was a bread I could get behind!  I serve the Pillsbury type.

Yes, we serve cornbread too but only the sweet kind. Since I can’t get Marie Callander mix here, I buy Jiffy whenever it is on sale.  The traditional skillet non-sweet cornbread isn’t as good with chili.

I am thinking sweet is important to a lot of people with their chili!

I love sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese as a topping. Sometimes I’ll add salsa.  Chips on the side.

Chili powder is of course a must! Once I bought chili powder at the international store in China.  A big container of it. The chili just wasn’t right.  Remember, it was an international store in Asia.  The chili was of the Indian variety.  No, it did not make good chili.  I gave the container away and learned my lesson. Read labels and never assume even if you are speaking the same language because there are just too many chilis out there in the world!

Well, that is a lot of different ways to serve and make chili.  However you make it, make it delicious for your family and friends!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chili Our Way
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Familiar dish made with ground beef
Recipe type: American
Cuisine: Chili soup
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 pound browned ground beef, drained
  • 1 small to medium chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ can/ jug Campbell's or other quality tomato juice
  • i small can unseasoned diced tomato
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • Kiney beans optional
  1. Using a heavy bottomed pan, brown meat until dark
  2. Drain well
  3. Add onions, garlic and salt to the meat while browning
  4. Stir to blend
  5. Add juice, tomatoes
  6. Add bean is desired
  7. Stir
  8. Add chili powder making the mixture darker
  9. Bring to light boil, lower heat to low
  10. Simmmer uncovered for several hours. Chili should be much darker in color and thicker. Add remaining juice if needed


Chili is delicious!  A stand by family meal for cooler nights.

How do you make your chili? 


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Autumn Back Porch


Making the back porch a seasonal welcoming spot was driven by color. Oh yes, pumpkins too!  A must.



What’s not to love about the traditional orange pumpkins.  The multicolored squashes with the intense seasonal colors.  The cool air is not the only way we know fall has arrived. It is the colors. Reds, oranges, gold and fall greens.

Turquoise is a great color that won’t be lost in the intense colors!  It makes them even better.

When I got all the wreaths out this year, I took this one that is a little fancier for the blank wall. It is part of the closed up Dutch door.  It has all the colors of fall.

Puffing out the wire ribbon and making sure the arrangement on the wreath were balanced.  Seems no matter how carefully I store them that always has to be done.



Apple red

Have you noticed all the apples in the produce section and at farm markets?  There are lots of apple recipes posted by many bloggers. Yum!  Apple red! 

My wicker is painted black. The pillows are time worn, collected over the years.  For those cool days, we like to have light blankets to chase away the chill.  Pale turquoise touches in seat.  The pillow has those touches too with red and gold outlined in black. I love red!  There’s nothing like APPLE RED to make a bold statement. These IKEA’s blankets are perfect.


Apple red



The deep purple blues pick up the color in the box on the closed Dutch door ledge.  I love how the orange enhances the rustic





We have grandchildren who come one often and they know where all the toys are including the sidewalk chalk.  Do see the tiny pink circle in the big box?  Bubbles; easy to get to.  Just step up to on the table.  So glad the chalk box is




What colors do you use for fall?  How to camouflage toys?




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Classic Chicken Divan



What would you like for dinner?  Eyes wide with anticipation, “Chicken Divan? “.

Then I would often tell her no because it thought it just took too much time. So one day, I timed myself making it.  With a little coordination of pots on the stove, this dish is pretty doggone easy and not time consuming to make!

In fact, it is one of those can’t fail kind of dishes.  You don’t even have to measure salt.

But don’t leave out the cooking sherry because it is what enhances the flavors in to so-so to fabulous!  This casserole freezes beautifully, holds up well for reheating for lunch the next day. It cannot be beat for a wonderful entrée for a family gathering or big crowd dinner.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Classic Chicken Divan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple to make chicken and broccoli casserole for dinners
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups cooked chopped chicken
  • 1 pkg frozen or 1 large bunch fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces partially cooked
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ teas lemon juice
  • 1 cup Parmasean cheese
  1. Mix ingedients except ½ cup Parmasean cheese and broccoli.
  2. Gently stir in broccoli.
  3. Pour into 9x11 baking dish.
  4. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.



family favorite chicken divan


Do you have a favorite dish for family and company that is a hit?  


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Tour Through Blogland


I was thrilled when Kathy  of A Delightsome Life invited me to be part of the Tour Through Blogland! I met this gracious lady at Haven. Her quiet gentle manner drew me to her. I enjoyed our conversations and her encouragement in the blogging journey. We have our faith in common, kindred spirits. Her home is lovely. She knew when it was National Chocolate Milkshake Day and made them for her husband and guests. How fun is that!


Kathy Me2-copy





So here are the questions and my answers! I’ve got to tell you; this was not easy to write about myself or to not ramble!



teen room redo

1) What are you working on now?

It’s Fall! Like many of us I am working on fall decor for my old farmhouse. Just today a friend gave me a large leaf bag full of pumpkins. I can’t wait to start arranging them on the front porch. Pumpkin and cornstalks suit our farmhouse front porch. I’ve brought a little of fall inside. Bringing down the bins from the attic is an all day project. Once they are down all the main rooms will be transformed for autumn. My youngest daughter and I are finishing up her bedroom redo. My goodness, that is taking forever! In July I went to my first Haven! What an overwhelming wealth of information! I am still working on both implementing figuring out what exactly it was I learned! .


autumn credenza red apple
1) How does my work differ from others in my Genre?

Like so many creative women, who write about our homes, our lives, that is what I do as well. So how is my work different? I hope it is more like a scrapbook with some insights and instructions. I write about my home and home making because it is what I do. I write about other things I do too like sharing reflectively about my faith. Sharing some stories old and new is like writing in a journal that I hope my kids will appreciate some day. I really like writing and sharing the words. I have learned a lot in my living and hope to share in a way that is both helpful and encouraging.


rooted in americana


3) Why do I write and create like I do?

I started blogging when we lived in a far away land with little beauty. I found a few blog and wow! After typing in search words like beautiful thing or beautiful home, I was hooked. Our family lived on 3 continents at the time. Blogging was a way to share with them. It was also a creative outlet for me. We eventually made our way back to our old farmhouse. I love to make our home beautiful for me and my family. That is why I enjoy blogging so much! I get to write and share what I create.That maybe decorating or cooking! I write to share stories and reflection on faith and how it has an impact on my life. I write and create in the hope it may encourage others. I never kept a family log but took lots of photos. I want to have some words to go with the photos so I tell the stories.


Library Table fit for Games


4) How does my writing creating process work?

My writing comes from what I am involved in be it a project around the house, a trip or life happenings. It could be a photo from the past. Changes in seasons inspire me. Other ideas come from other bloggers. I do feel it is time to be more systematic about the creative process and plan.

Now to introduce the next blogger in this fun Tour of Blogland who was my room-mate at Haven. It wa also a mini reunion. She helped me learn Instagram! We’re cousins but  don’t see each other often. Rosemary is always up to something creative that either looks good or taste wonderful!  You will find her at Not Just Paper and Paint.




Rosemary shares her yummy recipes for delicious Southern food, DIY projects and other fun stuff! I know you’ll enjoy her blog as much as I do!


Please check out her blog tour posts next Monday, Sept. 29.


Hope you are enjoying all the wonderful bloggers who have been part of the tour of Blogland and Rosemary’s upcoming tour stop too!


Thanks for joining!


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