Category Archives: Cooking

How to make Chili

Chili is souper easy. My husband wanted to learn to make it, so I thought I’d share with everyone. The best thing is, just play with the recipe! Add what you like, and you’ll be winning chili contests in no time.

How to make chili (one dutch oven sized pot)

  1. Are you vegetarian? If so, skip to #3.
  2. Pick your meat. I’ve used chicken, beef, pork and turkey. Cook it. You can use ground or chopped, it doesn’t really matter. You need a pound.
  3. Chop your fresh veggies. You can basically use whatever you like. I like using an onion and a few carrots.
  4. Open your cans: 2 normal sized cans of tomatoes, 2 cans of beans. I use organic diced tomatoes, one can of black and one can of pinot beans. Use whatever beans you like. You can buy tomatoes and beans that have spices in them, if you like it, go for it.
  5. Open your can or box of broth: For poultry and pork, use chicken broth. For beef, use beef broth.
  6. If you want to add quinoa (if you don’t have meat, or you just want more protein) rinse it.
  7. Get our your cumin, coriander and chili powder.

Okay… You ready?

  1. Saute your onions and whatever other veggies you have until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add seasonings. I use about 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tbsp of cumin, and 1 tbsp of coriander. But precise measurements aren’t necessary.
  3. Add everything else to the pot.
  4. Stir it.
  5. Let it simmer for 20 minutes or all day.
  6. Eat it.
  7. Enjoy.


Weekly Recipe: Taco Rice Hot Dish

I considered holding off posting this recipe until I had pictures of the amazing goodness that it is, but then I found one serving of it in my freezer and ate it before remembering I wanted pictures, so I’m posting anyway.

Taco Rice Hot dish is one of those family recipes that we make anytime there are a large group of Neumanns (my mom’s family) together. About 80% of us love it. The rest go get a burger.

The name is not so great, and I get it sounds weird, but really, it’s not. It’s more like a thick soup or chili than a hot dish, and it has approximately the same consistency of chili with rice. It’s really amazing.

Taco Rice Hot Dish

8 Servings


  • 2 lbs ground beef (to make veg/vegan, substitute 1 cup quinoa)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 3/4 cup Rice (I use brown)

Topping Ideas:

  • Corn Chips
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Avocado
  • Hot sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded cheese


  1. Brown beef and onion, (or cook quinoa with onion) drain.
  2. Add everything else but the rice, simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add rice. Simmer until rice is done.
  4. Serve with whatever toppings you like.

**This can be made in the crockpot too! If using quinoa, I omit the onion entirely and just throw everything in. If using meat, brown with onion, then throw everything in. Cook on low 6ish hours, high for about 4.**

Thursday Recipes: Resse’s Eggs

Have you found Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog yet? Because, if you haven’t, go. Now. I’ll wait.

K. Back now?Is it days later? Which ones did you make?

Last Saturday, Valentine’s Day, I made Katie’s Ultimate Brownies (in the Cookbook. Buy it. It’s happiness between two covers) and the Imitation Reese’s Eggs.

I can’t reprint the whole recipe here because I respect Katie’s copyright. However, I will tell you this:

Rather than roll and dip, I made these in a mini-muffin pan. I doubled the recipe and got 12 cups. Next time, I would double the chocolate but not the filling, and make it into 15 or 18. They were a bit thick, rich, and the calorie count was higher than I really wanted.

Total time to make these: about 10 minutes. Amazing.

Now. Go. Eat and be happy.


**Sorry I don’t have a picture. We ate them too fast.**

Cooking w/ Kids

My kids love muffins. And donuts. I mean, who wouldn’t. Carbs and sugar, sugar and carbs…yum! I’ve been long substituting whole wheat flour for white, apple sauce for oil/butter. But the sugar solution has been elusive. I’ve used honey, but that’s still sugar. Today, though, inspired by the methods Katie uses in her recipes, I made fat free, sugar free, whole wheat banana bread muffins. Instead of the 1 1/2 cups of sugar (seriously!) that the recipe called for, I used 4 ground up dates and a squirt (probably about 15 drops) of liquid stevia. It worked. The muffins are wonderful, and I had a lot of fun making them with the kids.


Have you seen Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead yet? I never really understood the point of juicing before watching it. I get the idea of the reboot.

So we got a juicer, and for about a week now I’ve been juicing two meals and eating one. Tomorrow will be my first day full-on juicing. I plan to take it to then end of the month and then see from there.

Tonight, I had my version of a juiced greek salad:

  • half cucumber
  • two tomatoes
  • most of a head of green leaf lettuce
  • a bunch of basil
  • half an eggplant
  • an apple

I must admit– it wasn’t wonderful tasting going down. But, the aftertaste is exactly the same as if I had eaten it. Tomatoes and basil. Yum.

Magnetic Paint?

Click photo to be taken to original

I’ve just learned that Magnetic Paint exists. Anyone ever used it? I guess it’s technically primer, so a lot of people paint over it with Chalkboard Paint. I love this idea for my kitchen. I want to do magnetic spice tins, I was going to just get a sheet of metal to hang them on, but this would work better. And I could make a weekly meal calendar, shopping list, etc., if the whole wall was a chalk board.

So??? Help me out! I guess it takes several coats, so it’s not super duper easy, but according to some reviews, it’s worth it. Yes? No?

This week on etsy: organization

Who wouldn’t want a bookcase like this:

Funky Entertainment Center from KidsCreationBeds

We’ve been spending a fair amount of time cleaning and organizing lately. I’ve made three trips to The Container Store without making a purchase. While I am a sucker for bins and drawers and anything to make things appear cleaner than they are, their stuff feels almost clinical to me. I want color and feeling!

Etsy is full of amazing organizational ideas. Check out some of my favorites in this week’s treasury. I’m especially excited about the meal planner hooks. That is absolutely genius.

Pinteresting this week: Recipies

Pinterest is a great site for recipes and food ideas, among the bajillion other reasons to love the site. These are my favorite finds this week:

Low Calorie Microwave Protein Muffins from Smoothie Girl Eats Too

Dr. Oz's Butt-Busting Brownie

Hoping to make both this weekend, it looks like I’m going to have some free time while we wait for the thunderstorms (hopefully no tornados) to blow through.

A Creative Thanksgiving

I woke up this morning, made some stuffing and a turkey.  Then it cooked for three and a half hours.

Thanksgiving Turkey 2011

While it was cooking I got so caught up in the Macy’s Parade and working on wire wrapping that I forgot all about the potatoes, rolls and green beans.  Chris took the kids to the playground while I threw them all together.  While they were cooking, I made this:

The poem is from an amazing prayer book Morning and Evening by Johann Habermann that you can get for free here or here.

We ate a wonderful meal that I thought about taking pictures of only after it was gone.  Everyone laid down for a nap, and I worked on finishing the necklaces I started in the morning.  After a quick trip to Michael’s for an amazing easel, we all ate chex mix and popcorn while watching Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving.

After everyone went to bed, I decided to work on a few more necklaces.  Here’s everything I made today:

Necklaces I made on Thanksgiving Day

They will be in my Etsy shop soon, and available on Cyber Monday!

(I also started a painting tonight, but all I did was paint a canvas black, so I don’t have a picture of that.  I’ll post it when it’s done.  I do love my new easel!)

Can you cook a month at a time?

A good friend and I were talking about this at church on Sunday morning, then I saw thispost.  Maybe it’s a sign?  I don’t know if I’m organized enough to cook a month at a time.  I’ve been doing 3-4 days each weekend, but this is starting to get intriguing.

(And, by the way, I spelled intriguing correctly all by my self on the first try without using spell check.  Very exciting for me, I had to share.)