Best Chili Ever!


2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 c. bacon drippings
4 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced or 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
4 c. water
2 big splashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 c. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
5 bay leaves
35 whole allspice
1 (16-oz) can kidney beans

In Dutch oven, brown beef in bacon drippings along with the onions and garlic, stirring to crumble the meat. Drain off excess fat.

Pour your can of diced tomatoes in the blender, give it a whirl or two.

To your Dutch oven, stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes from your blender, water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, cinnamon and cocoa. Enclose the bag leaves and allspice in a cheesecloth bag; secure tightly, and add to the mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the beans, reduce the heat, and simmer covered for 3 hours. Remove the cheesecloth bag when through cooking.




Ways to served it:

Above chili I serve with Tiny Cornmeal Dumplings. I have the recipe for them below.


You may also like to serve them this way:


Mix together shredded cheese ( Cheddar or Jack) and chopped jalapeno peppers.

Place a large chunk of cornbread in the bottom of your individual serving bowls and ladle on the chili. Sprinkle top with pepper cheese mix.


Tiny Cornmeal Dumplings




This is a great little way to serve up your chili. These little dumplings are delicious and easy to prepare. I use them all the time in chicken soup, vegetable soup and things where you don't normally see a dumpling. By cooking them separately in a poaching liquid they do not thicken your soup and they do not discolor the liquid of the soup. You add at the last minute when placing your bowl of soup on the table, or add them to the individual serving bowls. You can also serve them on the side, nice and warm in their poaching liquid.

You can make them with all flour if you like and add a little parmesan cheese for zip which is great for a vegetable soup. You can use bell pepper rather than the jalapeno peppers and add black pepper rather than the cayenne.

Little Poached Cornmeal Dumplings


1 c. AP flour
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
Liquid, you can use chicken broth water or milk.
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. chives
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. jalapeno peppers, finely minced
A couple of good sprinklings of cayenne pepper

Poaching Liquid:

3 cans of chicken broth or a mixture of water and chicken broth to come up 1 inch on the sides of whatever saucepan you are using for poaching.

Put your poaching liquid on and let it come up to a very gentle simmer.


Mix your dry ingredients and add your egg. Mix well. Add your liquid a little at a time until you have a mixture that is not stiff, but firm enough to handle with wet hands. I don't measure my liquid. I just start off adding 1/4 c. of it at a time, then mixing and adding more until the consistency is where I can roll the dumplings in my dampened hands.

Keep you hands dampened with water and roll out your little dumplings. Roll them very tiny, they will puff as they cook.

Cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 







Multi Purpose Soup Mix



This is such a handy mix to have on hand when a recipe calls for just 1/2  of a can of soup. This saves you from having to open an entire can of soup!


2 c. nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 c. plus 2 tblsp. cornstarch

1/2 c. mashed potato flakes ( I prefer potato buds)

1/4 c. chicken bouillon granules

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

2 tsp. dried minced onion

1 tsp. dried celery flakes

1 tsp. dried minced garlic

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. white pepper


In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.


This will make 3 cups of mix (16 batches)




Use as a substitute for half of a 10 3/4-oz can of condensed cream of chicken, mushroom or celery soup.


How to Use:


Just take a microwave safe bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of this soup mix.  Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, whisking occasionally. 


For mushroom soup, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sauteed sliced mushrooms.


For celery soup, add 1/8 teaspoon celery salt or one sauteed chopped celery rib.


***3 tablespoons of this mix makes 1/2 can of soup.