You see what I did there? I’m ready for big bulky sweaters. Since it’s not quite there yet, I guess I’ll knock down the air conditioning and pull out the crock pot for this week’s easy, delicious chicken chili. Best part? It’s one of those “can dump” recipes that NO ONE can get wrong.

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Crock Pot Chicken Chili

1 small onion, chopped
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained
1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
10-ounce package frozen corn kernels
2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
4-ounce can chopped green chili peppers, chopped
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
24 ounces (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (for topping)

Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder, and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well. Nestle the chicken in to completely cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro and your favorite toppings!

Yesterday marked 6 years as a homeowner, and I have loved my relationship with my little house on Auburn Avenue. We get along nicely, and it doesn’t mind when I continually make it change and update its style. Over the past year, it’s seen a new coat of paint on the shutters and doors. It’s now got a nice pair of bathrooms that match. The blinds are slowly being changed out. (20 windows takes time and money.) We even got a little update in the laundry room (and some shiplap). I’d say it’s turning out nicely.

Hopefully over the next year we will see a fresh coat of paint for the siding. I wouldn’t mind a little hail damage either (hint, hint Mother Nature).

Happy Birthday, House!

September 17, 2012

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I’m on a fall kick with recipes, and this one is the quintessential Guido concoction. Growing up, when this smell filled the house, you knew that summer was over and fall had arrived. Now, when I walk up to the back door and can smell this aroma seeping through, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s just a simple trail mix; but my God, it’s absolute perfection.

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Do-Dads

1 box each rice, wheat, and corn Chex cereal

½ bag pretzels

1 box Cheez-Its

1 bag oyster crackers

1 jar unsalted peanuts

1 jar cashews

4 cups pecan halves

4 cups almonds, unseasoned

1 ½ sticks butter

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 cup Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco to taste

¼ cup lemon juice

Put all dry ingredients in a large container, and mix well. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the seasonings, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Using a one gallon plastic bag, fill the bag half full with the dry mix. Drizzle ¼ cup of the butter mixture into the bag, seal the bag, and toss to coat the cereal mix. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 300 degrees for thirty minutes (or until the mixture appears dry). Spread in a larger pan to cool before storing in air-tight container or large plastic bags.

Every year brings back those same feelings from 2001 of anger, fear, and patriotism. In 2013, I had the honor to visit Ground Zero during a quick trip to the Big Apple. It may have been pouring rain but I wasn’t going to miss the chance to visit such a sacred American monument.

 

With fall quickly approaching (And let’s be honest, it’s September. It’s here.), I can’t wait to fill my home with the scent of fresh coffee, dreamy comfort foods, and pumpkin-spiced everything. Full disclosure, I upgraded to a full-time adult this week by ordering an actual coffee pot and getting rid of my one-cup Keurig. I actually set it to pop on 30 minutes before my alarm went off so my house smelled of freshly brewed coffee when I woke up. I felt like I was a grown up when I woke up this morning.

Here is a recipe that makes my senses happy when it’s roasting in the crock pot, PLUS it’s easy!

Mississippi Roast

4 pound chuck roast

1 envelope ranch dressing mix

1 envelope au jus mix

½ cup butter

4 – 5 sweet peppers, sliced

Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place the roast in the bottom and sprinkle with black pepper and seasoned salt to taste. Sprinkle ranch mix over the top; then the au jus mix on top of that. Place the peppers on top of the mixes and top with the butter. Set the slow cooker to 8 hours and let it go!

Over the weekend, we witnessed the burning of one of Natchez’s finest landmarks, The Prentiss Club. Some remember it for the Cellar in its basement years ago and others remember it after Buzz Harper came to town and revitalized the building with grandeur and a golden touch. What I remember the Prentiss Club for was a cocktail luncheon given in my grandmother, Doris Guido’s, honor in the spring of 2007 when my sister was the reigning Natchez Garden Club Queen. Our Queen Mum enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the grand ballroom and lavish dining room surrounded by friends, family, and guests of all ages. We wined from crystal, dined from fine China, and finished the event with a silver spoon filled with a strawberry trifle.

Now that my Nannie has passed away, the Prentiss Club has been the holder of the memories from that afternoon several moons ago. I hope that the future for the building and almost art gallery is bright. In Natchez, we restore our history for generations to come. The Prentiss Club still has many years to go.

With the kickoff of football season this weekend for the SEC world and a side of dove hunting this Labor Day weekend, here is an idea recipe to try on your friends and family. From Absolutely A la Carte, this recipe is rich, creamy, and perfect for a crowd!

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Fireside Dip

2 pounds hot bulk sausage

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

3 15-ounce cans chili without beans

1 pound processed cheese spread loaf, cut into cubes

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into cubes

2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained

Cook the first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well. Add chili powder and next 6 ingredients to mixture, stirring well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted. Serve dip hot in a chafing dish with tortilla chips. (This recipes makes for 25 to 30; so you can adjust as needed for your crowd.)