Drunken Punkin’ Chili

Drunken Punkin’ Chili


Guilt-Free Chili!  Super Healthy except for the Beer!

Guilt-Free Chili! Super Healthy except for the Beer!

It’s Fall Y’all!   Happy October 1st.  I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for all things pumpkin.  Super healthy and super versatile, it’s simple to take from sweet to savory.  Oh the Joys of Pumpkins.  Nothing says Happy Fall better than a house full of pumpkins.  From Food to Decor, Pumpkins are Perfect!  You can even imbibe in a delicious Pumpkin Beer.  Hence, the name for my chili: Drunken Punkin’ Chili.  Now, Let’s get this party started!!!

Gather Your Organic, Local or HomeGrown Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients and get to Choppin’

And, as always, try and use Fresh Organic, Local or Homegrown Ingredients as much as possible.  Mine is Organic Drunken Punkin’ Chili (all except for the Beer).


Chopped: Red Pepper, Green Pepper, Carrots, Red Onion, Yellow Onion

In a LARGE SOUP POT Heat 2 T EVOO.  Add 1lb. of Ground Pork seasoned with Salt & Pepper (or your meat of choice. You can substitute Chicken, Turkey, Beef, or omit the meat altogether to make Vegetarian Drunken Punkin’ Chili).  After Meat is Nice and Brown, Add in Chopped Veggies.

Yes, this is a LOT of Veggies!!!!

Yes, this is a LOT of Veggies!!!!

Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper. Simmer on Med-High about 5 – 8 mins until Veggies start to turn translucent.  Meanwhile…

Slice Your Shrooms

Slice Your Shrooms

When Veggies are softened, Add Mushrooms to the Pot.

Simmer Shrooms until Softened

Simmer Shrooms until Softened.  DO NOT SALT!

Next, Add Garlic and Spices

Garlic and Spice Goodness

Garlic and Spice Goodness

Simmer the Garlic and Spices for about 5 mins.  Your house should start smelling heavenly right about now…

Add Fresh Tomatoes

Add Fresh Tomatoes, Seasoned with Salt and Pepper

Simmer until Tomatoes start to BURST.

Pumpkin Beer

Pumpkin Beer

Add 1 Bottle Pumpkin Ale and bring to a Boil.

Tomato Paste + Pumpkin

Tomato Paste + Pumpkin

Add 2 T Tomato Paste and 1 can Pumpkin.  Reserve about 2 T of the Pumpkin and set aside.

Should look something like this....

Should look something like this….

Add Cans of Beans and Simmer.

Handful of Fresh Greens

Handful of Fresh Greens

About 5 mins before serving, toss in a handful of sliced Tatsoi.

Drunken Punkin' Chili....DONE!

Drunken Punkin’ Chili….DONE!

Garnish with Scented Sour Cream, Parsley & Oregano

Garnish with Scented Sour Cream, Parsley & Oregano

Drunken Punkin’ Chili w/ Scented Sour Cream

1 Pumpkin Beer

1 lb. Ground Pork (chicken, beef, turkey, or omit for Vegetarian)


1 Red Onion diced

1 Yellow Onion diced

1 Red Pepper diced

1 Green Pepper diced

3 Carrrots diced

1-2 cups Whole Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

1 lb. Baby Bella Mushrooms sliced

2 cups Crushed Tomatoes no salt added

2 T Tomato Paste

1 Can Pumpkin (reserve 2 T)

4-6 Cloves Garlic minced

2 T Oregano

3 T Chili Powder

2 T Ground Roasted Cumin (or regular)

1 T Smoked Paprika

1 t Saigon Cinnamon

1/4 t Cayenne

1/8 t Red Chili Flakes

1/8 T Allspice

1/8 T Nutmeg

2 Cans Black Beans

1 Can Red Kidney Beans

1 Can Chili Beans

Handful of Tatsoi (or kale, chard, spinach…any hearty green)

Brown Meat in Large Soup Pot.  Add Chopped Onions, Peppers & Carrots. Season with Salt and Pepper. Simmer 8-10 mins until softened.  Add Mushrooms. Cook about 5 mins until Shrooms are cooked a bit. Add Garlic and Spices. Simmer 5 more mins until house is fragrant. Add Fresh Tomatoes and cook until they start to Burst.  Add Pumpkin Beer and Boxed or Canned Crushed Tomatoes. Bring to a Boil.  Drop Heat to Med-Low and Add Tomato Paste and Canned Pumpkin. Simmer 15-30 mins. Taste for Seasonings. Adjust. Add Beans. Simmer till Dinner!!!


Pumpkin-Scented Sour Cream

1 Cup Sour Cream

2 T Reserved Pumpkin Puree

1/2 t Cinnamon

1/2 t Cumin

Mix to combine.  Refrigerate until ready.


Healthy & Satisfying

Healthy & Satisfying


Again, feel free to adjust the seasonings and spices to your tastes.  And you can switch up the beans as well. Use up what you have on hand! I was thinking about adding corn, but went with the greens instead. You could try adding a cup or so of frozen corn in at the end and omit the greens.

Always use ingredients that YOU like!  If you hate mushrooms, like my Mom, leave them out or chop them in smaller pieces.  If you don’t have any Fresh Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, use and extra cup or so of canned or boxed diced tomatoes.  Or, if you don’t like them whole, chop them up before adding!

Also, in many Pumpkin Chili recipes, you see chipotle peppers in adobe sauce.  It is basically a super smokey jalapeño. I, personally, do not care for them. But, if you like it: use 1 or 2 peppers (seeds scraped out) and a few spoonfuls of the sauce.  A little goes a long way with these. Instead, I use a good Hot Sauce when serving, if need be. In this recipe I replaced it with some Cayenne Pepper. If i had a a fresh jalapeño, serrano or thai chile pepper, I would have sautéed those up with the veggies.

This recipe makes a HUGE Pot.  If you want to make it for yourself or a couple, cut the onion and pepper down to one and only 2 cans of beans.  And be sure to cut the spices in about half.

Also, I will adjust the seasonings at the END and take out a few ladlefuls to cool in bowls for the kids.  Then, I add the Hot Sauce or a tad more chili powder, or whatever else I think it might need.  That way I can add a bit more spice for the adults, but still keep it kid friendly!

Chili is one of the most versitile and forgiving dishes.   So easy to modify and make your own. I don’t think I have ever made a pot of chili that tasted the same as the next!  It all depends on what I have in stock in the pantry or what veggies I need to use up!  You could also change out the pumpkin for squash!

Really, With Chili, Anything Is Possible!





Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Caesar w/ Homemade Salt & Pepper Croutons 



LAST WEEK LIVING IN THE APARTMENT!!! Hopefully the food and pics will get better when we get moved in and settled!  I’ve been using my iPhone for pics and cooking with very little equipment.  Man, I can’t WAIT to move in!!!!  Anywho, this sammy was pretty darn good, and VERY easy to make!  You can also do the chicken and onions on the grill.  Enjoy!

Ingredients Ready!!!

Ingredients Ready!!!


2 Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Seasoned with Rub

1 Organic Vidalia Onion, Sliced

4 Organic Garlic Cloves, Whole

Organic EVOO, S&P

Spicy & Smokey Rub:

2 T Organic Chili Powder

1 T Organic Smoked Spanish Paprika

1 T Organic Ground Cumin

1 T Organic Ground Black Pepper

1 T Organic Salt

1/2 T Organic Ground Coriander

1/2 T Organic Garlic Powder

1/4 T Organic Ground Cinnamon

1/4 T Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Go ahead and season your meat a few hours before cooking.  Add a dash of EVOO and REALLY GET IN THERE!!! Give it a GOOD RUB and don’t be scared to use your hands!!! You can always wash them when your’e done!  Be sure to let the chicken come to room temp (30 mins or so) before cooking.

Lay O

Lay Onions in Skillet, Top with Garlic Clove, EVOO, S&P

Preheat Oven 300 or 325

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Roast

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Slow Roast

We are going to cook slow and low for a hour, hour and a half or so

MEANWHILE…….Get your bread leftover from last nights supper!


Cube Local Rustic Wheat Sourdough to make Croutons!

Toss with EVOO and Seasoning of Choice.  I used a combo of:

ORGANIC: Salt, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Black Pepper, Thyme, Savory, Mustard Powder & White Pepper

Put in Oven and Bake until Crisp.  Turn & Toss Once.  Takes about 15 mins…

Sooooo Good!!!

Sooooo Good!!!

Now, Let’s Check on the Chicken!

Done & DONE!!!

Done & DONE!!!

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Onion Jus

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Smokey Onion Jus

TIP: Let the Spicy Smokey Chicken Rest for about 5 mins BEFROE slicing!



Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Garlicy Onion & Jus

Garlicy Onion Jus

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Side View looks DELISH!!!!

Side View looks DELISH!!!!





 eat.drink.be Kari



Smoky Brussel Sprouts

Sweet, Smoky & SpicyA Gorgeous Trio of Deliciousness

Smoky, Sweet & Spicy
A Gorgeous Trio of Deliciousness

I did these in the oven last night, very similarly to my Bangin Broccoli recipe.  They turned out freakin awesome!  The hubby and I couldn’t get enough!!!  Even if you don’t like Brussels, I bet you will like them like this.  My Mom is not a fan of BS (or Brussel Sprouts…ahhahaha!!!!).  I am going to let her try these later today and see what she thinks!!!  The key is the SMOKED APPLEWOOD BACON.  I got mine from the Fresh Market.  It really penetrates that cabbage flavor and takes the Brussel Sprouts to a whole new level.  Depending on the heat factor you are wanting, you can adapt the amount of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes used. There are just a few ingredients and this is supereasy to do.  I highly recommend trying these!

Toss EVOO, Brown Sugar & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes with Brussel Sprouts and Thinly Sliced Onion

Toss EVOO, Brown Sugar & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes with Brussel Sprouts and Thinly Sliced Onion

Clean & Slice your Brussels in half.  Thinly Slice half an onion (like a rainbow).

Put Brussels and Onions in a bowl. Toss with EVOO, Brown Sugar & Red Pepper Flakes


Preheat your Oven to 500 and put the oven rack on the bottom rung.

Place your pan in the oven to get nice & hot!

Now, Slice your Applewood Smoked Bacon into lardons.

Lardon (cut bacon into thin strips)

Lardon (cut bacon into thin strips)

Great!  Now your work station should look something like this:

(minus the PorkChop that has been Karinading overnight!!!)

Get Ready....you have to be able to move fast!!!

Get Ready….you have to be able to move fast!!!

Now, get the pan out of the oven CAREFULLY….remember its HOT!!!

Lay the Brussel Sprouts FACEDOWN first.  You should hear a sizzle if your pan in hot enough.

Next, its BACON TIME!  Try and get the bacon spread out over the pan so the greasy goodness love can spread.

Last, top with the Onions and pour any leftover EVOO on top.

Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Onions

Brussel Sprouts, Bacon & Onion LOVE

Pop into the oven and wait 7 – 10 minutes….

Done & Delicious!

Done & Delicious!

My hubby likes his bacon super crispy.  If this looks too done for you, just pull it out at your desired doneness!

Smoky, Sweet & Spicy

Smoky, Sweet & Spicy


Smoky Brussel Sprouts 

1/2 Bag of Fresh Brussel Sprouts, cleaned and halved

1/2 Onion thinly sliced (i used white, any color will do…red would be delish!)


1 heaping T Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

2 slices Applewood Smoked Bacon, cut into lardons

s&p to taste!

When I first made this I was intending to drizzle a Balsamic Reduction overtop before serving.  After tasting it and the intense burst of flavors, I decided it didn’t need anything else!  Wow!  Flavor to the MAX!  Hope you enjoy as much as we did!







CrockPot Honey Balsamic Roast Beef


delicious served over mashed potatoes, polenta, grits or just on its own!

delicious served over mashed potatoes, polenta, grits or just on its own!



2 – 2 1/2 lb Chuck Roast

3/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup Beef Broth or Stock (i used low sodium…use 3/4 cup if you have a bigger roast)

2 T Local Honey

also makes a great French Dip for leftovers!

also makes a great French Dip for leftovers!

2 T Worcestershire

1 T Grainy Mustard

1 T Soy Sauce (low sodium)

1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

3-5 cloves garlic, crushed and thrown on top

Mix all ingredients together, minus the garlic.  Put Roast in Crockpot after spray with nonstick cooking spray.  I DID NOT sear the Roast before cooking, as I usually do.  It turned out great without that step!!!!  What a timesaver!  Dump the mix over the roast.  Throw garlic in on top.  Turn on LOW for 7 hours….DO NOT PEEK!!!!!  NEVER take a lid of a Crockpot unless you have to add an ingredient and the recipe says to…..it lowers the temp too much and takes too long to get back to the right temp.

also, be sure to use a good quality Balsamic Vinegar…..that makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!



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btw...this broccoli is to die for.  will post soon....