smoky beef chili con carne

There are a few dishes that have a million iterations and even when I find an iteration that I love, I still have to keep trying new versions of the dish.  Burgers and sloppy joes come to mind but so does…..chili!  Right?  How many types of chili have you made? I’ve made many and most of them are great.  They’ve all been slightly different but  really delicious.  So the latest chili I made was this smoky beef chili.  It was flavorful and when coupled with cornbread, it was a huge hit with the family.  My son is the only one who doesn’t like avocado so he opted out of having it with his chili, but I thought the cool, creamy avocado was a perfect topper for this smoky dish.  I’ve been making things in my Instant Pot lately so I’m sure I’ll be trying chili in the Instant Pot soon enough. But there’s something about simmering a chili in my dutch oven on the stove that really appeals to me.
I’ve been a bit MIA lately but it’s just life! I hope now that soccer has dropped off, I’ll find more pockets of time to cook and blog.  This was one of my fears when starting this blog – what if I stop blogging just like I often stop writing in my journal?  But because I only do this for fun and to document what I’m cooking, I’m allowing myself a pass.  I do this when I can. It’s supposed to be for fun and it allows me to share what works (and what doesnt work) in my kitchen with you all.  My very own mini test kitchen, if you will.  Once I kind of reminded myself that there was no expectations or pressure to update this, I felt much more at peace about it.  Maybe my kids will look at this blog one day and remember all the dishes we shared around the table.  I hope they will.  I do want to get them back in the kitchen with me but right now is just not the season for that.  They are swamped with sports and homework which means I am too.  But I will keep plugging along and will keep eating, cooking and sharing with you all!

Smoky Beef Chili Con Carne

recipe from Creole Contessa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8


  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 2 cups beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 cup red salsa
  • 1 cup green salsa
  • 1 cup hot tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, dried, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, red onion, avocado to serve
  • For the Roux:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil


  • Mix seasoning blend together and set aside.
  • In a skillet add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, add onion and chipotle pepper, cook 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  • Season with 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend, mix well.
  • Add meat to pan, break up meat and season with remaining seasoning blend.
  • Cook meat for about 8 minutes, drain oil from meat, add back to pan.
  • Add broth, tomato sauce, and salsas.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes more, stirring occasional.
  • Prepare the roux and add to pan, cook 5 more minutes and serve.
  • To Prepare the Roux:
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, add flour and stir for about 4-5 minutes, until flour is slightly browned.



Where did the time go?  One minute it felt like summer was starting and now here it is, deep into fall.  School is back in session and extracurriculars are in full swing.  I don’t know about you but for me, the schedule changes in my kids’ activities are anxiety-inducing periods of time in my year.  I fear the new schedule and all the adjustments that will have to be made.  Thankfully, my son has decided to take football off this fall so he was actually home a few nights a week which allowed for some much needed mother-son time.  I enjoy cooking in the kitchen while he works on homework in our dining room.  It’s almost exactly the picture I imagined as a young girl when I envisioned my future as a mom.  There have been a few stretches recently where I was in a cooking slump…just not super excited or motivated!  I usually try to mix up our meals – Asian, Latin, Italian, American…. I try not to make the same genre of food two night in a row.  I think my family would love for me to cook Korean more often but I find it the most daunting at times because I always feel you need to make several side dishes (banchan) to go with a Korean meal and I never have the time/energy to make all that!  I was in one of these funks when I saw this recipe for Oyakodon.

I’d already made tacos and pasta this particular week so I know the troops would probably appreciate some rice!  I doubled the recipe and it worked out perfectly. Why? Because I had leftovers!  In reality, you probably won’t need to double it for a family of 4 but I have some big eaters in my house. It was absolute comfort food!  Warm, hearty, delicious, quick and easy! Also, I had all the ingredients on hand, which is the best feeling.  The family raved about this, saying that it tasted so authentic and even better than the restaurant version!  With the weather starting to cool , I highly recommend you make this dish, pronto!! It’s a keeper!


recipe from Two Red Bowls


  • 2 chicken thighs, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or a smidge more, if you’re like me and love your savory foods sweet)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions (about 1 small onion)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp shredded fresh parsley or sliced scallions, for garnish
  • 2-3 cups cooked rice (or however much you’d like for two)


  1. In a 9- or 10-inch skillet, bring the mirin and sake to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and sugar, and bring to a boil again, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Once the mixture comes back to a boil, evenly distribute the onions and chicken, then lower the heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Skim off any fat that may form on top.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, gently beat the eggs for about 10 seconds in a small bowl, or until yolks are partially beaten but egg white remains visible. Drizzle about 3/4 of the egg evenly over the chicken, then cover and let cook for about a minute. Drizzle the remaining egg into the pan, then cover and cook until eggs are opaque, another minute or two. It should form a loosey-goosey, custard-y kind of omelette in the pan.
  4. Finally, sprinkle shredded parsley over the chicken just before serving, then remove from heat. Divide the rice evenly between two bowls, then use a slotted spatula to scoop the chicken and egg mixture onto the rice. Spoon a bit of the leftover juice in the pan over the rice, then garnish with extra parsley or scallions (and an extra egg yolk if you’re feeling decadent!) and enjoy hot.