It's Not Just Texas Chili

After years of experimenting with a wide array of chili recipes from books, websites and word of mouth, I am proud to say my search for the perfect chili has ended. All thanks to a little wedding gift I received called “Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook” by Mary Corpening Barber & Sara Corpening Whiteford. I’ve been talking it up for a while now, so I figured I should pass along this killer recipe to all my friends.

If you are like me and prefer a more soupy chili rather than one that’s totally chunky and has no sauce… you’re search too has ended. This chili recipe is so unbelievably flavorful and feeds an army. Ok maybe not an army but it will totally feed a Boy Scout troop, no doubt.

I typically make my chili in the morning or early afternoon and let it sit so that the flavors develop even more. Before I’m going to serve it, I just heat it up for a few.

Here’s the dish on Texas Chili:

Whatcha Need:

1 Tbs. Bacon Grease or Vegetable Oil

2 Medium Yellow Onions, chopped

3 Tbs. Chopped Garlic

3 Tbs. Chili Powder

2 Tbs. Paprika

1 Tbs. Cumin

2 Tsp. Dried Oregano

1 lb. Ground Beef Chuck

1 lb. Italian Sausage Links, removed from casings and crumbled

2 Tsp. Kosher Salt, plus more as needed

2 cans (28 oz, each) Crushed Tomato Puree

1 can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) BBQ Baked Beans, drained

1 Tbs. Minced Canned Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce, plus more as needed

Heat the bacon grease (or vegetable oil) in an 8 quart heavy bottomed stockpot over medium heat. (I always use vegetable oil.) Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano and stir until the spices are well combined. Add the ground chuck, sausage and 1 tsp. of the kosher salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the meat, stirring frequently, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour. Adjust the seasonings with more kosher salt or chipotle chiles if necessary (I add a bit more of the chiles).

Serve the chili with some of these fixin’s:

Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Chopped Green Onion

Sour Cream

Crumbled Corn Chips/Tortilla Chips

Red Pepper Flakes

Chopped Jalapeno Chiles


This recipe is so tasty that you really don’t need any fixin’s at all, but it does make a lot. So if your not making this for a big crowd, you will have tons of leftovers and might want to switch things up a bit by adding some of the fixin’s for your leftovers.

I like it best with some shredded cheddar (my hubby prefers no fixins) and we either dip tortilla chips in it or eat it with some cornbread.

This is a great dish to bring to a World Series Party, Superbowl Party or to a Potluck Dinner. We like to have it on a cold rainy “stay inside” weekend while watching shows we DVR’d during the week, movies or re-runs of our fave 80’s shows.


Enjoy and let me know what you think. I’m certain that your search for the “perfect” chili has now ended.


Do you follow me on Twitter? @kdevito

Pepperoni Marinara Sauce

Everyone has their own spin on a marinara sauce. It’s all about what your preference is. I prefer pepperoni in mine. It adds a nice spicy kick to the sauce plus the pepperoni is just tasty. My recipe is based loosely off my mother-in-law’s recipe.

Here’s the dish:

olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves

28 oz. tomato puree (I prefer Tuttorosso)

pepperoni stick

Italian seasoning to taste

oregano to taste

crushed red pepper flakes to taste

salt & pepper to taste

I start off with a hot pan and drizzle some olive oil in it. I then mince the garlic and let it brown a bit in the pan. I cut up the pepperoni stick in chunks and add it to the pan. Let the pepperoni brown up but be careful not to burn the garlic. Add your tomato puree and seasonings and stir. Cook on low heat for at least 2 hours.

Before your ready to eat, cook your pasta according to the directions on the box.

Nick is making me mention this:

I always keep the can of tomato puree near the stove filled halfway with water and keep my spoon in it. Nick’s mother does this, his nana did it, everyone has done it. Neither one of us has any idea what the reasoning behind it is. However, I will continue to do it. If you know the reason, let me know.


Julie, Julia & Katie

I’m inspired!

Last night Nick and I went to see Julie & Julia and might I say what a movie. As you may know, my birthday just passed (August 14th) and Nick mentioned around that time that Julia Child and I share a birthday. Jokingly I said “that explains a lot”. But it really does. Sitting in the theatre with my popcorn and various candies of sorts I realized, my life really mimics that of both Julie & Julia in the film. Everything from the love of cooking to the relationship with my husband.

I walked away from the theatre thinking 2 things. 1 – I should wear pearls more often. They are so classy. And 2 – I should write a cook book. I can’t share everything with you, because then nothing would be a surprise, but I have lots of ideas already. I even emailed a few publishers today. So if you know anyone in the industry, let me know. Or if you have any recipes you’d like to share with me, please feel free to contact me.

I’m so excited about my new venture. Not only is it something I’m passionate about, but it will keep me occupied until I find full time employment. (Sidebar: I have a promising interview next week.)

Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce

I thought for sure I had blogged about this before but apparently I haven’t. I absolutely love my Better Homes & Garden Cookbook!

This is not the first nor will it be the last time I make the Beef Brisket recipe from this book. Not only is it so easy, it is very tasty. Plus, it tastes even better the next day. You can make this dish and pair it with a side or we like to put it on potato rolls and eat it as a sandwich.

I follow everything in this recipe to a tee except for the cayenne pepper. Who doesn’t love a crock pot? Enjoy!

Puttanesca Pasta

Recently I bought Luigi Vitelli Tomato Puree and there was a recipe on the side for Puttanesca Pasta. So I made it last night for the first time and it was a success. Both Nick and I really enjoyed this meal and I paired it with Pillsbury Garlic Rolls. You can use any type of pasta you would like, I happened to use Rigatoni since that is what I had in my cupboard.

Here’s the dish on how to make it:

Serves 4

3 or 4 Garlic Cloves (smashed)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 can (28oz.) Luigi Vitelli Tomato Puree

2 Tblsp Capers

4 Tblsp Black coarsely chopped (Gaeta or Kalamata type preferred)

10 sprigs fresh parsley (minced)

salt to taste

crushed red pepper to taste

Saute garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Remove garlic. Add capers and black olives and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, parsley, salt and crushed red pepper and cook over a high flame for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I used 4 garlic cloves and used a jar of inexpensive kalamata olives. Don’t forget to remove the pits from the olives before you chop them. This is a very easy meal to make and very tasty. Enjoy!