My Story

I've always loved being in the kitchen. Isn't that the gathering place at parties and get togethers! That's where the action is, where delicious smells come from, and where I go to create some really great stuff! My Grandma was my inspiration. She lived her life in Baltimore and she was ALWAYS in the kitchen (or down at the VFW for a crab feast and beer) but Alice created so many wonderful meals for our family. I remember there was always soup before the meal, usually a steaming bowl of crab soup with a rich tomato broth and lots of vegetables. Her crab cakes were incredible, a recipe I use today, and undeniably the best. I would challenge ANY other crab cake recipe to match my Grandma Alice's. The first meal I made for my mom was macaroni and cheese from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook back when I was about 7 years old. I was very proud of it, and it was really good..a creamy white sauce combined with good old cheddar and shells sprinkled with toasted bread crumbs..yum. So off I went through life, cooking and baking, and came to realize that baking was the shizzy. I loved finding a great recipe and making it even better. Funny my kids didn't like sweets much, so I showered friends and neighbors with treats. Later down the road, when some real decisions needed to be made, I decided to attend the baking and pastry arts program at The California Culinary Academy. I was 47 years old and had no idea what I was in for (another blog). So I mastered the art of baking thanks to a dedicated and talented team of instructors. I did a gig in the basement of well known pastry kitchens and had a wonderful time working for a small caterer cooking with a great bunch of gals. But here I am now, still cooking, still baking and loving it, in my own kitchen where I can share my love of this sport with the world. I take all my own photos (another passion) and I hope you will have patience and stay with me in this newest adventure. So thank you Grandma Alice for all those delicious memories, stories and inspiration. Stay tuned..

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Better Than Jailhouse", he said...

Throughout the years, I've made a bleep load of chili.  I can't even begin to count the recipes I've poured
 over to find a fantastic chili know the kind of chili that you'll find at those 4th of July chili cook-offs where it's 110 degrees and the last thing you want to be eating at 3 o'clock in the afternoon is HOT chili.    Well, I've been to several of those chili cook-offs in my career, and I always walked away, spoon in hand, asking myself what was in that chili that made it so good?

 I think I actually made my first real pot of chili when I was 17 or 18 or some crazy teenage girl age...I wanted to impress my boyfriend..a born and bred Texan.  I don't remember much about it, only that I thought it was pretty good, and from what I do remember, I think he did too.  But later, when I got serious about the ingredients that went in to my cooking, along with why those ingredients were there, and how they affected the outcome of the dish, that's when I got serious about chili making.  Through magazines, cookbooks and friends handouts, I found a few recipes that were pretty darn good.  I tweaked them here and there to make them better. I finally found a recipe that I've used over and over again which is really pretty good for Turkey Chili, (a bit healthier perhaps?) and it's filled the bill as one of those rib sticking good meals~ good to come home to when you've had a long day and there's a chill in the air and you need something good and substantial, but good for you too.

 I made a batch of chili up last week and with my hard workin' husband coming home late at night, it filled the void he needed after his long day.  He continued to dig in to the bowl day after day for 3 days or so.  This chili's just one of those things that's gets better after it sits for a day or so.  There's one little bit left in the fridge now... and did I mention that I changed up the recipe?  It was a perfect fall afternoon to make up a batch of this chili, but realizing that I had one pound each of ground chuck and ground turkey, I improvised.  Either way, it's really good.

So here's a new and really delicious chili recipe that is guaranteed to win an award at the next chili cook-off...that is if my husband is a judge.  Serve this chili up with a good dollup of sour cream and a sprinkling of sharp cheddar. Add a big chunk of corn bread on the side and you've got yourself something you'll wish you had more of!

Turkey Chili, My Way
Pour a glug of olive oil in a heavy dutch oven.  Heat it up, add 1 chopped onion. Let it caramelize over med low heat for 10-15 min.  Give it a bit of salt. Add a clove or 2 chopped garlic.  Cook another 3 min.  Add 2 pounds ground turkey or ground chuck or 1 of each turkey and chuck (I use organic grass fed).  Stir now and then over med heat for 15-20 min until caramelized and no liquid remains.  Add 1/4 cup good chili powder and about 1/8 cup cumin, (I love cumin so I always add what you love!). Cook for another 5 min.  Add crushed red pepper (how hot do you like it?) oregano and salt.  * At this point, add any extra peppers to give that extra kick. When it looks nicely browned and it smells terrific, add a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, a 16 oz can of tomato sauce, 8 oz of a your favorite beer (that leaves you 4 to drink while you stir) and about a cup or so of good beef broth (I found the best is Trader Joe's brand, in the box).  Let this come to a boil, then simmer for a good hour give or take.  Chop up the tomatoes into the chili as it cooks.  Add 2 cans of your choice beans, rinsed and drained (I use cannelini and pinto).  Simmer another 10 minutes...then EAT IT!  IT IS SO GOOD.  REALLY! 


  1. Hi Kate, I need to make your chili. But I don't know if it will be as good as you and your photos! I get so hungry when I visit your blog. Is this good or bad? Hmmm. Miss you.

  2. Here it is December and I have still not made chili! Thanks for the reminder as I gaze over your food blog. How are you Kate?

  3. Hi Kate,

    Great blog! Beautiful photographs. I wanted to send you an email, but could not find your email posted...I want to ask you a couple of questions. Will you email me at thanks!

  4. Hello, sweet Kate! Congratulations! I loved this dish. So, I'm a new follower.
    Visit my blog, too and know a lot of brazilian food.

    Kisses from Brazil!