Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cocoa Chili and my very first award!

I'm so thrilled to announce that I have been award The Versatile Blogger Award! It is absolutely amazing to be recognized by another blogger. 

Dawnie, from The Coach's Wife's Kitchen extended the honor to little 'ol me!  She's got some great stuff on her blog, so head over and check her out. Be sure to tell her congratulations on her upcoming new addition!   

So here is how the award works...I pass it along to 15 other bloggers that I think are  super duper and tell you guys 7 random things about myself. 

Let's Get Started:

Seven Random Facts about Me

1. I'm addicted to Diet Coke.  I always have one....always!  I will leave my house at midnight and run to the store to make sure I have one in the morning, I sleep with one beside my bed, and there is an on going joke that I will be buried with a 12 pack!

2.  I work for a small catering company called The Silver Spoon Cakes and Catering.  My best friend for the last 16 years, Jennifer, owns it.  The days can be long but I love it!  I'm surrounded by obsession!

3.  I'm a real life Army wife, and mother to three children.  We are stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division. We live on post which has it pros and cons. The housing is a little old, my kitchen is so out dated that I will never show you guys a picture! :) But, my children are around other kids that have parents that deploy.  My husband just returned from his 4th deployment so having that support system or common bond for them is worth more than a stellar kitchen. At least that is what I tell myself :).

4. I'm a TV junkie.  I'm positive that I couldn't live without my DVR.  It even has a name...Dave.  I'm a big fan of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, NCIS, all the CSI's, Modern Family, and so many more.  In the past when my husband has been gone these shows have been my escape from reality or my "me" time.  Oddly though, the only food show I watch is Masterchef (I have a crush on Gordon Ramsey).

5. I have a couple of food related quirks.  I don't like fruit and meat combos, or meat and nut combos.  The thought of it is just weird to me.  The only exception, I think, is tomatoes.

6. I grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  I've lived in North Alabama, Tennessee, and now Kentucky.

7.  As soon as I log into Blogger to start typing away about something I've made I lose just about all of my confidence.  I type and type and then feel like a complete goofball about some of the things I've said. I tend to get a little long winded at times and then delete the majority of what I've said.  I've found it a little difficult at times to put myself out there. Each time it gets a little easier though.

Now it's time to pass The Versatile Blogger on to some deserving bloggers.

These wonderful blogs are in no particular order.

Drumroll please.......

12. My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good
13. What Is Cooking Now
14. Steph's Bite By Bite
15. I Heard It's Yummy

Ready for some chili?

I'll keep this short and sweet, considering I've already said so much. This is my adaptation of a previous neighbor's chili recipe. 

It has unsweetened cocoa powder in it!!

Don't worry, it won't taste like chocolate.  In my opinion the cocoa powder gives the chili a rich taste. 
 We love it!  And it's perfect for those chilly days that are on their way! (Hopefully sooner than later)

Cocoa Chili

2 pounds of ground beef-cooked and drained
1 (16 ounce) can of chili flavored beans (do not drain)
1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
1 small onion-chopped
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon butter
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Oregano
3 Tablespoons Cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoon chili powder

Add butter and chopped onion to a large pot, cook over medium low heat for about five minutes.  Add minced garlic and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes. 

Add browned ground beef, beans, tomato sauce, spices, vinegar, and cocoa powder.

Stir until combined.  Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Continue to simmer for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top with cheese, onions, and/or sour cream.


  1. Congrats on the award! You're seven facts were great. It must be such fun to work for a catering company. When my family returns to the States, I've thought about starting one myself. Your chili looks amazing!

  2. I love your facts! I WAS addicted to diet coke... But now that I am pregnant I had to give it up, I literally had withdrawals when I quit. I get so jealous when I see someone else drinking one!
    This Chili looks great I have been looking for a good recipe for chili because these Swedes here have no clue what it is.

  3. Oh my goodness, I almost fell off of my chair when I saw my name on your list! Thank you so much for extending this award to me. Your seven facts are wonderful. I have no idea what to put for mine, but I can see I'll be baking today as it helps me think. ;) I will be sure and pass this along to 15 other bloggers today. Thanks again.
    Foodie Hugs,

  4. Congrats on your award. Love your 7 facts. Love your chili too.

    Thanks so much for the award. That means the world to me. I'm happy and honored.

  5. I'm super flattered! I can't believe I'm on this list! There's so many other blogs that more deserving than me so I'm really honored by your recognition. Many many thanks to you for passing this along. Love your blog by the way!
    Best Foodie Wishes,

  6. Congrats on the award and it was nice that you thought of me when passing the award, even though Dawnie already passed it to me. I was on the same list that you were on. Also, I have sent you an email regarding that.

  7. Thanks so much for passing the award onto me, Shay! I enjoyed your facts! I love that you get to be surrounded by food all day. I have been saying a lot lately that if I wasn't in grad school doing what I am doing, I would start my own catering company. And I am the same way with my posts. I always doubt what I write. I'm a really silly, goofy, person with a random sense of humor so I worry that most people won't think it's funny! Anyway, here is a post where I listed 7 random facts about me:

  8. Congratulations on the award, and THANK YOU for passing it along to me! Very sweet!! I'm excited to jump on this and post it and pass it on!
    ~Cookin' Cowgirl

  9. Thanks everyone! There are so many blogs that I wish could be recognized too. I'm sure they are in some way. Along with being addicted to diet coke, I think I'm addicted to reading about 50 other blogs a least. I'm a blog stalker!! Again...thanks!

  10. Thank you for passing on the award, it's really nice of you! I really enjoy your blog… you have so many creative recipe ideas.

  11. I love reading your 7 facts. Congrats on the award! With the weather turning colder, I'm definitely craving chili...your recipe sounds fantastic!

  12. Thank you so much for the blog award! :) and I love your chili recipe!!