Family Recipe – Dad’s Homemade Hearty Chili

Another family recipe that has been passed along from father to son is my husband’s chili!  He learned how to make his Dad’s chili and has been making it for our own family for the last 32 years!

This is another great recipe for cold weather or anytime you want a hearty chili that can be as spicy as you like!

When I’ve had a busy week, my husband is sweet enough to make his chili for us, and I add a pan of homemade biscuits to go along! This recipe makes enough for a family of 4-6, or enough for 3 meals for the 2 of us!

Dad’s Homemade Hearty Chili

2 pounds ground beef (browned and drained of grease)

1 medium onion diced

2 “Chili-o” or chili seasoning packets

1 can chili beans (hot and spicy)

2 cans tomato sauce

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. chili powder

Your favorite hot sauce (to add to taste)

Shredded cheddar cheese (add to the bowl)

Brown the ground beef in a large pan or soup pot.  Drain the grease and add the diced onion, the chili seasoning packets, the chili beans and the tomato sauce. Stir to mix well and cook on medium to combine for a couple of minutes. Add additional chili powder and cayenne pepper, stir and set the temp to low to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Dad's Chili simmering on the stove!

Dad’s Chili simmering on the stove!

While the chili is simmering, I prepare our biscuits so they will be hot and ready when the chili is done.

Dad stirring his chili!

Dad stirring his chili!

Serve up in bowls and add your own hot sauce if you like it very spicy, and feel free to sprinkle on some shredded cheese on the top! Hope you enjoy!

Dad's finished chili ready to garnish!

Dad’s finished chili ready to garnish!


Dad’s Chili topped with hot sauce and cheese!



Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

Okay, I have to admit that I have my comfort foods, too, and sometimes they are healthy and sometimes they are indulgent. That’s what it means, I guess, remembering a time when there are no cares, no worries, no stress and only the wonderful smell of mac and cheese, or cinnamon and apples.

In the wintertime, when the weather was cold and we had few groceries on hand, we usually had no time to prepare a big meal when we got home from work!  I had some chicken breasts in the freezer and some rice on hand!  I found an old recipe using chicken and rice and a can of soup, which worked fine if I had the time.  So I adapted a little bit!

I took out the slow cooker in the morning, put the chicken in the pot with some chicken stock, and had the nice tender cooked chicken ready when I got home!  After a few years of perfecting our recipe for us, it is now one of those comfort foods I can fix that takes the stress out of supper. If you think chicken soup is good when you are sick, I think this works, too!


And the aroma in the house is pretty good too!

The basic recipe follows, but feel free to play around with spices you like. I have tried adding some smoky paprika or garlic to the recipe. Again, this “recipe” only has a few ingredients, so it is super simple! And pretty healthy as well!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

………3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

………2 cups low sodium chicken broth

………Generous sprinkle of black pepper (I use about a tablespoon)

Place the chicken, broth and pepper in the crock pot or slow cooker and place on high for 4-6 hours.

Chicken, Chicken Stock, and lots of pepper!

Chicken, Chicken Stock, and lots of pepper!

After 3 hours, chicken is tender and starting to fall apart...

After 3 hours, chicken is tender and starting to fall apart…


20-30 minutes before dinner, add:

……….1 1/2 to 2 cups of instant brown rice (or white if you prefer)

Brown rice added to chicken and stock

Brown rice added to chicken and stock

Allow the rice to cook and absorb the chicken stock (you can use water for the liquid, but the flavor is much better using the chicken stock).

Stir and break apart the tender chicken before serving.

Finished Chicken and Rice....Add more pepper to taste!

Finished Chicken and Rice….Add more pepper to taste!

And it’s ready to serve with a vegetable side dish, like green beans or carrots, and your favorite bread. My husband likes his biscuits!

Great for a cool night!

Family Recipe – Grandmother’s Whipping Cream Pound Cake

When I was very young, we lived at the beach for a few months.  It sounded like a nice transfer for my father, who was working at a newspaper here in the mountains of western North Carolina. It was just the 3 of us then, me being the first child. My mother and I explored sandy beach life for a few months until we returned to the mountains.  My grandparents and other family were still in the mountains.  Now that I’m a grandparent, I understand how hard it must have been on my grandparents to be far away from a first grandchild.

My father’s mother would talk to me on the phone, and I’m sure she was missing and worried that I would not remember her since I had not seen her in several weeks and months.  When we talked, so the story goes, she would ask me the same question many times.  She would ask, “do you know me?”.

Nomi” was the name that came out of those phone conversations!  When I began calling her by name, it naturally translated from  “do you know me“!  Another special memory she left us was some of the recipes and foods she liked to prepare.

One of those special recipes was for a Whipping Cream Pound Cake.  Now, there are lots of recipes for pound cakes and whipping cream pound cakes.  These type of recipes have been handed down through families for generations.  Recently, we decided to gather some favorite and traditional family recipes and create a binder to share with the kids and grandkids. We focused on some of the traditional foods that our family has eaten especially at holiday times.

Whipping Cream Pound Cake - All that's left!

Whipping Cream Pound Cake – All that’s left!

I already shared my Mama’s Dressing Recipe for Thanksgiving, and this is the recipe that Nomi used to bake for every New Year’s Day dinner.  The recipe is in her words as she wrote it out for my husband.  He loves to bake!  After Nomi passed away in 2002, my husband took up the torch and now makes it for our family during the holidays. The batter can be placed in a typical cake pan or can be divided into small individual cake pans for holiday gifts!

Nomi’s Whipping Cream Pound Cake

(click on the recipe to see all her notes)

Nomi's recipe in her own handwriting!

Nomi’s recipe in her own handwriting!

Start in Cold Oven!!

6 eggs

1/2 lb. creamery butter (2 sticks) (room temp)

3 cups plain flour

3 cups sugar

1 Tblsp. lemon extract

1 Tblsp. vanilla extract

1/2 pt. Whipping Cream. Use as it is, do not whip!

“Cream butter and sugar real good.  Add eggs 1 at a time, and beat thoroughly after adding each egg.  Alternate flour and whipping cream.  Add lemon and vanilla.  Pour into greased and floured tube pan.  Bake 1 hour and twenty-five min. at 325 degrees.  Start in Cold Oven. (I lower top rack down to second place in my oven.)  This cake is Grover and my favorite Pound Cake.”

Creamed butter and sugar.....

Creamed butter and sugar…..

Adding flour - alternating with whipping cream....

After adding eggs, Add flour – alternating with whipping cream….

Stir until completely combined.....

Stir until completely combined…..

Alternating adding whipping cream and flour...

Alternating adding whipping cream and flour…

Add lemon and vanilla extracts, stir and pour into prepared pan.....

Add lemon and vanilla extracts, stir and pour into prepared pan…..

Buttered and floured tube pan....

Buttered and floured tube pan….

Whipping Cream batter into prepared tube pan...

Whipping Cream batter into prepared tube pan…

Place in cold oven to start...with a little extra for a gift......

Place in cold oven to start…with a little extra for a gift……

All that was left! Great crust on top!

All that was left! Great crust on top!

Tip:  My husband continues to stir the batter as Nomi did. You might use an electric mixer, but it’s just part of the tradition to stir the batter by hand.

And it was!  She made it for “Papaw” every year, and is still one of our family favorites.  The cake turns out very moist (not dry like some pound cakes), and has a wonderful crusty top when finished baking. I like that the best!

We have found that it sometimes takes about 15 minutes longer than she called for (at least for our oven).  She was using the same oven and process for many many years!