Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili (And A Giveaway!)

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

We’re well into the school year and I don’t know about you, but it seems like half the time, I’m so busy with chauffeuring here and there, plus doctors appointments for physicals and vaccinations, etc, etc, that I end up saying “it’s snack night!” to my kids when they ask whats for dinner. Then I feel guilty because what happens is they eat cereal (they’re thrilled with that; me, not so much) for dinner and everyone ends up spread out chowing down on foods that I normally prefer not be served. One will be in his room, eating sandwiches. Two will be parked in front of the TV, watching Uncle Grandpa (Lord, I loathe that show) while my husband and I will be sitting in front of our computers. NOT exactly a family friendly eating experience and NOT how I want my kids childhoods to be. My husband working third shift exacerbates the problem because half the time, after getting the kids to school, I’ll come back and lay down with him and before I know it, half the day is gone and no dinner prep was made.

So what do I do more often now? Yep; you guessed it. The trusty slow cooker comes out. I own about 5 of them. The problem is, most of them are either too small or too limited on their usages (high or low, that’s it for settings) , so I let them sit and gather dust. So when I was contacted again as a Hamilton Beach Ambassador and asked if I wanted to try out their Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid I was thrilled. Finally, I would have a slow cooker that I didn’t have to babysit.

This cooker is pretty awesome. You can either manually set it for how many hours you want the food to cook and set for high or low. Then once it has timed out, it automatically clicks over to warm. That way the food doesn’t overcook or get too cold to serve. Another option is, if you’re cooking, say, a roast or a whole chicken or maybe a turkey breast, you can use the included temperature probe. You insert it through a hole in the top of the lid right down into the meat, set the cooker for the temp you want the meat to come to and when it reaches that temp, it shuts off. Again, no overcooked dry chicken breast meat or stringy pork roasts because you forgot them.

I can honestly say I love this slow cooker. Yes, they sent me one for free, but my opinion is still honest. So much so that I’ll mention the ONE thing I didn’t like about it. The outside tends to get really hot, so you need to make sure this isn’t in reach of little ones.But other than that, I love it and have used it multiple times already.

Guess what else? Hamilton Beach has graciously offered to let me give one of these slow cookers to one of you. This is a $59.99 value and it’s just in time for colder weather (or as a great Christmas gift to someone, maybe?)  Plus, as the holidays get closer, we’re all going to be busier and you know darn well that having dinner on the table every night can be a hassle. So this is the perfect time to win this.

All you need to do is enter down below by commenting and using the optional methods in the rafflecopter box. Tell me what would be the first thing you’d make if you won this and there is one entry!

If you need an idea, I have a fantastic chili recipe for you. This is spicy, but not so spicy the kiddos can’t eat it. My six year old loved it. It uses chorizo sausage as well as the typical ground beef and some other ingredients that all add up to a warming, comforting, soothing bowl of chili. Serve this with some sides of fresh onions, cheese, sour cream and maybe crackers or tortillas and you’ve got a wonderful meal as well as some leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow. You know the drill… 🙂

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili




  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 lb chorizo (removed from casings and crumbled if link style)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce can of chili beans (your preference on heat)
  • 2 16 ounce cans kidney beans, well drained
  • 1 16 ounce can pinto beans, well drained
  • 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes (regular or chili style; your choice. I prefer the chili style)
  • 2 whole jalapenos in adobo sauce, finely chopped (store the rest in a container in the fridge) (use more or less as desired)
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I use franks because I like that is has flavor along with the heat)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces chili powder (I use Bloemers)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. In a large pan, crumble and saute the ground chuck until brown. Drain and toss into the slow cooker. Brown the chorizo. Don’t drain this when done; just scoop it out and put it in the slow cooker.
  2.  Toss the onions, green pepper and celery into the drippings form the chorizo. Stir to mix, cover and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are soft and limp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking.
  3. Add the veggies to the crock pot; stir to combine.
  4. Add all the other ingredients, in order given (makes stirring easier), then stir to combine.
  5. Set your slow cooker for 4 hours on low.. Halfway through cooking, open it up (make sure you’re quick; slow cookers lose heat quickly and can take quite a while to reheat back up) and give it a good stir. Re-cover it and let it finish cooking.
  6. When done, stir it well and serve. This is excellent served with sides such as cheese, sour cream, green or red onions and cilantro. I also love mine wrapped up in a tortilla. My family, on the other hand are firmly in the cracker camp. Do what makes you happy. 😀
     Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

I was provided with a slow cooker as compensation, but all opinions in this post are 100% my own!

To enter the giveaway, just scroll down to the raffle copter giveaway form!

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid


Product Features



    • Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual


  • Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature
  • Thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel
  • Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating
  • The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
  • 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast
  • Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
  • Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
  • Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
  • Questions are supported by a toll-free call center located in the U.S.
  • Backed with a one-year warranty


  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Quick & Easy Three Meat Red Beans & Rice

Quick & Easy Three Meat Red Beans & Rice

Quick & Easy Three Meat Red Beans & Rice

I like shortcuts. Always have. The problem for me in using shortcuts in real life, like say driving, is that I have absolutely no sense of direction. I’m that person who takes the same route to places every…single…time. Because if I don’t, I also become that person who is later saying “Honest, I MEANT to take three hours to get back home. I was looking at all the houses in this neighborhood. It was totally my plan to drive past each house 46 times before I got back onto the main road.” I have to take a route about 10 times, then I have it down pat and won’t change even if they have torn the road up, closed it down and are using dynamite to fix it. Better dynamite than lost in the desert for 40 years. I’m pretty sure the Jews back in Old Testament days wandered the desert for 40 years because someone suggested an alternate route.

When it comes to cooking though, I love shortcuts. When you have six kids waiting for food approximately 15 times a day, you have to come up with ways to feed them quickly. Sometimes this means taking old tried and true recipes and *GASPS* using things that are a bit more processed to speed things up. Case in point is this recipe for red beans and rice. Mind you, I love making them the old fashioned way; letting my dry beans soak overnight, making a 45 minute slowly browned roux and so on and so forth. Thing is, I have learned over 38 years of cooking (I started cooking when I was about ten) that sometimes, when you use shortcuts, you end up with a meal that is just as tasty as the old fashioned way. These beans are one of those times. Canned beans and a quick roux that’s made in the microwave (yes, you can do a roux in the microwave. Have I steered you wrong yet?) make this a weeknight meal that you don’t have to fuss much over. This is very meaty, filling and tastes fantastic.  This doesn’t have a ton of extra ingredients. Between the meats, the veggies and the Cajun seasoning, this is extremely flavorful.

You know the drill. Git to cookin’.

Quick & Easy Three Meat Red Beans & Rice

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 15 ounce cans red beans, 2 cans drained, 2 with liquid left in them
  • 1 lb fresh andouille sausage, casings removed, crumbled (buy the real thing, not smoked andouille. I found mine at Whole Foods Market)
  • 1 lb chorizo sausage (the Mexican style, not the hard Spanish style.)
  • 1 lb ham, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons good quality Cajun seasoning (check the ingredients; most use a TON of salt & it is the 1st ingredient. McCormicks makes a good one.)
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Franks. I like that it isn’t just hot but has a distinct flavor)
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 cups white rice, made according to the directions on the bag
  1. Make your roux- in a large glass bowl (one that you know can handle time in the microwave, combine your flour and oil. Stir well. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, uncovered. It should be a nice light brown by this point and have a yummy nutty smell.
  2. Stir well, making sure to get the sides of the bowl. Microwave again for about another 1 to 2 minutes, watching through the door the whole time to make sure it doesn’t burn. By the end of 6 minutes maximum (unless you have a low wattage microwave, in which case the process will take longer), you should have a nice dark brown roux..
  3. Carefully add your vegetables (and garlic) to the roux and stir well. Put back in the microwave and saute for about 3 minutes. Slowly stir in about 1/3 cup of hot water.
  4. In a large pot, over medium high heat, brown your meats, one type at a time. Do the ham first, then the andouille, then the chorizo. The reason for this is that chorizo has a stronger taste and you don’t want the other meats picking up it’s flavor but instead  keep each meats distinct taste.
  5. Pour the roux mixture into the pot. Stir well, then add the beans, Cajun seasoning, tomatoes and hot sauce. Stir again, cover pot and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently and lowering heat if necessary to prevent sticking. You can simmer this for as little as 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry or as long as a couple of hours. It’s a very forgiving dish. It’s also amazing a day or two later, reheated.
  6. Serve over bowls of rice, garnished with onions.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.



Pork And Black Bean Chili

Pork And Black Bean Chili

Some of you who may have seen how tickled I was a few weeks ago when I realized that Andrew Zimmern started following me on Twitter. Fine, tickled may be an understatement. I about peed myself. The only thing that prevented that was the fact that my other pair of clean jeans was the washer. Mind you, he follows about 24 thousand other people too but considering that over half a million follow HIM, that still made me about one in 20 or so whom he follows back. That means we’re bff’s right? Yes, I realize that maybe it was an underling who followed me or that Mr. Zimmern said one day “Hey, underling, go find some really really bad food blog and follow it. I need something to make me laugh.” The underling then found me, followed for him, then got promptly fired when he realized that Mr. Zimmern didn’t mean to follow one quite THIS bad.

But in the spirit of hope, I prefer to believe that somehow, my wit and pithy sense of humor (oh God, I’m killing myself here *snorts and laughs*) brought me to his attention one night when he’d had too much to drink and he decided I was a cool person to keep up with. So, in that spirit, I am writing him a short letter here.

Dear Mr. Zimmern-

Can I call you Andrew? How about Andy? Ooo, ooo, I know! I can call you Ang just like Barney Fife called Andy Griffith. It’s what bff’s do, right? Come up with nicknames? So maybe now you can call me “Cool J”. *Does the “Cool J” gangsta finger thing* Owowowowowowwwww… finger cramp.

No, no, no, it’s ok Ang, I’m cool. Cancel the plane flight. Just a minor *sobs* finger cramp. So, how’s it going? I almost asked “how;’s it hangin'” but then thought that maybe a female bff shouldn’t ask that of a male bff. Wait… does typing it out anyway mean I still asked it anyway? Crap. Sorry.

I can’t help but wonder how you came to follow me on twitter and probably come to my blog a few times a day hoping for updates.? Was it the fancy cooking? Maybe the Blueberry Cornmeal pancakes? Or the video of the Monty Python intro!? I know! It was my world class photography! I feel like I need to make some cockroach (hehe..like my play on words here??Huh huh huh?) testicles to make sure I keep you happy. But I didn’t have that on the menu until next month. It takes a while to stockpile enough of those bad boys to make a meal. Plus, if you don’t wrap them in something bright, the bag is too small to find in the freezer.

But whatever the reason, I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am that we will now be lifelong buddies. I’ve always admired you, love your show(s) and recipes and had always thought that you were the kind of guy I’d love to invite over (and Mrs. Ang of course) for a beer and some roach testicles. But in the meantime, I made one of your recipes today. It got a unanimous thumbs up even though I accidentally used too much chipotle pepper and none of us have any taste buds left.

Sincerely- your twitter bff- ~Janet~
Now if I could only get Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain to follow me, I’d be in Heaven. Yes, I know Mr. Bourdain can be an ass, but he can’t stand Sandra Lee or Rachael Ray… so how bad can he really be? We think alike 😀

(P.S.- On a serious note, I was truly totally tickled by Mr. Zimmern following me.)



Pork & Black Bean Chili

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped (I may have “accidentally” used about 6)
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed (I used a 3 pound loin because it’s what I had plus I feed teenagers)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (make sure to NOT twitch & add about twice that unless you hate your taste buds)
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup ancho chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin (I used about half this; not a huge cumin fan)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (I chopped them up. It wasn’t in the original instructions but I couldn’t leave them whole)
  • 1 lb dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 5 cups chicken stock (or good quality canned broth)
  • 3 cups dark beer (I used Becks)
  • 3 tablespoons corn flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • zest of one lime & juice of half a lime (my own addition)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (also my addition)
  1. In a large non stick pot, heat the oil until shimmering.
  2. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered out. Using a slotted spoon, put the bacon aside for now. Eat the 90 extra pieces you accidentally tossed in the pot.
  3. Season the pork to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add it in batches (you want to sear the meat, not steam it in it’s own juices and grease) to the pot and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Set aside as you get it browned. Add the poblanos, onions, chipotles and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat until the onion has softened.
  5. Add the chile powder, cumin, oregano and cilantro and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, chicken stock, beer, brown sugar and bacon and bring to a boil.
  6. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 90 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer until the beans are totally cooked, about another 45 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn flour (please don’t sub regular flour. You can get the corn flour in the Hispanic aisle of the grocery and it adds a flavor regular flour won’t) and the water. Slowly whisk the mixture into the chili. Add the lime juice and zest, season with salt and pepper and serve with sides of tortillas, cheese, onions, whatever you love with chili. Just  stay away from the leftover chipotles… trust me.

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To Die For??? :P


Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows how much I hate that phrase. I have joked before that as much of a foodie as I am (albeit a foodie with a crappy appetite who has to be forced to eat half the time lol) I can’t think of any foods that I would be willing to die for. Not even a medium rare ribeye with potato wedges and roasted brussel sprouts, which is my all time favorite meal (what btw, is YOUR favorite meal??? Tell me in comments section? 🙂 ). I may be willing to be seriously wounded for it (so long as my knife and fork skills aren’t ruined) but no dying. I just can’t think of any food worth dying for.

But there are some foods that I love enough (when I bother to eat 😛 ) to consider using the phrase. Twinkies and Cheetos of course. You didn’t know THAT was coming I bet did you? Hehe. Sushi is another; I LOVE sushi though if anyone ever tries to get me to eat the kind with raw eel in it, they are, as my dad would have said, “cruisin’ for a bruisin’. EWWWW!!!!! GOOD chocolate (we’re not talking Hershey bars here though there is a time and a place for them too) is something to think about using silly phrases for. Buy me a pound of Godiva (or twelve) and I’ll think about it. Buy me more and I may ask you to marry me. Just don’t tell my husband. He can be a bit touchy about that for some reason. Silly man. I’d share the Godiva. Maybe.

But this following recipe is so utterly delicious, so supremely satisfying and so summery (even with the use of canned tomatoes) that I actually thought about using the phrase “to die for”. I didn’t of course; I have my standards but I THOUGHT about it! That right there should tell you how wonderful this is.

I have only been to the restaurant this soup is purported to have been cloned from two times and I thought the food was passable but nothing worth writing home about. I had not however had this soup. I have made this a couple of times for my family and even my picky kids love it. This is creamy and tomatoey (again; now a word 😛 ), bursting with the flavor of fresh Basil with a mild sweet edge that helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Summer or Winter, this is a winner. So give it a try. Even in this hot weather, this is SO good!

This is adapted from a recipe on top secret recipes.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used considerably more of this and the onion)
  • 2 28 ounce cans (good quality) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups (good quality) chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh basil (you can sub the pureed basil that comes in tubes in the produce section)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley (I omitted this because I didn’t have any & I saw no difference)
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional. The original recipe didn’t have this but I added it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn heat off and let cool for up to an hour.
  3. Pour half the mixture in a blender (hold lid down with a towel if the soup is at all hot so the lid doesn’t fly off). Blend on high speed for about a minute and pour into a large bowl. Do the same with the second half (I actually don’t do that because I like a little bit of texture in the soup). Add all the soup back to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring the soup back up to a low bubble then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with desired toppings. I use Parmesan cheese and some julienned basil.