Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I’m banging my head against the wall right now because the light bulb just blinked on wondering why it’s taken so freakin’ long to figure this out. What, you say?

As most bloggers will tell you, trying to come up with something that’s a subject you’ll enjoy reading about isn’t always easy. Writing for the holidays is, but its the other 300 some days that aren't, and like most, I draw a blank because I’m focused on the latest book I’m writing.

 So here’s the epiphany: Why not write about something I know? Food! Now, for cripes sake, was that so hard? Geesh! 

And here's more good news that I'm very excited about. I'll be writing a second blog for mystery lovers, talking about unsolved crimes to see if we can figure out the who dunnit or what's going on in the news today. The title of that blog is: It's Murder in the First! I hope you'll subscribe to both. IMITF should be up in a few days and I'll post the link as soon as it's finished. I'll also have a link on both blogs for those of you who are interesting in reading both.

Beginning today, I will be posting as often as I can squeeze in the time in between writing and edits on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ll be giving you tips and shortcuts, recipes and some funny stories to go with it. If the recipe I post is contained in one of my Chef Toque series, I’ll mention which novel. 

Welcome to my kitchen.This particular meal is a favorite of my family’s and there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of Chili served with a warm cornbread slathered with honey butter and a glass of Rosenblum Zinfandel on a cold wintery night. So grab a glass of wine, relax in your comfy chair and enjoy the ride through my kitchen.


1 tbls olive oil                                                                             2 tbls chili powder
4 cloves garlic, minced                                                               2 tbls ground cumin
1 lg. onion, diced                                                                        1 tsp dried thyme
2 red peppers, diced                                                                    1 tsp dried basil
4 lg. carrots, diced                                                                       ¼ tsp oregano
1 lb ground beef                                                                          ½ tsp cayenne pepper optional
1 lb ground pork                                                                          1 can beer – any kind will do
2-15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed                           4 oz dark chocolate
2-15 oz cans diced tomatoes                                                                                                        

Using a 5 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic, onion, peppers, carrots, beef, pork and simmer until the meat is no longer pink.

Measure out the dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients and thoroughly mix together making sure to incorporate completely.  Now you may add the beer, diced tomatoes and kidney beans, again mixing until combined. Save the chocolate for last. Allow to simmer for approximately 1 hour. Twenty minutes before serving, break the chocolate apart and add to the mixture allowing it to melt into the chili. Stir and serve with sour cream.

8 dinner servings

Chef's note: Follow this same recipe for a vegetarian version by omitting the meat.

This recipe can also be found in Dishing Up Romance.