Ward Social Chili

Our Stake was going to have a Harvest Festival (quite the blast, I must say), but due to the weather, it was cancelled.  Our quick-thinking ward decided to contact everyone and invite them to the church building, since most people already made up their food to bring, and we had a nice impromptu pot luck, instead!  Way to go, Eagle Mountain 9th Ward. :)

I think this chili turned out better than most of the attempts we try (too spicy, too thick, etc).  So, I figured I’d put it in here in case we ever want to try it again!  It was good enough that Jeremy called it Taco Soup (one of the foods Rebecca makes, that he really likes.)  I got the seasoning idea from looking up a Wendy’s chili recipe, since I always love their stuff (a little runny, well seasoned, and very good with everything else they sell.)

There were two parts to it.  The first was the meat, and the rest was in the crock pot.  The meat I didn’t use went into freezer bags for future use, like spaghetti or other items.

The meat:

1 cup beef TVP
2 cups water
2 cups of onion, minced in the food processor
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
5lb 27% fat chub of ground beef
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings

Put the TVP in water and cook in the microwave for a few minutes, so it soaks up most of the water.  While doing this, in a large pan, cook the onions in the oil, covered to keep them from drying out.  Then add the garlic and ground beef, mixing it until evenly browned.  By this point the TVP should be soft enough, so drain the ground beef of all fat (there was at least a cup or two of fat + liquid, due to the high fat content of the chub), then add the TVP and other seasonings, and mix thoroughly.  Let sit until ready to use in the chili.

For the chili:

2 pounds of the cooked beef from before
2 cans of kidney beans
2 cans of black beans
1 can of great northern beans
1 can of blackeye peas
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes (roasted onion and garlic)
1 can of diced tomatoes (cilantro and lime)
1 29 ounce can of whole tomatoes
2 stalks of celery, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder

Add the beef to the crock pot.  Drain the beans and corn, and rinse lightly, then add to the pot.  Add the diced tomatoes (juice and all).  Puree the whole tomatoes and add them, then measure half of that can of water (approx. 2 cups) and add it as well.  Add the celery and seasonings, mix well, and simmer in the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours, stirring after a few hours to not lose too much heat.

Chicken Enchiladas



  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1-4 oz can green chilies
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1 c rice (optional)
  • 1 can black or pinto beans (optional)
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese

In large bowl, mix chicken, soup, chilies, sour cream, onion, rice, beans and some cheese. Mix well. In 9 x 13 pan spread thin layer of mixture on bottom. Spoon some filling into each tortilla. Roll and place in pan. Continue until all are in pan. Spread remaining mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle generously with more cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Baked French Toast


The ingredients:


  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 loaf french bread

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix and melt the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.


While mixture melts, prepare a 9″x13″ baking dish (or two 8″x8″ ones) by spraying with non-stick spray. Slice a loaf of french bread into slices 3/4 to 1 inch thick. I like to lay out the bread in the pan to see how it’s going to fit before I spray it.


Pour the well-blended butter-sugar mixture into the baking dish.


Arrange the bread slices flat in the mixture.


Blend the eggs, milk and vanilla in a blender.



Pour the egg mixture over the bread slices (not missing any areas).  Use all of the egg mixture; the excess will be absorbed by the bread.


Cover the baking dish and refrigerate overnight. See how nicely the bread soaked up the egg mixture?


Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Serve directly from the baking dish.  Additional butter and syrup are not needed because it’s already covered in that brown sugar yumminess. 😛

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies


  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until well blended; add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Drop by rounded table spoon onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are firm. Cool for 2 minutes before moving cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Once cool you may glaze the cookies.


  • 2 c powdered sugar (more or less depending on the consistency that you would like to achieve)
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 4-5 drops yellow food coloring

Combine all ingredients for glaze in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake


  • 2 c Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c pumpkin (cooked and mashed)
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 c finely chopped pecans
  • 2/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch tube pan (or bundt pan) and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in separate bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each. Add vanilla and blend. Add pumpkin and sour cream and blend well. Batter will have a curdled appearance. Stir in dry ingredients just until mixed.

In a separate bowl, combine pecans brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Spread half the batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the pecan mixture. Spread remaining batter over and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, and remove from pan to cool completely on wire rack.

French Dip


  • 3lb rump roast
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • water

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and add enough water to almost cover meat. Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours. Shred meat just prior to serving.

Rainbow Pancakes


  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

Combine all dry ingredients, then mix in milk, eggs and melted butter until smooth. Split the batter up between several smaller bowls and add different food coloring to each bowl of batter; mix. Just keep adding food coloring and mixing until you get the desired shade, then cook on the griddle. I like to make these pancakes REALLY small so that my kids can have a rainbow stack of pancakes, and I know they’ll eat it all. :)

Cream Cheese Frosting

I made up Ethan’s birthday cake and to keep things simple I had bought tub frosting to put on it. I pulled it out of the tub and whipped it up to make it easier to smooth it onto the cake and I made the mistake of tasting it. YUCK! Tub frosting is just so nasty! I just couldn’t make myself put it on the cake. So the morning of the party I quickly whipped up this delicious home made frosting, and it was just SO much better. I actually enjoyed licking the rubber spatula when I was done frosting the cake! 😉


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Gradually blend in powdered sugar, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Soft Gingersnap Cookies


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 c shortening
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/4 molasses
  • 1 egg
  • sugar (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all dry ingredients; mix well. Cut in shortening and butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in molasses and egg and mix thoroughly. Form 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12  minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Apple Rice Stuffing


  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • 1/2 c onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 3 c cooked brown rice
  • 1/3 c slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 c apple juice

Saute apples, onion, celery and raisins in butter, until tender crisp; add seasonings and stir well. Stir in rice, almonds and apple juice. Use as a stuffing or cook thoroughly and serve.