Texas Star Chili Cook Off 2013

The Texas Star Chili Cook Off 2013 is finished, and I am bursting with excitement over the outcome. Even with all the tempting chili recipes that were in the running, my Playoff Chili managed to squeeze out enough votes for a first place win!

Playoff Chili recipe can be found here.

This is the fourth year that Miz Helen's Country Cottage has sponsored the Texas Star Chili Cook Off, and it is a fun contest that encourages bloggers to get acquainted with new friends and visit their blogs while serving up their best bowl of chili. So if you're looking for a great chili recipe, you're bound to find one you'll love among the entrants at the Texas Star Chili Cook Off.

Many thanks to Miz Helen for the hard work she does in hosting this event and for my super $50 Amazon gift certificate that has already arrived!


Cinnamon Sugar Baked Doughnuts

I seldom have enticing treats like these Cinnamon Sugar Baked Doughnuts for breakfast, but wow, they were made to be paired with a cup of coffee. Their cake-like texture makes these delectable jewels lighter than regular yeast doughnuts, so you might be tempted to have an extra one or two.

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Doughnuts

10 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, blend butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until combined. Stir in buttermilk. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until doughnuts are golden.
For topping: In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. While doughnuts are still warm, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with (or roll in) cinnamon sugar. Makes 12 - 14 regular sized doughnuts.

These new doughnut pans are a treat I bought for myself on my last shopping trip in Little Rock with my sister. She drove up from Texas to meet me, and we enjoyed a week together doing important things like chauffeuring grandchildren to events and shopping. I am certain that weeks like that are what keep both me and the economy going.

These sugar-coated doughnuts are just too enjoyable not to share. I'm afraid if I don't give some away I will keep on enjoying them one at a time until they are gone.


Playoff Chili

No other food can welcome the cool days of fall quite like a spicy bowl of chili. Whether you make it up for your family or for a crowd, it is usually a meal received with gratefulness. Playoff Chili has been well-named because it is also the perfect addition to those fall tailgating parties. This recipe has a balance of spices that will be sure to put points on the scoreboard. No matter how your team plays, you can count on this chili to score a touchdown. If you want to keep everything simple, serve the chili over individual-size bags of corn chips and pass the plastic spoons. How's that for an easy clean-up?

Recipe source: Southern Living

Playoff Chili

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (12 ounce) bottle beer
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

14 (1 ounce) bags corn chips

Toppings: chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, cook ground beef, ground sausage, onion, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic for about 10 minutes, or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in diced tomatoes, beer, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour and 45 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. Add kidney beans and black beans; cover and cook 15 minutes. Makes about 7 cups.

Can be served in bowls, or if desired can be served over corn chips right in the bag. Cut the corn chip bag open along one long side. Spoon 1/2 cup chili onto chips in each bag. Garnish with toppings, if desired.

This chili may be made ahead and frozen up to 3 months in zip-top freezer bags.