Chili Con Carne – Don’s way

We have had a competition for years over who makes the best chili. I wouldn’t listen until yesterday. I take a bow to Don as this is darn yummy.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 19 oz. can undrained dark red kidney beans
  • 1 284 ml can of condensed tomato soup
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. worchestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 packet beef boullion, dissolved in 1 cup water
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped in half
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • sour cream

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon wil just about crisp. Add the ground beef and cook until nicely browned.

Add the onion and (if using) green pepper and cook until the onion is transparent. Now the tomatoes, beans, soup, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and stir in.

Add the worchestershire sauce, red pepper and beef boullion mixture and stir in.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and cover, simmering for 1 hour or  until thick and bubbly. Add the mushrooms and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Serve over rice with grated cheese on the top. Add a dollop of sour cream.

Bell Pepper Slaw

Summer is here…well, almost… and now is the time to put together some planning. This is a slaw that goes so well with pulled pork, hamburgers, steak – almost everything you can barbecue. I admit you have to like bell peppers so give it a try. The addition of a jalapeno pepper gives it a kick.


  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 each – red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers – seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeno (depending on how hot you like it), seeded-sliced fine
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Shake gently to combine.

Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.

Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Easy Bell Pepper Rice With Andouille Sausage

This is an easy dinner to make and you can switch out the sausage to sweet Italian if you prefer.


  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and diced small
  • 2 medium bell peppers (mix the colours if you wish)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 sausages (about 1 lb.)
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar

In  medium size frypan, heat 1 tbsp. oil and add the celery, bell peppers and onion. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir often and cook for 5-6 minutes until they are softened. Stir in the rice and 1 1/2 cups water, bringing to a boil. Cover and reduce temperature to a simmer, cooking for roughly 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, still covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the parsley.

In a small skillet, heat with 1 tsp. oil and add the sausages, cooking for 10 minutes, making sure all sides are browned. Reduce the heat, cover and cook a further 9-10 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes, slicing crosswise. Lay the slices over the rice.

In a medium bowl, toss the spinach with the vinegar and 2 tsp. oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the rice and sausages.

All that is needed is warm rolls. Great dinner, great flavours.

Fresh Cauliflower Salad

Believe it or not, this is a really tasty salad. A step up if you are tired of the green salad varieties and easy to make as well.

  • 1 medium cauliflower, separated into florets and steamed until tender- crisp.
  •  2 medium bell peppers (mix the colours up for a twist), julienned
  •  8 tomatoes, diced
  •  pinch of salt and pepper
  •  3/4 cup vinegar
  •  1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine the vegetables together in a large bowl and mix well. Add the salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.

Toss together to mix gently. Cover with plastic and marinate in the refrigerator for 50-60 minutes.

This will make 6-8 servings. Great summer fare!

Chicken Quesadillas

This is easy to make and even more tasty when served on the deck with a glass of your favourite cold beverage, while waiting for the steak and corn on the cob is served.

Serves 4 (as a main course) More as an Hors d’ Oeuvres

  • 3 1/2 cups cooked, roasted chicken
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced thin
  • 6 oz. grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 each yellow and red bell peppers, chopped coarsely
  • 8 flour tortillas

Cook the garlic clove and bell peppers in a frypan until soft. Add the chicken and cheese and stir to mix.

Spread out the tortillas, and add the chicken mixture to 1/2 half side of each one.  Fold over to form a half moon, pressing firmly on the edges to seal.

Heat an oiled skillet and, 2 at a time, turning only once, cook until the cheese melts and grill marks appear. (about 4 minutes each batch).

Transfer each one to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

What a treat!


Seared Scallops



Serves 4

  • 2 small papaya (seeded, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro
  • 1 tsp. seeded and minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 8 good sized scallops

In a medium bowl combine papaya, peppers, onion, juice and cilantro. Set aside.

In a sealable bag, put the flour, salt,  pepper and scallops. Shake to coat surface.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the scallops and cook only for a couple of minutes until golden in colour. Do not over cook or they will be like rubber.

To plate, add a generous spoonful of sauce on the plate and place the scallops on top. You now have a new appetizer.  There will be many oohs and ahhs over this dish. Now you can just smile and demurely say “you are too kind”.