Tag Archives: fall

Grannie’s Chili

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  It was a gorgeous one here in SoWega.  We laid extremely low this weekend.  We were just happy to be at home after a month of being out of town every weekend!

Friday night we did our usual thing: happy hour at the Bainbridge Country Club in hopes we might win the drawing (alas, not this week) and supper at Bonnie Blue House with friends and family.  Saturday morning, Wheat went hunting and killed a doe, which will result in a freezer full of sausage – hopefully sooner than later!  My friend Sarah had come up to hang out Friday night and spent the night, so when Wheat got back, all three of us went to The Bean for an awesome breakfast sandwich and coffee.  After Sarah left, my mom came up for the day and I made a big pot of chili that we ate on all weekend.

After having chili over at Maggie and Greg’s house on Halloween, Wheat and I have been craving more.  So more chili was made.  I use my Grannie’s chili recipe (always).  It’s delicious, a little different than other chili recipes, and it’s ridiculously crazy easy.  Plus, it brings back fond memories of her, as all family favorites do.

Chili Topped with Green Onions, Cheddar Cheese, & Fresh Jalapenos | Oysters & Pearls

So without further adieu, here’s a classic chili recipe that I’m quite sure will earn a spot in your recipe box.

Chopped Onions for Chili | Oysters & Pearls

Grannie’s Chili Recipe
serves 8 to 10, or maybe even 12


– 3 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
– 2 cans chili beans
– 3 cans beef consumme
– 2 cans diced tomatoes
– salt & pepper
– cumin (I use 1 tablespoon)
– chili powder (I use 2 tablespoons)


Brown the meat with the onions and drain.  Add the meat and onions to a large pot, then add the remaining ingredients.  I rinse out each can with a little water and add that, too.  You can add more water to cover the mixture if you need to.  Simmer for as along as you need to – I usually cook it at least 30 to 45 minutes, but up to a couple hours or more, on the stove.

Pot Full of Chili | Oysters & Pearls

Grannie's Chili Recipe with Cornbread | Oysters & Pearls

Garnish with green onions, shredded sharp cheddar, sour cream, chopped fresh jalapeños, pickled jalapeños. and/or whatever else you want!  Fritos and chopped avocado make tasty toppings, too.  But my favorite topping is crumbled cornbread!

Jalapeno Cornbread for Chili | Oysters & Pearls

This is the same baked cornbread recipe from my Aunt Lori that I’ve shared with you before.  But this past weekend I took a page out of my Mama’s book and added jalapeños and whole kernel corn.  Delicious!  But feel free to omit the jalapeños and canned corn.  It’s great without it, too!

Makings of Baked Cornbread for Chili | Oysters & Pearls

Baked Jalapeño Cornbread
serves 8 or so, depending on how you slice it


– 1 cup self-rising cornmeal (156 grams)
– 1 eight ounce carton sour cream
– 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 2 heaping tablespoons pickled jalapeños
– 1 can of whole kernel corn, very well drained


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8″ Pyrex Dish.  Mix all the ingredients until combined and pour into greased pyrex.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned (see picture above).  It may take even a little longer than 25 minutes because of the additions, but just watch it and make sure you don’t burn it.  It should be golden brown all over the top.

Bowl of Chili, Topped with Jalapeno Cornbread | Oysters & Pearls

Chili Topped with Cornbread | Oysters & Pearls

I also made Grannie’s chili for Wheat’s 30th Birthday party last October.  I made it all that morning, then kept it hot in crock pots – yes, that’s plural, it was a lot of chili!  I tripled the recipe for a party of 30 people or so, thinking that I’d end up with leftovers.  There wasn’t a drop of chili for me to bring home that night!  It’s that good.  It’s full of flavor and super comforting on a cold Fall or Winter day or night.

Chili and Jalapeno Cornbread | Oysters & Pearls

We spent the rest of the weekend having supper at our friend/neighbor, Richard’s house, a little Church, checking the pumpkin patch, I made a pumpkin pie, and played in my fancy (temporarily mine) Traveling Apron as part of a fun project my blogger pal, Aimmee came up with.  I can’t wait to share more about it with y’all throughout the week!

Happy Tuesday!

Until Next Time

Vegetable Beef Soup


Sorry for my absence yesterday.  Actually, I’m not really sorry.  Some days you just need a break, ya know?  It’s been a long week.

I spent my time off from blogging by working, testing out my very own pumpkin cupcake recipe for two (baking recipes are like, pretty hard), and eating Mexican food.  And leftover vegetable beef soup.

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe  | Oysters & Pearls

Wheat really wanted vegetable soup Monday night, and I’m so glad he did.  Now that the weather has majorly cooled off here in SoWeGa, it was the perfect meal.

And no, it was not a meatless Monday in our house this week, but there was a whole lot of vegetables.

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


– 2 pounds lean ground beef
– 2 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes (do not drain)
– 2 28-ounce cans of water
– broiled steak seasoning (aka McCormick Perfect Pinch Steak Seasoning)
– all the vegetables you can get your hands on, chopped


Brown the meat in a skillet and seasoning with a tablespoon or so of Perfect Pinch steak seasoning.  I call it “broiled steak seasoning” because that’s what my Mama, aunt, and Grannie always used on everything.  They quit making it, but this Perfect Pinch is a fine replacement.  Drain the meat and add it to a Hugh Jass pot.

Add both cans of tomatoes, undrained, then fill each can up with cold water and add those to the pot.

Add all the vegetables you can get your hands on and chop up.  Here’s what went into my soup: a whole bag of whole carrots, peeled and cut into coins; 3 zucchini, cut into half moons; about a half pound of fresh green beans, cut into bite-size pieces; one whole vidalia onion, diced; half a head of celery, sliced; and about half a pound of fresh okra (homegrown!).  The trick with okra is add it in the last 20 minutes of cooking so that it doesn’t get soggy and gross.

Bring the pot to a strong simmer over medium-low heat and cook for at least an hour, then add okra and cook for 20 more minutes.

Salt ‘n Peppa to taste.

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I served it with baked cornbread… because cornbread is really good dipped in tomato-based soups, if you ask me.

This makes a TON of soup, and we have been/will be eating leftovers all week.  But we don’t mind.

Making Vegetable Beef Soup | Oysters & Pearls

Look how colorful it is!  With lean meat and all those fresh (organic and locally grown) veggies, it’s definitely good for you.

Recipe for Vegetable Beef Soup | Oysters & Pearls

And don’t let my list of in-house veggies lock you down.  Feel free to add spinach (one of my personal favorites in vegetable soup), collards, mustards, peas, beans, potatoes… always let your conscience be your guide.

Easy Recipe for Fresh Vegetable Beef Soup | Oysters & Pearls

It might be the easiest, most heart-warming, delicious soup ever!  And an awesome way to get your veggies in all at once.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a very girlie Friday Finds post!  But in the mean time, what’s your favorite veggie in veggie soup?

Mine always has been/always will be the okra. Always.

And a enormous HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet friend and favorite Boston eskimo, Brittney!


Miss you (and Salty Dog) and hope you have an amazing day today!!  Harold also sends his love. <3

Until Next Time

Meatless Monday: Creme Fraiche Pasta

Top of the morning to ya!

Thank you to everyone who left such nice comments for me and for Marc on Friday’s post.  I really enjoyed writing it, and I’m so grateful to have a platform to share the things I eat, see, do and find with y’all.  Days like Friday make me so glad I started writing this blog way back in January! :)  I hope everyone who orders a cutting board from him absolutely loves it! (I know you will.)

Today I’m flashing back to last Monday and the meatless Monday meal that Wheat (at first begrudgingly) admitted was pretty dern delicious, even without any meat.

Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

This meal started out with a kitchen, garden, and pantry evaluation.

What do I have?  And how in the world can I make a meal of it?

Last weekend I had made an experimental batch of creme fraiche, which I was dying to use somehow.  We had a box of pasta, lemons, and fresh parsley growing in the herb garden.  Put it together, and it made a really tasty pasta dish!

As for the creme fraiche, you can either make it yourself like I did, buy it, or substitute sour cream, or even plain greek yogurt.  But it’s pretty cool making it yourself!

How to Make Homemade Creme Fraiche | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Creme Fraiche Recipe

Mix two parts heavy cream with a little less than one part buttermilk in a jar.  Leave at room temperature partially covered for 24 or more hours.  I use a coffee filter and a jar band to keep the critters out.

After a day or two, give it a stir and refrigerate.  It will be thick and resemble sour cream, but it has a nutty flavor that is delicious!

Use it as a sauce for pasta or meats, add a dollop to fresh fruit, soups, or anything else.  Sweeten it a bit and use it to layer between and/or ice cakes, top pies… the possibilities are endless!

Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese for Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

Spicy Creme Fraiche Pasta Recipe


for the gremolata

– 1 small bunch parsley (about 1/2 cup chopped)
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– zest of one small lemon

for the pasta

– 1/2 pound (1/2 a box) of rotini pasta
– 1/2 cup creme fraiche
– 2 tablespoons-ish olive oil
– 1/2 cup or so grated parmesan reggiano
– a heaping half-teaspoon red pepper flakes
– juice of one lemon
– salt & pepper to taste


make the gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest with a spoon or spatula.

cook’s note: gremolata is an Italian condiment, usually served with ossobucco.  However, it’s delicious on lots of things (including this pasta), especially rich dishes.

Cook your pasta according to package directions, until al dente.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the creme fraiche with the olive oil and lemon juice until combined, then add the parmesan, red pepper, and gremolata and mix until combined.  When the spaghetti is cooked, use a pasta grabber to transfer the pasta directly into the bowl of sauce.  Toss until the pasta is coated evenly, divide into serving portions and serve immediately.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  optional: garnish with extra parmesan, a drizzle of EVOO, and/or a lemon wedge.

Fresh Parsley for Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

I was going to post this last week, but didn’t want to give away too many hints about my new cutting board before that post went live on Friday.  However, homegrown parsley on my tobacco slat cutting board is awfully pretty, I have to say.

Fresh Gremolata for Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

Gremolata is really pretty, too.  Gremolata whipped into butter on a steak would be divine!

Creme Fraiche Pasta for Meatless Monday | Oysters & Pearls

But it pairs perfectly with rich creme fraiche.  If you’re averse to spicy, you may want to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes, but we liked the kick.

Spicy Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

You can use whatever type pasta you prefer as well.  We just had rotini on hand, but I like rotini for this because the sauce per noodle ratio ends up a lot higher than your average spaghetti.

This pasta would be awesome with a grilled chicken breast, seared scallops, or fish on top.  Ya know, if it isn’t meatless Monday.

The plates weren’t garnished, but the table was, with some fall wildflowers and beauty berries from the farm.  Fall wildflowers are one of the many, many reasons this is my favorite time of year!

Fall Wildflowers & Beauty Berries | Oysters & Pearls

In other unsurprising news, Harold rolled in something YET AGAIN and had to get a bath YET AGAIN… and he hated it YET AGAIN.

Harold After His Bath | Oysters & Pearls

What a cruel, unjust world it is, huh Harold?

Until Next Time