Tag Archives: chili

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Wondermom Wannabe

Bring some heat to your Valentine’s Day with this Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! I know it’s the middle of winter, but in my opinion, ice cream is a key part of a balanced diet year round. One of my best friends and I have a (not so) secret dream of opening up an ice cream shop someday. Granted right now we live on opposite coasts and are employed in a totally different line of work but we still talk about our future ice cream shop almost every time we chat. So each time I try out a new ice cream flavor I can chalk it up to future job training, right?

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Anyway, I first made Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream a few years ago. It was actually my dessert entry for a chili cook off and I won for that category. This ice cream is smooth and very rich. Cinnamon adds most of the spice but if you really want to feel the heat, you can also add a crushed dried pequin chili pepper. Almonds and chocolate chips add texture to this otherwise silky dessert.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

I started off by melting bittersweet and unsweetened baking chocolate in a double boiler while simultaneously bringing milk and cream to a boil in a large saucepan. I added the just boiled milk and cream to egg yolks beat with brown sugar, while whisking constantly to avoid scrambled eggs! Once combined I poured it all back into the saucepan and stirred constantly until it reached 170F on a candy thermometer, creating a custard, which I strained through a fine sieve.

Once strained, I stirred in the melted chocolate, cinnamon, and a touch of Kahlua, which is optional. Then I poured the mixture into the bowl of my ice cream machine and let the magic happen. I’m lucky enough to have a self-cooling machine, so I don’t have to let the mixture cool first (yay for less waiting for ice cream!) but depending on your ice cream machine you may need to let the mixture sit in your fridge to cool down for a bit before freezing.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

At the very end of the freezing process, I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and toasted blanched almond slivers. This is where the crushed pequin chili pepper goes too if you’re using it. I skipped it this time around knowing that my toddler would be begging for a taste but I’ve used the pepper all the other times I’ve made the ice cream and it does add heat but is totally bearable since you have the cool creaminess of the frozen dessert to counteract the heat of the peppers. Just a note: make sure to wear gloves when crushing up the chili…the oil is no joke if you accidentally touch your face afterwards!

So spice up your Valentine’s Day, or any other day, with Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! XOXO!

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream


Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 quarts

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup skim milk

6 large egg yolks

1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)

1/3 cup toasted blanched almond slivers

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon crumbled pequin chilies (optional)–this is 1 chili pepper


1. Melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

2. In a large saucepan, combine the cream and the milk and bring just to a boil. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the brown sugar. Add the cream mixture to the egg yolks in a steady stream, whisking continuously, then return the mixture back to the saucepan.

3. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches 170F on a candy thermometer. Strain through a fine sieve, then whisk in the melted chocolate, the cinnamon, and the Kahlua if using.

4. Let the mixture cool and freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the final few minutes of the freezing process, add in the almonds, chocolate chips, and crumbled chili pepper if using. Transfer to a freezer-safe container to store.


Three Bean Chili & Homemade Chili Seasoning

The Super Bowl is almost here and while football is not really my thing, any “holiday” where food features prominently is worth celebrating, I suppose. Chili is certainly a popular football game day dish judging by the zillion or so recipes for chili I found on a Pinterest search. So why is mine worth a try? Well, your whole family can eat and enjoy it. Your mouth will not be ablaze with the fire of 10 million habaneros, however your taste buds won’t be bored either. There is a touch of spice, yes, but the spice level was more than tolerable enough for my toddler, yet the chili was full of flavor thanks to my original spice blend. Also, this chili is quick to make. It doesn’t have to sit in a crockpot all day while you’re waiting to eat. You can certainly let it simmer on the stove for a bit to let the flavors meld or keep it in a crockpot on warm after cooking but if you want to make this chili after work for a weeknight dinner, no problem.

Three Bean Chili with Homemade Chili Seasoning

So here goes…brown ground beef, onion, and chopped bell pepper in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Drain off any excess grease then add in tomatoes and the three beans. To be clear, that’s three types of beans: black beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. Then it’s time to add the spice.

Three Bean Chili

The original version of this recipe called for store bought chili seasoning. I opted to create my own. Another Pinterest search revealed a number of posts on homemade chili seasonings so I took the the best from each of them and ended up using dried minced onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and some brown sugar to balance out the smokiness of the paprika.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Homemade Chili Seasoning

After all the ingredients were in the pot, I brought the chili to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with whatever toppings you prefer. I just like crushed tortilla chips for the crunchy contrast but sour cream, shredded cheese, or diced jalapenos would all work great. Enjoy the game!

Side note: this recipe serves about 8-10 but if you’re not feeding a crowd, the leftovers freeze really well. Just thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in a pot on the stove.

Three Bean Chili


Three Bean Chili

Yield: serves 8-10

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

2 – 16 ounce cans dark red kidney beans

2 – 16 ounce cans pinto beans

2 – 16 ounce cans black beans

1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles

1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste

homemade chili seasoning (one batch, or to taste) or 2 packages store bought chili seasoning

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed

crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, or shredded cheese to garnish


1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper. Drain excess grease.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes and tomato paste, chili seasoning, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.

3. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.


Homemade Chili Seasoning

Yield: enough seasoning for 2 pounds of beef/8 servings of chili

2 tablespoons dried minced chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Mix together all the spices in a bowl. Use right away for chili or store in a sealed jar for future use.


Chunky Vegetarian Chili with Thyme Cornbread

Today was one of those rare days when daycare was open and I had the day off from work. Since it was my son’s first day in his new class I sent him anyway and took the time to catch up on some cleaning and organizing projects. Before I knew it I had only an hour left until I needed to pick him up and I wanted to get dinner cooked before then, since he’s not so patient about watching me cook and he’s too little to help.

This chili was super fast to make. I got it simmering away in enough time to make cornbread and get a shower in before picking up the munchkin.

I roughly chopped up an onion, half an orange bell pepper, half a green bell pepper, and a couple cloves of garlic and sautéed them in some vegetable oil in my Dutch oven.


After that I added the seasonings, two cans of stewed tomatoes, two cans of rinsed and drained black beans, and a can each of rinsed and drained kidney and pinto beans. After bringing to a boil I reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.


The cornbread was also really quick. After preheating the oven and coating an 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray, I combined a cup of all purpose flour, 3/4 cup of yellow cornmeal, a tablespoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. I added 3 tablespoons of buttermilk powder. It would definitely be fine to use real buttermilk instead, just omit the water. I like to keep the buttermilk powder on hand for spur of the moment uses. To the dry ingredients, I added 3/4 cup of water, an egg, 1/2 cup frozen corn, 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. I stirred it until it was moist then transferred the batter to the pan and baked for 25 minutes.

I still made it to pick up my son on time. And as a bonus, he really liked the cornbread and seemed to enjoy the chili as well….more made it into his mouth than onto my floor, so I’m calling it a success!


Chunky Vegetarian Chili (adapted from Cooking Light Soups & Stews Tonight!)

Yield: 8 servings (1 cup each)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15 ounces each) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 ounces each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounces) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounces) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

The Recipe
1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Thyme Cornbread (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010)

Yield: 9 pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder -or- 3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup water (omit if using buttermilk)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme (1 1/2 tablespoons if using fresh thyme)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Cooking spray

The Recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat an 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk powder.

3. Add the water (or buttermilk if using instead of the powder), oil and stir until moistened. Then add the corn, thyme, and garlic and combine.

4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out dry.


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