Chili, Casseroles and Birthdays

The past week was a whirlwind of birthdays, starting with my fathers on the nineteenth, my boyfriends on the twenty-first and then my baby sisters husbands on the twenty-third, yeah a lot of testosterone going on here. My sister and I still wonder how we ended up with men who have birthdays that fall during the same week as our father, we think it’s a bad joke played on us by fate :).

The Birthday Boys

The Birthday Boys

This year we are having a little surprise dinner for dad and the guys, nothing too fancy just a way to say happy birthday and we love you. We decided to have a chili contest between my sisters and I and let the guys pick their favorite, even though the only vote that matters is dad’s so of course we are going to do what sisters do and outdo the other to win points with the old man 🙂

Chili & Beer Bread

Chili & Beer Bread

I decide to try a new recipe using black beans and stew beef, even though now that I’m thinking of it I should have used the pork roast (but we’ll save that for another day), my baby sister with her madcap self is opting for canned chili (REALLY!), only because her excuse is that she doesn’t have time to make homemade. Our middle sister we have no idea what kind she’s making we just hope she puts some salt in it or at least something to season it with (the girl’s food is bland). The sad and funny part will be if dad chooses the canned over any of the homemade chili’s and just plain wrong if he goes for the unseasoned chili (so we shall see Saturday night).

Along with the chili I figured I would make some sort of bread and as I thought about what to make biscuits or rolls or something I remembered I had a box of beer bread mix left over from my Tastefully Simple days and decided to fix that up.

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Funny story I was supposed to add some of the Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto to the bread mix to sort of knock it up a little but I mistakenly grabbed the Garlic Pepper seasoning and threw in two tablespoons, oh boy, thank goodness the chili is not too spicy so it will counteract the spiciness of the bread (at least I hope).


Black Bean Chili (Print)

Here’s the recipe I adapted this from

2 lbs boneless beef cubes for stew
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
3 cans black beans
1 can Fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of Espresso vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoons of dark beer (optional)

Mix Espresso vinegar, dark beer and 1 teaspoon of the chili powder and marinate for 30 minutes. Sear in a hot skillet with a little oil (this step is optional)

Put stew beef in crock-pot, sprinkle with the chili powder, cumin and paprika.

Add the onion and minced garlic with the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce.

Drain the cans of beans and add to the crock-pot

Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours

Season with salt and fresh black pepper

TS Cheese & Pepper Beer Bread

Loaf of Beer Bread

Loaf of Beer Bread

1 package of TS Beer Bread
12 oz beer
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons Garlic & Pepper Seasoning
3 tablespoons melted butter
Combine everything and mix together.
Pour into prepared loaf pan
Drizzle melted butter over top
Bake at 350-degree oven for 50-55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Now the chili was for Saturday, what the heck was I going to make for dinner tonight, looking in the fridge I found the leftover pork roast and decided to make a casserole out of that and I have to say that it came out better than I expected, with me just sort of throwing what I had on hand into the mix 🙂

Pork Roast Pasta Casserole (Print)

Pork and Pasta Casserole

Pork and Pasta Casserole

Pasta of your choice (I used Orecchiette that I had in the pantry)
2-½ cups leftover pork roast
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 10-oz package frozen spinach – thawed
Salt and fresh black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; set aside

Dice up pork roast into a large bowel; add soup, cream, cheese, Dijon mustard, spinach and mix well.

Pour over pasta, toss to blend well.

Pour into a prepared pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

PS: My chili won of course 🙂

As you can tell from the photo above the guys were pretty happy, even though the candles I bought for their cakes were the relighting kind so it was funny to watch them try to blow them out, that was fun 🙂

Now your job is to tell me which of these handsome men is my nut? 🙂

About Princess

Hitting the big Five O, and time to do something new in my life!
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5 Responses to Chili, Casseroles and Birthdays

  1. terryb says:

    Nice birthday feast! We have a birthday month like you in December… My husband, myself, two of my kids, and my other son’s birthday is in November. Between the birthdays and the holidays it’s a crazy time of year! … I’m thinking the one on the right is your guy 🙂

    • Princess says:

      Wow, that is a crazy time of the year for you, how do you keep it together 🙂 As for my guy he’s the dorky looking one 🙂

      • terryb says:

        Lol, I don’t keep it together! Several things always end up falling through the cracks. If I try extra, extra hard to stay on top of business, holidays, and birthdays, I sometimes end up so run down that in January I come down with the flu. Better to let things slip a bit!
        … nothing wrong with dorky… I’m known to be a bit dorky myself 🙂

  2. wlloydjr says:

    Gosh I may substitute the Turkey for chili today. Making my mouth water just reading this. I’m going to try these recipes this weekend for football. I may throw in the garlic pepper to see what you guys experienced. Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Princess says:

      🙂 let me know how it turns out and the garlic pepper wasn’t as overpowering as I thought it would be, it just added an extra kick. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours also!

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