Uncle Ben's Six Gun Chili

Uncle Ben's Six Gun Chili 


2 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green pepper
4 cl. garlic, minced
5 T chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. dry mustard
2 t. paprika
1/4 t. crushed red chili peppers
2 16oz. cans tomatoes w/juice
3 15oz. cans pinto beans
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper


Brown beef, stir in onion, green pepper, garlic, cook until soft
Add seasonings and tomatoes, cover and simmer 1 hour
Remove cover, add beans, simmer uncovered 1 hour
Serve w/ tortilla chips 

Crock Pot/Freezer Meals

A few quick notes about freezing meals for the crockpot:

Many recipes direct the meat to be pre-cooked (chicken, steak, sausage, etc.). Raw meat cooks just fine over the 6-8 hours in the crock pot, and can actually add to the flavor of the surrounding sauce and veggies. Pre-cooking it only adds an extra, unnecessary steps. A few recommendations:

Chicken: Cut chicken breasts into cubes, or at least 4-5 pieces to allow more of the flavor out and in while cooking. You can always shred chicken about 2-3 hours into the cook and add it back to the post. This is especially advised for chicken tacos, and any chicken recipe that will be served over pasta.

Pork: Ground pork is fine in the crock pot, but break it up or shred into small pieces like you would if frying in a pan. If adding bacon to a recipe, best to fry it separately and add it at the end. Pork can also be shredded several hours into the cook if being used for BBQ or tacos.

Beef: Try to use either ground turkey or lean ground beef to avoid too much fat being rendered when cooking. If this is a concern, definitely brown the beef in a pan and drain the extra fat.

Potatoes: They tend not to do very well after being frozen, usually turning a bit mushy. I've started slicing or cubing them fairly large so they hold together over the long cook time.

Liquids: If a recipe is too thick, it's always okay to add a bit of liquid. Stock or cream is best (depending on the recipe) since water will only dilute flavors. If sauce is too thin or soupy, make a quick roux on the stone (equal parts butter and flour, whisked together). A roux added to soupy sauces will thicken it, depending on how much of it is added. DO NOT add flour or cornstarch directly to warm sauces as you will end up with lumps in your sauce - always mix with butter separately in a pan, THEN add to crock pot.

Cheese: It's always best to add cheese when the cook is almost finished. Cream cheese does best cubed and added to the top of the pot before the cook, and being stirred in before eating.

Veggie Lasagna with Cream & Red Sauce

Zuchinni and eggplant stacked a creamy, three-cheese sauce and smothered with our homemade red sauce.


8 Lasagna noodles 
2 T butter 
1t garlic 
½ c zucchini 
½ c eggplant 
1c red bell pepper 
½ c onion 
½ t salt 
¼ t pepper 
2T basil 
1t oregano 
1 egg
1c Mozz 
1/2c parm 
15 oz ricotta 
2 toms 

2 T butter 
2T flour 
¼ t salt 
¼ t pepper 
1 c milk 
1 c shredded mozzarella 
¼ c chopped parsley 
1 T basil 
2 T parm 


Heat oven to 350. Cook noodle according to directions
Melt 2 T butter, saute garlic
Add remaining ingredients sans cheeses, tomatoes, and noodles
Cook over med until veggies are crisp tender (5 min)
Stir together egg and cheeses, stir in tomatoes and cooked veggies
Place about ½ c filling on one end of each noodle, roll up jelly roll fashion
Place seam side down in baking pan, fill in around roll-ups with excess fliing
Melt 2 T butter over med heat, add flour, ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, make roux
Add milk, cook until it thickens
Stir in Mozz, 1 T parsley, 1 T basil
Melt cheese (2-4 min)
Pour over roll-ups, sprinkle with 2 T Parm
Bake 25-30 min

Split Pea & Ham Soup

Hearty pureed split peas slow simmered with ham hock, carrots, celery, and shredded ham steak.


1 pound dried split peas
1 ham hock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound Smithfield ham, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh thyme


Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain the peas and set aside.

Score the ham hock. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. (Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)

Remove the bay leaf and discard. Adjust the seasoning, to taste

Skillet Jambalaya

Cajun shrimp, andouille sausage slices, and a peppery tomato gravy served over brown garlic rice.


2 tablespoons olive oil 
3 cups chopped onions 
1 cup chopped green bell pepper 
1 cup chopped celery
1 lb medium shrimp 
7 bay leaves 
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced 
1 (26 5/8 ounce) can chopped tomatoes 
2 tablespoons chopped garlic 
2 teaspoons salt 
1 teaspoon cayenne 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
2 cups long-grain white rice 
1/2 cup barbecue sauce 
1/2 cup chopped green onion 


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion, bell pepper and celery and saute for 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the shrimp and bay leaves and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes.
Add the sausage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes (with juice), garlic, salt, cayenne, pepper and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add the rice and stir to mix.
Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until the rice is done and liquid is absorbed.
Stir in barbecue sauce.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves.

Stir in green onions.

Italian Broccoli


1 large head broccoli, cut into florets 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
4 shallots, thinly sliced 
1 sweet red pepper, sliced into rounds 
1⁄4 cup asiago cheese, grated 
salt and pepper 
red pepper flakes 


Place the broccoli in a steamer basket.
Steam over boiling water in a large covered saucepan for 3-5 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender.
Transfer to large bowl.
Saute the garlic, red pepper and shallots in a large skillet with the olive oil for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add the broccoli and mix well.
Add the salt, black pepper, red-pepper flakes and Asiago cheese.
Toss lightly.  

Down South Chicken Pot Pie

Shredded chicken, carrots, potatoes, and peas in a savory southern gravy and baked between our homemade pie crust.


2 c flour 
1/4 t salt 
2/3 c butter
¼ c water

2 ½ c cooked cubed/shredded chicken 
2 c. peas 
¼ c. finely copped onion 
3 med sliced carrots 
2 med potatoes, peeled, cubed 

6 T butter 
6 T flour 
2 c. half and half
1 c chicken broth
1 t salt 
½ t pepper 


Heat oven to 375. In large bowl stir together 2c flour and ¼ t salt.
Cut in 2/3 c butter until crumbly. Mix in water with fork.
Divide dough into 2/3 and 1/3 portions, set aside 1/3 dough
Roll 2/3 dough into 14” circle 1/8” thick
Gently fit into 3 qt. Deep dish
In large bowl combine filling ingredients, set aside
In 2 qt. Saucepan melt 3 T butter, stir in 3 T flour – make roux
Whisk in half and half, broth, s&P
Continue cooking until thick.
Stir hot sauce into filling, spoon into crust
Roll reserved dough into 10” circle 1/8” thick
Place on top of pie, flute edges to seal
Make 3 small slits in top crust
Lightly brush top with milk
Bake 50-60 min or until golden brown.