Chili and Cornbread Cookoff

I am dreaming of scenes like this photo from my seat in this season-less desert. We’re still in the 90’s lately, can you imagine! But the nights/mornings are cool and we open the windows to get the slightest of fall chill.

Halloween is fast approaching and with that comes the annual church trunk-or-treat, and Chili and Cornbread competition! My dad usually entered the competition with the spiciest chili recipe he could think up—I get my love of spicy foods from him—but this is the first time I’ll be entering on my own.  As for cornbread, well, on the off chance I make any it is from a box and far too crumbly, so this is the perfect chance to find a fabulous recipe.

Here are my top three cornbread recipes to try:

Bacon Cheddar Corn Bread –uses cake flour instead of corn meal, but has whole kernels of corn in it, so technically it’s still cornbread right?

Sweet Cornbread — a classic cornbread recipe, but you whip the egg whites separately, almost creating a meringue, and fold them into the batter last.

Pumpkin Cornbread — I love anything pumpkin related, but does it go as well with chili? It uses cornmeal and creamed corn, so plenty of corn flavor still, but it also uses molasses which I don’t keep on hand, and I kind of hate buying an ingredient for just one recipe.

Navajo Cornbread –Has diced jalapenos, green onions and cheese in it and I love all things spicy and cheesy

And here are my top contestants for chili recipes to try:

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili — Um, it has jalapenos, bacon, and cream cheese in it–enough said.

Crockpot Chili — It has just about every spice out there in it, plus cocoa powder (apparently it’s the secret for getting a smoky taste?). It also mixes sausage with the ground beef, and says it’s best when cooked for essentially 2 days!

Quinoa Chili — A very different direction, since it’s meatless, and I love meat, but quinoa is a good protein too, so it’d still be hearty. Plus it also has a good list of spices.


Odds are, that whichever chili recipe I choose I will up the spice factor. And for cornbread I don’t have any fantasies that I’ll win the contest, but I am excited to simply find something more edible than the box mix.

Which recipes would you choose?


Crisp Air

Despite our strange weather where it is hot one day and chilly the next, fall is definitely in the air. The mornings are particularly crisp and pleasant and it seems to be universally acknowledged that fall is the best of the four seasons.


Wallaby woke with a cold yesterday, which makes this the second time he has been sick in his whole existence, meaning that we as parents fuss over him probably more than necessary due to inexperience in this field. We spent yesterday with the humidifier humming and tissues scattered on the floor, reading books and watching The Tigger Movie—Wallaby loves anything with music. Thankfully Wallaby has been a happy camper with his runny nose that has now been wiped on every surface of our home. Time to disinfect.

This morning we woke to cold showers, and no pilot light on the water heater. Luckily my family is visiting this week, so I’ll have a little project for my dad to teach me when he gets here. I would do it myself as the directions seem fairly simple, but the water heater has signs stickered to it warning of possible gas leaks and exploding your house, so I’ll leave this to someone who has done it before.

In other news, we have finally decided on a Halloween costume for Wallaby. With so many cute options for babies it has been impossibly hard to decide, and then we were considering possible family costumes, but I don’t know that that will happen. Wondering what we have picked? Well too bad you will simply have to wait in suspense.

Over the weekend Wallaby discovered his love of popcorn just like his dadThe Grizzly Kid eats popcorn several times a week. Wallaby pulled the funniest scrunched up faces to fit those kernels in his mouth.


He kept looking at us to check if we were going to take it away from himwe were having too much fun watching him to worry about nutritional value.


I hope your fall is as lovely as ours is shaping up to be! And have you given costumes any thought? What will you be? or do you feel like you are too old to dress up, because sometimes the party-pooper in me feels that way.