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back burner

Something highly unusual happened on the way to my 2013 Fall Craft Party.

I sorta forgot about the food.

Honestly, it completely slipped my mind … until the morning of.

no food on table

That is seriously out of character for me!

Food is always the main thing that I plan nearly every party around. It’s my centerpiece, the reason I have a party in the first place.


This time I was so into the craft aspect; what we’d make, collecting the necessary supplies for each project (9 in all!), deciding how to display each option, writing up and printing out the instruction sheets for each.

pumpkin cart

Tallying up my expenses and figuring out how much to charge for each craft – OK, that means high-level math was involved, so you can just imagine how many hours of my valuable time that took! Dear Lord, no wonder I forgot about the food!

Anyhow, the morning of the party, I tossed around ideas – a large table of appetizers is always fun but it’s too time-consuming to put together within my restrictive 9-hour time frame.

Chili! That’s the perfect solution!

Exceedingly easy to slap together. Plus it’s tummy-warming and satisfying on a nice October evening.

So chili it was. I jumped in the car and flew into Trader Joe’s; bought a bunch of flowers, cheese, crackers, wine, juices, chili fixings, and sweets.

And that was that.

Here is the first of two chili recipes I’ll be sharing with you… then, later in the week, we’ll get to the crafts.

If the portions in my photos look off from the portions I list on the recipe – I doubled mine –  remember… I was feeding 24 lovely ladies dinner.

blackbean pumpkin chili

And if you are dying to ask – “What is that waffle doing alongside your chili?”

cornbread waffle iron

Those my friends are a cornbread waffle! Honestly, just pour the cornbread batter into your waffle iron, and presto – cornbread waffles –  golden crispy goodness! No messing with a muffin pan, just cook them up, place them on cooling racks and then reheat in the oven until ready to serve. Easy as can be.

Wish I’d have thought of it – but no, I found the brilliant idea on Pinterest.

cornbread waffles

Pumpkin, Black Bean & Beef Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 poblano pepper; cored, seeded, and diced
1 yellow bell pepper; cored, seeded, and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (15 ounces) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounces) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth or water
Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, for topping

tomato, black bean, pumpkin

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and both peppers and sauté until onion is translucent about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for a minute.

brown the beef

Stir in the ground beef, and cook until evenly brown.

dump the cans

Add black beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, and spices. Then add chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes.

Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve, topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Serves 8 to 10

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1 Sheila { 10.21.13 at 8:06 AM }

Can’t wait to make this, it was my favorite!

2 Tram Mai { 10.21.13 at 8:11 AM }

Food is the main reason why I came!!! (I’m totally making this chili- delicious!!) I love my craft (pedestal and succulent) too!! Always a great party at Linda Land! 🙂

3 Sydney { 10.21.13 at 10:33 AM }

The best evening! Delicious food and good friends, what could be better.Great way to celebrate fall and the cooler temps.

4 Raechel Rosen { 10.21.13 at 4:56 PM }

Such a fun night and the food was fabulous! Will be making this soon.

5 Lori V { 10.21.13 at 6:05 PM }

Hey Linda:
Everything looked amazing on your table scapes, and pumpkin in a chili recipe . . . .very interesting and creative for the season! So sad I couldn’t come! I know everyone appreciated having such a fun event to go to. Miss you! oxox

P.S. Great cart in your yard :)))

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