Tag Archives: recipe

A Recipe for Hunting Season

30 Sep

Hunting season is in full swing here in Minnesota, and Travis’ family’s annual elk hunting trip to Colorado is coming up in just a week. This recipe for elk chili has been a staple at elk camp for the past 5 years or so, AND it won our church’s chili cookoff twice. The first time it won was the first time I had ever made it! So it started off as a great recipe, and after making it three dozen times or so, I’ve made a few tweaks that have only made it better. I almost always use elk meat, but this chili can be made with any ground venison or even ground beef. It’s a great thing to serve hungry hunters after they’ve been out searching for their prey, or a tasty way to cook the fruits of their labor. Best part, it can be made in a crockpot or on the stove. Enjoy!

Elk Chili
Adapted from this recipe
Serves 4-5 hungry hunters


1 lb ground elk meat
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp butter (only if cooking on stove)
30 oz tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar


1. Brown elk meat in a large skillet and drain excess fat.
2. (Skip this step if using a crockpot.) In separate pan, melt butter over low-medium heat and saute onion until tender.
3. Combine drained meat, onion, and remaining ingredients in a crockpot or in a large pot on the stove. Stir well.
4. If using a crockpot, set temperature on low and cook 6-8 hours. If cooking on the stove, bring to a simmer and cook 1-2 hours.
5. Serve hot and enjoy! We like to eat ours adorned with sour cream and cheese, with a side of yummy cornbread, but it’s delicious on its own too!

Happy Hunting!

Tasty Tofu

29 Jun

{While I’m off whale-watching in Alaska, please enjoy these posts from the archives and random thoughts library of Life, Really.}

Tofu used to intimidate me (now tempeh does that). The whole “drain the water out of it before you use it” thing somehow seemed like a lot of work for something that Travis doesn’t really like eating in the first place. (But he doesn’t even like the tofu from Noodles & Co, which is beyond crazy if you ask me, because their tofu is delicious.)

But I finally overcame my fear and decided to try making tofu. The first recipe I used called for cubing the tofu, covering it in flour, and then sauteing it. I ended up with a slimy disgusting mess. Nope, not it.

Then I found a recipe that called for baking the tofu. That seemed more my speed. So bake I did and I’ve never looked back.

Here are my tips for baking tofu quickly – the whole process takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish (‘draining’ time included).

Tasty Tofu

I always buy extra firm tofu – the brand doesn’t matter (to me).

When I’m ready to prepare dinner, I preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While it’s heating up, I take the tofu out its water-filled package, place it on a cutting board, and use paper towels to ‘drain’ it. It takes quite a few paper towels (shhh… don’t tell the environment) but it works and it’s quick. Press firmly (but not hard, you don’t want to destroy it!) on every side of the tofu until your paper towels are no longer getting soaked with water. This is a guesstimate.

Then, I cut it into roughly 3/4 inch cubes.

I prepare a baking sheet by covering it with tinfoil (for easy cleanup) and spraying the tinfoil with nonstick spray. Then I distribute the tofu evenly across the sheet, spray it with the nonstick spray and sprinkle all of it with paprika.

Then I bake it in my pre-heated oven for roughly 15 minutes at 425 degrees. It’s done when the outside is just a little crispy. The inside should be soft but cooked.

This tofu goes really well with one of my favorite recipes of all time: Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta.

And that’s how easy it is to make tofu!

Now I just have to take the plunge with tempeh…

My crockpot experience

11 Feb

I finally used my crockpot last night to make chicken wild rice soup. It turned out good–a little runny but it tasted good. I think next time, I’ll use less chicken broth.

Here’s the recipe:

8 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream or half&half
chicken, cooked and diced
1 carrot, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cups wild rice
4 tbsp flour
1/2 cup butter
White pepper

Cook the wild rice according to package directions.

Saute the following for 3 minutes in the butter (I used olive oil and a little butter): carrots, celery, onion, and chicken. Sift the flour in gradually. Don’t brown.

In a crockpot or 4-5 quart kettle, combine: chicken broth, chicken/veggies, and rice. Add white pepper to taste. Put on low setting.

Add cream 1 hour before serving.

While I was preparing the soup, Travis took our Focus to a friend’s house to replace our brake pads and rotors. I felt like such a traditional couple–me in the kitchen cooking, him in the garage working on cars. It’s funny how before I started dating Travis, I never actually cooked. I would make mac and cheese and pizza. But I never made things with chicken (too much work) or things that required multiple ingredients and didn’t come in a box. Oh, how I’ve branched out now!