Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cinnamon Chipotle Chili

This chili recipe won me first place in a chili cook off competition. I didn’t take note of the exact ingredient measurements before the cook off so I recreated the recipe a second time making sure I took good notes. Please note this is a lot of chili…if you don’t have a large enough crock pot and chili pot, you may want to reduce in half. The chili base sauce is made large enough to split between two different meat types. The end result has a crock pot serving of shredded beef (you can use venison or a chuck roast) chili and a second pot of ground beef chili. Also, depending on your desired heat level, you may wish to increase the amount of chipotle peppers and/or cayenne pepper. I usually start with a milder base for my family and add more heat for myself. Once the meat and chili base sauce is prepared (it will cook and simmer most of a day), I recommend letting it “cold brew” in the refrigerator for a couple of days before reheating and eating as a meal (or entering a chili cook off). Enjoy!

Meat Base 1:

  • 2 – 3 pounds of chuck roast (or venison)
  • Beef broth
  • Dale’s Steak Seasoning

In a large crock pot, cover the chuck roast (or venison) with 2 cups of beef broth and 12oz of Dale’s Steak Seasoning. Place crock pot on high and let this mixture slow cook for 8-9 hours. When finished, drain off the fluids and shred the meat using a fork. Make sure any fat trimmings are removed. When the meat is fully shredded it will look like beef BBQ. Use half of the chili base sauce and add to the crock pot of shredded meat. Cook on low for at least one hour before serving.

Meat Base 2:

  • 2 – 3 pounds of ground beef (80/20)
  • Beef broth
  • Dale’s Steak Seasoning

About an hour before meat base 1 is ready, start cooking up this mixture. In a large frying pan, add remaining beef broth (approx 1 – 2 cups) and Dale’s Steak Seasoning (about 4oz). Let mixture fry up slowly and drain off all fluids when ready. Mix in the remaining half of the chili base sauce and cook over low heat for about an hour before serving.

Chili Base Ingredients:

  • 3 – 28oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 – 15/16oz cans of yellow corn
  • 1 – 40.5oz can dark kidney beans
  • 1 – 26.5oz can black beans
  • 1 cup (chopped) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 green bell peppers (chopped)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 package McCormick Hot Chili Seasoning Mix (1.25oz)
  • 2 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

Mix all sauce base ingredients very well and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours before adding to the two different meat bases.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Salsa Review

I recently purchased Premium Hot Fire Roasted Salsa at my local Food Lion. I'll normally buy store brand salsa to save a few dollars; however, this product just looked good and to my surprise it was awesome! This might just be the best ever store brand salsa I've ever had and to be totally honest, I also believe this ranks very high when compared to other leading salsa brands. The hot fire roasted salsa has a wonderful flavor and a great spicy kick. If you have a Food Lion near you, I highly recommend that you give this tasty salsa a try - you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I usually visit the Wal-Mart on 2350 S Pleasant Valley Rd in Winchester, VA as this is the closest location to my house; however, I've had a series of poor experiences at this location. Customer service at Wal-Mart can be very hit or miss and today was one of those bad days for the cashier that checked out my order this morning. The older woman (maybe upper 50's?) appeared to be talking to herself as she rang up my purchases. She tried to create small talk with me by referring to my Redskins t-shirt and telling me how football games are "behind schedule" when in fact, this is not the case. Nonetheless, she ended up dropping two items on the floor one of which I picked up for her because she did not appear to be in much of a rush. I used my debit card to pay for my order and selected $20 cash back. While she was handing me my receipt, she started talking to the next customer who happened to be buying an ironing table. She says to the other customer that no one irons any longer and that she better not try to return the ironing board. In her daze of confusion, the cashier closes the register door without handing me my $20. She looks at me still standing in front of her and I stare back and say "Do I get my $20 cash back?" she proceeds to claim this error on a "senior moment." She has to now page a customer service manager because her key won't unlock the register. She complains loudly how the key port has been moved on these registers and and HOW much of a problem this has caused for her. Heck, I figured that she must be use to this because it looks to me that she forgets - or should I say have a senior moment on a regular basis. While we both wait for a CSM to unlock the register, the cashier continues to loudly complain about how long it is taking and all I can think of is if she didn't screw up, I would have been gone about 5 minutes ago!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

3.14 Pizza

Today we held a small party for our 5 year old daughter and ordered 4 pizzas and 24 wings from 3.14 Pizza. The foods was very tasty and enjoyed by all. I really liked the wings with the 3.14 sauce as it has a little spicy kick but not too over powering for those that can't take the heat.

3.14 Pizza is located on Berryville Ave in the Gold's Gym Plaza in Winchester, Va. I've ordered numerous times (both dine in and carry out) from 3.14 and have always been pleased with their food and service. Their chicken wing selection has a variety of sauces to choose from. I especially like the 3.14 sauce, cajun and hot wings. There is also a wide range of subs, sandwiches, burgers and calzones to choose from. But the main menu that I always lean towards is their pizza. Their plain cheese pizza is enjoyed by my kids however, I prefer any of their specialty pizza such as BBQ Chicken or the supreme meat pizza. They even have a gluten free pizza on the menu! This establishment is a nice change of pace from the "regular" run of the mill pizza joints like Pizza Hut, Papa John's and Domino's and it is nice to support a locally run pizza establishment!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mountain View Diner

The Mountain View Diner was recommended by the dentist office that my kids go to in Charles Town, WV. I was told that if you leave and are still hungry, it’s your own fault. Located across the street from the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, this establishment doesn’t appear to be a normal diner at first glance. From the outside appearance itself, it looks about the same size as a Golden Corral restaurant and not the run of your mill small diner that you normally would have expected. There are lots of tables and booths inside and I can see how this place can pack in the crowds! The hostess and wait staff we had during our visit were very friendly. The Charles Town location is open 24 hours (good news for WV gamblers) and serves breakfast all day long. The menu is quite vast and has very reasonable prices.

During our visit, my 4 and 5 year old both ordered the Giraffe kids meal. This meal came with 3 large strips of boneless fried chicken and a ton of fries with a drink for under 5 bucks. Had I known how large of a meal this was, I would have ordered one for both of them to share. As typical with kids, they filled up on fries and we ended up taking home 5 of the 6 chicken strips and a good amount of fries. My 9 year old had a pancake meal that was served with 3 golden pancakes that and a side of sausage. Including her drink, the meal came to about 7 bucks which may appear a little high; however, the pancakes were quite large. My wife ordered a gyro that she claimed was one of the best she’s ever had. With her iced tea, the cost for her meal was about 7 bucks. I had the sliced London broil sandwich that came with fries and coleslaw. The sandwich was too big to pick up with my hands because it was actually an open faced sandwich with the slices of London broil topped with a brown gravy on top of a split kaiser roll. The London broil was tender and very tasty! Including the sprite I had to drink, my meal came to about 13 bucks. I was very pleasantly surprised with this diner and while it’s a little bit of a drive from Winchester (about 30 miles); we will be back for a follow up visit!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Snow White Grill

Located on the old town walking mall in historic Winchester Virginia, the Snow White Grill has been around since the 1940's and still has that old time diner feel and look. Snow White Grill is very small and can get crowded around lunch hours; however, you can always opt for their carry out window and sit outside if the weather is decent. Snow White Grill specializes in the small hamburgers/cheeseburgers commonly know as sliders. When ordered, your burgers come with mustard, pickle and grilled onions. You may want to ask for catchup but don't bother to ask for a burger without onions - you just need to take them off yourself! These small but tasty burgers are a bit hit and go well with their cheese fries, milkshake or birch beer. You may also order other grilled items such has hot dogs and subs but their sliders are the bomb! The burgers are made fresh every day and never frozen. You can also take on their monthly burger challenge: how many burgers can you polish off in 10 minutes! Below is a review I posted on Wincfood.com for one of my visits to Snow White Grill earlier this year.

Took my 4 year old son out to lunch today to the Snow White Grill. We feasted on cheeseburgers, cheese fries and birch beer. While my son didn't like the onions on his burger (note to self for the next visit), I really enjoyed the meal. This is a great old fashion burger joint with the feel that it must have had back in the 50's and 60's. I love this place and look forward to many future meals with my son as he grows up in Winchester. Also, good to know about the burger challenge! Found out today that the record is 12 burgers in 10 minutes...I'm going to try to top that sometime later this year!