Sunday, January 18, 2015


Chili on the menu for a cold winter's day!

After all the festive holiday decorations are put away everything looks a  little bare so I love using my Juliska Winter Frolic for its beautiful patterns and the red and while color. I think it is perfect to use Christmas through Valentine's Day. I enjoy setting the buffet in the dinning room for coffee, hot chocolate and dessert but today I am serving up bowls of piping hot chili. With just the two of us, I am using trays to enjoy eating in the family room. I have been using the platter as a centerpiece on the table adding a glittering white grapevine wreath. Sitting on the platter is a Jay Strongwater bird (a birthday gift from my sister), a beautiful dark red with lots of sparkle, y'all know how I love sparkle and glitter! The dessert plates have four different scenes, you can see them here in a post I did last year for Valentine's Day. 

Chili will warm you to your toes!

Solid white dinner plate.

Dessert plates.

Bowls dotted with snowflakes.

Such a pretty place setting.

Chili recipe ingredients

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large onion, diced
1 Medium bell pepper, diced
2 Small red and yellow peppers, diced
2 Tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 Pounds ground or cubed sirloin
1 (28 ounce) carton beef broth 
1 (28 ounce) can finely chopped or crushed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley, fresh or dried
Water as needed for desired thickness

And my surprise ingredients for extra flavor? 

1 Large or 2 medium diced green tomatoes
1 Cup salsa verde


 Sour cream
Grated cheese
Finely chopped scallions

This is the recipe I use most often when I make chili. It makes a lot with leftovers for lunch for a day or two and it only gets better in the frig! This recipe is mild, not hot, I don't like hot but if you do just add whatever you like. I love that it is easy and I try to keep it healthy by using low or no salt products. Salt and pepper to taste.

Brown meat in oil, add chili and cumin. Stir to coat.

Add diced peppers, onion and green tomato(s).

Add beef broth and cook on low until vegetables are soft. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa verde, black beans and parsley. Stir and mix well. Simmer for twenty minutes and serve with toppings as desired. I sometimes serve this over rice or with a grilled cheese sandwich. Delicious!

I love chili, perfect for a quick meal on a cold day. Do you make chili often? I hope you will leave a comment so I will know you stopped by. 
Burrr, it's cold outside!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Thank you

As we approach the end of 2014 I want to thank all of you who visit The French Hutch, leave comments and visit with me through emails. I am truly grateful for your friendship, encouragement and support. I look forward to seeing you in 2015!

This is a post I shared last year. Since we will be going out for dinner I will not be setting a table this New Year’s Eve. I wanted to share this post that had a high number of page views. I hope you don’t mind and enjoy one of my favorite party tables.

I’ve set a place for you tonight at my New Year’s Eve table, along with places for loved ones and friends from long ago. So please join us for a toast at the stroke of midnight as we remember days gone by, and look forward to the start of a new year. In the words of Robert Burns, "let’s sing that sweet song:"

For Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

New Years Eve Tablescape

I love to use mercury glass and all that glitters. It shimmers and sparkles with candlelight. Glitter is my new favorite color!

A touch of blue for a pop of color.

A centerpiece using my glass ornament wreath. I filled it with silver baubles and starry string lights.

Coffee anyone?

A silver tray filled with champagne flutes for ringing in the new year.

Welcome be ye that are here,
Welcome all and make good cheer,
Welcome all, another year.
                             ~author unknown 

And here’s to you, old friends and new alike. Saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming in 2015!