Category Archives: Entertaining

Christmas at Biltmore

Christmas at Biltmore Estate:  Our #2 favorite vacation spot for Christmas!  #1 is, of course, our home.  If you have not visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it is a must-see, must-do vacation.  There are so many wonderful and fun things to do, a true spirit of historical Christmas.  Visit their website here for their Christmas and holiday videos, photo slideshows and all of the festivities for the holidays.  We will share lots more over the next few weeks of our favorites from our Christmas vacations at Biltmore.  Watch for them!  Until then, take a trip here!

 

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It’s Clydes Chili Feast Time

It’s CHILI FEAST time again!  The cold, wind and snow, yes, snow! has brought us back to this yummy recipe!


It’s the big game time and that means lots of yummy-gooey-spicy-thick chili and sandwiches on the menu.   I will share my fave easy ones that are great for quick chili when time and table require it.

Our fave local chili is the world-famous chili from Clydes of Georgetown.  My friends/family know this is the one I always make for the short version and have loved it since the first time on a cold winter day in Washington, DC’s Georgetown Clyde’s, I had it for lunch.  It has been a favorite ever since I have shared the recipe.,  Clyde’s now has the recipe on their website for download.  Here it is so do yourself a favor and make a pot for the Super Bowl and put on your “staple” list for a regular cold-weather dinner.

Clyde’s Famous Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound small-diced onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1½ pounds ground beef
1 25-ounce can chili beans
1 12-ounce jar chili sauce
2 tablespoons light chili powder
¼ cup dark chili powder*
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In a heavy-bottomed pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil until golden brown. Add the beef to the onions and cook until it is about medium rare. Don’t stir the beef around too much—you want to have some large clumps of beef in the finished product. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until just blended. (It may seem like a lot of powder, but that’s why they call it chili!)

Cook the chili over medium heat for about ten minutes, just until the meat is fully cooked. Don’t overcook it! Serve with ice-cold beer and condiments such as shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and minced onions.

Serves six to eight.

*Light chili powder has more of the hot seeds or flakes ground with the pods. Using more of the dark powder makes this chili a little sweeter. If you can’t find light chili powder, use a little extra of the dark powder.

You can visit Clyde’s for more of their recipes here:  Clydes

Our second easy fav:   Martha Stewart for their recipe for a really yum chili from the book “Mad Hungry,”  by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

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Photo Credit:  Martha Stewart

Heavenly Holiday Desserts…mmmm cake!

Heavenly Holiday Desserts

They look impressive and taste divine, but the really extraordinary thing about these fabulous desserts is how easy they are to prepare

Fig Cake

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fig preserves
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting
Garnishes: dried figs, fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs

Preparation
Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add buttermilk and vanilla; beat well.

Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended. Fold in fig preserves, applesauce, and toasted pecans. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store in refrigerator. Garnish, if desired.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Braswell’s Pure Fig Preserves. Coarsely chop figs, if necessary.

Southern Living, DECEMBER 1999
Photo: Charles Walton; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr

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