Snake Bite Chili

This time of year we love a hearty dinner. Something warm and comforting after a day of full on rain or snow. This Snake Bite Chili recipe is a perfect middle of the week dinner! But mind you, like my friend Lori says, “Chili isn’t a last minute meal”. It truly is an all day or 2 day deal. (its always better the second day as any Chili afficanado will tell you!) Cooking this in the crockpot insures you don’t have to ‘watch and stir’ or risk burning, but you can cook this in a large soup pot on the stove.


For Christmas this year, I got a deep freezer. Complete with bow. I love it, its what I asked for and now keeping a freezer larder is even easier. This recipe makes a huge pot and unless you’re a family of 10 or more, you’ll have plenty to store back for another meal. It freezes beautifully! And its versatile. Make it mild or hot or somewhere in-between  The choice is yours (no mixes or packets involved here!)  Serve this bowl of deliciousness with a slice of cornbread or some crispy tortilla chips and you’ve got a hearty meal that your family will love!

Grab a print and give this one a try! Let me know how you like YOUR chili!

4.6 from 5 reviews

Snake Bite Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade high protein and easy!
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
  • 1 pound dried mixed beans (pinto, red, black (use your favs)) rinsed and picked over, and soaked.
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lean ground beef rough ground
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes (diced canned are fine; don’t bother to drain)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 or 2 fresh or dried hot chilies, seeded and minced (wear gloves)(optional)
  • 1 bottle amber beer
  1. Drain soaked beans and rinse again
  2. Add 6 cups water and ⅛ tsp baking soda to beans in large crock-pot.
  3. Cook on high 4 hours or until soft.
  4. Meanwhile brown ground beef in olive oil and drain well.
  5. To the meat now add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano leaves.
  6. Add meat mixture to cooked beans (don’t drain off the water from the beans).
  7. Stir in tomatoes and Rotel.
  8. Add Dried Chiles and stir well.
  9. Pour in beer and stir again well. (all the alcohol cooks out so its family friendly)
  10. Reduce heat on crock pot to low and allow to cook until beans are at desired softness and mixture has thickened slightly.
  11. Sprinkle on Cinnamon and stir well.
  12. Garnish with your favorite cheddar, sourcream, guacamole or crispy tortilla strips.
If cooking for the family, optionally use Rotel mild and omit the chili peppers.
**The baking soda is a neat trick I learned to take the ‘gas’ out of the beans. Makes them easy to digest.


A Hot Southern Mess™

These pulled pork stuffed potatoes are what I call a ‘Hot Southern Mess™’ because you get all the comfort of a slow cooked pull pork combined with a creamy coleslaw served over a piping hot slow baked potato. A real mess to look at but oh so temptingly tasty. Substitute a medium sized sweet potato and what’s not to love?

Here in the Heart of Dixie we love our barbeque. We don’t push that love to the side, just because the weather’s cooled off or the rain has set in for the weekend! Bring it indoors and love that barbeque anyway. Pulled pork is one of our favorites, any way you can do it.

The beauty of most of my recipes is that whenever there is some item that someone doesn’t like, I just leave it off. So, if you don’t care for coleslaw, skip it!  Prefer your baked potato without sour cream, no dollop for you!  Its all so easy, the kids like making their own and well the adults become kids when this meal hits the table. Use your favorite coleslaw  and baked bean recipes. And again… bring out that slow cooker for the easiest ever pulled pork; so tender it really doesn’t need to be ‘pulled’ just flake apart with a fork.

overstuffed baked potato 10.12

5.0 from 1 reviews

Hot Southern Mess™~Overstuffed Potato
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A typically southern twist on the loaded baked potato.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 6
  • ⅓ cup Spanish paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ground dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 boneless boston butt or shoulder pork roast, trimmed (about 4 lbs)
  • 1 cup Deb’s Best Rib Sauce or your favorite Barbeque Sauce
  • 6 baking potatoes
  1. Combine the rub ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Use a wisk to combine throroughly.
  3. Rinse and pat dry the pork roast and place on foil covered baking pan
  4. Season on all sides with salt and pepper, then sprinkle rub seasonings onto the roast, rubbing into the meat thoroughly.
  5. Turn fat side up, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight
  6. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  7. Place into large crock pot or slow cooker
  8. Pour in 1 cup water
  9. Cover pork with sliced red onions
  10. Cook 8-10 hours on medium or low
  11. Remove pork from cooker and discard onions, as well as the fat layer from the meat and any water and grease that remains in the pot.
  12. When roast is cool enough to handle, use two forks or your hands to shred apart meat
  13. Return meat to slow cooker and add in sauce
  14. Cook for 1½ hours on low
  15. Meanwhile, scrub 6 good sized idaho baking potatoes
  16. Lightly oil and salt skins
  17. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees (approximately 1 hour 15 min)
  18. Create a dotted line from end to end of each potato with a fork, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another. (careful they’re hot)
  19. Top with pulled pork, your favorite creamy coleslaw, sour cream, cheese and chives.
Substitute medium sized sweet potatoes for the Idaho spuds for a taste treat! Don’t forget your favorite baked potato toppings: Grated cheddar cheese Sour Cream Chives (or chopped green onions) Crispy Bacon crumbled


Slow Cooker Holiday Dressing Recipe

This slow cooker holiday dressing  recipe  is one your whole family will enjoy!

There are hundreds of ways to make dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every family has their own special add ins. We like the mushrooms. Feel free to delete them if your family doesn’t like them. Its important that your mixture look like loose cooked oatmeal once you’ve added everything. I’ve given hints to fix your mixture if its too loose or too stiff.

Slow Cooker Holiday Dressing
Prep time
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Save that valuable oven real estate!
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 8
  • 4½ cups cornbread -home made or package
  • 1 bag Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing
  • 1 can chicken broth add gradually until desired consistency
  • 2 cans cream of chicken
  • 1-large Yellow Onion -chopped
  • 1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 cup celery -chopped (otional)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-large eggs-beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Rubbed Sage -to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter -grated
  1. In a heavy skillet, heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, add in the chopped onion, and celery and mushrooms stirring until vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir together cornbread crumbs, stuffing mix, and remaining ingredients except butter in a large bowl.
  3. Add onions, celery and mushrooms.
  4. Stir Well (At this point your mixture should have the consistency of cooked oatmeal, if its too loose, add a bit more of the herbed stuffing mix and corn bread. If its too stiff add in more chicken broth)
  5. Pour cornbread mixture into a lightly greased 5½- or 6-quart slow cooker.
  6. Add the shaved butter on top.
  7. Cook, covered, on LOW 4 hours or until cooked through and set.

Hummingbird Cake {CrockPot Version}

Who doesn’t love cake?  Its my birthday this weekend and of course, I’m making my own cake, but you guessed it, in my crock pot!

When southerners think cake, our minds turn to red velvet (another of my personal faves) , coconut and of course  Hummingbird Cake!  Hummingbird cake is an all time southern fave and was introduced to Southern Living readers in 1978 by Mrs. L. H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. Her version was three layers tall and between each layer was a yummy cream cheese frosting mixture.  Recently Southern Living again posted about  Hummingbird cake when they posted their Top 10 Five-Star Layer Cakes and have even ginned up a lighter version of the cake, still with three layers mind ya and still with a creamy frosting.  Southern Living itself says the recipe for the original is THE most requested recipe in the history of the magazine. For those of us in the south, that’s sayin something!

Rebecca at Ezra Poundcake says ‘Eating a slice of Hummingbird Cake is like falling in love‘ and I’m with her on that!  She’s adapted the original recipe too, and her rendition is gorgeous! Just take a look!  Her whole blog just makes me drool!  I digress..

Here’s my version of Hummingbird Cake, adapted for my crock pot. If you’re looking for a holiday dessert that’s like  a fork full of happiness, give this one a try!

Hummingbird Cake {Crock Pot Version}
Prep time
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Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped firm ripe banana
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times.
  2. Add eggs and salad oil to the dry ingredients.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon (do not use a mixer for this one) until ingredients are moistened.
  4. Stir in vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup pecans.
  5. Stir in the bananas.
  6. Spoon the batter into a well-greased 3½ quart cylindrical Crock-Pot.
  7. Bake for 4-4½ hours.
  8. Cool for at least 30-45 minutes, then turn onto a flat cake plate.
  9. Cool completely before frosting.
  1. Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Gently top with pecans and toasted coconut.

Here are some helpful hints for baking cakes and breads in crock pots.

I’ve gathered these from trial and error and from friends and family. I’m sure some of you have your own tips!

  2. Loosely place a clean kitchen towel on top of your crock and cover with the lid. (several layers of paper toweling also work, but be sure to use plain white ones)
  3. Discerning when a cake in the crock pot is done can be tricky! You can check for by looking at the sides of the cake, which should be browning and separating from the sides of the pot. The top should be firm-looking. (STILL MOIST HOWEVER)
  4. You can also insert a knife or long skewer but it will always be a bit moist. If the top still looks gooey and the sides are still LIGHT, walk away and set your timer for another 30 minutes or so.
  5. Allow your cake to cool for a full 30-45 minutes before you attempt to remove from the crock.  Its going to stay warm for quite a bit, if the crock removes from the heating area, remove it carefully and set on a cold stove top.
  6. A flat icing spatula or good ole kitchen knife run around the sides of the crock will help you loosen it from the sides.
  7. Center a cake plate on top of the pot and flip it over so that the cake falls onto the plate. You may need to give it a little jiggle and a shake and when it has come out, slowly lift up the Crock-Pot.
  8. It’s important to make sure the sides don’t overcook, so done-ness will be a version of the middle being fairly dry and the side being well done but not over-cooked. Even if your cake is a little messy in the middle, don’t stress it. Crock pots are by nature moist environments and  your cake will be a little more moist than you’ve probably cooked before.


What A Crock!


I love my CrockPot .  Particularly in the cooler seasons its my favorite kitchen appliance. Soups to stews, roasts to chickens, cakes, breads, I can do em all in this little beauty. And all, without  paying much attention to it.  Now I ask you, what  man in your life could you say that about ? (I know)  Plus, using my CrockPot helps me save money, and we all like to save. It uses so little electricity (less than your stove-top or oven) and even the least expensive cuts of meats can come out fork tender and delish!

This month, I’m going to be posting  some of my best CrockPot recipes and I’m inviting you all to the party! I know you all have at least one favorite recipe. Whether its a party dip, a tailgating chili,  or even your favorite  pot roast.  Link up with me here and share those fall comfort foods that your CrockPot makes that much easier and that much yummier!

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Southern Style Minestrone Soup

Super easy and a great way to get those vegetables in. Even picky eaters love this soup and cooking in a crock-pot means fuss free! Prep can be done the night before or even days before and additions frozen. We call it clean out the freezer soup around here, because I can use all the bits of frozen veggies I have left over to add in for extra hardiness.

Southern Style Minestrone Soup
Cook time
Total time
Super easy and a great way to get those vegetables in
Serves: 8-12
  • 1 cup Sweet Onion -Diced
  • 1 cup celery -Diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ bag Mixed Dried Beans -Cleaned, Soaked and Drained Well
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Large can VegAll Mixed Vegetables
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 pound Ground Beef -Browned and Drained Well
  • 2 cups Water
  • ½ cup ditalini -Barilla
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  1. Clean, quick soak and drain ½ bag mixed dried beans, set aside.
  2. In a large iron skillet, brown off 1 pound of ground beef, drain well and set aside.
  3. In another iron skillet , heat 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, celery; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In large crockpot (mine is a 6 quart, perfect for soups and chili!) Combine beef and chicken stock, tomato sauce, dried beans, onions and celery, large can of Veg-all® mixed vegetables (drained if preferred),water and ground beef.
  5. Cover and cook on high heat until beans are tender (approx 3hrs)
  6. Add the Ditalini or Pastina in by hand stirring well after each addition. Re-cover and cook on low heat until pasta is done. (20 min).
  7. Serve with cornbread or home made biscuits

Deb’s Home Made Baked Beans Easy

In the south, certain foods, just go together. Like peas and carrots. So when the hunter gatherer came home from a trip to the local Wal-Mart with a prize catch of Spare-ribs, I knew I had to cook baked beans to go with. This simple to follow recipe is one that’s been around forever, I think.  But its not only good, its frugal. A one pound  bag of navy beans (which is what’s in those cans you buy) is usually around 88 cents. The additional ingredients won’t run you much over a couple of bucks if you have to go out and buy anything. Odds on the items are on your shelf or in your larder now!

I add in a few things you might have questions about like baking soda (I never cook dry beans without it) and ginger and cinnamon. Sure you can make these beans without the two spices, but I’ll guarantee, once you’ve tasted the beans with the two you won’t ever go back to plain ole beans!

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