Sunday, March 22, 2009


Served this weekend and requested--

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup shortening-- Crisco
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts (optional-- I don't like it)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, sugars, eggs & vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. I find that it you let the dough chill for at least a couple of hours, you get better results. You can put the dough in a large zip-lock bag and press the air out.

Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. I prefer using parchment paper-- it draws out some of the greasiness of the cookies and crisps the bottom. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.

My Chili Recipe
Begin with a big cheat--start with Carroll Shelby's spice package, if you can find it.

Instead of straight beef, go half lean ground beef (1 lb) and half maple breakfast sausage (1 lb). That sweetens the flavor and adds a different set of textures.

Brown a medium chopped onion and a few spoonfuls of minced garlic in some olive oil until slightly softened. The brown the meat in that as you usually would. I find that seasoning the meat slightly with salt at this point helps. Add the main spice packet, plus one 14oz+ can of tomato sauce (more than the box says).

Add about half a bottle of beer-- sweeter or darker beer as you want (I like Dos XX for this or a honey lager works to sweeten it). Add water if you like, usually half the can of tomato sauce will do it. Add half a jar of salsa-- I recommend a garlic chipolte salsa, the Frontera if you can find it. That adds a nice set of undertones. Otherwise you can use any salsa-- I recommend a thinner salsa-- the chunky ones tend to create some odd textures. Finally, if you like, you can throw in a little bit (maybe half a square) of dark chocolate.

I cook that for about 25-30 minutes; I don't add the additional cayenne as it doesn't really do anything but make it unpleasantly hot. However, if you prefer spicier you can add a little. Salt to taste-- I find that's the real key, not too much. If the chili gets too thick, thin it with the remaining beer. If the chili gets too thin, you can use the the included masa flour with some water. If it needs sweetening, I use maple syrup.


  1. Half ground beef and half maple breakfast sausage? Wow, now I wish that I hadn't shown up to the game with an already full stomach. Sounds like something I have to try.

  2. Dang - now I'm hungry. Our chili involves a lot of Kroger canned chili beans, black beans, and diced tomatoes, plus whatever beef or ground turkey is on sale, and onions, garlic, and green pepper. The inclusion of breakfast meat is entirely unacceptable and will count against you come the Final Judgement.

    If you like this sort of thing, I recently used natural peanut butter instead of butter in the choco-chip cookie recipe on the back of a package of Hershey' Special Dark semi-sweet chips. Had to add some applesauce to moisten the dough up. Damn good!

  3. Art, your biases are well known. Art loves bacon and honey. Enjoy your Christian bacon and honey chili, and let us know if it's as tasty as satanic sausage and maple syrup chili.

    Lowell, thanks for posting the recipes. You are truly the Alton Brown of Midwestern gaming geeks.

  4. Made the cookies for Lisa and a weekend gaming session. Everyone loved the cookies muchly! Thx again for posting it.

    I did mess up the first batch of batter. I mixed the eggs and sugar first, then tried adding the butter. Results were horrifying: thin cold gruel with bits of butter floating in it. Creaming the butter and sugar first works much better.