55 years in the making!

yesterday was my dear ‘ole pops 55th birthday! the family came over to our house to enjoy lunch and each other. oh and we also enjoyed cake.

for lunch i made a traditional texas-style chili. no beans. only meat. it was my dads birthday after all! this stew packs a smoky punch from mildly spicy roasted poblanos and a hot chipotle chile. i read reviews that said to add more chipotle chiles. i added three instead of the recipe recommendation of one. it was definitely a bit hot for this crew so go with one. you can always add more. rinsing the chipotle mellows the heat; skip that step for more fire.

yield: 10 servings


8 poblano chiles

3 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cups chopped onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 reg. size cans of diced tomatoes. we like the no salt canned goods.

1 can of beef stock

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

6 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded


1. preheat broiler.

2. place poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until charred, turning after 6 minutes. place poblanos in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. let stand 15 minutes. peel and cut chiles into 1-inch pieces.

3. sprinkle beef with salt and black pepper; dredge in flour. heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. add half of beef to pan; sauté for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. remove from pan. repeat procedure with additional oil and beef.

4. reduce heat to medium. add onion to pan; cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. add garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. return beef to pan. stir in tomato, beef stock, oregano, and cumin; bring to a simmer. cover and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

5. stir in poblanos; simmer for 45 minutes or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally. rinse, seed, and chop chipotle. stir in chipotle and cilantro.

i served this with cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro and brown rice. i also whipped up some cornbread and cheddar cheese biscuits.

this morning i am left with this. no leftovers except for this little sliver of cake. and lots of dishes. to me this means yesterday was a success! this cake was the gluten free devils food cake from betty crocker. if i didn’t tell anyone it was gluten-free i don’t think anyone would have said anything. which for a gluten-free cook is the highest compliment. my secret to making box cake taste like homemade. drumroll. adding instant pudding to the dry ingredients. so for this cake i added vanilla pudding mix. then i whipped the egg and butter together separately. this increases air which equals to fluffier cake. then i add the dry ingredients a little at a time.

happy birthday dad! i hope you had a great day yesterday and have a great year to come. i had a great time sharing it with you.

dad at his favorite place.