Hot for Teacher

Once upon a time

long, long ago (one week)

in a land far, far away (Michigan)

there lived a smart and beautiful teacher (my sister).

She spent her days molding and shaping young minds

and went home to lovingly tend to her husband and three small children.

She read them books, played with them in the freshly fallen snow

and warmed them up with homemade soup when it was too cold to play outside.

Family from all over the land (Delaware)

came to the sweet teacher’s house to enjoy an evening filled with good food, spirits, and laughter.

The teacher spent days and days preparing for the big event and

still managed to Pinterest 20 craft projects to be sold in the local village.

This is a custom jewelry holder designed for a local boutique. Like what you see? Check out more at Orders are currently being accepted!

When it was finally time to sit down for dinner,

she breezed in with a huge bowl  filled with fresh venison, hearty beans and ripe tomatoes .

She affectionately called it



A school teacher can’t burn people’s faces off with her combination of chili peppers and secret blend of spices?

Aunts, uncles, and cousins eagerly scooped the chili into bowls

and began eating.

On the first bite, faces contorted.

On the second bite, water was gulped.

On the third bite, beads of sweat were running down my uncle’s forehead.

I think a medic was on stand-by for my grandfather.

She literally burned their faces off.

I was offered a petite taste but politely declined, citing  an allegiance to vegetarianism.

The truth is I like my face.

I didn’t want to suffer third degree burns for the sake of  food.

But I did want some chili.

Good chili doesn’t need beef.

It needs good flavor.

Chili that will leave all your body parts in tact

2 medium yellow onions, diced

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (12 oz)  beer, divided

1 (30 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 (15 oz) cans no salt added fire roasted tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can each dark and light kidney beans

4 cups kale, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon red pepper flake

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Saute onions and celery with the oil. Add ½ cup beer when onions begin to brown. Continue cooking  until beer is absorbed by the vegetables. Add tomatoes, beans, kale, and spices. Pour in the remaining beer and 2-3 cups of water, depending on desired consistency. Simmer one hour.


1. Make sure you use a good beer! I used Rogue Red Ale for this particular batch.

2. I like to add kale to my chili because its an easy way to get a serving of green vegetables. You can leave it out for a more traditional chili.

3. This chili gets some heat from cayenne pepper and red pepper flake, but it’s not super spicy. Add more if you do want to burn your face off.

Vegan Tidbits:

The month long vegan challenge is in full swing!

Lunch always includes lots of snacks. Roasted vegetable salad with baked tofu and quinoa, freeze dried pinepaple bits, white grapes, raisins, roasted edamame, banana, and an orange.

Massive amounts of fruits, veggies, and grains have been consumed so I’m not worried about a lack of nutrients.

Every sunday I roast a big batch of vegetables to add to meals throughout the week. This week I included sweet potatoes, broccoli, and baked tofu for lightening quick meal prep.

Vitamin B-12, however, can only be obtained from animal sources.

Be sure to take a B-12 supplement if you are considering a vegan diet!

*Don’t forget to check out Happy  Spaces and Places for more home decorating ideas!*


One thought on “Hot for Teacher

  1. Just so you know, your stories are great (and so are you). They always make me smile. I LOVE chili, and even more, I LOVE LOVE LOVE having roasted veggies on hand to add to lunches! I could be just like your sister, only minus the loving husband and adorable kids….sigh.

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