Category Archives: Review

Rib Chili – A Belated Meal Review

Last weekend Ryan had to leave on Sunday for work, so we had Football Dinner on Saturday.  We also had to wait until he got back form work (Thursday – ugh) to do the rating, so that means we are a little late in getting to the rating.

Here it is:

Cleveland Browns – Rib Chili & Homemade Bread
Category Max Rating
Deliciousness 20 18
Authenticity 10 9
Complementary Items 10 9
Presentation 5 4
Quantity 5 5
Total 50 45
Bonus – Packers 3 3
Bonus – Murphy 1 1
Total 54 49
Average 10.8 9.8

Overall I feel pretty happy with my score.  He down-graded me on “Complementary Items” (a category that he created, and that only he fully understands) because we didn’t have dessert.  I would like to point out that Ana was in charge of dessert, not me.  That girl is bad mo-jo for my football dinners!!!

For the Rib Chili, which I am not certain is a real thing, but sounded like a delicious idea, I made chili and then added beer-braised country style spare ribs.  Here is the recipe that I used for the ribs.  I liked the ribs so much, I adapted the recipe for this weekend’s meal.  More on that later!!!!  It was a nice change of pace from regular chili, but I think that I like the beer-braised ribs so much that I would rather eat them as a separate item.

For the chili, you could probably use any recipe that you like.  I typically use two kinds of meat for my chili, but because I was adding the rib meat, I only used ground beef.

I served the chili with homemade bread and mashed potatoes.


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Chili Over Everything – The Pictures

We came, we ate, we conquered.

Well, some of us conquered and some of us were conquered.  Ryan was temporarily defeated by the food extravaganza and was left unable to move from the table due to overeating for a short period, but he has come back to life.

Here is what I ended up serving:

  1. Frito Pie
  2. Chili Over Mashed Potatoes
  3. Chili Over Baked French Fries
  4. Chili Over Homemade Noodles
  5. Bacon Wrapped Chili Corn Muffins

I believe Ryan had at least two servings of everything, except the muffin.  He was so full after eating that he asked me to get his office chair so I could wheel him into the other room.  Seriously?!?!?

   Frito Pie . . . with a scheming Murphy in the background.

     What do you have, Dad? Can I have some? Please?

It took Murphy about one minute to figure that Ryan only had clean plates and NO food.  He then moved on to his next target.  Murphy was on quite the finding food adventure.  First he begged Ryan for food. When he realized Ryan had no food, he moved on and “borrowed” my dad’s bread when he wasn’t paying attention.  Then he moved on to my mom – his partner in eating crime.  She had the corn muffin, he had the bacon wrapping on the corn muffin.  Murphy is now passed out in delirious eating happiness.

Bacon-wrapped chili-filled cornbread muffins


Here is the plate of everything –

Holy food!

Needless to say, we did not eat any dessert tonight, which as you will see our guest-rater downgraded me for (IN TWO RATING CATEGORIES – SERIOUSLY!!!!).  To that, I say malarky.  Ryan informs me that he is going to have ice cream later (hopefully not with chili on it, that would be gross).

And now for Ana, our guest-raters rating.

This is without the Packers win bonus points.

  • Deliciousness – 14 out of 20 (the first downgrade for the lack of dessert)
  • Authenticity – 10 out of 10
  • Complementary Items – 8 out of 10 (the second downgrade for the lack of dessert)
  • Presentation – 4 out of 5
  • Quantity – 5 out of 5
  • Bonus – 1 out of 4
  • Total – 8.4 out of 10 (Seriously, all because I didn’t have dessert???? Ugh!)

And, Ryan’s rating.

  • Deliciousness – 18 out of 20
  • Authenticity – 9.75 out of 10
  • Complementary Items – 10 out of 10
  • Presentation – 5 out of 5
  • Quantity – 5 out of 5 (He referred to the meal as Texas sized, and he is now unsure if he can carry on with the October Chili Challenge – What a Wuss!)
  • Bonus – 1 out of 4
  • Total – 9.75 out of 10

Ana has since been informed that she is welcome back for eating, but she is no longer invited to serve as a rater.

Ryan and Murphy have yet to fully recover form the overeating.  Hopefully by tomorrow.

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Ryan Cooks!!!!

Ladies and Gentleman, miracles can happen, and I have proof.  Ryan cooked.  Well he didn’t really cook, but I am choosing to give him credit, because the last time he “cooked” he went to KFC to get mashed potatoes and the gyro place to get chicken wraps.  Not exactly cooking in my book.  Anyways, this time, he actually kind of sort of “cooked.”  This time he mixed ingredients.  Ryan was in charge of the beer cheese dip, which means that he put the ingredients I told him to into the mixer and started the mixer.  Yup, he is a regular master chef, and I am one lucky girl.  I shall now call him Sir Mix-a-Lot.

He warned me that I had to be nice, or that it might affect, my rating.  But I am fearless, and I can take a bad rating for the sake of letting everyone know of his culinary prowess.  P.S.  he just told me that I was right on another unrelated matter.  It sure does feel good to be me right now.

Anyway, time for the menu, some recipes, and the rating.

Menu for Bear-Packer Game

  • Beer Cheese Dip – The Wisconsin twist instead of provolone or mozzarella on the Italian Beef Sandwiches.
  • Soft Pretzels (I really love soft pretzels, and I somehow I rationalized in my mind that usually in the city you can find a soft pretzel stand somewhere)
  • Italian Beef served on a pretzel roll with beer cheese dip and onions and peppers
  • Beer Bacon Cupcakes

For the Beer Cheese Dip, I pretty much followed this recipe – here.  The only change I made was to sub out the green onion for diced green chilies, and I served it warm.  I served the beer cheese dip with red pepper slices (excellent!!!) and mini soft-pretzel sticks.

For the Soft Pretzels, I followed this recipe – here.   I doubled the batch, and I made approximately 12 of the larger pretzels.  I tried to keep the pretzel twist tight so they could double as buns for the Italian Beef, and they worked great!  Although, I would definitely cook it the fully 14 minutes or even longer next time – they were done on the inside, but not as golden brown on the outside as I would have liked. I also made some smaller pretzel “sticks” for dipping in the beer cheese dip.

For the Italian Beef, I followed this recipe – here.   This one I made the most changes to, but it was mostly about personal taste.  I add more red pepper flake, some fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme) double the wine, and add extra beef stock.  I made this the night before, and then heated it up in the crockpot, which worked out great!

The Beer Bacon Cupcakes were made by one of our lovely guests, and the recipe will soon be posted in a guest post.  Needless to say, they were delicious, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan asks me to add candied bacon to every dish we make in the future.  Ryan just informed me that he had to have two of the beer bacon cupcakes today for breakfast.  I swear if it wasn’t for me, his diet would be bacon and apple fritters.

The Rating

Oh yes, and the rating, that apparently is going to be in the sewer (like my heart after last nights game) because I trashed Ryan earlier.  I say, bring it own.

Ryan says the highlights for him were the Soft Pretzels and the Beer Bacon Cupcakes (although he assures me that the Italian Beef was good, and that my feelings shouldn’t be hurt because it was so good he ate some for lunch today).  One more picture of the genius behind the Beer Bacon Cupcakes and Murphy:

Ryan totally trashed me on “authenticity” and gave me a 7.875 because he said the Italian Beef was lacking the hot giardiniera.  He again says that my feelings shouldn’t be hurt, because he is only taking his role as rater seriously, and that it didn’t stop him from eating some of it for lunch today. This coming from the boy who has to take breaks when eating chili because it is too spicy.  To that I say, YOU CANNOT HANDLE THE HOT GIARDINIERA!!!

Being a good Bears Fan I declined the Packer Win Bonus points out of a sense of integrity.

So, without further commentary, my rating is a 9.055 and here the overall breakdown for the rating:

  • Deliciousness – 17 out of 20
  • Authenticity – 7.875 out of 10
  • Complementary Items – 9.65 out of 10
  • Presentation – 4.75 out of 5
  • Quantity – 5 out of 5
  • Bonus Points – 1 out of 4
  • Overall Score – 9.055 out of 10
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Three years later, and I have yet to cure Ryan of his football obsession.  Even Murphy has joined the dark side . .

During the last two years, I attempted to find a way to entertain myself during football season while Ryan watches every football game and every football show televised. I should clarify that “football season” starts in approximately June, when “we” start talking about Fantasy Football.  Then during the week, “Football Sunday” starts on Friday night or Saturday morning, when “we” start talking about our Fantasy Football team for Sunday.   Sometimes, when there is a game on Thursday, “Football Sunday” starts as early as Wednesday night.  And with Monday Night Football, the only day I can claim to have a boyfriend from September through January during football season is Tuesday.  Every other day football is his girlfriend, and I am the other woman.

Year 1, I decided to cook chili every Sunday.  While this was fun, two people can only eat so much chili from September through January.  Year 2, I decided to cook foods based on the team the Packers are playing.  This was pretty good success, and we avoided eating chili almost every day for months on end.  The only problem was that I realized I didn’t keep track of all of my recipes, plus I had no medium to make fun of Ryan’s football obsession.  So, this year, I am going to make foods based on the team the Packers are playing and keep track of all of the recipes on here.

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