Sunday Special: Picky Eater Approved Chili


Growing up, one of my least favorite dinners was chili. It wasn’t because of the flavor, but because of the unwanted ingredients that were tedious to avoid. I especially hated kidney beans and wasn’t fond of onions or green peppers either. Without these ingredients I was basically eating meat sauce – which was weird. To mend the situation, my mom didn’t pick out the vegetables (that was my job). Instead, she added noodles to my bowls of chili.  Kidney beans are difficult to see no matter how meticulous I was! I inevitably found one hiding on my spoon every so often.

Now, I don’t have to worry about kidney beans at all. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me since Nestle made nut-less drumsticks. I can enjoy every bite without chalky red beans sneaking up on me!

While this meal is a staple on cold winter nights, it’s also among my favorites on Super Bowl Sunday. If you don’t know what to make next week for your Super Bowl party, give this recipe a try!

To noodle…
Picky Eater Approved Chili
…or not to noodle

Chili: What makes this recipe picky eater approved is the omission of red kidney beans and green peppers (almost) as well as the inclusion of noodles. 

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 lbs ground beef

1 cup chopped onions (chop coarsely for bigger chunks, making them easier to avoid)

1/4 cup diced green pepper (disclaimer: I do not like green peppers; Mitch loves green peppers. He won an argument and collected his winnings by adding green peppers to the recipe. So I was forced to eat around the once again…)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 cans diced tomatoes (about 32 oz)

1/4 cup chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups noodles

Warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onions, green pepper, garlic, and cook until onion is tender (about 10 minutes). Stir frequently. Add tomatoes, chili powder and salt and cook until contents boil. Reduce to low heat; cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. After 45 minutes, boil water and cook macaroni for ten minutes or until al dente.

Accompaniments: Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese

But really, picky eaters don’t use accompaniments…

Pickin’ Your Brain:

  • What’s your favorite meal on Super Bowl Sunday?

Sunday Special: Picky Eater Approved Swedish Lace Cookies


I’ve never been to Sweden, nor have I had to overwhelming desire to travel there until I ate Swedish Lace Cookies. Normally, oats freak me out. I would rather be stuck in a crowded elevator for a few hours than eat oatmeal and believe that granola is an awful addition to yogurt. I encountered Swedish Lace cookies by accident and am happy we had the opportunity to  meet.

These are not your traditional American Christmas Cookie but their light taste and somewhat-healthy ingredients hold a place on my cookie tray for years to come. They are easy to make, delicious, and will surprise your holiday guests. Why not switch it up a bit this year and add a new cookie to your Christmas routine?

SS12 - Swedish Lace

Picky Eater Approved Swedish Lace Cookies:

2 1/4 cup Quick Cooking Oats

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix ingredients and let stand overnight at room temperature. The next day, add the following ingredients and mix well:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon molasses

3 tablespoons flour

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350F. Drop dough in 1/2 teaspoons, 2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (this is very important! If you don’t use parchment paper the cookies will stick to the pan and fall apart when you try to get them off. Trust me, it’s worth the investment!) Bake for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand until cook before removing from parchment paper.

SS12 - Swedish Lace 2

Pickin’ Your Brain:

  • What’s your favorite dessert from a different country?

Sunday Special: Picky Eater Approved Peanut Blossoms


Peanut butter is amazing – it goes well with so many foods that I could eat this creamy, peanut spread with every meal of the day. Peanut butter and toast for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, ants on a log for a snack, and peanut butter cookies for dinner’s dessert. Okay, so I don’t know what I would eat peanut butter with for dinner, but my list is pretty good for a picky eater…

I love cookies; peanut butter are my favorite next to the classic chocolate chip. The delicious, creamy peanut butter baked good never fails, especially when it is from PDQ, a Wisconsin gas station convenience store. To all my family and friends back home: have you ever had a peanut butter cookie from PDQ? Do yourself a favor and grab one – you’ll be happy you did.

Another type of peanut butter cookie I never turn down are Peanut Blossoms. I look forward to baking these Christmas-time peanut butter cookies every winter. The holiday season isn’t complete without them on the tray of Christmas Cookies!

SS11 - Peanut Blossoms (Ingrid)

Picky Eater Approved Peanut Blossom Cookies:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar + additional

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups flour

1 bag of Hershey’s Kisses

Mix butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Individually add and blend the remainder of the ingredients. Heat oven to 375F. Shape cookie dough into balls and roll through small bowl of sugar. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and place Hersey’s Kiss in middle of each cookie. Return to oven for a few seconds, immediately remove cookies and place on cooling rack.

Pickin’ Your Brain:

  • What is your favorite Christmas Cookie recipe?