Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe

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WARNING: We are food critics here. Seriously though, it is not on purpose nor are we snobs. In fact we have been in seasons of life where we had very little to work with. We were so thankful BUT determined to make it taste great! I truly feel like that made us better flavor critics and pushed me to further limits on my cooking.

(I have always been a baker- I was spoiled with a family of bakers. One through the depression with a large family- she is my hero! They could whip up desserts, cakes and cookies with almost nothing. I am SO GRATEFUL to be able to partake and learn in the kitchen during my childhood!) I have done the same with my kiddos in all areas of the kitchen!

Due to this, we take the good with the bad, my kiddos have high expectations and chili is no exception. There are many ways to make chili and it’s hard to make “bad chili”, but my kids say there are few people/places that actually make GOOD chili. One of those places is Wendy’s!!! SO, I have to confess, I had my first bowl of Wendy’s chili this week. (As I am writing this.) My son suggested it repeatedly. We don’t live under a rock, LOL! But few places have flavor packed soups, stews and chili’s like we enjoy them. AND I LOVE SOUP! So it’s simple, we don’t waste the money and order them. (With the exception of a restaurant located in Hinckley, MN-“The Winds”. ~If you ever pass through there going out East, stop and order the Wild Rice Soup or French Onion- it’s loaded with goodness and you will not be disappointed!)

Although Wendy’s chili is not like ours, and I won’t trade recipes. Credit is due, they make good chili! So on with the show, here is a copycat recipe of Wendy’s Chili directly from a former employer.

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Chop 2 large green peppers, 2 large onions & 2 stalks of celery. (This is a copycat recipe OR I would tell you to substitute for better flavor!!!) Set aside.

Find your Xlg cast iron fry pan. In 1 Tablespoon of oil, brown 2 lbs of burger. Continue browning, breaking up the burger. Add chopped celery and 2/3 of the onions, placing the remainder in a small serving bowl to top if one so chooses.

Next, cook until clear or translucent. (Just shy of 5 minutes.) Add 3 cans of stewed tomatoes. (Totals to 42 oz. of stewed tomatoes.) Then add 1 can of rotel tomatoes with chilies, 1 Cup of water, (1) 14oz can of tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir on medium heat.

Stir. With your wooden spoon mix around your tomatoes and break apart any large chunks. Once finished add on packet of McCormick Chili Seasoning. Heat.

Add in kidney and pinto beans. (2 cans of each) Upgrade or add to your seasonings if needed. (To your liking)

Now if you do not have a jumbo/ Xlg cast iron pan; then a dutch oven, stock pot or a soup kettle may be used to fit all your ingredients. Boil for 1 hour. Add 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir. Remove from heat.

Serve hot. Top with cheese, the remaining onions and unused green peppers if desired. Happy Homemaking! Enjoy!

Boom Boom Shrimp Recipe

Date nights are not a regular thing anymore. Let me clarify, out of the house date nights. However, on our anniversary, no matter how much we travel or what our schedule is like, we get a sitter for the kids and go out. Well, that’s where this recipe came from.

On our 15 year anniversary, we went to this cute, but elegant fine dining restraunt. Amazing food! We of course, got more than we could eat because we could not choose what to get. I love shrimp, so the chef recommended his new (not on the menu yet) BOOM BOOM Shrimp appetizer to go with our annual “onion rings” too. (Our first foods together were onion rings and steak dinner.Onion rings come first so that is our annual tradition.) Anywho, we ordered the Boom Boom Shrimp.

Oh my, it was so scrumptious! It was a twist of Hawaiian coconut shrimp served in a sweet, but hot sauce. On a platter with jalapenos, green onions and slightly sauted pineapple. With a hot sauce and more “Hawaiian” flavor drizzled on top! If your mouth is not watering, I did not do justice in describing it.

Well we call this recipe Bam Bam Shrimp- it’s a slightly different twist, but with a similar flavor profile. A lot of our “date nights” are at home together because in our current lifestyle we travel a lot and enjoy a quiet night of cards, movie, date box, or whatever 😉 My hubby makes this for me randomly still today… Okay, I’l just get to it.

You will need:

A cookie or baking sheet. A package (or two) of coconut shrimp (you bake), Boom boom sauce. A glass mixing bowl. A wooden mixing spoon. ***Everything else is optional.*** That would be your green onions, pineapple in juice, honey and hot sauce.

Let’s get to work!

Bake shrimp as directed. Remove from oven and place in a glass bowl. Top with your *boom boom sauce. (Some like it sopping wet, we like just drizzled and mix. Let rest for a moment to let the sauce soak into the shrimp. Serve.

*For the Boom boom sauce. Not-homemade is just fine. Sir Kensington’s special sauce is great!

If you are wanting that extra zip, in a tiny glass bowl mix a nice squeeze of boom boom sauce, a little dollop of honey and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce. Stir. Place our chunked pineapple on the hot baking sheet and drizzle with your “new sauce” (reserve a small amount for dipping or special plating) toss into the oven on broil until the pineapple starts to color and soften. Pull pineapple from the oven and plate with your shrimp. Drizzle a tiny bit of your sauce over and sprinkle with finely chopped green onions. YUM!!!

Happy Baking! Happy Homemaking! Enjoy!

Taco Soup for a crowd in less than 30 minutes!

~Brown 2 lbs of beef. (Yes this can be substituted with venison or wild game- no one with know)

~Meanwhile in a large stock pot add 2 cans of corn and 2 cans of kidney beans. (Both drained) with 2 cups of water. Warm on medium heat.

~Check on your beef. Crumble (Potato masher works great!) Add 1 diced onion (optional of course) and season with salt & pepper.

~In your stock pot, add 2 jumbo cans of stewed tomatoes. (Roughly 60 oz. totaling in tomatoes) NEXT, add 2 Cans of tomato sauce. (Roughly 30 oz. total) Continue to warm on medium heat.

~When your onions (if you chose to add them) are translucent, add one packet of taco seasoning OR about 1 oz. Stir and mix. Dump into your stockpot.

~Continue to stir your stockpot and cover. It should at a boil by now if you were cooking on medium-high heat. On medium heat, cover and let cook for 20 minutes.

~Serve with cheese and desired toppings. (We love just cheese and tortilla chips or scoops.) My dear friend loves toppings, she will add the tortilla strips, a couple cheese options, sour cream, (the canned chopped fine & soft) jalapenos and black olives. It is so scrumptious! Whichever you choose, note this is a great “double” recipe even for a small-medium family. I say this because my crew says this is even better re-heated. LOL! Who knew leftovers would be a love too!

Happy Homemaking! Enjoy!!!