Thursday, September 29, 2011


My friend Susan came over to cook with me earlier this week.

I wasn't sure what to make, so I gave her a few choices--we could make chicken pot pie, beef stew or ratatouille.

She chose chicken pot pie.

As we were chatting before we got started, Susan asked if I had seen The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Frito Chili Pie--she was excited and said it looked like so much fun serving chili in small bags of Fritos.

When I asked if she'd like to make that instead, Susan answered with a resounding, "YES!"

Off we went to the market to pick up the ingredients.

We had so much fun together, I hope Susan and I can cook together on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, the CF card in my camera somehow became damaged and I lost all the photos I took while we were cooking, but luckily, I was able to retake this one shot!

We couldn't find the small bags of Fritos, so we served our chili with Fritos scoops and Tostitos Multi-grain Scoops.

My taste testers liked the Tostitos Multi-grain Scoops better.


Recipe below.


You may have read about Susan when we went to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market or when we go to lunch with our friend Gail.

Susan brought me a gift--this book Fig Heaven by Marie Simmons.

I am overwhelmed by her generosity and thoughtfulness.

Thank you, Susan, you brought so much fun and laughter to my kitchen the other day--I value our friendship immensely.



Adapted from Ree Drummond's Frito Chili Pie

We doubled the recipe to split between our two families.

This double recipe will serve 16.


4 pounds ground chuck
1 pound chub hot Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 beer
2 cans Ro-tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Chiles
2 cans (14 oz.) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 can (29 oz.) kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (29 oz.) pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup masa flour mixed with 1 cup water

Fritos or Tostitos Scoops

optional: shredded cheddar cheese and minced red onion

Brown ground chuck and Italian sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the meat is cooked, drain all fat, then add garlic, onion and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft and wilted.

Add beer, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, cumin and chili powder. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, cover & simmer for another 20 minutes.

Turn the heat back up to high to add the masa flour and water--the chili should be boiling. Stir to combine thoroughly and turn the heat to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more.

If you have the lunch-sized Frito bags, slit an opening in them on one side lengthwise, and scoop chili into the bags adding cheese and diced onion if desired. Serve immediately with plastic forks. A fun crowd-pleaser!


  1. Well, I am pretty good at opening cans and stirring the pot, huh?! lol! I thoroughly enjoyed cooking with you....OK!....chatting and eating while you cooked!!!

    Thank you for your patience - you and Gail are like big sisters, letting me get away from doing the work, just as it was growing up with my two older sisters. (How fun is that!!!) ;)

    The boys enjoyed the chili, except their bowls were like more than half full of Fritos. It was very good!!!!! It's like, "Why can't you cook like Karolyn?", and I say, "What's wrong with Banquet?"

    I would absolutely love to cook with you again, I had a good time, lots of fun. Thank you, Karolyn!

  2. Yum! Drew just asked me to make a big batch of chili for his lunches yesterday. I think I may give this recipe a shot!

    Not much is better than sharing food with friends!

  3. Perfect food with the onset of the Autumn chill! It was cold last night!

    Love the luscious photo of figs on that book! should be fun to browse through! Any jam recipes? How about poached pears?

  4. I am making PW's recipe for dinner tomorrow! It seriously looked amazing, but I couldn't find the small Frito bags either. You made some great additions to her recipe!