I have a surprise!!! After many weeks, I finally got the courage to ask a wonderful friend, who’s blog I LOVE, if she would like to do a Foodie Friday weekly post on my blog.  She said “YES!” ;D  I am so excited to share with you my friend, her blog, and great recipes.  Meet Aricka, writer and great cook on Shamrocks and Shenanigans.  She is a Mom, a Wife to a brave Fire Fighter, and she has recipes that make me wish I would get off of my couch ;D  If you love food (because who doesn’t?) visit her blog, you won’t be sorry 😉  Now without further ado, here is Aricka’s 1st post, for “Fall Fridays” on Foodie Friday post…

Hi Everyone! I’m Shamrock and Shenanigans and I was so kindly asked to write a Friday post of Fall recipes for my buddy Adventures of a Military Family of 8. If you follow my blog, you know I love to cook. I like it all. I cook the recipes that are quite time consuming but my favorite are the ones you toss together and get on the dinner table in no time. Being that I started with a full house of four bratty kids, I can appreciate that time is limited and the kids are hungry.

Everyone is on Monday night football kick. When I think of football I think of snack foods and hearty chilis. We eat a lot of chili around here when it’s cold. I love the versatility and how it feeds a crowd. My son, The Ballplayer has his favorites. We battle over which one I will make. He prefers my white bean chili. My daughter prefers more a traditional kidney bean chili. My husband, The Fireman has no preference. He just likes being fed. It’s so rare that my son likes a dish that I can’t help but make his favorite.

You can make this chili in less than 30 minutes. I like meals like that. I am not garnishing with yummy tortilla strips but only because A. I don’t have any and B. I’m trying to watch my carbs….again. It’s a work in progress. But you will love that this is just a bunch of ready to use food that you toss in a pot and simmered till warm. You can add more veggies to this chili. A bell pepper or even some carrots would be great. We unfortunately won’t be making any special trips to the store for any extra ingredients. My family is pounding their spoons on the table as I cook. They are hungry! You will see I show ingredients you could use if you dont have what I am using. Using what you have on hand is huge in keeping on budget in my family.

Fast & Spicy White Bean Chili
serves 4
6 cans navy beans (I only had 4 and half were butter beans. Use what you have)
2 medium onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 celery stalks minced
1 package of hot links sausage chopped (use any hot sausage you prefer but this one gets used a lot in my house)
2 TB olive oil
1 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce will do but the spaghetti has lots of flavor)
1 cup chicken stock (if you have none, use water)
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano (Italian seasoning works great too)
1 tsp smoked paprika (this is must! I use it in a huge amt of my recipes)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp parsley (all I had was dried)
Salt and pepper

Cut each sausage into four strips and cut into chunks. In a sauce pot, combine the sausage, the 2 TB oil, onions, and celery and cook until tender. Season with some salt and pepper too. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and just let it get a little color.
Once everything is tender and smelling good (I mean really, I could eat it right now but this is chili I am making, so lets finish) add the beans, (drained and rinsed because I am not sure what they are really packed in but slime is not good in my chili) spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce is fine) and the chicken broth/stock. You want it to be a little saucy but not soup (unless soup is what you are going for)
Now we need to spice this baby up! So add the 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp parsley (all I had was dried) and salt and pepper to taste. Remember that cayenne tends to release flavor after it simmers for a couple minutes so dont add more just quite yet. If you are wimpy (or your kids are sensitive) to the heat, add half of the cayenne and work your way up on spice.
I recommend you make a double batch. No really! I never have leftovers and the kids are fighting over what is left in the pan. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, try topping a crunchy baked potato with some chili. It is heaven!

Love her already? You can find Aricka at Shamrocks and Shenanigans
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