Venison. Deer. Bambi. Whatever you choose to call it. It sure does make a pretty delicious winter weather chili. That I know…


And if venison isn’t your thing, then ground beef or just some extra black beans I’m sure would work just perfectly too!


I’ll just continue on this route though, especially considering how cute the source of this venison is 😉 (the hunter, not the deer y’all) …





Serves 4-6

– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 green pepper, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 14.5 oz can petit diced tomatoes
– 2 cups beef broth (or any)
– 1 cup red wine
– 2 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
– 1 tablespoon chili powder
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– 1.25 lbs ground venison
– 15 oz. can black beans
– 2 zucchini, chopped
– 2 cups frozen corn
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (omit if using beef)

Sauté onion and green pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add garlic at the end.

Add tomatoes, broth, wine, spices, salt, pepper, and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Now add venison, breaking up in the liquid and stirring. Cook for 30 minutes, covered.

Lil Chef Trick: adding the meat to the liquid this way versus sautéing with the onion and peppers allows it to soak in all that brothy flavor while it cooks. Totally changed the way I did chili once I realized this!

Add beans, zucchini, and corn and cook another 30 minutes and you’re done :)

Serve with cornbread, sour cream, cilantro and hot sauce! And perhaps a handsome hunter to help you make sure there isn’t too many leftovers 😉

Well. Now’s as good a time as any, right?

I’ve missed the kitchen. I’ve missed the cooking. I’ve missed the sharing.

Sure I haven’t eaten everyyyyyy meal out since the last time we spoke, however I’d say perhaps a bit more than I would like to admit 😉

And with life very busy these days, the easy go-to’s were all that seemed to happen otherwise!

But with colder weather just around the corner and a creative side resparked, I decided there has to be a happy middle ground here :)

So. Recipe-a-week. That’s where we’re at. Fits oh-so-perfectly with my recent Sunday cooking extravaganzas in prep for those fast-paced work weeks. I’m sure you can relate.

And after a week of indulgent Thanksgiving fare this one will get things back on track, with lots of veggies, healthy protein and of course, delicious and family-approved flavor :)

Serve plain, with bread for dipping, over rice, or just a shake of hot sauce if you so desire!

Coconut Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew

Serves 4-6

Coconut lentil & sweet potato stew

– half an onion
– 4 large carrots
– 4 stalks celery
– 2 cloves garlic
– 32 oz. container chicken broth
– 2 cups dry lentils
– 14 oz. can lite coconut milk
– 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes (I used frozen)
– 2 cups water
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– salt & pepper





Chop onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté in a medium sized pot with 1 tablespoon olive for a few minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic (chopped) and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Cook another minute, stirring until you smell garlic, then pour in broth and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook 10 minutes.

Wash and drain lentils and add to pot. Turn down to simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Add coconut milk and sweet potatoes, extra water (if necessary), and reseason if needed (taste it). Cook, covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Serve plain or with whatever carby delight you might like, enjoy!

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If you follow me on instagram I think you know it’s safe to say that even if I haven’t been blogging… that sure doesn’t mean that I haven’t been cookin’!!

Or eating for that matter 😉

Fresh Clams & Mussels in a White Wine Broth w/ Garlic, Tomatoes & Thai Basil

Okay okayyyyy. I can’t take the credit here.

“CookinFanatic le sous chef” doesn’t sound tooooo shabby now does it? 😉

Spicy Ginger Asian-style Chicken Thighs w/ Peppers & Rice Noodles

Not if it means eating meals like this it sure doesn’t!! 😛 #souschefalldaye’eryday?

Of course that doesn’t mean that I haven’t thrown together some delicious treats of my own with some summer inspired flavors as well…

Turkey Bacon & Summer Vegetable Frittata

Just can’t get enough of how pretty and fresh warm weather eats can be!!

Israeli CousCous Summer Vegetable Salad w/ Cumin Spiced Pepitas

And if y’all know me well enough by now, you know that in between all this cooking there have been just a few visits to some local dining establishments. Ones that really represent some of the best food that Richmond has to offer…

Squid Ink Pasta w/ Shrimp & Calamari. Dinamo.

This quaint but oh-so-cute restaurant is one of my favorites in the area. With a menu only a handful of items long, everything is sourced fresh and cooked to perfection. Killer service and the cutest atmosphere too. If you live in the RVA and haven’t visited yet, I feel sad for you. Do it 😀

Fried Clam Sammie. Pasture.

Reminds me of all the years I spent with my Pop ordering clam strips at our favorite Newport News seafood shack. Talk about nostalgia. Plus… hey, it’s perfect for day-drinking, even the menu says so 😉

And speaking of… what would a CookinFanatic summer be without a signature favorite drink?!? This year I just happened to stumble upon this lil’ combo from the beverage gods and if you “happen” to do so too I think you’ll be quite pleased.

DRY Vanilla Bean Soda (Fresh Market). Key Lime Juice. Vodka.

Who can say no to delicious flavor and hardly any calories. Sounds like a “healthy” warm weather choice that I can support, let’s be real haha!!

Cheers 😛