Heinen’s Game Day Recipe (& GIVEAWAY): Pork Brats Chili

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this recipe and running a giveaway for a gift card for a reader, I received a gift card to purchase supplies for this blog post from Heinen’s. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Craving a brat before the big game, but don’t want to involve the grill? Get more than one football-watching favorite with this slow-cooker combo creation featuring ingredients from your local Heinen’s grocery store. 

pork brat chili ingredients collage

Pork Brats Chili
Serves approximately 6 or so hearty bowls

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 raw pork brats (regular or hot, depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 heaping cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced (optional, depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • your choice of chili fixings (see note below)

METHOD

  • Turn your slow cooker on to high.
  • Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, starting with the brats*. Do your best to equally distribute everything.
  • Put the lid on the slow cooker and leave it be for four to six hours. Don’t lift the lid!
  • When ready (when the brats are cooked through), give the mix a good stir, and scoop desired servings into bowls, grabbing a brat from the bottom for each serving.
  • Serve with your favorite chili fixings: rice, pasta, corn chips, sour cream, Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, Oyster crackers, hot sauce, black olives, chives, etc.  You can also even serve the brats on hoagie rolls and top with your accompanying chili mix as you cheer on your favorite team!

*ALTERNATIVE METHOD: Instead of cooking the brats whole, you can de-case the brats as you place them in the slow cooker, breaking it up into more of a “ground pork” consistency. 

pork brat chili

So in prep of the big game, why not head over to Heinen’s? I’ll make it even sweeter — how about going with a $50 gift card in your pocket? Enter to win at the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until Tuesday, January 27th at 12:00AM EST to enter. The winner will be announced later that morning.

Remember to stay in touch with Heinen’s via their social media feeds: on Facebook, on Twitter at @heinens and on Instagram at @heinens.

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this recipe and running a giveaway for a gift card for a reader, I received a gift card to purchase supplies for this blog post from Heinen’s. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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PumpkinFest (or how I threw my first surprise party)

The winner of my Fabulous Food Show giveaway (℅ random Rafflecopter.com pull) is Rachel from itsahero.com! You can still purchase tickets at the Fabulous Food Show website.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

When I was sixteen, my parents threw a surprise birthday party for me. I still have the “happy birthday” banner that hung in our garage that afternoon — it’s displayed on my fridge even to this day. What a fun feeling it was to have a rush of gratitude overcome you so suddenly!

As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to throw Hans a surprise party. In past years, I’ve remembered this only days before his birthday. But this year, I remembered in early October — giving me plenty of time to gather up the troops and make a plan.

This was also a little self indulgent, I’ll admit — I’ve NEVER planned a surprise party before. Out of ALL the events over ALL the years! It was time to make sure I held on to my event planning talents by having some fun with this one. Here’s what came in handy in the process…

A CREATIVE THEME

That came easily, all thanks to Hans’ favorite fall food: pumpkin. (He’s on pumpkin pie number seven for 2014, BTW.) With a lot of help from my friends, the menu came together with pumpkin items I didn’t even know existed:

pumpkin fest dessert

…plus a couple non-pumpkin items. Let’s just say we ate very well that night.

A GAME PLAN TO GET HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE

I have to give full credit to my brother here. Drew came over the Monday before (questioning my last minute event planning skills) with the idea to ask Hans to go see a three-hour space-themed movie mid-Saturday afternoon. #jackpot Drew and Hans were gone by 2:45PM, giving me plenty of time to clean, prep food, get dolled up and greet guests before they returned at 6:30.

 PUMPKIN FEST HANS

Sure, his eyes are closed, but look at that smile. And those jazz hands. #onlyagleekalwaysagleek

A GREAT GUEST LIST OF FAMILY & FRIENDS

These people — plus my unpictured brother, mom and Hans’ best friend — all pitched in, while managing to keep it all a secret for the past few weeks…

pumpkin fest group shot

 …all for one very happy redhead. Somehow, he had no clue — so all and all, I guess it was a huge success! Now if only I talked my mom into making two of those cheesecakes… there is a full holiday season ahead of us though. Keep the pumpkin coming!

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Link It Up: Must Read Posts on 8.22.2014

Sometimes as I’m going about my day, I throw various blog posts, online articles and fun YouTube video URLs in my Gmail drafts folder. Well, when I saw over 80 draft emails (90% of which were these types of links), I knew it was time to revive this blog series. I do love sharing these with you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA!

My great friend and fellow CLE blogger Amanda at Clue Into Cleveland (on the far right in this photo from Jump Back Ball) is celebrating her birthday this weekend, and I’m honored to join in on the fun. Read her most recent post on how she’s participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge by supporting a good friend participating in the ALS Association’s local walk. Consider donating to Jen’s team here.

TASTE OF HUDSON GIVEAWAY

Don’t forget: you have until this Monday at midnight to enter my giveaway to win two $25 dining cards to the 10th Anniversary Taste of Hudson. Click over to yesterday’s post to enter this weekend.

AROUND THE CLE

If you’re looking for some local dining inspiration, look no further than Bite Buff‘s recent series of posts when she hosted a Pittsburg blogger for a #ThisisCLE culinary tour in conjunction with  Positively Cleveland. She just posted Part Three, which included visits to North Union Farmers Market, Dante Next Door (p.s. they have gluten free pizza!), Lilly Handmade Chocolates and A Cookie and a Cupcake.  Here’s Part One, Part Two and Part Two x2 for you to catch up on if you missed the first two days.

In case you haven’t heard, Cleveland Gladiators are in the ArenaBowl happening this Saturday night. They have the chance to finally bring the good people of Cleveland a championship, so go cheer them on at The Q. More information on the team’s website.

This Sunday includes another Yoga Rocks the Park. Teresa Gorski from Vision Yoga is teaching and long time blog friend Brandon Kocher is accompanying her with his musical stylings. Purchase tickets on the event website or at Tremont’s Lincoln Park morning of the class.

Cleveland Cocktail Week is coming! My very good friend Smitten in Cleveland is very excited to celebrate this Northeastern Ohio gathering September 4th through 8th — check out her blog post for more info or the event website at cocktailweekcle.com

EAT IT UP

Fellow CLE FitBloggin’ blogger Jill shared her grilled maple bacon peanut butter and jelly sammich recipe this week. If eating this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

This fennel roasted veggies recipe from Michael Chiarello over at the Food Network site reminds me of a dish we enjoyed while in San Francisco this past April. This WILL be made once I get my hands on some fennel!

I’m all about a recipe that doesn’t involve anything beyond a bit of chopping, boiling, blending and mixing: I’ll be making Kathryn Budig’s Time-Saving Sun Butter + Coconut Curry soon. It uses brown rice noodles, making it gluten free.

Holly Clegg’s Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad combines roasted sweet yams, crunchy corn, black beans in a light jalapeño dressing — check out the Cleveland Clinic’s Speaking of Women’s Health site for an array of info.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.” ― B.K.S. Iyengar. Rest in Peace and Thank You! #bksiyengar

Got a link to share? Put it in the comments below… and happy Friday!

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