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01 Blue Christmas

Only 3 more days til Santa. While you’re waiting (have you been nice?), kick back with the latest Food Scrounge News, hug your nearest and dearest, and listen to a holiday tune.
Song is in MP3 format, from Elvis’ 1957 Christmas album.


scroungelady & LA bros

Merry Christmas! Ride Safe!

CMA Chili Cook-Off and the Scroungelady’s Return

Well, as promised, the results are in.  It took me a while to write this post because the chili recipes were mostly verbal.  The few written ones available I suspect were incomplete, in order to keep their “true” recipe secret.  So I used my own expertise to give you chili recipes judged CMA’s Cook-off best.  What does “best” mean?  The pots which emptied first, and word of mouth.  It’s all from a group of bikers from 3 states, so you can interpret their opinions as you wish.

chili cook off with scroungelady

chili cook off with scroungelady

Now if this was a gumbo cook-off, the competition would have been intense.  West of here, chili-heads take their chili seriously.  Here in the Deep South we do mix beans with meat because historically beans were a major part of the diet and beef was seldom eaten.  That doesn’t mean we don’t like spicy food.  Round these parts, spicy means well-incorporated with no one flavor prevailing – a gumbo, in other words!  Highlight the food with some dabs of hot sauce and you’re good to go.  I don’t mean the blow-torch stuff that numbs your taste buds, just a gentle burn that lets the other flavors through.  Louisiana style hot sauce does the job.  The blow-torch stuff is better suited  to the West.

CMA eatin and socializin

CMA eatin and socializin

The 2012 Chili Cook-off was particularly significant for me because it was the first time in 3 years I’ve been able to ride solo to the event.  The first year after the accident was by pickup truck and a walker.  In 2011 it was two-up on the back of Mr. Mike’s 250 Sym scooter.

CMA cookoff at PBJ St. Park

CMA cookoff at PBJ St. Park

Tailgate Chili

  • 1 pound each ground sirloin and bulk pork sausage (Jimmy Dean brand recommended)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers diced
  • 2 cups  chopped celery
  • 2      (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1      (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • Ground cumin to taste
  • Chili powder to taste
  • Cayenne  pepper to taste (recommend starting with ½ teaspoon, then add more if      needed)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14  ½-ounce) can chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14  1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package      chili seasoning mix (I like McCormick brand)
  • Sour      cream, shredded cheese, or chopped green onions, for garnish


  1. In a large skillet brown ground sirloin and sausage (season if desired), drain and      set aside.
  2. Heat a  large pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  3. Add the  onion, green pepper, and celery and saute briefly.
  4. Next, stir  in the diced and whole tomatoes.
  5. Add cumin, chili powder, and cayenne to taste, and cook for about 10 minutes or until      vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the beans, browned meat, and chili seasoning.
  7. Cover and  let simmer for 2-3 hours.
  8. Serve with  Sour Cream, chopped green onions, and cheese as garnish

Serves 8-10 tailgaters

Come and get it CMA 2012

Come and get it CMA 2012

CMA Chili – Mild

Serves: 10

Cooking Time: 3 hr 5 min

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, diced
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper,      diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 pounds lean ground meat
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup (3-ounce bottle) chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (or to taste)
  • 6 ounces (1/2 a 12-ounce can) beer
  • 1 1/2 cups club soda or mineral water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a large      pot, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onions, green pepper, and      celery just until soft. Add garlic and meat; break up meat and cook until      it browns completely. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Reduce      heat to low and cook for about 3 hours, stirring often.
  3. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Mild or spicy CMA 2012

Mild or spicy CMA 2012

CMA Chili Spicy

  • 60 ounces tomato sauce
  • 25 ounces diced, canned tomatoes
  • 1 big can of kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons sofrito paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 pounds of ground venison or ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pieces bacon, cut into pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 8oz container sliced jalapeno peppers (save juice)

Wash and rinse all vegetables. In a dutch oven, cook the 5 pieces of cut-up bacon. Remove bacon and add chopped peppers, onion and a drizzle of olive oil. Cook until tender, then add diced tomato, tomato sauce, seasonings, drained jalapeno slices and garlic. Brown venison and sausage and add with kidney beans and sofrito to the dutch oven. Let simmer for three hours. Just before serving, stir in reserved jalapeno juice.

Chili with jalapeno juice CMA 2012

Chili with jalapeno juice CMA 2012

CMA Chili Mild II

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3/4 lb beef sirloin, cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can dark beer
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
  • 4 chili peppers, chopped


  1. Heat oil.
  2. Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown.
  3. Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth.
  4. Add spices Stir in 2 cans of kidney beans and peppers.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Add 2 remaining cans of kidney beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.
More please CMA 2012

More please CMA 2012

Note some common elements: beer, coffee, sugar, cocoa.  My suggestion is to brown your meat well with any onions and garlic.  Then sprinkle with cumin and cook another minute, then proceed with the recipe directions.  Let me know which recipes you like or best combinations of ingredients.  I think you could make your own chili “base”, freeze it and then take the amount needed for your next batch of chili.

Even cops eat chili 2012

Even cops eat chili 2012

Nuff said

Nuff said

Mr. Mike not sure what it is

Mr. Mike not sure what it is

More socializin and eatin 2012

More socializin and eatin 2012

FYI – CMA is Christian Motorcycle Association.  Mr. Mike and I are not members; however the event is open to all bikers.  The large pots used to cook chil are mainly used for frying turkeys around here.  They work well for outdoor events.  We’ve had gumbo, crawfish boils and other foods cooked in the pots at various biker events.

Good to the last bite CMA 2012

Good to the last bite CMA 2012

Buried – Two Cabbage Braised Pork Chops & Happy New Ride Year

Cabbage and pork chops – two of the “good fortune” foods to eat on New Years Day.  We did have our blackeye peas w/bacon, cornbread, ham and other fixins.  Now lookin at a ham is boring so I’m sharing what I scrounged together earlier in the week but it still fits the holiday theme. The gentleman selling veggies on the former Beverly theater lot had lush heads of cabbage – perfect because they keep well in the refrigerator; just hack off a wedge when the scrounge mood strikes.  I have various cuts of salvage grocery pork in the freezer so it has become the meat of choice lately.  Did you know why people in the deep south ate more chicken and pork than beef?  Before refrigeration was available, it was best to eat what you killed very soon.  Small critters like chickens and hogs could be eaten in a day or two, before they could spoil.

Two Cabbage Braised Pork Chops  (serves 2)

Seasoned pork chops

Seasoned pork chops

Sprinkle two pork chops (boneless loin here, but other types are OK) with black pepper and “pork chop seasoning” (I use Penzeys).  You can create your own with salt, garlic powder, white pepper, onion powder, and ground ginger.  Yes, I know “seasoning” in culinaryspeak is salt and pepper but lets go with the common usage for sake of brevity.  Heat a skillet to medium; spray with food release.

Brown the chops for 2-3 minutes per side.

Pork chops browning

Cabbage mixture over pork

Cabbage mixture over pork

Plated pork chop with cabbage

Slice green cabbage into 1/2 inch ribbons and break up slightly.  If you’re in a hurry, precook the cabbage in the microwave for 3 minutes before adding to the pan.  Put the cabbage and 1/2 cup drained red cabbage (the sweet/sour kind) over the pork chops, mix together gently with a fork.  Be sure to bury the chops!  Turn the heat to low/simmer.

Now take a cheap bottle of sherry and mix 1/2 cup with 1/2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet (my Mama’s anti-white cabbage trick).  Pour it over the cabbage mixture.  If you don’t have a cooking wine or don’t want it, substitute with chicken stock, water, or cider. Cover the pan and cook until the cabbage it tender, about 20 minutes. Serve with a green veggie for plate appeal.  French bread or cornbread, pour some wine and you be done!  My cornbread recipe will be in a future post.  Toast the New Year!


Hey Mr. Mike

Hey Mr. Mike

Actually two Mr. Mikes taking a ride on my rig.  First ride of the New Year!

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Ride!!

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