Pinto Bean Chili Recipe

I’m looking for a recipe for a pinto bean chili (with or without beef) with the flavor of a canned chili, or something like the chili sold at Steak N Shake. Thanks!


From the Hillbilly Housewife:

I found a copy cat Steak N Shake chili recipe. It’s made with kidney beans instead of pintos but I think it’s worth trying. You can easily replace the types of beans you use and even leave out the meat. I think the key is the addition of cola. It will give it that nice sweet taste you find in both a canned chili and this copy cat version.

Copycat Steak N Shake Chili Recipe
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Cocoa
  • 2 13.5oz Cans Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 13.5oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup of Cola
  1. Start by cooking the ground beef in a pan on the stove. Cook it until it's nicely browned, then drain it and put it in a blow. Add all remaining ingredients, except the beans.
  2. Use an immersion blender to blend everything together. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can also run it through your blender in batches as needed.
  3. Pour this puree into your crockpot. Add he beans and cook on low for 6 hours before serving.

 Do you have a recipe for Ali to try? Please share it in the comments below. Thank you! 

Copy Cat Chili Recipe


Celery Cashew in Cream Sauce

My mother-in-law who was from Iowa made this dish for it was one of my favorites. If anyone has a recipe for this please share.

Thank you

From the Hillbilly Housewife

I did some searching online, but didn’t find anything exactly like the recipe you’re looking for. I did fine something interesting that combined toasted cashews, celery and garlic. I played with it a little and it made a very tasty side dish.

Cashews and Celery
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • minced garlic (one clove)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • Salt to taste
  1. Chop the celery into small chunks. You don't want them too big or it will take quite a while for them to cook down.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and toast the cashew nuts for a few minutes. Make sure you're constantly moving them around so they don't burn.
  3. Add the paprika and if you'd like a little salt and move them into a bowl.
  4. Heat the olive oil in the same skilled and cook the garlic until it starts to become fragrant. Add the chopped celery, cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes or until the celery starts to soften quite a bit. Return the nuts to the pot and heat everything through.


Apple Plum Microwave Butter

I’m looking fora a recipe for apple plum butter that’s made in the microwave. It has red plums and a tart apple variety .I believe it also has butter and vanilla as part of the ingredients. I liked making it in the microwave because it made it easier to fix. Does any one have this type of recipe?

Thank you.

From The Hillbilly Housewife

I’m not gonna be much help here. I’ve made apple butter in the crockpot, but never anything like it in the microwave. I’m hoping there are some HBHW readers out there with a recipe for you. If you have a recipe to share, please leave a comment below.

Baskets of Apples and Plums

Homemade Buttermilk Waffle Recipe

I’m looking for a good waffle recipe that uses buttermilk and maybe oil. I have several , but no really good recipe. Any tips for making great homemade waffles would also be appreciated.

Oh, and if you have a yeast waffle recipe, I’d be interested in that as well.


From The Hillbilly Housewife

Here’s the recipe I’ve been using. I find that the biggest difference is in what type of waffle iron you use and to make sure you let it preheat long enough before each waffle you make.

Homemade Buttermilk Waffle Recipe
Cuisine: Breakfast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. Start by melting the butter. I do this by putting it into a small bowl and microwaving it in 10 to 15 second intervals until it is melted.
  2. Crack the eggs into another small bowl and beat them until they are well mixed.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and give it a good stir to get everything mixed together. Pour the wet ingredients in and whisk everything together into a pourable batter.
  4. Following your waffle iron's instructions, pour the batter into a hot and oiled waffle iron and cook them until the waffles are golden brown and crispy.



Serve with butter and sirup or just sprinkle some powdered sugar on them. Add some milk and fresh juice for a complete breakfast.

I’m sure there’s some other great tried and true family recipes out there. If you have one to share with Carolyn (and the rest of us of course), share it in a comment below.

Old Kentucky Nut Cake

I would like the recipe for Old Kentucky Nut Cake. The recipe appeared in at Better Homes and Garden cookbook that my Mother had. The Cookbook would have been published in the 40’s or 50’s. If some has the recipe I would be grateful. Also if I could find a copy of the cookbook, that would be terrific. Good recipe, wonderful memories. Thanks

From the Hillbilly Housewife:

I’m not sure if this is the recipe you’re looking for, but this is what I found in one of my handwritten cookbooks. It was handed down from a great aunt.

Old Fashioned Walnut Cake
Recipe type: Cake
  • ⅔ cup shortening
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Cream shortening and sugar together until you have a fluffy mixture. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Combine milk and vanilla, and add alternately with the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well after each addition. Fold in nuts last.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes. I use the toothpick test to check for doneness. Cool on a wire rack.

I like this cake just plain or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Occasionally I’ll make it as a birthday cake and will frost it with chocolate or vanilla frosting and add some more walnuts to the top.

Does anyone else have a different recipe to share?

Walnut Cake With Powdered Sugar

Breakfast Ideas To Go For Kids

I’m looking for some ideas for breakfast on the go for the kids. Last year they grabbed a granola bar on their way out the door. This year I’d like to be a little more prepared with homemade stuff. Do you have any ideas for what I could make ahead of time?

From The Hillbilly Housewife

The first thing that comes to mind is muffins. You can bake a whole bunch of them and freeze them. I have quite a few freezer muffin recipes for you to try here. They can be sweet like this Peanut Butter Muffin or savory like this Ham and Cheese Muffin.

Any other good ideas HBHW readers? Share them as a comment below please.

Homemade Muffins

Ginger Cream Bars

My mother made these over 50 years ago (and unfortunately I lost the recipe).

It is a very heavy, moist ginger flavored cake/bar which she would frost with a cream frosting.

From the Hillbilly Housewife:

I have a ginger bread cake recipe that sounds similar to what you’re looking for. I don’t usually frost it though. If I’m taking it out for company, I sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, but to be honest, I prefer it plain. You could easily top it with a simple frosting though.

I’m sure there are plenty other good recipes out there and our readers will share some of their favorites with you as a comment below.

Gingerbread Cake


Super Simple Recipes With Few Ingredients

Unfortunately, I was not allowed in the kitchen growing up to help because everything that I touched became a complete catastrophe. So now, as an adult, I simply am clueless as to what to do with a chicken breast or any meat for that matter. Recipe books call for so many ingredients that I spend $30 + on one recipe and end up throwing away the rest of the ingredients because I don’t know what to do with them. Can you please lend some simple, easy recipes on what to do with meat or veggies. Thanks!

From the Hillbilly Housewife

Chicken and RiceThere are lots and lots of recipes that don’t use a bunch of fancy ingredients. I’m sure HBHW readers will jump in and share some of their favorites. Here’s one of mine to get you started.

By some boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken tenders along with a bottle of Italian salad dressing. Put the chicken in a baking dish and p0ur some of the dressing over the chicken. Bake at 425 F for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how thick your chicken breast is, you want to make sure it is done all the way. Cut into one and if it’s not done, put it back in the oven for a bit).

I serve this with white rice and a salad (you can use more of the dressing on your salad) for a quick and healthy meal.

You may also want to take a look at a Kindle cookbook my friend Tracy just came out with. All the recipes are simple and can be put together in under half an hour. It’s called Cooking from the Pantry.

Manhattan (Roast Beef and Gravy) Sandwich Recipe

I would love to have a good recipe for what in my neck of the woods growing up was called a Manhattan, when you went out to eat and ordered it. It’s roast beef with brown gravy & Mashed Potatoes.

They would put it on sandwich bread, layer the sliced beef on top of it then top with another piece of bread and pour gravy over the top, slice in half and then they would put a big scoop of Mashed Potatoes in the center of it and pour gravy over all of it.

I can say, this is my favorite thing to eat and would love to have a good recipe so I can make this at home. Thanks for any help.

From the Hillbilly Housewife:

This sounds like the perfect recipe for leftovers when you’re making a roast and mashed potatoes for dinner. The key would be to get the beef sliced thin enough to work well for sandwiches. Homemade mashed potatoes made from real potatoes, butter and cream or milk would be great as well.

I’m sure HBHW readers will have some great recipes to share. Got a favorite roast beef recipe? A tip for making perfect beef gravy? Please comment below.

Sliced Roast Beef

Idaho Raisin Chess Pie

This recipe was in a little booklet of “chuck wagon” recipes 40 odd years ago.My whole family loved it. I know it had raisins and pineapple,but from there I’m lost. Thanks for any help you can give.

Lave Cake or Cupcakes Using A Mix

I am looking for a lava cake or cupcake recipe using a cake mix or brownie mix.
It’s my husbands absolute favorite dessert. I have seen recipes for this before but they looked so complicated, and time consuming. That’s why I’m wondering if there’s a recipe out there using a mix.
If anyone can help me with this I would be so grateful.

Coconut Cream Pie

I am looking for a Coconut Cream Pie recipe that has coconut in the filling and on top of the pie, not the custard type. Thanks

From the Hillbilly Housewife

I don’t have a recipe to share, but I’m sure our readers can help you out. If someone has a recipe that sounds like a good fit, please share it in the comments below.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I am 65 yrs. old and am looking for a pineapple upside-down cake recipe like my grandmother used to make when I was a little girl. I do make mine in a cast iron skillet – but the cakes are too soft. Hers used to be heavier and denser and not on the sweet side. Most of all, her pineapple topping was “caramelized” and it just about “crunched” when you cut it. Can anyone help?

The Hillbilly Housewife

I make mine with my yellow cake from scratch, butter, brown sugar and sliced pineapple. Most other recipes I’ve seen call for yellow cake mix.

Does anyone out there have an old recipe for this type of cake? Please leave a comment below if you have a recipe or a tip to share.