Fall is Coming.

starbucks giveaway

Call me "basic" for loving fall, but if loving fall is wrong, then I don't want to be right.  My last fall in Nebraska lasted approximately one week.  The leaves changed colors and then a harsh winter wind tore them off and it snowed the next day. I was able to experience my first lengthy fall last year in DC and it was magnificent.  I engaged in all things "basic" for several months which of course included Instagramming pictures of leaves,  corn mazes,  pumpkins, my Halloween costume, and making my annual spicy vegetarian chili which is perfect for football season, and makes enough to feed an army (recipe below).  

Fall also means that my summer break is coming to an end, and I will thus require a steady stream of caffeine into my bloodstream, and as the above photo indicates, a little quiet time and a good cry.

This year there is one more thing for us "basic" fall/caffeine-loving folks to rejoice in.  Starbucks announced that due to popular demand, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), has a new recipe that includes real pumpkin and no caramel coloring.  So while September 7th is a national holiday, we can all toss on a big sweater, boots, and an infinity scarf and celebrate September 8th by sipping on the new and improved Pumpkin Spice Latte.  To make your PSL that much sweeter, I've partnered with some lovely ladies to host a Starbucks giveaway that will fund your Starbucks binges for a week or two.  Enter below for your chance to win! 

The Chili Recipe 

For me, football season is synonymous with chili season.  My mom would always make the biggest batch of chili that we would freeze and enjoy all season.  I tried out THIS CHILI RECIPE but tweaked the recipe a little bit to make it even spicier.  If you do not like really spicy chili, I would suggest using only 6-8 jalapeño slices.   Don't be thrown off by the fact that it's "vegetarian,"  If you've never used veggie crumbles as a substitute for meat, I think this is a good dish to start.  Our favorite brands for veggie crumbles are either Boca or Beyond Meat, and I like to cook the crumbles separately before adding them to the chili pot.  It makes the texture more meat-like. 


  • 1/2 tbs ground chipotle chili powder
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes,
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages Boca Veggie Crumbles
  • heaping 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 11 jalapeno slices (from jar)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped



  • Heat olive oil in large pot. Heat onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt until onion is cooked through.  Add chopped celery, chopped  jalapeño, chopped bell peppers, garlic, and  green chili peppers to mixture.
  • This Pampered Chef Chopper  is a huge time-saver!
  • Heat additional olive oil in large pan on medium/low heat, cook veggie crumbles separately.  (I add some of the liquid from the pepper mixture to the crumbles while they cook). 
  • Next, add chopped tomatoes and veggie crumbles to your pot, followed by the chili powder, black pepper, and your rinsed/drained beans. 
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for an hour.   Serve with your favorite chili toppings!

Since Fall is right around the corner, I've teamed up with some wonderful ladies to give you a chance to win $175 to Starbucks! Can you already taste that pumpkin spice latte?! You'll have an unlimited caffeine rush, enter in the Rafflecopter below:



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