Cookbook Review- Happy Hour at Home

Let me start off by saying, I have a lot of cookbooks. And out of all those cookbooks, I have always found at least one recipe in each one that I’m not a fan of. Which is to be expected right?

Well, all that has changed. The lovely people over at New World Library graciously sent me a copy of Brian Patton’s  The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home to review, and out of all the recipes I’ve made from it, I love every single one! (Disclaimer: I haven’t made everything from this cookbook. But I have made quite a few things!!)


One thing I love about this cookbook is that it is in menu format. I don’t hate cooking, but when I’ve got a super busy week going on, I hate having to plan out what to pair with what for dinner. This book does all that work for you! (AND He provides shopping lists for every menu!)

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It Warms the Cockles of Your Heart

Has anyone else heard that phrase before? Does anyone else think the word “cockles” sounds gross? I had a friend in college tell me that about the chili she was eating once, and I was like wwwhhhhaaaatttt? Whatever a cockle is, I don’t want them, and I don’t want to warm them. But then I googled it and don’t worry you guys, it’s legit.

I know I’ve made chili here on the blog before, but I’m totally disowning that chili. I’m not even going to link to it. This stuff is the real deal.

I know what you’re thinking. Liz, that looks like real cheese and sour cream on your chili there. Aren’t you lactose intolerant? Both of those answers is YES. But you guys, when I have real cheese and sour cream in the fridge I can’t just not eat it.

I had these things in the fridge because this chili was for a chili contest I was participating in at work and we wanted to have fancy toppings. We got 4th place, out of 8, but I’m pretty proud. This was vegetarian chili, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been to central Indiana, but people don’t take kindly to vegetables here. One man wouldn’t try it because it had “too many vegetables in it” I was like, YOU’RE A 30 YEAR OLD MAN AND YOU’RE AFRAID TO EAT A SPOONFUL OF VEGETABLES?” If I didn’t have to be polite, I would have called him a coward.

Oh well. We did have people come over and say, “I hear you guys have a really good vegetarian chili.” I was like uuummm, no. We have a really good chili. period. Whatevs. There was one vegetarian girl there who kept coming back for more. She was excited.

So much chili you guys!

And thanks to my awesome boss, for not giving me crap about not putting meat in it. She sometimes gives me a hard time, but she’s really respectful of my foodie choices.

bubbling away

I ended up making 2 batches of this stuff. It could feed an army. Everyone also said that it would win the award for most colorful, prettiest, and healthiest. After all, we do eat with our eyes! Also, it had beer in it. What more could you ask for?? I was looking for a darker beer, but my local Krogers had this stuff, and I was like ohmygoshIhavetotrythatit’sglutenfreeyougys! I needed 2 for the chili, and drank the other 4. Out of all the things that are gluten free that I wish would taste like their gluteny counterparts, beer is not the first on the list. But this stuff tasted just like beer.

So since this is 4th place award winning (4th place is an award, after all) chili, I’m assuming you guys want the recipe. I got my inspiration for this from the many “vegetarian chili” recipes my boss printed out while we were supposed to be working. I took things from each one that I liked. I’ll give you the amounts for just one recipe, if you want to feed an army, just double it.

4th Place (but really, way better than that) Chili

3- 15oz cans diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
2 cans pinto beans
7oz can diced green chilis
1-2 chilis in adobo sauce (Sooooo spicy!)
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 T olive oil
1 bottle beer
2 cups vegetable stock
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
1 T oregano
1 T cumin

Optional: some grinds of Trader Joes everyday seasoning, and South African seasoning (I like the South African one because it’s smokey!!)

1. Chop the onions, and peppers. (You can use all green peppers if the other ones are crazy expensive, but they do make it so pretty and colorful!) pour the tablespoon of oil into a big ole pot and add the onions and peppers once it’s hot. Let them hang out for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the onions. Everyone is going to get to know each other in the pot. (Virtual high five if you can tell me what TV show that’s from!!!!) 

2. Chop the garlic, and chiles in adobo sauce, and add them to the pot with the green chiles, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.

3. Once the mixture is simmering, ad the spices, beer, and veggie stock. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while.

Feel free to add some veggie meat crumbles to the recipe if that’s your thing! You can serve this with sour cream (real or soy) cheese (or cheeze!) green onions, and crushed tortilla chips. It is a little spicy, so if you want it to be less spicy, take out some of the green chilies, chiles in adobo sauce, or chili powder. If you like it super spicy, add more!

Have you ever entered any form of cooking or food contest? 

Also, please tell me someone knows the onion/chili reference I mentioned earlier?!

I Love Me Some Vegetables

And carbs. don’t get me wrong. But veggies are up there. Fo sho. Speaking of carbs and veggies, guess what’s hiding in this loaf of bread??

You can see them peeking out!!!

OMG, It’s tons of veggies!!!

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