Cooking and Crafts #1: Chili and Cornbread – Christmas Village 

Finally got to do one of these days with my girl Kat!  We’ve been talking about this for way too long. Here’s what we decided to do:
For the Cooking: Chili and Cornbread

For the Craft: Christmas Village

The Cornbread

Found a great recipe on Pinterest which utilized my cast iron skillet. The result below:

Here’s the recipe I followed on This Gal Cooks: Cast Iron Buttermilk Corn Bread


*I didn’t have buttermilk so I mixed 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbsp of apple cidar vinegar – Worked just fine!

*I baked it for exactly 20 minutes 

*Also my skillet is 12 inches instead of 10 so the bread came out a little thinner then it was suppose to but it still had a great texture and crunchy crust!

The Chili

4 strips of Bacon
1 lb Ground Beef
2 Onions, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
1 can Kidney Beans, drained
1 can Black Beans, drained
2-3 Tbsp Chili powder (depending on how much you like spice!)
2 tsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Apple cidar vinegar 
1/2 tall can dark Beer
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cheddar, shredded
Green onions, chopped

1. Heat up large pot on medium high heat. Once hot throw the chopped bacon in, stirring occasionally until cooked. Remove bacon and set aside. Spoon out half the fat from the pot and turn heat to medium.
2. Add ground beef, stirring occasionally until just cooked. Add chopped onion and garlic, continue stirring.
3. Turn heat up and add diced tomato and beans, continue stirring until boiling, turn low to simmer.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Leave on simmer for 30-45 minutes.The longer you cook it the thicker it will get.
5. Serve immediately with garnish and cornbread 🙂 Enjoy!

The Christmas Village

This idea stemmed from Kat receiving new pieces for her christmas village plus we both love decorating!! And why not do it with some good food and drink??

After dinner Kat and I went through all of her christmas decorations with the help of your two cats Oryx and Kitten. Oryx even got into the festive spirit by dressing up as Rudolph.

We started by placing the cobblestone down (one of the new additions) which fit perfectly on her wine rack width wise, just a little short length wise.

But she had something else that was a new addition to the village…snow!! Which we used to hide the lack of cobblestone on either side.

And the final night scene.

Another section we completed was the woodlands corner.

Tons of fun with many creative results! First cooking and crafts night = success!! 🙂

Thanks to Julie, a fellow cooking gal, for her wonderful cornbread recipe. I will be checking out more of her recipes and you should too!

And thanks to one of my best girls Kat for being a creativity nut just like me!


Natural Groove Gal


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