Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Neighborhood Chili Cook-Off & Smoked Gouda Crackers

Pin It Now! My beautiful boss and I decided to enter our neighborhood Chili Cook-off recently under the name of the flower shop.

I had so much fun coming up with this recipe with my boss. I sat on the flower shop floor as we talked it into existence. We created this beauty out of thin air. And giggled along the way.

Did I mention that I love my job?!

There was a ton of great chili to be had entered by restaurants and other non-restaurant businesses, as well as neighborhood folks! 

We made a chili using ground buffalo. Delicious!!! We won People's Choice! I did a happy dance. Twice

We had a secret ingredient. Secret ingredients require a James-Bond-like stealthiness. You want it to enhance your recipe, but be undetectable as it is a secret! I always wanted to say that there was a secret ingredient in something that I had created and now I can!

I would share with the recipe for our super amazing chili, but I'd have to kill you. Remember I said there was a secret ingredient?! And I like having you around.  Also, I may need to use this recipe as a bargaining chip in the event I am kidnapped by a mob of bandit ninjas.

.....But I will totally fork over the cracker recipe.

The crackers ended up being a perfect accompaniment to the chili. Everyone is used to eating cornbread with their chili. I love cornbread. It's delicious, but pretty typical. And I live to be a-typical. So, these crackers were a great way of introducing a cheesy cornmeal flavor without being cornbread!

Smoked Gouda Crackers

Adapted from Allrecipes
Yields: A ton of crackers. 

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup smoked gouda, shredded
1/4 cup milk

1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
3. Sift together the cornmeal, flour, and salt.
4. Cut in the butter (I recommend using your fingers.. you get to play with your food. I need any excuse I can to play with my food. And you get to make sure that the butter is really well incorporated, which is an added bonus).
5. Stir in the cheese and add the milk.
6. Knead the dough a few times to make sure it's well incorporated.
7. Roll out on a well-floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into your desired cracker shape.
8. Place onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes.


  1. I don't work with you, but I love your job! I want to be there!

  2. YUMMY! I love entering cook-offs. Congrats to you and your boss!

  3. It looks really yummy. Congratulations!

  4. Congrats on your win. That's awesome. Gouda is one of my fav cheeses and I'm sure it's delicious with chili.

  5. Awesome! Congratulations on winning the chili cook-off!

  6. Ooh, these crackers look great - and congratulations on winning the cook off!

  7. Emily...congrats on being the People's Choice! I don't blame you for giving out the recipe...but am glad you shared this wonderful recipe for the gouda crackers. (Lots of uses for them I assure you!) And you know what? I LOVE your job, too! : )

  8. What a fun post! Congrats to you! And thanks for sharing these crackers - a cheese cracker always brings me in - and there are so many uses for it (#1 being Claudia eating them all).

  9. What fun! Congratulations on the People's choice award!!! One day you'll give up that secret ingredient. I can tell it's dying to share. :) Great post and what a great job!

  10. Congrats!! I want to taste this stealthy chili of yours. I may have to resort to tricks and subterfuge to get the ingredient out of you! ; )

  11. ohh que delicia Emily.... es una receta ganadora, sin lugar a dudas!!! Besitos guapa!

  12. Fabulous crackers...the perfect accompaniment to your award winning chili!!! CONGRATULATIONS, Emily!!!!

  13. Woo hoo! Happy dance! Congrats on what I'm sure was a very WELL deserved win :) Those crackers look outstanding too!

  14. Deliciosa mezcla, de buena ganame comeria una racion .

    nos vemos


  15. Congrats, the chili with bison must have been amazing! Loving the smoked gouda crackers here, yummy!

  16. lovely...hope you had a great time..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  17. congrats on getting People's Choice---no doubt yours was a winner. Cracker recipe is a keeper--thanks for sharing this one!


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