Turkey Chili with Cumin

By: Angela Keyser, HQO’s Vice President of Marketing

This turkey chili is really easy to make and includes delicious and nutritious ingredients like brown rice, black beans and corn.  Serve with a touch of sour cream to balance the heat from the cumin and a side of cornbread and you have a hearty and warm meal for any cold winter night.

This December I wrote about the amazing Christmas parties my mom used to throw on the farm in Wisconsin when we were kids.  Ironically, this chili recipe was originally made at the first Christmas party I threw as an adult.  I was living in a great townhouse in Norfolk, VA with two other female professionals and I was all about throwing a party so all of our friends could meet.  We spent a full weekend before the party making cookies and planning. It was a great time.  But, we were worried just cookies and finger food wouldn’t be enough to eat. Since we were all working during the week and our party was on a Friday night, we needed to come up with a make-ahead meal that could be hearty enough to (e’hem) absorb all the delicious beverages we’d be serving!  Of course, the first thing we did was call our moms and ask for advice.  The consensus was clear, make something – like chili – that can be served in a pot on the stove or in a crockpot on the buffet table. The result was this chili and it was a huge success! I thought our guests were just being kind by commenting on how delicious it was.  But, when I entered it into my extended family’s chili cook-off contest that Christmas Eve and WON, I knew it was a keeper! Now it’s a must-make every fall and winter for many of my friends and family so I just had to share with you too. Enjoy!

“Award-Winning” Turkey Chili with Cumin*

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
32 ounces chicken broth
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 jar salsa verde (about 1-2 cups)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream for topping

Steps 1 & 2: Heat oil in a large pot and brown turkey with chopped garlic. Add cumin, salt and pepper and stir well.

Step 3: Add broth, beans, corn, rice and salsa. Bring to boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Step 3: Remove from heat. Add onion and cilantro and stir.


Step 4: Serve with a dollop of sour cream and corn bread.

*Recipe adapted from this Women’s Day Turkey Chili recipe.

Game Day Hot Wings!

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, these hot n’ spicy wings are a sure fire way to have a great party!

You’ll need: 2 cups of all purpose flour, 3 tbsp of organic paprika, 3 tbsp of organic adobo, 3 tbsp pf organic chili powder, 1 tsp of kosher salt, 2 lbs of organic chicken wings, canola oil, 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1/4 cup hot sauce and blue cheese dressing

Step 1: Add 2 inches of oil to a pan and place over medium high heat. Then add all your spices to your flour and mix well.

Step 2: Dredge your chicken in your seasoned flour and gently place in hot oil. Avoid over-crowding by working in batches.

Fry each batch for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Step 3: Remove crispy wings and allow to drip dry on a cooling rack

Step 4: Make your wing sauce by melting the butter in a sauce pan and adding in your hot wing sauce.

Step 5: Coat your wings in the hot wing sauce and serve with blue cheese dressing and an ice cold beer. Enjoy!


Tamales are a great way to get the entire family in the kitchen to spend time together! This super simple recipe is a great introduction to the classical hispanic dish of Tamales!

To begin you’ll need:

-12 corn husks soaked in warm water

-2 tbsp of paprika, 2 tbsp of Adobo mix, 2 tbsp of kosher salt

-3 cups prepared masa

-2 lbs of beef, chicken or pork

-1 cup light beer

Step 1: Rub your meat with the seasoning blend and place in a dutch oven. Add your beer to the bottom of the dutch oven, this will act as our braising liquid. Close the top with the lid and place in a 300F oven for 2 hours. Then shred the meat with a fork. Below is our shredded chicken (left) and prepared masa (you can find this at most hispanic speciality stores)











Step 2: Fill your corn husks. Lay the husk flat and add about a tablespoon’s worth of the prepared masa






Step 3: Add about 2 tbsp of your prepared meat to the masa






Step 4: Roll the edges of the corn husk and fold the bottom to make a compact steaming pouch






Step 5: Place the folded tamales into your steamer, and when full, cover and steam for 30-45 minutes. Serve hot with salsa. Enjoy!

Sugared Rosemary Champaign Cocktail

By: Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

Happy New Year!

For most people, New Year’s Eve isn’t complete without a festive cocktail in hand. Here’s one that’s really easy to make. The sugared rosemary gives it an extra festive touch that, if you’re like me, will make you smile. Remember, drink responsibly!

Sugared Rosemary Champaign Cocktail

4-6 Champagne Flutes
1 Bottle of Your Favorite Champagne
A dash of pomegranate or cranberry juice
A bunch of fresh rosemary, just the tips or small stems
A glass of water
A cup or two of white sugar on a plate
Step 1: Cut the tips of the rosemary sprigs OR remove the small branches of the large rosemary sprigs so you have enough small rosemary “buds” for all your champagne glasses. 
Step 2: Dip rosemary sprigs in water and then coat with sugar.
Step 3: Place sugar coated rosemary on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Until rosemary is firm.)
Step 4: Fill champagne glasses half to three-quarters full of champagne, adding a splash of juice, if desired.
Step 5: Garnish with a small sprig of sugared rosemary
Step 7: Surround yourself with friends, say “cheers” and enjoy!

Sage Gin Cocktail

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

This cocktail is light, crisp and refreshing. A great accompaniament to a festive holiday dinner. Make the simple syrup in advance and you can assemble the drink within minutes.  Enjoy!

Sage Gin Cocktail*

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce sage simple syrup
1/2 ounce lime juice
sparkling water or club soda
fresh sage leaves for garnish
Sage Simple Syrup
1 cup honey
1 cup water
8-10 fresh sage leaves, rolled and finely chopped 
Step 1: Make Sage Simple Syrup – Combine honey, water and chopped sage leaves in a small sauce pan and heat on medium high.  Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and the honey is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit for several hours or overnight. Strain sage leaves from simple syrup and store in refrigerator.
Step 2: Make Cocktail: Add gin, sage simple syrup, lime juice to a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into large glass. Top with sparkling water or club soda and a fresh sage leaf.
*Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is.

Big-Batch Cocktail Recipe: Spiced Eggnog

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

Be sure to shake or stir well before serving. You can see how the milk and light cream separate.

I will have to admit, I’m not an eggnog lover.  Yet, I know there are many of you out there so I wanted to make sure to find a great-tasting recipe that was flavorful and easy to make ahead of time.

This eggnog recipe requires a little more time than the Hot Buttered Rum Apple Cider recipe, but, it’s just as delicious. It not only makes a great holiday party cocktail but add it to a mason jar with a bow and you have a great hostess gift for any eggnog fan.

Note:  If you’re in a pinch, buy some ready-made eggnog and add a teaspoon or two of your favorite spices and a cup of rum in your pitcher and you’re set!

Spiced Eggnog Cocktail*


Serves: 12-20
Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time (4-24 hours)
4 cups 2% milk
5-7 whole cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks (save the egg whites for your breakfast omelet)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups light rum
4 cups light cream or half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

The nutmeg adds beautiful speckles to the cocktail.


Step 1: Combine milk, cloves, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and cinnamon in pot and very slowly heat to a boil, stirring at all times. (Start the burner on low for about 5 minutes and then gradually bring to a medium or medium-high heat.) When mixture boils, remove from heat.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until fluffy. Then, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the eggs, stirring constantly and making sure not to cook the eggs.  Pour mixture back into large pot and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick.  Don’t let the mixture boil!
Step 3: Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, removing cloves. Let cool for about 1 hour.
Step 4: Add rum, cream, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and nutmeg to the milk and egg mixture and refrigerate overnight or for about 4-6 hours before serving.
*Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com

DIY Hot Cocoa Mix

By Angela Keyser, Director of Marketing for High Quality Organics

This is a super simple dry mix that’s perfect for last-minute gifts.  I particularly love it for office or teacher gifting. Just add it to a pretty container or a small mason jar with a bow and you have at least 6-12 gifts ready to go at a moments notice!

DIY Hot Cocoa Mix*

1 cup hot chocolate mix
1 cup powdered  milk
2/3 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Step 2: To make – add 2 tablespoons mix to 8 ounces hot water. Garnish with whip cream or marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.
Recipe adapted from Yummly.com