The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

Fall is here! Well, kind of. The pumpkins are out, the decorations are spooky, but in Florida we’re still spending our weekends at the beach. But, let’s pretend it’s not 104 degrees outside and that it’s finally time for sweater weather.

Our favorite things about fall are the food, football, and holidays surrounding food. This season is filled with lots of family time spent in what we think the best part of the house is — the kitchen. The kitchen is a place for gathering with friends + family, dance parties (that’s not just me, right?), and cooking together to create delicious meals to enjoy with each other.

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Jalapeno Popper Chili

Image + Recipe: ©Plain Chicken, Inc.

Jalapeno Popper Chili


  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 3-1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat pulled off bones and chopped

  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped

  • 2 (15-oz) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 3 fresh jalapeños, seeds removed and diced

  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1 (8-oz) block cream cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half-and-half. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, until thickened.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Garnish with additional bacon, jalapeños and pepper jack cheese, if desired.

Emily Addition: Top with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and tortilla chips!


Apple Cheddar Chicken Melts

Image: Lauren Volo Recipe: Sheela Prakash

Apple Cheddar Chicken Melts


  • 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices sourdough bread (from a 9-inch round boule)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 teaspoons honey mustard

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken

  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

  • 1 small Gala apple, cored and cut into matchsticks

  • 4 ounces Brussels sprouts (about 5), finely shredded with a knife or food processor attachment

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, place a baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450°F.

Spread the butter evenly on one side of each of the 8 slices of bread. Spread the honey mustard on the opposite side of 4 slices of the bread.

Using oven mitts, carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Place all the bread slices, butter-side down, on the baking sheet. Evenly distribute the shredded chicken among the mustard-spread bread slices, then distribute the cheese on the remaining 4 bread slices.

Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the slaw.

Combine the apple, Brussels sprouts, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the bread slices with the chicken to a cutting board. Evenly distribute the apple and Brussel sprouts slaw over the chicken. Place the remaining bread slices cheese-side down on top of the slaw to close each sandwich. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.

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Pumpkin Spice White Russian

Image + Recipe: A Tracey creation

Pumpkin Spice White Russian
Ingredients Per Serving

  • 4 T. Kahlua

  • 3 T. Coffee-mate Pumpkin Spice liquid creamer

  • 1 1/2 T. vanilla vodka

  • 2 to 3 tsp. canned pumpkin puree

  • Sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice


  1. Combine Kahlua, Pumpkin Spice creamer, vodka, and pumpkin puree in a small cocktail glass; stir until well combined. Add ice.

  2. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.

We hope you enjoy cooking + creating these together in your kitchen, the heart of the home. Happy Fall!