Get Chili With It! Here’s an Entertaining Maven’s Surprising Party Trick

Get Chili With It! Here’s an Entertaining Maven’s Surprising Party Trick

IT’S TIME! THE holidays have arrived. Are you ready? Before you answer that, read on. We’ve asked a handful of H-Town’s top entertainers and chefs to provide their go-to tips, tricks and recipes — and some may surprise you!

Elizabeth Swift Copeland, whose event and catering biz Swift + Company has been an industry leader for decades, launched a new venture mid-Covid. The Fab Fete has garnered a pretty loyal following for its freezer-to-oven gourmet souffles, which can be shipped across the country or made available for local pickup. This year’s seasonal specials include a Mediterranean souffle with feta, artichokes, capers, dill and kalamata olives; and a mouthwatering fontina-and-butternut-squash souffle.

For her own festive gatherings, Copeland prefers to simmer a big pot of vegetarian chili, a surprisingly simple and always-delicious ones-a-meal for which she’s become known among her friends. Find her recipe below — and save room for a savory souffle on the side, of course!


2T olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

½t sea salt, divided

4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2½t ground cumin

1½t smoked paprika

1t dried oregano

1 large can (28oz ) diced tomatoes, with juices

2 cans (15oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15oz ) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2C vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

2T chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing

1-2t sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, to taste

Optional accoutrements: sliced avocado, tortilla chips or Fritos, Tabasco, cotija or grated cheddar cheese, crème fraîche or sour cream, chopped cilantro


1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until simmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about one minute.

3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for about 30 minutes. Remove the chili from heat.

4. For the best texture, transfer 1 ½ cups of chili to blender and blend until smooth; then pour blended mixture back to pot.

5. Add the chopped cilantro, stir to blend, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too. Divide the chili into bowls and serve with accoutrements of your choice.

6. Serves 4-6.

Pelican Builders Welcome Residents To First New Upper Kirby Condo Offering In Years;
Boutique Midrise Adds To Pedestrian Appeal Of Sought-After, Inner Loop Neighborhood

WITH ITS INAUGURAL set of residents newly moved in, Pelican Builders’ mid-rise condominium Westmore at 2323 W Main Street in Upper Kirby is already seeing the blossoming of a tight-knit community. Designed by Houston-based Mirador Group the Westmore is the first new condominium product to be introduced to the in-demand, inner loop neighborhood in more than three years. And with remaining two-bedroom homes starting at $895,000, it’s a remarkable value for this increasingly pricey area, where condos can easily climb to several million dollars and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Home + Real Estate

THIS WEEKEND MAY have been chilly, but one Friday-night bash brought the heat: Reagan and Alex Bregman welcomed a handful of VIPs to the launch party for their new southwest food brand, Wild Sol.

Keep ReadingShow less

Marita Fairbanks, Palmer Schooley, Kasi Kubiak and Connor Estes

STILL RECOVERING FROM a devastating fire at its HQ in 2022, Fresh Arts expanded on its Instagram-worthy dance-party fundraiser by adding a dinner to this year’s gala, themed The Wonder Ball. Dressed in lavish Alice-in-Wonderland-themed costumes, guests were transported down the rabbit hole as they arrived to Silver Street Studios, which was completely transformed into Lewis Carroll’s fantasy land.

Keep ReadingShow less