Say Yes to Texas!


Do cowboys still exist in Texas? Yes, they do. There are even some that walk around dressed-for-the-ranch. I know because I saw them while I visited. Texas is an amazing place. While shopping at the Riverwalk, my mind absorbed everything around me…the people, the land, the food. Just as Louisiana has jambalaya, Pennsylvania has cheesesteak, Chicago has deep-dish pizza…Texas has its own signature foods too. Because the state has been a landing point for many immigrants, there is a blended variety of flavors. I guess the true version of Texan food depends on who you ask. Every Texan, it seems, has put a personal spin on chili, steak rubs and barbecue, and chicken-fried steak.



In my Second Chance Series, set in Texas, I wanted to embrace the culture and cowboys. In the second book, Second Ride Cowboy, heroine Lila loves to cook and bake. So, I’ve created a recipe in her honor…and for the love of Texas!


Frito Chili


2 pounds ground beef

1 can tomato sauce (if you like thicker chili, go for the smaller can)

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes (I use the green chilies variety)

1 can kidney beans

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste (I can’t give you exact measurements because I like less chili powder and more salt and pepper. But adjust however you enjoy)


A bag of Fritos

Shredded Cheddar

Sour Cream

Green onions, thinly sliced


Brown beef. Drain. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans, & spices. Add a half cup of warm water. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low. Simmer, with lid on, for at least two hours.


Serve in bowls topped with fritos, cheese, sour cream and green onions (all optional)


Visit me:


Second Ride Cowboy is now available at:  Amazon



Second Ride Cowboy -  eBook Cover


Riding is nice. But riding with a partner is much more fun…


Duke McGraw learned the hard way that life can change in the blink of an eye. Waking up from a coma, he wants nothing more than to ride back into his life—but nothing is the same, not even Lila Sinclair. With pride the size of Texas, Duke builds a wall of anger. Bent, not broken, he climbs back into the saddle to see where the rocky trail leads him.


Lila loves Duke—always had, always will—but the wounds of tragedy run deeper than physical. Confused by Duke’s emotional barriers, Lila is at the end of her rope but refuses to lose hope. Tough and determined, Lila’s out to lasso her cowboy. But will her nurturing heart be broken again? A man like Duke comes with risks. When playing with fire someone is bound to get scorched.


Some flames never die, and Duke and Lila’s connection is hotter than hell. Temperatures rise on the ranch and horses aren’t the only thing being ridden. When the future is at stake, choices must be made. Beyond the scars and tragedy, will love rise again or will the second chance be the last?




DUKE EYED HIS neatly folded clothes at the bottom of the bed. He was at a cross of emotions. He was happy to get the hell out of the hospital, but anger dulled the shine some. He’d been teetering somewhere between pissed and relief since Dr. Scott came in and gave him the news that he’d be discharged in a few days. The smile had barely settled on his lips before she’d told him he’d need someone to help care for him until he was stronger.


Being forced into something didn’t settle well with him, and when he was told he’d have a grown up version of a babysitter, his ego thinned to the width of a piece of paper.


On the other hand, staying in a hospital where he was the only one awake besides the nurses didn’t do much for him either. He hated having nurses coming and going all day checking his stats.


There came a time when a man found himself backed against a wall and with no ego remaining to protect, he admitted his ass was in a sling.


It took him a full minute to think over the Dr. Scott’s offer of breaking out of the sanitary jail and told her to print off his discharge papers. Hell, she’d even agreed to set up his nurse. Once he got to the Swift Wind, where he planned to stay until the McAllister was ready, the sitter would run from the spitting, crude bunch of men who lived in the residential hand quarters. The thought brought vengeance in his gut.


He checked out his clothes and smiled. Damn, he was glad to get out of the open-backed gown and thin pajama bottoms. He needed real clothes—manly clothes. He guessed anything would butter up his bruised ego. He’d have to thank Chance for dropping them off, especially for remembering his old, scuffed boots.


Dressing in the new, red-checkered flannel and dark jeans, he was pulling on his last boot when he heard someone behind him. “I see the clothes are a little big.” It was Lila.


His stomach twisted like someone wringing a wet dishtowel. What was she doing here? He glanced across the worn floor to sandals that showed off red painted toenails, up her long, bare legs, skirt, along her slender waist, stopping to admire the shape of her full breasts, until he reached her face. Oh hell, she cocked her hidden lasers and burned a hole straight through him. What was she up to?


He straightened, but didn’t get up. His legs were still weak, and with the blood draining from his head and rushing into his groin, he was bound to fall flat on his face. “If the clothes are big that’s only because Chance thinks everyone is two-hundred pounds.”


As she reduced the distance between them in the already-too-small room, beads of sweat formed on his upper lip. Damn betrayal of his body.


“Chance had nothing to do with it. I brought them from home, the shirt I bought new.”


He swallowed the scratchiness in his throat. “You brought the clothes?” And what did she mean by “from home.” They’d never lived together.


“Yes, don’t sound so shocked. I made the best choice with what I thought would fit you. You’ve lost weight.”


“They’re fine. I’ll eat some of Thelma’s home cooking and I’ll have my gut back in no time. A man’s first meal after a coma should never be fed to him through an IV.” He patted his stomach as his mouth watered, already tasting Thelma’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and homemade rolls. Lila moved and his thoughts of food disappeared and her scent took its place. A hint of blackberry blended with vanilla. He’d never forget that smell.


“I’m glad you have your appetite,” she said, “but—”


“Thanks. Now you can leave.” No good ever came from someone adding “but” at the end of a sentence. He was getting a feeling deep inside his chest and he didn’t like it one bit.


“Thelma has a broken leg and is staying with her family during healing. And leaving? I’m actually waiting.” She turned her chin up as if she dared him to challenge her.


Duke felt every muscle in his body quiver. “Waiting? For hell to freeze over?”


A crafty smile slithered its way across the perfect shape of her lips. “Well, not quite.”


He bit back a smile. “You’re not here just to drop my clothes off, are you?” With a shake of her head, and a shrug of one shoulder, she laughed. It was the laugh of a woman who had him by the balls.


“No, afraid not. Looks like you and I are going to be spending a lot of time together.”


Duke felt a sting as the hand of reality slapped him. He’d been tricked. Anger shot through him. “You’re kidding me. You? My nurse? Not going to happen.”


“Duke,” she sighed. “Can we do this the easy way?”


“Not the easy way, not the hard way, just no way at all.”


“Well, then, you could stay here.”


The mere words made him cringe. “Hell no!” He scrubbed his jaw. A man could go insane stuck in a room. No, he couldn’t stay. “I hope you packed up your boots, old jeans and a chastity belt.”


“And why is that?” She didn’t appear the least bit bothered. Her eyes beckoned him and he thought he’d drown in them if he stared too long.


“Because the boys at the Swift Wind won’t know how to control themselves with a pretty woman sleeping in the workers quarters.” Happy with himself, he straightened his back. He guessed she’d last all of one night, considering she wasn’t much into roughing it. That’d take care of his problem.


“Oh, we’re not heading to the Swift Wind. Didn’t Chance tell you the good news? He told you everything else.”


His heart skipped a beat. He could hear the air sizzle around him as his blood heated. “Tell me what?”


“We’re going home…”

6 comments to “Rhonda Lee Carver Shares her Recipe for Texas Frito Chili – Yee-haw!”

  1. Clare O'Beara
    July 8th, 2013 at 4:17 am · Link

    Great recipe! We don’t have all the ingredients here in Ireland – can of tomatoes do not come with green chiles in them – but I can adapt.
    Good luck with the book.

    • rhondaleecarver
      July 8th, 2013 at 4:43 pm · Link

      Thx so much. That’s the great thing to all recipes…adapt to your tastes and needs.

  2. Emerald
    July 8th, 2013 at 7:01 am · Link

    I admit I’ve sometimes felt like the only person I know who really doesn’t like chili, but I loved this excerpt! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Donna Michaels
    July 8th, 2013 at 12:07 pm · Link

    The chili sounds great! Thanks, Rhonda. And I enjoyed the excerpt. Something tells me there is a lot of head butting going on. lol

    • rhondaleecarver
      July 8th, 2013 at 4:44 pm · Link

      You got it…lots of conflict. But equal amounts of spice and heat and conflict.

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