Posted in Books, Cooking, Food, Jane Austen, Uncategorized

Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs

Howard Books/ Simon and Schuster

You had me at chili…and Mr. Knightley. Mr. Knightley eating chili? Sorry, what was I writing about, oh yes, this engaging restructuring of Jane Austen’s Emma by Mary Jane Hathaway.

Sometimes I like adaptations of Jane Austen, sometimes I don’t. This one is lovely.

Modern day.
Southern United States.
Caroline and Brooks have been friends since childhood.
Caroline has returned home to care for her mother. Brooks listens to her, cares about her, he’s hot, kind, chivalrous, smart, funny, rich, and brings her chili-slaw dogs to brighten her terrible day…why can’t she stop friendzoning him?
This is just one in the Jane Austen Takes The South series, but it made me want to read more.
Here’s the yummy part, the author borrowed from Ms. Austen, but then added her own touches to spice things up.


I don’t eat hot dogs anymore, but I still love chili so here’s my version of Chili-Slaw Dogs.

Roast or fry zucchini sticks, peppers & onion w/olive oil &  balsamic vinegar…instead of a hot dog.
Top w/ vegetarian chili or chili.
If using meat, please make sure it’s cooked before you add the rest of the chili ingredients.

Here’s a basic chili recipe – spice to taste.

Add the diced veggies, spices, olive oil to frying pan or large pot. Cook on medium heat, about 5 mins.
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, fried.
3-5 Celery stalks or veg purée
2 carrots
Chilis or chilli powder
Italian herbs and spices (to taste)
3 cloves Garlic
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. pepper

Add diced veggies, spices, olive oil to frying pan or large pot. Cook on medium heat, about 5 mins.
Add 2 cups crushed or diced tomatoes, 3 cups beans. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for 1-3 hrs.
Ideas for beans: Kidney, black, navy, brown beans, Lentils…fava beans? Or a combo.
Make a double or half batch; whatever works for you.

To slaw or not to slaw.
Half a cabbage,
shredded carrots,
¾ cup of mayonnaise,
1 tsp cider vinegar,
1 tbsp honey,
½ tsp salt
Lower calories without losing taste, cut mayonnaise in ½ – add plain or Greek yogurt.
Have fun, experiment.

Guess what I had for supper last night?


Bun is optional; toast it first so it doesn’t get soggy.

Top the chili w/ cheese. Then slaw, or not.


A cool margarita or mint julep (with or without the alcohol) to beat the heat?


If you’re looking for refreshing romantic #Summerreading check this out…
I’m off to find the other books in this series.

I borrowed this book from Netgalley; for bloggers out there, this is an amazing place to get great digital editions free. Check it out

“You must be the best judge of your own happiness.” ~Jane Austen, Emma



Very me

30 thoughts on “Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs

  1. I generally have severe reservations about writers/filmmakers who climb on bandwagons – but it does, I suppose, create initial interest which an entirely fresh approach wouldn’t. Then, of course, it depends on how well they handle it, and it is a severe risk when carrying on a theme of a master story-teller!


    1. I don’t mind me when the author reworks it enough, people have done amazing remakes of all sorts of classics over the years and I kind of figure there are very few original stories. I don’t like the blatant riding on Ms. Austen’s dress hem though. It’s not as though any of them can compare to Ms. Austen, but they can still be enjoyable. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


    2. Ah, it is the risk of writing at all and letting other people read your work. Just putting words on a page is inviting others to make comparisons and… REVIEW. But every now and then, there is a bright and shining moment like this blog post. Many people have said they loved this book (and just as many have hated it, I’m sure) but I think this is the first that actually recreated the regional dish that’s featured in the book.
      I’m checking this off on my “firsts” list!
      Mary Jane


      1. I’m so glad I could help you check that off. lol. 🙂
        Writing is definitely a risk, exposing yourself to the world’s praise and censure is difficult, but worth it, especially in this venture.
        Thank you for your kind words, I will treasure them. 🙂


    1. I’d never heard of them either, but I’m glad I have now. Slaw on chili is sooooo good; you get the creamy and crunchy mixed with the delicious chili, yum, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. 😉


    2. I have to admit… I prefer my slaw on the side. I called a friend who lives in Florence, MS and asked him to beg this recipe from a roadside stand near his home. I made it and… I think I’ll keep my sides on the side. 🙂


      1. I’m not a slaw fan usually, but when I add it to chili it becomes something better…but to each their own sides (heehee, see what I did there?). 🙂


  2. I’m so glad you found her books! She’s a HUGE Jane Austen fan and just couldn’t go without writing down her own version. Never dreamed they would take off like they have. You’re the first person she’s mentioned to me that has tried a recipe and blogged/wrote about it in a review! She’s super impressed. Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits is out now so you can read it but Persuassion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin Cornbread doesn’t come out till fall. I love your version of the recipe in this one too, thanks for sharing!


    1. We Austen fans always seem to find each other.
      I’m so pleased that she’s pleased.
      I’m positive Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin Cornbread will be worth the wait. I’ll have to be content with these books for now and perhaps reread Ms. Austen and rewatch the movie versions – what a hardship! 😉
      Thanks for dropping by. I’m so thankful you both took the time to let me know the review was enjoyable. 🙂


  3. P.S. I just realized your recipe is vegetarian. The heroine of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin’ Cornbread is a vegetarian and it was great fun to try out all my Southern friends’ vegetarian recipes. (And yes, she’s anti-cracklin’s.)


    1. I eat less and less meat, not quite vegetarian yet, but love trying all kinds of recipes and not at all anti-cracklin. 😉
      Thank you again, this means so much to me. You have made my day.
      Can’t wait for more and more of your lovely books.
      Have a wonderful day. 🙂


    1. Thank you. I was pleased to find your blog, that’s been the best part of this first blogging year, for me, finding all of you. I’ll be back and thanks for dropping by. 🙂


    1. The non-hot-dog version is better, in my opinion, but to each their own, years ago I loved hot dogs…go figure. 😉
      As for Emma, Austen did it best, but it’s such a wonderful story I can see why some can’t resist reliving the #AustenLove 🙂
      Hope this week treats you kindly, Maggie, I enjoyed finding your blog, lots of yummies there, I hope to visit your virtual kitchen often. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and virtual kitchen!

        I agree – she did do it best and it’s no wonder people keep revisiting her stories. For me, I still 100% prefer the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle version of P&P to any other that’s ever been made but baby sister who was an Austen purist really enjoyed P&P& Zombies. I definitely can’t hack it!

        Hot-dogs are one of those foods I have a love-hate relationship with. In college they saved my life and ever so often I will still enjoy one but I wouldn’t really go out of my way to buy them very often. Thanks for sharing your recipe – I will have to try it out at some stage!


      2. I hope we can virtually visit often! 🙂
        Oh yes, the Colin Firth version is still my favourite, although I enjoy most of the Austen adaptations. And yes, can’t wait for Pride and prejudice and Zombies, quite enjoyed the books, so with your baby sister on that one. 😉
        Yes, I used to love hot dogs, I’d even eat them for breakfast, but at some point we grew apart, feel out of love and have gone our separate ways. 🙂
        Hope you enjoy it, it’s one of my favs. 🙂
        Hope this week is treating you well – and that you can make it to my blog party tomorrow (Friday January 29th). They’re usually pretty busy – it’s a great way to find bloggers and have them find you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I might have to read that one, then – two recommendations are definitely better than one! The week was great but I had gone on hikes with a friend both Friday and Saturday and I just didn’t get any time to do any blogging things! Next time, I will join for sure! Have a great week!


      4. But hikes are awesome, especially with a friend, bloggy stuff can wait. 😉
        Although your post on hiking also included cheesecake, an easy recipe cheesecake which made me want to hike, yes, but also, to make cheesecake. 😉
        Hope this weekend treats you kindly. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Loved it and shared so others can find it!!! My only dilemma was trying to choice which recipe to try first! lol 😉 Not such a bad choice, really. 😉
      Hope this wee treats you kindly. 🙂


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