Comfort Food

Turkey Chili Recipe card illustrated by Susan Hazel RichMany college students miss their family’s home-cooked meals. So for nearly nine years, through Kent State’s innovative “Taste of Home” program, Dining Services has invited students and family members to submit favorite recipes that Kent State’s executive chefs may feature in one of the dining halls on campus to make the menus more like home.

This year for Parents and Families Weekend, Dining Services facilitated a Taste of Home contest, and Kent State parent Debbie McKinney won for her turkey chili recipe—a favorite of her daughter Dana, a first-year photo illustration major.

“The crockpot recipe makes a large batch, so we keep it in smaller containers in the freezer, ready to thaw, heat and enjoy anytime,” wrote McKinney in her submission. “Since it’s not spicy, and because I use black beans instead of red beans, it doesn’t create indigestion, as some chili recipes do.”

McKinney won two tickets to the Student Affairs loge for the weekend’s football game, and her chili was served there and at the Eastway Café. (Turns out McKinney is no stranger to serving a crowd—she owns Time to Spare, a corporate and nonprofit event planning and gift service in Akron.)

“I love her turkey chili, like all my friends and family do,” says her daughter, Dana. “She’s a really good cook.”

Students and family members can submit recipes year-round at



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POSTED: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 04:26 PM