Jeanne Briggs



“My last recipe…”


Rockford residents lost a special woman… Jeanne Elaine Briggs, age 72, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 27, 2012.  Jeanne touched the hearts and minds of many through her work with child advocacy groups and in sharing her love of cooking.  Jeanne was honored by MACLD, Michigan Association for Children with Learning Disabilities to help bridge the barriers between parents, schools and teachers.  She was also honored by KISD, Kent Intermediate School District for her untiring and devoted service, and also recognized by the United Way for her leadership efforts.  As for her cooking, she wrote for the Rockford Squire’s “What’s Cooking” column for 12 years and her unique and creative recipes / dishes / culinary creations were included in three different published cookbooks, numerous entries and winning dishes in events such as, the Grand Rapids Cook Off and others.  She was married to her husband Bob 45 years ago, and at that time Jeanne worked for Grand Valley State University.  She and her husband Bob are both graduates of Creston High School.  She is survived by her husband Bob and her sister Elaine Hart.  She is also survived by her three boys, Jason, Kyle and Mitchell.  She also has three grandchildren Nolan, Michaela and Austin Briggs who loved their “gourmet” grandma.  Jeanne was a member of Rockford United Methodist church and loved contributing in a culinary way towards the church’s efforts.  Jeanne loved life and celebrated many triumphs with family and friends both in Rockford and in Punta Gorda Florida where her friend base thrived from her love to cook for them.  She was a giving woman and we know she would want you to have this “last recipe” that won her one of the two years at the Rockford Jaycees Annual Chilli Cook-Off Grand Champion in 1993 and 1994.  We love you Mom and all that you are to us.


Rio Lobo Chili (River Wolf)

2 lbs beef stew chunks cut into good sized pieces

2 lbs of lean ground beef

4 T oil

2 large onions, chopped

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp ground allspice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1  1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1 T smoked paprika

3 bay leaves

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 T unsweetened cocao (Dutch or Ghirdelli)

1 tsp thyme

3 diced jalapenos chopped (without the seeds)

2 T Better than Beef Boullion (In a jar by the soups)

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T cider vinegar

1 cup of Burgundy wine

15 oz can of tomato paste or puree your own

28 oz can of diced tomatoes or cut your own Roma’s

49.5 oz can of Swanson’s Beef Broth


In a large frying pan over med-hi heat, saute’ onion, garlic, ground beef and chili powder until ground beef is slightly cooked.  Add allspice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, cocoa, tomato paste, Better than Beef Bullion paste, Worcestershire, cider vinegar and part of the beef broth.  Simmer for 15 minutes. Brown the stew meat well and add to the pot.  Add the can of diced tomatoes, bay leaves, smoked paprika.  Simmer for 2 hours, adding more beef broth as it evaporates.  This isn’t really a thick chili but not a soup.

Continue to taste for seasonings like salt or more of the seasonings above that would complement what you are tasting.  Serve with chopped onions, shredded sharp cheddar and Sour Cream. (As for beans, these are to be complemented and served on the side if you must.)


Jeanne’s family has set aside a free cookbook for those who would want one.  Just walk up to the Service Desk at the Family Fare and one is yours.  She would have loved her recipes to be tabled for family and friends.


About Squire News 6222 Articles
The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.