We spend a lot of time in the kitchen – cooking, eating, doing dishes, drinking coffee, eating again – and it needs to be a place we feel called to, a room that tells us we are home. Sometimes we get so busy thinking of the kitchen as a “utility” room that we forget to make it work aesthetically. On the flip side, a kitchen that suffers from décor overload can make us feel disorganized and stressed. The kitchen does have to support the work that goes on there, but it should also be pleasing to the eye. Martha Stewart who simply refuses to work in a kitchen that is any less than beautiful , suggests an investment in small appliances, bake ware and utensils that are not only functional, but that are pleasing to the eye. A mixer can beat the egg whites into a meringue just as well when it is lime green as opposed to something the color of Cream of Wheat. Have some fun, add some color, or go the other way and take every drop of color out. A totally white, or silver and black palette can be stunning. Your kitchen works hard and it is screaming for drama, something that says to the world, “the food cooked in this room may change your life”. Make your kitchen a place you want to be after dinner is done and the dishwasher is running. And while you’re there, put your feet up. You work hard too.
Nothing says cozy on a winter night like homemade chili. It’s easy to make and it is a one pot meal that will go a long way, so invite friends, and relax. This is one of those meals you can make ahead, so that when your guests come you’re reading a magazine like you don’t have another thought on your mind.
Soak one cup of kidney beans, one cup of pinto beans and one cup of black beans overnight. Drain and rinse the beans then put them in a large pot and cover completely with water. Add salt and pepper and a large chopped onion. Boil hard for thirty minutes, then simmer for three hours.
While the beans cook, rub a pork loin with garlic salt and course ground black pepper, wrap in foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 90 minutes. Remove from foil and cut pork into bite size pieces. Chop one seeded jalapeño pepper in tiny pieces. When beans are tender, drain off most of the water, add pork, jalapeño, one large can tomato sauce, one can S&W diced tomatoes, two tablespoons chili powder, one teaspoon dried basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for two hours.
Serve your chili in individual bowls with a scoop of cottage cheese on top. (seriously – cottage cheese) Cornbread goes nicely with the chili either on the side or in the bowl. Enjoy!
Boilermaker Tailgate Chili
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon bacon bits
- 4 cubes beef bouillon
- 1/2 cup beer
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
- 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
- Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
- To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.
- Winter Buffalo Chili (foodthinking.wordpress.com)