Happy Valentine’s Day.
My children have eaten sweethearts, chocolate, and cupcakes for breakfast. Apparently Valentine’s Day is the national holiday for putting yourself into a sugar coma.
I am not going to write about making cupcakes today. Instead I am going to share our family’s beloved chili recipe. Because let’s face it, nothing says I love you like a meal that requires beano. Flatulence: the gift that keeps on giving.
One of the things that I love about chili is that it isn’t a fussy recipe. You can add more of something, less of another, omit ingredients, or substitute your own. You really can’t mess it up. I promise. This version is very mild.
You will need:
1 16oz can red kidney beans
1 16 oz can white beans
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
frozen corn niblets, optional
2-3 T chili powder
1tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Serve with any or none of the following:
The recipe serves approx 6 adults. I double it and we have leftovers.
I love green peppers. And I thought since they are out of season here, along with everything except snow, and I paid $3.89 a pound for them, that they deserved their own photo. Please admire them.
I half expected to find gold nuggets inside.
I almost hated to chop them up.
Dump them into your skillet.
Now peel and chop your onion. If you have one of these handy choppers even your toddler can help.
And help he will.
Until the onions have been pulverized into a liquidy unrecognizable mass. But that is fine. (See above where I said you can NOT ruin this recipe.)
Dump the onions into your skillet also. Add a dash of oil, I prefer extra virgin olive oil because I am channeling my inner virgin, but feel free to use whatever kind of oil you have.
Have you ever seen such gorgeous ground beef? Yes, this is from the organically raised, hand-fed, coddled, loved, and swaddled with silk cow. At least until the day it was slaughtered. It still cost less than those green peppers.
After the onions and peppers grow a tiny bit soft, throw the ground beef into the skillet with them (and your garlic! I have no photo of the garlic because I was mysteriously out of garlic and forced to use garlic powder.) Saute it all up until the meat is no longer pink.
Open your cans of crushed tomatoes. If you like whole tomatoes in your chili you can also add a can of whole tomatoes, drained.
Open your cans of beans and rinse them thoroughly. Trust me on the rinsing. One time I decided to just dump them in and I think I alone was responsible for the damage to the ozone layer that day.
Mix all the ingredients together in your stock pot or crock pot. Add all the spices. And let it simmer away on low.
Crockpot on low can cook from 5 to 10 hours. The longer it cooks the softer the bean become. On the stove top I usually only cook it 4-5 hours and stir it frequently. I really prefer doing the chili in the crockpot as I don’t have to worry about things burning on the bottom of the pan.
If you are going to add corn, put it into the pot before serving. I usually turn off the crockpot or stove 20 minutes before dinner so that the food can cool slightly and stir the corn in then.
I also remake the leftovers of this meal into a multitude of different things. I’ll make a batch of rice and then toss this into cooked rice with a can of diced tomatoes, add some additional spices, and viola a “Spanish” rice to serve as a side dish. Or use it as is for filling an omelete with a bunch of shredded cheese.
This is a bonus Valentine’s day punch recipe that my daughter said I should write about. When we had our Super Bowl feast the kids all got to pick a food and my 7 yr old son picked this punch.
In our huge salad turned punch bowl I dumped two containers of raspberry sherbert.
Then I poured a 2L bottle of ginger ale on top of it. But I’ll tell you a little secret… you can use your ice cream scooper and put a small scoop of sherbet into a punch glass and then pour some ginger ale into the glass. That way you don’t have to drink yourself sick, unless you want to. Feel free to add some vodka to your glass or any other adults over the age of 21 and not driving.
Unless you don’t want to, then you can just add it to mine.