Monday, November 17, 2008

Chunky Chili and other Weekend Highlights

We get together for dinner at our house with Kevin's brothers, and their lovely girlfriends, on Friday nights as often as possible. If we can stay up late enough (not quite as often), we play Cranium, too. This friday I made Chunky Veggie Chili- an easy crowd pleaser! We had Lime Meltaways for dessert. This recipe is really more of a method; you can substitute the veggies, meats, beans and spices to suit your desires. I make it slightly different each time.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
3 bell peppers (assorted colors), chopped
3 zuccini, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef
2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can low-sodium black beans
1 can low-sodium kidney beans
8 oz. low-sodium chicken or beef stock
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon course salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:

1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add onions and sautee, stirring often, until they begin to caramalize. Add bell peppers and zuccini and cook about 5 minutes more, until strating to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer veggies to a bowl.

2. In the same dutch oven, brown meats. Add salt & pepper and spices. Return veggies to the pot, and add tomatoes, beans, and stock.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add corn a few minutes before serving.

*Serve with shredded cheese (we like sharp cheddar and pepper jack), sour cream, sliced avocado, and corn bread.

This makes a huge batch. The next day, morph the leftovers into a Chili Mac & Cornbread Casserole by mixing some cooked macaroni noodles and shredded cheese into the chili, transferring mixture to a large baking dish, crumbling cornbread over the top, and baking until golden and bubbly. Yum! Uncle Bobby will say that the chili's even better this way, but I think he'll say that whatever he's putting in his mouth at the time is the best ever.


Saturday we went to Gramma & Pa's for lot's of fun outdoor activities, including swimming (where are you, fall?), making train tracks in the front yard, and bike riding. Chloe had her first lesson in riding without training wheels! Being the serious, realistic kid she is, she kept saying (lip-quivering), "I just don't undertand how something with only two wheels can stay up without falling!" Yes, many a tear were shed along the way, but she didn't give up until her inner thighs were sore from all that rubbing (it was shorts & tank top weather... again... fall?!) Way to go, Chlo-Bo!

Kevin and I also helped out a bit with the major painting makeover they bravely decided to take on in time for the holidays. It looks great so far! I have an awesome technique for making a perfect edge, and Kevin is like an acrobat on top of a ladder (let's say their ceilings are not low). So we put ourselves to good use while Pa & Gramma did what they do best... keep track of three crazy kids!


Sunday evening was very low-key.

Kevin made dinner.

Chayse kept Stinky busy with legos and toy cars.

Chloe and I worked hard to finish her big ancestor project for school.


After dinner we all sat down to watch The Santa Clause 2 (we are obsessed with Christmas movies), and sipped hot apple cider.

Camden tried to eat her cinnamon stick.

After the kids went to sleep and we had our Desperate Housewives fix, Kevin gave me an awesome back massage until I too fell asleep, then he carried me to bed.

I'd say there's really no better way to finish off the weekend!

1 comment:

Tegan and Tage said...

I love Chloe stories, they freaking crack me up. :) I can just picture the wheels in her head cranking as she tries to comprehend just how the bicycle is supposed to remain upright. Sounds like a great family weekend!