In the Southwest, we have more recipes than we need for toothsome green chile—all of them purporting to be the very best. And they are. Each and every one. I promise. Continue reading
I’ve been making pumpkin chili off and on for years now… It seems to be my fall go-to for chili because ,#1 I’m not happy unless there’s chili in the freezer and, #2 making different kinds of chili changes up the menu and wakens the palate. Today’s version creates a pretty smooth, but not-too-spicy chili that doesn’t taste pumpkiny, but still has all the potassium, fiber, nutrients, and overall health goodness pumpkin offers. Pumpkin is also low in calories: go, pumpkin! If you are partial to chunky Pumpkin-Chicken Chili, try my stovetop version made with boneless chicken thighs and lots of vegetables like zucchini, along with both pureed and chunks of pumpkin. Continue reading
I cooked Monday for Inter-Faith Hospitality network (IHN) families; it’s something I’ve done for years at more than one church. It’s a way of living life that makes a lot of sense to me; I like to cook and there are people who need dinner. Here in Colorado Springs at First Congregational Church, we bring already cooked or nearly finished complete meals to a church kitchen where families without physical homes gather, eat dinner with us, and then spend the night. A group of churches and temples work together and the homeless people spend a week at one place and then move to another while awaiting jobs and/or permanent housing. It gives all of the congregations a chance to participate without burdening any one financially or otherwise with the full-time housing of the ever-changing group.
Typically, but not always, a dinner coordinator makes contact a couple of months ahead and asks what I’d like to make; for other churches there’s a set menu for each week. The families aren’t the same, so it doesn’t matter if there’s meat loaf on Monday and chicken with rice on Tuesdays, etc. every time. That gives the dinner coordinator a repeating group of tasks that the volunteers become used to. For instance, if I’m a shopping volunteer, I might know that every two months I’ll make a run to Costco for fresh milk, ground beef, chicken pieces, broccoli, spinach, etc. Once a year, I might need to buy paper napkins and cocoa mix. If I’m a cooking volunteer and I’m scheduled for Wednesday, I know I’ll be making baked potatoes with toppings. I find I like both options, though the latter gives me time to spend with other volunteers cooking in the kitchen rather than fixing food on my own at home.
|Vegan and Gluten-Free|
and after I eat a late lunch that I never cook, I typically read something a wee bit ephemeral like the current book club book, a Diana Gabaldan novel, a P.D. James or a Dorothy Sayers (I’m re-reading all of her mysteries this winter). Right now I’m stuck, really stuck on a book called, FROM HERE, YOU CAN’T SEE PARIS, by Michael S. Sanders (2002, Harper Collins) I’ve read a lot of books about living in France (Isn’t there a plethora?), and enjoy them all, but this guy describes things so vividly I feel not only like I’m right there, but perhaps I’m the one writing or maybe participating in some way. Quite touching, quite moving, quite arms-open-wide-here’s-how-it-feels.
There are times on Sunday that we go for a long walk with the doggies; we live near the Mississippi River and there’s a beautiful, miles’ long parkway with walking-bike trails. In the winter, it’s the only time we go to The Mall of America, despite the fact that it’s ten minutes away. Great place to walk in bad weather if it’s not too crowded; I seldom buy anything but lunch.
If you’re like me, you’ll be all over MSNBC Tuesday night like icing on wedding cake. Like blue on jeans. Like red on Merlot. Like chocolate on chips. Oh well, whatever you’re on, you might want something done and done to get you through that long night. Just, please, God…let be over and clean and obvious. No hanging anythings and the Ohio machines all working fine.
I already made my chili and froze it. I just run that 4 quart container under hot water in the morning til it “pops” and then gently slide the frozen chunk into my crock-pot on “low” for the whole day. (Make sure and add a little water to the crock-pot before the frozen chili.) But since you didn’t know ahead of time…. Try this spicy, filling crock-pot chili that only asks you to….
|1. Saute two onions, four cloves of garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, and 3 stalks of celery ( all chopped) in 2 tablespoons olive oil. (I do all the chopping in the food processor.)|
|2. Brown 2 pounds turkey Italian sausage (1 pound each hot and sweet or to taste.) in another skillet.|
|To speed things up, I do it at the same time.|
Pour the vegetables and meat into a 6 quart crock-pot and add:
2 28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon each: dried basil and oregano
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons each: Dijon-style mustard and lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional (if you didn’t use hot Italian sausage)
1/2 cup red wine (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
1/2 cup green or brown lentils (well rinsed and picked over)
1 15-ounce can each: black beans and pinto beans (drained and well rinsed)
Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings. Turn crock-pot to low and cook 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Serve hot with tortilla chips and grated cheese.
two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood
Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to Food Bank for NYC … right after you vote!
|On the back porch: still ripening cherry tomatoes Dave picked 3 weeks ago.|
|African chard from Wendy’s garden. I’m eating this in my egg-white omelets.|
|Basil growing in the south DR window.|
|My eastern garden smoke bush.|
|Burning Bush–great fall color|
|More of Wendy’s sage–picked last week and in water in a glass.|
|Up close chard. Still eating from the yard in November. Thanks, God.|
Sing a new song,
Sorry to be late in posting…I hate leaving my blog sit stale. Family illness has kept me away. Things are on the upswing now…
And I’m so glad the election is (hopefully) about to be over. Please pray for those without homes, heat, and power on the east coast. Our daughter now has power in New Jersey, but many don’t.