Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Simple, Darn-Good Chili

We had nice, warm weather, & now it's back down to 50 degrees, rainy, cloudy, windy, & cold. Why not get some chili on the menu before it gets too hot for this kind of dinner? We love our chili & could eat it once a week, at least, in the winter months. Usually, I just make my chili with canned crushed tomatoes, canned kidney beans, onion, & chili pepper. We've liked it that way for a long time. It's even better when I have home-canned Chili Tomato sauce on hand to include.

But I thought I'd try something different when I stumbled upon Ambitious Kitchen's Chili. All the ingredients were on-hand & I was set to go. I had both ground beef and ground turkey thawed. This time, I went with ground beef, just because James isn't quite used to ground turkey yet. But either way works!

Simple, Darn-Good Chili
 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 pound extra lean ground turkey or chicken (99%) or ground beef
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

I began by chopping up my onion, garlic, & bell pepper. I had some green bell peppers to use up, so that's what I went with. I heated up my olive oil in a pan, & added my chopped veggies to soften up for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, I add my ground beef & chopped that into crumbles, cooking until it wasn't pink anymore. After that, I add my seasonings & stirred that well. Then came the tomatoes, chicken broth, & beans. You can add a can of sweet corn here, too, if you'd like. I didn't have any on hand at the time. Stir this all up, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, & simmer for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

We both really liked this version of chili. The chili recipe I usually made was just fine for us, but this was a nice version. It didn't taste too different, but I appreciated more veggies.  I cannot wait until we start canning tomatoes for the year & I have my home-canned Chili Tomato sauce on hand. I want to start steering more away from store-canned items, so I have many plans for our tomatoes this year. I want to make tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, & ketchup. I know - I better get to growing them tomatoes!! We plan on growing plenty this year, now that we live in the country & have room for a bigger garden. Hopefully, we can purchase our tomatoes soon. 

I wonder if I have time to grow them from seed yet... 

It's supposed to rain this afternoon, so it'll be another night indoors for me. On Sunday, we actually had a tornado land in the area. It was late evening, so it was dark out & Jim wasn't home. I couldn't see a thing & it was down-pouring. I am fascinated by tornadoes. If you asked my family & friends how I feel about tornadoes, they'd tell you that you can't get me inside when a storm rolls in. I just love watching the sky & seeing what becomes of that big wall cloud. Actually, I was on a SkyWarn team years ago, where we "chased" tornadoes to get a better warning to our town. Nowadays, I just watch them on my own. There is nothing like the thrill of a storm. What's my favorite movie? You can bet it's Twister, with Bill Paxton & Helen Hunt. Watch that movie with me, & I'll quote the whole thing. I've been watching it for years & years & I never tire of it. 

I hope to join another storm-spotter group soon. This morning, on my drive in to work, I was making a mental note to check into that ASAP. I got it from my Grandpa - he was always watching storms, radioing in the activity, & warning our family on the farm before the sirens even went off. That passion came through the bloodline to me. Thanks, Gramps! 

Next week, it's supposed to really get nice, so I am pumped for that. I can finally get my rose bushes, watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, sweet corn seeds, & others in the ground. Spring is here!

Warm Wishes,

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