Jammin’ Tarheel Chili

Mother Nature does not want to let go of winter! I was optimistic we were past the worst, but we’re having some nasty weather here in Minnesota. It rained all day yesterday, then turned to freezing rain overnight. Roads were a bit slick this morning, but luckily I’m working at home today so I didn’t have too far to drive to take the kids to daycare. Later today we’re supposed to get more freezing rain and up to 1/3 inch of ice. Then it will turn to snow tonight. We’re expecting 6 inches of snow! UGH!

I am hopeful this means we won’t have a dreadfully hot summer. Last year spring came early and we had a HOT summer. We don’t have air conditioning, not even a window unit, so we were awful cranky around here last year. We are talking about getting a portable a/c unit this year. If anyone has any reviews or recommendations, I’m all ears!

Because it’s a yucky day, I decided to make chili! You can find the original recipe here. When I can, I use our home-canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. I omit the mushrooms (eww), and use whatever beer Marcus has in the house. Here is my version of the recipe.

Jammin' Tarheel Chili

Jammin’ Tarheel Chili – photo is from a previous time making it. It always turns out a bit different. I like it with less liquid than in this picture. Chili should be chunky!

Jammin’ Tarheel Chili

2 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 pint tomato sauce
2 quarts tomatoes
1 can or bottle dark beer
2 – 16 ounce cans chili beans, drained
2 – 15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 Tbsp ground cumin
¼ cup chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cayenne pepper
few dashes Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet over medium heat, add beef, onions and celery. Cook until beef is cooked through. Drain and add to crock pot with all remaining ingredients. Cook on low 6 or more hours.

I’m looking forward to eating this the next couple of days!

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Sweet Potato Split Pea Soup

I’m feeling better and more in control of my diet today. I haven’t eaten perfect by any means, but am working on saying no to the ice cream Marcus bought. I’m happy to say I’m doing better. When the temptation becomes too strong, I make a smoothie instead. The chocolate peanut butter smoothie I make tastes a lot like chocolate ice cream. It usually has the same consistency and I know it’s a much healthier option. The kids all like it too…even Cameron who doesn’t care for bananas finally tried it and admitted it was good.

It also helps that when I stepped on the scale this morning, it was down a pound. That was the pleasant surprise I needed to help me stay on track.

I haven’t eaten a single Girl Scout cookie yet either! It helps that I won’t let the family dig into them until we’re basically done selling. Then we can see what we have left and what we’re willing to purchase.

The split pea soup I’ve been eating all week has grown on me. I think I will make it again! I did find I needed to add a little salt to each bowl. I think I will keep the recipe the same though, and just add it as needed when serving.

The recipe originally came from my mom, although I have altered it some over the years. This time I omitted the ham (simply because i didn’t have any) and swapped the white potatoes for sweet potatoes.

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Sweet Potato Split Pea Soup

1 lb dried peas
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb carrots, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp pepper

Rinse peas and put them in a 6 quart stock pot. Cover with water and soak the peas overnight. They will expand so be sure to use enough water.

Add water to fill pot about half full. Cook over medium heat until peas start to soften, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lower heat. Add vegetables and seasonings. Simmer for about another hour, stirring frequently, until vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Serve and enjoy!

White Chili

I’m going to keep this post short, because, well, life is crazy as ever! I haven’t finished putting Christmas stuff away yet, and here we are at January 9! I must get the rest packed up and put away tonight!

I tried my German Pancake recipe with mixed berries. It was delicious! I think I like it better with berries than apples! I didn’t take a picture because it didn’t come out of the pan nearly as well. But it sure tasted good!

Here is my recipe for White Chili. The girls won’t touch it, but Kody ate some. Between me and Marcus, my first batch was gone in about 18 hours, so I’ll be making another batch soon!

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White Chili

2 cans white beans
6 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 4 oz cans diced chilies
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup monterrey jack cheese, shredded

In dutch oven, combine all ingredients except chicken and cheese. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Stir in chicken. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more. Before servings, stir in cheese until melted.

I’ve been drinking all my water every day! How about you?