Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Is it chilly enough for CHILI?!

I live in Texas.  It's said we have two seasons.

Photo credit

While you may laugh at that... sadly, it's true.  Last Tuesday it was 92 degrees.  Two days later it was in the low 50s.  Apparently, in this part of the country, Mother Nature is experiencing menopause.  It's really quite annoying.  Someone throw a hormone patch on that chick, will ya?!

Seriously, though, I can't tell you how much I personally look forward to autumn.  This is for many reasons.  One of them is because most everyone can rock a pair of jeans in the cooler weather. I'm just not digging the short short shorts that seem to be part of the hotter weather fashion trend.  Call me crazy, but I'd rather see muffin tops in skinny jeans than cellulite in short, short (you-should-be-embarrassed-to-WEAR-those-in-public-and-SHAME-on-your-momma-for-buying-those) shorts.  

And secondly, it's because I LOVE soup, stew and chili weather!  Once we get even a hint of cooler weather, I'm ready for some CHILI!  It's no secret that I love to cook.  I was taught old school by my grandmother -- everything from scratch.  Therefore, generally speaking, my bolognese sauce, my chili, my-everything- was done from scratch.  However, once upon a time I stumbled into Central Market on a day where several vendors were there offering samples and lo and behold, I tasted a chili sauce that was JUST.LIKE.MINE!  Mind blown!

Why would I spend all day making chili sauce from scratch, when I could just buy a bottle of it?  And so begins my love affair with Cookwell & Company.  (You can buy it online, too!  You're welcome.)  

Online shopping will definitely come in handy because I swear at the first sign of cooler weather, the shelves containing these babies are BARREN... wiped clean... cleared out and then you curse Mother Nature for ruining your chili plans and you have to settle for beef stew and fresh cornbread instead!

You will see here this two-step chili mix in regular and spicy.  Having a 4-year-old means I don't do family meals as "spicy." So, if you want it that way at my house, you need to dress it up yourself. This also means, I haven't tried that one.  However, I just wanted you to see there are options!  Who doesn't like options?  Another awesome thing is that this mix is GLUTEN FREE!  (You'd be surprised how many places have gluten hidden in their foods!)

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey, browned (or beef.. or bison)
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can organic dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar Cookwell & Company chili mix
1 can diced, seasoned canned tomatoes (I use "chili" style, but you could use whatever you wanted)
freshly diced onion
grated cheese (your favorite, of course, we have no rules!)

Here's the hard part.  Directions.  Cook.  Dump.  Stir.  Simmer.  Serve.  Ha!  You see, once the meat is cooked, everything goes in the pot.  Simmer.  Stir. It couldn't get any easier!  

**Note:  I have substituted pinto beans for the great northern beans.  Whatever floats your boat!

My boys like it over Frito's (chili pie) and topped with onion and cheese.  I've eaten it over brown rice.  It's delicious all by itself.

And that, my friends, is my go-to recipe for fall!  What's yours?  Don't forget to link up in the November blogathon.