I lived a large part of my life extremely focused on eating only "good" foods. And, because of that, I began to fear many foods...ya know, the "bad" ones. I'm dropping the fear (which can still be hard) and focusing only on the beauty of food. I think, as a society, it's very easy to forget just how awesome food is...it brings friends + families together, it brings the world together by eating different culture's cuisine, no matter where you are on the planet, it's colorful, delicious, nourishing, comforting and meant to be savored and enJOYed!! And that's what I'm here to bring to you...how I'm ONLY savoring food that tastes DELICIOUS to me...no lack, no fear, no rules...only LOVE! It's time to bring LOVE back to food...don'tcha think? I do!
This week, we had three snow days!! Three!! Well, for us, here in the New Orleans area, it really was ice days. When we first moved to Louisiana four years ago, after living in Virginia for three years, we were driving on the highway in the area for the first time and I saw the signs that said, "bridge ices before road" and I flipped out.
I said, out loud, "WHAT???? It's gets THAT cold here??? No way!! Didn't we just leave those signs behind in Virginia??" I couldn't believe it. Ha!
I'm a born and raised south Floridian girl, so winter and I just don't get along so great, but, honestly, I didn't I'd EVER see ice here in New Orleans. Well, as of this week, I was SO totally wrong.
The week before, they canceled schools. Again, I was SHOCKED!! I thought, "Why???" But, then, that night, the highway and roads were starting to ice and causing accidents, and I was thankful D got off work early, so he didn't have to drive on the icy roads. After hearing all that news, my thoughts around this changed, for the better, and I became thankful that they closed schools that day.
Then, this week, with 2 inches of snow predicted, I wasn't sure what was gonna happen, but, again, I didn't think we'd get much snow, but I knew we'd get that ice. I'm NOT a fan of black ice, and I'm pretty sure, no one is.
And, boy was I right...ice it was!
It was FRRRRREEZING and I couldn't believe that the south looked like Virginia outside. C was SO excited and when she saw the ice. She kept saying, "The snow is coming! The snow is coming!" Too cute!
After seeing what happened in Alabama and Georgia, I'm SO thankful we were home and safe and sound. I'll never judge school closures again!! That's for sure! And, my heart sure did ache for everyone involved in all that mess. I sure hope everyone made it home safe and sound over there.
Because D was home with us for 3 days, I was able to get in the kitchen and make some warming chili. That's what living in Virginia taught me...there's nothing better than a bowl of hot, comfort food when the temperature dips low outside. Oh yeah!!
It's been SO long since I've made some, because, in our house, there's kinda a war between D and I on who makes better chili. He thinks his is the winner and I think mine is. And, I will say, he thinks this, because I'm not a spicy fan. So mine lacks spice, where his doesn't.
He had the last turn making chili, so this week, it was my turn! YESSSSSS!!
I do something a little different with mine, which is probably why D isn't a fan, but back in college, my roommate (hey, Brig!! and thanks, Brig!!) introduced me to putting chili over egg noodles. I LOVED it that way and have eaten with pasta ever since. This time, I didn't have egg noodles, so I just used some swirly, quinoa pasta...I really wanted the swirly pasta and this was the only type we had...it worked great! :)
Although, I don't recommend eating quinoa pasta as leftovers...it just gets hard and becomes less tasty. Fresh is best with quinoa pasta. :)
After my mix of pinto beans, red kidney beans, ground beef, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, tomato sauce, parsley, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chili pepper, butter, sea salt and pepper were done, I laid it all on top of the pasta and sprinkled more fresh parsley.
Then, it's NOT chili if it doesn't have shredded cheese and sour cream mixed in, right??? YUMMMMMYYYYY!! :)
And, of course, it needs some triangle cornbread to be eaten on the side, too, right??? Then, I remembered something I saw in my new Pioneer Woman cookbook I got for Christmas.Ree made black eyed peas (something I LOVE) and she crumbled the cornbread on top. I thought, "Ooooooo, I've never done that before...I'll have to try it the next time I have black eyed peas.
Well, since I don't have black eye peas, I thought, maybe it'll be good on chili that way!!
And before I knew if the cornbread crumble was a big hit, I had to add in a little more sour cream, because the more I have the better!! Awww yeah!! :):)
All I have to say is, WOW!!!! The cornbread was SO good crumbled in. But, hey, we're all different, so you may just like yours on the side...and you may just like your chili without pasta, too! ;)
Savoring it up!!! Yum! Yum! Yum!
And more savoring!!
Until it was all gone. Boooooo!! Good thing I have a HUGE pot with leftovers. And, yeah, I had it for lunch and dinner the next day!! The best leftovers, ever!! And, for all you Gabba fans...So yummy! So yummy! Yummy! Yummy! :)
So if you're in the mood for some warming chili, this one's a big hit...at least for me, it is. D likes to whine when I make it, oh wait, when I first start telling him I'm thinking about making it...lol, but guess what??? He sure does chow it down!! Ha!! :) And, OK...OK...I whine too, right when he says, "I'll make chili!!" lol
2 cans, pinto beans, rinsed and drained 2 cans, red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 pound, ground beef 1 onion, diced 3 carrot sticks, diced 3 celery stalks, diced 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced 2 cans, tomato sauce 2 to 3 tablespoons, butter 1 to 2 tablespoons, olive oil 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, diced 1 to 2 teaspoons, cumin 1 to 2 teaspoons, paprika 1 teaspoon, chili pepper 1 teaspoon, cinnamon 1 to 2 tablespoons, sour cream 1 to 2 handfuls, shredded cheddar cheese 1 spoonful of egg noodles, or your favorite pasta (optional) Your favorite cornbread recipe, I just used the Jiffy cornbread muffin box
1. Rinse all beans and set aside.
2. Chop and dice, onion, carrots, celery, parsley. Peel garlic cloves. Set aside.
3. Heat pot to medium heat on stove top. Add in olive oil.
4. Once pot is heated, add in onions. Let cook for a minute or two. Then add in carrots and celery. Cook until tender.
5. Add in ground beef. Cook through.
6. Add in rinsed beans and 1/2 can of tomato sauce. I like to slowly add in my tomato sauce, to make sure it's not too watered down, but I do usually end up using both cans, and maybe a little bit of another.
7. Add in spices and salt and pepper.
8. Add in butter, so the acid of the tomato sauce calms down. If it gets too thick, add in some water or more tomato sauce.
9. Mix it up, and let simmer for as long as you'd like. You can have it simmer for hours or just for an hour or less. I simmered this batch for 30 minutes or so. In the meantime, make your cornbread and your pasta.
10. When ready to eat, place in your favorite bowl. Add in sour cream, cheddar cheese and cornbread. 11. Sit down by yourself or with your kids, family and/or friends, take a few deep breaths, look at the BEAUTY of your food, say how much gratitude and LOVE you have for your food, your family, your life and DIG IN, slowly and savor the deliciousness!
Variations: Add in kale (I usually do this, but didn't have any), omit the ground beef and make it vegetarian and use any cheese you'd like for toppings and add lots more spice, because hardly has any...if you like spicy!! :)
Recipe adapted from Andrea Beaman
So tell me...
What's your favorite WARMING food to SAVOR when it's cold outside?
Until next time...enjoy the weekend and the Super Bowl...I'm rooting for the Bronco's...well, because I'm a big fan of Eric Decker!!! Oooo la la!! LOL! :)
Life is delicious...SAVOR it up!