Award-Winning Chili (With a Side of Corn Bread)

When I was in college, I decided to join my favorite dive bar’s chili cook off. I pulled up my mom’s recipe for chili and several online recipes and began intensely annotating ingredients and amounts until I had developed my own recipe – a Franken-chili that I eagerly assembled and took to the bar that weekend. We set up our crockpots on the covered pool table and went around tasting the many different submissions. Later in the afternoon when they announced the winners, I was pleased and excited to win first place (and a $100 bar tab, which I used a few weeks later to throw a party for some friends.)

The problem I discovered later, was that I could not really decipher my notes to remember what I had actually used in the chili. Was that one can of beer added on the the bottom of the ingredient list? Or was it in the upper right hand corner, underlined, no beer? Every subsequent batch was lack luster or even bad. Finally, a couple weeks ago I hit the sweet spot. I put it in the crockpot in the morning, cleaned the house, (sneaked a small bowl of chili ahead of time), went to the bars with our friends, then came home and had our fill of chili and played board games. It was a success – and this time I made sure to write it down. Although I was hesitant to add sugar, it’s importance is in keeping the acidity down for a deeper, roastier flavor. Next time, I may experiment with using a small amount of maple syrup instead. Continue reading “Award-Winning Chili (With a Side of Corn Bread)”

Thankful for Turkey Leftovers…

This Thanksgiving, Joe and I celebrated with just ourselves and our cats since work kept us from traveling to see our families over the day itself. It didn’t keep us, however, from having the full experience of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and a full day of watching football a Star Trek marathon on Netflix. The only problem with my insistence on roasting a whole turkey, however, is the fact that the two of us cannot eat all 8 pounds of turkey!

As a result, we’ve had re-heated leftovers, turkey sandwiches, creamy turkey and wild rice soup, tossed about the idea of turkey enchiladas, and – tonight – turkey a la king. Continue reading “Thankful for Turkey Leftovers…”