Sunday, January 27, 2008

3 of 7: rainy day activities

I'm gettin' serious about this daily photo business. I've been known to focus on tasks. I can take a given project and focus on it so intently, my head explodes. I've got 13 (!) photos to share with you, all taken today. Because I'm an overachiever like that. Sometimes. Actually, not really.
Today was a bit of a blustery day. Rainy, gray and windy. Doesn't this weather just scream for comfort food? I thought so.
Now, I've been talking about girl scout cookies, chocolate covered oreos, holiday weight gain and so forth. So it's high time that I share at least one thing I eat that's not completely sinful.
Madeline's 1/3 Bad For You Chili.
In true Pioneer Woman style, here are the cast of characters. By the way, if you haven't checked out Pioneer Woman's blog yet, please do. I highly recommend it. I read it more often than Dooce. And she has lots of mouth watering recipes on there, too. I've adopted saying "Lawsie Mercy" and "Tarnation" a lot recently thanks to her. Nothing's stranger than an Asian-American California girl saying "Lawsie Mercy that was one crazy rain storm we had last night" or "where in tarnation did I leave my readin' glasses?".

Back to business:
I use 1/2 an onion and about 7-10 garlic cloves. This recipe is inspired by my BIL's recipe that uses 35 cloves of garlic. And 2/3 Italian sausage, 1/3 full fat ground beef. I've made a few modifications to suit my tastes. But I must admit that his tastes WAY better. So if you're feeling sassy, try it fully loaded. I pulverize the onion and garlic. Jimmy doesn't like biting into onions or pieces of garlic. Come to think of it, neither do I.
With all the aromas starting up, it's time to pour myself a beverage. You might chose a glass of chardonnay, but I'll enjoy a can of sparkling diet Mountain Dew Code Red.
Sauté the onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil. This is the only added fat in the whole pot. So far so good.
Add all the meat. That's 2 packages of lean ground turkey breast and 1 package of hot Italian sausage. That's the 1/3 part that's bad for you. But it adds a lot of delicious flavors. Much tastier than ground beef. There's also sweet or mild Italian sausage if hot is too spicy for your tastebuds.
Brown the meat. Since I'm using turkey breast, it doesn't really get brown, even with the Italian sausage. Drain all the fat and liquid. There isn't much since I'm using lean turkey breast, but I wanna take out as much fat from that sausage as possible.
Dump in 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce and about 1/2 a can of water. For the first time, I'm using a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic. Deliciously flavorful.
In Carroll Shelby's chili kit, there are 4 packs of seasonings. Dump every bit of the chili seasonings, salt and cayenne pepper. Reserve the masa till the end in case the chili needs a little thickening.
We like things spicy so I add more Tabasco and cayenne pepper.
I normally don't add fresh thyme, but I have some left over from some chicken soup I made the other day. It cracks me up that you have to buy so much fresh herbs, when a recipe usually calls for a mere tablespoon or so. I need to figure out what to do with the rest of this thyme. If it weren't for the 2 sticks of butter it calls for, I'd make Pioneer Woman's Buttery Thyme Bread. But I prefer to spend my calories on girl scout cookies and chocolate covered oreos.
Stir it all in and simmer for at least 2 hours. Sure, the package of Carroll Shelby's says 15 minutes, but we all know that chili tastes better the longer it simmers. And make a lot of it because we also know it's better the next day. That's why my pot is nearly overflowing even though it's just for me and Jimmy.

While the chili is simmering that gives me 2 hours to play the guitar on Rock Band.
Just kidding! My jaw still hurts from playing this game. I've played it 2 times since being diagnosed with TMJ over a week ago, and there is a definite correlation. I can play the drums or karaoke without any pain, so it's related to the guitar. The guitar is the funnest.


phinner said...

Lawsy mercy! That looks delish! Where's the cornbread! I'm on my way!


Brown rice, onions, carrots, eggs, pork = Fried Rice! All on the detox list, an epiphany! Oooh, and a protein shake for dessert!

Oh and remember that "budget?" I went to Sports Basement today and did you know that 2 pairs of Wright Socks cost $155?! And that's with Mike's friends discount! Sports Basement, scrapbook...they have the same initials! hee!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG! You have inspired me! I want to try to make chili now... key word "try".

Ragged Around the Edges said...

MMmmmmmmmm, looks warm and wonderful. I totally knew you'd rock the photo challenge. You are making me green with envy yet again. . . and I am amazed at your cooking abilities.

You know how much I am lovin' Pioneer Woman!

rosemary said...

Sounds really good...except for the prep stuff. I am a horrible cook...a can opener sounds easier to me. Great pictures.

Shammickite said...

You didn't show a pic of you and Jimmy all fat and full laying groaning on the couch after the humungous chili feast. That's what I wanna see!
And if you have just a little bit of leftover chili, you get a large can of veggie minestrone soup, add the leftover chili and heat it all up and eat with garlic bread dipped into it....mmmmmm DEEEEElish!