Thursday, September 18, 2008
Mexican Chili and Sunflowers
Here in the Pond, the early winds of autumn have began to blow. This week, we were blessed with the cool temperatures of 83 degree days. One day, it was only 79 degrees for the high!
It may sound sweltering to you, but let me assure you that those of us used to 100 degrees plus shiver in 80 degrees.
In fact, this wonderful weather is so inspirational I wanted to wrap myself up in a sweater, grab a good book and cook a thick, tasty soup.
Well, it's still too hot for a sweater. But I always have the book and soup!
With a husband from Louisiana, I have to have food with flavor (spicy flavor.) Luckily, he had a bowl of my mom's chicken chili the other day and was in heaven. He loved the soup so much he dragged me around two stores looking for barley so we could make it.
Chicken, three types of beans, corns, barley, jalapenos, green chilies...you can't get much better than that. And a side of cornbread with butter and honey? I think I might be in heaven.
Never mind. Now I'm in heaven. What? Don't look at me like that. Chips and cheese never hurt anyone. Just think of it as tortilla soup.
Not only have I been stuffing myself stupid while I enjoy the weather (it'll be back to 90 by the weekend), but I've been admiring these.
You see, Tuesday when I came back to work, I had a terrible day. It was one of those days when your boss pulls you into the office right after you walk in the door and tells you about how changes in the company that have nothing to do with you will completely change your job. It's nothing you did or said, it's simply business and company economics. Even though it wasn't personal and I had suspected it for months now, it still hit me hard.
But these made me smile. Not only was Ben sweet enough to go pick up flowers for me, he presented me with an early birthday gift of a new IPod Shuffle. I'd broken my other one and had been suffering for months through terrible 1980s music at the gym.
I promise you, it's bad 1980s music.
Not only that, but he fixed me eggs, bacon and pancakes for dinner. Who needs grilled chicken and healthy veggies when the work world has knocked you around?
After all, nothing makes one smile like a sunflowers and a sweet husband.
This recipe originally appeared in Light and Tasty. However, as all cooks do, my mother altered it. Here is her version:
Debbie's Mexican Chicken Chili
One large onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
One garlic clove, minced ( I used garlic powder)
1 tblspn olive oil
1 can of green chilies, chopped
1 can jalapenos, chopped
1 can (16 oz) of chili beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz) of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz) of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can chicken broth
2-3 tblspns chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
Several drops of Cholula
In a big pot or dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in oil for two minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 or more minutes until barley is tender.