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.

20 comments:

doggybloggy said...

nice chili and story too....

April said...

I love sunflowers!! They are so cheery!! the chili looks fantastic too!

Katherine Aucoin said...

The chil looks and sounds awesome...the placemats made your presentation look so festive too! My husband is a freak for chili and I'll have to surprise him with this. The sunflowers are beautiful and thanks for sharing your stories.

TavoLini said...

ooh...chips and cheese :)

We are having the "cold snap" in Georgia, too--it was a chilly 69 degrees yesterday!! I think your chili idea sounds like a winner.

Prudy said...

I'd love to try this-but did I miss the barley in the ingredient list??? I really would like to make it with the barley. 80 degrees spells fall around here too. Yesterday it was 98 I think but it's supposed to dip into the 80s for the weekend. Can't wait.

Marjie said...

It was 42 yesterday morning; this morning was a balmy 53. Hot soup or chili on a chilly day is awesome! Ben's sunflowers and pancakes/bacon/eggs were splendid! Hope your day is better today.

Barbara Bakes said...

Sounds like a delicious healthy recipe!

Mary Ann said...

Yum- I have made a similar Chicken Barley Chili and it is good! I love sunflowers, they are so bright and cheery.

Veronica said...

Oh...sorry you had such a tough day. I want a t-shirt that says "Nothing makes one smile like sunflowers and a sweet husband." And I'd also like a bowl of that soup.

Rick said...

You're killing me. I've really hungry at the moment and these food photos aren't helping. Would you mind e-mailing me a bowl?

jenjen said...

Oh Duckie! I am sorry you had a bad day at work! I am glad you have your sweet husband taking care of you. What a great guy! And the chili does look heavenly! I hope things are going better for you today! ((hugs))

Maryann said...

Hi Blonde duck! :)
Thanks for visiting my blog. I love to "meet" new people.
The chili looks great and would be perfect tonight. We are expecting a very chilly night here.
..and sunflowers are just awesome ;)

noble pig said...

Yes, I haven't turned on the a/c in days! What a great hubby to cheer you up and the food sounds amazing!

Jessica said...

I love chili in the fall! I'll have to try that recipe...it sounds great!

Marie said...

Sorry you've had a bad time at work Duckie. This too shall pass. You never know what wonderful adventure God has waiting for you just around the corner! In the meantime I love the sunflowers and the chili! wowser wowser! Looking good! What a sweetheart your Ben is too, to make you such a lovely supper. I just love having breakfast for supper! It's like one of my favourite things!!! Can I borrow Ben sometime??? Todd doesn't cook... I promise to give him back! tee hee

Grace said...

i like my chili spicy, beany, and loaded with cornbread. bravo! :)

Lore said...

Sounds like a great spicy autumn soup! We've been enjoying prefect temperatures around here this week so I guess we're both two lucky girls :D

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam said...

Oops. I deleted the last post because I didn't spell check - I hate that.

Anyway, this chili looks tasty. It's cold and cloudy here today - perfect for making chili.

Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers - great photos.

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