I’ve been really productive for the way-too early morning hours of a Sunday. Since the baby was WIDE awake before 6am, I had a lot accomplished by the time Mr. P sauntered down the stairs around 8am (in truth, I feel bad for the guy – his birthday was Friday and he was sick and has been all weekend). By 8am, I had washed and diced 8 quarts of strawberries, fed the baby, done 2 loads of laundry, washed 2.1 million bottles, made pancakes, planned the weekly menu, made my grocery list, and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher…all while trying to keep the baby from eating dog food.
SUPER WOMAN! Kind of. Felt like it, anyway.
After being in Detroit for a few days, my days are all off. Luckily, I kept thinking Friday was Saturday and Saturday was Sunday, so I can’t really complain that tomorrow is Monday. But I probably still will.
You may notice that my Weekly Menu is a lot of repeat and that some of the recipes I’ve planned to make are yet to make an appearance on the blog. Reason being, shepherd’s pie and split pea soup don’t sound very appealing when the weather is in the upper 70’s. But I shouldn’t complain about that either, I know. Fall temps are on their way and so, yes, many of those recipes are back up to bat. For real this time. But, always weather-dependent.
The weather yesterday was so nice that we were having an early happy hour on the front porch during the baby’s afternoon nap. My parents and I were enjoying our cold beer and Not Your Father’s Root Beer while the smells of chili were wafting out the windows. Before they hit the road for Chicago, we enjoyed chili #3 in this year’s contest.
But in traditional Nicole fashion, I’m running a bit behind. So first, chili entry #2: Chili Con Carne! As I assumed, Food Network was on par with a delicious, traditional chili. As Kristen suggested in her submission, she often uses ground turkey to cut back on calories. So, I happily did the same, using a half-and-half approach. The beer really enhanced the flavors of this traditional, hearty chili. Delish!
- 6 slices nitrate-free bacon
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1 lb ground turkey breast
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (12 oz) bottle amber beer
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1½ cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 6-7 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings; return to heat. Add the beef and cook through, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
- Transfer beef to a plate using a slotted spoon; discard any drippings.
- Return pot to stove and heat the reserved bacon drippings in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and cook 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is dark red, about 6 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until almost completely reduced, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the beef and any juices from the plate. Stir in the cocoa powder, tomatoes, beef broth and beans and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens slightly, about 1½ hours.
- Stir the hot sauce and top individual portions with the crumbled bacon.
Weekly Menu: September 27th – October 1st
- Sunday: Glazed Honey-Garlic Shrimp with quinoa
- Monday: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with rice and beans
- Tuesday: leftover chili from the weekend
- Wednesday: Smoky Ham and Split Pea Soup
- Thursday: leftovers and prep for Shea’s 1st Birthday!