Friday, September 28, 2012

Chili for the Chilled

Oh, how the weeks are clicking past!

I've found that is the blessing and curse (?) of the school the busyness of scheduled days and nights, the weeks just fly past.

We have finished our 4th week of school already. I can't believe it. We are almost fully immersed into our fall schedule.

The final "regular" activity gets added next week. Bible Club. I laminated, cut out, punched and strung yarn through 40 name tags yesterday.

It has been a cooler week all told. I like the cooler days, but I wouldn't mind having another month of 60-70 degree days. Nights can get frigid. But, I'd love some warmish days.

The trees have begun to turn this week. I am seeing a bit of yellow out my window. Not on any of our trees. The red bud lost most of its leaves in August, and the cherry tree is just barely turning.

Cool temps have lent themselves very nicely to campfires and soups. I got to cross bonfire off my fall bucket list last Saturday. We went up to the camper and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows over a roaring fire. It was heavenly on the cold, drizzly day.

As an addendum to my post yesterday. Hilarious!

And I made pea soup this week. I know a whole lot of people don't like pea soup, but in our joint Irish-Dutch Barefoot Hippie family, pea soup is a certain herald of fall. I buy a bone-in ham one week, and the next week I make a big pot of soup.

And I remember family members who are no longer with us, but who loved pea soup. Mr. Hippie's grandpa would eat pea soup at a local restaurant almost every day during "soup" season. If I made a batch, and we were going to see him anytime soon, I would put a container aside for him. We miss him.

Today I have a batch of chili bubbling away in the crock pot. It isn't your ordinary Chili Con Carne. Nor is it white chili. Nor is it the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili that Beth shared on her blog Thursday. (here) Nor is it even Elizabeth's Turkey Bacon Chili. (here)

No, this here is a unique chili that I have never had the likes of, except when I have made it. It is called Mixed Bean Chili. It is made with three different types of beans, plus chicken and/or steak and salsa. It is packed with flavor and is not very spicy.

I really am not a fan of plain old red chili. I make a batch about once a year, when I have lots of tomatoes from the garden. But red chili just tastes to tomato-y to me. I much prefer a less red chili.

This is a crock pot recipe, which makes it really handy if you want to start it earlier in the day, and then not worry about it until dinner. I usually make it on the stove top. It takes about 30 minutes hands on time, and another 1-1/2 to 2 hours simmering time.

Mixed Bean Chili
5 cups of cubed boneless, skinless, chicken breast OR 5 cups cubed round steak OR a combination
5 cups chicken broth (can make with bullion)
2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
16 ounces salsa, mild or medium
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot-cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 10-12 hours OR
combine all ingredients in a big pot on stove. Bring to boil, reduce heat. Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Serve topped with monterey jack cheese and sour cream if desired. We also love to eat it with tortilla chips.

Makes 5-6 quarts of chili. Good for a couple meals (around here).

This reminds me of a ditty I learned when I was very young...

Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat them the more you...

What's your favorite kind of chili? Feel free to share the recipe or a link to the recipe in the comments.

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