Friday, December 14, 2018

On The Menu - Casual Chili

From Brenda's 'I Hate To Cook' Kitchen 
Casual Chili 

Now that the weather has turned cool, cold in some places, it’s chili weather. Keep in mind, I’m not into complicated recipes, but I do love to throw some chili in the crock pot on a cold day. If I think about it ahead of time, I prefer using dried beans. Be sure to soak the beans or pre-boil. In a pinch, canned beans can be used. If you do it the quick way, at least slow cook the ground beef with the spices so you get as much full flavor as possible.

Casual Chili 

 *one cup dried beans (Red beans are good, but sometimes I mix red and black together.)
*one can tomatoes
*one can tomato paste
*one bell pepper chopped
*fresh chili pepper chopped
(Here’s part of the casual in this recipe. I used to use ½ of a red rocotillo pepper, but they aren’t easy to find in the grocery store. For reference, they are slightly sweet and a wee bit hotter than a poblano and half as hot as a jalapeno pepper. So, my advice is to use a pepper that suits your taste.)
*a dash or more of chili powder
*tsp of cumin
*1/2 onion chopped
*1 1/3 pounds browned ground beef
*water (This will be enough to allow for the dried beans to plump up soft, otherwise, make it as thick or soupy as you like.)

I like to make it in the crock pot because it’s a no-watch way to cook. You are welcome to do it on the stove, too. I wouldn’t know how long it would take on the stove. In the crock pot, I start it on high for an hour and then switch to low for another 4-6 hours. If you use canned beans, just stir it all together once you’ve cooked the seasoned meat for forty-five minutes or so. Simmer until you’re ready to eat.

About Brenda: Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the Lake Roosevelt basin in Central Arizona and the pines in the north. Wherever Brenda opens her laptop, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Here’s where I plug a book! Since chili weather is an expression I’ve heard all my life in Arizona, and chili cook-offs happen every winter, you could choose a book from my Love and Murder Series. The series is Arizona based and all my characters just love chili…when they are busy solving crimes or making love.

The Art of Love and Murder “A mother she never knew, the identity of her father disputed – secrets, threats and murder. Lacy’s past and present collide spinning her deeper into danger and further from love.”

Southwest of Love and Murder “Writing murder mysteries is all in a day's work until an obsessed fan brings Phoebe's stories to life.”

A Legacy of Love and Murder “Inheriting an Austrian Castle is an Alpine fairytale for August, until someone begins killing the heirs.”

The Power of Love and Murder “Penny Sparks has secrets that can ruin a presidential contender, got her family murdered…and mark her as the next hit.” 

The Deep Well of Love and Murder “A vengeful ex-husband isn’t the only obstacle for Laura Katz and Randy Silva…a high stake, bloody fight for his land threatens not only their happiness, but their lives.”

Visit Brenda's web site to read the first chapters of all of her books.

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