Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chili and Misc

Well, Nathaniel's back for a few days.  The kids are so happy.  I've been busy sewing and adding to my etsy shop in between managing everything else. 
Yesterday it was rainy and windy....and a perfect day for chili!  I used to always make my mom's chili recipe (with my Grandmommy's elbow macaroni thrown in) but we've moved so much that finding the brand of chili mix she uses is not always possible.  So I've tweaked it and made up my own, which is very similar to Mom's but also adds some more vegetables (which no one around here has noticed!). 
So here it is, basically:
2 c pinto beans (mine were cooked from dried, but canned works just as well)
2 cans red beans
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1/2 of a bell pepper, minced (Lydia and I ate the other half raw.  Use red if you want it to blend in better.)
1 c pumpkin puree (No, really, no one will taste it!)
1 c tomato sauce
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
about 1 1/2 c elbow macaroni
1 T taco seasoning
2 T chili powder

Brown the ground beef and onion in the bottom of your soup pot.  Drain if necessary.  Add spices, garlic, pepper, pumpkin, and tomato sauce and stir well.   Then add beans and water, about 3 cups, but more if you like your chili less thick.  Bring to a boil and then simmer, for any time from 10 minutes to all day.  (If you go for a long time, you'll have to occassionally add more water.)  About 15 minutes before serving, increase heat to high and add a cup or two of water and the macaroni.  Serve when the macaroni is cooked.  For really good chili, add shredded sharp cheddar cheese to each bowl.  Yum!
I make my own taco seasoning and keep it in a container in the pantry, but you can use ready-made just as easily. 
I use wheat elbow macaroni.
My pumpkin puree is homemade, but again, canned works great.  I often have an extra cup because like the store bought kind, I usually have 2 c per container and I often use 1 c for pumpkin muffins and then have 1 c leftover.  Pumpkin really is a powerhouse of nutrients, so I like to put it in things.
I always make my chili really thick, so add more water if you want it a little more soup-like.
You could easily use the whole bell pepper, it's just that Lydia loves raw bell peppers right now.

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