We’ve been buried under snow for two weeks. I admit, it was super fun the first day playing out in the snow, sledding, making snow angels. Seeing the kids get so excited when they wake up and see a foot of snow on the ground is almost magical and brings back my own fond childhood memories of playing in snow. I’m pretty sure by now, if there was an Olympic sport on how fast you can dress your kids in their full winter snow gear, I would probably win. That’s how many times we’ve dressed and undressed, dressed and undressed, dressed and undressed. It’s down to an exact science now. I’m sweating before we even go outside and play.
Then the cabin fever set in. There’s been no school, no church activities, and even our extra curricular activities have been cancelled, like ballet and tap lessons. My husband finally went back to work and when he comes home at night, I’m just itching to do SOMETHING. Being cooped up in the house can be maddening. There’s only so many crafts, games, baking, movies, etc that we can do before we are ready to just get out of the house and see the outside world!
One thing’s for sure. We’ve eaten well this week, though, and for that I am so thankful. It may be cold, snowy and dreary outside, but it’s been warm inside the house with lots of chili, soups, hot chocolate, and comforting food. Yum! There’s nothing like a good pot of chili when you’re snowed in.
I think we’re still in for lots more snow this winter, so I thought I would share with you my basic chili recipe. I like my chili spicy, but my kids don’t, so this is mild-medium in flavor. There’s still a slight spicy kick to it, but it’s mild enough that the kiddies don’t complain too much.
Do you want to know my favorite part about this chili? The leftovers! It’s thick and rich and perfect for topping delicious things like baked potatoes, grass fed hot dogs, homemade tortilla chips for chili cheese nachos, and spaghetti for chili mac. Chili is a great way to stretch a buck. It’s yummy the first day, but it’s even yummier the second day when you transform it into an entirely different meal with minimal work.
That’s my kind of easy cooking.
- 1.5 cups dry red beans or two cans of red beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, preferably grass-fed
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 bell pepper (red, green, or combination), diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 T. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 can organic diced tomatoes (BPA free) --do not drain
- 16 oz. water or homemade beef broth (Just fill up your tomato can with water or broth)
- The morning of, cover the dry beans with warm water, two inches above the beans. Soak beans for eight hours. You can do this overnight if you wish. (If you are using canned beans, skip the first two steps and go straight to browning the beef.)
- Drain beans, replace water, again covering two inches above the beans, and simmer for about 1.5 hours until beans are almost tender. Set aside.
- In medium sized pot, brown ground beef, onions, garlic, and peppers.
- Drain grease if there is any. Grass fed beef might not have any.
- Return beef mixture to the pot and add spices, tomatoes, beans, and liquid of choice.
- Simmer for 60-90 minutes until flavors are well combined and chili is nice and thick. Check for seasonings and adjust accordingly.