Monday, March 21, 2011

He who smelt it, dealt it.

I AM AWESOME. Just wanted to get that out of the way. My first non-work day of Spring Break (I work within the Education Sytem, therefore I get approximately 200 paid days off a year AND I don't even have to work with booger eaters) and I have already achieved greatness. This morning after I made coffee and took a shower, I packed a healthy lunch for Handsome Stranger, sent him on his way because SOMEONE has to work, then proceeded to commence with my list O' tasks for the day:

Clean house
Do taxes
Make soup

I'm sure you are scoffing...."No way is she gonna do all that on a day off - I bet she'll be on fb all day, probably eating peanut butter from a spoon that she dips in the open bag of chocolate chips the whole time". HA. The peanut butter was in Son #2's room, therefore no longer safe as I did not notice a stock of clean butter knives or spoons nearby, leading me to believe he either uses his finger or possibly a screwdriver to satisfy the passing pb urge. GROSS. Also, I used up all the chocolate chips making cookies for someone...I forget who, but you can be sure it wasn't me. I used up all MY points on Skinny Cow ice cream sammiches - they are low fat, and if you eat 4 and can't have your dinner, so be it....don't judge me.

And since the intranet was down this morning, and my calls to Frontier went unsatisfied (found out later about 10 thousand of us were out), I set to the tasks at hand. I cleaned, I vacuumed, I dusted, I put everything away that all the slobs in my house apparently think magically find their way back to their homes so they can find them when needed...I even did the dishes - WOW. Which was somewhat backwards Karma-ic since I was about to make a whole bunch more dirty ones. I cleaned out the produce drawers, went into chop-o-matic mode and got a big pot of beef barley on to simmer for a couple hours. Then I make a quickie turkey/veggie/orzo soup for my lunch, and had a nice lunch break, determining that daytime TV is a total wasteland and that there was a kleenex I missed under the couch.

Moved on to some paper shuffling, finding all the pieces needed to do my taxes, some more cleaning and bed-stripping and laundry, and then back to the kitchen to check on the soup. PERFECTO...I am lovin' beef with barley! And since it's still early, I decide to throw caution to the wind and whip up some chili - Handsome Stranger loves it too, and fiber is so good for him! Not so much for the rest of us tho....I try to direct him to face TOWARD open flame for a day or so after a big bean fest. That and I buy tons of stock in Diamond Matches and Yankee Candle. Came out marvelous, as usual, and I even got a good part of the taxes done while it cooked! Too bad it looks like I'm paying this year...Uncle Sam must need something REALLY important if he's asking ME for money, I tell you. Wonder if he'd accept chili in trade??

This is a nice and healthy chili - and it is MADE FROM SCRATCH. You need to learn how to cook beans in case there is ever a national emergency and you have to stand in line to get rations of stuff like dry beans, rice, and vodka. Or in case you go on Survivor. And it is frightfully low in fat - you will have to add some to it if you want a grease stain on your Sunday-best flannel.

Turkey Chili

Step 1 - Bean soak:

2 lbs. PINK BEANS They are pink, and medium sized...don't use pintos, they are not right for chili, trust me. If you're really anal, go ahead and check the beans for rocks/pebbles...I never do, I just tell the kids it's a prize, and they get a new toothbrush, dental floss, and a shiny new filling if they find one. In a large pot, cover 2" above level of beans with cold water, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Take pan off burner, cover and let stand 1 hour.

Step 2 - Cook beans:

Dump beans in a colander, rinse pan and beans until they drain clear, dump back in pan and cover with cold water again to 2" above bean level. Add:

1 very large onion (3 cups chopped)
4 jalepeno peppers, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Stir and bring to boil, turn heat down and simmer covered, 1 to 1.5 hours, or until beans are tender. Make sure they're fully cooked...adding salt before they're done can make for hard beans. I don't make this crap up, it's happened to me...then you have to cook it FOREVER. Once the beans are nice and tender, you're ready to chili it up!

Step 3 - Chili it UP!:

To the cooked beans (and liquid), add:

1 lb. ground turkey, browned (don't drain it - that is your only fat in this)
15 oz. can tomato sauce
6 oz. can tomato paste
28 oz, can diced tomatoes, blended or processed (I HATE big chunks of tomato in chili)
4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1/3 C. chili powder
1 tsp. hot chili powder (optional)
2 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper (optional)

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, turn down to simmer and let cook at least 30 minutes to develop the flavors, or longer if you want to make it even thicker. This would be good with big slabs of cornbread and butter, or like when I was a kid, a big stack of saltines to smash up over it, or you could ladle it over a bowl of fritos, top with cheese & sour cream and call it good. It's great in an omelet, on an open-faced burger or a hot dog (altho I don't put chili with beans on hot dogs anymore...try the coney sauce recipe and you'll know why), not to mention a few scoops mixed with your mac and's a soup, it's a sauce, it's a topping - and only 5 points plus per cup! And for entertainment later, you can go outside with a lighter and an ice pack and light up the night sky....I would not recommend it for the uber hairy, however.

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