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Monday, October 21, 2013

Meal Planning Monday

Excuse the silly title, I'm still trying to come up with a name for this series!  The readers (all ten of you) have spoken, and it appeared that you enjoyed last week's recipe post, so I thought I'd try it again this week.  

I am not sure whether it is the dreary weather we've had or what (it has been crazy), but I have had a serious craving for chili.  It was so bad last night that I don't think I actually ate dinner because all I could think about was chili, we didn't have time (or all of the ingredients) to make it and we didn't have any frozen.  I think I ended up snacking on a bunch of random stuff that did not satisfy I will not be making that mistake again.  I made chili tonight and it hit the spot (and I am sick from eating so much, yum).  

Chili is serious business, and I know there are tons of recipes for it and most people have a favorite, so I almost didn't post this one but it's so easy that I decided to go ahead and post it.  In my house growing up, we always ate chili over rice and then had a variety of toppings which we could choose to add to it.  I like mine with plain old shredded cheddar; Mom always added sour cream to hers and Dan likes to smother his in jalapenos and hot sauce (I like a little kick to my chili but not too much [heartburn]; Dan prefers to burn his taste buds with spice!) and sometimes he even crumbles some cornbread on top,  Chili is just one of those comfort foods that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and conjures up fond memories of childhood, no?

Anyway, without further ado, here's the recipe I use, adapted slightly from the one my mom uses.  As I said before, so easy and so good!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  

Fair warning:  I normally just add spices to taste based on my mood, which can really alter the flavor, so feel free to experiment!

Beef Chili
I don't know how many this serves, maybe 10-12?
1 T. (approx.) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1-2 packets of McCormick chili seasoning (I used 2 for extra flavor)
Kidney beans, drained  (I used about 3/4 of a 40.5-oz can tonight because that was what I already had in the pantry, but you can vary this based on how bean-y vs. meat-y you like your chili)
2 28-oz cans tomatoes (again, you can vary this based on how you like your chili)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper, to taste

Note:  We have made our own chili seasoning before using some variation of this recipe and it is delicious, but when in a hurry McCormick's does the trick and has a lot of flavor.

Cook the onion in olive oil until softened.  Add ground beef and cook until browned.  Drain excess grease (if needed).  Dump everything in a crock pot and let it simmer on low at least until warmed through (mine simmered all day today).  An alternative is to let this simmer on the burner for an hour or so, but obviously you have to be home for that and I wasn't.  Plus, there's something to coming home to a delicious smelling house, yes?

Clearly I am not a photographer period, but especially not a food photographer.  I'm gonna have to practice my food photography skills if I'm going to keep this up, I guess!

That's all there is to it.  Told ya, so easy and delicious!  Tonight I served it over brown rice and I made (mini, thanks to Megan's suggestion) sweet corn muffins.  Lilly acted like she loved it for about five bites and then decided she didn't love it, but even getting her to try it was an accomplishment in itself.  Plus, she loved the mini corn muffins, so I'm putting it in the "win" column.

In other news, happy 24-week-in-utero birthday to baby boy tomorrow!  I am celebrating with a doctor appointment (bright and early, ugh what was I thinking?!) in the morning, so I'll have some official stats to share.  Dan has a pretty busy week at work which means L and I have some girl bonding time, so we are going to make Halloween cookies tomorrow night and decorate them Wednesday night.  Photos are surely to come.  Also, great news on the Baby B 2.0 front: we sold our guest bedroom furniture tonight!  Ok so that actually has nothing to do with BB2.0 other than now we can start work on our new and improved guest-bedroom-slash-playroom in addition to the construction in the loft to build him a place to sleep and the general de-cluttering/deep cleaning/reorganization of my house that is to come over the next 16 weeks (try to say all of that quickly in one breath).  When I have time.  And when I'm not so tired.  Oy.

Hope your Monday was great!



  1. Yayyy! Happy 24th week of having a little cutie growing in your belly! :)

    Your chili looks so GOOD, I'm drooling at my desk and my belly is growling like no other!


  2. I love reading your blog! Not only is it interesting to follow, but your very funny:) It keeps me entertained and I always get excited when I'm scrolling through facebook and see a new blog entry! Thanks for sharing all of this.

    1. Thank you so much! It makes me happy when people tell me they like following along. We're glad to have you for sure. :-)


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