Crockin’ Chili!

So the following conversation happened when I opened my crockpots (SHAMELESS PLUG: naming contest still going on–I’ve had some great suggestions, but it’s not too late to put your 2 cents in!).  Ahem, where was I?  Oh yeah: conversation (loosely transcribed):

ME:  thank you! I can’t wait to use it

CHRISTI: what are you going to make?

Not sure yet.  Chili, maybe, yeah…chili

You don’t need a crockpot to make chili

No, but it still would be amazing

Now, I should interject here that Christi’s mother has THE best chili recipe, but Christi was right. I didn’t neeeeeeeeed my new crockpot to make chili.  Alright, back to Pinterest.  My mission: a crock pot chili recipe that looking tasty & interesting. I found this recipe from kitchentreaty.com

Okay, so…THE first I noticed: no meat–a slight pause for a raised-on-a-Texas-cattle-ranch girl like me, but under the motto of I’ll try anything once and the fact that it just sounds amazing, I figured what the heck!  Plus when you read about kitchentreaty.com it is a great site dedicated to cooking for vegetarians and omnivores who cohabitate/marry/hangout/party/etc (I mean, she explains it more eloquently than that–I’m just cutting to the chase so we can get to the chili!).

Almost everyone I know who enjoys cooking or baking and finds a new recipe, follows the recipe the first time and then if they feel adventurous the next time adds their own spin on it.  Not me, because…well…I just have an inability to leave well enough alone.  Plus I personally feel that all great chili recipes need some beer thrown in (even the aforementioned best chili recipe).  As I was looking down the list of ingredients–I ain’t gonna lie–I did a few double-takes on some of the spices, but I promised myself that I would only allow myself to swap out 1 cup of beer for 1 cup of veggie stock.  I’d like to interject here that I personally feel that any one who considers her/himself a chili aficionado might balk at some of the ingredients.  Albeit from the beer, I did not stray from the recipe.  That in and of itself is shocking.  Next time, though, I’m adding more jalapenos (as she suggested).  I only added one because it was making me cry while cutting and I figured that was probably hot enough.  Alas, no.  You can taste the jalapeno, but none of the heat.

Served with cornbread & Shiner Cheer (the beer I used), my tummy was very, very happy.  VERDICT: if you are vegetarian, looking for a change of chili pace, or looking for a less expensive chili–this is definitely one to add to your recipe book!  Btw, if you follow her recipe–linked above–it’s vegan and gluten-free, you know if you’re into those kinds of kinky things ;- ) Thanks kitchentreaty!

Mmm Mmm Good!

Mmm Mmm Good!

Crock Pot Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili

  • 1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • 2 15-oz cans of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (make sure you get puree and not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 15-oz cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup of veggie broth
  • 1 cup of beer (whatever you may have on-hand, but I’d stay away from dark beers, like Guinness, as I think the flavor would be too overpowering)
  • 1 Tbsp of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (yeah, cinnamon–keep reading down!)
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (that’s right.  chocolate and a whoooooole tablespoon!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin

Add all the ingredients to a 3-quart or larger crock pot and stir.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours (mine took right at 5 hours) or on low for 8-10 hours (are you kidding, who can wait that long?!?!?!?!) until lentils are done and chili is thick and hearty.  Serve with assorted toppings (I used cilantro).

It was delicious and good for you–perfect for a chili-weather kinda day!!

What A Crock!

First, let me apologize and TOTALLY blame George R. R. Martin for lack of posts this week.  Since both my most and least favorite characters are seemingly dead, it’s back to work!

In addition to Lucille, I got another really cool birthday kitchen gadget: a crockpot.  Two actually, in a set, a big one and a tiny baby one.  I’ve always thought crockpots were fun, but now that I have one I realize they are da’bomb!!!

For those of you without an Addy in your lives, crockpots are great for throwing stuff in it in the morning, turning it on, leaving for work and viola! dinner when you get home.  However, since my darling pupcicle would see this as an open invitation to help herself and can reach all countertops in the house, for me, crockpots are great for throwing stuff in it at night and waking up in the morning with breakfast!  Or lunch or to put in the fridge for dinner.  Point being, I can’t leave my pupcicle & my crockpot unsupervised otherwise it will not fair well for the crockpot or my pupcicle when I got home.

But I digress.  What should I make?  Immediately, I went to searching on Pinterest, looking for a recipe that would be easy and preferably something I could make without going to the store.  Looking, looking, looking….and I FOUND IT!

Applesauce. photo 1

Applesauce, you say?  Yes, applesauce!  Having a new found love for apples and easy access to delicious orchard apples thanks to Wilklow Orchards, who sells delicious produce in the ferry terminal, I always have apples in the house.  I found this recipe by Fantastic Mom, which looked easy enough.  Since I’m not a big fan of sweetened applesauce nor one to leave well enough alone, I left out the sugar and added cloves, for a more “grown-up” taste (that’s in quotes because maybe kidlets like cloves and more intense/less sweet flavor).

So I chopped, chopped, chopped my way through a lot of apples, diligently peeling and coring. And ta-da–as promised a few hours later I had yummy applesauce.  Personally, I prefer really smooth applesauce, so at the end I put it through the potato ricer to give that extra smoothness that I love!  Nor did I wait for it to cool.  I discovered that I rather like warm applesauce…

HOWEVER…before I give you the recipe and having you drifting off to la-la-appleland, I have a contest for you (yes–YOU and YOU and YOU!!).  I name all of my appliances and gadgets, because, well, it’s what I do.  And my new crockpots need names, so I need your help!  There’s usually a reason for everything that has a name.  For example, my phone’s name is Alfred because, like Alfred Pennyworth, he does everything for me.  As you met Lucille last week, hopefully you got the I Love Lucy / Lucille Ball connection.  So, in that spirit my new little babies need names.  Winners get a prize, probably not from the crockpots because that’s rather hard to mail, but something else fun!  Ready, set…go!

Homemade Applesauce

  • 24 apples (I used empire, of course!)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves

Soak cinnamon sticks and cloves in water.  Peel, core, and dice the apples.  Put EVERYTHING in the crockpot (apples, water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves).  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Stirring occasionally helps break up apples.  Let it cool and then refrigerate.  Just don’t forget to pull out the cinnamon sticks and cloves before you start eating!!

Okay, I added a bit of ground cinnamon to make my pic look prettier!

Okay, I added a bit of ground cinnamon to make my pic look prettier!

mmm....now I just need porkchops!

mmm….now I just need porkchops!

Happy crockpotting!  And before I forget….

THANKS Sissy & TK!!  🙂