Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sarah's Chili Bowl

Last weekend, Jay and I went on a little hike (aka walk) around DC. Jay's brother-in-law and classmates joined us as we crossed one more thing off our DC To-Do List, Theodore Roosevelt Island.

The company was much better than the actual monument. Roosevelt Island is a monument meant for locals. It is located on this little island in the Potomac between Rosslyn and Georgetown. The mile or two trail is perfect for runners and walkers, but sorry Teddy you just can't compete with Lincoln.

After our stroll we headed into Georgetown for Ice Berry, frozen yogurt and toppings. It was not as good as what I had in San Luis Obispo, but it was a nice substitute on a sticky DC summer day.

After saying good-bye to the majority of our group, Jay, his brother-in-law and I saw the monuments off the mall and headed to The Wright Place, our favorite McDonald's in DC, conveniently located in the Air and Space Museum. You have to splurge occasionally and their Southwest salad was pretty tasty!

Speaking of the Southwest!! Tonight, I made my famous (and easy) chili in preparation for my first trip (of five) for the next few weeks. Due to my backpacking trip, Jay has decided he wants to be an outdoors man. As any good girlfriend, I decided that we should take it easy and start with just camping. I borrowed all the gear from my mom (we used to go on 2 week camping vacations when I was a kid) and we started planning.

Inviting some of Jay's classmates we will head off into the wilderness Friday, go on a little hike, have a cookout and hopefully arrive home Sunday with enough time to do our normal weekend chores.

As the trusty organizer, I bought the hot dogs and buns at the grocery store and decided to bring a little of my chili along for the ride.

Above are my most of my staple ingredients. I love this recipe because it can be completely different every time you make it. Tonight I choose to use Ground Turkey because it was cheap and had a coupon on it. But, ground beef and bison are also good substitutes.

First add a little oil to the pot. Turn the heat on low. Chop 1/3 of an onion. Tonight I used an onion I had refrigerated and no tears! Toss them in and add the ground turkey and chop in up with a metal spatula. Turn up the heat to medium and cover.

Start opening the cans. Tonight I used one can of Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Corn and Diced Tomatoes with Green chilies. Depending on your taste you can add any bean that your heart desires. Drain the cans (minus the diced tomatoes).

I check on the meat occasionally, stirring it and chopping it up until thoroughly cooked. Add all the cans. Stir and then add the tomato paste and some wine. Turn up the heat to full blast.

Once the contents come to a boil, turn the heat to low and add seasoning and spices. I always add a little sugar, red and black pepper and chili powder.

Cover and let simmer for a good hour. And viola! a healthy but hearty dinner (I swear it taste better than it looks). Don't forget to sprinkle on the cheese and eat with chips!

This meal can feed up to 8 depending on how many ingredients you add. Tonight, Jay and I each had a bowl, I froze some for hot dogs for the weekend, froze another portion for a lazy evening and gave Jay about a cup for dinner/lunch. He is volunteer firefighter so we will not eat dinner together tomorrow night. :(

The chili also makes a great dip for parties and is great on baked potatoes.

While cooking dinner, I simultaneously make lunch (below) and Jay's (not shown but similar).

Tomorrow I will have a fiesta salad for lunch and will have my banana and yogurt at some point as snacks. My fiesta salad has lettuce, a spoonful of all the beans and corn I put in the chili, fresh cut peppers, tomato and shredded cheese.

Well off to knitting where I will either knit a sunglasses holder or a cute cardigan! Goal: Actually knit this summer and go to my http://www.meetup.com/ knitting group bimonthly!