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Archive for September, 2007

Dreaming of Fall

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I suppose it’s technically fall, but it still feels like summer.  The weekend parking is still non-existent, the window stays open when we sleep, and I’m feeling the pressure to be outside, to make the most of the sunny weather.

But all I really want to do is to put on a warm fuzzy sweatshirt and slippers, curl up under a blanket with my kitty and sip on hot cocoa.  I got really excited this weekend when it seemed like the weather was cooling off, so I soaked some Rancho Gordo beans (thanks, Mom!) and got to cooking.  The chili is one of my experimental mishmash dishes, so it’s easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have lying around.  I think it’s the first chili I’ve ever made – aww.  The cornbread scones are from Cooking Light, and I’ll post about them next.

Carrie’s First Chili

For the beans:
1 1/2 cups dry beans (I used Rancho Gordo’s Oro de Tigre beans)
enough water to cover them by at least an inch

about 1 cup mirepoix (carrot, celery and onion, diced)

I’ve typically been a canned beans kind of a girl, but Rancho Gordo has brought me around.  Their dry heirloom beans are delicious and really easy to make.  I’ve been following their method for cooking the beans – you can find it here.

1 lb. steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 bottle dark beer
cooked beans and any extra cooking liquid from above
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat some olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Brown the steak on all sides, about 3 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft.  Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until the smell is too tempting.

You’ve been warned: this stuff turned out SPICY.  It wasn’t my fault, I swear – a new era has arrived in our house, because when Chris tasted the first round, he claimed for the first time that a dish needed more spice.  I happily obliged by dropping in the cayenne pepper – you may decide to leave it out.  If yours turns out a bit too spicy, just do what we did and whip up a big batch of rice.

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Pie Off Pics, originally uploaded by cremarie.

The Pie Off was a total success – good friends, beautiful weather, delicious pies – what else could you ask for on a labor day weekend? I haven’t quite figured flickr out yet, so to see the Pie Off pictures (with comments), click on “Pie Off Pics” above and scroll through…

I gave this one my all, but failed to bring home the blue ribbon.  As you can see from the pics, it was a killer competition!

There’s always next year!

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