Currently / / December

thanksgiving_1

Making / / Granola (this & this), chili and my grocery list.

Listening / / Christmas music of course, but also Colony House. I listened to their album four times in a row the other night!

Wrapping / / More like purchasing the presents to be wrapped. I always have intentions to be more organized, but somehow time slips away from me! ūüôā

Watching / / Jordan stayed¬†in Illinois longer than I was able to¬†after Thanksgiving, so¬†I¬†rented¬†The Fault in Our Stars while I had a few free evenings. I read TFIOS¬†earlier this year, so I wasn’t expecting to get emotional. Wrong! I was totally that girl crying on the couch alone.

Anticipating / / Cuddling on the couch watching holiday movies with Jordan, decorating our apartment for Christmas, and fresh starts after a busy and challenging year.

What are you currently doing/making/enjoying?

/ / Want to leave a reply?

/ / Linking with Anne and Jenna.

Pumpkin White Bean Chili

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When I got married at the ripe young age of 21, I was comfortable cooking but I had no real technique or rhythm in the kitchen. I spent the first summer of our marriage watching The Food Network and reading magazines; ripping out recipes I wanted to try and gleaning information from the chefs. Not many of those early recipes stuck, most were duds, but there is a basic chili I still make several times each year. There is nothing like a good pot of chili, simmering on the stove, that helps usher in the cooler months.

A couple of years ago, a dear friend¬†passed down her recipe for pumpkin chili and¬†it’s now become a favorite in our house. I love all¬†things pumpkin (except the well-loved Pumpkin Spiced Latte, it’s me, not you, PSL) but usually those recipes lean on the sweet/dessert side. It’s nice to have a savory option!

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Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (I only had granulated)
1 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 (15 oz cans) white beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, until the onions start to brown slightly. Add cumin and stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for about an hour, until it begins to thicken, stirring regularly. In my opinion chili/soups are always best the longer the flavors are able to meld together, so this makes for excellent leftovers.

Serve over rice or tortilla chips, but don’t forget the toppings!

Might I suggest…chopped cilantro and chives, sour cream, salsa,¬†tomatoes, cheese, etc…

A few notes: I made this chili on the stove with my dutch oven, but it can easily be adapted for the crock pot (cook on high 4 hrs, low 6-8 hrs {add already cooked meat}). The original recipe calls for ground turkey, but I like it better with chicken browned on the stove; it creates a richer flavor. The meat can also easily be omitted.

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^ This meal is great for potlucks because it’s a bit unexpected, but so comforting.

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What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?

/ / Want to leave a reply?

Dinner Staples / / Chili

Basic Chili

Food and football is a pretty big deal for my family (go, Notre Dame!). Life is shared and experienced around the dinner table and also during the wins and losses of our favorite teams. One reason why food is so enjoyed is because everyone in my family cooks.

My mom was the main cook when we were young, but my dad was always in charge of grilling, pie baking, and most of the summer canning (apple sauce, marinara, beets, etc.). When my oldest brother was a senior in high school, he would cook gourmet meals for us on the weekends. Because there were a lot of available cooks in the kitchen, I didn’t actually get that much practice (except for baking, I always baked with my mother). I knew enough basics from observing and making simple dinners for myself, but I never had to prepare an entire meal for someone until I got married.

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