February 2, 2011

One Chili Night

"Snowmageddon" doesn't scare Flower Fairy!

In case you haven't heard, it's been snowing in Chicago.  Now, that's not particularly surprising, considering this city's precarious situation right next to a very large lake in the mid-northern part of the States.  But this snowstorm is kind of surprising, expected to bring in up to 20 inches of the white stuff, flying violently along on 60 mph winds.  Oh, and did I mention the "Thundersnow"?!?*

One good thing about chilly nights is that they also make great chili nights.  Yes, that was an unforgivable pun, but seventy times seven, right?  ;)  Tonight, we've been taking in the scrumptious smells and mouth-watering flavors of a very basic chili recipe, but with a few healthy changes.  First, meet Betty:

 Good ol' faithful Betty Crocker lends a hand.  Well, most of the recipe, actually.  Here's her version:

Only, instead of a pound of ground beef, I make this chili with a half pound of ground turkey and some veggies.  Namely, one zucchini and one green pepper.  Here's all you need to make...

Chilly Night Chili

Oops.  Forgot a crucial ingredient, as always.  Beans!

Once you've assembled the necessary ingredients, just cook your turkey (or beef),
onion and garlic for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Then add everything else but the beans.
At this point, your saucepan should look like this colorful combination:

Mix until edible brilliance.

Once mixed, bring the chili to a boil, lower your heat, cover and simmer for an hour.
Then, turn back to your cutting board and admire the beauteous remains of your pepper.
Aren't peppers gorgeous?!?

Remember to ignore the begging cat.
(Don't worry; she's well aware it's not her dinner time yet!)

After an hour of simmering and begging, add your rinsed beans.

Stir in, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
While the chili is finishing up, you can gather your final supplies:

No chili is complete without plenty of oyster crackers and cheeeeeeeeeese!

I like to grate some cheese into the bottom of the bowl (a tasty trick I picked up from my mother-in-law).

 Fill your bowl, sprinkle some more cheese on top, and stare mindlessly at your creation.

Um, and... oh yeah!  Eat and be satisfied!!!

And try to stay warm, especially you folks "enjoying" this lovely winter storm.
Remember, Chicago kids, you only get a snow day about once a decade, so relish this fleeting opportunity!


*Yes, Thundersnow is a real thing, folks.  I just heard it with my own two ears. 
Never in my nerd-like meteorology-lovin' life have I ever experienced anything quite like this.


Author's Note: This post was actually written up and ready to be posted last night just moments before we lost our power for 18 hours, thanks to aforementioned "Snowmageddon."  Thankfully we made it through the storm, and I'm happy to say we were able to save the leftover chili on our snow-laden balcony.  Yes, my friend, this recipe serves 4.  :)


  1. Boy, does that look yummy! I, too, like to substitute turkey and use lesser amounts of meat. Sadly, hubby would not appreciate the zuchinni or bell pepper. :-(

    I love your bookholder! Very classy!

  2. I LOVE the addition of zucchini and pepper! Zucchini is in my 'favorite vegetable' list, so I'll take it any way I can get it. I'm sorry you guys lost power!! That's no fun . . . Does that mean your water was out too?