Monday, January 12, 2009

Comfort Food

I am always looking for ways to make my life easier. One of them is in the preparation of meals for my beloved and myself. Not much is easier than the crockpot. I can put the food in at some point during the day, while Sophie is napping or otherwise occupied, and then not have to worry about it again. At dinnertime, I just scoop it out and dinner is served. One of my favorite dishes is Chili. Back home, my stepdad used to make Chili on football Sundays, so it's a comfort food for me. When I was pregnant, I craved it something fierce. I ate a bowl of turkey chili at least once a week. Each and every time, it was followed up by atomic indigestion, but it was soo worth it. With all the cold weather, it's a perfect time to enjoy this tasty dish. Here's my recipe for a satisfying bowl of Chili. It's a might spicy, but won't send anyone careening for a glass of milk. (That's what you're supposed to drink to salve a spiced up tongue.)

Cara's Chili Con Carne
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef or Turkey (I also like to do one pound of each, you get the flavor of the beef without all the fat.) Brown thoroughly and drain excess grease.
  • 1 Can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chiles (undrained)
  • 1 Can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
  • 2 Cans Red Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced (I use the storebought jar of pre-minced garlic, big time saver.)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/8 Cup Chili Powder or 1 Packet Chili Seasoning*
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I generally add about a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper.)
  • Red Peppers, Green Peppers or Onions (Optional, I like my chili without any of these, but lots of people love them, so add as you see fit.)
Put everything in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally.

I generally serve a salad as a starter, so we get some greens, but that's it and you've got yourself a meal. I like to throw on a little grated cheese and some dill pickle slices. The pickles add just a bit of zing. I love them, but they're not for everyone. If you like pickles, give it a try. Finally, tons of crackers, some cornbread and the Doctor.

That, my friends, is happiness. What is comfort food for you?

*Purists will say that no self respecting chili chef would use a packet of seasoning. I have made it both ways and don't really have a preference. If I remember to buy a packet when I'm at the store, I'll use that. Otherwise, I'll just use chili powder.


  1. I'm a turkey chili fan too. I make mine by seasoning the turkey with Rudy's Rub straight from Austin, TX. We buy ours online. It makes all the difference. I love the pickle idea. I never thought of that, but will be trying it with our next batch. Yum.

  2. Yum, pickles. I'll try that next time. We had chili for our NYE dinner.

    I think homemade mac and cheese would be my go to comfort food. The last time my mom made it, she used panko bread crumbs on top. Yum!

  3. I make chili differently each time...but I have to say, the pickles are intriguing me. I love fried pickles--imagine THOSE on top of some chili. YUM.

    Did you take that picture? It's really good--perfectly styled. You might have a new career in the styler. Awesome.

    p.s. Did you see the BSG shoutout on the last page of this week's EW? I love that the critics get it--and love it, too. It fuels my belief that we have great taste. We do, Cara.

  4. I love turkey chili. I plan on making it this weekend. I must say that I've never seen pickles on chili before, but it looks yummy.

    Sometimes I turn my chili into dip. I just put it in a big dip bowl, add lots of shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.

    My big comfort food is soup. Any kind. And I love that the leftovers are even better.

    We have a KC Chief's CrockPot (yes, it's John) that I used once this past Xmas. I'm not a big user of it, and come to think of it, it's the only time I've ever used one. I like the sound/smell of the onions sizzling and I'm a constant stirrer. But before I came along, the crockpot was John's wife.

  5. Never thought of putting pickles ontop chili. huh.

    I think I might have most of this stuff on hand, maybe I'll try a batch this week! I LOVE chili, but it's always lacking something! (probably a good cook! lol)

  6. You know what?--I love the packet of chili seasoning! I have tried it both ways and I prefer it with (I like Chili-O). The pickles are very intriguing--I've never tried them in chili!

    Thank you for the recipe!!

  7. Oh I love chili too and when I was pregnant with Hayden, I had the same cravings and the same indigestion. Weird.
    I am so going to have to try this.

  8. NEVER would have thought to add pickles to chili, but I'm gonna try it!

    And with you and Lula and now Katie over at Ritch in Love being such big BSG fans, I may have to try it out. I'm not a big sci-fi fan, though, so I'm not promising anything... =)

  9. Hot and cheesy chili, served over macaroni noodles. Yummmmm....

    Comfort food for me is red broth soup ala my mom's recipe. I have it somewhere on my blog...

  10. I've never tried pickles on chili, but I bet I'd like it. I love pickles with BBQ and sloppy joes.

  11. The more chili in life, the better!

    Looks delish :] Never tried pickles with my chili but it sounds like ideal pregnancy food...

  12. We had a Chili and Salad Potluck Supper Friday night! Wonderful cooks - each chili was different and so delish! Yours look great! We like tortilla chips of any kind or crackers as you suggested and its a wonderful comfort meal. For me, comfort meals are all kinds of soup! Love to make them and eat them.

    Thanks for visiting my Welcome to Alberta post today!

  13. I love all kinds of chili -- white chicken, beef, sweet, Cincinnati . . . could eat it every day. I have never tried pickles, but I love them so will give it a go.

    I love my crock pot too! Please continue to post about your crockery cookery.

  14. I'm printing out this recipe! I was just wanting more crock pot recipes to use. This one sounds awesome!!! Thanks!

  15. Just staring at the beautiful picture of your chili again, and I CANNOT BELIEVE I MISSED THE DR PEPPER CAN IN THE BACKGROUND. See, it's this Dr Pepper withdrawal I'm on. (8 days clean) It's warping my brain.

  16. Sounds really good! I can't wait to try it w/the pickles on top--I love pickles! BTW--your pic looks like it came out of a real cookbook!

  17. I belong to, mainly for my interaction I get with my MOMS group and the other reason is because I belong to Crock Pot Mommas on the site and it is awesome! They send out weekly menus and have a TON of recipes to use!! Check it out or check out my page cisnerosmomma.



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