Monday, January 4, 2010

Food Adventures

Inspired by a friend and fellow blogger, I've decided to branch out and try something new. I've always been my happiest in the kitchen... baking, cooking, barbecuing... there's something therapeutic in making foods that put smiles on people's faces. For years I've subscribed to numerous food magazines and from time to time I try out several of the recipes. But more often than not, I simply tear them out with the intention of trying them and end up with piles of torn out recipes. My goal is this: I will attempt to sort through all my long lost recipes and give them a try, all the while blogging my adventures. The good, the bad, and the awful. You'll see them all here. If I'm feeling super adventurous you may also see a picture or two!

So as a step into this fun adventure I will start with last night's dinner. I made a Black Bean-Salsa Chili that was absolutely fabulous. A hint of bacon and a tablespoon of cumin gave it the perfect smoky flavor while the salsa added just a hint of spice. I paired it with my mom's most wonderful (and simple) cornbread recipe and a fresh green salad. But what made this chili recipe truly astounding was that Brendan actually liked it. I've tried many a chili recipe and have loved almost every one. It's the 3-year-old who seems to be the tougher critic. So when I eyed the empty bowl I quickly checked under the table to make sure it had actually made it to his mouth. Of course the cornbread was his reward and he's a true sucker for bread. But it still means this recipe is a keeper for sure!

Black Bean-Salsa Chili

I used extra lean ground beef instead of ground turkey and used a pound of it instead of 1/2 pound (mostly because I tossed it all in before I looked at the amount!) I left out the crushed red pepper since we're not "extra spicy" chili people. I also drained the bacon/onion mixture on paper towels before proceeding and added some shredded cheese to the top. And after the kids were in bed Joe and I enjoyed a dessert of warm cherry crisp with a scoop of eggnog icecream!

Mom's Basic (and BEST) Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, pour into 8 or 9-inch pie plate and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.


Kate said...

I was just talking to Shawn about doing something very similar. Have you seen Julia & Julie? It's a cute movie. But I wanted to start to cook my way through a cook book in a year. :)

Alisa Reese said...

Oh, yay! I love to cook and it's always nice to have someone else be the guinea pig for a recipe. :) Any chance you can share the chili recipe?

Paula said...

Annie, I can't wait to read all about your cooking adventures (and misadventures)! I have done exactly the same thing as you with recipes. I actually have mine organized, but I've cooked very few of the recipes I've pulled. You're inspiring me to get out that bulky binder and try something new!