Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chili - Perfect This Time of Year!

With temps hovering in the mid-20's for days now and snow forecasted again in Atlanta this week, I thought it best to cook up another pot of homemade Chili. Nothing warms the body and soul like Chili. It is just perfect, especially this time of year.

Here's my recipe:


1 1/2 pounds ground round
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 15-oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained

Place a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add ground round, onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble meat. Drain. Add tomatoes and next 8 ingredients, stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes or so. Stir in beans. Simmer until beans are heated thoroughly. Enjoy! Pin It

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Commute

Well, we are on our way to work once again, in the frozen tundra now known as Georgia. The roads aren't bad at all. But we are on the Interstate so that's the difference, I guess. Surface streets are still pretty bad.

Yesterday when I left my home I slid down my driveway. Really fast, too. I bounced and ended up almost in my neighbor's front yard. It was pretty scary. No damage to my vehicle which is good and I also narrowly missed the telephone pole which, again, is good. This morning it was dry so no problems at all, however, when I got to Hank's (my carpool buddy) house, I parked my Pilot, gathered my belongings, and got out of the vehicle. I walked maybe four feet and promptly was on my ass. His driveway was pretty icy and I hit a patch just right. Short of a pretty sore elbow, I'm none the worse for wear. Nothing that a bottle of German wine won't cure.

The biggest hazard I've seen on the highway, thus far, seems to be the ice falling off 18-wheelers and other assorted vehicles. It seems quite dangerous. Sort of like those ice javelins we saw on the news that were falling from that tower in the parking lot in Mississippi. Really scary.

And then there is the exit ramp at I-85 and Clairmont Road. Yesterday it was pretty bad. Ah, and today, it's fine. They put sand out, it seems. Oh and there is the parking lot at work. Yesterday it was a sheet of ice. Security came and picked me up and drove me to the sidewalk. They had a bobcat out when we left, scraping the ice up, little by little. Today, they are still out here with the bobcats. Well, wish me luck. We're about to get out and try the trek to the front door.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Pin It

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Today after the last several days of snow and ice we've endured here in Atlanta, I was pondering what to make for dinner and Shepherd's Pie came across my mind. I can't think of a more comforting and warm meal to have in this God awful weather. So, on my way home from work today (and, yes, I did make it to the office), I stopped at Publix to purchase the necessary ingredients. And wa la, what a wonderful filling meal it was. Of course I'll have leftovers for weeks to come but that's okay, that means less time in the kitchen, too!! Enjoy!

Cheddar-Topped Shepherd's Pie (from
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
  3. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Pin It