One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is to cook up a small storm in the kitchen. Because I live alone, I will also cook recipes that freeze well so I can enjoy them later.
It was a cold snowy Sunday in Chicago, so I felt some turkey chili was in order. I don’t really follow a recipe for chili any more, but the one that inspired mine is the Williams-Sonoma chicken chili recipe using ground turkey breast. I’ll use a mix of pinto beans and kidney beans in the turkey.
For seasoning, I’ll use the chili con carne blend. I get this blend from The Spice House which is a family owned spice merchant in Chicago. They literally have hundreds of spices that you can buy in as small as ½ an ounce. They have several of their own blends and many great baking spices (including 6 kinds of cinnamon!).
After cooking the turkey, I’ll add the beans, roasted peppers and onions, tomatoes, and spices and let it cook over low heat for 2+ hours. The flavor intensifies the longer it cooks and is even better the next day! I love chili because it reheats quickly and freezes well, so I froze half the batch to have a few weeks later. It’s great to bring for lunch at work and reheats in just a few minutes in the microwave.
Chili would not be complete without corn bread! I make my cornbread in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a great texture – moist on the inner edges and crunchy on the top. My recipe comes from King Arthur Flour. KAF is a family owned bakery in Norwich Vermont (I went to Dartmouth, which is across the river from Norwich). KAF has become my favorite baking website and many of the recipes I use are from there.
As a side, I made a vegetable risotto. As a runner, I can never get enough carbs, and I do not particularly enjoy pasta. I’ve been perfecting my risotto over the past 6 months. During the summer months, I would go to the farmers market and buy lots of fresh vegetables and cook them into a light summer risotto. In the fall, I’d make one with butternut squash with apple cider for an autumn flavor. The one pictured is tomato, spinach, and pepper. Due to it being winter, I used canned tomatoes and frozen spinach. A couple of keys to the risotto – you want to add the liquid slowly and at a medium simmer – not too hot (you can scortch the rise) and not too cold (its mushy). The risotto should be slightly runny when its finished.
Finally, for dessert I made oatmeal raisin cookies. I love oatmeal raison cookies. My favorite recipe is adapted from the Silver Palette by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. This would be, hands down, my favorite cookbook. The one that’s dog eared and covered in sauces. (and Berta’s carrot cake is to die for!)
The only changes I make are to double the cinnamon use molasses + white sugar to make brown sugar. I think those two subtle, but significant changes add a little kick to the cookies!
12 Tbs. of salted butter, plus extra for greasing the cookie sheets
1.5 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
3 c. quick-cooking oats 1 c. raisins
Make cookie dough: Cream the butter, sugar, molasses until fluffy. Add the egg and beat thoroughly. Mix in the water and vanilla. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the oats and raisins, and mix. (I find the cookies spread less if i refrigerate the dough for a bit, scoop the hard dough and press them down a little bit) Use a large cookie scoop and bake on greased cookie sheets 350 for 15-17 mins until edges are lightly brown.
Have any end of the winter recipes you would like to share? Try any of the recipes here? Let us know in the comments.