Monthly Archives: September 2013

OAMC: White Bean Chicken Chili

The rain has settled into the forecast here in Seattle for the next nine months, and there’s a definite crispness in the air. Although I [greatly] prefer fall’s sunny days to its wet and dark ones, I also am a huge fan of the season. You know, before the soggy misery has a chance to sink too deeply into my bones.

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Football and comfort food are two of the biggest reasons I love this time of year. So for this month’s OAMC freezer club, I decided to make chili. Because what says fall and football more than chili?! That, and my kid absolutely devours anything that looks like it may even remotely be made with beans. The boy loves his beans. Weird for a two year old, I know. I can throw a handful on his plate for a snack and he thinks I’m the best mom in the world. I just love that. Cheap, easy, and healthy.

I chose this recipe from Food Network because of the stellar reviews. I don’t know that I’d give it a five, but a definite four. It just needs a little something, but I’m not sure what. I’ll definitely make it again and tinker a little with the spices. I learned something while I was cooking, too. Apparently I need to wear a respirator when I chop, seed, and de-rib jalapenos. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I think some of the capsaicin from the peppers got airborne and I inhaled it. I could barely breathe and had to go outside to calm my insane coughing attack. (Don’t worry, club members, I didn’t cough on the chili.) Then my eyes started watering and my face started burning. After dipping my head in cold water, thoroughly rinsing my eyes, and breathing some fresh air for about 15 minutes, I finally made it back to the stove. It was one of the most intense and bizarre cooking incidents of my life … And to make it even more strange, the chili came out completely mild! I thought for sure it was going to blow our heads off with spiciness after all that drama. Anyway, I survived. And I don’t need to see another jalapeno again for awhile.

I also couldn’t find poblano peppers at the store. Several reviewers mentioned they substituted roasted green chilies, so I decided to go that route. The peppers probably make for a more interesting flavor profile, but it’s still yummy with the chilies. I also threw in a bag of white corn at the very end to thicken it up a bit and add some heartiness. This chili definitely tastes better on day two than on the day it’s made. So make it in advance if you can.

OAMC White-Bean Chicken Chili

Serves: 4 to 6

 Ingredients

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans (I used one can of cannellini beans and one can of navy beans.)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 8 oz. fire-roasted diced green chilies
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • 1 lb. bag of frozen white corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping

Directions

Drain and rinse the canned white beans. In a medium bowl, mash half of the beans with a potato masher until chunky. Reserve the beans until needed.

Add the canola oil to a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt, and pepper, to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and continue to saute for 1 more minute to toast the spices. Stir in the chicken stock, and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.

After 20 minutes of simmering, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken, frozen corn, and cilantro, and simmer until heated through, about 10 more minutes. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips (only Juanita’s brand will do), and lime wedges.

**For OAMC, cool dutch oven overnight in refrigerator. Once completely chilled, gently stir chili to mix, then scoop into desired serving sizes in gallon-size zippered bags, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to three months. To serve, thaw completely in refrigerator, 24-48 hours. Warm through over medium heat.

Mind-Numbing Pumpkin Bread

When I started this blog, I was so determined to post at least twice a week … and here I am, a little over three weeks since last writing. D’oh! In my defense, I have been fervently getting ready to welcome a new baby. And by fervently, I mean thinking about it a lot, not necessarily doing anything to prepare. I still haven’t packed my hospital bag, and my kitchen floor is begging to be mopped — among other, more important things screaming for my attention.

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So in a few short weeks (if not sooner), I’m going to have two kids. Two. That’s double the number I currently have, if you’re keeping count. It’s kind of overwhelming. I find myself thinking, “How did I get here?!” I feel like I just graduated from college and started my first job, then I blinked and ended up married with a mortgage and two kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but it sure is flying by quickly! And I don’t really plan on having any more babies after this one, so I’ve been kind of mourning not being pregnant again. It’s a weird thing. I feel so very “done,” and am looking forward to having a more agile and comfortable body again soon, but there’s also something really special about carrying a baby. I’ll miss it in an odd way. Especially the kicks. There’s just something about the kicks.


I also have been a little weepy about my solo time with Lucas coming to an end. For his first 13 months of life, I wanted nothing more than to leave my full-time job and stay home with him. I was so unhappy at work and missed my baby to the point it physically hurt. And so I finally did quit, and these past 15 months with him have been the most special, happy months of my entire life. I am overjoyed to bring a sibling into this world for him, not to mention having a new child in our family, but change can be tough and scary. Soon, I am sure that I barely will be able to remember our family as it currently is with only three members. But that will take time, and I never do very well with the unknown. So a couple of days ago, as I stared out into a dreary, grey day, mourning summer, the end of my [probably] final pregnancy, and thinking about how odd it is to try and patiently wait for one’s entire life to be turned completely inside out, I decided to make pumpkin bread. Because it seemed like the thing to do. Thankfully, it worked. I felt totally relaxed and the baking process managed to take my mind off life. And Lucas was happy because it’s his absolute favorite. I have to hide it from him. Seriously.

I’ve been making this recipe for several years and it’s one of the easiest, tastiest things in my regular fall/winter rotation. It puts Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf to shame, and that’s saying a lot, because I love Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf. This recipe is slightly adapted from the Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread recipe on Allrecipes.com. I’ve also made a healthier version with whole wheat flour, half the sugar, and applesauce instead of oil/butter. It’s decent, but the real thing is much better. So if you’re not counting calories, go for the original.

Mind-Numbing Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans or two 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, melted butter, water, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes (three 7×3 pans) or 70 minutes (two 9×5 pans) in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.