I love food. I really do, but the reason why is much bigger than just a love for eating (and trust me, I love eating). I truly believe that food is a catalyst for so many other things. Food is tradition (new and old), memories (to come and that have been), quality time, culture, and it’s emotional. (Basically it’s a time portal, therapist, and keeps you alive.. so.. mind blown). I think many of us have stories that spark from “This makes me think about my (insert family member)…” or “The last time I had this I was…”. Food keeps us close to our favorite people, our favorite feelings, and favorite times.
Needless to say, I put a lot of thought into the first recipe I wanted to share for 2016. I decided on one of my very favorite winter dishes, chili beans and cornbread.
I don’t know about you guys, but chili beans and cornbread screams cozy winter day. I can’t even count how many times I have sat by the fire, eating chili beans and cornbread (usually my grandma’s cast iron corn bread.. nom nom) while watching it snow outside (followed by my grandparents asking me if I heard those “bull frogs” when the beans got the best of them). It is one of my very favorite times.
We eat chili beans and cornbread a handful of times a year and mostly in the colder months, so we try to change up things here and there. We decided to keep the chili our traditional recipe (super hearty and super easy) and switch up the cornbread recipe. I wanted to share both recipes with you guys to keep you guys cozy, stuffed, and maybe even making a new memory.
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
- 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- small onion, diced or 1/2 large onion diced
- 2 15oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 15oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15oz can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 15oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
- 1/4 garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: sour cream and shredded cheese
- Brown meat in large soup pot over medium heat. Pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from pot once browned and drain off fat.
- Add olive oil and onions. Cook for a couple minutes, until softened.
- Add in all the rest of the ingredients, add back in the meat, and stir. Let simmer on low for at least an hour.
- Serve as is or add sour cream and shredded cheese to top it off.
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
This is actually a recipe from Ina Garten. And being totally transparent, it’s one of the best cornbreads I have ever eaten (husband agreed, aside from my grandma’s). It’s addictive, so you can’t say you weren’t warned. Enjoy!