Skip to main content


Sometimes when I have a bunch of vegetables around, I make vegetarian chili (I know sacrilegious). Some would not consider this chili - well whatever you would like to call it, it tastes pretty darn good. I know some people are very strict about what they consider chili and recipes can be quite elaborate but this one is not. Most of the ingredients are things that you would have on hand except maybe the mushrooms. I also make a wicked vegetarian taco but alas that is for a different day.

Vegetarian Chili

1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, small dice
1 T olive oil
8oz mushrooms (cremini or portabello)
1 T cocoa powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t ancho
1/2 t chili powder (I'm a wimp I know)
1lb 28oz can of whole tomatoes
1lb kidney beans (or cannellini)
cheese for serving (cheddar, Monterey jack)

Saute onion and carrot with olive oil in a dutch oven. Add a little salt to help it along. Saute until onions start to brown. Meanwhile cut mushrooms into medium size chunks. Increase heat and add mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms start to release their liquid. Add cocoa powder, ancho, and chili powder. Saute for a few seconds.

Add the tomatoes and break them up with the spoon. Cook for about 8-10 minutes to soften the tomatoes and cook off some of the liquid. Add beans and cook until heated through. Serve with grated cheese.


Popular posts from this blog

Cinnamon Star Bread

I was very perplexed by this recipe. I could not figure out by the directions how it got into this shape. I understood the twisting part but then was at a loss. The website didn't have a video or pictures - was I just being dense? Well once I cut the dough into the 16 pieces and twisted - DUH - it was a little clearer. I decided to include pictures for those of you that need a visual.

Cinnamon Star Bread (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

3/4 c warm milk (100-110 degrees)
2T sugar
2 t yeast
4T butter
2 c flour
1 t salt
1/3 c instant mashed potato flakes*
1 t vanilla

1 lg egg, beaten
1/3 c sugar
2T cinnamon

Combine milk, sugar, and yeast in a small measuring cup. Mix well and set aside. Place butter, flour, salt, instant mashed potatoes and vanilla in a large bowl. After yeast is bubbly add to dry ingredients. Mix with dough hook until dough is smooth and soft. (Or mix by hand and then knead by hand until smooth and soft). Place in a greased bowl and let sit for 1 hour or un…

Burnt Cinnamon Simple Syrup

The NY Times Magazine section did a piece on cocktails about two weeks ago and one was calling me-Rhum Agricole Daiquiri. What attracted me here (well besides the cocktail aspect) was the Burnt Cinnamon Simple Syrup. It was easy enough to make, as are most simple syrups, but it was the potential uses.  I started thinking not only daiquiris but why not with Applejack? Apples, burnt cinnamon sounds like a winner to me. Or how about a nice hot cider, with a little rum, and the simple syrup (Guess I'll have to wait until the fall for the cider). On the non-alcohol side-why not use it to moisten a sponge cake - wouldn't that give it an interesting flavor? Or what about a burnt cinnamon ice cream?

Now first for the burning of the cinnamon - it felt a little like I was doing a cleanse to ward off evil spirits. I think that is usually done with sage but if cinnamon works too - so be it. The recipe recommended using a small creme brulee torch to burn the cinnamon sticks - like you do. …

It's Better With Butter

Why would you want to make your own butter? Because it tastes better! And it's easy. All you need it heavy cream, salt, and a mixer-although you can get away without using the mixer. If you are using a mixer, you will need to cover it with plastic wrap, unless you're really into cleaning up splatter. Pour heavy cream into your mixer. It doesn't have to be fresh. It can be close to its expiration date. This time I used 3 cups because I had an open container and an unopened one.
You just whip it for about 10-15 minutes on high. It first looks like whipped cream, then starts to deflate a bit, then starts to get a yellowish hue, until finally you hear a clunk clunk noise and you know you have separated the butter from the buttermilk (boy was that a run on sentence or what?). By this time the plastic wrap is so covered in splatter you can't see into the bowl any longer.

From 3 cups of cream you end up with about 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Strain the butt…