Tuesday, October 08, 2013


37.1 Try 34 new recipes
So, life is a bit haywire in our little world right now. It’s busy and a bit stressful, but it’s all good…just busy. And I’m a bit tired because Baby C has started waking at night again, because, hello six month growth spurt.
All this has led to no cooking at our house for the past week or so. Seriously, all we have been eating has been toast, oatmeal, and granola for breakfast and peanut butter sandwiches and perogies for dinner. Oh, and copious amounts of take out/dinners out. We were all getting tired of this nonsense and tonight, the stars aligned so that I could actually cook us a meal. Tomorrow night is Sparks enrolment so I wanted to make something that would have lots of leftovers so it would be quick tomorrow. I was thinking chili because I had all the ingredients, but I wasn’t sure.
Then I was in the bookstore and flipping through cookbooks. Because I don’t need anymore cookbooks. But the new Jessica Seinfeld one looks like it might be a good one for someone who is learning to cook (hi Alex!). Anyway, I saw a recipe for chili macaroni and thought, yes, that’s what we need. Now a certain kindergartener would never eat something called chili macaroni, so we called it Scoobidoo because I used Scoobidoo noodles. And it was delicious and warm and perfect for a fall supper.
And it’s ugly to photograph, but there it is. It might even last us until Thursday night (it depends on how much my no-longer-a-teenager husband who still eats like a teenager eats).
The recipe: (inspired by a recipe from a cookbook I can’t remember)
1lb ground beef
2 tsp oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, finely grated
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 796ml can tomatoes
1 540ml can tomatoes
1 540ml can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 540ml can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Scoobidoo noodles (or macaroni or other short pasta)
3 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat a large pot over medium low heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil, then the onions, garlic and carrots. Saute until softened. Add the spices and cook for about a minute. Turn heat up to medium. Add the ground beef, stirring to break up. Cook until all the pink is gone. Drain excess fat if necessary.
Mash half of the kidney beans. Add beans and tomatoes and increase heat. Once it boils, reduce it to low and simmer for at least half an hour (the longer you cook it, the better the flavour).
Preheat the oven to 350F. Boil water for the pasta and cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes less than written on the package. Drain and stir into the chili. Stir in about 1 cup of the grated cheese. Pour chili mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes.
I used crushed tomatoes because, oh yes, kindergartener doesn’t like chunks of tomato and would spend the entire meal picking them out and not eating. Instead she had two helpings!
If I make it again, I would probably use half the beef and an extra can of beans. Or maybe my favourite vegetarian chili. Really, you could use any chili. And any cheese that melts well. Pepper Jack might be super tasty!
Don’t cook the pasta all the way. It will absorb some of the liquid in the chili while it bakes. If you cook it all the way, it will be over cooked when you take it out of the oven and mushy, slimy pasta is gross!

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