CHILI FOR CHILLY DAYS :)

We have had a lot of snow this winter which is unusual of our part of the country.  I will definitely get into the comfort food aspect of cooking when it gets like this.  You just want to have something hearty and warm when the weather is cold or just damp and chilly!

Chili comes in many forms and I’m sure everyone has a different recipe and they are all good, but we love this one and its super easy. 🙂

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Start it in the morning and leave it on low for the day in the slow cooker, and by supper you have a ready meal and the house smells yum.

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Ingredients:

1 – 28 ounce can of tomatoes or 1 quart of homemade canned tomatoes

2 – 28 ounce cans of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

1 lb of ground chicken or turkey browned

1 small onion chopped and cooked until translucent.  (optional) (I will put it in the pan after the chicken has cooked to absorb some of the browned bits.)

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1 Tblsp of Chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tblsp of worcestershire sauce

Add to the crock pot and put it on low for 6 – 8 hours.

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Serve in deep bowls and garnish with grated cheese and sour cream and green onions if you like.  And of course the obligatory crusty roll!

Dig in and enjoy!! Yum 🙂

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤  – Charlene

WHAT A PEACH!!

IMG_2403We’ve had such hot dry weather this year that I’ve been doing very little in the kitchen.  Now that we have an occasional cool breeze I actually feel like cooking again. I had to drive out in the valley this week, so I popped into a  local market and picked up a box of peaches. They smelled heavenly!  I haven’t canned for a couple of years due to time constraints and peaches aren’t always tasty. Some years every time I’ve picked up peaches they have been mealy and tasteless. This year they are perfect, albeit smaller. ❤

So to start gather your peaches and check to see that they are all of a consistent ripeness. I actually let them sit from Monday to Friday before doing anything with them. They have to give a bit but not so much that they squish.

Wash all your sealers, rings and lids with soapy water and rinse well. Put your canning jars on a large rimmed cookie sheet with about a 1/2 inch of water. Keep in a 300 – 350F degree oven to sterilize the jars until ready to fill. Don’t leave in so long that all the water evaporates like I did 😦 . In a pot on the element put your sealer rings and lids to heat up and this way the little rubber rings get softened and will give a good seal.

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To make the simple syrup, I made 2 cups of sugar to 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil and keep simmering while preparing next steps.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl filled with ice water. This is to aid with peeling the peaches.

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Once the water is boiling add about 8 peaches (depending on size, I had small peaches) and let them sit in the boiling water for 30 sec. Immediately take them out and plunge them into ice water.

In a third bowl fill with water and a cut lemon that you’ve squeezed. This is to prevent the peaches from browning.  You can buy packaged Fruit Fresh but I decided to use lemons this time.

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Cut the peaches in half cutting along the seam. The skin should just slip off. You can slice the little bits of skin that stick, but, for the most part the skin really does just slip off. Kinda like magic 🙂

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Put the cut peaches in the lemon water. Once you get a bowl full of sliced prepared peaches you can take the jars out of the oven. Place the jars on a clean rimmed cookie sheet. Start adding the peach halves cut side down until you get to 1/2″ from the top. Make sure they are well packed. You can slice them if you’d like as well.

Once you get the peaches all placed in the jars, add hot syrup to a 1/2 ” of rim. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth and place the lids and screw caps on. Tighten but don’t over tighten.

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Immediately place in a water bath. I used my stock pot but its definitely worth the investment to get a real canning pot. Make sure the jars are covered with at least 1″ of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 25 – 30 min. Remove from the water and place on a dry, clean tea towel. Make sure they don’t touch. You will hear the lids pop and that signifies they have properly sealed.  Let cool and them retighten lids before storing in a cool dry place.

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The last step is to leave them until the fall or winter when you are craving a taste of summer. Great alone or with ice cream .  Can’t wait! Yum!

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These peaches were so good I went out again on Friday and picked up another box of peaches.  I think jam will be on the list and freezing a bunch for smoothies and freezies.  Stay tuned!! Can’t wait.

Hope you give this a try so you too can saveur a taste of summer when the weather gets cool and skies get gray.

LIVE LIFE FULLY ❤