Archive for Chili

The Chili Diaries

Posted in Entertainment, Food with tags , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by urbannight

Earlier this week:

I was sitting on the couch, pretending to stitch, I was feeling pretty poorly and just didn’t have the energy.  My roommate comes out of the computer room and sits down in his recliner, looking at me expectantly.  I wasn’t sure what he was up to.  It was definitely an I’m-up-to-something look though.  You never know where those are going to go.

Do you make chili? – Him

Now I had made my spicy beef soup earlier.  At first I thought I mis-heard him.

No, oh, wait, do you mean can I make chili? – Me.

He nods his head.  At this point, I feel like I’m having a conversation with a kid.

Yeah, I make chili.  I haven’t done so in a while. – Me

What do you put in it? – Him

Wow, a whole sentence.

Beef, Kidney Beans, Tomato Sauce and Chili powder. – Me

He didn’t say anything.  He just sat there looking expectantly. Still.

Do you want me to make chili? – Me

Chili dogs – Him as he nods his head.

It feels even more like a conversation with a child.

Needless to say, this is why I am now making chili tonight.  He bought the ingredients so I can cook it so he can have chili dogs.

Have a Little Wax with your Chocolate.

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by urbannight


Do you like Wax?  Do you like it enough that you want to eat Wax?  Did you know you probably eat a lot more wax than you realize?

Paraffin is used in fuels, paints, leather finishing, as a laxative, biomedical sciences, cooking, fire breathing and juggling, cosmetics, moisturizers, pesticides, cooling of mainframes, candle making, coating for paper or cloth, candy making, cheese, sealant, gum, castings, repellents, fertilizers, bullet lubricant, to stabilize explosives, crayons, propellant for rocket motors, surfboards, skis, snowboards, and the list goes on and on and on. 

When you look at chocolate, do you want the shiny, reflective chocolate or the dull, matte chocolate?  If you pick the first you are getting a lot of wax.  If you pick the second you are getting more chocolate.

The wax makes it all pretty and shiny so it sells better.  But it means less chocolate is in the mix.  It stretches the chocolate out and the confectioner can get more candy out of the same amount of chocolate.  It makes more product and increases sales and you can see why confectioners would go that route.

So take a good hard look at the chocolate shop when next you buy it from a chocolatier.  What you really want to find is dull looking chocolate.  If you are brave enough ask them how much wax they put in their chocolate. 

The best chocolate I ever had was from Trader Joe’s.  It was dull, matte, high cocoa percentage with chili pepper in it.  It was a South American chocolate.  It was amazing.  I need to see if I can go find more of it.

So you think you can’t cook…..

Posted in Food, Gaming, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by urbannight

Here is another fast and easy recipe for those who think they are kitchen challenged or those who just don’t feel like cooking from scratch. Like when you decided to play Star Wars The Old Republic for May Fourth and you end up playing for three days straight.

1 pound

Start with a lb of ground beef. Brown up in a large sauce pan. Season with black pepper or cayenne (if you are like me) or both (something I also do). If you use beef with a high fat content (70/30), make sure to drain it. If you use beef that is too lean you sacrifice some of the flavor. Even thought I use seasoning I can still tell flavorless beef from flavorful beef. I use 80/20 most of the time because 85/15 has gotten really hard to find. I used to use it all the time.

Black Beans

Lets talk about black beans. These are my favorite. Even thought I’ve not gotten the knack of cooking with them from scratch. Canned black beans will save a ton of time and are great for fast, easy dishes.

Take one can and drain well. If you add water to the can, shake well, and drain again, repeating for a total of 5 times to get the water to run clear. Or put in a colander with small holes and rinse out the black stuff it is packaged in. They will cook up clearer (won’t turn your dish black) and it gets rid of a lot of the sodium it is packed in. Don’t worry, I will be putting sodium back in elsewhere. I use the rinse and repeat method to cut down on dirty dishes. I’ve been known to dirty a lot of dishes when cooking so I like to cut back on that when I can. Toss in on top of cooked beef.

Normally, I have a horribly low opinion of canned potatoes. Sliced and whole ones cook up horribly. I don’t have that problem with diced canned potatoes. Use one can and rinse but don’t worry about doing it 5 times. Just a couple of times to clear out the sodium. Toss on top of the beef and beans.

Now I add three cups of water and two beef bullion cubes. These are high in sodium which is why I try to get rid of it from the cans. I know there are other forms of bullion that are not so high in salt but I don’t know the amounts to get the results I want as I do for the cubes. Let simmer a while to heat beans and potatoes all the way through and to mingle the flavor of the cooked beef with the bullion with the beans.

Northwoods Fire

You can season this simply with black pepper. It will taste a bit like beef stew. Or you can use chili powder to have a chili like flavor. In that case, you may want to add a can or two of tomato sauce instead of water. I kept it soup like and used Northwoods Fire from Penszeys to season.

I would show you the end result but I ate it while I was typing this.   I just can’t keep it in the pan long enough to photograph.  It is too yummy.  There is more at home tucked up in containers for other lunches.  Yummy lunch.  I can’t wait until lunch tomorrow to eat the other bowl.    If you make proper servings with a salad and veggie side, you get 5 servings out of it.  I tend to put more in my containers and only get three servings.  It’s easier to do lunches that way and have a veggie heavy dinner.