Monday, October 22, 2012

one hundred and sixteen

Monday's here, and you know what that means: the N family survived Kittenpocalypse, Shrubbery included.  The weekend was full of lots of cuddles (not all of them well received by the kittens), tons of yummy foods, and hours of playing on the floor.  Oh, and oodles photo opportunities, of course!

I so wanted to be on the ball and go back to normal kitten-free posting today, but for some odd reason, I'm up to my neck in chores that went neglected over the weekend.  I've decided that I'm going to cut myself some slack today and allow myself to the easy way out with this blog post.  You know what that means, right?


(And for those of you who want something a little more substantial: scroll down for my "made it up as I went along" recipe for chili.  This is the Internet, though, so cute kitten pictures get top billing.  Sorry!)

Kitten high five!  (Forgive the unmade bed.)
This = our whole weekend.
Snuggling with D'ohnut.
Shrub and D'ohnut finally sharing the couch!

Balsamic Beef Chili

 This chili is a recipe that I made up a couple of months ago, with the help of my husband's taste buds.  It's a little "fancier" than normal chili, but it's a crowd pleaser--and easy, to boot!  It's delicious over fries if you omit the beans--but it's incredibly filling on its own if you do include them.  Enjoy!

2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, grated
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon Ancho chili powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
2 cups water (or beef broth)
2 cans kidney beans, if desired

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in two batches.  Drain the beef and then rinse, if desired.

Return the beef to the pan, then add the onion and all of the spices, stirring until everything is well combined.  Deglaze with the red wine, then add the Worcestershire, ketchup, half of the vinegar (doesn't have to be precise), and the water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for two hours.  

Remove the lid and fish out the bay leaf.  Rinse the beans, then stir them into the chili.  Increase the heat to medium-low/medium and continue to simmer an additional 30 minutes to an hour, or until the chili is thickened to your liking.  

In the last ten minutes of cooking, add the remaining balsamic (you can omit it, if you'd like).

Serve with cornbread.

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