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Tag Archives: chili

Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

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As I said, I went to visit my parents this weekend, which meant I needed to stock up on things unavailable in the Fort. Essentially this means that every time I go home, I go a little crazy at the bulk bin section in Whole Foods. This past weekend was no exception, and I left the store with 3lbs of wheat berries, among other things. Now I just needed a way to use those wheat berries, without Brent objecting too much. Brent has already made it clear he is not a fan of the “weird chewiness” of wheat berries, so I sought a way to disguise them a bit.

One of my favorite recipe sites is Eating Well, and so I checked there first. One of the first recipes that came up was this chili recipe. I like beans, chili and wheat berries, so it sounded like a good fit to me. The only change I made was to use fire-roasted diced tomatoes because I love them in a big way.

Loved, loved, loved the flava of this chili. It was a total winner. Even Brent said “Yeah, the flavor is really good. I can tolerate the wheat berries.” Praise of the highest sort, obviously.

Things are going pretty fantastic here at casa Monroe, so to celebrate, I dragged Brent out for a drink. We went to Old Crown which is definitely my current favorite place for cocktails in the Fort. In fact, when we sat down, the bartender said “Hey. You guys were here last week, right?” Guilty.

After a magnificent whiskey sour, we got back home in time for The Biggest Loser, and I’m going to hang out with Brent and catch up on some Hulu shows.  🙂

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Bobby Flay’s Beef and Black Bean Chili

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Last week felt especially fall-like, complete with crunchy leaves and crisp, cool weather – unlike this weekend, with baking hot sun and 85 degree temps. Obviously last week was the appropriate time to make chili. Thank goodness I did it before this heat wave. I knew I wanted chili, but I was looking for something new. I’ve liked most chili recipes I’ve tried, but I have no real chili loyalty, so I’m always on the lookout for something new. Food Network had a bunch of Perfect-For-Tailgating chili recipes on their front page, and that’s how I found this one.

I was intrigued by the beer and the use of ground chiles. It sounded like it ought to be flavorful – that’s Bobby Flay’s thing, right? Big flavor? I hate when recipes say things like 2lbs beef. I don’t buy meat very often, and I know nothing about what cuts are good for what type of things, so I’m always winging it. I think I bought some type of brisket for this. It probably could have used a more tender cut, but after reheating the next day, it was perfect.

This had great depth of flavor, and it had a slight kick to it, but I wouldn’t call it overly spicy. I followed the recipe exactly, except I might have had a bit less meat – like 1.5lbs and a bit more beans. I used Sam Adams Black Lager for the beer, and I was really happy with the way it came out. I would definitely recommend this next time the weather turns cool. I didn’t use the crema or the relish, but those both sound good, so if you’re not feeling lazy and cheap like me, you should probably include those. Oh, and I recommend making some cornbread to go with it. I did not do that, and I really wished I had.

An Ideal Day

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It’s been such a fun weekend. I feel like I’m starting my summer break early. I still have one more week of school, but I’ve largely managed to avoid thinking about that while hanging out with Brent this weekend. First up, we had a stay-at-home date night with homemade sushi and The Shining. The Shining was the most terrifying movie ever. I had never seen it before, and I wasn’t prepared to be quite so freaked out. My sushi, however, was totally delicious and much enjoyed, as always. I made 2 California rolls for myself.

Saturday, we drove up to Ann Arbor for the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, which I’ve been really looking forward to. It ended up being my version of an ideal day. Loved it. We drove through a lot of rain on the way there, and we were worried the entire thing would be a waste of a trip. We arrived around 11:30 and decided to wait out the rain by having a beer and lunch at The Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery. I had the Weizen Bam beer, which was fruity and delicious. We also split the truffle fries. OMG – truffle fries. I had a love affair with them in Denver last summer and I’ve missed them greatly. We also split a pizza, which was just kind of whatevs and very forgettable.

The rain died down, the sun came out, and we were able to walk around and scope out the four art fairs — really just one giant art fair. It actually got ridiculously hot and humid out later in the afternoon and it was nearly unbearable. We purchased a gorgeous piece of art as an early birthday present from Brent to me — a handmade clay avocado. Please, it is way cooler than it sounds. You must believe me. I’ll have to take a picture. On our way out of town, we stopped at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. You know, since we were already in the area. Brent was very patient while I wandered through aisle after aisle. We got back into the Fort around 7:30 last night, grabbed some Thai takeout and watched Bee Movie, which I thought was kind of cute and Brent absolutely hated.

Today was full of uninteresting “housekeeping” type things, such as taking an online exam, grocery shopping, and making big pot of chili for dinner and weekday lunches. It’s Teany’s Top-Secret Chili from the Teany Book. Brent and I and our friends just refer to it as “Moby Chili.” The spiciness, and the cocoa powder, and the coffee, and the seitan – yum. Totes delicious and flavorful. I used fresh corn on the cob rather than frozen this time and Brent thinks it improved the recipe even further, adding a good sweetness to it.

Served with a dollop of Daisy and an unpictured piece of jalapeno cheddar cheese cornbread. Only one week left of school and only one more exam! Then three glorious weeks off before I start back up again. 🙂