Though I’ve had my reservations about my crock pot (steamed vegetables are gross), there is no doubt that crock pot chili is where it’s at. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight (no browning the meat!), but tasty enough for company. You’ll notice that I haven’t posted chili yet on my site – that’s because I always feel slightly dissatisfied with versions I’ve tried. Well, not this time!
I don’t cook/eat beef very often, just ask my husband. If I tell him we are having red meat for dinner, his eyes light up like Christmas morning. It’s sad, really, poor guy. I SHOULD man up and seek out some grass-fed beef for dinner at least once a week. Why? It’s one of the best sources of iron, which is a mineral most women in their child-bearing years are lacking and missing it can cause weakness/exhaustion. It’s also chock-full of protein, B-vitamins and zinc. When cooked up with veggies and beans it’s an absolutely a-okay diet food!
There are so many reasons for fear and panic, but kitchen panic is by far the most unnecessary. One of my friends walked in the kitchen while I was cooking the jalapenos – she started coughing so much she had to leave. That’s called pepper air (well, that’s what I call it), and it’s most definitely due cause for kitchen panic, as it’s fair warning for kick-butt spiciness. I experienced said panic, which is ridiculous as I live within walking distance of like, fifty restaurants. There is no need to freak out, it’s just food. Turns out this pepper air was a boggart (Harry Potter reference – I’m about to finish book 4), and the burritos were declared delish by even my spice-shunning friends.
I find so many parallels between Italian and Mexican food. You basically have a grain (pasta or tortilla), a tomato based sauce, veggies, meats, and a whole lot of cheese in every dish. To me, enchiladas are the Italian equivalent of manicotti – I know, this is not rocket science, it’s fairly obvious.
So glad Bari came back so I could snap this… the bell rang simultaneously with the timers so our title had a chance to live up to it’s name.
So, today is our “transition” from dairy to meat. When I taught the manicotti lesson I explained that if you like lasagna, ravioli and stuffed shells then you’d love manicotti, since it’s basically the same thing in a varied form. Same as enchiladas. If you like tacos, burritos, taquitos, quesadillas, etc, you will like enchiladas.
Continuing with the dairy unit. Last week we got down with the Italian trinity (parm, mozz, ricotta) and today we met some Mexican/southwestern cheeses.
Welcome to the grain unit! Yesterday we made this Spanish rice, and today we did our grain notes. To start out the grain notes we go over the Food pyramid in general and discuss calories. It’s amazing, but these kids have NO idea how many calories they need in a day and REALLY no idea how many calories are in the foods they eat. It’s always an enlightening discussion.