Elegant Edibles Catering
Oh. My. Goodness!! It is September already! Where on earth did the summer go? Seems like only yesterday we were wishing it would start (after what seemed like a never ending winter and really dismal spring), and now we have enjoyed Labor Day weekend and are looking forward to a new month, a new season, and beyond. This summer season, as usual, seemed to have gone by in a blink, but like you, we sure crammed a lot into it. I spent most of my time working (summer IS a prime season for caterers), but I did manage to squeeze some fun into the last few days. We spent time with our son, daughter in-law and our precious granddaughter, and I enjoyed a very special evening with one of my oldest and dearest friends as well. Another one of my favorite times of this summer was the few hours we spent laughing with our two dear friends who share our wedding anniversary…while we were celebrating 29 years, they were counting 40 years of wedded bliss! Laughter is indeed, a potent tonic, and quickly cures exhaustion and a multitude of minor maladies!
I have prepared lots of yummy summer food…from grilled burgers, kebabs and steaks, to corn on the cob and watermelon, of course, but like the season, I think our tastes are ready for a change as well! To me, fall means my crock pot will be back in use frequently. Soups, stews, and melt in your mouth tender meats will grace my dinner table, thanks to that wonderful slow cooker. Game-day chili makes Friday nights a breeze, and a big weekend roast and veggies can leave me with leftovers to create several quick dinners for the upcoming week. If you haven’t tried using crock-pot liners (available in the “plastic wrap aisle” of most supermarkets), you really need to put them on your shopping list today! While slow cooking creates a fabulous flavor, it can also create a stuck-on mess in your pot. These liners are wonderful; simply put one in the pot before filling it, and follow your recipe. They are heat safe and make clean-up a breeze. Of the many treats I like to make in my crock pot, one of my very favorites is chili. As anyone who has cooked anything involving tomatoes knows, clean-up can be a chore, but crock bags are a saving grace! Now is the time of year I get into high gear with my crock pot and “cook once, eat twice” way of planning meals. A change in season doesn’t mean a let-down in our crazy schedules, just how we dress for the occasion, so, if planning ahead and using convenience products can make our lives just a little easier, I’m all for it!
You never know what –or who- the new season may bring, and while having special friends visit is a cause for celebration, that shouldn’t tie you to the kitchen. Why not throw something in the slow cooker, turn it on low and spend the rest of the day making memories!
Ultimate Game Day Chili
- 1 pound each ground beef and Italian sausage
- 4 large, over-ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 1 c red bell pepper, diced
- 1 c green bell pepper, diced
- 1 Jalapeno pepper, diced fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 t salt
- 2 t chili powder
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t paprika
- ¼ t cayenne
- ½ t black pepper
- 2 T Worchestershire sauce
- 2-15 oz cans dark red kidney beans (with juice)
- 2-15 oz cans light red kidney beans (with juice)
- 1 C beef or chicken broth
- 1 C tomato juice
Brown and drain ground beef and sausage. Add tomatoes, diced peppers and onions and cook until translucent. Combine with all remaining ingredients in a large slow cooker pot and cook on low heat until the mixture begins has thickened (6-8 hours).
Serve topped with cheese, sour cream and whatever else makes you say YUM!
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.