Off Season

The weather here in Kansas City is finally gorgeous. We have been having sunny, mid 70 degree days. Those of you who have been with me for awhile know how thrilled this makes me. I have made no secret of my detest for winter, so finally having days that are as close to perfect as I think we get in Kansas just makes life all the better!

Yesterday we spent the entire day..from sun up to sun down, outside. The kids played and played and played. We all got our first sunburns of the season (apparently a requirement with fair haired, fair skinned kiddos) and came inside at the end of the day absolutely exhausted.

So, on days like this, what does everybody crave for dinner? What is the official meal of carefree spring days? How about a big, steaming bowl of hot chili? No?? Yeah… chili in 70 degree weather is just about as much of a perfect match as Star Jones and Al Reynolds… which is not a match at all.

Being the rule breakers that we are, our family did enjoy big steaming bowls of chili for dinner. The reason being I have had this recipe from the March 2008 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray bookmarked for quite some time and I couldn’t stand the thought of waiting until winter comes along again to give it a try.  It won the magazine chili cookoff and for very good reasons. This chili is hearty, robust and soooooo good. I think it just might be our new go to beef chili recipe.

If you are happily kissing winter goodbye, but want to savor one or two more comforting recipes from the winter months, I say go for it. It just gives you that much more to look forward to trying again when the colder months return.

Tex-Mex Corn Chip Chili (March 2008 issue of Rachael Ray Magazine)

45 min | 10 min prep | SERVES 6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes and green chilies
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 ounces monterey jack pepper cheese, shredded
1 (10 ounce) bag corn chips, such as Fritos
  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for 7 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the beans, with their liquid, and the tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the cilantro, then top with the cheese, cover and let stand until the cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes. Place a handful of corn chips in each of 4 bowls. Top with the chili and serve.

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  1. says

    Yeah, I enjoyed that same weather too. I even played hooky from work (preplanned before I knew the weather because I had to be up at The Boy’s school over lunch), but let me tell you: I was outside as much as possible! The only place I received a bad burn was where my shorts rode up a bit from where I had put lotion… this has got to be the second weirdest burn I’ve ever had.

    We were going to have beef and noodle soup that was going to go swimmingly with all the rain KC has received of late, but I saw the errors of my ways and grilled pork chops instead. AHHH… it was grilling bliss!

  2. says

    My most memorable days are spent outside. It’s also the only time exhausted actually feels great, when you’ve come in after a day outside playing around!

    By the way, I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet how much I LOVE the new site. GREAT job!!

  3. Lisa says

    This chili looks pretty tasty and I’m not really a chili fan. Rachel can always cook something up can’t she? I didn’t realize you were in KC. Mom and I are headed up there sometime in the next month to do a little shopping. Have a great weekend!!

  4. says

    We had chili about two weeks ago and it was divine. But we’re past the perfect days of spring and headed into the hi 80’s most afternoons now so your chili will have to wait.
    Sounds lovely. And those are some really wonderful pics of “we”!

  5. says

    I’m glad to hear KC is getting warmer! I’m heading there from Cali next week to visit family.

    A few weeks ago, I actually made your white bean chicken chili and posted on my blog that its the perfect chili for the springtime! I always love a good chili–thanks for the great recipes.

  6. says

    Love your blog! Just discovered it today. And I too enjoy Rachael Ray’s recipes. I do try to cook seasonally as I need that rhythm in my life. But occasionally I find myself craving a “summery” recipe in winter (we call this forcing spring!) or a “wintery” recipe in the summer (usually on a rainy day). Glad you guys enjoyed your chili! I will have to try that one.

  7. says

    It looks like spring here in the Pacific NW. We have had a very wacky spring…had snow a week ago- in late April. It’s so unheard of! Here’s to warmer weather! :)

    Your new blog look is AWESOME!!

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