Monday, September 26, 2011

Pittsburgh Grand Prix!

These are pictures from the Pittsburgh Grand Prix from the end of July. I've been sitting on these pictures because I didn't really know what to say - except that we had a lot of wine, cheese, and listened to a lot of cars go vroom vroom. A good afternoon in July.

Audi R8. The last Audi Le Mans Prototype that wasn't a diesel.

Old school air-cooled Porsche!

Hitler's gift to the automotive world.

I could not locate any pot in this VW Microbus.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

This car is about 3 times the average home value in the Pittsburgh area.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September Chili!

September has arrived, which means the beginning of the football season, and that the weather in Pittsburgh is starting to get chilly.

Chilly weather + football = chili. There is some serious synergy going on when you combine spices with protein and fat from beef, the depth and body of sauteed onions, starch from beans, and acidity of tomatoes.

Tigger approves of this monster can of chickpeas - $2.89 at your local Costco!

My basic chili recipe came from a photocopy the Spousal Unit made about a decade ago from Evelyn Raab's Clueless In the Kitchen. The recipe sat dormant in a binder unused until about four years ago - when I started experimenting with chili.

This is probably my best variation of that original recipe.

        • 1.5 lb of beef (minced)
        • 2 large onions (diced)
        • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
        • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
        • 2 medium red tomatoes (diced)
        • 1 green pepper (diced)- optional
        • 3 cups of canned chickpeas
        • 1 cup of frozen corn
Spices in a bowl.
        • 3 tsp chili powder
        • 1/2 tsp of curry powder
        • 2 tsp ground cumin
        • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
        • 2 tsp salt

1. Saute the onions and garlic in a skillet (medium heat) until the onions are soft and translucent, then add the green bell peppers. Saute until the peppers are fragrant.

2. Add the ground beef and spices.

3. In a large pot, pour your crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chickpeas,  and corn. Apply low heat.

I used 3 cups and froze the rest in bags.

4. When the ground beef is more or less browned, and the spices are fragrant - empty the skillet into the large pot.

5. Add about a cup of water, cover, and let the mixture simmer on low for 90 minutes.