Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rain Drops and Chili

It has been unexpectedly gloomy around here as of late, what with the bone chilling continuous rain, blustery winds, and monotonous grey skies. All of this is just evidence to the fact that I could never live in a place that averaged more rain days in a year than sunny days; I can now safely cross Seattle off my list of possible places to live. I guess I should have expected these conditions, since it is in fact the first week of December, but I had been spoiled by the abnormally warm temperatures of November and wished, albeit foolishly, that winter would never come. Well here it is, raring its ugly head, and I am left scrambling to find mittens and scarves to bundle up against the cold. (This sudden change in weather has also made me realize how strictly this weather limits my fashion choices. Bye bye shorts and sandals, see you next season.)

However, one thing I do like about the cold is the change in cuisine (but then again I have yet to meet a cuisine I didn't like so maybe I'm biased.) Hearty stews, steaming bowls of soup, casseroles and bakes, all made a tad healthier by yours truly. I've always loved the fact that each season has it's own culinary treasures, and this change in the seasons now allows me to dust off the "soups and stews" section of my recipes and experiment with new ingredients and flavor profiles. Plus soups only takes one pot, so less dishes, and what's not to love about that?!

This past week I played the "it's-Dead-Week (the week before Finals Week for all of you whose lives do not hang on a final exam grade anymore) and-I-don't-want-to-take-the-time-to-go-to-the-store" card and made a really delicious Black Eyed Pea Chicken Chili. Now you may of guessed already that this was supposed to be reminiscent of White Bean Chicken Chili, but as we already discussed I didn't want to go to the store to pick up jalapenos, white beans, and the list goes on, so I used a can of Black Eyed Peas instead. For those of you who have not worked with Black Eyed Peas before, I highly recommend them. The canned version, which is the version I used, are a bit firmer than regularly canned beans and they have a stronger, almost meaty flavor. They stand up to whatever seasoning you throw at them and are great for items like bean cakes or bean salads, in addition to thickening soups or stews.

Black Eyed Pea Chicken Chili served with a sweet potato and white balsamic salad.

Black Eyed Pea Chicken Chili garnished with fresh parsley.

I apologize for the distinct lack in quality in these photographs - I'm on my own again.


  1. After just getting inside from the cold, that soup looks like perfection. I've never really been a fan of beans, but that looks very wholesome and yummy.

  2. Ooh, sweet potato salad? THAT'S GENIUS

  3. The sweet potato salad was simply a way for me to clean our the fridge. I love sweet potatoes and had some left over from my dinner a few nights back. Sneaking things into a salad is a great way to add in extra nutrients to your meal as well; sweet potatoes for instance are high in Vitamin A and and dietary fiber, and taste way better than a multivitamin!