I don’t know about you, but the weather seems to dictate my mood and my meal time. During the summer I seem to have a lot more energy and am an overall happier girl. The warm breeze and the bright sunshine always adds a little extra pep in my step. I also find myself craving foods such as grilled chicken, fruit salad, and fresh vegetables. However, when the cooler temperatures start to set in, I find some mornings I wake up sluggish, extra tired and not feeling like a happy camper. When the sky goes grey and there is no sunlight in sight, my mood can take a negative turn. The cold wind and short days can be hard, but there are also many things about winter I enjoy.
I love the sight of freshly fallen snow on the ground.
I adore wearing cozy sweaters, leather riding boots, and warm winter coats. I also enjoy snuggling up in front of a flickering fire and cuddling with a soft blanket, activities that don’t typically happen during the summer months.
I also start craving comfort foods and prefer meals that can warm me up from the inside out, like Chicken Pot Pie or Turkey Meatball Subs. Chili is one of those meals that remind me of home. Whenever it was cold outside my mom would whip up a pot of chili and the smells from the kitchen would pull me in to the room. We have actually had a pretty mild winter so far, lots of rain, a little ice, and just a touch of snow. Some days feel more like the start of spring rather than the middle of winter. I picked the chilliest day this week though and made a big pot of delicious and comforting chili.
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 chopped jalapeno, no seeds (I didn’t add since I used the frozen tomato mix)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (I didn’t add since I used the frozen tomato mix)
1 can chili beans in hot sauce
1 can chili beans in mild sauce
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard (gives the chili an extra sharpness)
1 cup water (I didn’t add since I used the frozen tomato mix)
3 tablepoons chili powder
In large pot cook over medium high heat the onion and jalapeno until onion is translucent
Brown ground beef in pot with onion and jalapeno.
Remove any grease and add in beans and mustard. Heat beans through 2-3 minutes and stir mixture.
Add in tomatoes, water and chili powder. Stir mixture again and bring to boil.
When it comes to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens. FYI – the longer it sits the better it tastes!
Top with whatever you like. I went with half an avocado and my husband used shredded cheese. Other options I love are onion, sour cream, or chives.
This chili is not incredibly spicy, so if you need more heat add in a whole jalapeno, the jalapeno seeds, or an extra tablespoon of chili powder. This was the perfect spicy temperature for me, but I know people’s hot scales vary. To cool down while drinking the chili, we drank our new obsession..
What do you love about winter, if anything?! :-)
What are some of your ultimate winter comfort foods?