Posted in Adventures with Food

The Best Breakfast for Dinner Whole Meal Plan

the best breakfast for dinner from change of platesOccasionally one my crazy dinner ideas comes together and is magical.

Emphasis on occasionally.

And to be honest, crazy and magical are probably a gross bit of an overstatement.

I Pocket-ed this homemade sausage recipe from PaleOMG last week, and in a moment of wild abandon, I decided to add it to our menu for the week.

I planned an entire breakfast for dinner around this sausage. My original thinking was sausage biscuits, knowing full well that no one would eat it like that.  But truthfully, not caring.

Throw in some hash browns and some quick fruit and fruit dip and voila … breakfast for dinner! Like magic.

Except my wand wasn’t working so I actually had to prepare it all. Need to remember to get that wand to the shop.

I wasn’t sure how anyone (including myself) would like the sausage, and surprisingly, I even made the recipe exactly as it was written. Clearly I wasn’t feeling myself. That never happens.

You should know that I had no intention of sharing this experience, but the reception to this dinner was so overwhelmingly, astoundingly, bowl-me-over-ingly fantastic that I had to pass along the good news.

“You’re not kidding me, ma, these are good.”

“This is the best breakfast for dinner, ever!”

“Can you make this all the time?”

My favorite, though, came from me to Mr. Selective: “You may not eat all the hash browns. You have to save some for those who haven’t eaten yet.”

Say what? To the child who doesn’t eat potatoes … go figure.

The sausage was good but would have been better if I had made it the day before. We all had fennel burps for the rest of the night. Which made for a wonderfully delightful evening.

And the fruit dip was off the hook.

Notice the complete and total lack of colorful veggies? You didn’t but now you do because I pointed it out? Well, guess what? I’m not stressing over it. I thought about throwing some carrots in there, but no one would have eaten them and it just really didn’t go with the breakfast for dinner meal plan. Plus, I did make everything else from scratch which counts for something right? Let’s face it, even I can’t do it all all the time.

At least not until I get that wand fixed.

What kind of crazy dinner ideas do you have? Do they ever inspire magic with your kids?

Posted in Beef, Ground Meat, Pork, Slow Cooker, Soups

The Best Chili

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I grew up in a house divided – Chili Lovers vs. Not Chili Lovers.

My dad is a chili lover. My mom is not.

I have always been on team Not Chili Lovers. Just not a fan of spicy food, which is kind of and mostly necessary to a good bowl of chili. Also not too fond of it’s density – like eating a giant bowl of meat and beans, with some oh-by-the-way veggies thrown in for flavor.

Lucky gal that I am, though,  The Man could be the quarterback of team Chili Lovers. He loves his chili.

And so I make it. Mostly for him. And in the name of good wifelihood. But also to torture my children so that my children have the opportunity to fully embrace the chili eating experience, in order to someday make their own fully-informed choice of team.

Except …

Big Britches walked in the door from school, “What is that delicious smell?”

Mr. Selective, “Yeah. What is that??”

“Dinner.”

“What’s for dinner?”

“Food.”

“Mom! C’mon! Why do you always say that?”

“Because if I tell you, you’ll say you’re not eating that.”

“Just tell us!”

“Okay. Chili.”

“Blech. I’m not eating that.”

“I’m not eating that either.”

‘Nuff said.

The Best Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds ground beef (preferably grass fed)
  • 1 pound ground pork (pastured and/or organic)
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika (you could also use smoked here)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander
  • dash cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 12 ounces dark beer (I use Guinness)
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce (just one pepper out of the can), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used 3 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper)
  • 2 15 ounce cans kidney, pinto, white or black beans (I use the Chili Beans from Westbrae Natural), drained
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef and pork, stirring to break up any large pieces.
  2. When meat is paritally cooked, add ground fennel and stir well.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
  4. Add carrots and green pepper.
  5. In small bowl, combine chili powder, paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  6. Add spices to meat mixture and mix well.
  7. Cook 5 minutes.
  8. Add beer, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, bone broth, chili pepper, and apple cider vinegar.
  9. Stir well. Let pot come to a simmer and then reduce heat to low.
  10. If cooking for a long time (I'd recommend it), cover but crack the lid.
  11. Stir occasionally.
  12. About 30 minutes before you're ready to serve, add the beans, the red pepper and the frozen corn.
  13. Salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with shredded cheese, corn bread or whatever else you like with your chili.
Notes
Crock pot directions: After adding the spices to the meat, transfer to a crock pot and follow the rest of the steps in the crock pot. You may want to omit the bone broth as the crock pot tends to make it a bit runnier.

This makes a fairly thick chili. If you like your chili a bit thinner, add more bone broth.

As for Mr. Selective and Big Britches? They didn’t eat it. Wouldn’t even try it. They ate leftover sausages.

The Bread Guy – who claims to love chili – ate it, but painstakingly slowly and not a very large quantity. He did say that it was the best chili I’ve ever made. High praise coming from the kid who doesn’t often praise.

From a years-long member of the Not Chili Lovers team, I do think this is probably the best chili that I’ve ever made. Not good enough, though to sway me to switch teams.

The Man? He was speechless.

What a lucky guy to have such an awesome wife.