Beef and Bean Chili in a Bread Bowl

I’m one of those people who can vividly remember several moments from her childhood.  While most of these memories often just swim around in the archives of my brain waiting to give me a major shot of déjà vu when I’m least expecting it, some of them sit in a more fond spot.  Perhaps in the more exclusive brain archives section – the “Reserve” section, if you may…

Here is one of those memories: When I was young and living in Timmins, my dad and I always used to go out to Tim Hortons.  These trips came pretty often, since my dad was a huge fan of Timmie’s coffee (things have changed since we got our new coffee maker at home) and I always insisted on coming along in hopes of getting a doughnut.  Some of my fondest memories of these little Tim Hortons trips came when the shop was having its “chili in a bread bowl” promotion.  My dad and I would absolutely lose our minds for this.  I think I ate a record-breaking amount of chili when I was young, simply because I loved the combination of crusty bread and mouthwatering chili so much.  Anyways, for some reason Timmie’s stopped having this chili in a bread bowl promotion and the chili has since never tasted as good.  Mom, you get a lot of shout outs on this blog but dad, this one is for you.

Feeling nostalgic and craving chili, I knew that this was a completely necessary meal to make.  The recipe I used was pretty traditional in the chili sense, and came from Canadian Living.  The title they used for the chili had the words “really good” in it, so I figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt and whip myself up a batch.  Ugggghhhh, as I type I am so full of delicious chili that all I want to do is hibernate for the whole winter through.  This recipe was great, since the only thing I needed to buy at the grocery store was crushed tomatoes.  Don’t you just love having all the other ingredients on hand?  I even got to use up most of my pesky stalk of celery, a vegetable which looks cute slopped with peanut butter and raisins, but unfortunately lacks taste unless combined in something so delicious as this chili.  Since the recipe doesn’t call for too much celery and carrots, I just tripled the amount that they requested, to make a meal that was just as healthy as it was hearty.  I also added way more hot pepper sauce than requested, for an extra spicy kick.

Although the recipe says it only makes four servings, I discovered it made around six.  With these leftovers as well as leftover stew, I will guaranteed never go hungry again.  Such a shame since I want to try out a ratatouille recipe soon…


Chunky Rice and Bean Soup

This day shall be known from here on in as “Soupy Saturday.”  The reason?  I made the most amazing soup in the universe!  Unlike my past soups which have focused on some sort of vegetable (pea soup, carrot soup) or on recreating a fiesta-in-a-bowl, I wanted to make a soup that just had EVERYTHING.  This Canadian Living soup recipe was perfect to achieve said goal  Also, since our house is absolutely freezing (we are students who are way too cheap to turn on the heat until snow hits the ground), I needed something other than my Snuggie to keep me warm.

This soup was soup-er (HA, get it?) easy to make, and took less than an hour in total to cook.  The only difficulty occurred when I decided to scoff at Canadian Living’s “tested till perfect” mantra, and add three times the amount of rice that the recipe called for.  This was a major mistake, and I had to add about a cup more water to compensate for my ingredient adding through over-excitement.  Due to this extra H2O, I now have enough soup to probably last me until the end of the winter season.  I’ll be keeping a large tupperware of it out (wish me luck trying to fit it in our fridge!) and packaging the leftover soup in cute little single-serving Ziploc bag packages to be eaten on overly lazy days.  Also, I need a thermos to bring things to school, anyone want to buy me one (preferably this or this). :)

Oh wait, one more thing.  I bought this new app for my iPhone (yes, I paid a whole 99 cents for it) that turns my phone into a pinhole camera.  Isn’t that the most wonderful thing you’ve ever heard?!  I took a few pictures of my lunch using that camera as well, and loved the result so much I thought it needed to be shared with you…