I’d tap that… Magic Night Chili

Magic Night ChiliMen are coming.

Sure most of them are your run of the mill type nerds, but they’re also men. They hunger, for competition and MEAT. (Not that I’m saying women don’t also enjoy a platter of dead animal, but our playgroup is 99% dudes most times.)

I love these kinds of meals for our gaming groups. I can cook a giant tub of food and they dish up to their desire. Add a bag of corn chips or some freshly baked corn bread and they’ll go until they’re stuffed or the chili runs out. The latter doesn’t happen too often, this makes a ton of chili! Seriously, I barely have room to stir in my 6 quart cooker. Well, without making a huge mess. So make sure you have a LARGE pot or just halve the recipe. Do what you want, I’m not your boss.

Using the slow cooker is awesome for this as well. Not only does the long cooking make the flavors super intricate, I set it to cook in the morning and by time the guys all show up it’s ready to go at any time! This allows them to get a few games in to work up a hunger or some to eat now and some to eat later without ever having to reheat, just keep it on warm.

The original recipe I pulled this from uses a ton of beans and that’s cool, but I have picky eater issues with them still and because I’m the chef here, I do what I want! So beans are out, making this the meatiest chili you can handle! It’s also pretty spicy, so if you are more ‘sensitive’ you may want to cut back on the spicy ingredients. It’s no 2AM Chili but it’s damn fine in my book.

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Best Cookbook EVER

ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER! Itty bitty counter space.

There’s nothing like having a good cookbook. A source you can trust for recipes aplenty. I found myself in the bookstore the other day, browsing as I do (You can really only ever browse when you have no money…) and found myself in the cookbook section. So many books dazing me with their colorful covers. I’m sure the staff thought I had gone comatose and other customers took wide paths around the drooling mannequin that I was. After a loud gaggle of women passing awoke me from my dream state, I picked up a few books and thumbed through them to see if there was a collection I’d want to purchase.

Alas, the internet has jaded me. Where were the comments, ratings, and search button? How would I know that this recipe would suit me right out of the book? Would it be too spicy, too bland? Do I need to do a little kitchen dance to get the dough to rise properly? After having treated myself to so many delicious meals, how could I force myself to endure possible mediocrity?! So home I headed, empty handed, but happy in knowing the internet can provide me with the foody goodness I seek and all for free.

So that brings me to the best cookbook ever. My laptop. A wifi connection, a place out of harms way in my kitchen and I have a cookbook of thousands of recipes. Not to mention its other abilities to keep you entertained while you cook! Load up YouTube for some funnies or how to ice that cake you’re baking, read the news or fire up Pandora for some music to go with my magic dough dance. And if you have the kitchen demons like I do, throw a little cling wrap over it. As you can see for mine, it’s on the bar ABOVE my working area so it stays fairly clean.

Remember, if it loads web pages, you have the Best Cookbook EVER.

Paula, Destroyer of Kitchens

destroyerI like to cook, a lot. The people around me would have me believe I do it quite well, my own tongue would agree with them. Little do they know of the deep dark chaos that surrounds this crafty art. Short of my husband and parents, few have witnessed the carnage that is left in the wake of a day of my cooking. Try as I might to keep counters and stoves clean, the simple act of me entering the kitchen seems to unlock a Pandora’s box of food particles.

As if possessed by mighty kitchen demons, the food I touch spreads across the flattest, cleanest surfaces of the kitchen congealing almost instantly into rock hard food cement. No matter the precautions taken, the demons find their way to these surfaces and latch on as if it is the only thing to save them from a fiery hell. Alas, this mighty sacrifice of clean brings upon a meal of much deliciousness and happiness to all stomachs that take on its foody goodness. Once the meal is consumed and the kitchen emptied, the demons slip back into their domain, leaving their food handholds in tact. After the demonic food storm has passed, the kitchen may be reentered and a sponge and soap acquired. The gore shall be washed away… until next time.

And this is why sometimes I have no posts to make. Busy cleaning the kitchen! 😀