Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Chill Air of Autumn

I've been seeing it all over the news- that word that brings so much dread to others, yet so much JOY to me- SNOW !!!!! 8 inches of snow in Denver the other day, a massive winter storm to the east. What do I have to do to get a little flake action in my part of the world ???

Since moving to the lake in March, we really haven't experienced any real winter weather. We had a couple snows, an inch or two at the most, but it was always gone by the next day. Nothing to even shovel. Shoveling snow is my favorite thing in the world. Pile on my coat, warm shoes, hat and mitties and hit the driveway. The peace and serenity is just so incredible. It's like I'm the only person on the planet (except sometimes I hear the far-off drone of some snowblower but that will probably be less likely out here at the lake. The weekenders won't be here to worry about the snow). That's the Minnesota girl in me. I'm sooo looking forward to the first REAL snowfall at the lake.

Even though we don't have any snow yet, the boats are all out of the water and driving through the area I see people tuning up and preparing their winter toys- snowmobiles, 4 wheelers. A frozen lake is a playground just as much as the summer water.

One of the best things about this time of year is the "winter food". I love anything that simmers all day, roasts for hours, filling the home with the scents of something delicious to come. Tonight on the menu it's chili. And I've been sampling- it's going to be a killer !!!!

As always, we start with the best quality ingredients we can get. No, not talking a slab of Kobe beef or Wagyu steak or anything like that, but we picked out a nice boneless roast, trimmed it myself, and cut into small cubes. Not big beef stew cubes, but smaller dice, pea size or so. Sometimes we like ground beef instead, sometimes I've even used both in the same pot. I'd even give a pork roast a shot in the chili pot. Ground turkey ? Maybe.....

One medium yellow onion, chopped, a few cloves of garlic, chopped, a small bell pepper, chopped, and a diced habanero all went in the pot with a little hit of olive oil and the meat. As soon as the onion was softened nicely, a quart of home canned tomatoes, can of tomato juice, about 1/2 cup of tomato paste, a handful of our dried tomatoes (you could use sun dried tomatoes or omit this if you'd like), salt, pepper, chili powder and a SMALL bit, like 1/2 tsp. or less, of crushed dried ghost chile went into the pot to simmer.

It's only been a couple hours at this point and I'm already anxiously awaiting dinnertime !!

We served the chili with shredded cheese sprinkled on top and crackers instead of cornbread this time. It was sooooo rich and thick and tomatoey and spicy all at the same time. And it was spicy !! Not melt-your-face-off spicy but it warmed me up nicely.

Absolutely perfect for a cool fall night with scary movies on all the channels. In fact, right now I'm home by myself watching Halloween H20, and very bravely I might add !!!!  I don't like scary movies !!! And I'll say this much, if I hear a strange noise in the dark back yard, or the neighbors dogs bark away at an unknown something, I will NOT be putting on a pair of high heels and heading out in the darkness armed with a candle and a screwdriver !!!

Before I go enjoy another bowl of chili, I'll share one more look at the lake in winters past.
(all pictures are courtesy of  I cannot wait to have a few pictures of my own to share !!

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