The first chilly autumn days have arrived!
Fall is my favorite time of year- I love the cool weather, changing leaves, football, and sweaters. I also love transitioning into fall foods. Yesterday was the perfect day for a slow cooker pot of chili- I soaked black and kidney beans overnight and tossed them into the slow cooker with a bay leaf and a bunch of water in the morning. Canned beans truly have nothing on dried- the flavor and texture is so much better, and the amount of effort that dried beans take is minimal. Bonus- it's better for the environment (less shipping weight and packaging), and better for your health (no BPA lined cans, etc.). At lunchtime I sauteed an onion and some garlic and drained the beans, then put the beans back into the slow cooker with the onion, garlic, two cans of crushed tomatoes, a bit of water, and a liberal amount of cumin, chili powder, cayenne, basil, and oregano. Total preparation time- less than 10 minutes. By the end of the day the house smelled fantastic, and I threw together a quick batch of cornbread around 5:30 pm. I love trying new chili recipes, but this is my own stand by favorite. The best part was the huge hug I got from little dude, who proclaimed chili his favorite and thanked me for cooking "such yummy food." The greatest!