My initial intention was to grab a jar of peanut butter for a light dinner of apple slices and celery. But Fritos were on sale, two for $5, and I had in mind to recreate a scrounge for the smörgåsblog. Seeing the corn chips reminded me of corn which reminded me that I had wanted to make one of the many varieties of cornbread from my childhood meals. By the end of it all my Le Cruset inspired Lodge dutch oven was calling my name as I shuffled my way to the self-checkout with an armful of chili ingredients. Retrieving the renegade tomato that snapped off the vine and rolled down the chip isle I realized that I have evidently become a “foodie.”

This revelation is presently reiterated as I wipe a drop of grainy natural peanut butter off the glossy screen of my iPad. There was a time when I never thought I’d live to see the day . . . Not only have I become the kind of person who looks forward to and writes about food; I am also the woman who writes seven pages of life story before a recipe that’s actually pretty basic.

God has been healing me through gluten and gratitude and glorious gourmet cookbooks from the Dollar Tree. Treasure hunting these gems has been a highlight of my year.

Here’s to wholeness and the answering years. And a cozy pot of chili on a Saturday.

The majority of these were purchased within the year at the Dollar Tree near my house . . . $1 each! Three of them were gifted, and “Eat Pretty” was on clearance for $6 at the Anthropologie on Market Street in San Francisco six years ago. Shoutout to my older brother for standing in the Pioneer Woman line circa 2012 to get her book signed for me. 😂

GREEN SKIN CINNAMON CHILI + FLAX SEED CORNBREAD

We used to eat Jiffy cornbread pretty regularly in my early years, and I had the task of helping prepare dinner by combining the egg, milk, and Jiffy mix. At some point one of my aunts changed my life by serving cornbread that had actual kernels of corn in it. For this batch, I followed the preparation instructions on a small box of Jiffy cornbread, and added 1/2 a can of sweet corn and roughly a tbsp and a half of ground flax seed.

As the cornbread baked, I prepped the chili. In hindsight, starting the chili first would have given it more time to simmer and develop flavor.

Essentially, I just chopped a bunch of ingredients and tossed them into my hearth-y dutch oven. I feel like that’s basically how chili works, and what makes it so . . . chill. Ha. The stars of this show were a giant Green Skin Avocado I bought because it was pretty and ripe, and the cinnamon I added to enhance the somewhat bland packet of chili seasoning I picked up three isles deep into my peanut butter >> cornbread >> chili rabbit trail.

To start, I simmered a healthy helping of butter and added the following ingredients:

three juicy tomatos + organic pinto beans + the remaining half can of sweet corn + celery + green skin avocado + salt + pepper + a store bought chili seasoning packet + garlic powder + cinnamon

For liquids, I primarily relied on the natural juices of the veggies I was using, and only partially drained the beans and corn.

I served it {to myself, ha} with a dollop of delicious goat cheese for creaminess and to enhance the flavors and, of course, cornbread.

not pictured: delicious goat cheese

. . . & &

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