Unusual Bliss

As good as Soup Nazi's Soup

As good as Soup Nazi’s Soup (Photo credit: naokomc)

Feature blogger of the day: the usual bliss.

Why? First and foremost because of the name of her blog, but today she featured a most delicious soup recipe and she also has not taken her tree down, which will make anyone who has not taken their tree down yet happy. Blissful even. Her excuse is that she is sick, but personally I do not think she needs one. Many years I do not have my tree down by this date. I consider this year a fluke.

Unusual blisses:

1. A chili dog on a hamburger bun. The hotdog buns were gone, but I still had hamburger buns and the makings of two chili dogs. It tastes just as good on a hamburger bun as a hot dog bun. My recipe for a chili dog: hot dog, fried; top it with chili, mustard, and onions. Bliss.

2. When something broken gets fixed. My furnace was broken and it is fixed now. No more expensive electrical heaters (which did the trick but did not add much to my Christmas decor). Bliss.

3. A new handle on my back screen door. Now it does not open at random. Bliss.

4. A flu shot given by my favourite nurse who knows how to give shots that do not hurt. She did not even have to ask me what flavour I wanted (a trick my doctor used when I was little). Bliss.

5. Finding a blog called the usual bliss. How fortuitous is that. Kismet. And again, bliss.

What are some of your unusual blisses?

~ From the Kitchen of the Fractured Cook ~ Best Chili Ever

Mom's chili. #food #foodporn

Mom’s chili. (Photo credit: pindarninja)

I have a nostalgic recipe for my Mom’s  “Favourite Chili” hanging on the bulletin board attached to my refrigerator. It calls for things like real kidney beans that you have to parboil, chopped onion and green peppers, cumin, cloves, chili powder, garlic cloves, tomatoes, and salt to taste. I just love recipes that say “salt to taste”. Sounds like they are giving you “creative licence”.

I am going to tell you how to make the best and fastest chili in the world, but you need to remember several things before I reveal my recipe:

1. If something takes more than ten minutes to fix, I don’t fix it.

2. Shortcut cooking is my kind of cooking.

3. I am no purist.

4. I rarely follow a recipe—I cook by ear (you know, some people play music by ear, I cook by ear)

5. I think cooking from scratch is laudable. It is something I rarely do, but it is laudable.

Okay, are you ready?

Cook some hamburg (if I were being official I would say a pound to a pound and a half, and scramble fry it).

Add some chopped onion if you are feeling really creative, while you are cooking the hamburg.

Once the hamburg is browned, add a big can of tomatoes (32 oz if you are getting fussy); a can of kidney beans (the cheapest you can find on the shelf); a can of tomato sauce (whatever size you have); a can of tomato soup; and some water (usually about half a tomato soup can).

Add one packet of chili mix (I use President’s Choice or Old El Paso—but it is your choice). I put this in at any point in the process, usually just after the meat has been browned and before I add the liquids. Sometimes I forget and add it later—like now.

If you are still feeling creative, peel a clove or two of garlic, cut in half and drop into chili. (I cut it big for easy retrieval later.)

Add a teaspoon or so of cocoa and some “salt to taste”. And some black pepper if you want.

Heat until it bubbles, then turn down to a simmer for a couple of hours. If you don’t have a couple of hours, twenty minutes will do.

Ladle (I used the word dump at first but thought that was too indelicate) into bowls and serve with toast or garlic bread or bread right from the wrapper.

As I have noted several times in this blog, I am a white girl of Scottish, English, Irish, French, and Pennsylvania Dutch origins. There may be something else in the mix—I am not sure.  Other people in my family, with exactly the same origins are really good cooks and they cook from scratch.  So, what is my excuse?

If truth be told, I am not a bad cook. And I love good food lovingly prepared. I just choose to lovingly prepare mine in as little time as possible. If you liked this recipe I can share my Best Ever Easy Beef Stew with you, but be forewarned, there is no searing and very little chopping in my recipe–but it is tasty and not time-consuming. Ask and it will be given.

For now, happy Friday to all, and to all a good weekend.