Patience. In life. And in my chili.

(I know...doesn't LOOK like I'm about to make the most amazing chili - i'm gonna brag, it was that good - but this is what went into the garlic cheddar spoon bread that accompanies the superstar chili)
Patience in Life.
I was bringing Little sixtyone45 in for dinner tonight and he wanted to stop and smell the (literally) roses and snapdragons and my first instinct (I'm cringing right now) was to pull him along...c'mon hunney, let's go, its dinner time. Bad mom. This wasn't a stall tactic before bedtime (bring it on kiddo) this was just going to take an extra minute. Why wasn't my instinct to stop? I hate that I crave like structure/routine/schedule so much. And we did it...smell the flowers...and it was precious. I forget he is still new to this big giant beautiful sphere. He smelled his first snapdragon today and even though they don't smell, the look on his face was as if to say nothing ever smelled better. Patience.
(awesome....more ugly meat pictures. and for the record, this is exactly what I wanted the meat to look like. ugh. i need a photog class. stat.)
Patience in Meat.
Stop picking, prodding, stirring, and poking at it. Probably just a good lesson for anything in your life, but I will attest, especially with your meat. Char = flavour. Put it in a hot pan (I worship my KitchenAid these days), don't poke at it, let it get dark and scrape the yummy dark bits (culinary term) with a wooden spoon. You will not be disappointed. Patience.

(it was not a good picture taking apologies. and you would forgive me if you could smell that right now)

Patience in Spice.

I first wrote here about toasting your spices. I've read it's an important step in Indian food, so gotta figure that transcends other ethnicities (is chili from an ethnicity?). Taking the time to not skip over the detail of toasting your spices pays great dividends. Patience.

(The cornbread was supposed to be twice as thick...I swear I used the right pan...I even measured the pan....embarrassing on several that I am THAT Type A/literal and two, that I couldn't eyeball 9 by 15 inches)


This was an awesome meal. The chili recipe is my own and the spoon bread is adapted from a best-blog-name-ever post. I am going to strive to acquire more authentic patience. I would like to reduce the number of times I say "I can't wait"... I can't wait till he can talk, till I am stronger, till we have more time, till he is older, till I am thinner, till we have x,y, or z or till this gosh darn spoon bread is done.

I actually can wait.

I can enjoy the moment.

The serious ones and the silly ones.

I can have patience. I do.

I sure did when I made the chili. And if this bowl of deliciousness is any indication of how things turn out...

...patience rocks.

Smoky Chili with Garlic Cheese Spoon Bread

1lb of lean or extra lean ground beef
garlic (lots if you ask me, 3-4 cloves at least)
1/2 white onion
1 cup carrots (diced fine)
1 1/2 cups diced or purred canned tomatoes
1 T. Tomato paste
1 1/2 T. Agave (or brown sugar)
2 T. Smoked Sweet Paprika.
1 T. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Cumin

  1. Using a heavy saucepan or dutch oven, brown the meat (meaning, get the pan hot, put the raw meat in and try not to touch it, poke it, stir it) Get it brown and then scrape the bits off and stir them up.
  2. While the meat is cooking, toast the spices. Add the olive oil to a small frying pan and then spoon in all the spices. Over medium heat stir them around until you get a fragrant paste. (careful not too long, or they burn) Maybe 3 - 5 minutes.
  3. When the meat is ready, add the spices and remaining ingredients.\
  4. Stir and let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or longer (the longer you simmer, the deeper the flavours.)

Garlic Cheddar Spoon Bread (adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon)
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease a 8 x 8 baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside.
3. Pour milk into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in cornmeal and salt and continue to whisk until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and using a wooden spoon, stir in cheese, garlic, and 2 tablespoons butter.
5. Continue to stir until most steam has escaped from the mixture. Beat eggs into the mixture, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Gently fold in pepper until just combined.
6. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and dot top with remaining tablespoon of butter.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minute or until just set in the center. Allow to cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Scoop and serve.

Just one last thing...I used the leftover rice from this post and added it to the chilli because we kept sampling it and there was not much left it added even more flavour, and it worked out great.

And also...Also, I took the leftover tomato paste and put it in ice cube tray, popped it into the freezer and it keeps great for another time.

Oh finally...I didn't put any heat in this recipe in hopes of giving some to the Little but feel free to add some heat. Jalapenos or dried chilies or a bit of cayenne would kick it up for certain.