Friday, December 12, 2008

Four Foods Friday #1

So I thought I'd start following Four Foods Friday from By The Sea--should be a good time anyway.

1. Does your family usually eat meals in the kitchen or somewhere else?
We eat at the table in our eat-in kitchen. The table seats four, expands to 6 in emergencies, but there's really only room for a 4 top. Going to be interesting in a year or so when 5 of us will be squeezing around the table. We're trying to eat together as a family more. Lots of studies show that kids that eat dinner with their parents are at lower risk for many nasty things.

2. Who usually does the dishes in your house?
We use the dishwasher for as much as possible, but there's always stuff that doesn't fit, and someone has to load the dishwasher in the first place. Usually it's me, but lately my wife has been chipping in more. Which is awesome.

3. What’s your favorite small appliance or tool in the kitchen?
I'd have to say it's my breadmaker, or my vegetable steamer/rice cooker. Beyond bread, I make pizza crust dough in the bread maker. And the steamer gets used all the time. There are precious few better ways to prepare vegetables than lightly steaming them. No salt, no butter/oil/fat, maybe a twist of black pepper. Simply delicious.

4. Share a recipe for chili.
Chili's are a great way for vegetarians like my family to get protein. I rarely follow recipes, but here's a pretty good idea of what I do. I usually start with the generic 17 dry bean soup package. You got to soak those overnight, and then I go through and pick out the lima beans. Blech. Into the boiling soup pot with a cube of vegetable bullion, a clove of garlic, a few fresh jalapeno peppers diced, and a small onion diced. Next add ground cumin, ground red chili powder, and ground chipotle pepper. Salt to taste. Simmer for 4-6 hrs. Let cool. Refrigerate for 24 hrs. Reheat and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve over tortilla chips or crushed saltine crackers with grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream for garnish. Be sure to check out the dietary fiber content on the dried beans package before you throw it away, you'll be amazed!

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