Chilly Enough for Chili

Well, I am home in NJ for a week to celebrate M’s high school graduation (which takes place tomorrow night!) and to see my grandmother, who flew in from England for the occasion.  This means several things for the next few days: 1) alot of cooking, 2) alot of food in general (especially on Saturday when we’re having a party); 3) alot of fun (I believe Yahtzee is on the agenda for later this evening!).

Since moving to Boston, I’ve only been home a handful of times, and only twice in the past semester.  This is a pretty big change for me and for my family, because during college, as well as for the two years I worked afterward, I could come home from NYC whenever I wanted.  Anyway, a look at my old posts will show anyone how much I enjoy being home and cooking with my dad, and tonight was the first time in a while that we were able to get back into the kitchen together.   So we were pretty pumped, and this morning we spent some time standing in front of the refrigerator trying to decide what we wanted to make.  Then Mom made it easy for us by suggesting (read: demanding) that we make a vat of veg chili.  Normally in June, chili wouldn’t come to mind, but since it is raining and in the 60’s here, it seemed totally logical.  Sigh.  But anyways!

A big bowl of awesome


Chili is one of the easiest and most common vegan dishes around, and I think part of its appeal is that you don’t even need a recipe to make it!  This evening’s concoction included pinto beans, black beans, crushed tomotoes, veg broth, roasted poblano peppers, corn, mushrooms, zucchini, and of course onions (one white and two small red) and garlic.  And topped with cilantro, obviously.

I also made my favorite vegan cornbread from Post Punk Kitchen to go with the chili.

Funny enough, this cornbread was one of the first vegan recipes I ever made, way before I knew of PPK or its writers, or really anything at all!  Every time I’ve made it, it was delicious.  This time, it was slightly different, as I used white vinegar with a pinch of sugar in place of the cider vinegar, and I also used some masa that Dad had on hand instead of regular old cornmeal.  The result was delicious, soft, and slightly creamy cornbread.  The biggest difference was that I had to bake it for about 55 minutes (rather than the 30-35 the recipe calls for).  But it was really good!!

Lastly, Dad and I whipped up a salsa from some green tomatillos we picked up at a local grocery store today. 

Displayed with Gran’s garnishes!


The salsa also includes some fresh tomato, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice (and a bit of zest too!), and a drizzle of agave.  We ate it on crackers, but we’re going to make it again for M’s party on Saturday and probably serve it with tortilla chips.

And as a bonus, here are some extra pics of my fun family time from today:

Farley waiting patiently for dinner to begin

Me and my pup (with scary eyes!!)

Bailey observing us all (with some disdain…?)

Dad and his mum, and Farley of course!

I haven’t made any definite plans yet, but I’m sure that I’ll end up whipping up a few dishes for Saturday, so I’ll probably have some more stuff to post then!