Spicy Black Bean – Wheat Berry Chili with Turkey Sausage

I apologize for posting two chili recipes so close together, but this chili is very different from my classic chili and was simply too good to pass up sharing with you.  My Mother is the one who turned me on to this recipe, when she made the original version about a week ago.  I have made a few updates, but this southwestern inspired chili is so hardy and flavorful that it is equally good with or without the sausage and makes a fabulous vegetarian meal.

Continue reading

Best Black Beans

Black beans are a central ingredient in many great recipes, but they can also be a delicious dish in their own right.  Being able to make really good, flavorful black beans makes them not only enjoyable on their own, but also boosts the flavor of other dishes in which they are used.  This recipe comes from my Mother, who makes a batch of black beans almost every weekend in the winter.  This is because she can cook them on top of the wood stove.  She simply throws the beans in a pot, with water, puts them on the stove and then goes on to do whatever else she has planned for the day, allowing the beans to cook over low heat for several hours.  While we don’t all have this luxury, these beans are easy to make regardless of what kind of stove you cook them on.

Continue reading

Simply the Best Chili and Cornbread

This is quite simply, the best traditional chili that I have ever had.  My Mom has made it for as long as I can remember from a recipe she got many years ago at one of Vermont’s finest sources of specialty smoked and cured meats, Harrington’s of Vermont.  This chili has just the right amount of spice to it, enough so that you feel the heat on your tonge, but not so much that your mouth burns, and it has an excellent bean to meat ratio.

Continue reading

Acorn Squash with Cranberry – Apple Stuffing

Several weeks ago, we had dinner at a friend’s house and were served this delicious fall treat.  Since then I have made it several times, with many different variations.  It combines all the wonderful flavors of fall in one simple dish.

Due to how easy, delicious and seasonally appropriate it is, it has become my go to, “I don’t feel like making something exciting for dinner dish.”  Yet with a little maple sausage thrown in, it becomes quite an exciting meal all its own.

Continue reading

Cranberry – Apple Chutney with Ginger

I love the tang of cranberries, and I love how that tang is traditionally used to cut through the richness of a Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I hate when cranberry sauce has too much sweetness added to help subdue that tang.  It is for that reason that I really enjoy this Cranberry – Apple chutney with Ginger.  There is some added sweetness, but the beauty of this chutney is that you get the tang of the cranberries, offset by the sweetness of the apples, and then you get a little more punch from the ginger.  It is a lovely combination of not too sweet, not too sharp, complex flavor.

Continue reading

Double Squash Soup

Last November, when we were living in Boston, we had a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with a group of friends.  I think that there ended up being twelve of us squeezed into the kitchen of our apartment.  Once we sat down, no one could get up.  Despite the fact that quarters were close, everyone had a great time and a great meal.

My dear friend Tallo (who writes her own food blog, La Cucina Francesca) contributed this amazing squash soup to our meal, which I was instantly in love with.  It continues to be a favorite of mine.  As a child, I would never eat the squash served at my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving holiday table because I hated the stringy texture of the mashed squash that she always served.  This pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving made me realize that though my Grandmother would be appalled to hear me say it, what you decide to serve at your holiday table does not always have to follow family tradition, especially if only half the people at your holiday table will eat the dish in question.

Continue reading