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Home Chili with Beans

So, the difference in weather is completely different here than what it is at home. Today the high in Houston (home) is 86°, and here the temperature is not expected to get past 56° and there'll be flurries on Thursday.  With this weather we consider winter, I've already begun making warm, homey, yummy foods. Beginning with my chili.
Chili is one of those foods that can be made so many different ways. I've made 5 bean chili, veggie chili, and of course good ol' Texas chili (with and without beans). When I make chili it's usually with any protein or veggie in the freezer or pantry and spices are added until it tastes "right".
The best thing about chili is that it's good the first day but even better the second or third day. Also, the accompaniments are forever changing; we serve with white or brown rice, corn bread, tortillas or tortilla chips, and even skillet potatoes. For toppings we usually have hot sauce, sharp cheddar cheese or sour cream, and I love cilantro.
Let me know what you like with your chili and I'll try it next time.

Home Chili with Beans
servings: 6

1 pound beef (preferably 85/15)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans chopped tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or molasses
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups red beans, cooked

In a large pot cook meat over medium high heat until brown.
Add onions and garlic. Once translucent add tomatoes and spices.
Bring to a boil. Cover pot and turn heat down to medium-low. Let simmer for at least an hour. Cook longer for spices to continue melding.
Add beans 15 minutes before turning heat off.

This recipe can be made in a slow cooker by first cooking meat, then adding all ingredients to the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours


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So, if you haven't gotten your Thanksgiving Turkey and put it to defrost, it may be a little late.  I have an idea, though....make a Pernil or Pork Butt (not a ham, but actually the shoulder of the pig).  If you really want pork, but can't afford the pricey ham this is the way to go.  At home I'd get one for 60 cents/pound, and here they happen to have it for a week at my favorite discount grocery store at $1.50 a pound.  I snatched it up even though it wasn't in my normal grocery budget.  Now, this week when the budget is really tough with Thanksgiving around the corner, with a 10 pound pork butt, I managed to get 3 meals from it (maybe it'll be 4 by the weekend).
Pork is almost a staple in our household and it definitely was while growing up.  I have to say, Puertoricans know how to roast pork.  I will never forget the trip I took to Puerto Rico, and the day we had in the mountains where they had a whole pig roasting on a giant pit.  Then my dad and his best fri…