Monday, November 5, 2012

More About Me + Gluten Free Chili

Many people lately have asked me how I learned to cook + bake. The most obvious + assumed answer is that I've been doing this whole domestic diva stuff for a long time, given I have a blog dedicated to food. Am I right? 

You might be surprised to hear that the assumption isn't true + that I actually learned how to cook at age 27, which uh-hmm, if you do the math...that was only 4 years ago

So it goes without saying -- if I can do this, so can you

When the moment came to learn, I had several inspirations, if you will. The first being the fact that I was single + living on my own, and I thought learning to cook might be fun; that it would be a great new "hobby" now that I had finished grad school + had some free time. I also found out I had this thing called celiac disease (like how I call it a "thing"? For the record: I've called it worse.) + I thought I better get learnin' how to cook if it wasn't a good idea to eat out anymore and eat all the things I was used to eating.

I wanted to eat after all + when first realizing I had celiac disease -- you get the sense that you can't eat anything. Like nothing. Like food is, in a sense, the devil. Evil. And pretty much not fun to eat anymore. But for me, I decided the stupid celiac disease wasn't an excuse to be unhappy + that I just had to get creative and find ways to make peace with it.


By 27, I had survived a good many things -- high school, college, grad school, teaching, school counseling -- without needing to learn to cook. I ate junk food on a regular basis as well as fast food + I got by on eating dinners my mom would make when I'd go home or some sort of food that required little a microwave. But that was all out the window now. I had to start fresh. 

I was introduced to a whole new world -- one where I had to be super conscious of everything I ate + knowledgable about how foods were processed in the world around me. A whole new world where I learned the true meaning of being healthy + making "good" choices. A new world where...I actually wanted to learn how to cook + bake new things...and make eating fun again. 

So How Did I Learn To Cook?
I learned a few recipes from my mom  -- mostly things to bake because, growing up, she was always more of a baker than a cook. 

The rest? I learned through watching The Food Network + cooking videos online. I essentially taught myself + learned by watching and replicating what I saw others doing on T.V. I'm also consider myself to be really resourceful + I have always be choosey when picking out recipes. 

The rule of thumb? 
I won't even attempt a recipe I find online or I watch on T.V. unless it comes with good reviews (meaning like 300 people said it was 5 out of 5 stars). I figure - why waste your time on a recipe that 3 out of 5 people already commented and said they didn't like? ;) You know what I'm sayin'?

Getting To Today's Recipe...
One of the first things I learned to cook (via "The Neely's" on Food Network) was "Pat's Famous Beef and Pork and Chili".

If you're curious - you can find the recipe here along with the video that I learned from.

This recipe, now with a few little "swaps" to make it Gluten Free + "Katie" friendly, has become one of my all-time favorites! I sure hope you give this one a try! It's a crowd pleaser for sure + provides lots of leftovers for those of you with jam packed weeks (which in our house lately, is every week!).


To Make Yourself Some Gluten Free Chili -- First start by getting your prep outta the way!

Things You Need To Prep:
(1) The Bacon. It needs to be cut in 1/2 inch pieces like so:

(2) The Veggies. Cut your 2 medium onions + 2 bell peppers (I tend to use red + yellow) into the same size. Place them into a bowl + set aside.

(3) The Beans. Drain 1 can of black beans + 1 of kidney in a strainer. Set aside.

(4) The Spices. Combine all of your spices (chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder + dried oregano) + 1 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

** You can always add more salt later if you feel it needs more.

(5) Open Cans. Open your TWO, 24 oz. cans of tomatoes - 1 crushed + 1 diced. That way they are ready to go when you need them!

(5) The Beer (or Beef Broth/Stock if you prefer. I have tried the recipe with both and it's great either way. You can even just add some water). Measure out 1 cup + set aside.


Time To Get Cookin'...
Heat a large dutch oven to medium-high heat. Toss in your already cut bacon. Cook completely.

Now throw in your vegetables + spices that you have already set aside.

Cook until tender and the whole kitchen smells aromatic + amazing! :)

Now it's time to toss in your 2 lbs. of ground meat. The recipe calls for 1 pound of ground beef + 1 pound of ground pork. I don't prefer to use pork though, so I used 2 lbs. of ground beef. I've also tried this recipe with 1 pound of ground turkey + 1 pound of ground beef (for a healthier version) and it turned out great!

Grab your beans + tomatoes (still in their cans) and toss it in the pot. Stir until combined.

Add your 1 cup of beer, chicken broth, or stock. Mix until combined.

VOILA! It's that simple! All you do now is bring the contents inside to a boil + then turn it down to low. It will cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

When you uncover it -- it will look soupy. THAT IS OK! Just stir + you're ready to go!

Top with your favorite toppings! I added my favorite cheese + Gluten Free chips!). You could also add GF sour cream or GF corn chips -- or top over a baked potato like so.

Serve + Enjoy! :)

Happy Fall, My Dear GF Friends + Happy Chili Eating! 
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  1. I must admit, the pictures of the bacon are my favorite ones! haha! It all looks so delicious. I'll be making this soon. :)


  2. this chili looks so delicious.. my mom and i made your gluten free pizza last night and it was heavenly! i will share the final result on my blog sometime soon and send some people your way! they need to know about all of this goodness :)

    happy tuesday!


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