In the weeks before Love Spanks 2015, you’ll meet a few of the authors and learn new recipes. Most of you will recognize Olivia Starke from last year, but we do have some new readers who may not. She loves paranormal, naughty sex scenes, and horses. Not at the same time. I hope.
My recipe contribution this year is one of my favorite things on the planet, my mom’s chili. She doesn’t make up her own chili powder, she uses a packet of chili mix, but she adds lots of easily found ingredients to the recipe to make it extra special. And her secret? Leftover brown beans.
Yes, when you grow up in the country and on a farm you eat a lot of ham and bean soup. I mean A LOT of ham and bean soup. It’s hearty enough to warm you up after a freezing cold morning of chasing loose chickens/cows for hours, and a big pot of it lasts for days. Then you get to make the chili off of it when you can’t handle one more day of beans 🙂
This recipe calls for ground beef, but you can substitute ground turkey for a healthier option or ground venison (deer for those of us less fancy) for the hunters out there. Whatever floats your boat. I’ve even left out the meat all together and was happy with the vegan outcome. I’ve also included the recipe for my mom’s simple brown beans at the end. It’s a tad time consuming but worth it.
Why do I write F/F? Because I believe everyone should be included in romantic stories, and I love a good sizzling romance between women as much as I do between a man and a woman. Really it’s that simple 🙂
Bio: Olivia Starke calls the Ozarks home. One of the most beautiful areas in the country, she loves hiking trails with her dogs, kayaking on the numerous waterways, and enjoying southern Missouri’s fresh air and sunshine.
She’s also ‘Mom’ to four dogs, a growing number of kitties that show up at her door, and four VERY spoiled horses that do little to earn their keep. Not that she’d ever hold that against them.
She’s a HUGE fangirl of Doctor Who and to a lesser extent Supernatural, and has a pretty interesting love triangle (or square?) going on in her head between the Doctor and the Winchesters. She is also sort of completely in love with BBC’s Sherlock.
Mom’s Super Awesome Can’t Be Beat On A Cold Day Chili
- 1 ½ lbs of ground beef
- 4 cups of cooked brown beans (ham bits and bean soup included, but not the ham bone if you used it)
- 1 29 oz can of tomato sauce
- ¾ packet of hot chili seasoning (mild/medium can be substituted. I’ve found 1 full packet is too strong for my taste, but you can use the whole packet if desired)
- 1 green pepper diced
- ½ small onion diced
- Garlic powder or several cloves fresh garlic crushed and chopped
Cook ground beef thoroughly with diced green pepper and onion, seasoning with a good sprinkling of garlic powder (no salt needed, your beans, tomato sauce, and the chili mix will have salt.)
Transfer with a slotted spoon to a big pot with beans. Add the can of tomato sauce, chili seasoning (I usually use McCormick brand) to the beans and meat. More or less seasoning can be used according to taste. Simmer on low heat about an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Once cooked you can add a dollop of sour cream and serve with saltines or over chili-flavored Fritos (my favorite!) And the magic of chili is that the next day it’s even better 🙂
This usually lasts my mom and me two days, and we’ll eat it for lunch and dinner both (but we’re not super big eaters). It’d probably last a family of four a couple of meals depending on your appetites/how much you love this yummy chili 🙂
Mom’s Ham & Bean Soup
- 1 lb (2 cups) of dried brown (pinto) beans (you can add a handful of white beans for a thicker soup, or 1 cup of each)
- Smoked ham trimmings (skin/fat) plus several good size ham meat chunks (you can substitute pork jowl or hocks if handy) If you have the ham bone that’s the best for flavoring.
- Salt To Taste
- ½ pod of jalapeno if you like spicy foods
Pick through the dried beans to make sure you don’t have any rocks or hard bits/bad looking beans (small rocks do happen time to time.) Rinse them several times in a strainer. Afterward soak them covered, overnight in water to soften them up—not totally necessary but makes cooking quicker, otherwise add another hour or two to cooking time. They’ll swell so make sure the bowl or pot is big enough. Soak them on the counter, not in the fridge.
Drain the water then dump them into a pot, add 6 cups of water and ham parts and pepper if desired. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer covered on low heat about 3-4 hours until beans are tender and soup is thick. Make sure to watch them, stirring occasionally, they have to cook slowly and can scorch easily if water boils out too quickly. If needed add more hot water if they get too dry. Also DO NOT add salt until beans are cooked! If you add it early they stay hard.
Best when served with cornbread and a bit of chopped sweet onion on top.
Cooking beans is an art form, so take your time with them. The finished product is well worth the extra patience. 🙂
I’d say this will serve a family of four depending on how many meals you make of it and how much you eat. You can of course double the recipe, especially if you’re making chili with the leftovers. Beans will freeze well, so if you have leftovers throw them in the freezer and pull them out when you have another craving.