Monthly Archives: February 2012

kellers cook: chili

This is our first post in a new series I just invented: Kellers Cook! Keep reading for the recipe we meant to make AND the one Jon accidentally discovered.

Our small group recently decided to try something new: gathering for a meal. We love our small group, and we love meals, and I wanted something quick, easy, and hearty. Chili was a perfect option.

flickr: little blue hen

The truth is that I sometimes have a bit of an identity crisis in the kitchen. I don’t always feel confident, and while I have mastered tacos, fajitas, stir fry, and spaghetti sauce, I second-guess myself frequently.

Thankfully, that’s why my mom is on speed dial. I am completely serious. When in doubt, I always call Mom and she always knows.

Anticipating a chili crisis, I preempted myself and used mama’s recipe. (And it only required 1 phone call!)

The chili was a hit! And, as it turns out, also gluten free! At the request of our small group, here’s Mom’s recipe, the way I made it, which doubles easily:

Gluten-Free Chili

1lb lean ground beef (90/10)

2 yellow onions, chopped

2 – 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes (or stewed tomatoes), undrained

2 – 15oz cans spicy chili beans, undrained

1 – 4oz can mushrooms, drained and chopped

2 tablespoons GF chili powder (no maltodextrin)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Brown the meat and onions together; drain grease. Add the rest and stir to combine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 45 minutes (longer = better).

Top with shredded cheddar, green onions, and sour cream. Makes 6 servings.

I doubled the recipe, and still threw it together in about 15 minutes! (Secret: chop the onions the night before.)

One couple brought gluten-free cornbread, another brought gluten-free shortbread cookies and ice cream. We crowded around the card table in our folding chairs and camping chairs. Also (because we like to keep it real around here), we had a plethora of drink options: tap water, refrigerated water, tap water with ice, refrigerated water with ice, and orange juice. Because, as Dave pointed out, what goes best with chili? ORANGE JUICE. Perfect.

Bonus Recipe: Jon discovered that if you have a leftover serving of chili and you add 1/4 cup sour cream and a 1/2 cup+ shredded pepper jack/cheddar, you get a really tasty chili con queso dip. Eat with Tostitos All-Natural Hint of Jalapeno or Hint of Pepper Jack tortilla chips. The Pepper Jack ones taste like Doritos, but they don’t have any MSG.* These are the only chips we buy, and they never last long.

By the way, future Kellers Cook posts will have pictures of our creations, but I didn’t know I was going to put this on the blog when I made it. Just the borrowed photo for now. Next time we make it, I’ll take photos. Including a photo of our gorgeous dining room table, which is finally here! Fabulous!

*This statement, while still true, is mostly to make my husband (who’s on the road!) smile.


the kellers’ table

Community matters to us. As if we had to say it again.

It really does. The times we’ve experienced true community are almost always gathered around a table, eating a meal together.

There’s something holy about the table. About the eating. About the commonplace being redeemed and the everyday being used to sanctify.

You may also remember that we currently eat at a card table borrowed from friends. We’re grateful for it, and grateful to have a surface to dump all our mail and bills and taxes and such, but we haven’t been able to have as many meals with friends as we would like, for lack of tabletop space seating. Getting a dining room table just hasn’t been a top priority.

And then Valentine’s Day rolled around.

Let’s just do cards this year, I said. Okay, let’s do one small gift, I said. Actually, I didn’t order it in time, I said. Just cards, then.

Jon led me by the hand into Crate & Barrel. My eyes, full of confusion. His, twinkling with surprise and excitement. He pulled out the folded papers, the business card stapled to the top. I thought it was a coffee table (we need one of those, eventually, too).

Then, finally, incredulously: “You bought me a dining room table?”

It was too much to take in.

I spread my hands out over the mango wood, a beautiful darkened honey color, tracing the grain, as Jon explained that this table will be the place we build our community. It will be the place we raise our family. He didn’t say it, but I heard it: this table will be home.

Holy. Community. Home. My tears welled.

Our table is an investment, made possible by friends and loved ones who gave so generously at our wedding. Our table will make this apartment feel like home, hopefully to those who eat a meal around it.

The table arrives in 10 days. We can’t wait to invite you over.