Like many other newlywed wives, I didn’t know how to cook at the beginning of my marriage. At all.
First of all, I was like, a baby. 22 to be exact. Yep.
I know some people know how to cook waaaay before they are adults. They’re in the kitchen, figuring things out and making themselves breakfast before heading off to high school. That was not me.
And I’ve never really been a big meal person. I’m more of a apps and snacks person. I had to learn to make us a full, complete meal or we would both starve–or not last through the first year of marriage, if you know what I mean.
I always got home hours before Sean, since I had teacher hours (6am- 3ish). He would walk through the door after an hour-long commute from the city, starving, and ask me about dinner.
“Oh, I’ve been home for hours. I already ate.”
Ah the naive early years of marriage. When you only think about yourself.
So eventually it became obvious that I had to learn to cook for us.
And there was a LOT of trial and error in my building of a cooking repetoire.
I made gumbo from a dried mix–not exactly authentic. I actually remember clumps of unmixed soup base on the bottom of the pan.
All of my chicken breasts were burned on the outside and still frozen on the inside. It took me a long time to learn how to cook chicken on a skillet.
I made quesadillas with cream of chicken soup as filling.
Yeah, I don’t know what that was about, either. I will say that it was a recipe, there’s no way I would have been that “creative” on my own.
All this is to say that I had very few culinary successes in my younger years as wife. My husband kept encouraging me, mostly because he didn’t want to starve, but still– I had to love him for choking down all those terrible meals.
One time he walked in the door and I greeted him with, “I made something with beef, and it actually tastes good!” He just started laughing, like hi to you too!
But this chili? This was one of the very first dinners I ever made in our first condo, and it was a total hit.
To this day, it’s Sean’s favorite dinner. He lights up every time I make it. And that’s like, weekly.
It should go without saying, but it’s super easy, really healthy, and the leftovers just get better and better. Give it a try this week, it’ll probably become one of your favorites too!
Indian Summer Turkey Chili
Adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe.
Ingredients: (adjust the chili powder and hot sauce for your preferred level of heat)
1 lb ground turkey breast2 tablespoons dark chili powder, 1 palm fulls
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, any brand, 1 palm full
1 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 palm full
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to extra-spicy
1 large onion, quartered
2 large peppers, any color combination, red, green, purple, yellow or orange, chopped
1/2 bottle beer (the alcohol cooks out), about 1 cup
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
2 cups frozen corn kernels or any other frozen veggie mix
*usually I chop up & add whatever fresh veggies I have in the fridge, adds more bulk and healthy ingredients to the chili
Chop the onion, reserving 1/4 of it for topping the chili. Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and chopped bell peppers and cook 10 minutes more. Add beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol. Add tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and bring to a bubble. It using corn kernels add them now. Let chili simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste. Remove from heat and serve.