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tomatoes on the vine

i like tomatoes to taste like tomatoes.  wintertime tomatoes are always risky.  will they taste like summer?  no.  will they taste like cardboard?  i sure hope not.  these at least smell like tomatoes.  they were the best i could find, so they’ll really just have to do.  they’ll be making their way into tomato, mozzarella and basil paninis.

in addition to these little beauties, i have six pounds of plum tomatoes that tomorrow will magically transform into a lovely pappa pomodoro.  we’ll be celebrating nugget’s birthday and i have so much to do.  at least i’ve managed to bake the cupcakes and make the “baby party mix,” which nugget declared most acceptable.

baby party mix

williams-sonoma 6-hour chili 
crock pot chili
serves 6-8

ingredients

2 lb. organic ground beef
3 organic garlic cloves, minced
1 organic yellow onion, diced
1 can (28 oz.) organic crushed tomatoes with juices
2 cans (15 oz.) organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2T organic tomato paste
4 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano or 2 large sprigs fresh
1 t ground cumin
3 t cornmeal
1 cup organic beef or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
organic sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

directions

in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the beef, about 10 minutes. using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a slow cooker.

in a small bowl, combine spices, salt, pepper and cornmeal.  add the garlic, onion, tomatoes with juices, beans, tomato paste, cornmeal-spice blend and stock to the slow cooker and stir to blend.

cover and cook for 6 hours.  ladle the chili into warmed bowls and garnish with sour cream, cheese and/or cilantro.

adapted from williams-sonoma’s 6-hour chili

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