My Chili Attempt

Perhaps some of you remember my Oven Saga where I survived without an oven for 4 months and only one stovetop burner for 6 years. The culinary arts are not my forte, and I blame the ineptitude on my childhood. When I was growing up, we had a garden, but everything else came out of a box or can. I never learned to cook.

But I try.

To fill some of my new free time due to my writing break,  I decided to make chili. How hard can chili be?

You might also remember my post about how I learn by Failure. This approach to life I also attribute to my childhood and my dad’s tendency to jump into projects high on enthusiasm and low on planning. That’s me. So here goes:

First I defrost the lamb burger (acquired from a local farm). Add it to the skillet with some chopped onion and fresh garlic, and since the only pepper I have is an orange bell pepper, in goes the orange bell pepper. Good so far.

Everything is cooking nicely, so it’s time to add the tomatoes and tomato paste, but I don’t have any. Uh oh. It’s already time to improvise. I rummage around in the cupboard and… aha! I have some canned tomato bisque soup! So in goes the tomato soup. It’s a little thin, but I can doctor that up. Just you watch.

Add the kidney beans. Check.

Now, I sent my husband to the store last week for chili powder, and he brought home two little jars of red stuff. “Chili Powder” the jar says. I scrounge in the cabinet, grab the jar of red stuff, and a jar of coriander seasoning. No cumin, oh well. I add coriander and open the jar of the red stuff, scoop some into the skillet and taste test.

Hmmm. Doesn’t taste very chili-ish. So I add some more. Tastes sort of odd, not bad, just… different. Hmmm.

To counter the lack of chili taste, I add garlic powder and more coriander. Still not right. Add more chili powder. Then I notice the label – Red Curry Powder. He got two jars of red stuff, but only one was chili powder! Now, what to do? The answer is obvious. Dump in a huge helping of chili powder and garlic powder to counteract the red curry powder.

All the powder is starting to thicken up the tomato bisque soup nicely. I told you I could doctor it up!

Add a little garlic bread (made with bagels because I’m out of bread) and the husband said it was good!

ALL TRUE!

134 thoughts on “My Chili Attempt

  1. Hi Diana, I am so glad you made it through. It was tempting and made me hungry! I love cooking, the kitchen is my best place in the home. Any menu, bring it on! haha! Well have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how kitchens turn into great gathering places in so many homes. I try to enjoy cooking, but I’m not there yet. Ha ha. I’m a great house guest though. I’ll eat anything, love it, and do all the dishes! Have a great week too, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Improvisation…the mark of the best cooks. So proud of you, D. It sounds wonderful. And for the record, I never make chili the same way twice. Just meat, beans, seasonings, veg and spices, in any combination. For tomato sauce, I use anything tomato based that I have on hand…so, Bravo to you !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I have to admit that chili is one of the harder meals to mess up. It’s good even with red curry powder! Ha ha. I’m far from being a great cook, but very few meals actually end up in the trash – so at least I’ve passed that bar. Thanks for the visit and have a great week. 🙂

      Like

  3. Haha! As long as the end result got a thumbs up, that’s the main thing. It certainly looks good. My stomach has been a wreck for so long (ulcers) that I make a lot of “Sort of” dishes — because with the lack of spices and whatever else it never tastes quite right. So I make “sort of” chili.
    Plus, I figure that if the fire dept didn’t show up, i must have done something right. Mega hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This wasn’t spicy, Teagan. And definitely qualified as sort-of cooking. Ha ha. Sorry to hear about the ulcers. My husband used to suffer from those too. Not fun. Pancakes are pretty easy on the stomach 🙂 Huge hugs!

      Like

  4. Haha! 😂 I’m an improviser in the kitchen, too. And could easily see myself in this post. Hmm… Not quite right… I’ll fix that… Don’t have that, I’ll use this… It looks fantastic. Glad it turned out well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dgkaye says:

    Lol you’re so funny. I remember when you had no oven. And I had to laugh here at the curry powder mixup. But you did fantastic, and sometimes, it’s our improv recipes that taste delish. Only thing, when we go to make it again, if you’re like me. I can never replicate it exactly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Widdershins says:

    That’s how cooking works! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is awesome Diana, well done. You are getting comfortable in the kitchen. I love the way you improvised 🙂 and of course I was chuckling at your story, I had to, because you are awesome and I knew you would make a plan.
    Hey, if hubby said it was good, it was good! They are the best critics 🙂

    Mine usually likes my improvised concoctions so much he requests them again, and then I have no idea what the heck I put where or when or what quantity….so I hope you remember yours ….come to think of it, mine just loves to eat full stop, so it really doesn’t matter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I couldn’t help chuckling at times, nodding at others. But soup for tomato paste? I’ll remember than one next time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I knew I was heading into strange territory at that decision, Jacqui. But it was that or… scrap the whole thing and make stirfry, and I was in the mood for chili! Ha ha. Glad you got a chuckle out of my cooking adventure. Have a wonderful tasteful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovey says:

    This has been the most relatable post of the day for me. Cooking is not my forte as well but I manage to survive. I can make do anything and everything with garlic, spices, cinnamon and black pepper. I am a foodie but I can’t even play dough. I eat anything and everything and my taste buds don’t even mind. I am so glad it turned out well for you. I knew it from the beginning, you will do it. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Lovey, and for the great comment. I also enjoy good food and will eat anything. I’ve had a few disasters, but for the most part get by. Glad I made you smile. Have a wonderful weekend. ❤

      Like

    • This was GREAT! I had a similar chili experience and all that was in the pantry for “thickening” was canned pumpkin (don’t ask – I thought I was going to make pies and then life happened).

      It worked well, btw – also for spaghetti sauce when you’re out of T-paste (as long as you never run out of garlic – I buy huge containers of the stuff, diced and jarred with olive oil – always gets room in my ‘fridge.) I have often used potato flakes to thicken soup – discovered long ago when I lived with a roomie who adored fake mashed potatoes (go figure) – so I keep a box emptied into a glass container now, because I know myself well and I need to see when I need to add it to my list! In a pinch you can make a mean potato soup with one remaining potato, garlic and onion flakes!

      My “box and can” pantry has been a lifesaver many times. But for that I might have starved to death, since I have no hubbie to send to the store. I’ve been told that I’m a pretty good cook, but my problem is planning, getting to the store, and stocking, so I’ve learned to be rather creative with stuff that doesn’t go bad.

      I say that cooking up substitutions is great for brain-health (pun intended) — and I’m sticking to that story!
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ali Isaac says:

    Cooking is a culinary adventure! You created a new dish, well done! I will have to try that recipe. 😊 Whoever follows a recipe exactly anyway? I never do, and it always ends up delicious… use what you got, not what you have to go get. Although tomatoes and chilli are cupboard staples, aren’t they??? Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You sound like you’re a natural cook, Ali. Anyone who can look in a cupboard of random ingredients, ignore recipes, and make a delicious meal is amazing to me. I just stare, my mind blank. I can mess up any recipe. Ha ha. But I do get a laugh out of some of my attempts! Have a great weekend and happy writing. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nurse Kelly says:

    This is such an entertaining post with just the right ‘blend of ingredients’ to make me smile! You definitely got that right! ☺️
    I make a tai curry that my husband loves so much he even eats it for breakfast. We cook with curry a lot, so I probably would have loved the chili pre-doctored! In any case, your creation sounds delicious. No surprise you demonstrate the same artistry in the kitchen as you do with your writing. Hope you have a great weekend, Diana! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Kelly. I actually love curry, too. All types as long as they’re not too hot. I’m a big planner at writing – the rest of my life, not so much. Ha ha. I hope you’re well and enjoying walks outside. Peace, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad your chili worked out well. My son is a good cook having worked in restaurant kitchens while attending school. My daughter is a fast cook. She opens bags and cans, dumps the canned whatever in a skillet and heats it. My son said that’s heating not cooking. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brilliant Diana. Glad it worked out. It sounds like Sally, Debby and you could all join my sister, Catherine, the queen of impromptu culinary experimentation, in the kitchen. Me, I am a great planner and send my Mother to the shops with a list of requirements every Friday in advance of my weekend baking sprees.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. PRICELESS! 😉👍👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Val Boyko says:

    I’m seriously impressed Diana 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This just cracks me up Diana! Whenever I send my husband to the store for a specific ingredient he rarely comes home with the correct item. It sounds like you pulled it off the rescue great! p.s. I LOVE your new springtime look on the blog! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  17. To my admittedly uncultivated taste buds, chili is one of those dishes that works no matter what/how much you add to it. I would happily sample your chili, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It wasn’t too bad, Sean. I agree that it’s kind of hard to mess up chili. I tried my best. I make a great quiche and eggplant parmesan. That’s what I serve to guests, over and over and over again! Ha ha. Thanks for reading my culinary adventure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow, I didn’t think that was going to work out. You never know until you try, I always say. Once my husband mixed up cinnamon and cumin so we had sweet potato pie with cumin at Thanksgiving. It was definitely different, but he and my brother and I ate it all up, so I’d call that a success. We also all agreed that cinnamon might be a better choice next time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha ha. See it does happen, Sheri. Sweet potato pie with cumin doesn’t sound so bad. Hmm. I have some funny cooking adventures but they usually don’t end up in the trash. Bland and dry is more likely to occur than awful. Nothing that gravy can’t fix. Lol. Thanks for sharing your husband’s mess up. Now I feel better 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This made me laugh. I make chili often… and I usually do something a little different each time. The last time, though, it was so delicious, I had to write down every detail of what I’d done!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A.S. Akkalon says:

    Love it! It sounds very much like some of my cooking efforts, except mine tend to end with a much more lukewarm reception from my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband knows that if he complains then he’ll have to do the cooking. He used to complain about my grocery shopping ability, so now he does all the shopping. Of course he uses the same strategy with me, which is why I clean the bathrooms 🙂 Somehow it all works! Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Well done, my blogger friend. You are hereby expelled from the secret society of undomestic divas. (What? You didn’t even know you had joined?)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. bpsenapati says:

    Haha! Great fun after reading it. Keep cooking . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Me says:

    Ah! At any cost, food is food! As cheesy as it sounds, I think about nice food and my day goes well!! Funny, eh? Well, I was having a not-so-good day and as I read through this I got involved with the process and your words. Basically I ain’t a good cook but I love tossing things into a pot and tasting it. 😂IDK but I loved this post!! 😃😃 Thxx

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sounds like an explosive mix. I am glad it worked out in the end. Have you thought of applying for Masterchef?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t take the pressure, Brigid. I’ll stick with my own kitchen and a taste-tester who is used to my cooking. Ha ha. It wasn’t bad at all, but I could never recreate it (and probably shouldn’t). Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Carrie Rubin says:

    Hehe, too funny. I’m so impressed it turned out okay in the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Reminds me at my very first chili cooking attempts. Too funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. balroop2013 says:

    That’s a nice change! I am not a good cook but I manage…American dishes are quite challenging to me but I love to improvise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I find American cooking very uninspiring, Balroop – but it could just be me! I love international cuisine. Partly because someone else is cooking, lol, but I also love the combinations of ingredients and unusual flavors. It’s like an adventure and I want to try everything. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Bernadette says:

    You are too funny. Oh well necessity is the mother of invention.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. davidprosser says:

    I’m a bit like that so maybe we’ll eat out eh Diana?
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  30. True culinary arts are about improvisation – so I think you have it down pat. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a lovely comment, Russell, but I think it requires certain brain connections that I don’t have. I have friends who can look in my cupboard and whip up a feast from random ingredients. I look in there and draw a complete blank! Ha ha. Good thing I’m daring. Have a great weekend and Happy Writing 😀

      Like

  31. Dan Antion says:

    It looks pretty good and adding garlic bread can only improve it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. staceywilk says:

    Brava!! I’m not much of a cook either and I try, if for no other reason than the creatures in my home insist on eating. What’s with that? I would’ve tossed the entire thing and ordered pizza. Because if I had tried to doctor it up, like you did, the sensitive taste buds of those I live with would’ve exploded complete with crumbling faces and scrunched up noses and then I would’ve never made chili again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. Kids are a whole different story. Those highly sensitive taste buds have to be appeased, and they have long memories when something doesn’t appeal. My daughter hated chicken for 30 years after one “unfortunate” meal. Ha ha. Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun weekend with the creatures! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  33. noelleg44 says:

    I loved this – but your husband must like really seasoned HOT food! I have to keep my chili at only one alarm. And Hubs always makes the chili!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This chili powder wasn’t hot, Noelle. Does that make sense? I didn’t add chili pepper, just chili powder. Of course, I have no idea what I’m talking about. Ha ha. If it had been hot, we would have ended up with… pizza! Thanks for stopping by to read. Have a great weekend!!

      Like

  34. Ha ha! I’m no cook either, so I can relate. I can scrounge up enough so that we don’t starve. I thought your chili sounded really good 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Red curry chili! I think I drowned out all the red curry, but it actually came out tasty, so who knows. It might have made it better! Ha ha. For the most part my food is edible, but that’s about as exciting as it gets. 🙂 Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!

      Like

  35. Joanne Sisco says:

    OMG! You are too funny. You cook like my husband 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I held my breath at the amount of chili powder you added, but it all worked! I cheat by adding a package of Chili Mix and a large can of Brooks Chili Hot Beans (mild?) to my other ingredients because I never get the seasoning right myself. This trick came from my mom who cooked every meal, but I didn’t learn much from her, either. Then again, it isn’t nearly as much fun as you had making yours. It sounds like you got the pat on the back. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband isn’t very picky. He knows if he complains he might end up doing the cooking! Ha ha. I would cheat, Mary, but that takes planning too! I’m terrible at planning. This time, it worked out, but sometimes… not so much. Thanks for adding to the fun. Happy Writing, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Way to improvise! I would have have tossed the meal aside until I got to the store (meaning I’d order a pizza). Good job!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We live a long way from the store, Dorinda, so improvisation is a must – or preplanning (and that’s apparently not my style). Lol. My husband occasionally has opted for pizza, and on those occasions, I’m usually happy to have pizza too! Have a great weekend 😀

      Like

  38. Kudos on making the best of things! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Frank says:

    My chili is far less imaginative. Also, since my wife doesn’t like spicy food, I make my chili without. We call it chili sans chili.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ocean Bream says:

    LOL! This sounds like how I cook – and I LIKE to do it 😀 So it seems like your skill is improvisation. Maybe there is a secret chef in you that comes out when the need is dire – like when you use curry powder and have no tinned tomatoes 🙂 The meal looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I usually add the chili powder, plus any other spices i.e. cumin and coriander, when cooking the onion and (fresh or dried) garlic, but before adding any liquids. You might want to try that next time. Pleased it worked out though 🙂

    I’ve lived without an oven at our place in Spain for years. One of the burners went so we put it on the street for someone to recycle, and since then we’ve just used a two-ring burner. It’s really all you need in Spain as the cuisine isn’t oven based.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did pretty well without the oven, but my lack of culinary creativity showed up after a while. If I was a better cook we probably could have made do for a long time. Thanks for the tip on the spices. I’ll remember that!

      Like

  42. Annika Perry says:

    The best way to cook…improvisation!! 😀 It looks delicious and sounds like a lot of fun to make. I have a vegetarian recipe which I amend everytime I make a chili. Have a lovely weekend, Diana❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Do you use TVP mince or just beans Annika?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Annika Perry says:

        Hi. I actually use beans, and a lot of them! The recipe is from the Gwyneth Paltrow book and the beans are puy lentils, black beans and kidney beans. The method seems to overcook the beans though so I’ve cut down on that as well as adapting according to ingredients in the house! Do you find it easy to cook with TVP?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I tend to use pinto beans, as they have rapid turnover in Spain unlike red beans, just basic 20 mins or so in a pressure cooker, then add to onions and spices in a pan to do the chilli bit. Yeah, TVP is pretty easy. Chunks for things like goulash or a beef-style casserole, mince for bolognaise sauce, shepherd’s pie, chilli. Add water, let it hydrate, drain and add to recipe. I don’t use it very often though, been months since we’ve eaten it. I’m into salads at the moment. TVP makes a change once in a while, better than Quorn though, which I seem to be slightly allergic to, too high in protein.

          Liked by 2 people

    • I’m always amazed by people who seem to know how to shop and can just look in the cupboard, whip out ingredients, and prepare a feast. To me, it’s like a foreign language, Annika. I stumble and stutter through it and eventually end up where I need to go, generally. Ha ha. Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Heartafire says:

    A women after my own heart. My philosophy is keep adding till all the options are exhausted. The key is garlic! Bravo !

    Liked by 1 person

  44. LOL! Magical! Improvise, improvise and voila! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  45. LOL! Yep, that’s called cooking by the seat of your pants (not really, but it sounds good 🙂 ) Reminds me (sort of) of the difference between my dad’s chili and my hubby’s chili (my hubs is the cook at our house). While growing up, my dad’s chili was an all-day affair starting with onions and celery and ending with a 2-3 (or more) hr simmer. Consequently, we never had chili for lunch, always for supper. Now, my hubby’s chili takes a half hour, tops. One time when my folks came to visit, we planned chili for lunch. Mind you, my folks didn’t have 2-3+ hrs to wait for lunch. Imagine their surprise when lunch was ready in a half hour, and it tasted great 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. Celery in Chili?? That’s creative. I also lack cooking imagination, Julie. It just doesn’t make the necessary connections in my brain. You’re lucky to have a cook in the family! We are bereft over here, but at least my husband doesn’t know any better. 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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