I'm riding a blessed Prednisone high these days, but the bittersweet truth is that I know my bliss is coming to an end, and soon. I go on 12 day rounds of Prednisone for my Lupus flare ups, and then slowllllly taper off, back to my "new normal", which is pretty crappy if you ask me. Anyways, despite the wretched side effects (they don't call this drug the "scare-oid" for nuttin'), Prednisone gives one lots and lots of energy, so I've been like a whirling Tazmanian Devil around the house the past couple of days. This energy is so precious to me, and I know it's going away soon, so I don't want to waste ONE. SINGLE. COTTON. PICKIN'. MINUTE of it! St. Patrick's Day Parade costume: DONE. House cleaning: DONE. Columns and Blog up to date: DONE. Dog washed and brushed and walked: DONE. Dinner in the crock pot: DONE. And speaking of crock pots........
I have a bone to pick with one of my oldest friends, a guy named Marty. He's single and happily so. Movie-star handsome. A super busy Titan of his industry, traveling non-stop for his high-tech career. Marty was in our wedding, and he's been a BFF for over 30 years now. But Marty just can't help but totally freak out whenever I even whisper the word "crock pot". He thinks they're old school and tacky--like they should have been left in the 70's, along with The Brady Bunch, for good. Poor poor misinformed boy--he surely does not know what he's been missing--do I hear a "hollah", ladies? I'm thinking that Marty needs to stop by La Casita De Willard next time he's in upstate New York, where I can proceed to rock his world with some fabulous meat-free stews (he's vegetarian) and maybe some chili. Like the chili I'm sharing with you all today--Steak Chili. Oh, wait--I said "steak"--that won't work for Marty, but if you eat meat, you're going to LOVE this recipe--super super simple (seriously, a chimpanzee could totally put this together), and the meat cooks beautifully.
I usually serve chili with some form of cornbread, and if I'm busy, like yesterday, I just use the shortcut: Jiffy Cornbread mix:
But I always jazz it up a little, adding maybe a half cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Last night, I made "Johnny Cake", and garnished the top with freshly chopped parsley. To serve it, I just cut it into squares, and top with a little butter or honey, if I'm in da mood:
For the Steak Chili, I use relatively inexpensive boneless round steak--about 2 pounds. In my book, this is where the slow cooker is worth it's weight in gold; you can use cheaper cuts of meat, but because you're cooking it over such a long period at low temperatures, the meat just cooks fabulously:
After cutting up the steak into about 3/4 inch cubes, add it, and everything else, to your crock pot:
Turn the temperature to "low" and cook for about 8-10 hours. This chili doesn't even need condiments, but I "dolloped" mine with some plain yogurt (of course, Miss Lollie, you can use sour cream, too!). And suppah is served!:
Here's the recipe:
CROCK POT STEAK CHILI
2 lbs. boneless round steak, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 package dry french onion soup mix (like Lipton's)
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 small can chopped green chilis
1-2 tblsp. chili powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp. cumin
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on "low" for 8-10 hours.
TOP 3 THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR TODAY:
1. I'm grateful that Big Daddy and I are heading all the way to Utica tonite, JUST for Japanese food! Sushi makes my world go 'round.
2. I'm grateful for my 3 mile walk tthis morning with Wee Willie--pain free!
3. I'm grateful that the Express newspaper ladies and I are heading to the "world famous" Buffalo Head restaurant for lunch tomorrow--funky and fabulous, just like them!