Thursday, October 31, 2013

white bean chicken chili

It's still light outside at 6pm, but not for long.  The trick-or-treaters are on their way.  Football is in full swing and the first frost has already arrived.  Let's tackle the darkness together.

I'm sharing with you my easiest chili recipe.  It's delicious and it reheats well for Monday night games.

There's a technique buried in this white bean chicken chili-- making a roux-- but it's so simple, you won't even notice.  In less than 20 minutes, a pot full of stock thickens up to a hearty, belly-warming chili.  When I've served three different kinds of chili at a party, this is the first pot to empty and the most asked-for recipe. And it's so quick to make, I barely had time to take any pictures of it for you before we were ready to dig in. 

The only work involved in this recipe is chopping the onion, and you could even buy the pre-chopped stuff in the produce section to make things even easier.  I make use of a rotisserie chicken from the deli department, canned beans, and frozen corn.  This is a week night after all!  Keep it simple. 

I'm paying it forward, because I learned this recipe from my friend Kelly.  (Thanks, Kel!)  If I'm remembering right, it was survival food for her during winter exam time in law school.  It worked for her, so I'm betting it will work for you.  I've added a few twists of my own.  The recipe follows.

Monday, October 7, 2013

maple brown butter snickerdoodles

I'm from Vermont.  I do what I want. 

Friends, I've just returned from the most perfect week of fall in a land of cozy flannel, smoked cheeses, craft beers, and maple sugar.  Vermonters do what they want, and it's mostly delicious.  I borrowed that slogan from a bumper sticker we saw driving around the back roads (which were, by the way, gilded and ablaze with fall foliage colors).  I couldn't exaggerate it if I wanted to.

Don't adjust your settings.  These are all my original amateur photos and completely unedited and unretouched.  (Copyrighted and all rights reserved, btw.)  And yes, that's a hot air balloon in that first photo taken at our bed and breakfast near Woodstock, Vermont.  Central Vermont has a seemingly endless tangle of rural back roads, pilgrimy churches, and darling dairy farms that are all beautiful from all angles. 

Vermont is also known for sugar maples, of course, and rich maple syrup.  They sell pure maple sugar made from the same sap, which (I hope) is sold back home as well.  

If you can find it, please buy it, and make these cookies.  If you can't, sub in some good quality maple syrup and make them anyway.   I've included instructions for a successful swap-out in this recipe. 

Maple brown butter snickerdoodles are a quintessential fall and holiday cookie with a flavor that is so much more interesting than a typical white flour-white sugar cookie. 

I'm excited about this cookie.  It's everything I wanted it to be.  The recipe follows.