Hmm! White Chili

ChiliWhite2

it is a rainy Memorial Day Weekend here in Manhattan, Kansas. So I thought that a White Chili would be a good dish to serve – fun & casual, flavorful & warming, but not too heavy. I hope that you are having a great weekend!

White Chili

This flavorful dish is what is traditionally referred to as a white chili (because no tomatoes are used in the base). This vegetarian version, though, is more of a light golden color.

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. crushed garlic

1 sweet yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)

2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

1 Anaheim pepper, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

5 sweet mini yellow peppers, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

1 jalapeño, minced (about 2 T.)

1 (15 oz) can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 c. frozen yellow corn, semi-thawed

1 t. ground cumin

1/2 t. white pepper

3 c. boiling water

2 “Not-Chick’n” bouillon cubes

4 oz. low-fat cream cheese

1 ripe avocado, diced (for garnish)

juice of 1 lemon

1 c. chopped ripe tomato (for garnish)

2  – 3 T. cilantro leaves, stemmed and chopped (for garnish)

cheddar cheese, shredded (for garnish, optional)

  1. Place olive oil in a large deep skillet or stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, and peppers. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  2. Stir in chick peas, beans, corn, cumin and white pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water. Add cream cheese to bouillon and stir until mostly dissolved. Stir bouillon mixture into pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook just below a simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Just before serving, toss together avocado, lemon juice tomato and cilantro leaves. Ladle chili into bowls. If desired, top with cheese. Garnish with avocado-tomato mixture.

Enjoy! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Rose

Memorial Day will soon be here. Appropriately, we -meaning my helper Benjamin, with me looking over his shoulder, giving instructions, and taking photos – planted an eponymously named rose today. Originally called Decoration Day, a day to honor Union soldiers fallen during the Civil War, in the 20th century Memorial Day became a holiday to honor all American soldiers killed in war. Often, however, people use the day to pay respects to any loved ones who have passed away.

Memorial Day Rose, a 2004 Weeks Rose introduction and AARS winner, is a hybrid tea rose with a strong damask rose fragrance. It’s just heavenly. When I was looking for a rose to bring home to plant, I sniffed every single variety at the garden center. While there were several others – Mr. Lincoln and Fragrant Cloud –  to which my nose gave equally high scores, I thought that Memorial Day would look best in the spot that I had picked out. And as I thought about it, I realized that this rose was an excellent selection for more than aesthetic reasons.

My father-in-law, a highly decorated war veteran, recently passed away. So, I think that as members of our family pass by this rose in the garden, the sweet fragrance of Memorial Day may occasion pleasant memories of time spent with Bob.

Memorial Day Rose

Benjamin planting Memorial Day Rose