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Well, the ‘cook two weeks worth of food in two days’ was (perhaps predictably) a huge chore. Things that often get used only once got used two plus times- like stockpots. We must have washed each of our large soup pots two or three times apiece. The kitchen is still recovering. Who knows what it would have looked like if K hadn’t been sick and had to call in for both her Saturday & Sunday shifts! Don’t worry, she rested too, but she also helped out in the kitchen. I made the classic-for-me mistake of leaving everything to the end that had to be baked. There’s not really a way to hurry along roasting eggplant at 475 for 30 minutes so you can quickly pop in dinner rolls to bake at 375 for twenty minutes. The success so far was the chili cheese sweet potato fries. It started on Saturday evening like this:




Actually, it started on Saturday an hour or so before this shot with a french fry cutter that didn’t work. As in, it didn’t even cut through the first potato… after I’d quartered it. I have a little sympathy, I hate to cut sweet potatoes myself, that’s why I purchased a gadget for the job. Said gadget will be returned to the high-dollar store it was purchased from, but I will probably interview other applicants in the future for the position.

So, the wife and I cut fries from sweet potatoes for a couple hours. I may have purchased more than twice the number of potatoes we needed, but uh… at least we have extra in the freezer for the next time we do this.

I haven’t really had chili cheese fries much in my time- I’ve never been a ground meat eater and apparently everyone but my family makes chili full of meat. Still, I had this idea that I wanted a small serving of chili that packed big flavor, so I took the principle of roasting peppers from my favorite bean soup recipe and wound up with this-

Three Pepper Chili

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 jalapenos, minced- optional
  • 2 onions, diced
  • couple tablespoons of oil
  • 2 cups pinto beans
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Chili powder
  1. 1. Cook pintos in 4 cups of water with cumin, salt, pepper, whatever you like to cook your beans in a covered pot until soft. Leaving them on low for two or three hours won’t hurt- check and stir occasionally, add water as needed.
  2. Split poblano peppers in half, broil for 15 minutes, skin side up. Remove from oven and put in a covered bowl for another 10 minutes to loosen the skin. Peel off charred skin and discard any skin, pith, and seeds. Dice.
  3. Saute onions and jalapenos in stock pot on medium until soft. Add bell and poblano peppers with chili powder to pot. I like to start with a couple tablespoons of chili powder- it’s not really spicy, just flavorful and complex.
  4. Add cooked pintos, tomatoes, and enough water to simmer in. It’s done when you say it’s done.

For me, this isn’t the sort of chili I would sit and have a bowl of. When I put dinner together tonight, we each had somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of a cup on our fries and it was plenty. This recipe gave me exactly what I was hoping for for 14 servings.

Dinner for two:


What do you think- worth the effort?