Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weeknight Chili and Homemade Cornbread


Now that the holidays have said their final farewells  and winter has settled in all snug and comfy, it seems that school work is our constant but welcome companion.  This time of  year  hums along at a steadfast and reliable pace. Not many interruptions, activities, pushes and pulls on our time...just pure learning in its most relaxed form.

School is a welcome guest at this time of year, who encourages us to relentlessly push toward those end of the year goals that are waving to us from over the horizon.  

Having long uninterrupted days of school followed by engaging documentaries and movies in the evenings nicely parallel this seasonal stretch.  We're working our way through the British classic "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens.  It is a moody story filled with capricious characters working out their entanglements during the cold and fretting English winter.  

P. and I have had a few getaways recently in order to recharge our batteries and gain fresh perspectives on the commanding work at present.  High School subjects are a beast of a challenge to teach but simultaneously rewarding to tackle.   Seeing young minds form opinions and  struggle to express those ideas while the world of history, science, and literature expands on a deeper level before them is intensely rewarding as parents.

To stay motivated, P. and I try to plan getaways so we can recharge our batteries and regain perspectives as we juggle and meld the roles of teachers as well as parents and all of the stress that entails.  Teens need  'guiding' more than 'parenting' and when that gets tangled up, its time to take a break and regroup.

Brief getaways can having such an amazingly refreshing effect on our energy levels.  Two days at a time to abandon all worries, responsibilities, and schedules can be entirely exhilarating.  

To giggle with my husband at silly observations; to throw off the cloak of teacher and mother; to dine for hours with cocktails gingerly sipped are indulgences unqualified.

It's at this time of year that I often look for super quick and easy meals on week nights to follow our long days strapped to books.   For me, a bowl of steamy oatmeal sprinkled with fruit and nuts is a perfect dinner.  

My super quick  chili recipe is one of the quickest meals that I go to when we need something more than a humble bowl of oatmeal.  

My homemade cornbread recipe never fails me and it is entirely quick and delicious to pull together on those week nights when I want to be anywhere but in the kitchen for a long time.

In concluding these ramblings today, I should mention  the kids have noticed that Chester  always usurps the starring role here at "Snippets".  He is certainly not camera shy while our kitty, Polly, possesses a more timid and , oh so  sweet personality.  She is a wonderful indoor cat, always looking for a lap to snuggle in or for someone to wiggle her favorite ribbon around for her to pounce.   So, here she is...called 'Polly Wolly' by one, 'Poopy Baby' by another, and finally 'Pa-wee' by yours truly.  

Ugh, we are so utterly sappy around here.

Weeknight Chili

My quick and easy weeknight Chili recipe
Image for Weeknight Chili
  • Details

  • ServesTotal TimeAuthor
    4-630 minutesRileymadel
  • Tags Add tags to help organize recipes in your box. ( Edit Tags )

    • Chili
    • Soups
    • Quick meals
    • Dinner
  • Ingredients Edit )

    • 1 lb. lean ground beef
    • 2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce or 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained. Snippet's Notes: I use the roasted tomatoes.
    • 1 pkg. McCormick Seasoning Mix
    • 1 can kidney or pinto beans, undrained
    • Toppings: Shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, etc.
  • Instructions Edit )

    1. Brown meat in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
    2. Stir in seasoning mix, tomato sauce and beans. Bring to boil, cover. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with toppings.
  • Notes ·Add Notes

Super Easy Cornbread Recipe
see previous article with attached recipe here


  1. Totally YUMMY


  2. What a sweet kitty. I may have to 'steal' your cornbread recipe. My husband loves cornbread though I am not a big fan.

  3. Such very beautiful photos and that chili looks amazing!

  4. A delicious chilli and another beautiful post - what a lovely kitty
    mary x

  5. I'm glad you've had an opportunity to recharge your battery, it's so important. The chill and cornbread look delicious. I love sweet cornbread!

  6. Looks delish! I bet that chili would be wonderful on a baked potato.

  7. Renewing oneself is definitely a challenge sometimes, but it sounds like you've done it! I bet that this chili and cornbread didn't hurt. Looks delicious!

  8. I haven't had cornbread in so long! Hmm, where has it been? I need to get on that. The pictures of your cat are beautiful. And I like the sappy nicknames. I have a few for my puppy too ;)

  9. You have such a beautiful way of presenting food...even humble chili looks elegant.

  10. This may be my favorite comfort food menu, chili and cornbread. Yum! You have inspired me to make this exact menu. Have a great weekend!

  11. Good chili can really warm up the soul!!! I believe that....
    God I love the kitty....


  12. This looks so yummy! I love how simple it is to make! Your photography is pretty amazing too!

  13. Love the simplicity and your gorgeous photos. I'll definitely try this!

  14. You make even ordinary days sound so magical. And - this recipe looks and sounds to simply beautiful not to give it a try. Winter - at its best!

  15. Sarah, I continue to be impressed that your homeschool your kids - I imagine it is so rewarding and challenging at the same time. Good for you to get away and recharge.
    I am also impressed that this stunning chili and fresh cornbread are your go-to recipes. I cannot tell you how happy my husband would be it this were on the table on regular rotation;)
    Have a good weekend,

  16. that cornbread looks scrumptious! must have gone beautifuly with a hot bowl of chili.. btw ur cat is super cute!

  17. Getaway time sounds so good right now :) This is a delightful chili and I can always go for homemade cornbread...beautiful!
    P.S. your kitty is adorable, she does look sweet :)

  18. I haven't made cornbread in what feels like ages. I look forward to winter rolling around here in Australia so we can start making soups to go with it. How cute is your kitty....

  19. Sounds yummy! I stopped over from Marcie's...I love the cheap-o grocery store cookies too.

  20. OOo, what a yummy, comforting meal!
    And your kitty is ADORABLE.

  21. I love trying new healthy meals for myself and decadent treats to share with others. Great post!

  22. Ah, now this is a recipe that I can handle!
    I haven't had cornbread in way too long... I absolutely love the stuff.


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