School's Out for Summer

Another year has gone by at Johnson and Wales University and now its summer time.I am now home from Denver back in Michigan.I certainly didn’t miss the extremely humid and hot weather that is a Michigan summer but being with my family and a home with air conditioning is really nice!

This summer will give me a lot of time to focus on the cookbook, which the past few months I had been neglecting because I have had so much on my plate.Right now I am working on the preface, or introduction, that includes descriptions of different ingredients and everything you need to know about them.I just completed a long paragraph about buckwheat and how it is made and what it is good for. Up next is corn meal!

I am also going to spend this time during the summer keeping my skills sharp and practicing my cake decorating.A friend asked me recently what the last cake I made was and I had to really thing about it, after a few minutes I determined that the last cake I made was in February!While I hate to sound cliche but ‘practice makes perfect’ and I fear losing some of skills.Although, with the economy the way it is and my lack of employment makes it difficult to come up with spare cash for buckets of fondant to play with.

On the subject of keeping my skills sharp I am planning on making Texas Style Chili tonight for dinner with homemade tortilla chips.This is one of my favorite meals and its perfect for reheating as a quick meal as well.

Kellyn’s Texas Style Chili

1 pound of your choice of steak (I like to just find whatever is cheapest)
1 vidalia onion
1 1/2 cups corn
1 can chili beans (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbl chili powder or more to taste
Pinch of oregano
Water

I bag of flour tortillas
Sea Salt

Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, or any of your other favorite toppings

Saute diced onion and garlic on high heat until softened.Add diced beef and brown.Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce plus one can full of water, chili powder, and oregano and stir well.Cover and bring heat to low to simmer for about an hour.Add beans and corn and continue to heat for 30 minutes.

While the chili is cooking use a deep pan or pot and fill with an inch worth of vegetable oil and heat to 350-360 degrees.Cut tortillas into 4 equal parts, place into hot oil in small batches and fry until golden brown.Place on parchment or paper towel to cool.Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

Ladle the chili into bowls and top with cheese or sour cream.Grab a handful of tortilla chips and enjoy!

Well, the family will be home from work soon so I should get going on my cooking.Hope you enjoy your chili.