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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Slow-Cooker Tuscan Chili

I have enjoyed receiving Kraft Foods Canada's formerly free What's Cooking for several years.  I have kept every single copy!  It was with a bit of sadness to read that they will now be charging for a subscription.  The thing is every single recipe in What's Cooking uses one or more Kraft products so in essence the magazine is one big advertisement for Kraft products.  I pay enough for Kraft products as it is so will not be paying for a subscription just to find out how to use one of their products.  Instead I will be visiting their website for free recipes.

slow-cooker Tuscan chili
I browse though all the delicious dishes in the magazine, marking each one I want to try with a post-it.  As always the newest copy of What's Cooking (Festive 2011) had several interesting recipes.  Yesterday, I made the Slow-Cooker Tuscan Chili modifying it to use home canned diced tomatoes and home canned white kidney beans.    One problem in substituting home canned for commercially canned anything is the size difference.  The recipe called for 19 oz of diced tomatoes and the same amount of undrained white kidney beans but home canned sizes are 1L or about a quart (tomatoes) and 500 ml or about a pint for beans.  In order to make the chili according to the amounts in the recipe I ended up with part jars of tomatoes and beans left over.  The interesting aspect of this chili is there's no chili powder yet it is a rich and flavourable chili, sure to please.  I served the chili with fresh baked French bread (first bread baked in new natural gas oven) and extra virgin olive oil seasoned with basil for dipping.

Slow-Cooker Tuscan Chili
modified from:  Kraft Canada, What's Cooking (Festive 2011), Pp. 25

1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
20 oz home canned diced tomatoes
20 oz home canned or fresh cooked white kidney beans
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
5½ oz tomato paste
½ tsp dried basil leaves
½ tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tbsp Italian shredded cheese mix per serving*

Carefully remove the casing from the sausage.  Break the sausage into pieces while browning.  Drain and spoon sausage into slow-cooker.  Chop peppers and onion.  Add vegetables, tomatoes and beans to the slow-cooker.  Stir well then stir in herbs.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  Ladle into bowls.  Top with shredded cheese.  Serve with fresh baked bread and extra virgin olive oil for dipping.

*Shredded Italian cheese mix (brand name or store brand) can be found in the dairy section or you can make your own by combining shredded provolone, mozzarella, parmesan and emmental cheeses.

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