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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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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chile con Carne with Cheesy Garlic Bread

January is very much a laid back, catch-up month for us rounding up the end of our winter vacation in December, the holidays and entertaining, as well as re-adjusting to the cold weather and getting the house up and running smoothly.  The first week of January I started a batch of yogurt, sour cream, sour dough starter and turned my attention to grocery shopping for produce and dairy.  My husband came down with a cold so I focused on home-made comfort meals.  The down time gave me a bit of time to plan what food preservation needed to be done.  Then by the second week of January I was sick and it hung on [I sure wish we would get a hard freeze to kill off all the germs!] so it was relying on the pantry and freezers.

chili from the freezer served with cheesy garlic bread
Chili con carne is one of our favourite home made meals.  Whether made with beef or venison, my version does contain beans that are cooked fresh when making a large batch or home canned if making a small batch.  The reality is, it takes as much work to make a huge batch of chili con carne as it does a smaller one.  I personally prefer to make the largest batch possible.  I home can chili con carne and it freezes nicely.  I usually freeze in 4 to 6 serving size.  It warms up nicely on the stove top or in the slow cooker.  Even if you don't home can the chili, this is one convenience product that can be frozen for a quick meal.

January is very much a fresh start month so we are rather busy but that doesn't mean we can't eat well.  I partially thawed a smaller container of chili con carne from the freezer.  Freezing chile con carne is very easy.  Once it is finished cooking, quick cool then ladle into freezer containers or freezer bags.  It can be froze in a container then popped out into a vacuum bag and vacuum sealed if desired.   If reheating on the stove top the chili need only be thawed enough to be able to get it out of the container.  I put it in a saucepan with just a little water then heat through.  If I am doing a larger amount for entertaining, I thaw the chili then reheat using a slow cooker.

Chili con carne is often served with soda crackers, tortilla or nacho chips, or corn bread.  I like serving it with cheesy garlic bread.  This is very easy to make and there are even ready to use, pre-made garlic bread loaves available, however home-made cheesy garlic bread is ever so easy to make.  I like using a home made French baguette but other breads can be used.

Method:  Use thick sliced home-made Italian style bread to make the cheesy garlic bread.  Lightly toast the bread in the oven.  Cut a garlic clove in half and rub over the surface of the toasted bread.  An alternative method is to brush the bread with garlic butter (finely chopped garlic blended into soft butter with a bit of parsley).  Top each slice generously with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400°F until cheese is bubbly and just lightly browning.

4 food lovers commented:

Anji said...

I make a sort of Chili as my husband does not like spicy food. Then when my daughter visits I make a vegetarian version...

Now i have your cheesy Garlic bread to try with it, something that should please all the family!

LindaG said...

Sounds like a great meal!

Garden Gnome said...

Anji, the garlic bread is wonderful! I'm sure you will love it :)

Garden Gnome said...

It was Linda, nice and easy just perfect for this time of year :)