Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Secrets, salsa, and some smokin' hot chili

Helloooooo, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I'm got a few tidbits for you. Nothing like that delicious peach cobbler. YUMMMY!
Now I can't wait for peaches!
 I thought I'd do chili today because it's getting warm here (90F) and for several months I won't want to go anywhere near a hot dish of food.
Ok, that's a lie.
I won't want to go anywhere near a hot stove. So, now's the chance to have that last bowl of comfort food before we all live on popsicles and iced tea for the summer.

 So, the first thing... confession. We Catholics are big on confession. We really think it does the soul good to beg pardon from God and the community. So...
That is indeed a cinnamon roll. For the woman who is not eating sugar. *sigh* And covered espresso flavored frosting. It was so good. And I feel better for sharing my failure with you. I promise to avoid sin and any opportunity to sin, amen! :D
The next order of business involves lots of homegrown tomatillos. I know Mindy made salsa but that was the TEXAN way! :D This is the... Munoz way. Anyway, tomatillos are small green tomatoes. You can find the larger ones in grocery stores or you can grow your own. Be careful, like cherry tomatoes they multiply year after year, reseeding, until your garden looks like a tomatillo farm.
  So, here are some before the skins are soaked and removed.

Place on a hot plate (tortilla warmer, calendar, or even in a frying pan) and roll them until they start to blacken. Think of this like grilling. Brings out that deep, roasted flavor.
A handful of dried chili de arbol and give them the same treatment. Be careful. This is about the same as spraying a can of mace in your house. I usually make the kids go outside when hubby starts this step. You can just open a window.
Into the blender. Add salt to taste. A little lemon juice.
Oooo! Baby poo! Seriously, this stuff is addictive. Burn your face off hot but still you want more.

Now we need some easy chili:
Yes, that's a big can of chipotle peppers. Don't be afraid. Just open 'er right up.
I like chipotle flavoring (which is just smoked/grilled Anaheim peppers, really) but not so fond of the sludge from the can so I rinse mine. Mmmm. Looks like something out of a medical textbook.
Mash, chop, squish, dismember. You don't want anyone to get a big piece of chipotle in their chili.
Somehow I missed the picture, but combine
3 cans of kidney beans,
2 cans of diced tomatoes,
4 cups of water,
one chopped onion,
2 lbs ground hamburger if you have it
and a package of chili flavoring in a pot.
Add the chipotle. Remember this is easy chili.

Secret ingredient time! Two Tbs cocoa powder and 2 Tbs oil. Mix well. Add to the chili. You won't regret it. Plus, doesn't everybody need more chocolate??

Hmmmmmm. Smokey chili, deep dark flavor. And let the crazies add the home made tomatillo salsa for extra burn-your-face-off flavor!

So, I hope everybody's gearing up for summer! I'm up to my eyeballs in projects. Here's a peek at one. My digital baby is now in print. The proof copies arrived. And she's soooooo pretty! A little heavy at 471 pages but you know those fat babies are the sweetest!
 In a few weeks I'll do a cover reveal of the 2nd in the series. I'm keeping the cover deep under wraps for right now (like a state secret, ya know) but 'Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs' makes me smile every time I open the file to see if it's really there!

  Until next time, dearies!


  1. Smoky chili...mmmmm. I love chipotle flavoring in stuff, so I have a feeling I'd love this chili.

    And chocolate. Now that's Mexican chili, for sure!

    Now I need to get Mr. Munoz here to make the tomatillo salsa for me!

    And congratulations on the new series! I love that cover :)

    1. You know, I'm a fan of chili in the can! Seriously. I'm such a low class eater!!

      And thank you! I do love the cover although it took me a while to get used to it.

  2. Virginia,

    Looking forward to the next cover reveal! And I'm not mad at you at all for putting up the picture of that cinnamon roll at the start of your blog that had nothing to do with chili, so now all I can think about are cinnamon rolls....oh no!

    Thanks, Virginia!

    1. I KNOOOOOOOOOOOW! I want one so bad and I just had one!

      And I keep forgetting to tell you that The Great Migration is in the sequel (these books have characters obsessed with the Civil War battles, etc). I'm not a historian, but I do love them. They're so NERDY!

    2. Cool! I'm looking forward to it!

  3. Oh, you had me at chocolate!!!!! Love this!

    Peace, Julie

    1. Super secret ingredient! I'm sure a better chocolate would be good (some people buy the super dark and melt it in) but this was the 'easy' way.

  4. This looks wonderful! I'm going to get a can of those chilis and try it soon--now craving chili like you wouldn't believe.

    I want a book!!!

    Oh, and Happy Birthday young one :)

    1. haha! Stop outing my 39 year old self all over the internet-o-sphere! I'm SOOOOO OLLLLLLDDDDD.

      And don't buy a can, I have some in the freezer. I put them in ice cube trays after chopping so I can just pop out the amount I need, without going through all the rinsing, etc. again.

  5. Oh, it's Virginia's birthday!!! Hope you have a happy one!!

    Now, about that salsa! It's RED! I thought it was going to be salsa verde. But you added such red hot peppers that it turned RED!! Now, I know there's no way I'm eating that. I'm a wimp.

    So I'll stick to the chili recipe. I MIGHT be able to handle the chipotle peppers. Especially if I rinse them (great idea!)

    I LOVE your new cover!! Congrats on the print format.

  6. Thank you! And thank you!

    Um, I use about a pencil lead tip's worth on my chili and it adds a lovely bite. :D

    I'm the ultimate wimp. I do love salsa verde, but not like that. I like my face that way it is. :D

  7. Cinnamon rolls!!!! It's 10 a.m. here on the west coast and you ply me with a choice of craving hot chili or a yummy cinnamon roll with my morning coffee. Now there's a great choice to give me. LOL. It's your birthday, so I'll forgive you. Have a happy one, Virginia.

    1. If there were any left, I'd share!! But there isn't. *sobs quietly in the corner*

    2. *joins Virginia in the corner, but sobs louder than she does*

  8. I need a good salsa verde recipe- hate all the bottled stuff I've tried. guess it shouldn't be hard to make but still...
    this recipe looks like it wouldnt matter what was in the pot with the peppers - might as well stand by a habanero plant and chow down!
    sigh..ya'll are killin' me with historicals - is everyone going historical?! :-)


  9. HAHAHAHA! My husband grew habaneros one year and we had to put a kid proof fence around them because they look so pretty but WILL BURN YOUR FACE OFF.

    And Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits isn't a historical. :) It's a contemporary. I can send you an e-copy if you want! I did write a historical (All The Blue of Heaven) it was SUPER hard. But I'll probably have to write another since it outsells the contemporary 6-1.

    That tells you right there, apparently people love historicals!!

    1. oh ok - the pic on the cover looked historical! :-) didn't realize you used a different name! found it on kindle so bought it :-)

    2. Oh, you're sweet! I could have sent you one. :) Hope you like it!

    3. that's ok - this way amazon knows it's selling! :-) I buy ebooks all the time so may as well support an author I know. keep thinking you'd do another love inspired but haven't seen another one yet.

  10. There's another coming in November 2013! I'll let you know when I get my copies. :)

  11. I missed a birthday AND the revealing of the hard copy of this wonderful book!!!! Virginia I love it!

    It's just a gorgeous cover and it makes me smile to see it! This has been a crazy week at the northern hacienda.... But I loved going back and seeing this post... with delicious and mouth-watering food... and the BOOK!!!!

    Just grinning ear-to-ear over the book!


  12. Oh, the error of the Cinnamon Roll... I totally get that. Totally.

    I stand with you on the low carb side of things because I refuse to buy new clothes.

    Smaller sizes: YES

    Larger sizes: Epic Fail

    And that's my mindset to keep shoveling in delicious veggies and grilled meat!


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