Today is October 1st and I can just feel Autumn in the air! Okay, it's nearly 90 degrees this afternoon so it doesn't actually feel 'autumny' but I can't help myself. Just had to make this scrumptious vegetable chili in the crockpot. Going to have it for supper tonight with an equally scrumptious carrot/coconut bread I baked yesterday whilst The Mr. and I watch another episode of Midsomer Murders. Lovin' this British who-done-it. Has interesting mysteries and lots of humor. [*um, did I actually write "whilst?" Forgive. Oh, FYI, I used to refer to my sig other as 'the senior software engineering guy' but decided to shorten that to The Mr.] - back to my story...
One of my favorite cookbooks is one I bought at a public library's used-books sale: Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen. It's recipes compiled from the wildly successful series of mystery novels by author Patricia Cornwell that feature her star character, Kay Scarpetta. There are several recipes in this book that I go back to over and over. However, my very favorite is "Miami-Style Chili with Beer" that appears in Patricia Cornwell's novel All That Remains.
So to kick-off October that's what I'm making. Gotta tell you, it is Yum! However, I have to confess that I often do not follow a written recipe as is and here's why:
When I first got this cookbook, I did follow the recipe as written pretty closely, except for the beer substitution and it was tasty. However, I don't really care for the taste or texture of kidney beans so I've played around with different types of beans. Also I always add at least one other vegetable ingredient, as I did today using green beans and okra. My reason for using ground bison? Never have developed a taste for ground turkey and I find that bison just tastes better than beef. I also like to change up the types of mushrooms. See? I tinker.
Recipes are fun and creative ways to express yourself in the kitchen, I think. That's why I call it The Art of Cooking! What recipe are you kicking off October with in your kitchen?