We may have missed the snow last weekend, but when another storm was heading towards NYC, there was no way it was going to miss us again.  It is snowing heavily at this moment mid-day on Wednesday and more to come according to the predictors.  To avoid any road hazards in the snow, my husband has chosen to travel to work via Subway (instead of driving) That’s via the underground trains, not the sandwich.

Having just returned from a two-day trip to Atlanta, GA I was lucky to get into LaGuardia airport earlier than scheduled – no time nor inclination to cook dinner after traveling home, we went out to eat a casual yet very enjoyable meal at a local Irish pub.  Bangers and Mash with British style baked beans and a grilled tomato on the side was the meal of choice, accompanied by pints of Guinness.

My trip to Atlanta was to attend an Executive Committee Meeting for the annual Cook Book Awards – from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)  My first year on the Executive Committee, but second year as a judge in one of the categories of books.  I can’t reveal the name of the category I judged, nor do I know the other two judges in my category – all in the name of ethical judging and fairness to all cookbook authors participating in the awards.  The IACP annual Conference is in Portland, Oregon, in late April where the winners in each category will be announced to the membership attending the conference.  After the official announcement of winners, I will be posting the winning cookbooks in each category, along with a link to Amazon.com on my website for those foodies who like to be on the forefront of owning and cooking from award winning cookbooks.

So let me recap:  Four days (including today) have passed by and I have not stepped foot in a food store – unless you consider a drug store that sells chips and other “foods” a food store.  That has to be a record for me.  And I am all the stronger person for being able to go without buying food for that long!

So you may ask, after being out of town for two days, what is left in the freezer, refrigerator, pantry to cook for dinner?  I gave those locations a cursory look this morning, and decided on making Chili.   A perfect snowy/cold/miserable day comfort food if there ever was one!  I had ground bison meat in the freezer, but not really enough for making a pot of Chili but I also had sweet and hot Italian sausage meat, so I’ve combined both in the making of this dish.  The usual suspects were rounded up to include in my favorite Dutch oven style pot from All-Clad Metalcrafters – their 5.5qt Copper Core style.  Suspects being:  chili powder, fresh garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, Muir Glen diced tomatoes, can of white northern beans as I could not find the can of red kidney beans I thought I had in the pantry.  The kitchen aromas are tempting me, so as all cooks do, I tasted it and pronounced it ready for consumption!  Although it will be for dinner tonight, so I will allow it to cool sufficiently, refrigerate and then reheat to at least 165F before serving.  Accompaniments are also the usual suspects:  shredded cheddar, chopped raw onion, cilantro leaves – and oh yes, tortilla chips.

To help me get through this snow storm and the cold weather, I take great pleasure in looking at the newly sprouted tomato plants that I have grown from seed in the past couple of weeks.   I really do like to see things grow from seed….if they survive until they can be planted in larger pots and put out on our lanai/balcony in late May I will share the photos (but not the tomatoes) with you.

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