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December 2014

Hearty Vegetarian Three Bean Chili

Vegetarian bean chili2a

I love hearty spicy chili, especially during the winter months. This one is quick to make with just basic ingredients and guaranteed to warm you up on a cold day.  The variety of beans – red kidney, black and pinto – gives the chili a nice “meaty” quality. I think it has a nice balance of heat, but you can add extra cayenne or a chopped jalapeño to add a little more “fire”.

Download Heaty Vegetarian Three Bean Chili recipe


3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoon coriander

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups water

1 28-ounce Muir Glen Fire-roasted diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lime

1 -1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

1.  Combine the chili powder, coriander, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne in a small dish and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add the red and green chopped pepper and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan and add sprinkle the cumin seeds into pot. Stirring seeds constantly, toast seeds for 30 seconds, and then stir the vegetables and seeds together and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the combined spices to the pot and stir to coat the vegetables, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add the 2 cups of water and stir well, scraping bottom of pan to remove any brown spots. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, and brown sugar and bring back to a simmer; cook for 25-30 minutes.

5. Add the drained beans and corn and continue to simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the salt, cilantro and lime juice.


Pat Loud's Christmas Cheese Log

Pat Loud Cheese Log1

This is a fantastic and easy recipe from my dear friend Pat Loud which was passed down from her mother. She serves it at nearly every party that I’ve ever attended and it’s always a big hit. As with most good recipes, the amounts are somewhat flexible – in other words, feel free to use more or less of any of the ingredients. Key to success, however, depends upon quality sharp cheddar cheese and I like to use Cabot Private Stock Extra Sharp Cheddar. Any favorite bleu cheese will work  - Roquefort, Danish Bleu, or English Stilton. Make sure that the cheeses are not too cold, or the mixture will not blend in the food processor.

Download Pat Loud Holiday Cheese Log recipe

10 ounces shredded Cabot extra sharp cheese, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

4 -6 ounces Bleu cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons mayonnaise or soft butter (optional)

2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)

1 clove garlic, crushed

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

1/3 cup each of pistachios and dried cranberries, chopped

1. Place cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, mayo or butter, garlic and cayenne pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4-5 times to combine, then process for 1-2 minutes until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

2. Put mixture on a piece of wax paper and using the paper, shape into a ball or 2 logs. Refrigerate until firm. Roll ball or logs in a mixture of chopped pistachios and cranberries; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with crackers and additional dried fruit.

Pat Loud Cheese Log Mixture

  Pat Loud Cheese Log roll 

Pat Loud Cheese Log rolled 

Pat Loud Cheese Log close up1

Pat Loud Cheese Log Nuts Cranberries