Saturday, November 21, 2009

Perfectly Penzeys

Although I live close to a Penzeys Spice store, I love receiving the catalogue in the mail since it is filled with eclectic recipes and good cooking tips. The holiday catalogue came yesterday, and for those of you who got it as well, how amazing does the cranberry duff look?

Last month I visited my local Penzeys store, which is aroma nirvana for any foodie. Anyone who has a store near them knows you have to allow yourself an hour or so in order to smell each and every sample jar of all the spices. I admit I was a little sad to go alone last month - I tried to coax the ex to come with me to check out spices for his hash browns and was excited at the idea, but he was not and I pressed on by myself. Still, I enjoyed the spicey experience and focused on my mission at hand: CHILI POWDER.

I had made chili recently and not happy with the results. Then, the Thanksgiving catalogue came introducing a new chili powder: Chili 9000! I had a feeling this was going to make my chili, and although the 3000 also seemed like another option, the 9000 won hands down when I opened the jar to smell it in the store.

That Sunday I made Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili and ate it out of my new chili mugs (see photo). Here is the recipe. It is 65 degrees here in New York today, so I would save this for another weekend! The Chili 9000 made this dish, and it is totally worth picking up at your local Penzeys or ordering from the catalogue for this cold winter.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili (courtesy of Gina's Recipes)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16-oz can black beans
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies (drain them or it will be soupy!)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (Ortega was fine)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (I used Penzeys Chili 9000)
  • 24 0z. (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (I do not like cilantro and did not use)
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream (I did lowfat sour cream and lowfat sharp cheddar and also added some nice tortilla strips!)

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