Sometimes you learn lessons from your kids that are subtle and nuanced. The munchkins don’t even know how insightful they are. Then there’s my daughter, who draws you a picture to show you how keen her mind is. And that picture changes you. This happened to me as I was making dinner recently. I’ve debated sharing this drawing with you all because I vacillate between feeling proud of my daughter for her awareness of the things around her, and total guilt at being the worst mother on the planet. I figured I’d finally take the leap and share along with this chili recipe. It’s a warm meal that will keep you toasty as fall descends, turning the evenings cool and crisp. You’ll love it. After I share the picture, you’ll probably be glad you don’t live with Madison. She’s too smart for her own good.
So, to the childhood drawing. We had sloppy joes recently and afterwards my husband was playing with the kids (he’s the greatest dad ever). He asked our 5-year-old if she’d draw a picture of our family and being the crayon loving girl she is, happily she obliged. Here’s what she drew:
You can see we’re eating dinner together in her artwork. Something that initially made me really happy. I have wonderful memories of meals together with my family as a child and I love that my kids value that too. There’s Donovan on the left, and Madison in her pink pants on the right. Our dining table apparently has about 12 legs and note the detail of our ceiling light above. She even drew the meal we were eating (and pretty accurately too). Then I noticed myself in her drawing. And the square thing with the little circle in my hand. With no idea what on earth that was (and frightened it might be my iPhone), I asked Maddie. “Mommy! That’s your camera! Because you’re taking pictures of our food for your blog!” <gulp>
Thankfully, she didn’t seem upset about this fact. It’s just how it is to her. She doesn’t know that not every mommy takes photos of the food before the family can eat. But it made me realize that perhaps I should start setting up a photo plate (or bowl) in the kitchen away from the family gathering at the dining room table. You know, so that the indelible memory of me at the table isn’t quite so accurately portraying Bakerlady instead of Mommy. That girl, I tell you. She notices everything. Everything. So now you know my secret. I pretty much have a camera permanently affixed to my face. Even at the dinner table. At least, that’s how it seems to my kids. All for you folks. All for you. Now for a blurb about the food. You’ll adore this white chili recipe. It’s great for autumn, full of delicious grilled chicken, hearty beans and warm fragrant broth. Perfect for the cool evenings ahead. It’ll even warm you up if your child has suddenly made you feel as if ISO runs thru your veins.
White Bean and Chicken Chili
a Bakerlady Original
3 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained (any white bean will work just fine)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large chicken breasts (2 1/2 pounds)
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 oz.) cans roasted green chilies, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Garish: sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese
1. Cube the chicken. In a large saucepan, brown over medium high heat in a little olive oil. 2. Remove the chicken to a plate and in the same pan, saute the onion until just softened. 3. Add the garlic until fragrant (about 60 seconds). Add 1 cup of the broth and use it to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
4. Puree one can of the rinsed beans with a little bit of broth and add to the pot. Then add the other two cans of beans, the broth, the cooked chicken, corn, all the spices and chilies.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer 1 hour.
6. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese and sliced green onions.