Status: Completing Copy Edits on SO STILL THE NIGHT (Book 2 of the Shadow Guard Series)
When I go into Deadline Mode, I become a study in contradiction. I tend to stock up on lots of herbal teas, and Naked Juice (my favorite is the Green Machine), soups (love the Campbell’s soups in a box — butternut squash or tomato basil) and lots of fish and chicken, which is super easy to season and cook on the ol’ George Foreman Grill. But really, when I get stressed out, it’s just as likely I’ll inhale a bag of Doritos with my Naked Juice, instead of something healthy.
One recipe that always gets made during that final deadline week is my “easy” chili recipe, which is different than the “30 different ingredients” chili recipe. Here’s the easy version:
Saute 2-3 pounds ground beef in a big pot, and drain off the fat. Add 2-15 oz. cans of tomato sauce, and 2-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes (or crushed if you don’t like chunky tomatoes in your chili). Add one big can of Ranch Style Beans. How many ounces is the big can? I can’t remember. Pick the size you think you’ll like best. (Do you see how I cook?) Tear open one envelope of McCormick’s chili seasoning, and dump that in. Mix everything up, and simmer until heated through. It’s even better with about a half can of Shiner Bock beer mixed in as well (you, of course, drink the other half). Serve with grated sharp cheddar.
Tah-dah! That’s Deadline Chili, and everyone in my family loves it. I usually serve the chili with salad and homemade cornbread – but if I’m really hysterical, they just get bagged salad and presliced french bread from the store. Another of my favorites to make is a knock off of Le Madeleine’s tomato basil soup, and I’m just providing a link to that recipe.
As for Thanksgiving, here’s a recipe that I adapted from Southern Living, of which I’ve always been a rabid fan. It’s Chocolate Kahlua Pecan Pie. Their version used Bourbon, but I’m from Texas, and I’ve got Kahlua from Mexico in my cabinet and thought I’d give that a try. The pie is always a success, and everyone asks for the recipe -
1/2 pkg refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet morsels
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup kahlua (or bourbon)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tsp cornmeal
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Fit your piecrust into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Fold the edges under and crimp. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto the bottom of the piecrust and set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugars and kahlua. Bring to boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for three minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk together the eggs and the next four ingredients. Gradually whisk the hot mixture, into the egg mixture, and pour into the prepared pie crust over the pecans and chocolate. Bake for fifty five minutes. I always cover my crust with foil so it doesn’t get too overcooked.