You've probably got everything you need for good chili in the pantry and freezer. Visit to learn more.

Chili con Carne, Suppertime Blues-style

Essentially, there are two kinds of dishes I cook. One is meant for flourish. It’s me testing my skills and meant to somehow gratify myself a little. You know, ta-da food. It’s complex or a bit difficult and will hopefully garner an ooh or an aah.

The other though is for a simpler ritual, casually familiar because of repetition and one that coaxes out or evokes memories. Maybe even make a new memory. These are not so much impressive as they are satisfying, nourishing, and even comforting. Like my clam chowder, roasting a chicken, or even my jambalaya.

My chili is also one of these.

Read more…Chili con Carne, Suppertime Blues-style

Farro with Peas and Mushrooms. A delicious, easy, and healthy dish perfect with a variety of lunches and dinners. Visit to learn more.

Farro with Peas and Mushrooms

What is farro? I know, lots of people have never heard of it. Honestly, I hadn’t either until a few years ago. And that’s understandable.

Farro is wheat but tastes, to me at least, nutty and rich and is a bit chewy — in a good way. An ancient staple grain in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, especially in Ancient Rome, it largely disappeared in favor of wheat varieties that were easier and cheaper to grow.

However, I’ve noticed it’s made a comeback of sorts and I’ve seen it popping up on restaurant menus. Farro’s not too hard to find in the grocery store these days either.

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Brown Soda Bread is pantry simple and a quickly-made perfect complement to soups, stews, or even breakfast. Visit to learn more.

Brown Soda Bread

One of the kids calls my brown soda bread the “not pretty bread” or the “soup bread.” (That last one because it’s not really best for sandwiches. For that try muffuletta bread!)

But everyone loves it and their eyes light up when they see it resting on the board. Granted, any homemade bread tends to make that happen.

Myself, I like it best with a small pat of real salted butter, maybe a spoon of local jam or some local honey, and a bracing cup of coffee. It’s the simple joys.

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