Think they’ll come back from this, or is it just best to replace?
Also, we planted some swiss chard from my daughter’s school science class, some snap beans, some yellow onions, and garlic. We also had 1 volunteer squash pop up in the yard, and 4 back by the compost pile. Not really sure what they are. I have had some WEIRD hybrid stuff in the past. When you grow multiple varieties they can cross-pollinate and the seeds can make some wacky stuff. They could be that wacky stuff or just pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash or zucchini.
This year, I had some big help in the garden! These two have been gardening since they could walk, and I think they’re enjoying it and really getting the hang of it.
The kids have their own YouTube channel now, with a little hep from some old guy that blogs occasionally. Check out their gardening how-to:
I also made a map, and decided to make a chart of the suggested harvest dates on the tags just to see how accurate they are. I have been gardening since I can remember, and don’t know if I ever paid attention to that. We just picked stuff whenever it appeared & ripened.
We made sure to get all the tags & try to document it all. The kids are loving math & science, so why not incorporate it into the garden? We can see if the harvest dates noted on the tags are anywhere near when the plants are actually ready.
I’m excited to see how it turns out! And, yeah, we got some more jalapeño since they liked it last year… and this time we’re trying some poblano too!
Whoa, Instagram is a trip down memory lane with these kids and gardening!
Onion powder, garlic powder, steak seasoning, seasoned-salt, cumin, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper
I wanted to try 2 things, the Ninja Foodi pressure-cooker function & steak in the chili. The steak was successful, the pressure-cooking was not so much.
I cut up the steak and sautéed with a tiny bit of EVOO in a pan on the stove on high then medium-high, added about half of each chopped up fresh pepper, the ground beef, and about a tablespoon of minced garlic. This is where I added all of the dry spices at the end. I don’t measure. I also used some Straub to deglaze the pan. This mix was delicious.
I added the rest of the ingredients into the Foodi after draining & rinsing both cans of beans… including the unused peppers, garlic, and beer.
It got up to pressure then insisted I “ADD WTR.” I reluctantly added a cup of water and a beef bullion cube. I like chili thick enough to eat with a fork.
It got up to pressure again and insisted “ADD WTR.”
Googling solutions seemed to lean to the fact that it could be overheating, stuff could be burning on the pan, or a few other suggestions. A real life friend confirmed the burning thing via Facebook. It eventually got to a boiling point after the second pressure-up, but again demanded “ADD WTR.” No, Foodi. I like thick chili! NO ADD WTR! NO ADD WTR! I put it on the saute setting and let it boil down for a bit.
I think the stove top would have been the same amount of time. The flavors were great. Would they had been enhanced with proper pressurized cooking? Will the Foodi learn to say “STR SHT” when that’s what it really means?
Next time I will put the liquid on the bottom maybe? Also, no water/bullion cube… and I may eliminate the small can of tomato paste & sauce. The meat & pepper mix itself before other stuff was delicious. I could add the tomatoes, & soup, & beans right there and have a fine meal to be seved with rice or mashed potatoes.
Maybe I will go back to the slow-cooker. You can’t deny how awesome that is. My recipe is always changing.
One of these days I’m gonna try cocoa powder. I have seen stuff calling for brown sugar (which I love in spaghetti sauce), but no thanks in chili. I have also had cinnamon in chili, an that’s totally not my thing, but I get it if you dig it.
I had mine with some tortilla strips, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. We had some pretzel breadsticks on the side too. They serves soft pretzels with chili at my elementary school, so they will always belong together for me. This would have also been great over mashed potatoes or on a baked potato, rice, or even pasta.
How do you do chili (or chili con carne)? Beans? No beans? Over pasta? Over potatoes or rice? Any musts for the side like peanut butter, corn bread, sweet corn cake, rolls, cinnamon rolls, tortilla chips or strips, etc.?
Do you use cheese or sour cream? Do you like it hot? Do you cut the heat with anything?
Do you have a preferred cooking method?
Any tips on pressure-cooker (or Ninja Foodi) chili?
The kids like to garden. They helped plant once again this year, and have been great at watering, upkeep, & harvesting. They really did most of the planting work this year, and are learning about how to keep weeds out and when to pick ripe peppers. (They’re already pretty good at tomatoes.)
This year, by accident, I picked up a jalapeño plant when shopping at Home Depot. I meant to get 2 each of yellow bell peppers, orange bell peppers, and red bell peppers. I came home with a jalapeno and only one yellow pepper. We also planted some sweet banana peppers.
When I brought it home, Ian was determined to plant it & try some. He was true to his word! Molly & Ian did both try it! I put the video up on YouTube and IGTV.
Decide for yourself if you think they liked it:
I haven’t ever grown hot peppers despite all my years growing tomato, pepper, & a slew of other stuff.
I asked on various social media platforms on how to tell if your jalapeno is ripe and I got a handful of differentiating opinions. I got…
When they turn red. (Was told they turn black before they are red.)
When they start to get little brown lines/wrinkles.
At around 3″ long.
At around 6″ to 8″ long.
Look at the photo on the plant tag.
bury match heads to make them hotter.
So, how do you tell when they’re ripe?
Share your hot pepper ripeness tips & any other tricks below on the comments.
Have an recipes to share too? I would like to hear your thoughts on gardening, jalapeno peppers, or the video below!
This has been a fun gardening journey. It is exciting to see them learn about composting, growing food, and then trying it & even cooking with it. We have had plenty of beautiful snap beans, sweet banana peppers, & a few varieties of cherry tomatoes so far.
the diced tomatoes with jalapeño or chili peppers, and even plain old navy or black beans. Sometimes I dump some of the liquid of the cans out. I like thick soup.
I’ve used ground beef & ground turkey… both work really well. I’m sure a vegetarian version of this would be easy to make. (Hormel makes a vegetarian chili, you can get vegetarian vegetable soup from Campbell’s, & the ground tofu, seitan, or tempeh would work well… or you could just add more beans or vegetables.)
I just put it into the crock pot on low all day. Dinner’s ready when you get home!
I like to have it with homemade bread, or over biscuits like a pot pie. If you’re camping and have a mountain pie iron or if you have en electric sandwich maker that seals the edges you can add some flour to thicken it up or strain it a little to make incredible filling.
I also like the tiny saltine crackers.
A any rate, we make some & it lasts a while… as a main dish, or a side with sandwiches. It freezes & re-heats easily.
Do you make something like this?
What are some good soup recipes or easy crock-pot recipes?
OK. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have an entire case(& a little more) of Arby’s delicious Bronco Berry Sauce just taking up space in my dining room. I would eat it all if I could, but it’s probably not an achievable (or wise) goal. Sadly, my Bronco Berry Sauce will have to go without its perfect partner Arby’s delicious Jalapeño Bites… as they have not yet returned to the menu here in Pittsburgh. Perhaps there is still reason to Occupy Arby’s even if Hala asked me nicely not to?
I’m left with a few tasks… figuring out what to do with the sauce besides dunking Tyson’s chicken tenders in it, and trying to pawn some off on friends, family, and maybe even a busker. It expires in June, and I’d hate for any (more) to go to waste.
I was thinking it may make an excellent glaze for meatloaf, or even as an internal ingredient. It would also probably be good as a glaze on grilled or baked chicken, but I’m guessing the high sugar content would make it blacken quite quickly. I wonder if it will freeze? A Bronco Berry Popsicle could be either incredible or disastrous. Would there be a way to work it into an icing (or again as an ingredient) in a chocolate cupcake?
My readers and commenters are obviously the most enlightened and intelligent group of people I know, so I’m turning to you for ideas.
I promise to wrap it better than my last gift from Arby's if I need to mail it to you.
Here’s where the contest comes in. Give me your recipe for something including Arby’s Bronco Berry Sauce as an ingredient. You may want to familiarize yourself with it if you’ve never tried it. The name is misleading, it contains no berries or horses. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s awesome. This will be like Chopped or Iron Chef, except instead of TV fame and butt-loads of money the prize is… Let’s say 13 packs of Bronco Berry Sauce, because I like the number 13. Also, I’m not Alton Brown or Ted Allen. If it’s really good, we’ll maybe eventually have to make copycat recipes to continue making the prize winner.
You have until Friday May 4th to get your recipes to me. I’ll post them in a blog, put up a poll, and have the readers vote. We’ll close the poll & pick a winner on May 13th. You can enter multiple times within reason. Voting will happen with the little poll widget here, so encourage your friends, neighbors, family, and even enemies to vote for you.
The only way to enter: You can email your fantastically delicious recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject containing the hashtag “#Bronco13” & the name of your recipe. We’ll annoy people with it on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, & wherever else hashtags work.
In the event of a tie, both of you will get 13 packets of Bronco Berry Sauce.
Today there was a nice little squishy bubble pack in the mailbox when I got home. It had my name on it and appeared to be from Arby’s again. More neat stuff from Arby’s? What could it be? A hat? A T-shirt? An oven mitt that talks like Tom Arnold when you press a button? (Actually, that would be pretty neat.)
I hope it wasn’t intentional. It’s like a mini version of the horse-head scene in The Godfather. I mean, the card is sort of impersonal, but the gesture is nice when the sentiment isn’t stained with blood red not-really-berry sauce. It’s unsettling to open such a package. It almost looks like a threat.
It’s a Bronco Berry Bloodbath!
I promise to wrap it better than my last gift from Arby’s if I need to mail it to you.
I’m guessing that given Arby’s’ track record, it’s not a threat and it’s yet another genuine attempt to keep a goofy customer happy. I have no idea if this generated from their web contact form, or Twitter, or what. I would have maybe liked a more personal letter (again like the incredible one from Ms. Moddlemog), and the United States Postal Service to have handled my package with more care. Ha. Handled my package. But, I’ll settle for free stuff… even if there are only 2 unmolested packets.
I did notice it was addressed to me, and notBronco Jalapeño. I also noticed that these packets are rectangular… where the other ones are circles. Clearly, there is more than one source for Bronco Berry Sauce. Where is it my friends? Can I find it? Can I buy direct? Can I get the recipe?
I need a job where I can reply to goofy emails all day, and send people cool free swag… or gooey free swag.
So, what do you think of this effort? I have scored many awesome freebies, but I still don’t have jalapeño bites being served at Arby’s in Pittsburgh. Is this a fail? Do we still need a protest song?
Should I complain to the post office about this?
If you have no idea what’s going on, check out these posts: