I’m as much of a Starbucks fiend as the next person.
Okay, more. Maybe a lot more. I’m slightly recovered from my three-a-day habit (I live in Seattle! There were three within close walking distance from my office and I needed the caffeine!), though I must admit the addiction has seen a bit of a resurgence since I’ve recently discovered that, indeed, it is difficult to get much sleep when you have a baby, even when the baby is nearly a year old. This discovery goes hand in hand with how I’ve really discovered the true beauty of the Starbucks drive-thru for new moms … so convenient when you’ve got a sleeping baby strapped in the back (oh now she sleeps).
It’s fall, you say? Wait. Wait just a second.
Grab an orange. Stick some cloves in it. Throw it in your Crock Pot along with a few cinnamon sticks and a bottle of apple cider. Turn it on. Wait four hours.
Okay. NOW it can be fall.
Not only is this recipe seriously that easy, it’s also quintessentially autumn. It looks like fall. It tastes like fall. It makes the entire house smell like fall.
Pumpkin chili has been around for at least a few years. In the beginning of my awareness that such a thing existed, I thought, as I suspect many do, “Pumpkin? In chili? That’s weird.”
Then I tried it. Not half bad, I thought. Still a little weird, but also sort of perfect too. Perfect weird. A harbinger of fall, pumpkin, along with pretty much the best spicy, hearty dish to serve on a cold, frosty October evening? Not such a crazy idea, maybe.
So I worked on it. I tweaked and poked and made countless versions of pumpkin chili, all the while really coming around to this stuff. It’s so, so perfectly delicious.
I’m in love with my Crock Pot. A little obsessed even. I talk about it often … which is what a girl with a crush tends to do, right? Seriously … Crock Pots are completely awesome though, am I right? Throw it in, walk away, come home to a completely cooked (and no doubt delicious) meal. If loving my Crock Pot is wrong … oh hell, I know it’s not wrong, so I’m not even going to finish that sentence.
This soup is one of the reasons our slow cooker has been out on the counter more often than not this past couple of months. Even though it’s been pretty warm weather-wise, I’ve still whipped up this soup a good half a dozen times every time even a wisp of clouds swoop in and the temperature dips below 70. Why? Partially because I was trying to perfect the recipe, but also because I couldn’t resist those vibrant yellow summer squash every time I stopped by my local farmstand, and I had to do something with them other than grill them. And also, it’s really, really good.
We’re headed to Sonoma for a mini vacation, so I thought I’d share this recipe for easy Cheesy Chili Mac from the archives of my other blog, The Hazel Bloom. I posted this one long before I decided to start a blog all about this kind of recipe and our mixed-diet lives – aka, our Kitchen Treaty. :)
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Some dinners lack a little, shall I say, class… but more than make up for it in tasty, dig-innable, comforting pure deliciousness.
I think we can all be pretty clear on which side we’ll find Crock Pot Easy Cheesy Chili Mac. Elegant it’s not. Yummy? Oooooh yes. It’s comfort food at its best, perfect for a blustery rainy night after a long, long day. If you’re feeding others, I can almost guarantee there will be happy mid-bite groans and proclamations of your amazing kitchen talent; and then lots of happy full-bellied cuddling on the couch after dinner. Actually, this will also happen when you’re by yourself. It’s practically involuntary.