mama’s chili Tag Archives

Post Party Fridge Forage

chili bowl

I woke up this morning with a visceral understanding of the phrase “bone tired.”  Yesterday’s festivities for Joe’s 33rd made for a big day–big effort, big energy, big love–and we were happy for it. He seems to have genuinely enjoyed the day and, with the exception of a few instances of loose mothering in favor of playing hostess (skipping Leo’s bath and not adhering to our normal bedtime rules which led to a bit of a nocturnal meltdown…), I felt the celebration was a huge success.

But, the last thing I wanted to do today was anything I didn’t really need to. So came the mission of the day: avoid the grocery store at all cost.

Breakfast was easy to create with some tried-and-true eggs and toast. As was lunch, thanks to the bits and bobs of leftover meals we had squirreled away. Dinner, as always, posed a larger challenge.

One of my greatest joys (and one of the skills Joe most admires in me) is scrounging around in cupboards and reaching to the back of our fridge to pull together a delicious meal. Making something out of nothing, in other words.

Today’s post party fridge forage was a challenge I relished, turning the uninspiring contents of our kitchen into a from-scratch chili.




  • 1 can of Brad’s Organic Kidney Beans
  • 1 can of Brad’s Organic Black Beans
  • Half a red bell pepper & Spanish onion (leftover from Thursday’s stir fry)
  • Large white onion
  • Half jar of medium salsa (left over from the birthday party)
  • 1 pork shoulder (frozen bone with some meat still on it, saved from the pulled pork I made in October)
  • 2 peppers in adobo sauce (from….(?)…but they passed the taste test)
  • Ground cumin & cayenne


  • Add onions, red pepper and a tablespoon of oil into saucepan, add ground cumin and cayenne, sautée until just fragrant.
  • Add onion mixture, two cans beans (with juice), adobo peppers (chopped), salsa and pork shoulder into large soup pot.
  • Bring to a boil, uncovered. Then turn flame down, cover pot and let simmer for a few hours until the liquid reduces and the flavors blend.

chili pot

chili 2

Serve with rice, shredded cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt), chopped cilantro or green onions. Perhaps a lime wedge. Basically, whatever you have.

In case you’re not weird like me, and you don’t save animal bones in the freezer for untold amounts of time, you could add ground turkey, spicy sausage or an extra can of beans (in lieu of meat) to this fridge forage chili.

Here’s to a Sunday spent successfully indoors. Bon appetite!