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My Favourite Chili Stuffed Baked Potato

It's a rainy day out there and even though it's not actually cold yet, it looks cold out there from inside the house so that's a good enough excuse to make chili. Actually, Saturday is technically the first day of fall so it really is time , isn't it?

Tonight we will eat it over baked potatoes with chipotle cream and cheese and then I can send some in The Kid's lunch tomorrow and alleviate my mom sandwich guilt for the week. I am also taking a container of it over to Jen's house (Piccante Dolce Jen) who is hugely pregnant and due this week so she won't have to cook tonight. So many birds killed with this one chili stone.

This is a tasty, basic chili with no fancy surprises or anything. The addition of masa harina at the end thickens it up a bit and since we are eating it over baked potatoes, I wanted a thicker chili as opposed to a soupier chili. It's not spicy either so that it can please all of the people in the house - the chipotle cream adds heat for those who want it. The best thing about the chipotle cream is that I use 0% fat greek yogurt and light Hellman's so it's almost kind of good for you - better than a big old dollop of full fat sour cream and way tastier.

Apple Pulled Pork

Who doesn't love pulled pork? Crazy people, that's who.
Making pulled pork in the crockpot is such a no brainer, easy meal that requires almost no time, skill or finesse that I wonder why we don't eat it every single day to be honest. I have still never found THE ultimate pulled pork recipe so I am always tinkering and trying new sauces, new rubs and one day I will find that pulled pork love of my life and I will shout from the rooftops. The best thing about pulled pork is that there is almost no such thing as bad pulled pork. Even if you just throw a pork butt in the slow cooker with nothing but some salt, pepper and a slurp of chicken stock or soda pop or apple juice and then toss it with a good bottled sauce afterwards, it's going to be good enough that your family will still think you are a rock star.

Sticky Tandoori Rotisserie Chicken

One of my absolute favourite ways to do a roast chicken is slow and low in the oven. You end up with a delicious, fall apart bird with really dry, crispy skin - it's kind of like the best possible version of a bubble chicken from the rotisserie at the grocery store. I am not ashamed to admit that a Loblaw's bubble chicken is one of my favourite stand by dinners and that it also provides enough meat for chicken quesadillas on night two and the bones make a delicious sopa de lima that we enjoy on night three.

When I was a kid, roast chicken was always a cheap meal that could feed our big family but somewhere along the line, chicken slowly became more expensive and a full priced, medium sized whole chicken can now cost well over $12. That is one of the reasons why we often just spend $9 and get one that is already cooked and ready to eat.  The fact that it also comes home in a handy plastic bubble pack is just a bonus if you ask me.

Vietnamese Meatballs with Pickled Veggies

I have made these meatballs before using ground chicken and we loved them but this was more of a pork kind of day. I usually serve them with rice noodles, bun style, and then sent the leftovers with the Kid for his lunch the next day. Since I have sent the poor wee street urchin to school with a sandwich two days in a row, I was having some mom guilt. A lovely lunch of vietnamese food with a friend made me think of these meatballs and so I hopped across the street to the magical asian grocery store and bought all of the ingredients I would need. Don't be scared of the little roll in the sugar bowl that these babies take just before baking because it gives them that sticky, sweetness of asian bbq meats. You could probably skip it and still end up with a tasty meatball but you would definitely be missing that little extra bit of something that makes these really special.

Indian Spiced Salmon

Shack is working late and won't be home for dinner so I promised The Kid that I would cook salmon since his crazy whackheaded father doesn't like it and we both adore it. Along with David Bowie, The Legend of the Seeker and egg salad, salmon has become one of those things we indulge in when it's just the two of us. It's best this way.

For some reason, salmon really lends itself to indian spices and I often make a proper tandoori salmon but today I wanted to do something just a little bit different. I also didn't want to bbq it and tandoori is best bbq'd but after my failed attempt to start the charcoal last night armed with nothing but an old electrical bill envelope, a nascar lighter,  charcoal and some fondue pot fuel

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