Smackdown: I Keep My Underwear to Myself


This post does not contain any photos of my skivvies. Sorry.


I just typed “shivvies” three times in a row by accident. This post doesn’t contain any photos of my shivvies, either. My collection of tiny homemade knives is for me and me only. It was hard work, all that whittling.

I mention the lack of undergarments only because the cookbook I used, Cowgirl Cuisine, DOES include photographs of the author’s skivvies, and I’m sorry if you feel like you’re missing out on anything. Besides which, my shivvies skivvies are all highly utilitarian*, so no one really wants to look at them anyway, unless you get off on pictures of tan four-hook bras. Yeah, I didn’t think so.

*Ironically, my shivvies are all highly decorative.


Dinner tonight was a surprisingly robust turkey chili with white beans and sage. Come the chillier months we are ridiculously huge chili eaters, and few weekends go by without a Dutch oven filled with beans clattering away on the stovetop. (Come the chillier months, we are also ridiculously huge farters. We keep a lot of scented candles around.)

Despite my chili love, it can get a little tiring to eat the same recipe again and again and again and again, so I’m always on the lookout for something new. Brian is also stopped up with snot at the moment, so I wanted something spicy to help ease air’s way through his nasal passages. Enter: turkey chili.

leafy greens

The recipe starts in two separate pans, although I’m not sure why. First, onions, carrots, celery and poblanos are sauteed together; those pictures all came out blurry, so you’ll have to use the POWER OF IMAGINATION. Second, ground turkey gets browned up along with garlic, jalapeño, copious amounts of fresh sage and a spice blend of chili, cumin, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, allspice, bay and coriander.

Doesn’t the sage look soft and nubby, like you wanna roll around in it? And if I did that, I wouldn’t need any more scented candles, although people at work would wonder why I smelled like Thanksgiving.


The sauteed veg and turkey end up all together in the pot anyway, so I don’t know that the two-pan rigamarole did anything but result in an extra pan to be washed. We all know how deeply lazy I am, so I am forced to ding the recipe one for forcing me to force Brian to do that additional washing.


I poured some stock into the turkey and veg mixture and left it to simmer for 45 minutes while I futzed around online and watched an episode of “Unwrapped.” It was about candy, and one of the featured products was Smarties. No matter how much crack you hop Marc Summers up on, he can’t make, “And the the Dextrose funnels from the silo into a tablet press!” interesting or exciting.

But Michelle, perhaps you are saying, YOU watched it. And I did, but I (1) didn’t like it and (2) flipped over to an episode of “Family Guy” during the commercials so TAKE THAT high-paying “Unwrapped” advertisers. You won’t sink your claws into the likes of me. You should watch out anyway, because I’ve got a shivvie.


I tossed in a can of cannellini beans during the last few minutes of cooking and added a bit of water, since the stock had reduced down to nothingness. Some sliced scallions, some grated cheese and the dinner bell was a-ringed.


Brian, although he claimed to be unable to taste anything, came up with the most apt description for the blend of flavors in this chili: it’s like if you took Old El Paso taco seasoning and made it good. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical; when I tasted the chili at the beginning of its simmer, it tasted a little like hot chicken soup. By the time dinner rolled around, it was spicy and rich and punchy and all of the things you want a good chili to be.

It also came together in about an hour and a half from first chop to sitting down to eat – a big difference from Brian’s regular four-hour simmer chili – gaining it back the point I dinged it earlier.

If this is how skivvie-showing cowgirls eat, then sign me up.

8 thoughts on “Smackdown: I Keep My Underwear to Myself

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention thursday night smackdown » Smackdown: I Keep My Underwear to Myself --

  2. Ooh ooh! I have everything already on hand to make this…except for the ground turkey, but that’s easy to pick up. And I’d have to steal carrots and onions from my roommate, but really that’d be doing her and the Earth a favor since she always comes home with bags of both after visiting her parents but rarely cooks anything more involved than blue box mac n’cheese, so the carrots and onions just wind up getting sadder and sadder in the refrigerator veggie drawer until such time as they are so far gone I can just pour them into the compost bucket. I.e., she won’t miss them if I use them, especially if I feed her chili.

  3. YES! I am BACK! Over my blogposting and reading hiatus, and all over your blog like, er, like a chilli rash. Or something.

    Spicy, hot and punchy. Yes, that’s me. Sorry – I mean, that’s what I like to eat. Does that make me a cowgirl?

  4. So despite my FB post, we know I’m not really ready to cook with your recipes (yet). I came here to get a lil’ Michelle fix. Still not satisfied.

  5. i find a 1/2 cup or so of a dried chili puree (not hot chiles) gives my turkey chili a nice edge, also a lil hunk of dark chocolate towards the end.

    tonight, ground turkey found its way into a shepherd’s pie….mmmm comfort

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