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Dinner Rush! Winter White Turkey Chili

Aside from being painfully chic – what with its “winter white” moniker and all – this recipe is a particularly sentimental one for me as it’s one of the first things my now husband made for me when we first started dating.

You see we both went to culinary school – met there in fact – but he took the road less kitchen-y in favor of other aptitudes (basically, he’s a fantastic marketer and a terrible cook [his words not mine]). Keeping a few culinary tricks up his sleeve, though, he loves making chili and, being that we started dating mid-winter, this recipe has always been a big ol’ seasonal heart-warmer for me.

We call it a white chili because there’s very little tomato in it, but the addition of cumin, beer, tons of beans and a topper of creamy avocado keep it just as satisfying as a traditional red chili. It’s a nice change to help wean you off from the football season barrage.

And take it from a culinary school grad who (claims that he) can’t cook. This recipe is super flexible, welcoming into the pot whatever vegetables you have in the house, and is delicious with the addition of a chopped up sweet potato or chipotle in adobo.

Just make sure to serve it in something chic to keep the momentum going for me, would you please?

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Dinner Rush! Beer-Braised Burgers

Imagine what happens when you combine your favorite tailgating beverage with America’s favorite sandwich.  Chardonnay Hoagies?  Yuck.  Cosmo Reubens?  Way off point.  But beer and burgers?  Now we’re talking.

This “knife & fork” style beer-braised burger does most of its cooking in a delicious sudsy bath of brew, which not only builds in a great depth of flavor, it also helps to create a killer pan sauce that you can pour over your finished masterpiece.  While it looks like 110% “so bad, but so good” man food, a few tricks can help lighten this dish. Opt for ground sirloin to cut out some excess fat from the meat and use a strongly flavored cheese (such as the recommended Stilton) to get the most flavor bang for your caloric buck. You can also use a lighter beer like a lager or ale (though I’d recommend something hearty like a porter or stout).

Now – if you’ve had enough time to shake the thought of what a train wreck Cosmo Reubens would be – game on!

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