Lee Mathis

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September 27, 2012
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MATHIS: Fall into Fruita

Well, we have now ended the true summer season, but out here in our little slice of heaven, we tend to have our own seasons! One sure sign that the summer season is over is the Fruita Fall Festival event.The 98th (Yikes, 98th? Can't wait for the 100th!) Fruita Fall Festival is this weekend, starting today out in downtown Fruita!With music all weekend, Comedy Night, a Youth & Pet Talent Show, a 5K race, a Baking and Canning Contest and over 150 vendor all around Circle Park and along East Aspen Avenue, the festival is a great family event to come out for a day.Talking about food: Navajo Tacos (come on, you know you have to have one!), cheesesteaks, gyros, BBQ, pizza and, of course, cheesecakes, are just a few of the food offerings available so come hungry.

Ahh, yes ... we feel the call of the road! We have had a great spring and summer season. Coming up real soon, I'm hitting the highway, headed down to New Mexico and possibly Arizona to do a culinary tour of peppers - yes, hot ones in the Southwest! I have been compiling lists of where to eat from "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives," "Man vs. Food," RoadTrip.com and others. Now to pick the best driving CDs, clean out the truck, make sure AAA is up to date, and to semi-quote a band from New Jersey: "Roll down the windows and let the wind blow back your hair!" Expect some pictures and food reviews when I get back.Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook and on Twitter.

(from Coastalliving.com)This chili is also delicious made with ground chicken, turkey or pork instead of - or combined with - the beef. You can also omit the meat entirely. I like using a combination of any of the following beans: navy, great Northern, cannellini, black, garbanzo, adzuki. Use canned beans with low or no sodium.Yield: Makes 2 1/2 quartsCook time: 1 Hour Prep time: 15 Minutes 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 pound ground round or ground chuck, browned and drained 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon dried basil 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer (optional) 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken or beef broth 1 bay leaf 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained Garnishes: grated Cheddar cheese, sour cream Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper, and cook 5 minutes. Add chipotle pepper and garlic; cook about 1 minute. Add beef and next 5 ingredients. Stir in beer, and simmer about 2 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and next 4 ingredients. Bring to a low boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Add beans, stir, and continue to simmer 10 minutes or until liquid has reduced slightly. Remove bay leaf. Garnish, if desired.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 27, 2012 03:57PM Published Sep 27, 2012 03:56PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.