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Chili and Cinnamon Buns - A Midwestern Tradition

these buns just need a plop of gooey cream-cheese frosting

I don't know about you, but I tend to cook seasonally. I don't make many soups in the summer, and I don't eat nearly as much hummus, tomatoes, and cucumber dips in the winter. I think it has a lot to do with budget-buying seasonal  produce is often the cheapest option because there is an abundance of it, and the price goes down. I eat salad after salad in the summer but I find that I sometimes have to force a salad here and there through late Fall and winter...until the tail end of winter when I'm longing for some fresh greens!

When there's about four weeks left of summer, I start to get a hankering for Fall soups. Sure, I want the heat to end, and my favorite temperature (about 65 degrees F) to come back, but mostly, I just want to start nearly every dinner with onion and garlic cooked in oil or butter. A few weeks back-still summer--I had a really good opportunity to make some friends chili and cinnamon rolls. Now that it's Fall and the weather has changed, I can make as much soup as I want (bonus points for a pastry on the side, says my husband), and it's fitting that I made this first. 

Chili and cinnamon buns is a standard meal where I'm from. Everyone eats pasta and salad together--that's a complete meal--and it's the same idea here. It's so common that it's a staple school meal in the Fall and Winter months. I can still remember the cinnamon buns at my school, those lunch ladies were magic! It's not common here, in fact, it was largely unheard of until last night, when we told a group of church ladies that we were having a chili and cinnamon bun fundraiser next month. I'm slowly converting the Pacific Northwest of this great Midwestern tradition!

Although I use a bread maker (and cuisinart's directions) for my cinnamon buns, they must have cream-cheese icing to get the full effect. I've included a list of some great recipes from well-known bakers and chefs. 

*Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Buns
*Joy the Baker's (via Savour) Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
*Ree Drummon'd Maple Cinnamon Buns (for my Canadian friends, of course)

Most people have their own favorite chili, so I say, pair it with what you like. Myself? I like a really meaty-not-as-beany chili and a bit of heat, but I almost never make it completely the same. That means plenty of chili powder, and I mix tomato base (like V8) with homemade broth. I just follow a backbone recipe and add what I have on hand.  Here are a few recipes for chili that look really good!

*Meaty Thick Man Chili Recipe (how can you go wrong with a name like that and 5 lbs of beef?)
*a crockpot solution to Meaty Chili 
*for the vegetarians, a Meaty, Meat-less Chili by Rachel Ray

Comments

Aimée said…
Now that sounds like a fun pairing and a tradition worth carrying on!
Anonymous said…
weird! It's like the best secret ever. And forces your kids to eat chili to get that cinnamon roll!-Kaitlyn
Elie Fabs said…
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