Vegetarian Skyline Chili Night.

Every time I come home my family talks about all the recipes they’ve been drooling over, and the various things they want me to cook.  Call me selfish, but as soon as I walk through my mom’s door the only thing I want is for someone else to cook for me!  That’s what mom’s are for.  :)

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Welcome to my mom’s house!  Let me introduce you to the cast of characters.  First we have Max, with his silky long black hair.

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Next we have Kitty – yes, the lamest cat name ever.  Her name is actually Kitty Malone, because when my mom first found her I was the only one who could take her to the vet, and without thinking, I gave her my last name.  My mom has a very bad habit of adopting stray cats.

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Pretzel was feeling a little shy and wouldn’t come out for her close-up, but I got one anyways.  I actually found Pretzel as a 6-week old kitten, under a tree on the side of a busy road while I was out for a run.  She is a total sweetheart.

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And then there is Toby – the feline love of my life.  He is actually MY cat – who my mom was sort of forced to adopt when Casey and I moved in together.  Turns out our dogs are not so cat-friendly, and it was in Toby’s best interest to go live at mom’s house.  I think he is the most beautiful cat in the entire world.

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Sadly, I am pretty much the only one who likes him.  :(  I got him in college when he was a teeny tiny kitten, and kept him illegally in my senior dorm room.  When he was just a few months old, there was a horrific accident that involved a giant wooden ladder crashing down on his neck, leaving him nearly paralyzed and slightly brain damaged.  It’s a total miracle that he survived, and I think he is the most precious cat in the world.  But every once in a while he gets a little too feisty for the rest of the family…

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Keeping all these crazy cats in line is Bosley, king of the household.

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Our family has always had Welsh Corgis – such a great dog breed!

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No matter how old I get or how far away I live, there is always just something so comforting about coming home to mom’s house.

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Even though she is truly a crazy cat woman.  Seriously, it scares me.

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For dinner, she was nice enough to make us a big green salad with delicious cherry tomatoes.

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And a vegetarian version of Cincinnati’s famous Skyline chili!!  In Cincinnati, spaghetti is the only way to serve chili…

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Vegetarian soy crumbles, tomato paste, Cincinnati chili seasoning, water, and salt and pepper.

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Absolutely delicious.

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Skyline chili is one of those things that most people outside of Cincinnati think is totally disgusting and weird.  But I grew up on the stuff, and this vegetarian version was totally comparable to the real deal.

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My mom has recently become a vegetarian too, which is really fun for me and Casey.  It makes family meals so much easier, and it’s nice to have so much love and support for our choices.

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My older sister and her husband arrive tonight, and then the family will be complete!  This visit is already going by way too quickly.  Doing my best to soak it all in…