An “Aroooooooooooooo” to the Cinnamon

It is Cooking with Friends time again! Can you already guess from whose blog I have picked a recipe this time? By looking at the blog post title, maybe?

Well, if you cannot, you may get an idea from looking at this Smiley.

Still no idea? Then, I think, it is high time to have some pink on here! Yes, that is right – pink is the favorite color of the friend I am cooking with today.

Now you may know that the friend I am talking about is Kristina @ Spabettie. Perhaps you will also know her blog already – if you do not, please do not waste any more time and hop over there immediately! She not only has amazing recipes and beautiful pictures on her site, but she is also an incredibly kind, witty, and intelligent person. Knowing her has really enriched my life!

I first “met” Kristina on my lovely friend S‘ blog which we both read and comment regularly. For some months, we both were just aware of each other’s existence, but did not comment on our own blogs mutually. I would hop over to Kristina’s blog, reading silently but unnoticed. Then, after this had been going on for some time, I finally decided to reveal myself, and one of my first comments was on her Doxie page. You see, Kristina loves dachshunds, and she has a very darling and alert dachshund who she named “Basil” (after her favorite herb – another fact that I love, by the way: If I had a pet, I would name it “Pumpkin”, following the same line of thinking), and who probably is the most famous dachshund on the blog sphere.

Our first direct conversation started like this …

… and went on like this.

From that day on, we were friends, and she belongs to my closest circle of blogging friends and has a place in my heart.  The support and friendliness she gives to me is amazing – be it with regard to my Solidarity with Japan series or (very recently) my thesis study, and of course all the lovely comments she writes on my posts. So the least I can do is making a Cooking with Friends post for her!

However, picking a recipe from Kristina’s blog was not easy. Particularly, it was very difficult to pick just one, because they all look so good! Finally, a decision was made in favor of her wonderful three bean chili, and the fact that this recipe features three (!) tablespoons (!) of cinnamon may or may not have played a crucial role.

~ three tablespoons of cinnamon is this much ~

Also, I am on a legume adventure, and the possibility to try three different kinds of beans in one recipe did not want to be missed.

This is how the original recipe looked like. (The picture is linked to the source page.)

~ are you drooling already? ~

I made some adaptations again, mainly switching some of the spices I did not have at home (I did not, however, touch the three tablespoons of cinnamon!), using canned instead of fresh tomatoes (and a larger quantity of them), adding some basil …

~ whee, hi Basil! ~

… and substituting two of the bean varieties because I could not find pinto beans, and I am not so much into kidney beans.

But I still used three different kinds of beans – the ones I could find at the Asian food store. Feel free to use every kind of beans and as many different kinds as you like.

~ black beans, black-eyed peas, and cranberry beans ~

Although I adore cinnamon and rather use lots of it than little, even I was not sure about the amount that went into this dish … But it turned out wonderfully delicious! Yay that this recipe made several servings!


(adapted from Spabettie)

4-6 servings


  • butter or oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large (red) bell pepper / capsicum, cut into dices
  • 250 g (9 oz) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 250 g (9 oz) canned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 250 g (9 oz) canned cranberry beans, drained and rinsed
  • 800 g (28 oz) canned tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, chopped)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp dried basil


Heat fat in a large pot and roast the garlic and onions until slightly brown. Add the bell pepper, beans, and tomatoes, and bring to the boil while stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to low, and season with salt, chili, cinnamon, and basil. Put the lid on and cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes (if you are impatient like me) or longer – up to 5 hours (if you want to follow Kristina’s original instructions for maximum flavor).

Serve as a main dish as it is, or as a side dish with rice, quinoa, or vegetables. Anyway, enjoy!

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Filed under Cooking with Friends, Legume Dishes

44 responses to “An “Aroooooooooooooo” to the Cinnamon

  1. oh, Kath what a nice surprise to come here and see! when you told me yesterday you had made my chili I didn’t think about your Cooking with Friends series!! :D I am honored and super smiley right now from your awesome comments – I treasure what our friendship has become! still in vacation mode, I wish I could fly over there, bring S with me and have a great time with you both!

    I’m so glad you like the chili… the only thing I am missing on vacation right now is my juicer (looking for fresh juice every day!), and we were just talking about making another chili when we get home too – I have another fun idea brewing!

    thank you again for this wonderful post – you really made my day! XO!

    • LIKE! Happy I could have facilitated! :) And how fun would a trip with all three BE? I say, wherever we would go on our virtual trip, there would HAVE to be an en suite kitchen… and at least 3 dachshunds, to make it JUST right.

      Kath, I’m so proud of you for your legume conversion… now if only I would try the same with respect to chicken, we’d really be speaking each other’s language. (Which is punny, since we actually *do* speak each other’s language, though you do mine brilliantly and my “Struktur ist noch nicht ausreichend”…) :D

      • Speaking about speaking each other’s languages (what a sentence …) – *what* is BE? :D (Ahh, I just can’t keep up with your wit, especially in English. ;) Your “Struktur ist hervorragend”, btw.)

        But I think we understand each other pretty well! Most important, we seem to share the same mind craziness. :D Oh, and don’t worry about the chicken! I’ll just eat yours as well. ;) Everything’s fine. :)

        Definitely an en suite kitchen! One that features a juicer, a blender, an oven, a rice cooker, … You know what I mean. ;) We’d understand each other.

      • S, I am SO happy to have found your blog, and so happy that it led to Kath too!! kindred spirits all over the world!! <3

        • :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

          • YES ~!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

      • Hahaha, S, now I got it! *BE* is a verb. (Ahem. :D) Oops.

    • One day, the three of us will meet! :D And until then, please enjoy all your vacations! :)

      I LOVED your chili, and I can’t wait to see the next concoction you’re about to make up! :D

  2. and Basil sends a big Arooooooo! *wag wag wag*

  3. oh man oh man, i love both these recipes and I love both these bloggers. Wow, double dose today and I LOVE IT!

  4. Kath, I love that you do this! I get to know about other bloggers and what you love about them PLUS a new recipe. It’s great stuff! That chili looks delish!

  5. Persephone

    Oooo yum yum, this looks delicious and cozy. Thanks to you both for a lovely recipe, cinnamon definitely makes everything better! I have also been meaning to try cranberry beans, so this looks like the perfect opportunity.

  6. I love this sereis it’s so nice to connect with friends by cooking. I’d love to do this sometime, may be not a series but like a once in a while thing. I’m a lazy cook. I mostly stick to the things I already know except for the baking stuff. But I’m getting bored with the same things these days. I want to learn new ways to cook my veggies. This recipe looks delicious. I’m going to go with 30mins I’m sure kristina’s original will taste even better but I’m to impatient. I just added the igredients to my grocery list :)

  7. I’m obsessed with adding cinnamon to everything – this looks wonderful. And hurrah for blogger connections! They make the world go ’round :D

  8. Phoenix

    Cinnamon – what an interesting choice! I have to try that out…
    Your cooking-with-friends-series is a lovely idea. :)

  9. I LOVE cinnamon! Great job :)
    Heidi xo

  10. Awesome!! I LOVE her blog… probably because I have a dachshund too and am obsessed :) This is a neat idea!

  11. Hahaha you two are very funny and made me laugh. I enjoyed your guest post Kath! And yes Kristina, your food looks so delicious! I’ll head over to your blog now!

  12. wow – this looks truly AMAZING! So fun to hear stories about how bloggers become friends! I’ve only met 1 person in real life from the blog world, but I’d love to meet more! : )

  13. bakebooks

    I love the bowl that’s in!

  14. This dish looks strikingly red and beautiful but I wonder if I will survive without any meat :) :)

  15. What an unusual mix of basil and cinnamon. I’m glad it tastes so good!

  16. Lyn

    Hi Kath! I’m here again! :D
    Love those FUN conversations that you’re having with Kristina! :D
    Basil is so adorable! ^.^
    I think maybe this makes great pasta sauce!?? I never heard of/come across cranberry beans… What does it taste like?

    • Kristina is another one of my blogging friends who enjoys comment section conversations. A few days ago, we did some excessive balloney on her blog … :D :D :D Basil is the bomb!

      I think you could definitely use this as a pasta sauce! Kristina served it over quinoa, so why not pasta? :D

      I’m quite new to beans, and I’m confused that the same kind of bean often has very different names. I don’t know which one is the most common, especially in English! According to this page:, “cranberry bean = borlotti bean = saluggia = shell bean = salugia bean = crab eye bean = rosecoco bean = Roman bean = fagiolo romano Notes: These have an excellent, nutty flavor, and are commonly used in Italian soups and stews. Substitutes: fresh cranberry bean OR tongues of fire beans (very similar) OR cannellini bean OR Great Northern bean OR pinto bean OR chili bean”. Ah, yeah. ;)

      However, I liked them because they weren’t bitter nor had this weird mealy texture nor hard skins, like kidney beans or broad beans.

  17. Lyn

    OH! That sounds fun! :D
    Arrrggg!! Same like you, I’m always confused with different names of the same thing! Why must they have SOOO MANY names!? =.=
    I Love Kidney beans and red beans! So maybe I’ll also love cranberry beans! hehehe :D
    Tks for the link provided! :)

  18. Pingback: Balancing It Out | My Funny Little Life

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