Wednesday, December 29, 2010

That's my chili

Brrrr it's cold outside.  Let's warm up with a big ol' pot of chili.  I've been trying to find a chili recipe for years that me and my family likes (except my mom, she doesn't like anything but meat in her chili).  Okay, I finally developed one myself.  Boy does it have everything in it and it sure is yummy!

yep...that's corn

That’s My Chili

Red bell pepper - chopped
Sweet onion - chopped
Chili meat
Can each: Light and Dark Red Kidney beans – drained and rinsed
Can corn – drained and rinsed
Cans diced tomatoes (one can being fire roasted)
Package chili seasoning
Can beef broth
Can water
½ Tbsp
1 Tsp
Each: chili powder, onion flakes, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes
½ Tsp
Each: oregano and thyme

Olive oil

1.  Brown meat in large Dutch oven, drain fat and remove meat from pot
2.  Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to pot and sweat onion and bell pepper until translucent.
3.  Add remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer.  Cover, simmer for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat medium-low to low and cook for 3-4 hours.  You don't want it to be boiling during cook time but just below simmer.

You're probably wondering about the corn.  I like corn and I like corn in chili.  I think it give little hits of sweet that is refreshing against the spice from the rest of the chili.  Remember, it's always better the next day.  I've made enough here that I'll be freezing at least 2 servings worth for those cold nights when I don't have time to cook chili but want some. 

EDIT: my recipes are always changing to my taste.  I made it again yesterday and added 1 can of tomato sauce and another package of chili seasoning mix.  I also didn't used the addition spices, just the 2 packages of mix. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

walk before you crawl

Turn back now if you think this is about Nuggy.  It's not.  It's about me.  Be forewarned. 

Bottles.  Labels.  Carboys.  Tastings.  Corks.  See how I walk before I crawl.  The first jug of mead hasn’t even finished its primary fermentation and I already have dreams of a brand of mead that I can take to tastings and competitions and even sell.  Oh and then I’ll start a meadery…see how I get.   I’m already designing a label and thinking of names and slogans.  It’s all laid out in my head.  Why? I’ve wanted to own my own company for a long long time.  I think I’m just predestined to be a small business owner.  My first grand plan was to open a gourmet dog cookie shop.  I know, you don’t have to say anything.  Next was to own a small yarn shop.  Then I did have a small business.  “1,000 Petals” is my yarn/fiber dying company.  This has fallen to the wayside since becoming pregnant and having a baby.  Although I did love the creative process of color combos it was so time consuming to produce such a small inventory.  I’ve also had numerous ideas along the way, too many to name or even remember.  
Now…Mead.  Out of all the different forms of wine I’ve tried mead is my favorite.  Well, this and Ice Wine.  Side note: Mead is a wine made primarily from honey, water, and yeast.  From my initial research I believe that the upstart $$ for this hobby is fairly inexpensive.  As a matter of fact what should be the first 4 bottles cost under $20 to produce.  Can’t beat that.  I’ve already found a local raw honey producer.  Now, a bit of practicality, this will probably never be anything more than a hobby which is perfectly satisfying to me.  I think some bottles of mead made by hand will make nice gifts.   But does it really hurt to dream and plan for something that might happen.  And to be honest, if I really want this to happen I will make it happen.  So here are some of my big business ideas. 

I want this to be fun.  Thus the name: Bad Ass Hive Mead.  Slogan: “My honey can kick your honey’s ass”.  I’m hoping a friend of mine can come up with some art for this idea.  He does some really cool robot type stuff and I think it would be interesting to see what he could do with this idea. 
Aside from the fun design and conceptual stuff, I have some experimenting to do.  Mead, like wine, can be dry or sweet depending on several variances.  One of these variances is the type of yeast.  First experiment will be with 4 different yeast.  I’m also going to experiment with fruits, making the mead a “Melomel”.  Melomel is defined as mead fermented with fruit added to the honey during primary fermentation. 
Now, most people know that I’m pretty impatient.  You didn’t really think I could wait a year before having the first glass of mead.  Thank god for short or quick meads.  These can be ready in a matter of a few weeks.  They are not going to be anything special or spectacular, I know this.  But they will be homemead.  Get it…homemead instead of homemade? 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

need a topic

Oh how the days fly by.  Nuggy is within days of being 8 months old.  8 months.  It's hard to believe.  He has become such a character.  If I didn't know any better I would think he was trying to come up with ways to get in trouble.  You can see it in his eyes. 
see what i mean

Wow, so many things have been going one around here that I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts.  Let's see, we got our family pics taken. 
Aren't we cute!

Let's see, what else has happened?  Oh...floor in the kitchen is finished.  Yay!  I'm so proud of how much we've (mainly Paul) have done in this house.  I'll have to get pics later. 

Ummm, I think the newest in new is the mead.  If you've known me for any period of time, you know that I always have some sort of new hobby, or better yet new obsession.  Now it's mead, also known as honey wine.  It's a wine made from fermenting honey.  Yummy!  I'm starting with a small scale experiment with 1 gallon of 3 different varieties. 

we have fermentation
I would also like to make some melomel which is honey mead with fruit.  Plans are to make a pomegranate, pear, and raspberry melomel.  Paul also is going to make his beer from a beer kit I got for him a few years ago.  I don't like beer but I'm looking forward to at least tasting it.  My hope is that I'll have lots of mead to go around for gifts next year. 

I'll right I can't think of anything else right now. I really need to post more often so that this doesn't happen again. 


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

that boogie eludes me

As a parent my biggest arch nemeses so far has been the boogie. The ever present and super regenerative boogie. It’s like it has some sort of magic power over me. My new mom nails are too short to dig it out. If I go after it with a q-tip it just gets smashed to the wall of his nose only to perk back up and laugh at me. Or if I get really aggressive with it and declare war, it is only to the detriment of my son who makes this snorking noise that makes it seem like he just can’t breathe at all. And then the ultimate boogie slap in the face is if I do get it, another one appears in its place with super sticky abilities. It’s all just a huge boogie blot against me. I have a feeling me and the boogie will be doing battles for years to come. Damn you boogie!!!

And worst boogie offense of shows up in pictures.  See the evidence below.


Now for a pic with lots of cute factor but no boogie.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

title: can't think of a title

You ever read a blog and think the writer has everything together? They seem to have a firm grasp on perfection. I certainly have and I am fascinated by these people. Who are they? What is their day like? What photo editing program are they using? I hate not knowing things. So I start the search. I’ll read every blog post just in case that hidden in their writing is the secret button or feature they used to get those bold pics. Or maybe they will post some secret time strategy that allows them to accomplish everything they want and still raise seemingly happy healthy children and have the best marriage ever. Maybe a book they read and all of sudden it all fell into place.

Well, lets just say I’ve never had this grasp on perfection. I apparently have slippery hands and will probably never have this grasp on perfection. So until I find the magic button or read the magic words, you are stuck with me. Just me and my words. Just me and my pics. Just me and my thought. Course, I do like my words, my pics, and my thoughts.

Don’t know really where I was going with that. Just thoughts.
In other news, Paul, James, and I went to the Winter Haven and Lakeland Saturday markets.  Both are geared towards organic grown produce and plants.  On to the days scores.  Tomatoes, an onion, purple and red bell peppers, spices, cukes, and plumes (not pictured).  I've already used the cukes and onion and made bread and butter pickles using the Alton Brown B and B recipe (I doubled the recipe).  I plan on using the plumes to make baby food. and the tomatoes I think I'll be using for stuffed tomatoes.  The peppers will be fired roasted and frozen for future use.  Love me some fire roasted bell peppers. 


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

daydreamin from a cubicle

Why can’t we survive on only 4 hrs a day sleep? If I only had to sleep for 4 hrs a night I would get lots and lots done. It was a long night with the Nugget last night and the sleep fairy was no where to be found. She can be such a bitchh sometimes. She was probably off sprinkling sleep dust onto some teenage boy who had been up for 32 hrs playing WOW (World of Warcraft) while neglecting all us sleep deprived parents. Is WOW even a cool game to play anymore? Doesn’t matter. Anyway, I was sitting at my desk at work yesterday and while doing a very boring part of my job I started daydreaming about things I would like to be doing. Side Note: Does it really make me a bad employee for daydreaming at work or an honest person for admitting to doing something that we all do on occasion? So, I got to thinking about cooking, knitting, playing, relaxing, etc, the list goes on and on. You ever notice sometimes how weird a train of thought can be? How one thing can lead to another? Well, today I was thinking about “The Next Food Network Star” finale. Congrats to Aarti Sequeira! who had/has her own online cooking show and blog called Aarti Paarti. We (Paul and I) were so happy when she won. I recently found her show and blog and I’ve been catching up with past episode. Anyway, in one of her episodes she mentioned something about a type of frozen dessert called Kulfi from India. I thought she said coffee, so I started thinking about coffee. Now hang on for this train of thought. Here we go. She said Kulfi, I thought she said coffee and thought about hanging out at the coffee shop and visiting with friends. I’m southern and we call it visiting. I then thought about how I used to do a lot of visiting while knitting but the knitting mojo has been lacking recently. Then I contemplated that maybe the reason for the lack of interest in knitting is due to the absurdly hot weather we’ve been having. This made me thankful that I cut my hair short so that I can still be slightly stylish with my hair down instead of in a twist or crappy ponytail. It was so long that I couldn’t even do a stylish ponytail or twist, it was just a “keep this mop out of my face” deally.

Then I started thinking that I could knit a cutesy little beret/slouchy hat type hat which by-the-way Aarti wore super cute one in one of her episodes. This gave me a little spark of interest in knitting, thinking that it would be good for when it does eventfully get cooler. While wondering what type of yarn to knit this conceptual beret out of I started going through my mental index of yarn choices that I have in my craft room. Which led back to an idea I had last week for doing an open house of sorts to get rid of some of my crafting accumulations and get all my crafting stuff into one closet instead of one room. This led me to thinking about what I would like to do with the extra room and thinking about how it would be nice to have a spare bedroom for overnight guest or moving Nugget into a bigger room and making the smaller room into a guest bedroom/playroom. Then I thought about how much fun it would be to have people over more often to hang out with and cook for, so now I’m planning (in my head of course) a really cute guest bedroom. Not that having someone over for dinner would mean they would need a bedroom…weird, right. This led me to think about recipes I would like to try. And so on and so on… this could go on for another hour. The point. Is there a point? I know I had a point when I started. Well, here is what I go out of it. I would like to entertain more. I want to knit a lacy beret. I would like to fix up a guest bedroom. I would like to try making fish tacos (Aarti made them which made me think of another fish taco recipe I saw and how good fish tacos look). Now, this is why I need to survive on only 4 hrs of sleep of day.


me no write good

I’m no writer. I can write. I can spell (not good). But I’ve never been a “writer”, although I very much wish I was. If I could be something I’m not it would be a writer. Writers just seem so smart. Anyway, I say this in my opening blog post for my new blog because I don’t want any misconceptions about what you will get from this blog. You will not be getting really profound reading material. You will get me. You will get little snapshots into my life and what’s happening around me. You’ll also get lots of links, I just love to link to other material. And you will for sure get lots of pics, cuz I like to take pics and share pics.

I’ve got several ideas for this new blog. I really like to have this very organized. It doesn’t always work in the “real” world but maybe I can make it work for me here. I’ve come up with some blog post categories. I figure it will help me focus on blog post subjects. So far my categories are: baby baby oooh baby, numy numy in my tummy, curls like us, lotus knits, crafty lady, snap flash, me me me me me, and all the other stuff. That’s 8 so far. Not sure if there will be more. I would also like to keep subject posting on a schedule. So on Mondays I might post about the Nugget and Wednesday will be posting about food/cooking. Don’t know, I’ll have to see how that works out. I do have a 4 month old at home and things do have to be somewhat flexible (which I’m learning to deal with, maybe that will be a post).

So there you have it…The Beginning.
Oh and for all that were wondering here's the new kitchen