Currently Reading:

Currently Reading:

Station Eleven

by: Emily St. John Mandel

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Major life changes

So you may be asking where did I go? Did I drop off the planet? Probably for you 2 followers and family/friends that read my posts it's not a big deal.  I have many photos ready to blog about in the past couple weeks but life has thrown me a curve ball.

The diagnosis isn't official yet but I am waiting on the results of a skin biopsy that will tell me what myself and my dermatologist suspect...that I have a skin disorder called Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) which is an EXTREMELY, oh my goodness you can't even imagine, itchy rash with blisters. Now on top of that about 80-90% of the people with DH also have Celiac's disease which means Gluten is now my worst enemy.

I am in the process of de-contaminating my house. 95% of my kitchen utensils/bakeware/cookware will need to be replaced due to possibly contamination.

Last night I spent my "family craft night" purging out my's quite empty compared to what it used to be. I have a tub of cooking things that are currently gluten free all sealed so that I can eat without problems.

That's just the kitchen...Gluten can be found in shampoo, conditioner, lotions, soaps, lipstick, lip gloss, chapstick, envelopes, stamps, playdoh, toothpastes, diaper cream, wipes....

It's going to be a long process...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday

So it's time to link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced again.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

 I have been diligently working on things that are needing to be finished by this Saturday, however I can't really show you any of them.

I can tell you I have finished 4 projects in the last week since starting the WIP wednesday blog. I have one sitting next to my laptop right now just needing ends to be weaved in.

I have 2-3 more projects to finish in the next two days and Saturday Night I will post about what all I made. (I don't want to ruin any surprises).

As far as other crafts go: I got the Little man's special Valentine's Day project finished (another no pictures allowed until the recipients receive them.

I will say it is sooooo much fun to introduce little man to painting, play-doh, and crayons. I can't wait until he wants to do more projects with me!

I have been sketching lately as part of Sketchuary, a group on Facebook. The goal is to sketch every day for the month of February and post the one sketch on the group page. It's pretty amazing to see such creativity at work.

WIP in the kitchen: I've been busy. I've made 2 or 3 new recipes I want to share. Maybe I will have a moment tomorrow to type the blogs up. I will say the most exciting thing is back when I made my new favorite chili, I had a friend go out and get the ingredients for my Go To Chili recipe and made it. She too has been looking for a good chili recipe and I am happy to report that she and her husband both loved the chili!

 The biggest work in progress that I'm working on is fitness related:  This couple I know are trying to do 100 pushups a day for 100 days. That's right fellow math geeks, crunch those numbers. For those of you who don't like math that's 10,000 pushups in 100 days. Well I got started a few days late and calculated how many I needed to do to stay on track with these friends. For the last three days I have done 104 pushups.  I remember back in high school how hard 25 straight leg pushups were. I am starting out with bent knee pushups. I started out doing 3 sets of 25 and one set of 29. I can already tell that my body is adjusting to the routine because tonight I did one set of 25, one set of 34, and the last set of 45!!!!! I think that's amazing. 

Oh and I'm still working on the Love and Freindship book by Jane Austen. Somehow I didn't think reading stories from a teenage from the regency period would be so difficult, but I am trudging along.

So that's where I am at!  Where are you all in your list of TO Accomplish?  Have you started on them? What are you waiting for?

Friday, February 1, 2013

My New Go To Chili Recipe

Holy Cannoli Batman!  I've been itching to make chili now for more than 2 weeks. It just sounds good. Maybe I am feeling sympathy for all my friends and family in the Midwest where the temperatures are negative. (Did I mention how happy I am to be out in the Pacific Northwest!)

Anywho, So tonight I decided to actually get off my butt and make it for dinner. I had previously looked at recipes the last two days for one that I liked but I came up with things that just looked ok, but not "Oh my heavens, I HAVE to make that."

sort of like this little beauty...that is currently on my list of things to drool over everyday until I make it. If I just made your mouth is the link for the recipe:
Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Seriously...when I have a stressful day I'd like a couple of these puppies to make things so much better, wouldn't you?

So Husband and I ate this chili for dinner, The seasonings were all eyeballed so the following recipe was the best guess. The Rotel tomatoes and green chiles do have a heat to them (in case you need to cut out all spice).  The review from the husband was: "zomg that's good." He gobbled the entire bowl up. He also attempted to downplay how good it was so he could have more (to save others from having to have a bowl).

 My Chili
2 packages of sirloin tip steaks, chopped into bite size pieces
1.25 lbs ground beef
2 green peppers
10 mini sweet peppers (or 1-2 red, yellow, or orange peppers), diced
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can tomato sauce
1 can butter beans (could use two) drained & rinsed
1 can tri-blend beans (kidney, black, and pinto) drained & rinsed
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can of water
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder
1 can of Guinness beer
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 scallion, chopped (greens only)

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add steak pieces (do two batches if you need to) Brown pieces, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Meanwhile in a second pan, brown beef, season lightly with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Once steak pieces are cooked, sauté onions in stock pot with a splash of oil. Add green peppers and sweet peppers and garlic, deglaze with the beer. Add tomato sauce, 1 can of water, add both beans, add corn, and both meats. Stir to combine.  Add 1 ½ palmfuls of chili powder, 2-3 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder and onion powder,  1-2 Tbsp oregano. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper.  Stir to combine spices. To thicken. Take ¼ to ½ cup of just the liquid part of the chili into a bowl or cup. Add generous sprinkle of cornstarch (maybe 3-4 Tbsp) and whisk until combine. Add back to chili. (I did this twice).  Cook for 15 minutes on stove top to meld flavors.  Serve with shredded Pepper Jack Cheese, garnish with chopped scallions and tortilla chips on the side.

And in case you don't like my recipe and are still searching for your favorite chili recipe Check out this one: