Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crafty Christmas

I have been a busy little bee over here crafting away...  I decided to put some of my sewing skills to use this Christmas to make some presents and have really enjoyed the satisfaction of completing all of my projects.  I am still hoping to get a few more crafts made before Sunday but we'll see.  I'm not going to pressure myself on that one!  I would love to show you all the lovely things I have made but I'm pretty sure a few of my readers would figure out who I made what for... so I'll just name a few things to keep them guessing ;-) 

gingerbread playdough
make-up bags
pin cushion
felt play food
felted soap
wool book covers

Whew. now it's on to baking. hope you are enjoying you're pre-holiday days!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adventures In Cooking

Carlos and I recently decided to change the foods we are eating and to start living a healthier lifestyle.  Not that we didn't eat well before...we have never been "out of the box" kind of eaters and have always sat down to a well balanced dinner as a family but after watching a few food documentaries (thanks to no cable & Netflix) we are going to cut back our meat consumption to only two nights a week.  We are also switching to raw milk - which I will discuss in another post.  Now don't get me wrong we still like our meat and will certainly eat it if that's what we feel like eating!  Baby steps is all we're trying to take here.  Since I enjoy cooking and am used to the ol' meat with sides kind of meal planning this new lifestyle has been quite the adjustment for me.  I have been trying lots of recipes so I thought I'd start sharing a few that we all really enjoyed.  More to come.....

Vegetarian Chili

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup chopped yellow onion
1 Cup chopped red bell pepper
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
2 Serrano Peppers (stemmed, seeded and minced)
1 medium zucchini, cut into small dice
1 1/2 Cups frozen corn kernels
1 lb. portabella mushrooms (stemmed, cleaned and diced)
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
1 can of dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of chili beans with liquid
1 can of tomato sauce
1-2 Cups of vegetable stock
  1. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes.
  6. Add the beans, tomato sauce and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Start with 1 cup of stock and then add more if you like it a little saucier. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
  8. To serve garnish with whatever you choose. Serve immediately.