Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yummy Chili

I know chili isn't really a summer meal, but I wanted to use my crock pot the other day, so I made a batch of chili. I thought I'd share the recipe I use, which I really like because it uses dried beans instead of cans like most other recipes.

I adapted the recipe based on what I had on hand, and my personal preferences. The original recipe is called Chilly-Chili and is from Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly.

2 c. assorted dried beans
1 tsp salt
1 lb. fat-free ground turkey (I don't use this much - probably only 1/2 lb.)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic (I usually use 2 tsp. garlic pwd.)
Olive oil
1 tsp. salt
28 - oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained.
2 tsp. Cumin, approx.
3 tsp. Chili pwd., approx.
(I say approx. on the spices because I usually don't measure them. I like my chili pretty mild - add more if you like it spicy!)

1. A day - or a week - before you want to serve and eat chili, sort, wash, and cover beans with water for 4-6 hours. Drain.
2. Place in plastic resealable bag. Place in freezer and freeze until solid.
3. On the day you want to serve the chili, place frozen beans in slow cooker. Cover with fresh water. Add 1 tsp. salt (this will keep the beans firm).
4. Cover. Cook on high 2-3 hours, or until you can crush a bean with a fork.
5. Drain, reserving 2 cups liquid. (I usually will take out liquid until I think there's about a cup left in the beans, then leave that, and save another cup and a half or so of the liquid. It doesn't have to be exact, and that's easier than trying to get all of the liquid out.)
6. In a skillet, brown ground turkey, onion, and garlic in oil.
7. Add to slow cooker. Add tomatoes, salt, cumin, and chili powder to slow cooker.
8. Add the remaining bean liquid, or as much as you can fit in your slow cooker.
9. Cover. Cook on low 1-8 hours.

Makes 6 servings.

Staycation Activities...

We've enjoyed a few day trips this summer - this past Monday we joined my parents and youngest sister on a trip to a wildlife park and a replica pioneer farm.

We enjoyed seeing the various animals at the park. Benjamin is a little young to be able to appreciate it, but he did seem to like looking at a few of the animals!

At the pioneer farm, we got to try a variety of farm activities. I decided to be brave and try milking the cow! It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...

It's amazing how many fun activities you can do that aren't too far from home!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A fun project!

A while back Seth gave me a gift certificate for a bead store near our home. I finally had a chance this past Saturday to put it to use! I bought the supplies and made three pairs of earrings at the store, where they have the tools you can use for free. I hadn't really done any beading before, but I like how they turned out and am enjoying them!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I haven't done any sewing for a while - so it felt really good to make something the other day as I made a garbage bag dispenser for my sister-in-law! I've made a couple of other things since and have a few more projects lined up to work on in the next couple of weeks!


Benjamin is such a casual, relaxed little guy; I just had to post these darling pictures of him!