Tuesday, November 30, 2010

candy houses....

when you were a kid, did you ever imagine living in a house of candy? I did. I remember vividly planning what kind of house, what everything was made of, door jams of striped candy canes, knobs made of gum drops.... maybe I had too much free time... and when I heard the story of hansel and gretel... well that was downright evil my opinion. some creepy old lady luring kids into a dream house...it ruined my dreams of candy houses with cotton candy snow on the roof... nasty old lady!

Every year we have a post thanksgiving tradition. It typically takes place a couple days after thanksgiving day. All the cousins get together and create gingerbread houses. Its loads of fun, work, mess, and laughs. Here are some of the pictures from this years gingerbread house party.

Monday, November 8, 2010

chili days...

Ok, the weather FINALLY figured out it was time to cool off! And can I say, I AM IN HEAVEN!
I love fall. I love pumpkins, sweaters, jackets, gloves, fires, coffee, thanksgiving, I love everything about fall.
except one thing. it reminds me that I HATE daylight savings. I mean i get why it was started, but Id like to opt out. I love the way its presented, "you GAIN an hour sleep!" maaaalarky! they took it from you in the spring! I didnt necessarily have such animosity towards the DST program when I was younger but since Ive had kids,its become quite the hostile relationship. Arizona got it right on this one. Skip the whole thing!

ok, rant over. I do think fall is great for foods I refuse to have anything to do with in the 105 degree summers, like soups, chilis, cider, hot chocolate.... its nice to vary our menu some at home. this last saturday (EPIC aggie game day) I decided to make a new and untested chili recipe for visiting family and friends. I know, Im a rebel. good thing it was a hit!

Its a bit weird calling for ingredients like unsweetened cocoa and beer, but it was really good. I didnt invent it but I sure did cook it and so, I pass it on:

Best Chili


2 1/2 lb. lean chuck, ground
1 lb. lean pork, ground
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
8 oz. hunt's tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can beer (12 oz.)
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons instant beef bouillon (or 6 cubes)
2 Tablespoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon warm water


1. In a large saucepan brown 1 1/4 pounds of the ground meat (the beef and the pork), drain the fat.

2. Remove meat (the beef and the pork). Brown the rest of the ground meat, drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

3. Add the garlic and onion, cook and stir until tender.

4. Add the other half of the meat and the tomato sauce, water, beer, chili powder, bouillon, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander, cocoa, and hot sauce. Mix well.

5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered , for 2 hours.

6. In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour, then add the warm water and mix well.

7. Stir into chili and cook, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.

it comes from momswhothink