Monday, September 9, 2013

Garden Fresh Chili

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all enjoyed a fabulous weekend! We were able to spend the weekend as a family basically relaxing and celebrating the opening Viking season. Even though we didn't pull out a win, I was happy to be able to make my first fall meal! Nothing, to me, screams fall more than a steaming bowl of chili! I usually just throw a bunch of items in a pot and call it good, but yesterday's batch turned out too delicious not to share! Hope you enjoy and give it a try! The fresher the ingredients, the better the flavor. You'd be amazed at all you can add to this chili! My garden fresh veggies included: Squash, Zucchini, Heirloom Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Green Pepper, Jalapeno Peppers, Chili Pepper, Onions, and Garlic...

Garden Fresh Chili

8 Medium Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1 Large or 2 Medium Tomatoes {I used Heirloom}, chopped
1 Large Green Pepper, chopped
1 Medium Red Onion, chopped
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 small Zucchini or half a med./large, cubed
1 small Squash, cubed
2 small Jalapenos
1 small Chili Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves
1 lb. Ground Beef
2 Tlb. Olive Oil {I use extra virgin}
1-1lb 15 oz. Can Kidney Beans {light or dark, your preferance}drained and rinsed
15 oz. Black Beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. Tomato Sauce
15 oz. Water
8 oz. Tomato Paste
S&P To Taste
2 tsp. Basil
2 tsp. Parsley
1 Tlbp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Onion Powder
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Paprika

1. Have a roasting pan pre-heated to 350 or a large pot ready on med. heat.
2. In a small saucepan Brown beef, drain grease and add to a roasting pan.
3. In same pan as beef, add 2 Tlbp. of extra virgin Olive Oil and sweat out onions. Add salt & pepper. After 3-5 min, transfer to roasting pan.
4. Roughly chop peppers and garlic, pulse in a mini food possessor and add according to desired heat, reserving so you can add more heat if needed.
5. Add canned goods to roasting pan, stir around, using the tomato sauce can, add a can of water to thin out the sauce {paste will make it too thick}.
6. Chop your larger veggies and then add them to the roasting pan.
7. Add your seasonings and spiced. These are just what I used and just a suggestion. Let simmer for roughly 2-3 hours. Tastes better and better the longer it cooks. Top with desired toppings. I LOVE cheese! LOL...

Hope you all enjoy this recipe and have a blessed day!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to School

Hello everyone!

Ok, so first off, let me apologize. I'm a horrible blooger! Too many excuses to list, so I'll just leave it at that! For the 2 people that actually read this, I thank you for keep coming back to read my blog posts! :)

Anyways, Since I last posted, we finally got our spring, and summer and now here we are at the first day of School, which marks the start of fall for us! We didn't do much this summer, but we did enjoy each other's company and little things here and there. For me, my favorite days this summer were spent at a secluded beach with the boys. Love when I can get a beach all to ourselves because then it feels like I live on a lake without the added tax hike! LOL...

Last night, we got the kids ready for bed early for a 6:15am wake up call. We brushed our teeth, set out our outfits, climbed in to bed and read some new books. One was "The Night Before Preschool" by Natasha Wing and the other by the same author was "The Night Before First Grade". The boys really enjoyed these books because they were exactly what they were feeling and looking forward to for today. I got teary eyed just reading them. I knew it was going to be a hard day for me.

So then the alarm clock goes off at 6:00am and I set off to make breakfast. At about 6:30 I made enough noise to wake the boys up without jolting them awake. They joined me and daddy in the living room and we enjoyed back-to-school-breakfast waffles! I think the nerves set in because they really didn't eat much at all!

We headed out for the bus at 6:45, still not 100% light out and took some back to school pictures. I really love these moments because you can really capture the moments and look back on them through the years. For me, today, I didn't get all the pictures I wanted because though we waited and waited and waited for the bus to come, I called transportation at 7:15 and here the bus forgot to pick us up!!! So then I had to load all the kiddos and head to the transfer school so Lance could get on his 2nd bus of the morning and head out to his new school. We made the decision to switch to a science and magnet school for their one on one attention and focus on the outdoors/nature. I'm thinking this school will be right up our alley and that we will enjoy our time there! However, for today, I'm just hoping the return my kid! :)

I'm going to do a little photo bombing of our first day of school, but for your troubles of viewing them all, I'm also doing a freebie! Maybe you can use them still for this year or save them/pin them for next year!!!

So today, as we took or photos, tears were in my eyes because I'm just that way. I cried at orientation night too! LOL...Its hard to believe that we have a 1st grader in the house and a 1st year preschooler! I was most worried to send Adam off to preK than sending Lance on a bus that would bring him 20 min. away from us! Adam is on the shy/quiet side and I wasn't sure how he would do, but he went into his classroom without clinging and I was able to leave without any tears. Ah, sweet success! However, on the way out, I did have tears from Jack as he thought it was his turn to go to school! Uh-oh! When Adam arrived home, he was all smiles and talking about a new friend he had made in his class. I'm so thankful that Cooper is an outgoing child who can help Adam feel included! So anyways, here are the pictures from this morning with my boys...

I also went back and reminised a little over the past 3 years of 1st days of school with Lance! Oh how they grow!!!

Anyways, hope you all enjoy a wonderful day and many blessings to you and your family!