I’m on day four of what I am calling my 12 Days of Christmas: 12 days off from work over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Yipeee! I’m incredibly thankful to K-Bear’s daycare mom for taking a well-deserved break and gifting me this first-ever, extended holiday staycation.
Our first three days were spent baking and delivering goodies to the neighbors, gathering with friends for our annual Zoo Lights excursion, wrapping gifts and snuggling with K-Bear. There is something about the peace and beauty of these days leading to Christmas that make me forever happy and grateful for all we have.
I’ll be busy this week with a painting project in the house, and a snowshoe or two thanks to a winter storm coming our way just in time for a white Christmas. I’ll see you back on January 1 with a surprise!
Until then, from my family to yours, I wish you a holiday week filled with peace and love, fresh air adventures and a multitude of smiles and surprises that only a fat man in a red suit can deliver. 😉
Thanks to Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!, you can visit a number of fantastic museums for FREE on September 29. Unfortunately for those of Colorado, it also happens to fall on the day of Hike and Seek, but if the weather is a wash, you can bet we’ll trade in the trails for the brand new History Colorado Center!
To receive your free Museum Day Live! Ticket for two people, head over here and fill in your information. They’ll immediately send you an email to print a ticket for the museum of your choice. Continue reading →
As the days start to cool and football consumes the television, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili. Whether it’s an afternoon with just the family or a houseful of friends, I think you will enjoy this, vitamin, fiber and protein filled vegetarian version. I’ve never had a meat-eating friend be disappointed! If you really want to throw them off, substitute a 12 oz. bag of meatless crumbles, such as Boca or Morningstar Farms brand, for one of the cans of beans.
My secret ingredient? Cinnamon, which adds an extra dimension of warmth. This chili cooks quickly on the stove as a last-minute meal, but is equally as wonderful when tossed in the slow cooker (no pre-sautéing required). It also freezes very well.
2 tbls. olive oil
6 cloves garlic chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
2 jalapeno peppers chopped
1 28 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
1 28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes
1 25 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
1 25 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tbls. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne (optional)
Sour cream and chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Sauté the garlic, onion, and peppers in olive oil until fragrant. Add tomatoes, beans, and meatless crumbles (if using) and stir well. Mix in salt, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes.
You can easily opt to assemble all ingredients in a six quart slow cooker as well. Cook on low for six hours. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and a spoonful of sour cream. A batch of fresh cornbread muffins really rounds this meal out, and a cold beer doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy!