Recommendations

Weekend Chili

I had *THE* best crockpot recipe 15+ years ago and I guess somehow, in several moves or something, I lost the recipe. I was SO crushed because after years of trying different chili recipes, I had finally found one that I loved and I haven’t been able to figure out where it went. I’ve tried a dozen or so chili recipes since and they are often pretty good, but not “THE ONE.” Oh well…I’ll keep trying.

Slow Cooker Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Adapted from: https://smartlittlecookie.net/home/slow-cooker-chili/

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of diced tomato
  • 2 medium jalapeños
  • For Serving:
  • shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • thinly sliced scallions

Instructions

  1. Cut red pepper and onion into small pieces. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper and onion. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until onions become soft and transparent.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder. Mix well to combine the spices. Cook for about one minute.
  4. Add the pork, beef and salt to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat and incorporate with the vegetables and spices. Let cook until all meat is brown.
  5. Carefully, transfer the meat mixture to a 6 qt. slow cooker. Add the beans and their juices, corn, tomato sauce and diced tomato and their juices.
  6. Chop the jalapeños into small pieces and add to the mixture. Discard the jalapeño seeds if you don't want the Chili to be too hot. Stir to combine.
  7. Cover and cook for about 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  8. Taste and season with salt or adobo as needed. Serve with cheese, sour cream and scallions.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54160

I found this recipe and gave it a try, with a few modifications. I used ground beef and chunks of steak (instead of ground pork). I will try using pork next time but I did enjoy having the chunks of beef in the chili.

My parents were in town for the weekend and I decided chili and cornbread would be a good meal to make for all of us.

Michael’s back is still in bad shape and I’ve been taking over most of the Logan and house duties. (He’s getting an MRI this week, so hopefully we have answers soon!) I’ve been pretty overwhelmed and stressed trying to take care of everything, so it was nice having my parents visit to help with Logan. They took care of him Saturday so I could get a break and go to the gym.

I got home and showered and they picked up lunch (coleslaw, potato salad, quinoa salad and vinegar wings–my new favorites!) and we hung out watching the Olympics. Logan didn’t want to take a nap in his crib, so he took a nap on my dad instead. 🙂

After naps, my mom and Logan made cornbread to go with the dinner. Logan was super helpful! 😉

He loved helping. It was really fun seeing him try and “cook.” My mom liked it too. Lots of good memories! I topped the cornbread with some shredded cheese and popped it in the oven.

The cornbread turned out great!

Time for dinner. The chili was pretty good. I would have preferred it to be a bit more spicy, but my parents aren’t spicy food people. (I will be adding hot sauce to the leftover). They loved the chili and said it was great. Michael even liked it, and he is not really a chili fan.

The chili was definitely better with cornbread and toppings!

The recipe said it had 6-8 servings in it. We each had 2 scoops for dinner (so 4 servings the first night) and I think there are at least 4-5 more servings in leftovers. I am taking some to work for lunches this week.

It’s even better the next day, a little thicker. I would definitely make this recipe again.

QUESTION: What is your favorite chili recipe?

Things I’m Loving #2 – Skin Products

Things I’m Loving #2

Skin Products:

I have weird skin and lots of skin issues. I’ve tried a lot of different products out there, with sometimes ok and sometimes horrible experiences.

I used Mary Kay products for years and liked a lot of them. My friend Star used to sell it, so that was a nice perk! But she doesn’t sell it anymore and I don’t really want to make the effort to find someone else.

So my skin is usually pretty dry and red and sore in the wintertime. I also have acne, and take a medication for acne because I get cyst acne (very painful). The other skin issues I have: I have eczema sometimes and psoriasis. So that can make issues worse and certain lotions and creams, etc, can irritate it. Thankfully I have both conditions managed about 90% most of the time. I just have to be careful.

I’ve tried everything out there from Oil of Olay to Neutragena to Noxema, to Aveeno, to Ponds, to Proactiv, etc etc. Nothing ever really worked. It was either too greasy, too oily, made me break out worse or dried me out.

For Christmas, my friend Star got me some beauty products and so far I really like them! And bonus: they are made locally in Portland. She got me the Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive face wash and the Pacifica Dreamy Youth moisturizer. I really love it so far. The moisturizer especially feels nice, creamy on my face and good for my skin.

I absolutely LOVE Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter. I use this a lot in the winter time especially and I use it every time after I go swimming. Swimming really dries out my dry skin even worse than normal and this stuff is amazing. It works so well and moisturizes my skin all day. It doesn’t wear off like everything else I’ve tried. It also smells great. So if you are a swimmer, I highly recommend this!

In the summertime my feet get torn up! Between running, hiking, swimming and wearing flip flops and sandals, I get really dry and cracked feet. Sometimes that happens in the winter, too, but usually it’s not too bad. I’ve tried a lot of different things out there and nothing really worked that well. Then I discovered this stuff: O’Keeffe’s for Healthy Feet Foot Cream

Seriously amazing! It’s like magic! It healed the dry, cracked feet almost overnight. I love this stuff!

A friend on Facebook recently raved about rosehip oil for a long list of skin issues. I decided to give it a try. I am not quite sure yet what I think about it. It feels really nice on my skin and so far it seems to be working well as a moisturizer (and for my psoriasis), but it ironically doesn’t smell very good. I was expecting it to smell like roses but it doesn’t.

Facial:

As a gift, my mother-in-law got me a massage and facial at the local Hand and Stone Spa. I had a really nice massage there recently and then I went back for the facial. I got a facial once before, when I was teenager. I don’t remember much about it…it was a long time ago. 😉

I’ve never seen the appeal of facials because I have such difficult, sensitive skin. I didn’t want to go and pay a lot of money for something that was just going to make me break out.

I had a day off recently and saw Dan for the facial. I told him I had super sensitive skin and we talked about my skin issues and I told him how sensitive I can be. He did a fabulous job! I would love to go back and get another one with him. He was super nice and friendly and chatty and very informative.

I was really worried that my face would be irritated or super red and broken out after the facial. Thankfully that didn’t happen! Here are before and after photos:

No redness! And my skin felt so awesome afterwards. I wish I could remember every thing he did…he cleansed, used toner, did a facial/neck/shoulder massage with almond oil, did a few different masques and put several hydrating lotions on my skin. He did not recommend any kind of peel or Microderm abrasion type procedure because my skin is so sensitive.

The whole experience was blissful and relaxing and my skin felt so good afterwards! I told him about how I swim once a week and he had some recommendations for my skin. I ended up buying this kit that is for super moisturizing skin (a lot of the products were used during my facial):

I’d like to go back in the future and do it again.

Are there any skin products that you absolutely swear by? Let me know!