Logan

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?

Logan – Almost 2!

It’s crazy that my little baby is almost 2 years old. I can’t believe how fast the time goes. It’s a cliche, but so true. The days are long, the years are short. That aptly describes parenthood.

Logan is becoming a little boy. He’s always been a super happy baby with a sunny disposition. He’s smiley, somewhat outgoing (a little shy at first in new situations) and very joyful.

He’s excellent at playing by himself. We play with him but for the most part, we let him lead us. He is very good at letting us know when he wants to play with us, or if he just wants to do his own thing. Watching him play with his toys and books on his own feels very familiar to me. I was like that as a child, too. I was introverted and shy and played with my Barbie dolls for hours. Later that became books. I’d get lost in my books. Lots of solitary activities for me–and I see that in Logan a bit but I also see him play with other kids, too, so I’m not too worried he’s a total introvert. 😉

A few months ago, Logan became obsessed with his Binkies. He was never really into them much as a baby, except for sleeping or when he was teething. I think it was a combination of him getting a bunch of new teeth, plus several molars, and changing daycares back in November/December that brought this on.

I’ve told Logan several times now that his Binkies are going away when he turns 2 so he better enjoy it now. LOL Big talk from mom & dad–we’ll see if we’re strong enough to go cold turkey!!!

Logan loves his new daycare and so do we! It’s such a better environment. He’s making friends, having fun, learning, doing art. It feels almost like a preschool instead of just daycare.

Every once in awhile, Logan surprises me and wants cuddles. He’s such an active little toddler, never sitting still, doesn’t want to sit still for long for books or cartoons–he’s always ON THE MOVE. I so miss the baby days when he used to fall asleep on us while we watched TV. It was nice just cuddling!! I hope he’ll want to cuddle again someday…

But when he’s tired or cranky or not feeling well, we do get a little bit of cuddles. A few weekends ago when I was sick and Logan wasn’t feeling well either, he took a nap on me for about 45 minutes. It was kinda nice. 🙂

So Logan is also a bit advanced for his age… (haha) he reached the Terrible Two’s early. Around 18 months or so to be exact. Boy oh boy! There are many times Michael and I just look at each other with big eyes, sometimes biting our tongues to keep from laughing, sometimes fuming from frustration. There is nothing quite like the tantrums and hysteria of a toddler not getting what they want!

Logan has a very strong personality, too. He’s focused and determined and sometimes defiant. Part of that is toddler-hood and testing boundaries. But part of it is also a stubborn streak that he inherited from both of his parents. Not even joking. The stories my parents have told people about my stubbornness are legendary. And you know what’s funny? KARMA. Sometimes I’ll tell my mom about something Logan just did and she’ll just start laughing hysterically on the other end of the phone and say that I used to do the same exact thing.

I definitely have newfound sympathy and understanding for my parents.

SIGH.

But I don’t mean to paint Logan as a terror. 90% of the time he super good. The 10% of the time when he’s not, Michael and I have to remind ourselves just how lucky we have it because he IS such a good kid. We forget in the moment of the toddler power-play (current power play: not wanting to eat any food that isn’t mac n’ cheese or PBJ or bananas) and feel frustrated at how not-in-control we feel.

I am definitely struggling with learning patience and how to negotiate with a toddler who clearly understands what you are saying, but can’t quite communicate yet and definitely doesn’t want to comply.

He’s talking a LOT. It seems like every day he says a new word out of the blue and sometimes we are surprised and curious about where he learned the word. LOL

He’s obsessed with shoes and jackets. He wants to wear them 24/7.

His favorite food is bananas, green beans and currently applesauce. Surprisingly, he’s not a fan of corn dogs, spaghetti or chicken nuggets–which is toddler staple foods. He’s so picky!

I’m starting to think about Logan’s 2nd birthday party. It’s going to be a bit more low-key this year. I’m thinking pizza party and cake. And car themed because he’s obsessed with cars and trucks right now. 😀