weekend update

Lately

Last Thursday Logan turned 2 officially! We took donut holes to daycare so the kids could all celebrate together and everyone told Logan Happy Birthday. After daycare, he had his 2 year checkup with the doctor and he’s doing great. The doctor was really impressed at how well Logan is doing. Logan showed off and pointed to all the body parts he knows (his eyes, ears, mouth, elbow, hair, etc). Logan is 36.5 inches and grew almost 3 inches since his 18 month appointment! Holy cow! He’s 96% for height.

After the doctor appointment we went out to dinner to Mike’s Drive In in Oregon City. Michael and I got burgers. Logan got a corndog! And he loved it. 😀 He did so great. He had a great day.

In other Logan news, he might be ready for a big boy bed. Which is both exciting and scary for this mama! He’s starting to try and climb out of his crib. And he’s tall, so it’s easy for him. OY.

On Saturday (after the gym), we met some friends at Sokol Blosser for the spring pick-up party for members. It was so much fun and we were really glad we were able to hang out with our friends. We hadn’t seen them in awhile and it was nice to catch up.

The Sokol Blosser party is very nice. We were there in October with some other friends. When you first get there, you get a glass of their sparkling white. Love it!

The place was packed. There was a bunch of food–yummy smokey steak with chimichurri sauce, polenta, roasted veggies, toasted chickpeas, salad, salami, cheese, crackers, olives. All of the food was really tasty and it was enough for a light lunch while we did our tasting.

After the party, we decided to stop at one other place none of us have ever been to: Stoller. The venue was gorgeous! It was huge. I guess in one section they were having THEIR spring pick up party for members. We went to the tasting room. It was a huge, cool venue with lots of room. The place was packed so we walked to the back tent. The tent area was huge and had nice tables set up and it was heated and comfortable. The wine tasting was at your table, so that was nice.

It was a really nice Saturday!

On Sunday I decided to give my pressure cooker a test run in the “slow cooker” setting. I was hoping that I could get rid of my crockpot if this worked well. After my swim, I got all the stuff ready and put it in the pressure cooker. I had a packet for the “country rice” and used frozen chicken tenderloins.

I used the slow cooker setting on my cooker. Then I ran some errands and stuff and when I got back I checked it and realized that it was already cooked! It was like 2pm and I had thought I set it on “low” for 7 hours but at the 4 hour mark, everything was all cooked. BUMMER. I was kinda irritated because then I had to just put the food in the fridge and reheat it for dinner. Which is fine, but not ideal and not like my crockpot. So….I guess I can’t get rid of my crockpot yet.

The dinner doesn’t look pretty, but it was really flavorful. We had salad with it. Yum!

Anyways, any ideas on the slow cooker setting for the instant pot?

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?