Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away? I love the holiday season but dang if it doesn’t feel like time speeds up with all the excitement going on. This year we’re hosting the big day which means we’ll have seven additional mouths to feed including this precious little one. Meet my new nephew Alden Jacob….
If you’ve been reading any of the recent posts here at Mommie Cooks, then I’m sure you’ve heard it mentioned that our kitchen is without a working stove or oven. Not that I’m counting the days or anything, but we’ve now been without these important cooking appliances since the first week in June. It began as a renovation, but quickly changed to broken equipment when we discovered upon opening the box that a forklift had literally smashed through both the oven doors with it’s tines. Oh yes it did. Here’s a picture of the damage taken by my contractor….
In case you missed it, Puxatawny Phil saw his shadow this year and as a result, we’re officially entitled to six more weeks of winter.
Six more weeks.
At this stage in the game, that can feel like a lifetime. I find myself dreaming of swimsuits and summer time. I pine for beach days and mountain camp outs with my boys. Heck, even spring break would be a welcome change from the biting, mostly grey days of winter.
As my kids get older, the amount of time I have to cook dinner seems to be less and less. Ok, who am I kidding. It doesn’t seem to be less. It actually is less. A whole lot less. Between Spanish classes, Y-Guides and Faith formation, our afternoons are filled with the kids and me shuttling around in the car, racing to make the next destination on time. Dinner is a far thought in the back of my mind.
I remember the days when I had all afternoon to think about and prepare a tasty meal. I would plan and orchestrate without interruption and the result was usually a masterpiece fit for a king (or at least a family of five). Today I’m lucky if I walk in the door at 5pm and have even had the foresight to pull out a package of meat for that night’s meal. Enter in my trusty slow cooker.
Yesterday was my middle guy’s birthday. Alex turned the big 0-5. We had apple cake, we had marble cake, we had ice cream, and tomorrow his class will have a life sized sugar cookie baked and decorated with love by both myself and Alex. I think I might have a sugar coma just from the celebration of this one special day and I still have my youngest’s birthday as well as my own and my blog’s to get through this month (that’s right, my blogoversary is coming up in just a couple short weeks!).
Whenever I find myself over my head in sugar, which incidentally, happens every February around this time, the best way I know to get out is to cook up a dish so hearty and delicious that it erases all memory of the oversized pile of sweetness I just finished consuming. That is, until I open up my fridge and see the caramel apple cake sitting there.
I realized this post is coming out a bit late today. Between the company I’ve been hosting over the holiday and the nine hour drive up to Ocean City yesterday to visit the other half of the family tree, I just haven’t found the time to post like I thought I would. I’m here now though and ready to cook up a little chili. Who’s with me?
I realize everyone has their own recipe for this warm winter dish so I hesitated to share mine, but I did add a few ingredients in that might not normally be added to chili and it was a winning combination so I figured I’d post it up and pass on a few ideas for different ways to kick up your go-to chili recipe.
One of those winning ingredients was a jar of roasted red peppers. These little red delights had been taking up a spot in my pantry for some time while I waited for the perfect recipe to use them in. Chili night came around and I figured the sweetness of the peppers would be a nice compliment. Having made this recipe twice now, I can say with confidence that they didn’t disappoint.
This recipe is great for all occasions; from a busy weeknight to a super bowl party to a holiday dish. I cooked it up for our company over Christmas along with some sweet honey corn bread (recipe to come!) and it disappeared quicker than I could put it out on the table.