My chili recipe

Here is my personal chili recipe, for those that requested it:

1 1/2 pd. ground beef – use 80/20 or 85/15, but no leaner 

1 large white onion, diced

4-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic crusher

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 28oz can diced tomatoes

1 14 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained

1 14 oz can light red kidney beans, drained

3-4 tablespoons McCormick chili powder

2-3 tsp salt

ground black pepper to taste 

1 Tbsp Lowry season salt

1 tsp ground cumin

Brown the beef over medium high heat for several minutes, breaking up as it cooks.  When no longer pink, add diced onion and minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and onion becomes soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  It should taste good to you.  Dump into the bottom of crock pot.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, stir well, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

If you use a different chili powder, you’re on your own figuring how much is enough, as various brands differ wildly in how hot they are and what other spices they contain.

You can substitute your own preference for beans.  Add more or less.  Try black beans, garbanzo beans or white kidney beans.  Or some other combo.

You can also add diced bell peppers, canned chipotle chilis, fresh minced chilis that you like, or juj it up however you like.  I usually don’t bother.

If you aren’t using a crock pot, simmer it on top of the stove for 2-3 hours.

 

 


Pics of a quilt for D&J

This is the quilt I finished last year for Diana and Jonathan.  I didn’t share pictures at the time because I wanted it to be a surprise for them.  I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  I had so much fun quilting it, even though it took more than 2 months to finish the stitching.  I think it came out very well, and they sure seemed to like it!


We can forgive ourselves …

Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself for not knowing something when you didn’t know it.  And being grateful instead that you have finally learned the lesson helps too.

Every since I begin making quilts in the spring of 1996, I have admired the machine quilting skills of others, especially those who make gorgeous quilts on their domestic machines at home.  I machine quilted the first quilt I ever made, be it ever so badly, and after that almost always sent my quilts out to be quilted by a long-arm professional.  I’ve never been disappointed with the results as I’ve always found long arm quilters who were exceptional at their craft, and adding their machine quilting skills to my piecing and design work was a collaboration I was happy to acknowledge. But as time has gone by, I’ve started making more quilt tops than I have money to get them quilted, and I also really started feeling this desire to make the entire quilt myself, to know that I was the creator of this quilt, for better or for worse, from beginning to end.

In November 2015 I took two machine quilting classes from Cindy Souder at the Minneapolis Sewing & Quilting Expo.  It would not be an understatement to say that experience changed my life.  Yes, she taught techniques, ones that I could duplicate at home and get good results – everything from using a walking foot to free motion quilting to using traced patterns.  She gave lots of pointers, some of which I already knew, like the value of using quilting gloves (which work exceptionally well for me), using a silicone slider on the machine bed, and about ergonomics and so forth.  But what she really taught me was something far more useful and elusive.  She taught me confidence.  And that is no small feat!  She taught me how to get over that fear of looking at the quilt and the machine and going “Nope – someone else is gonna do that!”  I left those two classes absolutely knowing that I could, in fact, quilt my own quilts and, with practice, actually become good at it.

Now, if you know me, you know that these classes were where I also fell in love with the Bernina 770QE that we used in class to do all our work.  I ended buying one of the classroom machines, as they offered them at a 33% discount when the weekend was done.  And I was the only person who had sewn on machine #12 that whole weekend, so I knew very well how perfectly this machine worked.  And it was a joy to get it home finally and begin some practice pieces.  My greatest creative accomplishment this past year was finishing a quilt for Diana and Jonathan.  It was a huge quilt, some 95″ x 115″, and was entirely quilted by me over a period of two to three months.  It gave me a great sense of satisfaction to get that quilt done, and I had a lot of fun sewing it too!

A few months ago, I decided to make some pieced and quilted place mats.  I wanted to use some of those beautiful heirloom-style stitches on my Viking Opal 690Q.  Viking has some gorgeous decorative stitches that seem unique to them.  I finished piecing the place mats some time ago, and pulled them out this week to figure out how to quilt them and get them finished.  Since my 77QE was set up for another project, I decided to use my trusty old Bernina 1630, the sewing love of my life.  I had recently acquired a #29 foot for my 1630, the clear quilting foot, and figured the smaller harp size on the 1630 wouldn’t present too much of a challenge for the small-ish place mats.  I threaded up the machine, put on the new foot and my gloves and finally sat down to quilt them this weekend.  And you know what?  That 1630 free motion quilts like a DREAM!  Utterly smooth, quiet, perfect tension top and bottom – just exquisite.  And for 22 years I have had that machine, and for most of those 22 years I have wasted time wishing that I was a good machine quilter.  But if you can never allow yourself to be a beginner at something, to even be bad at it, then how in the world are you ever going to gain the skill necessary to become good at it?  And as I sat there thrilled at the results I was seeing taking place in front of me, I was also keenly aware of the time over these years that I wasted simply wishing to develop a skill for which I already possessed everything I needed – but I just didn’t know it.  Perhaps if I had trusted myself a little more, I might have made a few more tentative attempts, might have learned how wonderful that 1630 really was for what I wanted to do.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the extra space and the super large bobbins of my 770QE – both things make good results easier and faster to achieve.  But, honestly, when I think of the table runners, place mats, baby quilts, and other quilts I could have spent my time learning and working on, perfecting skills, instead of wasting those years only wishing for it … well, it gave me great pause.

Like I said, sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself for not knowing something when you didn’t know it.


Turkey Tetrazzini – my favorite recipe

I used to make this until I either lost or threw out the magazine that had the recipe.  Luckily, someone on the internet had re-typed it in response to someone’s question about best recipes for the disk.  This is my “go-to” recipe for this heavenly creation.

Source:  http://www.chowhound.com/post/turkey-tetrazzini-americas-test-kitchen-463386

I know this isn’t what you asked for, but I had to share.
This recipe ran in Saveur magazine in 1997. It is a staple in our house. I think we look forward to it more than the bird itself. it is rich delicious and has none of those green vegetable things.

“This creamy noodle dish, named for Italian coloratura Luisa Tetrazzini (1871-1940), is said to have originated in San Francisco. Whether it was first made with turkey or with chicken is debated, however. This is Anne Jaindl’s recipe.

1/2 pound wide egg noodles (like pappardelle, the name, appropriately, derives from the verb “pappare,” to gobble up.)
8 tablespoons butter (plus more for baking dish)
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
6 tablespoons flour
salt, freshly ground pepper
3 cups turkey stock, warmed
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until just tender. Drain and set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉. Melt 2 tbs. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add turkey and remove from pan, set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 6 tbs. better in same skillet over medium low heat. Sprinkle with flour, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Then gradually add stock, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Add cream, sherry and nutmeg, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Place noodles in a lightly buttered medium baking dish (about 9” X 12”). Spoon turkey and mushrooms over noodles, top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven until sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler and brown for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm.”

 


Here it comes!

Well, it’s a little late but the snow arrives tomorrow.  Frankly, I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now.  And I’m a little disappointed that we are only getting a bit of snow and not the blizzard conditions west of here – I’d love a good snow day!  Are you ready?  I am!


What a beautiful night!

Have you been outside to see the gorgeous supermoon?  It is spectacularly clear here and the moon is so amazing I hope you get a chance to see it!

 

It turns out that it isn’t as easy to quit Facebook cold turkey as I thought.  I deleted the app from my phone, then added it back two days later.  But this time I put it on the last page of phone icons so I never see it when I turn on the phone.  But I miss the small bits of their lives through the day.  So now I only go to FB when I feel like I have the strength to cope with whatever I see there.  And it’s getting better, I’m not feeling as consumed with dread.  Maybe I will come back soon, but for tonight I am not missing the near constant available distraction of looking at my FB feed.  I’ve made a lovely Sunday night dinner of pork roast, roasted sweet potatoes, and green beans.  And I’ve got my fuzzy slippers on drinking a nice cup of my favorite Oolong and enjoying watching some relaxing TV after doing a bit of sewing.  Maybe more of that later.

 


Jonathan Haidt: Can a divided America heal?

I am trying to find things that help me make sense of what I am feeling and what I sense going on around me.  I have a lot to think about after listening to this, but maybe it will be thought provoking for someone else too.  Disgust as indelible ink …  If you don’t watch anything else, start watching at the 16:00 mark, but the entire talk is worth listening to …  “Deep questions about morality and human nature”