Monday, August 19, 2013

Good for the soul...

Hey everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend.  Ours whipped by so fast that I think my head is still spinning!  Did you guys do anything fun??

I have to rewind a bit and show you the dinner I promised that was accompanied by a PORTIONED amount of those magical Austin corn chips:  Corn Chip ChiliJ
I took a page from my "Frito Pie" (hmmmm...I may have to break out that very recipe out for the upcoming football season!) and just swapped the Fritos for the yummy chipsJ

First up, I chopped the remainder of our sweet peppers from the farmer's market...
Not gonna lie, they were kind of a pain to slice and deseed all of these.  I felt like I had seeds EVERYWHERE because they were so small & skinny.  (think if we keep eating them though, that we'll all be 'small & skinny' too???!! J)

6 days & 8 hours later (or at least it felt that way), I finally had all of the peppers chopped and tossed in a pan along with a little olive oil, a diced onion and a few diced cloves of garlic... 

After the peppers cooked about 10 minutes, I tossed in some ground turkey breast to brown... 

Once everything was cooked through, I added them to my slow cooker along with a 1/2 a bottle of BBQ sauce...THIS ONE to be specific: 
Sweet with just a HINT of spice, this sauce was MUCH thinner than the usual BBQ sauce I'm used to.  I'm wondering if that's a regional thing or a specialty of that brand.  


Anyway, because I said my day had been SEVERELY lacking in the veggie department on Wednesday, I decided to toss in 2 diced zucchini to bump up the nutrient department... 
The great thing about chili is that, as long as the seasonings are correct, you can pretty much add ANYTHING to it and it's STILL going to taste like chili.  If you want to 'trick' your family into eating vegetarian one night, chili is the way to go because with or without meat, it still pretty much all tastes the same.

Also into the slow cooker went:
  • 28 oz. can of crushed tomato
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 can drained & rinsed kidney beans
I let that simmer on low for about 5-6 hours....or pretty much until the aromas wafting from the slow cooker were too overpowering to handle, so we had to rip off the lid and just DIG IN!

First, I added a handful of chips to the bowl, topped for a scoop of chili and finally a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese & some diced scallions...
And I really did stick to just ONE handful of chips rather than snacking mindlessly.  It was MUCH easier to do when you had a bunch of other goodies to devour as well.

Well, that and keeping an eye on Katie as she devoured her own little bowl of chili. more baby utensils or bowls for Miss Independent.  She's movin up in the culinary world.

She even enjoyed herself a few (messy!) bites of corn chips too..hahahahahahahhaJ 

That night, Scott also noted that he can't remembers an August where we've eaten so many dinners out on the back porch thanks to the BEAUTIFUL weather lately.  Not only were we cool & comfortable, but we were eating bowls of hot CHILI.  That's an August FIRST, I'm pretty sure of it.    

But it IS still summer after all and in order to 'embrace' these last 2 weeks, I also made the classic summer dessert:  Popsicles!

Which I decided to make WHILE making the chili....which led to THIS:
I'm a very orderly cook.

Anyway, I halved this recipe and made a yummy chocolate pudding popsicle layered with SALTED CARAMEL!
They LOOK difficult, but they actually were really easy.  I made one pudding base and then just separated it and added chocolate chips to one half and then salted caramel (yes, you have to make that too...but it's not that hard either) to the other half.  Not too shabby for something that sounds 'so fanc'!

Saturday night turned out to be equally as deliciousJ  While Katie hung out with Nona for the night...

Scott & I snuck away to the Jersey Shore for our traditional 'picnic on the beach' in Point Pleasant...

 And in 'tradition fashion,' we made a stop at Jersey Mike's for a chiptole cheesesteaks for him...

...and a classic tuna for her.

Delicious as always.  Or maybe they were so good because it was just such a PEACEFUL & GORGEOUS night out!  We hung out way past sunset and just listening to the waves crashing on the beach.  
I'm tellin ya, the beach during the day is awesome & fun, but the shore at night is just good for the soulJ

And of course we had to make a stop at Hoffman's for some of the best ice cream on the planetJ  I went with just a scoop of chocolate chip...which literally had GOLD MINES of the good stuff hidden throughout the cup...delicious!

The rest of the weekend was spent visiting some friends, an awesome Boxing class & going to see "The Conjuring" on Saturday afternoon with one of my bestiesJ  She's gonna kill me for posting these, but they're JUST TOO FUNNY!!!!  
Here's the "Before" picture when she was nervous, but EXCITED, to see the movie:

...and here she was DURING, in one of the few moments her sweater wasn't covering her eyesJ
I thought it was really scary too....although not as much as my friend who said she wanted to throw up, crawl out of her skin and CRYJ  (Sorry Mare!!! hahahahahahahhaa)  But regardless, I LOVE me a greatttt scary movie...especially with the HALLOWEEN season on the horizon...MWAHAHA!

Anyway, that's about all I got for you today.  Hope you guys were ready to face Monday morning feeling ready for the week (although, does that ever REALLY happen??)

Have a great Monday!J

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