Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hot+Not: Hearts and Chili and More

I'm joining in again with what's hot and what ain't at Loobylu (and you should definitely head over there to wish her a happy 10th blogging birthday at a minimum), but I'm starting to squeak in just under the deadline every week - but it's one of the "nots" fault. At least it's not yet midnight on Wednesday (here in Pittsburgh anyway), so here's my list:


A Template for the Scandinavian Heart Tutorial Which I posted, um, last December here. Well, now that I've remembered again how to turn jpegs into pdf files and post them so you can actually get them (I think Blogger still doesn't allow them - somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), I decided to make a new printable (can't find the old one anymore) and quick get it up. You can get it here. It's not exactly pro-quality or anything, but it does get the job done - as shown in the examples above.
This (above, not the chili below) is what the finished templates should look like when you make them out of your cereal box.

Turkey Chili - and Using Up the Last of the Thanksgiving Turkey
This is such an easy meal and satisfying on a cold night (and again for lunch the next day) and it makes a nice change from yet another turkey sandwich. I make my chili dinners a little differently each time (my usual cooking approach), but here's more or less the way I did it this time - and it was very good.

Turkey Chili
Olive oil for sauteing (1-2 T)
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Other veggies (optional) like shredded carrots, peppers, or finely chopped broccoli, or whatever you have about to go bad
All the leftover turkey, cut into cubes - or 1 lb ground
2 cans chili beans, 1 mild, 1 medium (you can substitute whatever canned beans you like - I often use one can of black beans - but you may need to increase the other seasonings if they're plain)
2 small cans diced tomatoes (these had more onions and garlic and peppers in with them)
1 medium can tomato sauce
2 T, more or less to taste, chili powder (although I think that was a tad too much here)
1-2 tsp cumin
Dollop of sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese and/or rice or something like that (all optional)

Saute the chopped veggies in the olive oil until soft and add the cubed or ground meat. Add the beans, canned tomatoes and sauce and bring to a gentle boil. Add the seasonings gradually, tasting frequently (it's easy to go overboard). Stir in well, reduce heat and allow to simmer until heated through or the kitchen smells incredible. Serve as is or over rice (or noodles, or potatoes, or even toast). Garnish with sour cream and/or cheese, especially if you've accidentally made it too spicy. Great served with cold beer, hot corn muffins and a tossed salad.

Now I'm hungry again.

This Book It's called The Worst Kids in the World in Australia. Here's a link to the author's website.
This year I've decided to review mostly vintage holiday books (see my nots for why), which is easy for me to do since there are so many I love. This chapter book has been a favorite of my family's for many years. I'm reading it aloud to my daughter yet again (I absolutely cannot shake the daily holiday book readings no matter how old my kids get - I'm worried that next December I'll have to read them to the dog after Sara's off at college too). Anyhow, how can you resist a holiday book that opens, "The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse." Fortunately, the book is still in print and easy to find (plus there's a movie version and a play script, though I've not seen either).

Having My Mini Pie Tutorial Mentioned on joepastry Great website for foodies. You can find it here and read his short post about my little apple pies here. I'm drooling with pleasure. Thanks to Lisa Holewa, author of the fabulous parenting book What Kindergarten Teachers Know for mentioning the post to Joe.

College Applications. Getting Done! 4 down and bunch still to go but we are all less grouchy already. And as a bonus the girl already got an acceptance letter (probably the only one she'll get until April, but it sure does take the pressure off). I would be completely content not to ever edit/proofread another application essay as long as I live.


Bad Electrical Karma I seem to be breaking (or at least causing to work badly) every electrical item I get near. First one computer, then my email stopped working on the other (and I've lost apparently forever, all my old saved ones in my folders), my car's been acting up, and now my beloved Mac is being I've restarted everything and nothing is better. It is driving me insane.

The *&#%# CPSIA Law Which is not going away, not getting tweaked to resolve its flaws, and is scheduled to move forward with testing requirements come February. Vintage books, despite being so low a risk that NO ONE has ever gotten lead poisoning from one, remain on the chopping block, and I worry what will happen come February. I can still find old kids' books for sale online, but almost none at my local used bookstores or the library bookshop. I worry they're being pulped. I know, your eyes are glazing over. Everyone who knows me is tired of hearing about this - BUT IT IS STILL A REAL PROBLEM! And it's going to get worse. Call your congress people again and give them a good ranting for the holiday. I know I'm going to. Again.

There, not too bad. Other little grumblies, but mostly life is good. Though my house isn't decorated, I haven't bought gifts much less wrapped them, and the only lights up are the ones I had up in the backyard over the summer (but they still look festive out there, so I think that can count). But I feel merry anyway.


Anonymous said...

I'm wishing I had known about the Christmas Pagent book when my children were younger. I just know they would have loved it (me too!).

As happy as I am that they have grown up and are healthy and reasonably sane adults now - I sometimes miss their childhood years.

It made me smile big time reading that you still read to your almost college aged daughter. You rock! :-)

Meadowlark said...

Just found you the other day, but you have one heading off to college?

OMG... prepare for chaos!!!!
(interspersed with tiny moments of, well, not quite calm, but non-chaos)

Carol Baicker-McKee said...

Hi Meadowlark - yeah, I'm ready for the chaos. This is actually the third - and final - kid off to college. Part of me will be glad to be done with these chaos years, but I'm also ready to be sad and missing them.

And Anne, thanks for making me feel like I'm not totally insane for reading to my big kid! I think she actually does like it...

roz said...

AWWW, sorry about the electrical nightmare. You know, I really admire the work you are putting into the cpsia. I get overwhelmed reading about all the ridiculous regulations. So sad to me that vintage books are going to be affected.

We haven't decorated the front either. I think hub is trying to bah hum bug his way out of putting the lights out for me but we'll see. haha!