The Leaves must fall

16 10 2011

What does fall mean to you?  To me it is a time when I can do the following:

1.  Put away my summer clothes;Lovely fall colors

2. Use my crock pot more for “winter food” as Jack calls it;

3.  Try to find a box of sweaters that had been put away before summer;

4.  Fold up the patio furniture and push in towards the wall;

5.  Put on the gas fireplace first thing in the morning – today it was only 69 degrees in our livingroom.  Brrrr!

6. Watch more Canucks hockey games;

7.  Get ready for a bit more rain and some snow.

It’s apparently football season so lots of people are glued a lot more to the tv because of that.  On October 27, 2011  I believe that Vancouver is having a night where you try to be “power smart” and turn off a lot of unnecessary appliances and lights.  I think we should do that more often.  I also think that once a week we should try having a night with no television, radio or computer.  I am sure there are a lot of other ways a person can entertain themselves.  A couple could play cards, cook together, make cookies together, walk to the local pub and share a beer and some wings.  My friend, Jenn would suggest that a couple workout together if possible – she thinks that is fun.  Now that she has a beautiful baby of almost one her workouts have to be on her own while her hubby stays with baby and then he gets up at 5:30 a.m. to get in his workout before work.  I admire this young couple – they are both certified Cross Fit trainers and just love the Cross Fit program and all the benefits it gives to them.  There are always some renovations to be done around the house and we don’t always get around to them when there is a soccer game on the computer or I am in the middle of watching “The X Factor”.  Think about it, it may be very enriching to the relationship as well to set aside one day a week – maybe one day a month to start where you find “other” things to do.

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Crock Pot Chili

4 10 2011

It is the time of year when the patio chairs kind of get folded up and placed against the wall.  We push our “hardy hibiscus plant” closer to the house to protect against the wind and rain and even some snow which sometimes happens in the fall and winter season here in Vancouver.   Some people call this the Lower Rainland for the very fact that we get much more rain than a lot of other provinces.  We are very green here most of the year.  We also are lucky enough to have a beautiful display of colored leaves on the trees as we get into October and November.  I took a picture of the leaves outside our house – which as you can see have become vibrant red.Anyway I would like to share with you my Crock Pot Chili recipe with a few alterations.  I do make this many times in the year – my husband always refers to it as winter food but we like it any time of year.

JULIE’S CROCK POT CHILI

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce or tomato soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with cheese if desired.  I also like to add chorizo sausage to give it a good flavour.  You can cook it with the ground beef a bit first.  Also I add a bit of pirri pirri or hot sauce to taste.    When you serve you can add a generous spoon of sour cream after the cheddar cheese.  (not necessary though).  ENJOY!!!!    We usually serve this over white rice or you could just have it on it’s own accompanied by a nice glass of red wine.  Cheers!!!