Monday, December 21, 2009

Lightening it up a bit

So Olivia and I are reconnecting. And that is awesome. I have missed this girl immensely over the last few weeks, and I have--more than once--felt very guilty for running all over creation trying to keep up with schedules while she has been hanging out with Baba and Gramps, Papa and Mimi, Nana and Grandpa, daycare and babysitters. So last night we started our very own Christmas break. We went shopping, came home and ate dinner and played with her new toys. Then we got into our pj's and watched Mickey's Christmas Carol and ate popcorn. It was awesome. This kid loves some popcorn. I let her stay up extremely late, and subsequently learned the trick to getting her to sleep in on Saturday mornings...then back to the routine today - daycare and work, and home again. I made chili for us (recipe below - I'm very proud) and now she's eating ice cream and watching Mickey's Christmas Carol.......again. I don't mind a little repetition. She's always tired on Monday nights - a full day back at daycare after the weekend wears her out, even if the weekend was full of activity.

I love these times - relaxed, simple, sweet. I haven't been able to cook for us very much lately, so I'm loving making dinner for us, even if I can only do it one more night before our schedule kicks back up and we head into the LR for various gatherings. Tonight I made turkey chili. I have a hard time getting this little girl to eat meat, but she will tear some chili up. I've been wanting to try it completely from scratch for a while now, so I went for it. I have to say, the result was quite satisfactory -- her empty bowl sits on the kitchen counter as proof. Here's the recipe:

Andrea’s take on Chili…

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 can tomato paste
1 can chopped green chiles
1 pound ground turkey
1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, oregano and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the green chiles; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Notes: This is perfect for young children because it has a decently smoky flavor without being too spicy for them. For more spice, add a chopped chile en adobo, with about 1 tbsp of its juice, or a couple tbsp of diced jalepeno. You could also just add ground cayenne.

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