Friday, March 24, 2006

Making a mean chili

cooking the Stacey way involves some guesswork with spices, so be brave and try what you think works best for you. I am not from Texas, so I know this is all unofficial. Please try to enjoy nonetheless.

Note on spices: I use a chili powder I got at an Indian grocery. It's a deep red-brown color and very potent. If you scan the Hispanic foods aisle you can find a chili powder that is also good. It's worth it to try rather than the dark brown stuff you get in the regular spice aisle.

On chiles: canned chopped green ones are okay for a milder chili. 1 small can, drained, should do it. You can also chop 1 or 2 fresh ones (with or without seeds) if you are so inclined. The seeds add heat.


Assemble:

1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1-1 1/2 pounds of ground pork
1-2 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 16 oz. can white beans, drained
1 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
hot chili powder, to taste (1 to 3 tablespoons)
ground cumin, about 2 teaspoons
sea salt to taste
1 lime, halved
1 20-oz can whole tomatoes, with liquid
chopped green chiles to taste

fresh cilantro, chopped (enough to garnish)

Heat the butter and oil in the bottom of a stew pot at medium heat until the butter melts and blend. Add chopped onion and saute until the onion is beginning to become translucent. Addpork and saute until the meat turns white. Add chili powder, cumin and salt and stir until meat and onions are coated. Juice the lime over the mixture using a reamer or by stabbing the halves with a fork and squeezing. Slice the canned tomatoes into chunks and add. Include the liquid from the can and stir. Add 1 can of water and stir. Add the white and red beans and stir. Simmer the whole mess for at least 45 minutes and taste. Sprinkle in chopped cilantro and allow to rest.

Serve with rice or corn bread and condiments as you like. Sour cream is nice, and so are additional chopped onions or shredded monterey jack cheese.
Five Random things (a meme)

1. I have a guilty pleasure: I watch all those ABC/Fox nanny and wife swap shows. I love seeing how different families interact. Okay, it's really a touch of schadenfreude.

2. my book group is reading Kafka on the Shore. I'm on page 98 (of 435). We meet in a week. I may be pulling an all-nighter to get it read.

3. I am a crusader for large-busted women. It's very frustrating that pretty bras don't come in cup sizes over D.

4. I collect old cookbooks. I love the graphic design and the scary photography. (See http://lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html to see examples of what I look for.)

5. I can make a really mean pot of chili. (recipe to follow soon).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

to do today: well, soon anyway:

finish writing short story (heck, I've only been working on it for a year)
upper body work (tri extensions especially - my goal: a less jiggly sleeveless look)
update my profile here. if I can think of anything illuminating to say.
download and sort digital pictures. Between two cameras it's a mess.
scan non-digital pictures.
synchronize personal files at work with home.
synchronize work files at home with work.
update my progress with projects on 43Things.com (another website to keep up with. sigh)
import my old Myspace blog. if I decide I care.


Thought for the day:
if you did everything you were supposed to for maintaining optimum health, you wouldn't have time for anything else.

Example: and I know some things are missing, too:

meditate

brush, floss - at least 2X a day.

bathe

condition (as needed)

moisturize (more frequently for hands if needed)

eat mindfully and without interruptions such as work, TV, phone, other distractions. - at least 3X a day.

take multivitamin.

if female, consider calcium/magnesium supplement.

for your daily nutritional needs be sure to include at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits, 2 servings of dairy, adequate protein (1 serving of meat=the palm of your hand, or 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, or an ounce of cheese, which is the size of your little finger), and ample amounts of full grains.

drink at least 8 glasses of water.

have a glass of wine with dinner.

if a woman, get some soy in there.

work out at least half an hour. exercise no less than 2 hours before bedtime.

stretch before and after aerobic exercise. Practice balancing and flexibility especially if over 50. Strength and weight-bearing exercise at any age.

communicate meaningfully with mate and offspring, if applicable.

quality time with pet, if applicable.

tend to the care of pets/relatives as applicable.

evening meal no later than 3 hours before bedtime.

Sleep 7-9 hours.

Start over in the morning.

Monday, March 20, 2006

happy monday.

I had to miss work to take my car to the dealership and I took it to a new place and they gouged me ($500 for brake pads and an oil change) and asked me to bring my car back in 2500 miles so they can get several hundred more dollars of my money for a so-called "scheduled maintenance."

I went home while the mechanics "earned" their $350 worth of labor and discovered new malware on my laptop and spent the rest of the day getting rid of it. It's gone, but HA! my secret weapon was installing Firefox and ditching Internet Explorer altogether.

Oh, and I have a persistent low-grade fever with no other symptoms.

I am just trying to decrease the ratio of suck in my life. Can anyone tell me how I can accomplish that?