18 March, 2014  |   3 Comments

February, March, April, May, June, July

So February’s Nablopomo was a bust. Grin.
Things changed and those things required attention.
Those things are still requiring attention, and it brings to mind how much I appreciate yours. So I’m putting this site on hiatus for 5 months.

Dottie Thinks

One of my resolutions was to cut down my to do list.
And I’ve realized I can’t possibly look at and leave,
“Update hj.com”
on my list one more day.

It’s sucking up some important creative energy.

Everything is fine, great actually.
I just need to cut “Update my internet web blog site” from my to-dos.

So I’ll see you in five months!
There are lots of wonderful writers on the internet.
There are nearly so many, you’ll never get through them all, not even in 5 months.

I’ll be on Instagram.
But not on any of the others. If I can help it.

Planning to be back around my birthday, in July, with something to say.
I can’t wait to see you then.

Sisters

In the meantime, I wish you tons of creative building energy.

You’re going to knock it out of the park.

 

18 February, 2014  |   3 Comments

Slow Cooker Lemongrass Thai Beef Recipe

We put our own slow cooker twist on this fantastic recipe from Bon Appetit. Slow cookery Thai goodness — and customizable to boot — making it perfect for picky guests.

This recipe is a departure from our more “Americanny” slow cooker recipes, but with the rice noodles and the peanuts, we’ve got ourselves our very own tasty treat. Only confirming my theory that food processors make every food better, this recipe uses the magic machine for good. Make a dry pastey mix that covers the beef while it bubbles away in the slow cooker.

If rice noodles aren’t your thing, for you Paleo people, this is great in a lettuce wrap.

Ingredients
4 lemongrass stalks, ends trimmed and outsides peeled
4 cloves garlic chopped small
1 lime’s worth of juice (recipe calls for 4 kaffir lime leaves, but I don’t know where to find those)
2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger (about 1 inch of ginger)
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into two inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
8 oz. wide rice noodles
6 scallions, sliced into tiny rings
Lime wedges
1/2 cup smashed peanuts
Chopped cilantro

Directions
Take out your trusty food processor Process lemongrass, garlic, lime juice (or kaffir lime leaves), ginger, and jalapeno in a food processor until it gets like paste.

Salt and pepper the beef chunks. Brown the meat in the vegetable oil over medium-high heat, 10–15 minutes. Put the meat on a plate.

Add the lemongrass paste to the same pot you cooked the beef in, stirring often, until lemongrass gets soft, 5–8 minutes. Add star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and beef with any juices. Add the beef and lemongrass mixture to the slow cooker. Add about 4-6 cups water. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

Right before serving, cook rice noodles.

Serve with lime wedges, smashed peanuts, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro and Sriacha sauce.

The recipe says this can be made 3 days ahead and saved for later. I believe it.

Thai lemongrass beef is good for you

Bon appetit indeed.

16 February, 2014  |   Comment

Meal plan this week

What we're eating this week

It’s funny, how when the week is upside down,
when we don’t eat what the meal plan prescribed,
when the car is in the shop and
the dentist appointments get missed and
we argue and
cry all the way home and
are late,
It’s when our love is Most Fierce.

13 February, 2014  |   5 Comments

Recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

Despite this being a slow cooker meal, there is a minor bit of finagling in this recipe.

Finagle.
It’s the word of my month.
February Finagling.

This entire month feels fussy, like the end of this recipe when you retrieve the chicken thighs from the chili, remove the skin and shred the chicken off the bone.

Between taxes, work, 40 handmade valentines (Insert Meaningful Look), weather that’s a drag and random childcare outages, the February Finagle is ON.

Good thing we have this cheap slow cooker black bean and chicken chili to come home to.

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

P.S. Sorry Pinterest. I tried a bunch of photos but they all looked gross. Good thing it tastes something awesome.

Great thing about this recipe, if you’re squeezed for time in the morning, you can prepare the whole mess the night before. Soak the black beans and add the ingredients (except the stock) to a large storage bag. In the morning of the day you’re cookin’, dump the bag into the slow cooker and call it a day. Or the beginning of a day.

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

Ingredients
16 ounces dried black beans
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
6 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons oregano
6 chicken thighs – 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to sprinkle over the thigh meat
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Fixins
Mild Cheddar, shredded
Cilantro, destemmed and chopped
Green Onions, chopped small
Tortilla chips
Sour Cream
Hot sauce to taste

Directions
Right before you go to bed on the night before you want to make the chili, soak the black beans. Put the beans in a large bowl, fill the bowl with water up to about 1-2″ over the beans. Let the beans soak until the next morning.

The day of the cooking, drain and rinse the beans. Put them in the slow cooker.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, garlic, onion, chili powder, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and stir the mix together.

Peel the skin back from the chicken thighs. Salt and pepper the thigh meat. Cover the thigh meat back up with the skin. Set the chicken thighs on top of the bean mixture.

Turn slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, if you can, stir through every 2 hours. If you can’t, that’s okay, I love you just the same.

Roughly 1 hour before serving, remove the thighs from the chili, shaking off any beans that stuck to the skin. Set the thighs carefully on a cutting board, let cool for about 15 minutes.

After they’re not going to burn you, peel the skin off of the thighs. Then, pull the meat off the bone and set aside. Chop the chicken into bits. Then, stir the chicken back through the slow cooker. Add the salt.

Just before serving, chop and set out all the fixins.

My bowl of chili has cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro and a splash of Cholula (proudly served at Dennys! Your bowl will probably look a little different.

(But I bet it’ll be super tasty.)

Do you like my beautiful eye shadow? I put it on to model this delicious bowl of Black Bean Chicken Slow Cooker Chili

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