Friday, January 29, 2010

F2: Vegitarian Chili

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

For the past couple of years one of my fellow church members has been making a vegetarian chili recipe for our annual Chili Fest. Everybody seems to love this recipe and they were more than gracious in sharing what they have. Serves 8.

With inspirations from D…

Vegetarian Chili:
3/4 cup olive oil
2 whole zucchini 1/2 inch dice
2 whole onions 1/2 inch dice
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 large red bell pepper 1/4 inch dice
1 can Italian plum tomatoes, 35 oz. with juice
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes 1 inch dice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 cup canned red kidney beans drained
1 cup canned chickpeas drained
1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
optional garnish
1 cup sour cream
2 cups monterey jack cheese grated
4 slices scallions white and 3" green
  1. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, and saute until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a large flameproof casserole or dutch oven.
  2. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in the skillet over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Saute until just wilted, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the casserole, along with the oil remaining in the skillet.
  3. Place the casserole over low heat. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, basil oregano, pepper, salt, fennel seeds, and parsley. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kidney beans, chick-peas, dill and lemon juice; cook for another 15 minutes. Stir well, and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated cheese, and sliced scallions alongside.

Note: You can make this with all canned tomatoes when fresh were not handy. Also, I like to add 1/2 - 1 cup chopped raisins It is also good with some unsalted cashews added. I also cut the chili powder in half.

Because next month also has Valentine's Day, the topic for the entire month will be "Love is in the Food". Here are some possible ways of interpreting this…

  • Talk about a Valentine's date you went on that involved food.
  • Does love "really" go into cooking?
  • Talk about some foods you love.
  • Made by Mom with love.

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in the next weeks feast. Don't feel obligated to come up with something if you have already written on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Wishing you good skill

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to tackle Prompt #4:
Luck, or divine intervention?

Rather than take the existential approach and argue if there is or is not divine intervention— I thought I would concentrate on what constitutes Luck and if wishing someone "Good Luck" is the appropriate thing to say.

How often do we find ourselves wishing someone good luck. I have to wonder if this is just a pat statement like "How are you"— that we say just to be nice. Granted, the sentiment is probably very well appreciated— but you have to wonder if you are saying it for those things that truly use luck.

Some things like taking a test may not require luck at all— but rather skill. When you take a test, you need to have some kind of test taking skill in order to pass the test. You need to have some knowledge of the subject being tested on, as well as knowing how to interpret the questions so that you can answer most appropriately. Wishing someone luck in this case indicates that somehow skill is no longer used, and the results of taking the test are no longer under our control. I guess you can call me a humanist in this case since I think we control our destiny in certain situations and need to be properly "whished".

We are giving sentiment by wishing them the ability to perform the task at hand. We are not wishing that they have no control over the situation. Therefore, I think the more appropriate sentiment in these situations should be "Good Skill".

I will leave you with these thoughts:

I wish you luck…
so that opportunities present themselves to you.

And I wish you skill…
so that you can recognize those opportunities
and make the most of them.


Friday, January 22, 2010

F2: Elway Soup

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be sharing a great recipe just in time for the Superbowl.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

With inspirations from SIK

Several years back my step-son had a subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids. In one of the issues, there was a recipe by the quarterback John Elway in it. We tried it as a dish for the Superbowl that year and have been making it ever since. Authors Note: I do not have the magazine that the original recipe was taken from and as most cooks do I have probably changed it to suit.

Elway Soup
1 Pound Ground Beef
2 C Celery
2 C Carrots
3-4 Medium Idaho Potatoes
1 14oz can Cut Green Beans
2 14oz cans of Beef Broth
1 20oz can of Rotel Tomatoes and Chili
  1. Brown ground beef in a soup pot and drain.
  2. While beef is cooking, cut the celery, carrots and potatoes.
  3. Add the celery, carrots and potatoes to the pot.
  4. Add the green beans, beef broth and chili to the pot.
  5. Simmer on low until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Enjoy.

This whole month's theme is warm. Warm meals, warm thoughts, anything warm to help you beat the chill of January. So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Chili Fest

During the month of January, I tend to want something warm to eat to keep me from freezing to death. One of my favorite dishes to make is chili.

If you like chili, the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church will be hosting their annual chili fest. There will be several different recipes featured including: mild and hot versions of turkey chili— mild and hot versions of beef chili— and even a vegetarian chili (for those who can't or won't eat meat). Last year I posted my recipe on how to make Kick-Butt Chili. Hopefully this year I can get the vegetarian chili recipe to post as well. I am including the information on how to get there if you want to attend:

Sunday, January 31, 2010
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Children 10 and under $5.00

Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL

I look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

RTT: Spinning Wheels

Since I appear to be spinning my wheels lately and not completing posts on time, I thought I would put a lot of that spinning mass together into a post and participate in a Random Tuesday's Thoughts. Don't get dizzy…

Everything that is old is new again…
Got a new work computer and have been wasting a lot of my time trying to get the screens to look like they did with my old computer.
Why does it take longer to do something that you are familiar with if you are forced to do it slightly differently than it does to do something you have never done before?
If you have wireless installed on your machine, do not turn it off (you may not be able to turn it on again).
You never realize what is important to you until you have limited access to it.
Having High Tea…
Even though it was only my wife and I, we both had a great High Tea together on Saturday. She bought some great pastries from the bakery where she works. We bought fresh cucumber to make sandwiches to go with it— as well as making the standard olive and cream cheese sandwiches.
Wound up that by the time we got all the ingredients together and brewed the tea that it was already dinner time. Oh well… High-tea for dinner is alright with me.
King Day…
There have been a lot of days revolving around kings these days: ("Epiphany", "Christ The King Day", "Martin Luther King Day")
During Epiphany three of us in the choir had a trio singing We Three Kings during the service. We wanted to wear name tags saying which of the Three Kings we were but couldn't bring ourselves to wear name tags such as "Elvis", "BB", or even "Carol" (BTW: I sang the Alto line, so I would have been Carol).
During Christ the King day, there is a tradition where you eat a King cake which has a little plastic baby hidden inside. If you get the baby you are lucky, or something like that. Last year my wife had one from work and decided to blatantly hide it in a serving of pancakes:
I keep seeing "MLK" and keep thinking of the movie Milk (Darn dyslexia…).

For more randomness, go to Keely's:


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Making Snow-wheels

In honor of Seven CLown Circus' Wordful Wednesday I have decided to show some pictures of when I made snow-wheels.

The day before Christmas Eve, my wife and I were watching our grandson. The snow was perfect packing snow and he wanted to make a snow man. My wife— remembering how we saw an interesting snow-dog, wanted to make a snow-dog:

Here's a picture of the snow-man and snow-dog that we made.

We modeled our snow-dog after our own dog Spike. We added ears and a nice long tail on the end.

Snow-man and Snow-dog with Grandson for scale.

Being inspired myself, I wanted to make a snow-wheel. If you don't know how to make one— you just start out with your snow-ball and instead of rolling it around you roll it in a straight line. If it is a freshly fallen snow you pick up all of the snow right down to the ground much like you do rolling up sod:

Here is the snow-wheel with my Wife and Grandson for scale

I used to make snow-wheels all the time in my back yard growing up. The key to making them is not to let them fall over… which became very difficult especially when the wheel got to be as tall as you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spin Cycle: Fear

In honor of the Spin Cycle by Sprite's Keeper— I have decided to place my spin on this weeks assignment— Fear. Rather than list something that I fear, I figured I would offer some advice in the form of a poem:

One day when I was doodling topographical lines in the shape of an island (yes, I'm geeky like that)… I noticed that the lines resembled a face. After drawing one of the eyes in, I noticed that there was another face showing as well. When I was finished… I had the following picture:

If you look at the picture it looks like there is a sinister face that is making the other face recoil in fear. After looking at this picture, I was inspired to write the following poem:

Fear… of what may I ask?
of being in or out of task;
or being with or without pass.

Passing through the door of fear
is like passing into another world;
it can be so strange at times to make you curled.

Curled up so much, that only you can see your fears
others try, but can only guess at where.

Where, it's only possibly yourself.

So get going, get out of the grip of fear;
which may last for years
And years.


I rather like the way in which I take the last word of the previous stanza and use it in the first line of the next. I have used this technique in other poems that I have written as well. I hope that this poem inspires you to face your fears and conquer them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Household Roles

I am currently over at In the Real World, Venus vs. Mars today talking about household roles of men and women and how it is changing with working at home, and the concept of our modern world of being equals. Please stop by and give us your opinion on the matter.

Venus and Mars

Friday, January 8, 2010

F2: Year in review

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about Friday's Feast and how it has changed.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

When I first came up with the idea for Friday's Feast it was a way that I could share some recipes or food related stories that I seem to have in abundance. Even though I started the meme in March, it seems like a lot has changed about the whole Feasting idea.

I first started to use Mr Linkly so that people could contribute to the feast that day, but some time around May Mr. Linky had some difficulty and I had to re-evaluate how I was going to get contributors. After polling my readers I decided that I would use the same format that Sprite's Keeper has with their Spin Cycle

Around November, I got a bit tired of coming up with new themes weekly, so I made it easier to contribute by having monthly themes. November was Thanksgiving and December was Christmas.

I guess I need your help. I would like to come up with a theme for January, but I am stuck. So, if you have a good theme— let me know. For now, I will see if I can post some recipes, but currently no theme (sorry). Keep coming back and if you have anything you would like to contribute— just leave a link to your page.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Predictions

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to tackle Prompt #3:
What do you predict will happen this decade? (You can be funny or serious if you like)

Since I came up with the prompt, I feel obligated to contribute— but I got nothing. One would think that since I have known about the prompt the longest that I would have something great in mind— but I couldn't decide if I was to be funny or serious. Here's a little of both:

The world will be taken over by cell phones who got tired of being "turned-off" by us (perhaps that is why I do not own a cell phone). Of course— none of this will matter much if you believe that the world will end in 2012…
If anything, the world will appear to be much smaller to us after ten years— even though it continues to collect cosmic dust and grow in size.

Have a great decade to come— Bring it on…!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Been so busy I missed my 200th post by a long shot

You could say "SLSIA" Subject Line Says It All— but that is typically reserved for e-mail messages, not blog posts. All the same I took a look at the number of posts that I have and it's already at 244. Oops, where did the time go and why did I forget something like that. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on things when I near the 500 mark.

I also realized that I have not posted since last year. No, I am not stuck under the ice at the bottom of Lake Michigan, so thank you for your concern. I also must admit that I even forgot to post my Friday's Feast (not that everybody was getting over their New Year's Eve festivities). You probably didn't miss it anyway. I did have a post lined up summarizing the evolution of Friday's Feast. but I felt that it should have been before the end of the year and not on the first day of the new one.

Wishing everybody the best of skill in this new year and new decade.

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