A friend is coming over tonight for some board games/Christmas movies/general hanging out, so I volunteered to make dinner – chili in the crockpot. This recipe is from a coworker, and now my entire office all makes a slightly different version of this same chili! I have about a 3 qt crockpot, and this makes enough for about 6 people.
~1 lb of ground meat (I like Jennie-O taco seasoned ground turkey)
1 can of chili beans
2 cans of beans (black, pinto, kidney… mix and match, whatever you like)
1 cube or 1 Tb beef bullion
1 can tomato paste (the little can)
1 bottle beer (I like Dutch Republic from Fresh and Easy, but anything works)
1 Tb hot sauce (to taste)
For us, that’s usually it, since we usually like it over baked potatoes. You can add diced tomatoes, green chiles, corn, etc. This is a good base to get you started, and it freezes really well!
I have a huge love affair with my car… a Ford Taurus Wagon, affectionately named Chuck. (chuck wagon, get it?) Spent a lot of time in him in the last week, as our other car is mysteriously bucking, so until she’s fixed (her name is Lilo and she’s a red Miata) we’re sharing Chuck. That meant picking up Tyler after class instead of heading home, etc. Then last night, we headed to North Hollywood to see a friend’s improv show. It was hilarious, and worth the drive to see a college friend doing what she loves, but ohh, the traffic. From 5 pm last night, 12/17, until 9 AM this morning, there were 264 traffic accidents in Los Angeles. Last week during this same time period, there were 48!! Glad we were safe… and I still love my car. 🙂
And that above is why I haven’t finished my advent calendar, and why I am behind on reading/blogging/cooking/cleaning/life. I am in my last semester (!!!) of classes to get my credential, and will be student teaching in the spring. I turned in a huge paper tonight, and am working on a lesson plan (using crayons and maps!) to present tomorrow. Then just a few little assignments to finish up, and I should be done by Friday. Then I can get back to fun things like crafting. 🙂
Ta-Da! One finished present to go on my felt tree-shaped advent calendar! (Tree is yet to be finished…) We hand embroidered the black lines, and then sewed on the ribbons, bows, sequins and beads all at once. It’s the first time I’ve done serious hand sewing, I usually don’t have that much patience, but I am loving how the presents are turning out. I have 14 completely finished, and am aiming to have it done by Christmas…. we’ll see how that goes!
Aside from spending time together, the main goal for this weekend was to make a felt advent calendar for my house. My family has one that my dad’s mom made for us when we were little, so now my mom, her mom, and I were determined to make something similar. This is after we’d cut out all 24 presents and their backs, and I had started to sort the sequins and beads we wanted for each present.
We never had poinsettias when I was growing up, because we always had dogs. I am sadly dog-less since moving away to college, but this means I could get a poinsettia this year! My grandparents brought this HUGE plant for us, and it’s currently rounding out the scene under my Christmas tree.
My grandparents drove out from Tucson this weekend, to spend time with my mom, my husband, and me. They brought our Christmas presents and we had a little exchange early, since we won’t see them until sometime next year. My grandma made this little gingerbread girl on her embroidery sewing machine! It does everything for her, even stitches the two halves together, and she just has to stuff it! We got a little gingerbread guy too. 🙂
Why am I showing you an empty room? Well, that’s our normally cluttered office, which I just cleaned out, and as of this time tomorrow night, my mom’s air mattress will be set up right there!!
Since we have a relatively small apartment compared to the size of our families, even my husband’s family doesn’t come over much. They live 45 minutes away, and they’ve come over two or three times in the year we’ve lived here. My family lives 6 hours away, and they came to our old apartment twice in a year and a half. They’ve never seen our new apartment and we’ve been here over a year! So… I am ecstatic. My grandparents are driving in from Tucson, and I can’t wait to show them our life here in LA… and there’s some good crafting time planned, so I think my photos for this weekend will be pretty good. 🙂
Spotted the above Christmas card in Target… and as a psychology major, it made me chuckle. A LOT. 🙂
Our Christmas tree is up and decorated. My heart is so happy!
It’d be happier if I wasn’t writing a final paper tonight, though.