Shifting Gears

I came up with this recipe for really basic meat chili when my husband kept asking me to put the canned stuff on my grocery list. I’m no chef but I thought I could do a little better, and after a few experiments came up with this. My husband really likes it and if I make any modifications he knows it. It smells really good and we always get comments when we take this in and warm it up for lunch at work.

Super Basic 3 Meat Chili

Makes approximately 5 2 cup servings.

1lb each ground beef, pork and turkey, all as lean as possible. (There’s no reason you can’t do all ground beef if that’s what you want.)
3 tsp unseasoned meat tenderizer
1/4c minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 8oz cans No Salt Added Tomato Sauce
1 10oz can Enchilada Sauce, spice level of choice
About 1-2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
About 1 tbsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp black pepper
2 dashes Cayenne pepper
2-3 tsp cumin
2-3 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp. Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning

Directions:
Crumble the meats into a large pot and sprinkle the meat tenderizer evenly over the meats, mix, then add onion and garlic. Brown over med-high heat, drain if needed or just let excess moisture cook out. Add all of the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.

I usually double this recipe so there will be plenty of leftovers to freeze for several work lunches or dinner for those nights when cooking just isn’t going to happen.

There’s no reason why you couldn’t add a can of chili beans with sauce, or drain and rinse a can of black beans and add those in, I leave beans out per my husband’s request. You could just use this recipe as a base and add in whatever else you want. This recipe is fairly thick, so if you’re adding more stuff be prepared to add more sauce. The amount listed in the seasonings is a guideline, I never use those exact measurements but stay pretty close.

And Then I Shoved My Paint Roller Into His Ear

Slow progress on my bedroom redo, no one to blame but my personal Demon of Laziness. I blame boredom as well. I have all kinds of ideas and am all gung-ho when I first set out to do something, but I lack patience sometimes so when progress isn’t made with a quickness I get bored easily. I do realize that procrastination by way of dedicating one and a half weekends to remodeling the houses in my Sims game instead of my own bedroom was not necessarily helpful, but I did a nice job on all of them. Maybe I should post pics of THOSE up instead of my own real life house, ha.

This past weekend I slept in really late on Saturday for no apparent reason. I didn’t haul myself out of bed until after noon and it seems when I got dressed for the day I put my grump on as well, so more Sims playing for me. Sunday I resolved to do something in my room and was out of bed and dressed by 8:30. I did some more spackling and sanding on the ceiling above my bathroom sink, and painted the ceiling in my master closet. I also touched up the paint along the edge of the entire ceiling in the bedroom and closet. That didn’t take me long; I think I put in a solid three hours of work before I stopped for lunch and marathoned Supernatural for the rest of the day, but every little bit counts! I may need another coat of paint in the closet but that won’t take long, either; I’ll do that the same time I sand down the spackled bits over the bathroom sink, that way I can finally get the ceiling painting DONE in those two places. I am aiming to accomplish these tasks before I go to bed on Wednesday evening but so far I’m REALLY not good at doing any DIY tasks on weeknights, after work. The sooner I finish them, though, the sooner I can move on to skim coating the walls.

As I was on the ladder touching up the edge of the ceiling, my husband poked his head into the room, took a look around and asked “Did you paint the ceiling?”

*Blink.*

*Blink blink.*

Did I paint the ceiling? Did he really just ask me that? Does he not read my blog? Does he not live here? Does he not realize the difference between glitter speckled popcorn ceiling texture and flat white paint?

 

 

Royals

There’s something about going out of town for the weekend that warps time. Saturday we headed up into Missouri for my husband’s family reunion. It was only about a three hour drive so we could have come home that evening with no problems, but six hours on a motorcycle, even with a nice break in between…eh, no thank you. My husband does it often but me, not so much. We spent Saturday at the reunion and then rode around to various Harley-Davidson dealerships collecting poker chips for hubby’s collection, then finally checked in to a hotel where we took much needed showers because OMG TOO HOT. I watched HGTV – my go to hotel room activity. We don’t have cable for our TV at home, we just don’t watch enough TV to justify it, so when we spend time in a hotel, I skip everything else and go for straight for HGTV. I even skipped the Harry Potter movie marathon that was going on. I was surfing through looking for HGTV and landed on Goblet of Fire, but had to scroll past that when I saw what part of the movie I’d landed in. No thank you, not in the mood for SOBBING MY FACE OFF.

Sunday we slept in, watched some more HGTV (I’ve just discovered Fixer Upper – love it!) and then meandered our way back home. We drove past Kansas City and it’s a place I’d like to go back and explore. From the highway, you can see buildings from all different decades, which is more interesting to me than a place like Dallas, which I’m sure has its historical bits but from the highway it looks like it sprang up over night, all the glass and shiny NEW NEW NEW everywhere. I would have liked to have done a bit of exploring while we were there but it was just too hot this weekend. That’s my idea of fun – go somewhere without planning anything, and once I get there start Googling for locations of things that interest me.

Anyway, we made it home Sunday afternoon in time to find out Germany won the World Cup. I did a bit of spackling in my bedroom and cleaned up some of the tools I no longer need in there, such as my steamer. Amazing how much room that little thing can take up. Went to work Monday morning and spent about 80 percent of the day wondering why it felt like a Thursday instead. Went grocery shopping after work and on the way home, the clouds and the sun were doing some amazing things so I did something I never do – whipped off to the side of the road in rush hour traffic and stopped to take a photo.

Sounds silly but there’s a morning that I regret not doing the same thing – I missed getting a photo of a really spectacular sunrise and have waiting for that opportunity to repeat itself ever since. Insert clichéd life lesson <here>.

MBR Progress Report

mbrThis is what I started with Friday morning. After some effort on Friday and Sunday, it looks a little different; I managed to give almost the entire space two full coats of Behr’s Ultra Pure White flat ceiling paint over the weekend. Painting the ceiling a flat white paint is not as fun or as thrilling as slapping teal paint on the walls but is rewarding nonetheless, particularly when paint splatters down into your eye and is easily taken care of by removing your contact lens. I know, I should be wearing safety glasses or something, but the paint fumes were awfully strong so I opened the windows and sliding glass door and the humidity and sweat on my head turned any glasses on my face into a San Francisco-worthy fog bank. Anyway, the whole space feels brighter and even a bit larger. There’s still a bit to finish: the ceiling in the closet, in the enclosed portion of the bathroom, and the part over the vanity. There’s a bit of drywall tape and a few holes that need patching up, once I get those taken care of I can finally finish the ceiling paint.

It is slow progress but it is progress nonetheless. I’m reminded, every time I pick up the scraper or the paint roller, that I am woefully out of shape and should have better endurance than I do. I’m going to get on that one of these days, right after I find a cure for my laziness.

Saturday was devoted to finishing up The Silkworm, and next weekend we’ll be out of state for the husband’s family reunion, but I’m hoping to get the ceiling painting finished up this week in the evenings after work and maybe get a start on slapping some drywall mud on the walls where needed. I’d like to think I’ll finally be painting the walls during the weekend of July 19th, but since that was meant to be happening this past weekend, we’ll see what actually happens!

*****

Somewhat-but-not-entirely related, I find this entire project incredibly inspiring. Not because that’s what I want my kitchen to look like, but because she’s doing it pretty much all by herself and is almost to the finish line. I can’t wait to see how it looks when she’s done; what a badass!