Thursday, October 22, 2009

So Darn Cute

I just love this picture of the Nut:

And, I just love my immensely wonderful friend, Katie, who happens to be an incredibly talented photographer.

Add the two together and you get this:

Yes. She put my picture on this purse.

Here's a closer look:

Want one of your own? Go visit my friend. Don't be nervous, she's awfully nice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #12

Here is a jar of bay leaves I recently bought.
Yes, I realize the picture is a little blurry.

But here is the confusing part, when I opened the lid and saw this:

um, what?

Please excuse my double-jointed, alien thumb.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sister, Your Butt is Crushing Me.

Remember in Lilo and Stitch, when Lilo says to Nani: "You rotten sister! Your butt is crushing me." That's how I feel lately, like I am being crushed by the world's butt. I am sure the world means well, but, um, I am still being crushed. By school, by my house, by football season, and, the coup de grace, archery season.

It is my favorite time of year now, and the leaves are everywhere, so gorgeous and whispery and blanketing the yard I should have mowed weeks ago. A total win-win.

Fall is also my favorite time to eat. I love to pull out the cast-iron dutch oven and simmer some chili, slow-cook a roast, stew up some ... stew. This week's Spin Cycle is all about sharing recipes, and even though sharing is an awkward and frustrating concept for me to grasp (despite the intervention of my parents, teachers, and angry bystanders), I am setting the table for more than just me. Tonight I am setting it for Stuffed Pepper Soup.

I love this soup! My kids love it, my husband tolerates it, but I love it.

First, brown up one pound or more of hamburger with a chopped sweet onion and two cloves of garlic, minced.

Then, deglaze the pan with a few rounds of Worcestershire sauce. I had to go pull the bottle out of the refrigerator to see how to spell it.

Here are the last of the garden's jalapenos.

Throw in three or four chopped jalapenos, a healthy shake or two of crushed red peppers, salt, Italian seasoning to taste, two bay leaves, and a pinch of sugar.
The sugar helps it from getting all acidic and bitter.

Add a carton of beef broth, a bottle/large can of tomato juice, and a can of tomato sauce. If you like things chunky, add a can of diced tomatoes. Throw in two large green peppers, chopped. Half of these peppers are from the freezer, so that's why they look a little strange.

While this is simmering, fire up the rice cooker and steam up any kind of rice you prefer (I prefer Jasmine).

Look at how cool this is: There is a removable basin, so when you lift the lid and all the steam runs off the lid, it goes into the basin.

I like to keep my rice and soup separate, since I don't like it when the rice gets all mushy the next day, so when I serve it, I scoop some rice into the bowl and ladle over some steamy, wonderful soup.

No worries about mushy rice if there's any soup left the next day ...