Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crock Pot Recipes

I love to use my crock pot, specially when I have a lot to do, or just don't feel like standing over a stove at night. From Beef Stew, Venice, and one of my favorite things, chili! And with today being the Bud Shootout in Daytona, it was a perfect day to make it!

Our recipe for chili is pretty simple, as chili goes, and a bit different then what you might think too.

1 lb ground beef (the leaner the better, as far as I'm concerned)
3 cans kidney beans (one dark, 2 light)
1 packet chili seasoning mix
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1 pint jar diced tomatoes (a can of store bought if you don't can your own tomatoes)
Onion and green pepper to taste
1/2 TBL Cumins
1 TBL Cilantro

Brown ground beef, add all ingredients to crock pot, set on low, and let simmer about 4 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning. Serve with shredded cheese & crackers (we use multi-grain crackers)

IF you like a HOT chili, add a bit of jalapeƱo pepper to the mix. I was out of fresh onions and green peppers :(

Yields 6-8 servings

Melt some Velveeta Cheese in the microwave, and add to the chili for your next Nascar Race Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Writer's Workshop

Living with horses is always an adventure. Whether you have to fix a fence, clean a stall, call a Vet, or just sit and laugh. They are big, adorable, loving animals, that can cheer you up on any given day, no matter how bad of a mood your in, or how lonely your feeling.

They can take a ho-hum day, and make it memorable.

Cisco on an Evening Graze

Imagine this if you can:

It's spring, still wet and muddy from our winter, and early spring showers. Horses are feeling good with the weather getting warmer. Cisco, our only gelding on the property, is a big boy, 16 hands tall! He is a Tennessee Walker, as are all of our horses.

I was making a round in the back yard on our lawnmower, when I saw Cisco come barreling down the hill. I just had to stop and watch, because I knew what was about to happen. Unable to stop in a normal fashion, he sat on his butt, front feet out in front of him, sliding closer to the creek!  I kept waiting for him  to start back paddling his front feet, looking for more traction.

The look on his face was absolutely a Kodak Moment, and me without my Kodak, wouldn't you know it! I laughed so hard and so loud, I heard my echo in the woods behind the house, where are horses roam. I got some funny looks from the rest of the herd, and it just made me laugh all the harder.

Mama's Losin' It

Family Time

I just spent over an hour on the phone with my mom. I had not talked to her in a few weeks, and it isn't like her not to call me at least once a week. So, I was beginning to get worried about her, and gave her a call.

It was good to hear her voice, I didn't realize how much I had missed her chatter. Seems she is doing fine, and doing some more work on her place. She and her dog, Winston, are doing good. Fairing the Georgia cold as well as any Floridian could.

Winston ~ Keeping Mom Safe from all
I miss being close to my mom, when we could visit each other whenever we wanted. I miss knowing she is within a few miles of me. Even though I moved to Tennessee several years ago, I still miss her unexpected visits to check on me and the kids. I miss the family gatherings, and the family fusses.

She has her friends, and is building a new life for herself. But so often, I wish she would have chosen to come here and be closer to me. I worry about her. Not in the present day sense, but in the future. I know she is healthy and able to take care of herself now. I want her closer to me, so I can care for her as she cared for me. Supporting her, loving her, enjoying her company, and learning from her.

I do have to wonder how she is going to operate her computer. My son, who is now 29, has been with her since he was a baby. And my parents had bought him a computer, which he grew up using, and even did some web design work, and gaming programming.

He has recently moved back to Florida, leaving my mom on her own with the computer. Sure, she used them at work, and actually got really good with the programs they had to use there. But, at home, for personal use, she is almost completely lost.

So, while talking to her on the phone tonight, we set up a Yahoo! email account for her. The first contact she added was me, since I was talking to her. And she started reading all my blog posts, tweets, and FB comments.

OHOH,, what have a I done? I told her now she keep up with me, and find out what I'm really up to. Of course, I didn't stop there! I just HAD to show her how we can chat live, with Yahoo Chat Web Version.
My next step, is to get her to Skype, so we can use video, and when her new great-grandson here, she will be able to meet him and get to know him.

Not sure how long this learning curve is going to last, so I hope she is a quick learner, and can adapt quickly. I wonder if Yahoo does video, then I would not have to teach her a whole new IM program!