January 24, 2011


It's a snot freezer out there again today! Hokey Smokes. The weatherman said the temperatures was going to "warm" up to a whopping 27 degrees today. I'm not complaining, if the leaves are off the trees and it's going to be cold out, I would much rather have snow on the ground as apposed to brown and cold. In Michigan, in the winter months, the snow is our sun. It brightens things up!

I twitted last week, "that it was colder than a well diggers auger". Somebody said they had never heard it put that way....I was afraid to ask how they had heard it put.

We are blessed to live on some land so the kids can pull each other behind the quad on sleds. Because these things ain't gonna get used for a while.......

Hibernating. I feel like all I want to do is climb in my bed under the heating blanket and watch the Notebook, Sweet Home Alabama, and When Harry Met Sally over and over and over. I'm a sucker for a love story, on a cold winter night.

It seems like there are hundreds of things to do outside when the weather is warmer, but until the warmer days come we are stuck inside, left to our own imaginations. I have tried to be more creative this winter. Tried to think of ways we can keep our bodies and minds moving. I bought Michael Jackson Experience Game for the Wii. My littlest, Cece, ROCKS at it. She out boogies me every time! We play more games. Bogle, Apples to Apples, and Skip-Bo are a few of our favorites.

One thing I have found about Winter is it seems easier to gather around the dinner table together more often. I am a staunch advocate for family meals. At least three times a week if not more. We all are at the dinner table together, eating the same food, looking each other in the eye, and sharing our day. It's not always picture perfect, but it's important. One thing that we all love is Chili. Chili is not something that I ever make in the warmer months. It is reserved for cold Winter or cool Fall days. My chili recipe has Mole in it. Mole gives this chili a sweet spicy richness. If you can't find mole in your grocery store. You can substitute cocoa powder and it will give you a similar taste effect.


2 pounds lean ground beef
1 red pepper sliced
1 green pepper diced
1 medium onion diced
2-3 minced garlic cloves
2 16 0z cans of chili beans (mild or hot depending on your tolerance for spice)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 cups V-8 vegetable juice (I like to use the hot or spicy V-8)
1 9.5 oz box of ready to serve Dona Maria Mole
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

You can cook this on your stove top or you can do step one on the stove top then transfer meat and vegi's to crock pot and add remaining ingredients.

1. Brown ground beef. Add onion, peppers, and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cook for 10-15 minutes until vegi's are soft and starting to brown. (Transfer to crock pot if you prefer using a crock pot.)

2. Add beans, mixing into meat mixture and smashing some of the beans in the process, this makes the chili thicker.

3. Add remaining ingredients in order. Cook at a low temperature on stove top for 1 hour. Stirring on occasion. If chili is thicker than you like feel free to add more V-8 juice to thin it down.

NOTE: If you can't find the ready to use Mole, then substitute 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

We love to eat our chili generously topped with Monterrey Jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream, served with tortilla chips or Cheesy Toast,

Hope you can get your family around the table to enjoy a meal this week!


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  1. My tummy is growling just looking at the photo of your chili. Looks scrumptious. Cannot believe how much snow you have. We're having the opposite kind of weather. Unseasonably warm.

  2. Looks like a lot of snow by you, too! I had to scrape off the roof to prevent the snow from melting and causing damage yesterday, and the snow was up to my knees!