Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chipotle Chicken Stew

Today I am making a Chipotle Chicken Stew in the crock pot. I have had it once and it is soooo good. The ingredients are simple and flavors are rich.

Chipotle Chicken Stew

1-2 lbs. skinless chicken thighs
15 oz navy beans (or 1 can)
15 oz black beans (or 1 can)
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 ½  cups chicken broth/stock
½ cup orange juice
1 medium onion, diced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 bay leaf
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Combine chicken, beans, tomatoes with juice, broth, OJ, onion, chipotle pepper, salt, cumin, and bay leaf in crock pot.

Cover; cook on low 7 -8 hours or on high 3.5 – 4 hours. Remove bay leaf and chicken bones. Gently shred the chicken meat with 2 forks. Garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.

Makes about 6 servings

We really like spicy here so I added 2 chipotle peppers instead of one but the rest I did exactly as the recipe called for. My house smells amazing! We can't wait for dinner.
I wish there was a way to give credit for this recipe but I got it from someone, who got it from someone, etc... So make it and enjoy! 

Here is a quick picture of it in the crock pot....I will take another one when we sit down to eat tonight.

Oh, and I think I might put a wedge of lime in it when I serve it. I think the lime juice will just bring out all the flavors.

Okay, here is the crock pot after I have shredded the chicken. Next up picture ready to eat!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Running Challenge...week 1

I have challenged myself to run at least 1 mile every day for a year. It is going well so far but it is hard. I pretty much had a year off of running. I did have a few spurts here and there where I would go out but overall it has been a year (I had my calf injury last Jan.). I'm finding that it is like starting all over. I'm finding I have calf and achilles tightness and have to walk during my run to stretch it back out. I very much don't want to overdo it and get injured.

I'm going to stick to 1 mile per day for the first 3 weeks just to give my body time to adjust to running again. Then I will start tacking on more miles.

 All that being said....just going out this week has reminded me why I love running, and I'm sad that I have missed an entire year. It is too cold out for me to be barefoot so I'm running in my Soft Star Runamocs, which, as far as shoes go are great! I have lots of toe room and great ground feel even with with the trail soles. I would love to try the dashes but they are not in the budget right now. I really can't wait for warmer weather so I can go barefoot. Barefoot is my one true running love.

The personal interactive feedback I get from the ground; temperature, texture, hardness, it is all like a feast for my feet! It definitely makes me Run Smiley and makes my soul happy! Oh, and don't even get me started on puddles.....splashing through them and the mud makes you feel like a kid again! The squish between your toes is a feeling like none other!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

9 Years Ago Today....

Once upon a time a boy and a girl met in college. They had a pretty unconventional friendship to start.....yet the best of friends they became. They did everything together. They would stay up all night long fueled by bad coffee, and talking about life. One day they both realized it had changed and grown into much much more. In May of 2002 just after the semester of school had ended, the boy proposed to the girl. Both the boy and the girl had one semester left of school and they decided to set the wedding date for right after graduation. How the boy and girl ever managed to make it through their last semester while planning a wedding I will never know. Graduation came and went....two weeks later there dawned a cold January day. Mid day a beautiful light snow began to fall while all the friends and family of the boy and girl gathered to watch the boy and girl; who were best friends, get married. It was a perfect day. The guests were well fed and then given some bad music to listen and dance to. The boy and girl have since had two wonderful children to share their life with...a fun and happy home and more Love to share than they know what to do with have completed this family.

This girl has had the best 9 years ever because she has had the opportunity to share it with a perfect boy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Busy Resolutioning and Reminiscing

Yeah, I'm pretty sure resolutioning is not a word but you get the point. I have been busy the past two days working on my resolutions/goals for the year. I have made a great shopping list and blank weekly menu plan.

  I have only filled in dinner for this week. I need to get on the rest of the meals.

The grocery store list is set up like the store (our store is set up crazy so we hit up dairy first and produce last). I have items I know we buy every week already on the list and lots of empty space for anything that comes up from the menu. I will be getting a years worth of grocery lists printed out tomorrow. I plan on binding them and putting a magnet on the back so I can keep it on the fridge.

I also made it out for my first run yesterday. I need to head out for today's run in a minute.

It seems most people who keep up with their blogs also do a recap for the year. My year was hard. I started it out tearing my calf muscle, then I found out I was pregnant on Valentines day, then I spent LOTS of time working on the planning committee for the Bridge to Bridge 5K/10K race that is held on Mother's Day weekend. The race went off and was a smashing success. A week later we had a private ultra sound to find out the gender of the baby. We had a stubborn one that would not give us a glimpse of the goods. A week later we found out we lost the baby. I delivered a beautiful baby boy that we named Luke. After that it was all I could do to keep my head above water. I threw myself into gardening and decorating projects. I also threw a fun birthday party for both of my boys. Making the cake and cake balls (red velvet) was a fun challenge.

Next I repainted the dining room and sewed myself some new curtains and painted the table.

 Then I put up some bulletin boards to display the boys' artwork.
 I sewed a Happy Birthday Sign to use for all our birthdays.
I made a huge list of things to do for the boys to keep them busy for the summer.
 I decided to make my house a bit more "green" by getting rid of paper products. I sewed rag bags and rags for our house and then loved the idea so much that I made one for 2 of my cousins and my mom.

I got my hands and feet dirty in the garden making a bunch of new flower beds.
 This is Luke's rose bush. It is surrounded by rocks that they boys painted.

 The rocks that the boys and I painted.

 I got my necklace with Luke's ashes in it.

G and I went on our first real vacation since our honeymoon....we made good use of the beach by remembering Luke.

 The boys played with bubbles....LOTS
We shampooed the carpets in the house, and as you can tell....they really needed it.

I had to sew a vest for a costume for Hugh. School wanted them to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up.....if you can't tell, Hugh wants to be a paleontologist.
Then it was almost Halloween and we decided to decorate the house with bats. I cut 100 bats out of paper and Hugh helped decorate.
Then I sewed the boys' Halloween costumes.

Then I painted the extra bedroom (one wall got chalkboard paint) and made curtains for that room.

I hit up goodwill and bought some ugly picture frames and spray painted them black to make a nice wall mural in our room.

Then it was time for Christmas and Christmas gifts to be made....
Here are some aprons I sewed for a friend and her two girls.

I took pictures of the boys and had some fun with the chalkboard painted wall.
I painted some awesome treasure chests for the boys for Christmas. I filled them with rocks that I had spray painted gold.

I accomplished lots of things and created lots of things but I still have a hole in my heart that can't be filled. I will always miss Luke.

On a side note....I know some of the pictures are turned, I'm still trying to fix that.