Category Archives: Food

Coffee, Cooking, and Colorado

Just a quick post about what I’ve been up to this past week!

I’ve started drinking coffee
I am not a coffee drinker. I’ve tried but I’ve just never been very fond of the taste, so the only time I would drink it is when I really needed some caffeine – whether for an early morning at work or for my late night classes. However, our friends recently returned from Puerto Rico and gave Andrew and I some Puerto Rican coffee. I wasn’t planning on using it (since I’m not a fan of coffee) but Andrew made some one morning and I took a sip of it and couldn’t believe how good it tasted!

I am trying not to drink too much of it (I like a lot of sugar in mine still :P ) but I always will make myself a cup after work on Mondays and Wednesdays. After working an eight or nine hour day, I then have class until 10:00pm, so I’m always really dragging about halfway through my lectures. The coffee  definitely helps. And, we found the coffee online for a reasonable price so we can purchase more in the future when we run out!

Coffee

Also, is this not the cutest teacup? My coworker gifted this to me over Christmas and I’ve been really enjoying using it for my coffee. Makes me feel fancy in the morning! :P

I have been trying lots of new recipes!
I feel Andrew and I have been eating the same foods recently, so I’ve been trying about one new recipe a week for the past couple of weeks! So far everything has been really good! I’ve made Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream sauce, Black bean and corn quesadillas, Cajun pasta, and my mom’s recipe of homemade pot pie which I’ve never made before! I’ve noticed that I tend to gravitate towards dishes that have a lot of spices and flavor.

Penne Vodka Sauce
Penne with Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Trying new recipes has actually been really fun, and I’m learning to cook with new ingredients. I’ve started cooking with real garlic now instead of using powder, and I’ve been using a lot more spices in my cooking! All of these dishes that I’ve made are definitely going to be made again in the future! And, because I’m using more vegetables and fresh ingredients, I feel better about what we’re eating, too. :)

Planning spring break vacation!
Andrew and I are planning a vacation for our spring break at the end of March. We had some airplane vouchers from our honeymoon we were going to use, but then we decided on someplace closer: Colorado. I’ve always thought that Colorado is such a beautiful, beautiful state, but neither of us have visited before. The hope is that it will be very relaxing and relatively inexpensive as we mainly just want to visit state parks.

We planned out all the activities we’d ideally like to do and are spending two days at Rocky Mountain National Park, three days in and around Denver, and then two days in and around Colorado Springs. We will do some sightseeing in downtown Denver, but other than that we just want to see nature and mountains!  

Once the weather gets warmer we are going to try and be a bit more active to prepare for all the hiking and walking we will be doing. I’m just hoping it won’t be too cold! ;)

Chilly so Chili (A Recipe)

Some of our close friends recently returned from Puerto Rico for the holiday. They went on a three week trip so I have missed seeing them! I wanted to get everyone together so we could talk about their trip – and I still had some Christmas presents to give out! I’m always very impatient for people to open presents that I give them. :P Giving is definitely better than receiving!

I was trying to come up with some dinner ideas that everyone would like as two of our friends are vegetarians. Andrew and I 99% of the time eat meat with our dinner because he hates everything that even looks like a vegetable. ;) I suggested chili. It’s very filling and it would be easy for me to make half of it without meat. But then I thought some more and said aloud, “Though, anyone can make chili.” He replied, “No one makes chili like you do.” Deadpan, serious face.

I couldn’t help but laugh. I don’t feel like I make amazing chili, but I do think it’s pretty good, if I say so myself. 8) My recipe has slowly evolved over time. I started with my mom’s recipe, but found it too bland (I like mine spicy!) so I took some pieces of other recipes and added in a few ingredients of my own.

What I like about this recipe is that it is really easy, and doesn’t take very long to prepare. To make it vegetarian, obviously leave out the meat. :)

Chili1

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans of chili beans
  • 1 can of rotel
  • Two large tomatoes, chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 lb of beef
  • 1 chili seasoning packet
  • Dash of chili powder
  • Dash of crushed red peppers
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion

Start by browning the beef with the onions and peppers. You can use the whole pepper if you prefer, but I think half of each pepper is a good ratio. (I always freeze the remaining to use later!) When cooked, drain the meat and add in the chili beans. Add in the can of Rotel, undrained. Add in the tomatoes — either the one can of diced tomatoes or the fresh tomatoes. I try to do fresh, but sometimes I forget to pick some up at the store so I use the can.

I then fill each can (the four chili cans the Rotel can)  about halfway with water and dump into the pot. This gets all the extra juice out of the cans. However if you like your chili thicker, add less water. If you like it thinner, add more.

I add a dash of chili powder and a dash of crushed red peppers to make it a little more spicy. The can of Rotel already gives it a bit of a kick, so this gives it a bit more. If you don’t like spicy foods, then skip these seasonings. It tastes fine without.  You may want to add more if it’s not spicier. Always taste. :)

Stir everything together real good and let it cook for about ten to fifteen minutes. Or until you can’t wait any longer to eat it because it smells so good. That usually is what we do, haha!

Chili2

I always serve chili with corn chips, crackers, and cheese. Andrew is weird and likes to add salsa. Sometimes I like to add hotdogs to my chili, but maybe I’m the weird one. :P Chili is perfect for chilly winter days cozied up with friends!