February 28, 2013

Playroom Fun

This is an oldie, but one of my faves.
It was actually an example I made for a unit on organic shapes and cool colors, and it started an entire series of organic abstractions.
I love the whimsy of these first pieces, unfortunately something that got lost with the repetition of this theme, but I appreciate looking back. 
Plus, the cool colors match our playroom perfectly!
Oh, and the fact that my son refers to it as "Mama's fun painting!?!"
Organic Abstraction
Mixed Media on Canvas
(Primarily Gouache, Pastel, Oil Pastel and Ink)

February 27, 2013

Medium Cook

For all of you addicted to 'Top Chef,' like I am every single season, who do you think will win?!
I am super excited for tonight's finale, but my heart is torn! 
Brooke or Kristin?! 
Truth be told, I kind of have a bit of a girl crush on both of these bad-ass chefs...

Regardless, we are sitting tight, pouring a glass of Top Chef inspired "Terlato" wine, waiting for the frenzy of fast-paced, ingredient-packed, pressure-filled cook off to begin......

(ps. Terlato is on sale at all PA liquor stores right now!!)

Let the best chef win!

The Never Ending Winter Products

This winter seems extraordinarily long, however here are some of the products that bring me joy after a cold day outside.
p.s. I am not a dermatologist...

Wholefood's 365 Daily Facial Cleanser 
(or Cetaphil):
I now use this to shave my legs during the winter months. Soap was irritating my already dry skin into a scratchy fit, but after reading 'The Pioneer Woman's' blog post about using non-soap based products, and a simple disposable razor to shave, I am now converted.
 My legs have recovered and I should be hot-to-trot for Spring!
Thank you Ree!
Sabon's Lemon Mint Body Butter:
Any of Sabon's products are luxurious, but I love the gentle scent of this body butter, and it is not oily so you can slather it on and not feel like a total grease bag.
Product Display for DDF Ultra-Lite-Oil-Free-Moisturizer-SPF 15
DDF Moisturizer and Toner:
My skin has always been a battlefield, but DDF products nourish, treat and heal. 
And if you are lucky, you can find them at Marshalls or TJ Maxx for a fraction of the regular price!
Product Display for DDF Aloe Toning Complex
Affordable Sulfate-Free Shampoo:
I fell in love with Bumble and Bumble's sulfate free shampoo, but I can't justify spending that much money on suds. I was very happy to see that L'Oreal has now released a line of affordable sulfate-free shampoo for a happy scalp and a happy wallet!
Aveeno Baby Wash for Mama and Baby:
This wash has been a tub-side staple ever since my son was born. The scent has become ubiquitous with him, and when we travel this is the only wash/shampoo I pack for all of us. Whether it be a weekend get-away or a family vacation, it doesn't get much easier than just packing ONE all-encompassing item!
And here is an easy home remedy to make our complexions pretty. 
Enjoy Lovelies!

Raw Honey Face Mask 

(Recipe from Wholefood's Market)

Follow these simple steps for a cleansing mask that helps keep blemishes at bay.
4 1/2 teaspoons Organic Raw Wildflower Honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or lavender 100% essential oil (optional)

In a clean ceramic or glass bowl, combine honey with vinegar, juice or oil (if using). Using clean fingers, massage honey or the mixture over your whole face (avoiding the eyes). Allow to dry and become slightly tacky, and then pat and tap to get blood flowing to the surface of the skin. Remove with warm water.

February 26, 2013


Here is a last minute shot of the roses I bought myself last weekend. Sadly they are dying already, but aren't they pretty!?

Here is a poem for your Tuesday morning:

Roses are Red
Violets are Not Blue
Violet is Synonymous with Purple
Silly Fool

February 25, 2013

Peanut Butter + Banana Noodles

We recently ordered peanut noodles from a local Chinese restaurant, but they were so sad. 
I was in love with the idea that they could marry two of my son's favorite things to eat: peanut butter and noodles. 
It sounded like a no-brainer.
Sadly, what we got was a large clump of overcooked noodles with a thick, beige, glue-like substance that tasted more like wax, than peanut butter. Wa.
I figured I could give this concept a go, 
but I took it an extra step by adding Elias' third favorite food, bananas.
I don't want to be one of those mom's who says, "even your child will eat this!"; because truth be told, that would be annoying. 
But, these are so good that even your child will eat them.
I fed him the noodles, with the peanut sauce and bananas, but then I added my own ingredients to make it more adult friendly.
See what you think. 
Bad Picture, But You Catch My Drift

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine, 2002
1 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup of warm pasta water
2 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. rooster sauce
squeeze of lime juice

1 lb. noodles (I used red rice noodles, because they are gluten free, but the recipe calls for soba. Also, whole wheat thin spaghetti would work)
4 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
1 cup of sprouts
1 cup cilantro, chopped
toasted sesame seeds

Banana, sliced 
grilled chicken, shrimp....

1. Mix the first 10 ingredients
2. Cook noodles to package directions; or soak rice noodles to package directions
3. For kid's version just toss the noodles and the sauce, and add the sliced banana (optional: toss with sesame seeds)
4. For adult's version, toss the noodles, sauce and remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
Serve with extra chopped cilantro, extra chopped peanuts, rooster sauce, lime slices


February 24, 2013

Fat Legged Friends Unite!

For the past few years I have been searching for the ultimate pair of wellies, but unfortunately for me I have stumps for legs. 
I bought the cutest pair of red Hunter wellies a few years back, but they cut into my knees when I walked, and it took a pack of marines to get them on and off. One time I swore I might have to take a pair of scissors to those rubbery bitches.
Then I bought a pair of the 'Huntress' wellies (wider and shorter) and that was a complete disaster. They fit my fatties, but they also ended at the widest part of my calf...oy...a very unflattering look.
I entertained dieting, but that passed.
Regardless, fat legged friends, we can now rejoice!
 Hunter has come out with a tall wellie that has an adjustable back!
Now I can wear the tall look, even over my jeans, and actually get them on and off my feet!
They set me back a chunk of change, but if the shoe fits....

Happy Spring Shopping Ladies!
Don't let those thin-legged girls get you down!

February 22, 2013

HapPy FRidAY!

This stuff is the real deal.
Plus, it is completely legal, and socially acceptable to drink in public!
My good friend Jo introduced me to this cold -brewed, crack-style deliciousness, and it is seriously serious. 
After a night of exceeding my limits, and an early morning toddler that thinks he is a super-hero, a mama needs a little assistance.
However, I do advise you to drink with ultimate caution. If you drink the entire bottle you won't sleep for weeks.
Where was this stuff in college?! 
Pure Black Cold Brew

Pure Black Cold Brew
Beckified and Jo?! I never thought of this as an option!??! Deliciousness!

Pure Black Cold Brew
100% Real. Just like me, bitches.

Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope you all have a super-hero style, energized weekend!

February 21, 2013

Cheese Heaven!

The new Food Network Magazine dedicated this month's issue to cheese!
'nuff said...

There are so many good looking recipes, including this beautiful Blue Cheese souffle!
Picture of Blue Cheese Souffles Recipe

Also, the issue includes 50 macaroni and cheese variations!


February 20, 2013

Popcorn Love

Introducing the world's best popcorn maker!
After using this bad-boy you will never eat microwave popcorn again, and dare I say the popcorn it makes triumphs movie theater popcorn?
Just add copious amounts of melted butter, kosher salt, and serve with a stack of napkins.
Heavenly movie night.
Now to settle the debate: Is Popcorn a Vegetable?!
Thank you Big Brad!

February 19, 2013

Crabby Egg Rolls

I know this is not an overly exotic menu item, but it was the first time I attempted to make them, and it was worth it.
I am not a huge fan of egg rolls, and I really only made them because I had left over wrappers wearing a hole in my fridge shelf, but, wo-man, these were good!
I don't know why I was surprised. 
Whenever you make something at home, whether it be pure egotism, or the fact that you can control the ingredients, it always tastes better.
And with cole-slaw mix so readily available, these are a cinch to throw together for a last minute lunch, dinner or a quick snack for a crowd.

Cole Slaw Mix (sliced cabbage, carrots and celery)
1 cup fresh sprouts
1 tsp. honey
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
1 clove fresh garlic, chopped
Optional: Crab Meat (Or Shrimp, Chicken, Pork, Beef....)

Egg Roll Wrappers

Egg Wash

Sesame Oil

Peanut Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Chopped Fresh Cilantro for serving

Mix the first 7-8  ingredients together
Assemble two tablespoons of mixture on top of egg roll wrapper, and fold as per package instructions. Use the egg wash as you fold to hold it together.
Fry egg rolls in oil, turning to brown or bake in the oven until crispy. Or fry, set aside and bake to heat up once your company arrives.
Serve with Peanut Sauce, Sweet and Sour sauce and/or chopped fresh cilantro


February 18, 2013

Large Weldings

I spotted these two great wall pieces in Milford, PA a few years back, and thought they were gorgeous. 
I loved the grand size, scale and symmetry of these large welded designs, and the craftsmanship was flawless. They must have individually weighed at least one hundred pounds, but they were so delicate and feminine at the same time.
How fun would they be hanging in an outdoor entertaining spot?!
Yes, please!

February 17, 2013


I'm intrigued, but not necessarily convinced about the fun-ness factor of this one. 
Wine flavored tea?! 
I guess you could drink it at work, which makes it kind of fun....

What do you think?!

February 15, 2013

HapPy FrIdAy EveRYoNe!

 I think I ate my weight in junk last night, so today I have to compensate.
Green Machine usually does the trick.
I either drink one small glass, or I cut it with water because I find it too sweet.
By noon I will have consumed apples, bananas, kiwi, mango, pineapple, spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, spinach, blue green algae, garlic, barley grass, wheat grass, ginger and parsley.
I don't even know what half of that crap is, and it looks like vomit, but they somehow made it taste good. Even better, I feel like I am doing something somewhat decent for my body!
Now I can sit back and devour my cookbooks as I search for our next gluttonous dish.
Happy Friday Everyone!
Have a great weekend!

February 14, 2013

St. Valentine

Shortbread Love

1, 2, + 3 Drops of Red Food Coloring
(Frosting: Butter, Cream Cheese, Confectionery Sugar + Almond Extract)
 Teachers Need Sugar Too
School Snack-Time Treats for the Kiddos
Does This Promote The Healthy Living Initiative!?
E's Quote of the Month
E's Breakfast Snack
E's Favorite Valentine's Gift from Nannie!
Cheesy, New, Valentine's-Inspired Nook Cover

Dada's Valentine
(Thank you Pinterest for the Inspiration)!
"Dr. Love!"
(Thank you Gap Outlet:)

Happy Valentine's Day Friends!
I hope you all find yourself around something you love tonight!
xx, k

Sweet Hands

I made this with my son last year for Todd on Valentine's Day, and it proudly hangs where we can see it everyday.
I love seeing E's little hands,
knowing that he learned his colors in part because of this image, and the fact that he knows this Chagall quote by heart because it is the last thing we read before going to bed.
But what do I love more?
The fact that he calls it "Our Picture."
This is what Valentine's Day is about...
Whether it be your babies, your spouses, partners or significant others, your pets, your families or friends, skip past the media hype and reach out to those you appreciate and love today.
Life is one second long.

February 13, 2013

Five Things to Never Get Your Girl

Everybody has different tastes, so what you get your significant other on this overrated holiday is a personal preference....but we should all use some common sense.
Regardless of what you want to spend, what age you are, or where you live, here are a few things you probably should never get your girl:

1. Diet pills or a gym membership. If I need to explain this you are a dumb-ass.

2. Tickets to a sporting event. Again, need I explain?

3. Earrings. Unless you are married. No girl wants to get a little square box on Valentine's Day. You will either scare the shit out of her, or seriously disappoint her. Either way, you probably won't get your money's worth.

4. A makeover. Every girl wants one, but nothing screams "I would like you a little bit more if...." like this type of gift. See #1.

5. Pole dancing lessons. Unless she is a slut and you want her to stay that way.

Happy Shopping Everyone! 
I hope you all have a great Valentine's Day!

Dress It Up

Don't forget your educators, co-workers, hairdressers, and friends this Valentine's Day!
These little gigs were favors that I gave to friends at an 'Italian Feast' we had a few years back, but would be perfect for somebody nice on your list. They are simple 'Lindt' truffles, dressed up in little glass vases with ribbon.
I picked up both the vases and the ribbon at A.C. Moore, and grabbed the candy from a local grocery store.
I'm thinking red/white/pink M+M's, Red Gumdrops, or Swedish Fish would work well for this holiday?!
Simple. Easy. Pretty...
And nicer than handing them a bag of candy.

February 12, 2013

Oxtail Stew

Who knew!? Oxtail is actually the cow's tail?!
Well, in sticking to my New Year's resolution, I tried this seemingly dreadful ingredient in a new recipe last week.
The outcome!?
After I got over the fact that I was eating an animal's tail, it was reminiscent of the most tender pot roast I have ever tried. And when it all comes down, what makes eating a tail more disgusting than eating a cow's shoulder, back or butt?
Not much.

Recipe from "The Union Square Cafe Cookbook":
'Braised Oxtails with Red Wine and Onions'
*Note: I substituted thyme for parsley + it worked very well

6 lbs. oxtails, cut 1 1/2 inches thick
6 cups of red wine
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
2 cups cipollini onions, peeled
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
2 cups sliced carrots
1 tsp. juniper berries
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
5 parsley sprigs
4 tsp. kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1. Trim the oxtails of excess fat and place in a large nonreactive bowl. Add wine, vinegar, cipollini onions, celery, carrots, juniper berries, peppercorns and parsley. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator, overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375
3. Drain the oxtails, reserving the liquid and vegetables. Dry them on paper towels, season with s/p, and dredge in flour.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and brown the oxtails on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Do this in several batches if necessary. Remove oxtails from the pan. Add the vegetables and brown, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Transfer the browned vegetables to a bowl and reserve.
5. Return the oxtails to the pan with the marinade, juniper berries, peppercorns and 2 cups of water. Stir in the tomato paste until dissolved. Cover and bake for 2 hours.
6. Add the reserved vegetables to the pot, stir, cover and return to the oven for an additional hour, until tender.
7. Allow the pot to cool for 10-15 minutes. Uncover, tilt the pot slightly, and skim as much fat as possible using a bulb baster or ladle. Return to a simmer over low heat, adjust the seasoning, and serve with chopped parsley.

This is truly a tasty dish. I served it over egg noodles and with grated Grana-Padana cheese. Because, as you know, everything is better with cheese...and if you are grossed out by eating a cow's tail, let's discuss where cheese comes from...

February 11, 2013

Ten Fun Facts

Did you know?!

1. The number one pollutant in NYC's air is glitter?

2. That you are as tall in height as you are finger tip to finger tip?

3. That cats curl their tongues under when they drink to scoop up the water, not upward?

4. That your face is not symmetrical? 
(Just look at Lyle Lovett if you don't believe me).

5. That cows play?!

6. That a person is judged in the first 7 seconds of being met?

7. That tiger's skin is striped, as well as their coats?

8. That the clocks in Pulp Fiction are all stuck on 4:20?

9. That human babies can only see the distance from the breast to the eyes of their mothers in the first few weeks of life?

10. That most adult female Hollywood stars should still be using booster seats if they adhered to the booster/car seat guidelines? 

*Disclaimer: I'm not an expert.

February 10, 2013

February 8, 2013


Happy Friday Everyone!

 You are probably asking yourself, 
"Water?! Karra?! Friday?!"
Well, yes, water. 
Delicious, refreshing, cold water. 
I feel the best way to start the day. Even before coffee or tea, I indulge in a glass or two. It truly sets the day off right, and I have heard mutterings of health benefits.
We must re-hydrate before we dehydrate again...
Especially when we have a pre-V-day, fat-lady dinner on the docket tonight!

Have a great weekend everyone!

February 7, 2013

Milk and Honey Sale

Here is a fun fetch for all of my PA friends!
'Milk and Honey' kid's boutique in Bethlehem is having a kick-ass sale. 
Buy one sale item, get the second free!
They have the cutest kid's clothing. Think 'Tea Collection,' 'Lily Pulitzer Girls,' 'Le Top,' 'See Kai Run' etc. etc. etc. 
So cute (especially if you have a girl). 
The women that work there are always super friendly and helpful (never pushy), and I love to see locally owned stores do well, so get on down for some fetching finds for a fraction of the price!
 Here is the link to their stores:

February 6, 2013

February 5, 2013

Three Great Winter Remedies

Oh winter, how I loathe thee...
Chapped lips...Cracked skin...Dry cuticles and hangnails...

Well, two of my great friends told me of this home remedy for all of the above:
If you put this stinky stuff from the blue bin on your hangnail, it will be healed by morning! 

Another fantastic "remedy?!"
Eye drops in the refrigerator.
After a day of skiing, snowshoeing or playing outside not much feels better than cold eye drops. 

My third favorite winter remedy?! 
Vaseline up the nose.
The dry air in our home never fails to dry out my sniffer at night.
What helps, besides sleeping on top of a humidifier?! 
Put a little Vaseline around the rim of your nose, and you will wake up with a happy snout!
This one came from my sister. I thought it was weird, but it really works!

Happy Winter Everyone!
*Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor*

February 4, 2013

Veg-Fest Images + Recipes!

In looking for a change in menu and diet, we went vegetarian for the majority of this past week.
I cheated Thursday night by eating shrimp on my salad...and then I had a tuna melt yesterday...but we came sooo close! 
We did this last year for a few months and it really exposed us to great new recipes, flavor profiles, colors and textures. We will have to keep doing this, as I really enjoy it.
Here are a few images of the yummy foods we made and ate. 
You can find the recipes for all of these dishes at the end of this post!

Portobello, Poblano and Swiss on Toasted Heidelberg French Country Bread
Grilled Swiss on Pumpernickel with Salt
(for The Little Guy)

Vegetable Stir-fry with Red Rice Noodles

Sweet-Potato + Pineapple Thai Red Curry

Cauliflower Puree "Pierogi" with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Black Bean + Poblano Soup with a load of sour cream......ahhha!
Tomato Noodle Soup 
(...for The Little Guy...and a secret leftover breakfast for mama.......)

Vegetarian Chili w/Blue Corn Chips

The Recipes:

Portobello, Poblano and Swiss Recipe
This recipe is so easy, so quick and so delicious. It even satisfies my meat-eating husband, and has become a regular item on our kitchen menu. The key is the Heidelberg bread; when toasted it becomes crispy deliciousness, that balances the textures of the mushrooms and peppers. If this bread is unavailable in your area, try to find a good quality homemade bread, sliced on the thinner side.

4 Large Portobello Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 Poblano Peppers, roasted, pealed and sliced (or red bell pepper is good too)
4 slices of swiss cheese
4 pieces of Heidelberg French Peasant Bread

1. Prepare your poblano peppers (char over an open flame, seal in a paper bag until cool, peel and slice)
2. Saute mushrooms in oil and season with salt and pepper
3. Toast your bread in the oven and add the swiss cheese to each slice for the last minute to melt
4. Layer mushrooms and peppers and sandwich; salt and pepper to season
5. Cut in half and enjoy!

Vegetable Stir-fry with Red Rice Noodles
This recipe can be adapted to taste, and you can use almost any vegetables you have on hand. The red-rice noodles were something new that I fetched from Wegman's, and we loved them!  If you can not find them at your local store, regular rice noodles work with this recipe as well, however we found that the red rice noodles had more depth of flavor and texture, and add a really delicious earthy quality. Even our little man approved!

Assorted vegetables, cut into a variety of bite sized pieces (I used freshly chopped garlic, quartered mushrooms, sliced red bell pepper, sliced green onions, quartered broccoli crowns, carrot ribbons, and sweet peas). Approximately 3 cups worth.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil + 3 tablespoons of Sesame Oil
Toasted Sesame Seeds
+- 2 tsp. Crushed red pepper, to preferred spice
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Red Rice Noodles
3 tablespoons of Peanut Sauce
3 tablespoons of Teriyaki Sauce

1. Boil water
2. Simultaneously cut vegetables into a variety of bite sized shapes
3. Saute vegetables in a hot pan or a wok with oil. Add ginger + toss throughout.
4. Season vegetables with crushed red pepper
5. Soak rice noodles in water, removed from the burner, until tender and drain
6. Toss vegetables, noodles, peanut sauce and teriyaki sauce to coat (add a little more sesame oil if too dry)
7. Serve warm, topped with toasted sesame seeds

Sweet Potato and Pineapple Red Thai Curry
This is a recipe I adapted from Nigella Lawson. I love her cooking, but I cannot resist tinkering with recipes. Sometimes I fail miserably, and sometimes I end up creating something yummy. In this case, we were pretty satisfied. You can't beat Thai-styled curry on a cold winter's eve. 
It sure does warm the bones.

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of sliced scallions
4 tablespoons of red Thai curry
1 14 ounce can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 cups of roasted, cubed sweet potato
1 cup of cubed pineapple
lime wedges

1. Make sauce by cooking 1/2 scallions in oil until fragrant. Add curry paste and stir. Add coconut milk and fish sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors.
2. Add pineapple and roasted sweet potato and toss gently to warm, coat and season.
3. Serve warm, topped with cilantro and lime wedges. 
Optional: Serve over rice or noodles.

Cauliflower Puree Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
This was an adventure...
I recently ate at my friend's restaurant and they served the most delicious cauliflower puree. I left pleasantly full and inspired. Also, since I now live in the land of pierogi, and have wanted to try making them for awhile now, I had the novel idea to marry the two concepts. 
On my first attempt I totally messed up the dough (see recipe below), and they turned into a mushy, doughy, disgusting mess. 
It made me realize two things; one, I didn't have time to remake the dough for that night's dinner, and two, I had to add something with texture. 
Luckily, I found a package of wonton wrappers hiding in my bin (problem one solved); then I added the caramelized onions and the roasted brussel sprouts for texture (problem two solved). 
The recipe was good...would I make it again?! Maybe. 
But like Todd said, they would probably be better with a large pork chop....

Cauliflower (4 cups)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup of milk

One large Onion, sliced + Caramelized (slice, saute in oil until golden brown; season with s/p)
Brussel sprouts, roasted (toss with olive oil, s/p in oven on 375 until browned)

Won-ton wrappers
Egg white
Butter for sauteing pierogi

1. Boil cauliflower until fork tender; blend until smooth with s/p, butter and milk. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
2. Caramelize onions and roast brussel sprouts
3. Assemble pierogi: add a dollop of puree to wonton wrapper. Seal edges with egg white, folding the wrapper over on itself.
*Here is a better recipe for pierogi dough with directions on how to do this the right way....

4. Saute the pierogies in butter, along with the onions until golden brown on both sides
5. Serve warm with brussel sprouts and onions.

Black Bean and Poblano Soup
This recipe is adapted from 'The Moosewood' cookbook; one of my favorites from college, and a go-to for anything vegetarian.
I included the link for the recipe, however I tinkered with the ingredients a bit...I encourage you to follow their recipe first, as they do not disappoint, then if you feel like it, follow the minor changes I made.
The only things I did differently are, 1. I used a red bell pepper instead of a green bell pepper (oooo...big change)! and 2. I used poblano peppers instead of chipotle peppers (ooo...another big change)!
I doubt either of these changes altered the flavors much, but my fridge called the shots on this one.

This is my go-to chili recipe. It seriously makes enough to feed a small village, so either adapt to your crowd, or be ready to eat chili for the next month. I usually do make it with meat, however I just omitted it from this week's batch. It still made our bellies happy, and even cut in half we had enough left over to make nachos for the big game. 
Of course, Todd would contend that it is better with the meat, so I'll include it in the recipe in case you are a meat lover too. Just feel free to skip it if you choose vegetarian.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. group veal/beef mix
1 lb. sirloin, cut into one inch cubes
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons, cumin
2 tablespoons, chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne
18 ounces of tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
3 cups of diced, fresh tomatoes (or canned san marzano tomatoes)
3 cups diced onion
3 cups diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced roasted poblano pepper
3 cups beans (3 cans, drained) 
*I added 2 more cans of beans since I omitted the meat in this batch
1 cups chopped cilantro
1 cup beef broth
Optional for serving: more chopped cilantro, garlic bread/chips, grated cheese, sour cream, jalapenos

1. Cook sirloin and garlic with olive oil. Add ground meat and cook until brown. Drain.
2. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and cayenne
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for +- 10 minutes
4. Add tomatos, tomato paste, onions, peppers and sugar and simmer an additional ten minutes
5. Add beans and cilantro
6. Simmer; add broth to desired consistency. Adjust spices if necessary.
7. Serve warm. 
Optional: Top with cheese and melt under a broiler. Serve with additional cilantro, garlic bread/chips, sour cream, jalapenos....

I hope you guys enjoy these recipes. 
It was a fun week, so stay tuned for more to come!