Welcoming Summer

Ah! I love the first day of summer! Although I have been out of college for almost a month now, summer seems to really be here now. Mostly because I am finally getting started on some of the things I am hoping to accomplish this summer, many of which are the same as those on my 19 before 20 list.

One of my big goals for this year, and especially this summer, is to learn how to cook more meals. Last night, my mom asked me if I would make chili for dinner because yesterday was her last day of school (she teaches 2nd grade) and she didn’t really want to cook.  Now, before I continue, you should know that I don’t like chili and don’t eat chili.  And I generally do not like to make dishes I won’t eat (you know, because then I am really making 2 meals: 1 for the family and something different for me).  I therefore only grudgingly agreed to making it.  Guess what? It was delicious! I even liked it! My mom had set out all of the canned ingredients for me, but hadn’t told me how to make it. So I found a recipe in one of our cookbooks (the famed Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book), and called my grandmother.  The ingredients in the actual recipe varied from the ones my mom had left out for me, so I half followed the recipe, half made it up as I went.  At my brother’s suggestion, I also added jarred jalapeno slices, which made it a bit more spicy than normal, but I think made the chili better than usual.

In case you’d like to make some for yourself, I’ll share the recipe.


1 pound ground turkey (or beef, but ground turkey worked fine, and is much healthier)

1 c. chopped onion (I think I actually used a little less)

1/2 c. chopped red sweet pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 14.5-oz. can stewed sliced tomatoes

1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes

2 15.5-oz. cans dark red kidney beans

2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. dried crushed basil

1/4 c. jarred jalapeno slices (without juice- this is an estimate- it was really about 4 forkfuls)

Fry the ground turkey, onion, pepper, and garlic in a frying pan until the meat is browned. In a large pot, mix together the stewed sliced tomatoes, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder, and basil.  Add the browned meat and vegetables to the pot, along with 1/2 tsp.salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the jalapeno slices.  Bring to a boil, then reduced heat, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Serves about 6.

It was delicious with basic cornbread, as well!

I also made my first piece of clothing this morning! I got this really pretty blue floral fabric awhile ago to make fabric coasters for one of my cousins for Christmas, and had a bit left over.  It ended up being just enough to make a pretty tank-top.

Snapshot_20130621_1I promise to post more (and better) pictures of the shirt later on today or tomorrow, along with some information on how I made it.  I absolutely love it!!

I’m going to go enjoy this summer sun and maybe make some more things!