Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter nesting

First off, welcome and thank you for stopping by. I finally got all of my Christmas decorations packed up and put away, yeah. I like to start the year fresh and clean, even if it looks a bit bare right now. I'm not quite ready to put out my spring accents just yet. To be honest, I'm not through with winter...sweater weather, fuzzy socks, the glow of the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Yep, I'm lovin' it! So, here's a little peak into my home. This is the front/dining room. I love the open floor plan. It really comes in handy when we host a party or holiday. We are really blessed to have a big family and need every square inch. At thanksgiving, we usually have 40+ people over.

The family room and kitchen is also one big room. This fireplace originally was covered in beige tile which was just too modern for us. Last summer, my husband ripped it out, added the stone work, and built a ledge. This is how I decorate it during the in-between seasons.

To the right of the fireplace, is our entertainment center that my husband also built. I'm so thankful he's handy. Originally, there was just a big hole there. I love the way it turned out, especially given the fact he's never done anything like this before. Nice work, honey!

And this is our family room. Here is where we spend the bulk of our time, especially since the kitchen is near. Speaking of kitchens, I have a family favorite recipe I'd like to share. It's my pork Tex Mex chili; perfect for those blustery days and oh so easy.

Mama's Tex Mex Chili
1-2 pounds of pork roast
1/2 cup of flour
1 t salt
1 t pepper
2-3 T oil
1 small onion
1 jalapeno diced (seeded if you don't like it spicy)
2 T cumin
2 T paprika
2 T chili powder
2 T garlic
1 large chicken bullion cube
1 c water
2 t pepper
1 t salt
2 16oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. can of black beans (washed)
1 16 oz can of kidney beans (washed)
1 16 oz can of pinto or red beans (washed
1 16 oz can of corn
Toppings of your choice
Cut the pork into bite size pieces and dredge it in the flour with one teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the pork. This should be done in batches so that it browns nicely.

Heat up the crock pot and add the pork. Remember, you only want to brown the outside, it's going to cook in the crock pot. Add 1 extra tablespoon of oil to the same pan that browned the pork and saute the onions with the jalapeno. Now, add the spices (cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder) to the oil and onions. I like to toast my spices this way to add a depth of flavor. While that's cooking, heat the cup of water and add the bouillon cube to it so it dissolves. After 5 minutes, add the seasoned onions to the crock pot along with the diced tomatoes, water with bouillon, pepper, and salt.

I cook it on low for about 6 hours but about half and hour before I'm going to serve, I add the remaining ingredients.

Taste it to make sure it's flavored properly. This is usually where I like to add some extra salt or cumin if needed.

Serve with the toppings of your choice. We like shredded cheese, cilantro, red onion, corn chips, and sour cream. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Your home is just beautiful, Dani! I am in love with your dining room set! And your mantel looks perfect for winter, I like the rich, warm colors, very cozy. I can imagine sitting around it having a big bowl of your chili! Thanks for the recipe.