Friday, February 21, 2014
The first time a friend got into my car on our first "becoming friends" date, I had "La Donna E Mobile" by The Three Tenors playing on my CD player. She was 18, I was 21. We were in a 1992, tan Aerostar van. Completely normal, right? I thought so, but her, not so much. Maybe I should have been slightly embarrassed but I wasn't. I was one classy and sophisticated single mom who lived with her grandparents and listened to Opera and Frank Sinatra in her car. Dang, I'm surprised Jeremy waited as long as he did to ask me out and marry me.
I know some of my readers will be asking a lot of questions right about now. I've never disclosed that I was a single mom for a hot minute. Yes, It's true. Long story short, I fell for a boy named Jaz (why, yes, that is his real name, and no, he was not a stripper). He didn't fall for me as hard (I know, weird, right?) I had my little daughter Isabella Victoria, and promptly up and moved from Southern California, my home for more than 20 years, to Colorado where my grandparents lived. I went to college and church and that's it. I met my friend in my college Art History class and I met Jeremy at church. So, that explains a lot.
I haven't been keeping secrets or anything. The other day I mentioned something about having been a single mom, and a new friend who has been following my blog for a while was shocked. She had no idea! Apparently, I don't talk about this. Not for any other reason than I probably don't think about it much. Just like I don't think about my song choice before inviting new friends into my car.
So anyway, for reasons that have nothing to do with anything I just said above, I'd like to talk to you about this incredible and easy chicken chili verde I made the other day. Everything is placed in a crockpot and then hours later the chicken is fall apart tender and shreds perfectly. Oh recipe, how I love thee. Let me count the ways:
1) Since this recipe calls for only four ingredients it requires no prep
2) One of those ingredients is a jar of salsa verde. This means all the onions, cilantro and lime flavor is already built into the chili and doesn't need adding.
3) This served hot with melty jack cheese and avocado is heaven in a bowl. Especially if you add chips to the mix!
4-Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Chili Verde
adapted from Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist
3-4 chicken breasts
1-16oz container of green tomatillo salsa (or red salsa for a non-verde version) preferably fresh
4 cans white beans (black beans can be used too)
4 cups chicken broth
Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook for 3-4 hours or up to 8 hours. Before serving, shred the chicken with two forks. Serve with jack or cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, avocado and sour cream.
Posted by Krysta at 2:40 PM
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Brrrrr. It's cold out! And if the weather report is to be believed we have snow and temperatures in the teens and twenties for the next 7 days. I shouldn't be mad since it's still winter and all, but I'd be lying if I told you my mind doesn't drift to sandy beaches, warm sun and surf 10 times a day. For my sister and brother-in-law this is an awesome reality. In three days she will take off on a jet plane, Bahamas bound, and do all sorts of tropical like things. Eat fried fresh fish, drink a pina colada, smell that clear salt water, and lay in the sun. Pat, my brother-in-law is there for work (he's the chef at a hunting ranch here in Colorado, but the owners also have a fishing resort on their private island called Deep Water Cay. Pat is helping to revamp the menu, inspire some cocktails, and get things in order) so he gets less downtime, although it may be just what's coming to him after the shenanigan he pulled this weekend.
Over the weekend Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow indicating a longer winter, and our team, the Bronocs, got pummeled in the Superbowl. We had a party made up of six Broncos fans, two Seahawk fans, and two undecided and kids. My sister Kaylee and I are originally from southern California. She is a Raiders fan for life. I guess the Raiders and Bronocs don't get along, or so I'm told, so even though she's lived in Colorado for a while she doesn't route for us. Adding to this, she and Pat had called Seattle home for a few years and apparently she now loves the Seahawks too. This was news to me. Pat on the other hand didn't grow up in California, but rather split his time between Colorado and Louisiana, so he declared that he was going to route for the Broncos. Kaylee started posting things to social media like "house divided!" and when my mom acted surprised that Kaylee would not route for Denver, didn't she want to win?! Kaylee responded with "We'll see you at the Superbowl, Mom!"
It was on.
Mom and Kaylee square off
Looks like Kaylee is already talking smack...
Come game day, Kaylee painted her face blue for the Seahawks and wore her Mariners jersey. Pathetic right? She kept shouting "It's still Seattle!"
Pat painted his face orange and blue for Broncos and wore an orange and blue flannel shirt to represent.
Then, the game happened.
After it was all over and the Seahawks were clearly the champs, Pat did this...
People gasped. I took pictures. "Traitor!" was being yelled. People said Pat was the VERY REASON the Broncos had failed. And Pat, after seeing the pictures, laughed and said "Oh man, I could get killed for something like that." But it was all in jest and made the evening. For me anyway. Nicely played Pat. You're lucky you can make delicious fried hot wings to order and made friends early.
Kaylee gloating over her win saying things like "You mad, bro?!" (Sherman rant reference) and Pat like "What the, woman? I got my bases covered. Chill the hell out"--For the record he didn't actually say that but then again, he didn't have to.
Anyway, Pat will be paying his dues, working away in the Bahamas while Kaylee lives it up. Hopefully he'll get some down time too.
As for me, I'll be looking at their pictures feeling super happy for them but probably needing some island flair somewhere in my life. I mean, I'm only human. But since we're waist deep in snow and grilling shrimp on the barbie is not going to happen, this Hawaiian chicken chili will be just the thing to tide me over.
I've never even heard of a chili like this before. It's savory with hints of tropical pineapple- sweet but tangy. And I've had great success cooking raw chicken breasts in the crockpot like this. When done, the chicken is moist and shreds perfectly. Barbecue sauce is added to tie in the flavors of onion, bell pepper and beans because, this is a chili after all. I always use organic ingredients, but in this case, I wouldn't use organic barbecue sauce. I used Annies brand the second time I made this and while I absolutely love their brand, something was off in the chili. I think it's much less sweet and a tad spicier than other brands. Use regular old barbecue, whatever is your favorite and you'll be good to go.
Hawaiian Chicken Chili
adapted from Heather Likes Food
Posted by Krysta at 11:11 AM