Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Stormblast 2012 & Some Smoking Hot Chili

Smoky Chipotle Chorizo Chili

Okay call us skeptics but every year that the Seattle news weathermen/women make all kinds of media hype about, "Storm Watch", "Winter Extreme",  or "Polar Express" coming our way because a little bit of snow is in the air we make fun. We can't tell you how many years with all the hype we woke up to maybe a hard frost or a light snow dusting. But this year let us just be the first to say those forecasters were dead on and we were both caught in awe to what we actually woke up to find.... pretty much the past 5 days. Truly T can only remember 4-5 years in her whole 43 of this kind of snow. It's just not an usual happening in the Pacific Northwest.

We're not going to lie three snow days within a holiday week coupled with a "teacher learning day" made for a pretty nice surprise week off in mid January. Usually principals are still expected to work on Snow days but the roads were actually so treacherous all district buildings were closed which meant we both got to enjoy the days off.

One of our days off we decided to venture outdoors and see what all of this snow had actually done to our neighborhood.

We started by fueling up with a breakfast favorite: hashbrowns with poached eggs and some of G's most loved peppered bacon to warm us up before braving the brutal low thirties outside.

We ventured out to approximately 5-8 inches of snow around our neighborhood depending on where you were. It was surreal, basically no cars on the roads, people out walking every where you looked and the beauty that only a full covering of snow can bring to an urban area.

We started by walking through the University of Puget Sound Campus. It was packed with kids sledding, congregating and to our misjudgement in choosing this path engaging in a killer snowball fight. We knew we needed to get off campus quick if we wanted to make it without being pelted by a snowball. They definitely figured if you were within their throwing distance you were up for a bit of fun.

We decided to keep going and check out the diversity of snowmen built from yard to yard. We were most impressed with the community built snowman requiring a ladder to get to it's head collaboratively built on the gulch bridge.

But most impressive to T were the sledding hills. Tacoma definitely has it's fair share of steep hills. We use them regularly for our calorie burning hill walks. But who knew what they became when snow hits them. The Carr street hill was most impressive. Photos can't truly depict how steep this hill is..but boy kids seemed to know what to expect. There must of been 40-50 kids, adults, and even dogs gathered on this slope. Listening to the joy, laughs and glee was pretty awesome. It made us both wish we had a sled to join in on the fun. For T who grew up in a much more rural area this type of communal snow gathering was something she'd never experienced as a kid.

We had a great walk in the snow. We hit Met Market on the way home for some coffee & chai and the few needed ingredients to make a pot of chipotle chorizo chili to warm up with.

We decided to change up our usual chorizo chili this time by roasting our tomatoes and jalapenos ourself as opposed to using the canned kind.

This suggestion by G was a good one.

We made some jalapeno and cheese corn muffins to go with the chili as well.

And opened a bottle of 2008 Barnard Griffin Barbera.

It was a great snow day and a fantastic chili..if you like your chili spicy and smoky you can't go wrong with this recipe. It's our favorite. We change it up every time. But chipotle, chorizo and fire roasted tomatoes are always a constant ingredient.

G & T's Chipotle Chorizo Chili Recipe
3/4 lb. bulk chorizo browned on the stovetop
1/2 lb. ground turkey, ground pork sausage, beef or cubed sirloin (this time we used beef) browned
1 C. diced white onion
3 cans rinsed and drained beans (your choice black, pinto, kidney, a combo...this time we used kidney & pinto)
3 cloved diced garlic
2 chopped chipotle chiles
16 oz. diced "fire" roasted tomatoes (canned or self roasted works)
2 roasted jalapenos
1 cup thawed frozen corn
Toppings: shredded cheese, Mexican crema/sour cream, avocado, cilantro

Brown your meat with the onions on the stove top. Put meat mixture into crockpot with with beans, corn, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeno. In crockpot cook on low for 6-8 hours or 4 hours on high. Serve with toppings.

Jalapeno Cheddar Muffins
Add 2 seeded and diced jalapenos and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to boxed corn muffin mix. (We used the Trader Joe brand this time.) Prepare as labeled. May need to cook longer but when doing the smaller muffins we reduce the time.

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