Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chili Cookoff at the Office

Every year in Tucson, the whole town celebrates the Rodeo by having a big parade and 4 days of Rodeo fun. At the office, they held a chili cookoff and asked anyone who wanted to compete bring their best chili recipe.

I submitted a Southwestern Pulled Pork Chili Verde and won second place! It was a recipe that Scooter helped inspire that I created the night before and it seemed to be a big hit. The winner had a traditional red beef with beans and tomatoes chili and third place was a mild red turkey chili.

Here's the recipe I submitted:

  • 1 Lb. pork rib meat
  • 2 Tbs. favorite pork or lamb rub
  • 6-8 canned green chilies, diced
  • 1 Lb. tomatillos
  • 1 half white onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and cut in half
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 2-4 Tbs. cumin; to taste
  • Dash salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Cubed jack cheese
  1. Place rib meat covered with rub, and diced green chilies into crock pot and turn to medium.
  2. In large pot, bring tomatillos, diced white onion and bay leaf to boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Strain tomatillos and onion, discard bay leaf and place into blender. Add jalapeƱos and blend until smooth.
  4. Heat oil in pot, and add puree. Boil until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add mixture to crock pot and cook 3-4 hours.
  5. Shred rib meat with a fork, add beans, cumin, salt and pepper and return to crock. Continue cooking until all flavors meld; about 1 hour.
  6. Serve with cubed jack cheese.
A sampling of the entries.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

20,000 Miles On My Ducati

Today, I passed 20,000 miles on my beloved Ducati GT 1000. I bought this bike at the end of July, in 2006 and haven't looked back since. The bike and I have been all over the western half of the United States from the coast of California, into Arizona (obviously), New Mexico and Colorado.

For those who don't ride, the only way I can describe it, is that it is a very freeing thing for a person to do. When you are in a car and travel, you are protected by a little piece of glass and steel and upholstery. When you are on the bike, you are constantly bombarded by smells, sounds, and movement. You really experience the planet more. You notice the wind and the clouds and that patch of wildflowers you just passed.

Yes, that does indeed say 20,019 miles and no, I have never taken this bike up to 160 mph! I'm not sure it could even go that fast.

Well, enough of my ramblings! Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Scrapbook Night at the Office

Every couple of months, our office holds a scrapbook night after business hours. It's a chance for the multiple departments to have some time together and work on any craft or design project they like, while sharing good food and company. This week, I decided to work on Valentine's cards. I purchased some new paper from K & Company, which I absolutely love for their quality and style and some new blank cardstock.

I wish that I could be doing these crafts with family, but unfortunately we are all scattered over the US. Perhaps one day we all could try and work on a group craft. Mom, I believe you had a quilt in mind?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Joy of Cats…

Just wanted to share some photos of my two crazy felines; Moses and Ashley. I can't imagine living without pets in the house. Not only are these two cats a part of my family, they are a constant source of entertainment.

…Moses, ever patient with a camera in his face…

…might be getting a little agitated here…

…Ashley, showing us the true meaning of a workout…

I have heard that while dogs look at their masters, they think "they feed me, they walk me, they pick up after me; they must be God," while cats think, "they feed me, they brush me, they pick up after me, I must be a God."

This seems too true. Ashley will be turning 15 this spring and Moses just turned 12, but luckily, these two act as though they are kittens. One thing I've found out about my photography habits is that I like to photograph flowers and my cats!