beef, squash & white bean chili

Beef, Squash, White Bean Chili

it’s a known fact,
probably even scientific,
that the cold makes us all shitty people.
the general lack of sunlight,
or enough of it in the day,
the hovering around freezing temps,
the static hair,
it’s enough to make this girl
add to that
the decline in desire
to be in the kitchen.
the first week after thanksgiving
i had no meal plan,
some lunches consisted of
sorry apples and oranges
and cookies.
that had to be remedied.

this chili came out far
better than i anticipated.
in our house,
dw likes the tomato based,
hearty chilis and stews,
while i prefer the
brothy, noodle bowls.
this week,
to combat the dreary
this became our lunch.
and boy did it improve
my disposition.

Beef, Squash, White Bean Chili

beef, squash & white bean chili
adapted from the everyday squash cook by rob firing, ivy knight and kerry knight
about 8-9 servings

*note: i received this great cookbook from movita beaucoup, after winning her pumpkin carve off. thanks to all who voted for us!
the recipe is very straight forward. i doubled a few of the spices for kick, and i also added more liquid than it calls for.

1 lb of lean ground beef, grass fed
1 onion, chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, with juice (i used muir’s fire roasted diced tomotoes) + 2 cansful of water or stock, divided
2 cups peeled and 1/2″ cubed butternut squash (fine, it may have been more than half the squash)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 TBL chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight and cooked until al dente (or a can of white beans, drained and rinsed)

in a big soup pot, brown the ground beef on medium high. depending on how lean/fatty the meat is, you may need to add a few swivels of olive oil. break down the meat until crumbly. at this point, you can drain the meat reserving some of the oil/fat, or you can be lazy like me and push it to the side and add in the chopped onions. saute until translucent. at this point, i season with salt/pepper.

next add in the minced garlic and stir it around, until fragrant. just kidding, it’ll be fragrant almost immediately. add in the spices/dry ingredients. allow the spices to get thoroughly mixed into the meat and onions, about 5 minutes. carefully pour in the can of dice tomatoes + juice. allow to reach boil status and lower the heat. for the next hour, as the liquid reduces, add in a can’s worth of water or stock. do this twice.

for the last time that you pour in can’s worth of liquid, also add in the cubed squash. bring to a furious simmer/gentle boil. you don’t want the squash to get mushy but you do need to cook it through, about 15-20 minutes. for the last 10 minutes of cooking, add in the cooked beans.

can be served with cornbread or eaten as is. i’ve been dipping pretzel crisps for an added crunch.


Beef, Squash, White Bean Chili

other soups & stews:
autumn harvest soup
3 bean chili
vietnamese beef stew
caribbean oxtail stew
miso ramen bowl
chicken pho
portuguese chicken + chorizo curry
chickpea & sausage stew

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birthday | gingerbread cake

Make a Wish

the fact is,
it’s a year later,
approximately 365 days later,
a sun’s journey around the sun later,
and i’m a year older.
damn, 29 thirty-seven looks good.

without further ado,
36 random things i’ve done this year,
in no particular order:

|| walked with elephants!
|| celebrated my beloved gpa’s life
|| hosted our very first dinner party, sitting on the ground and all!
|| hosted our nephews for a week over the summer. can’t wait to do it again
|| honeymooned in Thailand
|| had oysters and lobster in Boston
|| stood among sunflowers
|| new eyes!
|| like grown ups that we are, we now have a dressing room to get dressed in
|| witnessed a drive by shooting, at a gas station
|| won people’s choice in a pumpkin carving contest, that dw carved and i did nothing. that is called WINNING.
|| saw a blooming cereus
|| thanksgiving in ny
|| skeeball champs we are not, but what a season
|| middle school AND high school reunions, in 2 countries and three cities
|| matt nathanson in baltimore AND dc
|| fireworks at the inner harbor
|| wore shorts to work, got suspended for a week, without pay. it’s a long, stupid story.
|| recipe tested for a blog friend and LOOK! her cookbook is out!
|| we went full share with our CSA. just the two of us
|| babysat a baby. like, fed her, changed her and then put her to bed. technically, dw did the last two, but i was there.
|| watched a break dancing performance
|| tasted duck eggs for the first time ever
|| walked to indianapolis. again.
|| finally invested in a proper pair of rainboots
|| came out of the closet about my lurve for this girl
|| fell in love with this dude
|| and this dude
|| featured on apartment therapy, even if some of the commenters are dicks
|| featured on
|| packed up mi amor and saw her off to her new home state
|| spent 24 hours in dubai
|| voted 2x
|| found a new job, put my notice in, got countered, and then accepted the counter
|| became a member of the aquarium
|| learned how to properly cook dried beans

last year’s list.

Gingerbread Cake
adapted from ashlae warner (oh ladycakes for westelm)

*note: dw baked this. he’s too good to me.
**note: this cake is very molasses-y, i enjoy snacking on it. the original recipe calls for it to be served with a side of whipped coconut cream, which would likely cut through the acridness, but i didn’t mind it.

2 cups spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup sugar
1 flaxseed egg (1 TBL raw whole flaxseed, grounded + 3 TBL water)
1/8 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup hot water

preheat oven to 350F. prepare a round 8″ can pan, grease and line with parchment paper.

in a bowl, sift the dry ingredients and spices. in a larger bowl, add in the oil, molasses, sugar, powdered ginger, cinnamon and cloves, combine with flaxseed egg. dissolve baking soda in water and then add to the wet ingredients. add in the dried ingredients and whisk until just comboned, don’t get crazy though.

pour into prepared pan and bake for 32 minutes. the edges will pull from the sides of pan just slightly.

cool completely. tastes even better the next day.


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crochet | viking hat

Crocheted Viking Hat

despite my stance on children
i find myself falling
head over heels
for them often.
like: all.the.time.

these kids here:
i’ve never met them.
i’ve never met their parents.
their father & dw were
roommates in college.
that’s my connection.

Crocheted Viking Hat

that doesn’t stop me
from going batshit crazy squeeing
everytime their pic is
posted on FB.
yes. i friended their parents
so that i can see updates about them.
there’s about
4 states & 1 time zone
between us.

though they’ve never once
mentioned rooting for the
or if they even like football.
i went and made their kids
a Viking Helmet.

Crocheted Viking Helmut

i used this pattern.

i will say,
like any new pattern,
my first attempt is always
this is not a reflection on
the pattern writer.
i have barely any patience
for making anything twice,
having to make 2 hats
and 4 horns
about did me in.

but the pix of them
wearing the hats made it all worth it.

Crocheted Viking Helmut

other crocheted creations:
minecraft creeper hats
starburst baby blanket
ombre granny square baby blanket

kids’ photos used with permission, bb+sb

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chocolate chip peanut butter cookies (vegan + gluten free)

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

it being the day after
the Biggest Eating weekend
Of The Year
i’m sharing cookies.
i know.
my bad.
just kidding.
i’m not sorry.
because these are good.
i know for a fact
that most of you are going
to be on a Baking Cookie Binge
in the next week or so,
rushing to the post office to
send them off
or sharing them in
some cookie exchange thing
which is all fine and shit,
but after all that toiling
you usually end up with nothing
(or some random people’s cookies)
(not a euphemism for anything dirty)
(get your head out of the gutter)
fear not,
these particular cookies?
they won’t ship –
they’re too delicate.
that’s not a bad thing.

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies (vegan + gluten free)
adapted from the bojon gourmet

note: as i said, my version came out soft & delicate, and i thought they’d firm up but they never did. they were almost cakey and very rich. alanna’s original recipe calls for the use of 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 1/2 cup quick oats (instead of the full cup of rolled oats i used), the latter ingredient absorbing a lot of the moisture.

1/2 cup sweet rice flour (mochiko) (truth be told, i had just barely 1/2 cup, so i supplemented with regular rice flour)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup smooth, unsalted peanut butter
3/4 cup plus 2 TBL agave (truth be told, i may have been shy with agave, and i supplemented with honey)
6 TBL melted but cool coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks, i use Enjoy Life
kosher salt for topping, optional

preheat oven o 375ºF.

line two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper.

in bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together.

in another, larger, bowl, stir together the wet ingredients. add in the dry ingredients and stir until combined, last adding in the chocolate.

using an ice cream scooper (mine is just shy of 1 TBL worth), form cookie doughs and place onto prepared cookie sheets. place about 2″ apart, they will spread some. top with salt & a few chocolate chunks.

bake for total of 10 minutes, around the 5 minute mark rotate pans.

cool completely, store in air tight container. they lasted a week at room temp in their containers.

(keep in mind, these do not have eggs or anything traditionally perishable)


chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

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Garlic Panna Cotta + Curried Root Vegetable Soup

Garlic Panna Cotta with Curried Root Vegetable Soup

super quick post, because i know i know it’s turkey week and with that comes great responsibility, that responsibility being putting on stretchy pants.

here’s to gratitude — we are spending the long weekend with dw’s cousins in NY, there’s gonna be hiking eating lots of eating a jaunt into the city we’re unplugging, see you next week!

meanwhile, if your table is missing one thing i doubt it is, but if it you need something, i have this soup. it’s over at Honest Cooking, where i’ll be contributing every so often, when the mood strikes.

head over for the fancy looking, but super simple soup: garlic panna cotta + curried root vegetable soup

have a great weekend friends!

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