Friday, December 31, 2010

Chili & Scene It?

Have you ever played Scene It?  A few years back, Ben and I picked up a "The Simpsons" edition for an after Christmas sale.  We've only played a couple of times, but last night the game came out of hiding after another rousing game of Scattegories.  Unfortunately, I lost both.  Ben is better at games than me for the most part.  From time to time, I can beat him in word games, such as Scrabble.  I also almost always win at Guitar Hero, which seems to infuriate him.  I guess he believes that girls shouldn't be good at video games. 

I tired a new Chili recipe last night that was adapted from  I was looking for something new and saw that it used BEER as a liquid base!  How awesome!  The end result was a very hearty, very spicy chili.  I halved the original recipe for the two of us.  Enjoy! 

Spicy Chili
adapted from

2 lbs. ground beef chuck
1 lb. Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans, in spicy sauce (undrained)
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice (I used diced tomatoes with green chilis)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chili peppers, seeded and chopped (I omitted these since the tomatoes had chilis)
1 T bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. white sugar
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)


Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Cook sausage and ground chuck until well browned.  Drain excess grease.  Pour in all ingredients (except cheese) and stir well.  Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours minimum stirring occasionally.  After 2 hours, taste and adjust spices as needed.  Remove from heat and serve with cheddar cheese.  Refrigerate leftovers.

I decided to start celebrating the end of 2010 by sleeping in this morning and skipping my workout.  My goal is to get a great workout in tomorrow to start off the new year right!  Ben and I are just staying in tonight and celebrating New Years Eve together.  Steak, mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans are on the menu.  We also may enjoy a couple bottles of wine/campaign.  Someone may also be turning 27 at midnight!  :)   Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chicken Parmesan & New Bread Maker!

 As part of my goals for 2011, I would like to start blogging more.  I always start, post a few times, and then fall off the face of the Earth.  No more!  We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family, food, and fun.  My little sister turned 21 on December 26th, and we were so happy to help her celebrate on Sunday!  Happy Birthday Angela!

We made it home on Tuesday with lots of loot! My parents gave us a bread-maker.  We have wanted one for quite some time, and I couldn't wait to try it out.  We made fresh whole-wheat bread yesterday afternoon.  It was so delicious.  Crunch on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.  This gift will definitely get lots of usage!
Ben's birthday was on the 27th actually, and we were able to spend the day with his family.  Even though it was two days later, he still wanted me to make him a birthday dinner.  I, of course, obliged with his favorite, Chicken Parmesan.  It turned out really, really good.  I found the recipe off about 6 months ago and tweaked it to our liking.  Enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan
adapted from
Serves:  4-6

1 1/3 c. Italian Bread Crumbs
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 egg whites
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 jar marinara
1 c. mozzarella, shredded
2 T. Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix bread crumbs with oregano, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, paprika, 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Empty mixture into long shallow dish.

Whisk egg whites and milk.  Place in another long, shallow dish.  Mix flour and 1/4 tsp. garlic salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Place in a third long, shallow dish.  Line up flour, egg/milk, and then bread crumbs. 

Dip chicken in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.  Spray each side of chicken with cooking
spray.  Place in a sprayed 9x13 inch pan.

Bake 15-20 minutes.  Remove and top with marinara, mozzarella and Parmesan.  Return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Serve over a little whole wheat spaghetti.  I also did a side of steam broccoli, a little lettuce, and a slice of homemade bread.  I jumped the gun and took a few bites before I snapped the picture.  Delicious!

Now, Ben's festivities could not be over last night.  He talked me into taking him to Buffalo Wild Wings today.  Believe me when I say "talked me into", I really mean that he just mentioned it once.  I love BWW!
My favorites are the boneless wings - Honey BBQ for me and HOT BBQ for Ben.  We also split the Asian Zing.  Yum!  I did manage to keep it to only 4 of the honey and 2 of the Asian Zing.  We got 18 total.  I ate 6 which means Ben do the math. :) He says he was hungry.

A few years ago, we went in Chanhassen, MN on our 1st anniversary.  They enticed us to sign up for the "Buffalo Club", and one of the perks a free dessert coupon for your birthday.  Ben enjoyed apple pie a la mode with caramel sauce.  I might have snuck a few bites.    

It was a great meal and a fun time.  It was a very good thing that I managed to start my day off with a good workout - Cathe's Basic Step.  After a month hiatus, it is about time I start working out again.  Here is to a happy and healthy New Year!  Homemade Chili is on the menu for tonight.  I better get started on that.  Hopefully it turns out!