Crockpot Veggie Chili

I finally got a crockpot!!!!!!  I have read so much about the magical wonders of crockpots but I have never owned one until now.  AND  I got a fantastic deal.  My goodness, I love Black Friday.  My mom and I went to Kohl's and look how much we saved!!  One of my greatest secret pleasures is looking at the receipt and seeing how much money you saved.  Actually, it's not even secret.  Most people know I'm a sucker for a good deal.  Groupon, Living Social, Yipit, Woot and all coupon apps (yes I have a few) are made for crazy people like me.  Oh, and can't forget happy hours… of course.

Who wouldn't love saving $472???

Anyways, I lugged all my new items and this sucker from California to Austin (I found out later TSA inspected my bag, haha).  I knew the first thing I wanted to make was veggie chili.  From the days back in my sorority, Armando would cook this turkey chili along with this amazing veggie chili.  Then I got hooked on the Vegetarian Chili at Trader Joe's, which I always kept stocked in my pantry.  Since Austin doesn't have a Trader Joe's (although one is coming soon!!!!!), I have been sad and veggie chili-less.

I chose a pretty standard and simple recipe.  It turned out pretty good for my first chili, but I think for the next one, I'm going to alter the recipe and add a few more things to it.

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with flax

Pumpkin Muffins were a must for one of friend's birthday.  She loves pumpkin everything, just like me, so I browsed about 50 recipes before compiling one of my own.  I created one that was whole wheat and a little healthier, but one that would hopefully still turn out delicious.

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Happy Thanksgiving!! Sweet Potato time…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  I hope you eat plenty of turkey, cornbread, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and whatever other traditional food you eat on this day.  I couldn’t be more excited, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It is all about Family, Food, and Football.  What more could you ask for?  It’s the perfect excuse for doing nothing all day but eating delicious food, with people you love, and watching America’s greatest sport (in my opinion, of course).  So enjoy it!
Thanksgiving 2011

Yesterday, I had an unexpected, crazy good workout; I ran to the gym, did a little bit more cardio and headed over to do some circuit training.  I was a little sluggish but suddenly, I had this adrenaline to work out really hard and kick my own butt.  Why?  Good-looking men.  Yep, that’ll do it.  You may say I’m crazy, but I know y’all have been in the same situation.  At one point, you MUST have been on a treadmill or something and suddenly a good-looking guy or girl hops on the one next to you.  Oh yeah, you crank that speed up to 8mph as if you’ve been running like that the whole time.  Yep, I know.  Well, I guess we can be thankful for the good-looking men (or women) who will inspire you to work out harder, when you can’t inspire yourself.  It is what it is…

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Baked Pumpkin Pasta

Right when it turned into Fall, I went out and bought canned pumpkin and I couldn't wait to try some new pumpkin recipes!  I love pumpkin everything… muffins, scones, breads, cookies, lattes, pie, sauces, smear, ice cream and anything else?  Yes, I'll take it!

As I was browsing pumpkin dishes to bring to a potluck, I came across a baked pumpkin pasta recipe and decided to give it a shot.  It was interesting because I am not used to pumpkin flavor with pasta, but the party go-ers enjoyed it!

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L’épicerie Market

Last weekend I went back to LA and had such a fun time visiting with my best friends and re-visiting my favorite places.  I can’t believe I have never written about this place, but it’s one of my favorite restaurants. 
L’épicerie Market is located near the downtown area of Culver City and is a gem.  If you have any sort of European love or French culture appreciation, you will fall in love.  If you don’t have any attachment to European culture, you should still go for the fresh pressed, 'pour over' coffee.  If you don’t like coffee, go for the wine selection and quaint wine cave in the back.  And if you don’t like wine, go for the great happy hour deals.  If you don’t like happy hour (then you are crazy), but go for the awesome desserts.  If you don’t like dessert, then I know you need food to sustain, so go for the delicious, fresh, mouth-watering meals.

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Obsession: Roasted Veggie Sandwiches

If you asked me what my favorite food is, I would say a sandwich.  People think it’s strange, but I say that because I love the heck out of a good sandwich.  What kind?  Oh goodness, too many to pick from.  There are also a LOT of bad sandwiches out there, but boy, when you get that fresh, gourmet sandwich (drool), there is nothing better.

My recent obsession is a grilled vegetable sandwich and I decided to whip one up at home the other day.  Here is one of my favorite, easiest, and most delicious open faced sandwiches that I love to eat.  You can make this in no time at all.  It’s this simple:

  1. Chop up your veggies (I used peppers, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant… anything but the kitchen sink)
  2. Heat a little olive oil in the pan and toss in the veggies.  I like to use just a smidge of oil because it helps blacken the veggies, giving it the burnt taste. (I guess ‘charred’ would be a more restaurant appropriate word… but let’s be real, its burnt.)
  3. Toast the bread
  4. Spread on some pesto
  5. Pile on the veggies when they are done

Yes, I know, it’s easy.  Too easy that I almost didn’t write about it.  But it’s quite pretty, so I did!  🙂

the ‘charred’ veggies

pile it on!
Some goat cheese on top, please!