Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baby Landon

Last weekend we went with my parents to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew to celebrate my sister's (belated) birthday. It was great to see all of them and spend some time with them. And of course, it was also great to see baby Landon and how much he has grown just since Christmas/New Year's. On Saturday we went to Tyson's Corner for some shopping (mostly browsing) then we enjoyed dinner at Osaka, a Japanese restaurant. Although the trip was short, it was a very enjoyable one and I can't wait to go back and see them all again. Here are some pictures from the weekend...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Snowy Walk on the Greenway

Andrew and I just got back from taking a walk on part of the Roanoke River Greenway. It was still mostly covered in snow but you could tell others had the same idea because there were lots of tracks (even tracks from cross-country skis). The snow made the walk a little harder than normal, but it was still fun. We took a few pictures along the way, so I thought I'd share.

I hope everyone enjoys the commercials - I mean, Super Bowl, tonight! It looks like we'll both be going to work tomorrow. However, we might be getting some more winter weather by Tuesday/Wednesday, so Andrew's week is looking promising. I've also got another 3-day weekend to look forward to next weekend, thanks to Presidents' Day on the 15th. So long for now!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It Snowed...Again!

Yesterday and today we were hit with our fourth snow storm of the season. Around here we got around 10 inches of wet and heavy snow, while Andrew's parents in Pennsylvania and my sister in Northern Virginia have gotten at least 2 feet so far.

While some people are sick of the white stuff, Andrew and I both don't mind it and I think it's absolutely beautiful. I guess I understand some people's frustrations, but I think the best thing to do is just to find a way to enjoy it. Build a snowman. Go sleigh riding. Go on a walk in the snow. Watch a movie. Read a book. Cook. Organize your closet. Catch up on your laundry. Catch up on your sleep. Drink hot chocolate. Do nothing. I think one reason I don't mind the snow is that it forces us to slow down, unwind, and relax. I think some people are just too inconvenienced to appreciate that, though. The ironic thing is that they are probably the ones who need to chill out the most. Anyways, enough of my ranting about people who don't like the snow...

After we cleared the steps and the parking spots, we built a snowman. This snow was perfect for snowman-making,unlike some of our previous snows. He doesn't have a corncob pipe or a button nose, but I'd say he turned out pretty good, camo hat and all.

Between the snow this weekend and the Superbowl on Sunday, there is only one obvious choice for dinner tonight and tomorrow: CHILI! Chili is interesting because I think everybody makes it differently. I was searching online for some "secret" chili ingredients and I definitely found some interesting ones. They included things like peanut butter, molasses, cocoa powder, Coca Cola, cinnamon, and beer. Sounds weird, I know. So anyways, I thought I would share my chili recipe for this weekend (I say for this weekend because it is always subject to change in the future).

2 lbs. ground venison
1 large onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans
1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans
1 can (15 oz.) dark red kidney beans
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (semi-heaping) tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (semi-heaping) tablespoon brown sugar

1. Cook venison with onions, green pepper, and garlic in a large pot until the meat is no longer pink. I let it cook for a while longer so that the water from the onion and pepper gets steamed off. This is because if I try to drain it I usually end up dumping half of the contents of the pot into the sink.
2. Add all of the cans. DO NOT DRAIN ANY OF THE CANS.
3. Add all of the spices.
4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes (the more the merrier), stirring occasionally.

I just went downstairs to stir it and I gave it a little taste test...I can't wait to dig in!