Today’s photos

Okay, these photos are not technically from today, but they are recent! Bear with me as I try to return to a more regular posting routine.

IMG_0418 IMG_0420

Advertisements

Awesome Recipe-Spicy Chicken Chili

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to return today with a recipe for a bowl of hearty chili, rather than contributing a photo of the freezing landscape. I’m including a link to Food and Wine, where I found the original recipe, but as usual I modified it somewhat.

Spicy Chicken Chili

2 tbsp. oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt (try less to taste)
1 1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes with juice
2 /12 c. organic low-sodium chicken broth
1 15 oz. can organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Increase the heat to medium and ass the chicken strips. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Add tomatoes with juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Uncover and stir in beans and black pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Serve with a crusty bread and enjoy!

Suggested modification: I will next try using ground chicken, and substitute garbanzo beans for the northern beans.

New Website for Word Lovers

For a look at how the English language has changed over time, check out The Distance Machine.

The Distance Machine shows words in a selection of text that were unusual at a given point in time. The site is very easy to use. You can enter text of your own or choose a passage from some previously published work in the Google Books corpus. A slider allows you to choose a year from 1800 to 2014; words in the text are highlighted in different colors to show which are more common earlier, later, or both when compared to the given year.

You can also look up just one word to see its frequency of use. I tried the word “computer.” The word appeared slightly before 1950, peaked in around the mid-70s, and more or less leveled off in the 2000s (maybe as other devices such as laptops became popular?).

Awesome Recipe – Sautéed Shrimp

Here’s a fast and easy recipe shared by a fellow writer from the Ohio Valley Writers Network. It is delicious and can be served for special occasions with some fancier side dishes. I used frozen wild-caught, medium-sized shrimp from Fresh Market, which always have very good flavor.

Sautéed Shrimp

Oil
Butter
½-1 tsp. Dijon mustard (amount according to taste, and you’ll probably want more than this)
¼ tsp. pork barbecue rub spice (according to taste; ditto)
Shallots or onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Raw shrimp with tail on
Pasta

Cook pasta and reserve some of the water from it.

In large frying pan, heat oil and butter (in equal measure). Sauté shallots. Mix together the mustard and barbecue rub. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to the pan. Then add shrimp and sauté until no longer translucent (not long). Add a little water from the pasta to create a smooth sauce.

My modifications:

I added the following to the sauté before I added the mustard and barbecue rub mix. My market sells a bag of very small orange and red peppers that are meant for snacking. They are about 3 inches long, 1½ inches in diameter, and thus have very thin walls. I sliced three of these crosswise into thin pieces. I took three medium-sized white mushrooms, sliced them very thin, and chopped the slices into smaller pieces. The shallots were also chopped into small pieces so everything could cook in the same amount of time.

I served the shrimp dish over brown rice and with simple fresh steamed broccoli as a side dish. Since I didn’t have pasta water, I used about a half cup of the broccoli water to make more sauce.

Yummy. I think I will make this again soon because writing about it is making me hungry!