Feed a crowd

Mostly Vegetarian Chili

Degrees of Vegetarianism

My sister came over to visit today. My sister is “mostly vegetarian.” This gave me an opportunity to revamp my old recipe for Slightly Vegetarian Chili.

Here’s the thing. You, my life choice making, adult friends, are completely capable of choosing the foods and beverages you put into your body. For my sister (and formerly myself) vegetarianism was a choice we made for health reasons. I chose not to eat meat because my body felt better.

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Cayenne Braised Chicken Thighs, Side of Life Lessons

I have secretly always wanted to teach, but I never dared to admit it because teaching was one of those careers that would never make me “successful.” I also wanted to be a writer and a cook….funny how I chose three passions that don’t seem to fall in line with the “picture of success.”

After hearing “Girl, you must be crazy” for a number of years when you announce your next venture into something new, you can start to second guess your life choices.  It can be especially discouraging when the thing you want to try out to see if it has legs is the thing that you’re most passionate about, the thing that you think about 24 hours a day, the thing that connects you to the world you live in. You might find yourself resorting to a career that you are capable of doing (really well, even), and that brings in a descent income, but that just tears you apart from the inside out every day.

If I’ve learned anything over the last 2 years it’s that I don’t have to buy into those old ideas anymore. My view on what it means to be “successful” has changed in a really important way.  I realize now Continue reading Cayenne Braised Chicken Thighs, Side of Life Lessons

Fennel Roasted Chicken

I recall the day we prepped and roasted whole chickens in culinary school to be terrifying. My fear was clearly irrational. I had, after all, cooked whole turkeys for many Thanksgiving feasts prior.

I suppose the idea that this time I would be judged for my efforts, given a grade and potentially told I had been doing it wrong for all those years caused unwarranted anxiety to build up inside me from the moment I saw “Whole Roast Chicken” on the syllabus. On some occasions I allowed that fear to paralyze me and my team mate, Norma, a lovely lady who had worked at a Tyson Chicken Factory, took the lead.

It’s funny how a couple of years of life has changed my perspective from paralyzing fear of being told I’m wrong to seeing criticism as an opportunity to gather feedback, learn something new and continue to grow.

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Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios and Cranberries

This year my sweetie and I spent Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle and cousin. We spent a lovely afternoon with warm conversation, delicious dishes and Chickenfoot Dominoes.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

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