Monthly Archives: February 2012

Monday musings, Tuesday morning

More snow and gray (not quite a white-out but it threatens) again today.

Yesterday was a big day, between substituting at Tetonia Elementary — always a challenge, and especially so when working in the “Learning Center” — and hosting ten friends here for book club last night and its questions beyond the content of what we’re reading (Is our house clean enough? Will everyone make it up the icy steps? You know, that sort of thing…..) Both were successful, all and all.

The BEST recent news is that my sister Joan is doing well following her surgery in Portland Friday.

And since it’s Leap Year, I have one more day to get to the bank before the mortgage is due; such small things bring me joy, which either says something about the smallness of my worries or the tightness of my pocketbook (likely both)!

I’ve been told this should be “my year” — born in ’56, I turned 56 last Saturday. The ongoing blizzard didn’t stop the weekend’s celebration; I heard from a lot of friends, we cooked all day, and danced in the kitchen, a real treat! The long-stem roses — ah, my sweet husband’s a romantic. I’m so blessed.


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Filed under Matters of the heart, Scrapbook

Susie’s Santa Fe Stew

Recently, I went to a friend’s home for “Ladies Night Out,” with plenty of chatting, terrific appetizers (which I’ll post another time) and a stick-to-your-ribs, spice-up-your-perspective main course. It’s chili but with a couple twists. I further tweaked Susie Work’s recipe when I made it here at home last week — those variations are indicated below). Enjoy!
Santa Fe Stew
  • 1 lb. ground meat (I used more — somewhere between 1.25 and 1.33 pounds of lean beef)
  • 2 yellow onions chopped (had a good-sized one, so only used that)
  • 1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing dry mix
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 2 cans pinto beans (I only used one can, but it was chipotle flavored)
  • 2 cans whole corn (used 3 cups frozen, since I already had that)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (these, too, had some special seasonings, lime and cilantro — I used what I had in the cupboard)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can blackeyed peas (I used jalapeno black beans instead)
  • 15 oz. tomato juice ( Susie uses V-8 — I bought the store brand vegetable juice and it worked well, too, and I increased this to 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. crusted red pepper flakes or 1 tsp. tabasco sauce (Susie didn’t put these in for our dinner — with the extra spices in the beans, I didn’t need them either)

Use a big stewpot. (I chose my every-day chili pan and next time I’ll go even bigger because by the time all the ingredients were added, it barely fit). Brown the meat and the onions until cooked.  Drain (didn’t need to do this step with lean beef) and add the two dry-mix packages (taco seasoning and ranch dressing).  Stir and simmer for a few minutes.

Her original directions called for doing the meat separately and then the rest in the big pot, combining them after the beans have cooked a bit. However, I misread that, and just used a single pan, which also worked great.

Add all the canned items, undrained, plus the juice and hot stuff if desired, and mix it all together well. Cook on low for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I was to this step before starting an interview for the magazine, so mine probably was on the stove for closer to 45 minutes.
I served it plain; at the women’s dinner, they passed sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and parmesan to put on top. Also yummy served over rice, Susie says, and I bet it’d be good over pasta, too.
Best thing, especially with such a large batch — it freezes well. I split it into five glass containers to make it easier to defrost a single-serving or two at a time.
This recipe just might have to be what I make for next year’s Teton Arts Council Souper Bowl! No, that’s not a football game, but posting this crowd-pleaser today — the day the Giants and the Patriots meet in Super Bowl XLVI — is appropriate!
And no photo. We ate the evidence. Will remember to take one next time.

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Filed under Food (glorious food)