Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Recipe: Best-Ever, Texas-Style Chili, 2.0

A while back, I made this chili, and thought it was the best chili ever. I was right then, but in the last few years, I've made a lot of chili and managed to improve on this recipe. So now I am more-right!

I added the diced onion as well as more diced tomatoes and chilies for their chunkiness. (Without them, it felt more like eating a bowl of coney sauce which I didn't especially care for.) Also, using beef broth instead of beer makes this paleo and can even be whole30-compliant (assuming your canned stuff was either compliant or homemade to begin with).

The addition of pumpkin came out of desperation one day because the chili had gotten too spicy for me (I accidentally bought HOT chilies instead of mild) and it was the only neutrally-flavored thing I had on hand. I liked it so much that I've been doing it ever since. It adds bulk, extra veggie-goodness, and an interesting texture that I really enjoy.

So with no further ado: my favorite chili, 2.0.

Best-Ever Texas-Style Chili 2.0
here, "Texas-style" meaning, without beans

2 lbs ground meat (I prefer 1:1 beef and chicken or turkey)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 7-oz can green chilies (I prefer mild)
1 t. dried oregano (I prefer Mexican)
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. ground cumin
2 T. chili powder
1 10-oz can Rotel (I prefer mild)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can pumpkin puree
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
1 14-oz can beef broth (give or take)

In a large pot capable of holding a lot of chili, cook the meat over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain the grease if there's a lot of it (you need a little to cook the onion in though). Add the onion and garlic and cook together with the meat for a few minutes until the onion starts to be come translucent. Add the green chilies and spices* and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the rest of the canned things, using the beef broth to adjust the thickness to your liking. (I usually use the whole can, but you do you.) Continue to cook over medium for about ten minutes, stirring pretty frequently so it doesn't have a chance to bubble too much and glop all over your stove. Reduce to a simmer and let it go, stirring occasionally, for at least half an hour.

Avocado and scallions are good on top too. If you're not into paleo, you can follow my family's tradition and put your chili on top of rice, add some cheese, and eat it with Ritz crackers or Fritos. Or maybe the guy you're dating will come over and bring cornbread he made. :)

*According to America's Test Kitchen, most dried spices release their flavor better in oil than in water, so adding the spices before all the liquid-y things does make a difference!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quick Update: Jordan Makes T-Shirts

Hey friends! Remember that time I was internet-famous for a day? Well maybe it's a little belated, but I made a shirt. Also, in the quest for more Star Wars shirts for girls/ladies, I made a shirt.

I'm pretty psyched about this shopfront. It's ridiculous how much it feels like all these random designs I have sitting around were just waiting for something like this to come along. I have sold one shirt so far and I was super excited about it. :) Plus, I have no idea who bought it! Was it one of my friends? Was it a random person in a totally different state or country? I don't know!

If you want to follow me on TeePublic, please do. I have a random assortment of other shirt ideas stewing already (Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, the Gadsden flag, etc.) so there will be more soon!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mortal Kombat Cosplay: A Photo-Dump Post

Hey! I know I've been mysteriously absent lately (or maybe just absent, but I like to assume mystery). One of the big reasons is that I was hard at work on a new cosplay! And procrastinator that I am, a lot of it still needed done at the last minute. In fact, I only have progress shots of my stuff because Justin's costume was done almost entirely the night before the convention. o_O

If you were at Origins Game Fair on Saturday in Columbus and saw some Mortal Kombat types roaming around, that was us. I was Mileena, Justin was Reptile, and his friend Mackenzie was Frost. We got asked for pictures about every 15 minutes once we were inside the convention, and even afterwards when we went down to Dirty Franks and 16-Bit. So, without further ado, a photo dump!

First time buying real fabric! Satin is kind of a jerk, FYI.

Made my top with help from my mom and her sewing machine.

Mask turned out pretty well after re-pinning a hundred times.

Modded a pair of Ninja Turtle sai with a hacksaw and duct tape.

Add a wig and makeup and BAM! Ninja.

Ninjas that are ninja friends!

Playing a game of giant Settlers of Catan at Origins.

We had a blast! It was Mackenzie's first time cosplaying, so it was extra great that people kept stopping us for pictures and whatnot. And I also decided that I only want to cosplay masked and/or angry characters now because it was SO awesome to not feel obligated to smile for pictures. I hope you enjoyed the photo dump and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eep! I entered a writing contest!

Thanks to this post by my friend Kerry, I entered a writing contest today which is something I haven't done since college. The only guidelines were that it had to be set in Ohio in the spring and less than 2500 words long. This year I set out to do more things that scare me, and this falls nicely into that category while still being small enough to seem doable. And I did it! So if you want to read my story it is here. (And you should read Kerry's too!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Boozy Apple-Cinnamon Milkshake Recipe

Nothing has ever made me wish alcohol and milkshakes were good for you more than what I'm about to share with you. What started off as a random desire to use my Fireball Whisky became one of the best milkshakes I've ever had. Can you dedicate a recipe? I vote yes. I would like to dedicate this one to my Grandma K. because it reminded me of the Apple Dumplings she used to make for my birthday. If she was still with us, I would take her one of these; I think she would have gotten a kick out of it! So let's get to it, shall we?

Ingredients to a soon-to-be delicious creation

Boozy Apple-Cinnamon Milkshake
(serves 1)
2T. frozen apple juice concentrate
2oz Fireball Whisky
1oz Apple Pie Applejack
3(ish) scoops vanilla ice cream (this only has five ingredients!)
Whole milk (to taste)
Dash of cinnamon

Put the apple juice concentrate, Fireball, and Applejack one of your Magic Bullet cups. Add three or so normal-sized scoops of ice cream (it pretty much filled the cup but I didn't pack it down or anything). Blend! If it doesn't blend well, or you want it to be thinner, add some milk and blend again. Sprinkle some cinnamon on and Instagram that sucker! I mean, drink it!

The delicious creation! (Now I want another one.)
As you can probably see in the first picture, my Applejack is homemade (but not by me). There are a ton of recipes online if you want to make your own, or you could probably just add a little more of both the apple juice concentrate and Fireball. If you like the red-hot kind of cinnamon candy and you haven't had Fireball Whisky yet, I suggest you do so post-haste. If you're not into milkshakes (is there such a thing?), I've had it in Angry Orchard Hard Cider which was also pretty tasty. And no, I'm not affiliated, but special thanks do go out to Andrea because mine was a birthday present!

So are you guys going to make this? And can I come over when you do?

Friday, March 7, 2014


This week's weekly (perhaps biweekly?) doodle is a group of sketches for a cosplay I have coming up. Justin voted for Mortal Kombat, so these are some ideas I have for Kitana's bracers and fans. 

Doodle410: MK Ideas
I'm facing the challenges of A. knowing next-to-nothing about Mortal Kombat and B. changing an iconic look to accommodate being built like a normal person instead of a made-up, adolescent-fantasy warrior-princess. But the exciting news is that one of Justin's friends wants to cosplay with us! If all goes according to plan, we should have Kitana, Sub-Zero, and Sonya Blade. And this time around I'm determined to ACTUALLY TAKE GOOD PICTURES. (Mostly so I can blog about it. ;))

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lyndsey's Baby Shower: A Photo-Dump Post

My friend Lyndsey came home from Colorado for her baby shower last summer. (I am nothing if not a timely blogger.) I made a lot of the decorations and a couple desserts for the party. So there was a lot of pre-planning on my part to get as much done ahead of time as possible, then I packed everything into my tiny car and drove everything up to Lake Erie, and stayed in a 90s-tastic B&B where I felt like an imposter pretending to live in someone else's house. Since I don't have step-by-step pictures of anything, you get a photo-dump. Enjoy!

I made some pretty paper bunting and tissue paper poms.
I took an obligatory picture of my feet after I checked in at the B&B.
Made tiiiny bows, glued them to sticks, then made Rice Krispie pops.
Found a beach so I could hang out with Lake Erie (there's a storm coming in!)
Got some snacks at a little grocery store,  chilled a wee bottle of champagne in the sink. #classy
Finally, here is a finished tabletop! Stringing those raindrops took forEVER btw.
And here is a picture of me and the mama-to-be after the party!

There you have it! An abridged version of baby shower decorations. Lyndsey and Mike's families did a great job with the whole thing. I don't have any pictures of the awesome quilt her mom made or the Pinterest-worthy candy bar Mike's mom and sister put together. After all the decorations were up, I got to get off my feet and BreAnn took over running all the games and organizing present-opening which she is really good at doing. All around a great party for a great couple who are now back in Colorado being great parents! And I'm pretty sure I will get to meet little Owen sometime this summer!