Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Green Bay Chili

Okay, I was raised on this chili and I never realized it was anything special or different till I became and adult and started traveling a ton. I would order chili and ask where the hell the noodles were and why there were so many veggies in it. Now do not get me wrong I love different types of chili but this is the classic Green Bay chili. Similar to Krohls or Chili John's. For those not from these parts those are local places that make this type of chili. Hope you enjoy as much as we did this weekend with this classic.

What you need~

3 pounds of hamburger meat
1 bottle of BBQ sauce
Spaghetti noodles

I searched a long time on the internet hoping to find Chili John's secret recipe and this was the closest I could get. I at least managed to get the seasoning (A Bowl of Red- Original Texas Style) they use from Woodman's here locally. This made a big difference. If you cannot locate this magical seasoning you can season with (cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder) for a similar taste.

You start by browning your meat. I had so much meat that I did 1.5 pounds at a time. Do this slowly and as the meat is browning season it lightly with the chili seasoning.

Then add to you crockpot once browned. Add half of the bottle of BBQ sauce. I did a sweet kind to lower the heat from the seasoning as I was serving to friends. Some do not like heat. Now you want to season the meat some more but do this slowly. As you go taste the meat to make sure it is the heat level you want.

Let the meat sit for at least an hour on low in the crockpot to melt the flavors together. Make sure to mix it a lot.  While this is happening make the noodles.

Lastly, toppings. You can do what you want honestly. I like cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, hot sauce, and crackers. The magical part about this is that you can build your bowl how you want it.


Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Monday, September 26, 2016

Chicken & Rice Soup

I went to a restaurant an couple weeks ago that had this soup as the soup of the day. At the time I was not craving it but some days later I knew I had to make it. This is another simple recipe that I really enjoyed making and the leftovers were fantastic. With the cooler weather soups are a go to in our home.

What you need~
2 pounds of chicken thighs
2 bay leaves
2 cups carrot
2 cups celery
1 onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parley
1/2 tsp thyme
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups wild rice
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

You want to start by prepping all the vegetables. Cut up your
carrots, celery and onion into bite size pieces. I used the food processor for the carrots and onions.

Once this is done you really just need to add all of the above things except the heavy cream to the crockpot. You then let it cook down for about 8 hours on low.

Right before serving add the heavy cream and additional water as needed to thin out the soup. Make sure to remove the bayleaves before eating.

This made enough for dinner and 4 lunches for us last week.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chicken Enchilada

The crockpot is a magical item that can help me make some meals in bulk. As you have  noticed I use it about once a week. Last week Aldi had chicken thighs on sale for .69 a pound. That makes this meal a no brainer. I like chicken thighs in the crockpot because they hold up better than white meat. If you do not like dark meat you can always substitute in chicken breasts as well.

This recipe is so simple. Add the chicken, season it with the taco seasoning and pour in the enchilada sauce. Set to low for 8-9 hours and serve how ever you like. Some ideas would be tacos, taco bowls, make actual enchiladas and nachos. This recipe made about 2 pounds of meat. Plenty to eat off of all week.

What you need~                  
2 pounds of chicken thighs
1 can of enchilada sauce

After about 8 hours you do want to shred the chicken with two forks and return to the pot for a bit. I would say at least 15 minutes.

Ryan had tacos and I had a taco bowl with rice. Super tasty and can be used throughout the week for a variety of meal options.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Monday, September 19, 2016

Travel Adventures: Festival Palamino

One of my favorite bands was headlining a festival this past weekend and I had to go. We ordered our tickets and it was well worth the money we spent. A relaxing day topped off under the beautiful moon with Trampled by Turtles. Here are the highlights from this fun filled trip to the Twin Cities.

Special shout out for Maggie and Marshal for hosting Ryan and I.

We had Pizza Luce which I love. Baked potato pizza sounds nasty but is heavenly. We had some other tasty varieties as well.  They even let us split two types into one pizza as shown.

Pickle living the good life. Doesn't he look like my Stella?

Killer line up!
Cheese curds at the festival. These were amazing. I really loved how they were hand battered and fried. Yum!

It was overcast in the morning and sunny all afternoon. Cool sign they had for the festival. People took funny pictures in front of it.

Enjoying the sun with my wonderful husband.

Ha. We are goofy. Maggie and Marshal the awesome people that let us tag along all weekend.

 How cool is that skyline! The place was packed but comfortable to move around all day and night.

Trampled by Turtles. I am unsure how their hands move so fast. They really just put on the best show if you do not dance and clap along you are crazy.

Yesterday we decided to take some pit stops in our old college spots. Look at the gorgeous water in Hudson, WI.

 We stumbled across bacon festival in River Falls, WI. Don't worry I did get some bacon.

Lastly. I got my Mariachi Loco in River Falls, WI. This place has the BEST mole I have had. I really need to locate a local place like this by Green Bay, WI. Their mole is my favorite because it is sweet but savory at the same time. Their sauce is sooo good.
I love when you leave your trips open for randomness to fill in. Often times you find loads of fun stuff to do this way.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tattoo Tips

Let's start at the beginning. I got my first tattoo at 18 and I was all excited to be able to get something/anything. Do not do this. Ha. I know that sounds crazy but really getting something on you body forever is really something you should maybe do some soul searching and research on. Here are my tips for a good tattoo experience.
Lower back 2 hour sitting

1. Make sure you are comfortable with the artist. So far in total I have sat for tattoo's for 13 hours in my life. 10 of that for my owl tattoo alone. That is a lot of time to be sitting and it is good if you can chill with someone and not be crazy nervous. When you have your consult make sure that you trust that person and feel comfortable to sit for them for an extended period of time.

Upper back tattoo outline 4.5 hour sitting
2. Eat before. Getting a tattoo on an empty stomach sucks. Not only are you in pain but you are starving? No thanks. The other thought I have on this is that it sucks a lot of energy out of you to sit completely still for hours. Eating a good meal will help you so you can burn calories sitting still. I know that seems like a crazy idea but you sit like a statue for 6.5 hours and see how exhausted you are.

3. Bring a snack and water. I don't care if you are there for an hour be prepared for everything. I usually bring a water bottle and a cliff bar.

Wrist 1 hour sitting
4. Make sure you have your payment ready. I always fail at this and Ryan has to run to get me
money. Don't be me.

5. Lastly, be prepared for after care. Ask a ton of questions in your consult have all of the things you need.
I always have the following for aftercare:
Soft soap- the basic non-scented kind
Aquaphor (Petroleum jelly)-This is used for the first couple days
Lubriderm lotion unscented- Use this once the tattoo starts to peel
Cotton men's t-shirts size medium with zero tags (I only needed this for my owl tattoo. Having them prepared the first time was important.)
Pain pills (Advil for example) as needed

Upper back detailing 6.5 hour sitting
I applied the above products two times a day for two weeks. Once fully healed you can lotion as needed.

These are some general tips to help you tattoo experience go more smoothly. Will it hurt like hell yes but this will help you heal up well and have a good lastly tattoo.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Monday, September 12, 2016

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

After eating this sauce I decided it reminded me of my Grandma Emerdine's spaghetti she used to make for us. This sauce is good but takes time to cook down. I did it on a Sunday but you could do it on a week day while you are at work just as easy. I made it in the crock pot but you could do it on the stove as well. The flavors were fresh and the basil was the perfect last minute add.

What you need~                                                                          
48 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of yellow onion
1 tablespoon of miced garlic (if you do fresh about 4 cloves)
2 cups of tomato juice
1 handful of basil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 


Spices to taste:
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Nature's seasoning
Dried oregano
Dried basil of you do not use fresh
Cayenne pepper (just a pinch)

Place everything in the crock pot and set it to low for 10 hours.  That is it. The hardest part is getting all the stuff together. The magic really happens with it cooking down for hours. I did finish the sauce before eating with the Parmesan cheese.

I was watching PBS last weekend and I saw a Italian chef take her pasta and add it to the sauce. I always did it the other way spooning sauce onto the noodles. This makes a world of difference because your noddles get coated but not overly so. Do this you will not regret it.

I hope to make variations of this in the future because it is better than canned sauce and makes a bigger batch so we can have leftovers. I managed to get 5 meal servings out of this. Lunches all week for Ryan!

Until next time~
XoXo Emily


Friday, September 9, 2016

Pear/Apple Crisp

The season is slowly starting to change. My brother and his fiance bought a house this year that just so happens they have pear and apple trees. My mom went and collected a ton of fruit and I knew I needed to use it up. This crisp was the perfect way to do that for the slightly cooler weather that is starting to creep in around here.

What you need~

6 pears peeled and diced
2 apples peeled and diced
2/3 cup sugar
Salt 1/4 tsp

Flour 1 1/2 cups 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/3 cup brown packed sugar
Cinamon 1/2 tsp (heaping)
Butter 1/2 cup (melted)
Pecans 1/2 cup chopped 

Add the sugar and salt!
Really watery after sitting. Drain.
Topping mix.

 Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine pears, apples sugar and salt. Let sit. In a larger mixing bowl combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and pecans. Slowly add the melted butter till all the huge clumps are gone. At this point I drained my pear/apple mixture as it was watery. After doing that I placed it in a greased 8x8 baking dish. Top with your crumble mixture and place in the oven for 30 minutes. After that I put it on the top rack for an additional 15 minutes to brown.

 The smell in the house was unbearable. I wanted to dive in with a spoon and eat it all. I made this for my team at work and they all loved it. I was slightly excited we had some leftover so I could eat it with ice cream later.

I cannot wait to come out with and share more fall recipes for you all.
Until next time~
XoXo Emily