Holidays! Chilli!

Hooray!  It’s the holidays!

As much as I love my job I am absolutely ecstatic that the holidays are finally here.  I’m tired and need to recharge.  My next door neighbour laughs at me when I tell him this.  He runs his own business and is very envious of my 12 weeks of holidays throughout the year.  We teachers are definitely very very lucky.  I’m not sure I’d be able to do this job if I didn’t have these regular lengthy breaks though.  Even if I could I doubt I’d be as effective a teacher.  The post holiday period is when I come up with my best ideas.  🙂

Why am I trying to justify myself?!  Enough of this flimsy attempt to excuse my multiple weeks off.  Teachers are lucky!  Let’s leave it at that. 

Plans for the next two weeks:

1)  I’m off to Copenhagen this week.  I love Scandinavia.  Denmark is the only Nordic country that I haven’t visited and I’m looking forward to exploring its capital.  The weather forecast is predicting temperatures in the teens and sunshine.  Perfect.

2) Gardening.  I’ve built a raised veggie patch and am going to start sowing next week.  I’ve been recommended to plant potatoes the first year as they will break up the soil enabling other veggies to grow more successfully next year.  But I don’t eat potatoes very often.  And I’m hugely excited about growing my favourite veg.  Hmmmmmm…

3) Mountain biking.  Joining a ladies group on the Black Isle next month.  Want to get fitter on the bike before I do so.

4) Cook.  Including a huge batch of the following.

Chili Con Carne

This is the best chili recipe I’ve come across, and I’ve tried many! It’s adapted from a Jo Pratt recipe as featured on The Nation’s Favourite Food. It freezes well and is perfect for feeding large numbers. Purists will balk at the inclusion of kidney beans but I love them. So there.
Perfect with plain rice and a green salad. If feeding I’m crowd I tend to make some quesadillas too.

Chili con Carne
(Serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g minced beef
200ml red wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 stick cinnamon
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 beef stock cube
1 x 400g can red kidney beans
1 green pepper, chopped

  • Fry the onion and garlic in oil until softened.
  • Increase the heat and add the mince. Cook until browned.
  • Pour in the red wine and boil until harsh alcohol vapours disappear.
  • Stir in the tin of tomatoes, chili flakes, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce and stock cube. Season well.
  • Simmer for an hour.
  • Add the kidney beans and green pepper and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Serve with fresh coriander and sour cream.

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