First time at Umami. Approved.
Yesterday, the girls and I spent a beautiful day at The Grove doing what we do best…eating, wining, and shopping! We dined while people-watching and chatting at La Piazza and then headed over to some of our favorite stores, Anthropologie, Zara, and Nordstrom. We refueled with some more dining and wining back at La Piazza before heading back to the IE where we finished off round three at Roscoe’s Famous Deli. It was a great day to catch up with my girls, and best of all, baby Eli! I even scored a pair of mint and silver strappy heels on sale at Zara to remember the day!
How did you spend your Saturday?
Hope everyone had a fantastic 4th! We had my BFF, her hubby, and her parents over. Yes, my BFF’s parents, Mark and Sherry! My cute BFF, Gina, had already set up the table (at my home) while I was getting ready upstairs. I came downstairs to fun 4th of July plates and napkins and appetizers all set up! My hubby had done rib roast at home many times, but this was the first time in the Big Green Egg that we just got! And it was fantastic! I mentioned our trusty, competition-worthy Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker AKA the Weber Bullet in a past post, but we finally graduated to the BGE, the Chanel or Hermes of smokers and grills. We’ve already put it to use so many times, and we’ve had it for less than a week! I can’t wait to get many more posts of yummy food done on the BGE. Less cooking for me?
Saturday was a special day for a special bride-to-be, Carol. I was ecstatic to have been asked to be a bridesmaid, and this was a much anticipated day for us all. We started the day with lunch at Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills owned by the fabulous Vanderpumps. The food was up to par with my expectations. Actually, I can’t stop thinking about the lobster & crab salad and the rock shrimp & asparagus risotto. I definitely would love to go back and try dinner. After about 2+ hours of chit-chatting, wining, and eating (we couldn’t stop picking up our forks), we headed over to Ktown for the first appointment at Bella Bridal. They wouldn’t allow photos which was a bummer, not that I would post any pics of the bride in the dresses anyways. She looked amazing and gorgeous!! But she is such a pretty girl already, so that’s a given. After the next appointment, Carol, Jenn, and I headed over to Haus Dessert Boutique to continue wining with some ddukbokki which had a lot of heat…yum! And I can handle my heat! We called it a day at 7 PM, and I headed home tired but very happy to be a part of Carol’s special day.
We put our smoker to work this weekend! It was a meat fest like no other. Chicken, pork, and beef. Wow. I will be eating lettuce for the next few days.
Wow, it’s been awhile since my last recipe post! I had to dust off my camera bag (literally), and I realized that I forgot everything (what little I know) about how to use one! Nonetheless, here is my attempt to get another recipe post to you. This time it was super easy, because I didn’t do the cooking and shooting. My hubby loves making chili, so I just watched (through the camera lens). It’s so much easier that way! Wonder if he’ll be open to the idea of making that a habit…
Here’s a plus: this chili con carne is totally guilt-free! Depending on the meats you use (I used extra lean meats), you got yourself a low-carb (no beans), low-fat chili without compromising taste at all. And it’s easy!
MK’s Chili Con Carne
- variety of chili peppers of your choice (jalapeños, serrano peppers, Anaheim peppers, habanero if you dare, etc…)
- 1-1 1/2 lb. 95% lean ground beef
- 1-1 1/2 lb. extra lean sirloin chunks for stew
- 15 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp paprika
- 3 tbsp cayenne
- 3 tbsp cumin
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 bottle or can dark beer
- 1 big can crushed tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato paste
- shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- diced red or white onion
- fresh basil leaves torn (optional)
Chop chili peppers into bite-size pieces. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or pot. Brown the beef chunks and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in whole garlic cloves. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Add chopped peppers, and stir to mix. Add dry spices and beer. Stir to mix evenly. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, and continue to stir. Let chili cook on very low heat for at least four hours before serving. Upon serving, top with shredded cheese and diced onions. Garnish with fresh torn basil leaves.
Pick and choose whatever peppers you fancy. We usually just buy a variety of whatever is on sale at the moment.
Chop them into pieces, not too big, not too small. No need to be pretty here.
Heat some olive oil, and brown the beef chunks. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.
Toss in as many garlic cloves your heart desires. And my heart desires a lot. I think my hubby added more after this photo was taken.
Then add the ground beef, and cook until almost fully cooked.
Add all of your chopped peppers…
And stir everything together.
These are all the spices my hubby uses. Feel free to experiment with whatever you have. But don’t blame me, if it turns out bad.
Add all your spices…
And mix, mix, mix.
Pour in any dark beer you have on hand. Please refrain from drinking it.
We initially thought that we would be using all of these. Wrong. We only used one big can of crushed tomatoes and one small can of tomato paste.
Here’s the big can…
And here’s the small can.
Stir, stir, stir.
Set it and forget it! For at least four hours on very low heat. The longer, the better!
Say hi to Kuma and Sibi! Play with your dogs, if you have some at home. I just realized this is Sibi’s debut on the blog!
Top with shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, and some basil garnish, if you’re fancy. We only had Kraft singles, so I crumbled some. I think that gives it more of a rustic look. Serve with crackers, bread, whatever. Or go carb-free. My hubby is obsessed with this rosemary sourdough bread, so he had some of that.
*Hint: Chili always tastes better the day after when the flavors have had time to marry!
Thank you, hubby!
Happy Monday, peeps! Here are just a few pics from Friday’s taco party at Hannah’s house. One of our girls, EJ, is currently visiting from Korea on a business trip, and of course we had to get together. We thought about going out, perhaps to LA or somewhere in DTF (Downtown Fullerton, not the Jersey Shore acronym), but we opted to do what we do best…eat, drink, and be merry at home. It’s so much easier that way. We don’t need to get ready or worry about driving/cabbing, and most importantly, we get to be as loud as we want. We’ve become such ajoomas.
Hannah (Ban), our veteran mommy and wifey (she’s been married the longest) always knows how to feed us well! All of the sides are homemade. In fact, many of my cooking inspirations come from her. Thanks for the party, Ban & girls! We missed you, Sunny!