Soup Days: Vegetarian Chili

This winter has been a very soupy one. Soupy in a food sense for sure. I cannot get enough of making soup. You can let it simmer in a big pot as you walk the dog, it can cook all day in a slow cooker, and it’s good for lunch for days and days.

If snow could be soup, then winter has been soupy in a snow sense too. I haven’t seen grass in what feels like an eternity, but is probably more like two or three weeks. Winter will never end.

We got hit pretty hard by the Storm of Doom last week. First, two inches of ice, followed up by five to six inches of snow. I happily did a little sledding on Saturday. My bum did not happily sled. It is in fact largely bruised now.

Now as the ice was falling last week I thought about how this amazing chili recipe would be the perfect thing to be trapped in your house with. Then it occurred to me that when you’re house-bound, you can’t leave to get ingredients for chili at the grocery. So I would just be taunting you.

Now that the roads are passible and there’s still quite a bite in the air, I say have some chili! I’ve been looking for a good and flavorful vegetarian chili all winter and I think I’ve found a winner! It’s spicy for sure, a little sweet, thanks to the barbecue sauce, sticks to your ribs, and Joy the Baker says the steak seasoning is the secret to all the wonderful flavors. I trust Joy. She’s got taste and she’s funny.

Uh, also, I tried to take a photo, but it looked not so great. I’m trying to get the hang  of this food photo thing. It’s tricky! Any tips?

Recipe post-jump.

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Song of the Week

This week, in honor of Arcade Fire releasing their new album (listen to it here), my song of the week is “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire (duuuh).

I don’t know why I love this song so much. I really fell for it when it was on the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are (which, by the way, is an awesome movie if you haven’t seen it). I played the trailer over and over again to listen to the song until I realized that I have it on my iTunes. The lyrics are kind of dark maybe, and they’re not the reason for my addiction to this song. I think it’s something about the big sound that explodes from your speakers when you play it, and the chorus of voices singing out. It feels full of hope and potential and flyingness. (Did you know I like to make up words?)

OK, so here’s the song.

In other news, Happy Friday!

In other, other news, the heat index in Indianapolis on Wednesday was 112°. Yes, you read that right. Heat that presses down on you and fills the air until you feel as though you can hardly breathe. Thankfully the weather broke last night and I was able to ride my new bike into work!

Ellie the bicycle

The Winds They Did Blow

Blah blah blah, weather small talk, blah, blah. But seriously, we’ve been having some crazy intense storms here in Indiana lately. Seventy mile per hour winds, yellow-gray-green skies, torrential downpours, tornadoes.

As a quick side note, my mother is a lush when it comes to drinking. She has one glass of wine, her face turns red, and she starts giggling like a tween while making dirty jokes. No, wait, she makes dirty jokes without the help of a glass of wine.

Back to these stormy nights. Earlier this week I sat down on the couch with my dinner and flipped on the t.v., hoping to catch Jeopardy. Instead all I got were local news teams standing in front of green, red, and yellow-splotched weather radars, warning me of the aforementioned winds and tornadoes. I then received this text from my dad, “Mom had 1 half glass of wine & is on the couch.” I immediately pictured my mom laying on the couch, cracking up at the weather reports as the winds swirled outside the glass sliding doors. Shortly after my dad called me. “Julia did you hear? There’s a winter storm advisory out.” “I heard!” I replied. “Hail and everything! I predict 5 feet of snow by morning.” “I can’t get Mom off the couch,” he joked. “Oh stay inside! Here comes the snow!”

“Drunk” mothers and winter storm warnings in June are definitely laughing matters.

Today’s Letter is "M"

I think today’s Wednesday. I kind of don’t care to keep track anymore because I’ll only be reminded how many more days stretch ahead before the weekend. And once the weekend gets here, how few days are left before the inevitable return to work on Monday. Sorry, that’s kind of negative, I know, but seriously. We’ve gotten a bunch of snow in the past five days. Every morning this week I’ve woken upon hoping for too much snow on the road to go into work, but the damn city has kept our roads snow-free. So I’ve been spending most of my week daydreaming of North Carolina. Oh and yesterday I spent my day watching the Bonnaroo line-up be slowly and painfully announced on Bonnaroo’s MySpace. Who does that? Anyway, it looks pretty good. I usually feel that Bonnaroo’s line-up is a pretty good preview of Lollapalooza’s. Hopefully will get to at least one festival this summer!

Mira was somewhat suspicious of the tiny snowman we met on one of our walks.



The snow did kick in a serious hibernation switch on in my head over the weekend. I decided that I needed to cook and bake a lot just in case I could never leave my apartment again. Friday night I made these bombtastic baked chicken meatballs. My only problem was that my tomato paste had been in the fridge for awhile, and some nice fuzzy, white stuff was growing on parts. I just went ahead and used the non-fuzzy, white parts. A few hours post-meatball consumption, I felt off. Amazingly enough, still ate leftovers the next night, and even more amazingly enough, felt slightly off again. HAH. Anyway, the meatballs are super tasty for few ingredients (which is my favorite. The less money I have to spend, the better.) I made them bigger (got about ten balls I think), and ate them with spaghetti. I bet they’d be the perfect party appetizer if made smaller.


Then came the muffins. These whole wheat apple muffins have been my go to when I’ve had extra apples lying around this fall and winter. They are DELICIOUS. Nice and warm spicy (you know, like cinnamon), moist for days after, and partially healthy. This was probably the fourth or fifth batch I’ve made.

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Umbrellas

Yesterday was the rainiest of rainy Sundays. Big rain drops for most of the day, thunder, and lightening. The driveway turned into a giant pond. I’m sure some fish have taken up residence there. The weather was not conducive to dog walking, so poor Mira got two pees all day and got drenched in the process (so did I…). I kept hoping that we would get a window of no rain when I could take her out for a brief walk. No luck so around 9pm I broke down and got ready to take her out in the rain. As I put on her leash, Adam and I had this exchange.
Me: We’re going to get so wet.
A: Well take an umbrella (said UMbrella) and then at least
you’ll be dry.
Me: I don’t own an umbrella.
A: What?! But you have like 40 scarves!
Me: When did scarves and umbrellas become synonymous?
Still no apartment pictures, but it’s really awesome, trust me!
I do have pictures of this glorious giant strawberries n cream cupcake we made for Sam’s
birthday. I baked, Adam decorated.