Ingredients for a Chill Sesh

It’s funny that we all do the same thing. We get busy and stressed, feeling isolated as life and our silly first world problems take over, and wishing that someone would reach out – but completely forgetting that the others are all feeling the same way.

Yesterday morning was the punctuation of that feeling, as I stood atop the regional landfill, swarmed by 100s of seagulls and silently cursing other people’s issues with cleanliness.

But, it just made the evening plans even more enjoyable and necessary. As Ben was away on a daddy-and-daughter trip, us gals reached out to get together and organize a home spa and treats night.

One brought all the fixings to make homemade face wash, body butter and masks. Another brought the wine, essential to any good spa activity, in my books. And I was in charge of noms.

Of course, if you’ve been reading this little blog at all, you know that I served carrot sticks and hummus.

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Donuts. Not these silly baked ones that make your brain pretend that it’s being healthy – cake mix spiked with nutmeg and sadness. The kind my momma made in the 80s, when I sat at a healthy distance from the bubbling vat on the stove, watching the fluffiest pastries emerge from the pot.

untitled-1137But I did do mini-ones, to offer the appearance of health. Some tossed in sugar and cinnamon immediately after removing from the stove.

untitled-1160Other cooled and then dipped in chocolate.

untitled-1170The truly unfortunate thing is that it was really easy to make. Too easy.

And then I did a few others snacks.

Popcorn cooked up in brown butter and seasoned with sugar, cinnamon, cumin and chili, tasting like something delicious but nothing specific so you had to keep having more to get a sense of what the heck you were eating.

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A dip that tastes just like raw brownie batter, minus the egg threat, and served up with kettle chips and pretzels.

untitled-1188And despite our best efforts, there are leftovers – food, pumpkin pie glow mask, orange chocolate body butter, tea tree oil face wash. Perfect tools to tackle the next week!

Superbowl Sunday

I love me some football. The sport itself is fun to watch – the intensity, the athleticism, the personalities on the field.

And then there’s the pre-game festivities – the tailgating culture, full of newfound friends in the parking lot, sharing drink and breaking bread and having laughs.

The bread that’s broken, of course, famously includes everything buttery and oozing with cheese and subjected to charcoals fuelled flames. Amazing.

I try to incorporate a little tailgate whenever we watch games at home. A great reference point for your own tailgate menu is this food blog: How Sweet It Is – 135 Football Recipes

For our Superbowl Sunday, we decided on a couple things, as it was only a few of us.

Snack to have at hand: Chicago Mix Popcorn

I used a recipe, but found it was pretty off in some key areas. So, just pop 2 cups of kernels and divide in half. Toss one half with cheese powder (I used a nacho cheese dip mix, found with the taco stuff) and 1/2 cup melted butter. The other half, make a caramel on the stove and toss with the remaining popcorn. I had to bake mine once coated.

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Pre-game supper: Chili in Bread Bowls

The bread bowl recipe worked wonderfully: Baker Bettie – Homemade Bread Bowls

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Bread bowls shaped and ready for the oven

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Finished bread bowls

The chili was an improv piece: we browned 1/2lb each of ground beef and stewing beef, and threw it in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours with four small bell peppers and two small yellow onions, all chopped; a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, a can each of rinsed red kidney beans and black beans; a small tin of tomato paste; about 1/2 cup each of beer and water; and half a jar of spaghetti sauce (because when ready to serve, we realized it was too watery – but the only store open then had sauce). Salt, pepper, chili powder all to taste.

It was still awesome possums.

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Halftime show: Korean fried chicken wings

If you’re ever in Toronto, visit the Gabardine restaurant. The BEST Korean fried chicken wings – or any kind of chicken wing, period. Crunchy, just enough sauce with a little spice, tang, and Asian flavour.

Don’t know why my mind went back to that great meal last July, but decided our wings would try to mimic them. This recipe was our recipe, and while not taking the Gabardine’s crown, still crazy good – Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Even though we weren’t starving post-chili, we couldn’t help ourselves with these and essentially polished off the whole lot.

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Korean Fried Chicken Wings