I can’t remember being this excited for the New Year. 2011 has been one for the record books, and I’m glad it’s ending soon.
I’ve been writing about the season of Advent quite a bit lately, and these days of preparation for Christmas can also help us get ready for the year to come.
I met with a good friend yesterday, and he has agreed to help me lay out a success strategy for 2012. Not only is he helping me develop the plan, but he’s also willing to keep my on task so that I accomplish what I set out to do. Nice.
I hope you had a peaceful weekend. I know it might have been hard to resist an all out assault on your Christmas shopping, but there will be plenty of time for that.
I have to admit that I did jump online last night and found some great deals. All from the comfort of my little home office. In fact, I’m sticking to my guns about getting fewer presents this year. Each one will be chosen with more care, and I’m watching what I’m spending very closely.
Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I’ll admit that I was pretty lazy. I did get some things to Goodwill, and I was certainly happy about that 🙂
Probably like you, I munched on leftovers for lunch, and then some friends invited me out to dinner. Their college-age sons where home, and it was good to spend time with them. A few friends of the boys joined us, and all of a sudden, it turned into a crowd. It was a lot of fun.
Here’s a quick and spicy Chili recipe for you to try out.
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, undrained
1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, undrained
5 oz corn
parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Saute jalapeno, onion, and bell pepper until onions are translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with cornbread for a hearty cold-weather meal.
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us. Amen
May God bless you and your family, today and always!
I know. These are known as the busiest days of the year. It all starts this week, and doesn’t end until January 1st.
Most of us work too hard, and we’re not very good at slowing down. As I mentioned the other day, the majority of us spend way too much during these days, and many have lost the whole reason the Christmas season exists.
If I had a wish for the next several weeks, it would be that we would each make some time for a little retreat. Some will actually be able to get themselves to some retreat center and truly relax and refocus. Others won’t have that luxury, but that’s still o.k. They can change things up and still accomplish the mission.
Hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday. It’s been a busy one for me, and I’ve got two more things on the agenda. First, I’ve got to get a corn casserole in the oven soon, since it’s due to be served up at a Thanksgiving diner for the students at Mc Daniel college in a couple of hours.
After that, I have to race home and get a big batch of sloppy joe’s ready for my men’s group who will be here at 7:30. Well, anyone who knows me could tell you I love to cook, so I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m really looking forward to both gatherings 🙂
Thanksgiving is almost here. The calendar seems to be flying by, and some days I scratch my head and wonder what just happened.
This is a very easy soup to prepare, and more than likely, you already have most the ingredients around your kitchen, especially as you prepare for the big day on Thursday.
I enjoyed the simplicity of this soup, and I hope you will too. Adding smoked paprika adds an unexpected depth of flavor. Regular paprika will work too, but if you can find the smoked (which I prefer), use it 🙂