All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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There are still a few left! PERFECT book for your anti-Valentine’s Day book club meeting!
Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.
First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your gift giving this season!
I post that inspiration above because it has special resonance for me lately. 2014 (and this will be short – don’t worry) was a transformative year for me & the reasons are thus:
Someone unexpected saw things (good things) in me that I did not see in myself & gave me a life-changing opportunity. It was a huge challenge for me but one I needed in more ways than one and my gratitude is profound. The lesson here for me (and, possibly, you) is to trust when others try to elevate you (or support you – in any of the forms support can come in). Don’t let fear of change or doubt in yourself sabotage you. Accept opportunity.
Yet another unexpected person saw things (bad things) in me that simply do not exist. Like a castrating parent, this person cut me down at every opportunity & relentlessly tried to cast me in a role that has nothing to do with who I really am. Unlike my previous example, where I had to trust I could live up to the lofty expectations of the supportive person, in this case, I had to trust myself and know I could not & would not ever live down to the gutted expectations of the unsupportive person. The lesson here for me (and, possibly, you) is to trust yourself when others try to drag you down. Don’t let fear of change or doubt in yourself sabotage you. Reject negativity.
It might sound trite or over-simplified and maybe – in this case (because I am being deliberately vague) – it is. But the details of my experiences might just confuse how the inspiration could be applied to your own lives. Sometimes, people we trust betray us. Sometimes strangers step in and save our lives. Stay open. Absorb the good whenever it comes your way – even if it comes in a way you find awkward or embarrassing or undeserved. Reject the negative when it inevitably comes your way – even if it comes from someone you trust completely and especially if the negativity becomes familiar and RUN – really fucking run – if the negativity starts feeling comfortable and deserved.
Surround yourself with what you WANT. If that can’t be the best job or kindest people – then use pets & books & movies & art & nature & fitness & good food.
I will end my rant with this one bit of advice that can be applied to everything from your sock drawer to your social life. Usefulness & beauty are infinitely interpretable. So simple. So easy. Apply the advice above & below & make 2015 a great year.
Happy new year!
On Christmas Eve, the badass Miles Miller & I were guests at a friend’s house. We brought lots of goodies, including my Seven Layer Dip – seen just above. We called Uber & loaded several bags of food & wine into the trunk & headed to South Pasadena. When we arrived, we unloaded our groceries, thanked the driver & headed inside but not before both Miles & I noticed him inspecting his trunk. Seems he wanted to be sure nothing had rolled out of the bags that would require him driving back to give us back our lost bag of chips or something.
Thirty minutes later, our hosts kept handing one of us a Food 4 Less bag & saying, “Here are your groceries.” Since it did not belong to me or Miles, I finally inspected the bag’s contents. There was a small bottle of shampoo, three small bottles of Arrowhead water & two cans of corn. “This is your corn & shit, Rose,” I said. Rose informed me that, in fact, the bag was not hers, either.
So, yeah. Seems we stole our Uber driver’s little sack of bits & ends right out of his trunk. He hadn’t been looking in his trunk to be sure we left nothing behind. He was looking for his Goddamn corn & shampoo! I texted Uber to explain but nothing ever came of it. I just hope that driver didn’t have the worst Xmas eve ever when he returned home to an irate & thirsty wife with dirty hair and craving canned corn kernels — or needing them for a Christmas dinner favorite. Oh, well.
Life gave me corn. I made chili. Chili, clean hair and motherfuck if I am not hydrated by those Arrowhead babies. See how I accept the positive now – no matter the form in which it comes?
So – anyway – to this recipe. Yeah. I cheated & used this chili fixin’ thing.
In fairness, I am not 100% certain it is vegan. Ingredients are:
Gluten Free Ingredients
Cooking Sauce: Water, Diced Tomatoes (Water, Distilled Vinegar, Chipotle, Tomato Paste, Salt, Red Chile Flakes, Spices, Onion, Garlic), Natural Flavors, Chili Pepper, Salt, Garlic, Distilled Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, non-GMO Corn Starch, Less than 0.5% of: Pepper Paste (Distilled Vinegar, Red Pepper Salt), Onion
Spice Pack: Chili Pepper, Salt, Brown Sugar, Spices, Jalapeno
“Natural flavors” could be anything so if you are staunchly vegan/vegetarian, maybe use a packet of taco or other seasoning that you are comfortable with. If you do this, maybe add a 14 oz can or Rotel or other chopped tomatoes as well and be prepared to maybe add salt & cumin and/or oregano & chili powder – to taste. Maybe even a half cup or so of your favrite BBQ sauce. I used this bagged stuff in an odd moment of laziness – even though I know what spices to use & I know these things have WAY too much sodium etc. Sorry – but I am not above just going for the cheat once in a while.
I left this in my slow cooker for ten hours. That proved to be too long & sorta turned this soupy nothingness below – into a dried out & nearly scorched mess. I saved it by adding the 30 oz can of beans I list in the ingredients but do not let this shit sit for 10 hours.
8 Ingredient Spicy Chili – Vegetarian or Vegan (Slow Cooker or Crock Pot or Stove Top)
Feeds 4 very heartily
12 oz Stubb’s Chili Fixins (or other brand that you like & whose ingredients suit your diet) OR use a TBS or two of taco or other seasoning that you are comfortable with and add a 14 oz can or Rotel or other chopped tomatoes and be prepared to maybe add salt & cumin and/or oregano & chili powder – to taste – and a 1/2 cup of some BBQ sauce you like.
12 oz beer (or veggie stock)
1/2 onion – diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used some homemade I had around but your favorite brand is fine) – optional
9 oz vegan chicken or beef (I used chicken) – I always opt for Beyond Meat brand as it is THE BEST
2 cups cooked or canned chick peas (or other beans you might prefer in chili)
2 (15 oz) cans of corn – preferably stolen from an Uber or Lyft driver
1 (30 0z) can of chili beans or other kind of beans you think might suit chili – but not baked beans or anything is a sweet sauce
Olive oil (skillet stove top only)
Garnish ideas – cooked rice, grated cheese, diced onion, cilantro, hot sauce, avocado, chopped tomato, jalapenos – whatever!
I put everything into my slow cooker & set it on low for ten hours (which was about 5 hours too long). I did not drain the corn or beans.
If you use a slow cooker – set it on high for about 3-4 hours & check for moisture levels – adjusting the heat & length of cooking time to suit your taste. If it gets too dry – add water. If it is too wet, raise the heat and/or take the lid off the cooker while cooking.
Stove top – I would saute the onion in a TBS olive oil or butter (or vegan alternative) in the skillet until soft & then just add the rest of the stuff & simmer until the moisture level suits your taste – likely 30-45 minutes. To get there faster – drain any canned items first before adding them.
Eat it like a chili or over rice & garnish at will. Mmmmm!
Happy new year!