This week I was going to take the boys to one of our regular morning places, the Denver Children's Museum. But when my husband suggested that we head to the mountains for a little day trip instead, I was on board. We decided to go to Breckenridge-- a beautiful, historic ski town which I like calling "The Ridge," but which most locals refer to, simply, as Breck. The 22nd International Snow Sculpture Championship was taking place and we both agreed that the boys would like it. It was absolutely gorgeous.
I should note that this is the best winter I've ever had. Most winter days are between 40 and 50 degrees...and there are some 60 degree days sprinkled in there too. But we also get snow. And what's winter without snow? You need to have sledding, snow fights and snowman building, right?
Anyway, our day trip took us up into the mountains on I-70 and the ride was absolutely spectacular. Here are a few pictures from our outing. The snow sculptures were great, though some of the more ephemeral pieces gave way to nature by the time we got there and were reduced to rubble. But there were still some great sculptures-- my personal favorite was "Ice House," the Canadian entry.
When we got back home I decided to make a quick, simple, one-pot dinner of vegetarian black bean chili with orange and cumin. It's also the perfect thing to make for the Super Bowl today! (Go Giants? That's my hometown team, but let's be honest, I've never successfully watched an entire game of football in my life.) I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and it turned out great. I added salt and pepper to taste, and a good amount of Panola Hot Sauce. I topped it with a tablespoon of sour cream (though you could easily keep this vegan) and a little bit of chopped cilantro. Perfect!
* * *Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Orange and Cumin (Courtesy of Bon Appetit)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 15.5-ounce cans seasoned black beans, drained
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
Hot pepper sauce
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro
Grate enough orange peel to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons. Juice oranges. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and spices. Add beans, tomatoes, and half of orange juice. Simmer over medium heat until heated through and flavors blend, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Mix in orange peel and remaining orange juice. Season to taste with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with sour cream and cilantro. Pass extra hot sauce alongside.