Today’s Moss woman is my sister-in-law Amy. She is the one who lets P and me steal Ella for adventures and still speaks to us when we return the little tyke all hopped up on sugar. Amy will give you all the details about how we met – it’s a much better story from her perspective, anyway. So, without further ado…
Amy here. Stay-at-home Mom extraordinaire and Moss sister (in-law) #2. By #2, I mean married to David, Moss brother #2 in the sequence of the five Moss brothers. Also, second oldest in age of the sisters, and second to marry in. So #2 applies nicely. But as David likes to say, I’m #2, but actually #1 (get it?). You may be familiar with my older daughter Ella (2 ½), featured in previous posts; Birth Control Brought to You by Sesame Street, and If You Give a Toddler Some Sugar. We also have daughter Lucy, 2 ½ months. We’re doing our part to bring balance to the highly male dominate Moss family.
I’m a loyal reader of Libby’s blog. In preparation for my guest post, I’ve recognized three common themes in Libby’s postings to help guide me:
- Sarcasm allowed
- Mention food and perhaps tie that into a marriage observation or lesson
- Use italics…often to highlight the sarcasm
I’ll try my best!
David and I met in August of 2005 when I started my first job post college at Mizzou. Cupid shot his arrow through our cubicle walls and we fell in love…fast! 9 months after meeting we were engaged. Three states and two kids later, we’re still kickin’. I have one sister, so marrying into a family of all brothers was an added bonus for me. Patrick and I were good buddies from the get go. Over the years I’ve learned it’s due to our kindred spirits. We’re somewhat introverted, claim quality time and acts of service as our love languages, like to cook, and love a good nap.
I first met Libby the same night Patrick met Libby’s Dad for the first time. I unintentionally became his wingman for the night. Patrick and I bumped into each other at Shiloh, a Columbia bar after an MU football game. We were talking intently at a table when Libby arrived. Having never met before, I got the “who is she?” laser beam glare from across the way. All was well once I was revealed as a sister. Libby and I became fast friends. We can talk for hours, are detailed oriented and planners (not afraid to implement an excel spreadsheet if needed), and (gasp!) don’t care for shopping.
Libby sent the Moss ladies a request to guest post on her blog a few weeks ago. I was eager to do it. Mainly because I enjoy writing. My claim to fame is our annual Moss Messenger Christmas Newsletter. Yes, I write a newsletter. I’m fully aware the Christmas Newsletter is on the outs with our generation, and perhaps lacks necessity. But it’s one tradition I really like, (which also ties into my enjoyment in sending and receiving snail mail. Love me a good card!) I love going home over Christmas and reading all the letters my parent’s received. I hope the Christmas Newsletter will have a resurgence one day. Fingers crossed! I digress.
I also like to cook. I like trying new recipes and get excited when one ends up being a “keeper.” Perhaps this makes me a nerd to get excited about this, I’m ok with that. Cooking has become more hobby-like for me since having kids. It’s often my evening escape. Hubby gets kids, I get a kitchen to myself (for the most part) and a glass of wine.
David has unintentionally created a recipe rating system to measure the success of my cooking. Silence = not so good, don’t make again. A “repeat recipe” = one he really likes, and would enjoy again in the repertoire of at home dinners. “Company worthy” = a meal so good he would even suggest I share with people outside of our family unit. My rating system is simpler. If all 3 of us like it (the table food eaters that is), David, our toddler Ella, and myself, it’s a keeper. Of all my company worthy, hubby and toddler approved recipes, which do I share? Its fall. Pumpkin seems the way to go. Predictable? Maybe. Cliché? Sure. Delicious? Yes!
Yes, this applies to me. Well, with the exception of the yoga pants. Ok, I’m wearing yoga pants while I write this. Ironically though, I don’t like pumpkin pie. Even as a fall, pumpkin lover, I can admit the whole pumpkin thing is getting a bit out of hand. Pumpkin marshmallows? Let’s just take it down a notch.
I do have several delicious pumpkin centered recipes in my repertoire. So, what else fits perfectly into fall? Chili! I must share my Award Winning Pumpkin Chili. It really is Award Winning. I won a chili cook-off at work one year (up against about 13 other chili’s). I got a certificate and everything! It won for “Best Overall Taste,” and “Best Presentation,” because of course I served it out of pumpkin. (Is the nerd alert alarm sounding again?)
I ran my Chili idea by Libby. She gave me the stamp of approval because “she doesn’t like chili and therefore would otherwise never write about it.” (I guess she doesn’t like it because it doesn’t fall into her favorite kid friendly food group of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets).
I can’t pinpoint where the recipe originated, but over the years it has become my go-to chili recipe that we enjoy several times a season, often with a side of beer bread. I enlisted my mini sous chef to assist me for its debut this fall.
I’m sure some of you may be thinking, pumpkin? In Chili? Ick! Don’t knock it before you try it. That’s my rule anyway. I even tried gooseneck barnacles last year during a trip to Barcelona. I can now affirm with certainty I do not like gooseneck barnacles! Just Google it. If I can try that, you surely can give this a whirl. Around here its company worthy, and taste tested and approved by Dad, Mom and little Ella!
Want more delicious pumpkin recipes from my kitchen? Just look into your mirror, say pumpkin spice latte three times and I just may appear!
Award Winning Pumpkin Chili
- 2 lbs ground beef or turkey (I prefer 1 lb of each)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 28 oz. can diced stewed tomatoes
- 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
- 12 oz. bottle chili sauce
- 2-3 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- *red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Brown the ground beef or turkey with the onion, drain excess grease
2. Add the remaining ingredients & stir well to mix
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour
4. Serve with grated cheese/fritos/crackers if desired
* I add a little red pepper flakes to add a little heat. This is a mild chili with no heat. I don’t like to take away from the pumpkin flavor so I use red pepper flakes b/c they’re flavorless, but full of heat. After I put in all the ingredients, I’ll sprinkle in a little red pepper flakes. I’ll let the chili simmer for a little while, then taste. I’ll add more if I feel it’s needed. You can leave these out if you like, or add a little or a lot.