Thursday, April 20, 2017

Canning Hot Dog Chili

Remember all those tomatoes I purchased?  I'm still forking through them.  First up was canning tomato soup, next up is hot dog chili.  What makes hot dog chili different than regular chili is that the meat is crumbled finer and the chili is thicker.  Regular chili usually contain beans, and chunks of peppers and onions.  Hot dog chili or hot dog chili sauce is a finer ground beef with a tomato base.


  • 4 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 2 - 6oz cans of tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 3/8 cup chili powder
  • 90oz of tomato sauce/puree
  • 1/8 cup mustard


  • Place your meat in a large skillet, but do not turn on the heat.  What makes the meat turn out finer is cover the meat in the skillet with warm water, don't worry most of the water will boil off when you turn up the heat. Use your hands and a spatula to break up the meat.  Once the meat is broken up you can turn on your heat. 
  • Begin cooking your meat down adding the onions, garlic, black pepper, chili powder and mustard to season the meat. When the meat is cooked down use a spoon to remove some, not all, of the grease.  Some grease needs to stay because it contain the flavorings and spices. 
  • While my meat was cooking I washed and cored fresh tomatoes and ran them through my tomato press.  The press removes skins and seeds leaving just the tomato pulp and liquid.  You can used canned tomato sauce. 
  • As a last step to make sure the meat was a little finer I added my meat and tomato sauce to a deep pot, I used the liner pot to my Instant Pot, and ran my immersion blender on pulse.  I cooked the chili on simmer for about an hour to allow the chili to thicken and cook out any water.  Add the tomato paste in the last 15 minutes of cooking for additional thickening. 
  • To can he chili use a canning funnel to ladle chili into your hot sterilized jars leaving 1" head space.  Wipe down the tops of the jars with vinegar before sealing.  Process jars in a pressure canner for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. 

The pints are perfect for hot dog chili, Frito chili pies, chili cheese burgers, chili cheese fries, or tamales and chili.  And again these homemade jars of goodness have no fillers, no unpronounceable ingredients and will never taste like a tin can! 

Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble. I Corinthians 8:13

Tomato Soup

I’ve wanted to can my own tomato soup, mainly because I love tomato soup and homemade soup is so much better than anything out of a can! I also really like the idea of knowing what’s in my food.   This week I found Roma tomatoes on sale for $0.91 at Tom Thumb, plus I had a $5 off $20 purchase coupon. 

Roma tomatoes are ideal for making soup and tomato sauce because they are less watery than other varieties.  Armed with my coupon, we headed to Tom Thumb for 22lbs worth of tomatoes for $15! 

Next in my process was to find the perfect recipe.  I modified this pressure cooker recipe for Nordstrom Tomato Basil Soup served in the Nordstrom Restaurant.

  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz Carrots peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
  • 84 oz fresh diced & peeled tomatoes 
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock/Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Citric Acid per pint jar (when canning) 

  • Begin by washing, coring, peeling and dicing your tomatoes. 
  • Chop up the carrots and onions. 
  • Set your Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker to Sauté.   Add oil, carrots, onions and dried basil. Sauté for 4 minutes or until vegetables start to caramelize and the onions become a bit translucent.
  • Add diced tomatoes and chicken broth.
  • Lock on Lid and close Pressure Valve.  Cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes.
  • When beep is heard, allow a full Natural Pressure Release.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend soup until it’s smooth.  Add salt and pepper. 
  • Using a funnel fill your sterilized pint jars leaving 1/2” headspace.  Add ¼ tsp Citric Acid to each pint jar.  Wipe the rims of your jars down with vinegar and seal with heated lids and rims.  Process the pints for 25 minutes at 10lbs of pressure in a pressure canner.  

Today I made three batches of this recipe yielding 12 pints of soup.  Plus I still have tomatoes left over!

When serving the soup, heat one pint of soup with 1 cup of cream (or milk) added.  It is not recommended to can milk products so you’re adding the cream when serving.  Garnish with fresh basil and a grilled cheese sandwich! 

Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.”
 Genesis 25:30

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Norma at the Dallas Opera

Tonight we enjoyed the final 2015-2016 Dallas Opera performance, Norma. It the story of the Romans occupying Gaul in the first century B.C. The high priestess of the druidical temple, Norma, has been having a love affair with a Roman officer, Pollione. 

Even though Pollione has fathered Norma's two children, he no longer loves her. Instead, he loves a young maiden serving in the temple, Adalgisa. After contemplating killing her children, Norma instead declares war against the Romans. When Norma discovers that Pollione has been seized, she secretly frees him and puts herself in his place to be burned alive. In the end, Pollione realizes that he still loves Norma, and joins her on the pyre of fire. Yes, as all great operas are, it was a tragedy.

Several of our friends were able to join us for tonight's performance making the evening more enjoyable! One of the great benefits of the youth getting to attend these student performances is the social exposure to the etiquette of an elegant event.  For example, there is no late seating at the opera, patrons are to be respectful of the performers and arrive on time.  Also, to hold applause until the end of an aria and to cheer "Bravo!" (for a male performer) or "Brava!" (for a female performer).

Common sense tips are sent out to students by the Winspear Opera like:  Please remain quiet from the time the orchestra starts (the overture is part of the opera, too!) so that everyone around you can enjoy the music. Don't open candy or gum wrappers, talk, or text during the performance. Be sure to turn off your cell phone or watch alarm when you enter the theater. There is plenty of opportunity to chat with people during intermission. Please do not sing along, tap in time, get up and move around or try to read your program while the performance is in progress - it's really distracting to the people around you!  

It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.  Proverbs 20:11

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Hero

It's a great day at Metro Relief today!  Mr. Arvid returned following his cataract surgery last week AND Mr. Jerry was back!  Mr. Jerry has been sick for several months but today he got his home health nurse to bring him to the pantry so he could volunteer.  Using his walker this wonderful 92 year old man helped our guest shop for groceries!! I want to be Mr. Jerry when I grow up!    

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is obtained by following a righteous path. Proverbs 16:31

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Time to Celebrate

Sunday evening service of Easter weekend is the opportunity for  our young men to lead the services and put into practice all their hard work and skills.  The young men led singing, prayers, and delivered their gospel messages.  It was so touching to see these young men serving in the Lord's body.

Following worship some of the other groups showcased their talent including sign language, puppets, chorus and drama groups. At the end of the festivities the kids are awarded their plaques and evaluations from each of the events they competed in over the weekend.  

Each division awards a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Participant medal.  It's a great memento of their hard work and a good incentive for the following year.  Next up, I Samuel! 

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:9

Sweet Faces

Easter Sunday, Leadership Training for Christ weekend, what could possibly make it any sweeter? Nursery duty with my baby girl.  

So sweet getting to read and play and love on these sweet faces.  I pulled out my phone to silence it and the little girls came to have their picture taken.  Even this little they love to smile at their own reflection, not much different than when mine were small and loved to smile at their reflection in Granny's mirrored compact. 

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 
I Corinthians 13:12

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sing Unto the Lord

The Church of Christ on McDermott Road where we attend brought 95 youth, grades 3rd-12th to participated in Leadership Training for Christ.  With so many great events to chose from, many of the kids are able to participate in multiple events. 

The video above is our 7th -12th grade chorus.  Abigail is center screen, front row. Thy sounded wonderful, I apologize that it isn't the best recording. 

If you've ever wondered why in the new testament God never included instruments in worship to Him, I think listening to this you will understand why.  Every parent in the room can pick out the beautiful sound of their child's voice, just like God know each of our voices.  The joy I get as a mom hearing one of my kids sing can't compare to the joy God must feel when He hears His children praising Him with the talent He gave them. I think that's why all New Testament examples of worship are singing and not playing.  

Sing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  Colossians 3:16

Make Him Known

Each year at Leadership Training for Christ one of the other big events for our family has been Speech.  There are separate divisions for girls and guys.  The kids compete in their age bracket and with in their gender. If any of the young ladies are uncomfortable speaking with men in the audience the men are politely asked to wait outside. 

Each of the McDermott youth did a fantastic job!  Many of them have competed together for the last eight years.  It was great to see each of them in the audience encouraging each other. 

Mr. Cooner the gentleman in the top photo with the kids has been our speech coach for the last ten years and the kids adore him.  He works with Hope for Haiti's Children and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these kids head that direction to do mission work with him. 

This year's LTC theme was 'Make Him Known' from the book of Acts referring to the great commission and the spreading of the gospel. 

“I have made you a light for the Gentiles, 

that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 13:47

Friday, April 14, 2017

Over 40,000 Church of Christ Youth Participate in LTC

While most families are up to their ears in ham-baking, spring dress shopping and basket filling, parents and youth workers are headed for an event to celebrate their skills in spreading the news of a resurrected Savior. 

Easter weekend marks the conventions of two major training programs for Churches of Christ youth in third to 12th grades. The two are Leadership Training for Christ (LTC), which primarily operates in the West and Southwest, and Lads to Leaders and Leaderettes, which operates in the Southeastern United States.

The programs events range from art to Bible quiz to scripture memorization to drama to sermon delivery — 18 main categories for Lads and 26 for LTC. Some events are completed before the conventions; but most are done over the three day weekend.  

And they are big!  The Christian Chronicle tallied participants as follows:  

Convention Participants
Southeastern LTC in Mobile, Ala. 900
Southwest LTC in Phoenix  1,000
Great Plains LTC in Rogers, Ark.  2,500
Western LTC in San Jose, Calif.  300
Lads to Leaders in Orlando, Fla. 2,064
Lads to Leaders in Atlanta  2,783
Lads to Leaders in Indianapolis 1,384
Midwest LTC in Indianapolis 1,000
Heart of America LTC in Kansas City, Mo. 1,200
Eastern Region LTC in Charlotte, N.C. 389
Lads to Leaders in Nashville, Tenn.  9,987
Lads to Leaders in Memphis, Tenn. 1,892
Central Texas LTC in Houston 1,500
Lads to Leaders in Dallas 918
North Texas LTC in Dallas 12,000
LTC Northwest Region in Richland, Wash. 400

Friday night kicks off with the pre-Convention events.  Abigail completed the requirements for Teaching Challenge; Outreach Challenge; Leadership Challenge; Daily Devotional Challenge; and Service Challenge, earning a Gold in each of these events.  Tonight she competed as an individual and as a team member in Bible Bowl.  

Events will continue over the next two days.  The youth have spent months developing skills they can use to minister in the Lord's body and in the community.  I can't imagine a better time to apply those skills than the weekend when the world stop to recognize the risen Savior! 

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:9-11

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chargers Grab the Lead

The CHANT Chargers defeated Greenhill 14-11 today after taking the lead late in the game. The game was tied at four with Chargers batting in the top of the sixth when Sarah Durham doubled off of #9, driving in two runs.

Hailey went 4-for-4 at the plate, including a home run in the fourth.

We scored four runs in the eighth inning including a double by Hailey, and a single by Heather and Abigail. 

Abigail player second base for the entire game and you can see her just behind the pitcher in the two picture on the bottom row.  I filmed one of her at bats, my apologies for the audio sometimes I get excited and forget I'm filming!  The wind was crazy today and the balls kept getting a lot of hang time giving the opponent plenty of time to catch the ball! 

After the game the team went out for rolled ice cream to celebrate their hard fought victory! 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 3:3-4