Crockin’ n’ Rockin’

Wow, it seems like so much has happened since last week.  First Julius had to go to the doctor’s to check into some issues he’s been having.  Poor little guy.  He was SO GOOD at the doctor’s office and didn’t cry or fuss once, and we spent TWO HOURS there (practically torturing him for much of that time).

Then on Saturday we spent the night out on the town while my parents watched Julius.  My grandparents also came over (we know who everyone really wants to see), and Julius could not get enough of his great grandpa.  Apparently he laughed at everything he said.  Will and I of course had a marvelous time and saw Waitress – part of our Broadway in Boston subscription.

On top of that I’ve been burning the midnight oil doing some projects.  (Maybe that is why the week felt extra long…)  As you may or may not know, I’ve owned an embroidery machine for a few years now with the intention of making my own embroidery patterns.  It didn’t really go anywhere but recently I have been toying around with applique.  Keep your eyes out for a post on that soon (I hope)!

Oh, right, probably the real reason this week felt so full was because I finished Crytonomicon by Neal Stephenson.  Will read this book a few years ago, and I kid you not, the book took him at least 6 months to read.  I made fun of him gratuitously during that time period, saying that no book should take that long, and that it must be really really awful.  Well after reading and loving Snow Crash (one of Will’s favorites) I decided to take the plunge into Stephenson’s magnum opus Crytonomicon.  But based on how long Snow Crash took me, and how ridiculously slow a reader I believed Will to be because of the six month thing, I thought I could finish it in a couple weeks.  I took the book out from the digital library collection so I could read it on my kindle and as proof of how confident I was that I’d finish it quickly, I spent a few days finishing a Miss Marple mystery before I even downloaded Crytonomicon.  Let me tell you, that book is DENSE.  Definitely a tome, but thoroughly entertaining and the technical scenes hold up surprisingly well, given it was written 10 years ago.  I really enjoyed it, but 18 days was almost not enough time… and days before my loan was about to end, I had to practically speed read to finish the thing.  So naturally it feels like I’ve lived 50 years in the last week via that book alone.

Well all this running around during the day and entertaining Julius makes it really difficult to get in a square meal at lunch.  Frequently I’ve been eating a meal of peanut butter crackers (not homemade) and an apple.  I find that is incredibly unsatisfying and instead turns into a meal of 4 packages of peanut butter crackers, 2 granola bars and an apple.  Not the greatest way to eat healthy.  Instead, I’ve been playing around with crock pot meals in my tiny crock pot.  I’ve come up with a few meals that simply involve measuring and dumping into the crock pot.  No chopping required.  This means I can assemble them in the morning during his nap (no matter how short) and then forget about them until lunch time.  This first recipe was a combination between a chili and a tortilla soup recipe my mother in law makes – it is quite yummy and filling for a winter afternoon!

Chicken Black Bean Chili

Chicken Black Bean Chili


  • ½ 15.5 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ 14.5 oz can of tomatoes with green chilies (not drained)
  • ½ 12.5 oz can of chicken (drained)
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving

Combine everything in a little dipper crockpot and cook for at least 3 hours.  Top with cheddar cheese and sour cream if desired. 




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