March: Easy Chilli

Cooking is good for the mind, heart and soul.  Especially when shared with others.

My main mission for 2015 is a simple one:  Getting and Staying Happy.  In order to achieve this lofty goal I applied a START-STOP-CONTINUE approach.  And so I’ve decided to START cooking more – using recipes I’ve never tried before and sharing my culinary mis/adventures on the blog once a month.

I’ve even created a sub-menu on my homepage under REVIEWS on the homepage for you – my readers –  to find them easily…and hopefully try a few yourself. 🙂

March’s recipe:  Easy Chilli

I’m all about one-pot cooking, if I can help it.  What’s great about chilli is that you can make a batch and freeze it in the proper portions for those nights when you get home late aren’t in the mood to cook.  Plus, a big pot of chilli is perfect for sharing with a bunch of friends on a cold March night in with games and Netflix! Just sayin’…

Ingredients (approx. 4-6 bowls worth):

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1⁄2 large chopped onion
  • 2 peppers (red & green for colour)
  • 1+ gloves of garlic, chopped (or garlic powder works too, as much as desired)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon  chili powder (more if you like it spicy)
  • 3 tablespoons of Tex-Mex seasoning
  • 1⁄4teaspoon  salt
  • 1⁄4teaspoon  pepper
  • 1 can of mixed beans, rinsed and drained or 1 can black beans, if preferred to keep it fiber-full
IMG_6637
The Ingredients
IMG_6638
STEP 1: Cook beef, onion and garlic in 3 qt saucepan until beef is brown.
IMG_6639
STEP 2: Add diced tomatoes + water (the empty can’s worth). Let simmer on medium heat.
IMG_6640
STEP 3: Open & rinse can of beans.
IMG_6641
STEP 4: Chop up peppers into large chunks.  Add to pot.
IMG_6642
STEP 5: Add all your seasonings and stir well into the pot.
IMG_6643
STEP 6: Add beans to the pot.  Stir and allow to simmer on low-medium heat for 45-mins.
IMG_6644
STEP 7:     Eat!!!    Delicious with multigrain toast or crush a handful of tortilla chips over top. Feel free to add cheese too, if you like. Mmmmmmm!

What do you think of this recipe?  Do you think you’d give it a try yourself?  How would you improve or change it for the better?  Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below.

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Comment. Share.

PPMEOW logo1

Asian Adventure: 30+ hours of Travel

Hey Hey Hey!  I’m back from nearly three weeks travelling South East Asia.  It was a fantastic trip filled with good food, lots of dancing, new friends and shopping galore!

Y’all know I was anxious about doing such a BIG trip travel solo … PLUS, I was determined to fly without checking any luggage what-so-ever there.

IMG_6721Well, on the eve of my departure it turns out that my travel backpack ended up being larger than the allowable carry-on dimensions as per airport regulations.

Knowing that it isn’t easy finding larger clothes in the cities I’d be visiting … with all my many connections, the possibility of losing my luggage filled with PLUS SIZE clothing was terrifying.

And so last min, I transferred all my items into my trusty roller-bag and mini-backpack instead!

I was determined to get myself to the airport WITHOUT my winter coat.

So I dressed in the following layers for the 30+ hour journey to get to my first destination of my Adventure – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

IMG_6722
Pearson Travel Outfit: Black zip from Reitmans; Fox scarf from Suzy Sheer; Printed pants from Forever21+; Batman Tee from Ardene; Black sneaks from Payless

The long flights there (with layovers of waiting in-between) weren’t so terrible.  It was all pretty low stress until I arrived in Frankfurt Airport – my longest layover and last leg of my journey there.  So I decided to treat myself to German schnitzel and beer, and was approached by two Indian pilots (one more handsome than the other) who asked if they could join me. Seems mama still gots it even after 20+ hours of travel grime – must be those sexy compression socks, makes pilots crazy friendly 😉

Did you know that there’s now a new 15-hour flight direct from Toronto to New Delhi, India?  True story.

IMG_6733
Moi … 20+ hours of straight travel and those sexy compression socks Pilots can’t get enough of 😉

After I drank my beer and said farewell to my new pilot friends, I made my way to get my boarding pass and was given misdirections by TWO different Lufthansa desk clerks one telling me my gate was Z-something …. only to get there and be sent back where I began. Grrrrr   And then was issued a Stand By ticket …dun dun dun.

Luckily the third desk clerk I spoke to managed to secure me a proper seat with my ORIGINAL booking.  **phew**

IMG_6731
After 20-hours of continuous travel…the last thing you want to see on your airline ticket is the dreaded words: STANDBY~ akkk!

FLYING HOME

The journey home was pretty smooth……just ridiculously long.  (That’s what you get when you fly across the globe on points friends.)

I woke up at 4:45am to take a 10min cab ride to the KL Airport Express Train (35min ride) to catch my morning connection from KL to Bangkok.  Once I arrived there, I had a little over an hour to make my way through Bangkok customs and find my gate for my next connection to Beijing.

Cutting it super tight, right?  I finally arrived at my departure gate to see that FINAL CALL all-red flashing sign — maybe the most terrifying feeling when you know you have yet another connect to make.  This was the first time I flew Thai Airways and I have to say their airplane food was delicious!

The last leg of my journey in Beijing (who’s airport was completely nuts – zero signs written in English  + No one lines up for anything!  Just a mass of people mashing their bodies and luggage into each other until they get to a clerk at a desk – nuts!!!!)  An elderly gentleman – a professor in Hong Kong on his way to his father’s funeral in Hamilton, Ontario, struck up a conversation with me.  Seems I look most approachable and friendly in the last hours of lengthy travel days. Sigh…

Confucius says: “Man going through airport turnstile sideways is going to Bangkok.”🎊

Kuala Lampur. Bangkok. Beijing. Toronto. 4 countries, 30+ hours of time-travelling travel.  It was the LONGEST Friday ever!!!

Ditching the giant travel backpack for a roller-bag was definitely the right decision!  With all the swing dancing nights and visits to multiple airports to get to the various destinations we had planned, having a roller-bag totally saved my back!

Funny story… just as I arrived to the doorstep of my gf’s place in KL, I was praising how great my lil’ roller-bag has been these past 3-years it’s been with me…and just as those words utter on my lips – the handle broke!  Leaving me to have to pull this mofo bag by the straps for the remainder of the trip. LOL!

Not to fear, I bought myself a lovely new roller-carryon for my return home (and checked my broken bag on my flight home…since I ended up buying a ton of things from all three cities – Kuala Lampur – Boracay – Hoi An).

FullSizeRender
Isn’t she a beauty? Looking forward to taking her on many more adventures in the near future 😉

I’m still working on my recap blogposts for each city I visited.  So stay tuned for those in the upcoming weeks friends.

In the meantime, feel free to follow my INSTAGRAM and catchup with a few snaps I took while I was on my Asian Adventure… as they happened.  xo

Asian Adventure includes:

Boracay, Philippines – White Sand Beach – click here for blogpost

Hội An, Vietnam – VLX

Hội An, Vietnam – The Ancient City

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Food, Fun and Fashion

KL Boracay HoiAn

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Comment. Share.   🙂

PPMEOW logo1

First-Lady Fashion: Michelle Obama’s Influence on Clothing

Throughout history the first-lady has influenced fashion trends, however, none have had as much of an impact as Michelle Obama. Her clothing choices can result in stock prices for the clothing companies to rise as much as 2–3% for up to 3 weeks after she wears an outfit. Her fashion appeals to the people as she mixes more affordable brands like Gap and Target with high end pieces.

I personally really enjoy Michelle’s style choices.  Try incorporating some of the first lady’s fashion into your own wardrobe. From exposed zippers to statement necklaces—Michelle Obama has championed many of today’s popular fashion trends making her a style icon.

What are your thoughts on the First-Lady’s style?  Are you able to use any of the above tips and tricks in your own personal style?  Let me know in the Comments section 🙂

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Comment. Share.

PPMEOW logo1