With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season behind us, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the last 12 months and think about how the new year will unfold.
I’ll be turning 29 next month, a fact that has my brain churning in that what have I accomplished, where am I going? kind of way. It’s a turning point, I suppose, but one I’m not sure I’m ready for. Although I have a career, am married and own a home, I still don’t feel like an adult. Not sure why, but I expect other Gen Yers feel the same. I’ve just always been immature for my age, so I feel more like 22 than 29.
I read an article recently that said those who reach ages ending in 9 (29, 39, 49 and so forth) tend to make big life changes that year. The thinking is that when a milestone birthday is on the horizon, people begin to take stock and do things they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Think skydiving, travelling the world, going back to school.
I’m not sure what my 29th year will hold, but I have a few ideas in mind of how I’d like it to go. First, I’d like to continue building this blog and improving my photography and web design skills. Blogging isn’t easy, but I love it and enjoy planning my weekends around food photo shoots, writing, graphic design and maintaining my website.
Next, I’m hoping to advance my education this year in the areas of business and marketing. I won’t reveal exactly how at this point, but let’s just say it’ll make for one busy year ahead.
Finally, I’d like to seek more balance this year in my day-to-day life. I’m naturally most comfortable at home, so making an effort to get out of the house and see my friends and family more is a must this year.
I suppose those aren’t really big life changes, but they’re a start. After all, I have 12 whole months to figure out how I’ll spend my 29th year.
Well now that I’ve got that out of my system, I bring you a new bean and vegetable chili recipe! It’s vegetarian, but if you like meat you can add some extra-lean ground beef, chicken or turkey to the mix.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into thin coins
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 19-oz cans beans (such as kidney, pinto, black, navy) or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In an extra-large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and peppers and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and tomato paste and cook until the spices are aromatic and the tomato paste has darkened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and beans and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring to a boil, stirring to prevent the bottom from burning. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili has reduced slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.