Last week we had a couple cool nights so I was inspired to come up with my Easy Chorizo Sausage and Bean Soup that features Chipotle Peppers. Here is how to cook an easy family or dinner party meal.
1 C Roasted Corn (frozen)
2 15 oz cans Pinto Beans
1 15 oz can Black Beans
1 14.5oz can Beef Broth
2 Chipotle Pepper pods from can, packed adobo sauce (maybe less or more depending on you)
1 Cup Onion – diced
12 0z Beef or Pork Chorizo Sausage
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh Thyme minced (and extra for garnish)
1/2 C water
1/4 C Sherry
Blend until all ingredients are blended together into smooth substance.
Place blended ingredients in large pot, add the 1/2 can of remaining pinto beans and the can of rinsed black beans. Add 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup of Sherry. Heat pot to low boil and reduce to simmer, add 1 tsp thyme.
Remove sausage skin from Chorizo and brown sausage in fry pan. There will be a large amount of fat and grease released; most of which I spoon away to lighten the meal. Add the browned (and drained) sausage to the simmering bean mixture, and continue cooking at strong simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water if the soup gets too thick.
And that’s it, you just made my easy recipe for Chorizo Sausage and Bean Soup! Add a nice fresh salad and soft tortilla shells for dipping and you are ready for a delicious home cooked meal.
I don’t remember the specific year I started skiing, but I was in my early 20’s. It all started in the mid 1970’s when two entrepreneurs decided to open a ski resort in….wait for it …..Minot, North Dakota. What could go wrong, no mountains, no population base to speak of, and bone cracking cold weather during the entirety of the ski season.
Undaunted by the limitations of the area, the entrepreneurs opened Trestle Valley Ski Resort which was near a train trestle spanning the valley between two large hills. Trestle Valley Ski Resort offered a warming hut, 1 chair lift and a T-Bar. The vertical drop was 100 feet. And you know what, it was fun.
I bought my first set of skis and in no time at all I was charging the 100 foot vert! Sadly for the investors, the novelty of the ski resort could not conquer the areas limitations, and as a result the venture failed.
But now I had the ski bug. And I had to find some skiing close by. I discovered that a nice summer lake area 90 miles to our north in the Turtle Mountains had a ski resort known as the Bottineau Winter Park. BWP was a step up for sure, what with its 250 feet of vertical, 9 trails, and back then maybe two or three chair lifts. But man was it cold.
In law school my roommate Larry had, in his prior life, been a bartender in Vail. So he knew a thing or two about skiing, and he for sure knew that the Turtle Mountains were not real mountains. Truthfully, while the road to BWP does go uphill, you never actually see a mountain.
So, we needed to find a mountain on a budget. The solution was easy, drive to Bozeman, Montana and ski Big Sky Resort. Off we went over a winter break. Following the initial excitement of a roadtrip we settled into the boredom of driving 500 miles over terrain that never changed from pool table flat.
Finally, as we neared Livingston, MT we finally saw, off in the distance, what we were searching for, mountains … the pointy kind.
We checked into an inexpensive motel, and made our first discovery, Bozeman was a college/ski town with a great night life. But I digress. The next morning we drove the 30 miles or so up to Big Sky Resort and then I discovered what a ski mountain looks like. The top of Big Sky is Lone Peak and it is 11,166 feet high. The vertical drop at Big Sky is 4,350 feet. So roughly calculating, I found myself about to ski a vertical drop of 4,250 feet more than Trestle. We had definitely found a mountain, and at least in my case it was time to let the carnage begin. By the end of the day, there was only a little blood spilled, and I had survived my first day on a real ski mountain.
While out in the bars that night we made our third discovery, there was another, lesser known, ski resort in the area which was owned by the locals (sorta like the Packers I guess). And, the locals were kind enough to direct us to it. Day 3 we left Bozeman and drove 16 or so miles in the opposite direction of Big Sky and found Bridger Bowl Ski Resort. The locals were right. Bridger Bowl is a gem. The top of the mountain is 8,800 feet. The highest lift at that time did not go quite to the top of the mountain. But, if you wanted to wear a locating device you could tow rope or hike to the top and ski where very few ventured. I did not think it wise to venture to the top, thanks just the same.
The Bridger Bowl ski area includes 20% Advanced and 30% Extreme runs. So basically, 50% of the runs were way over my head at that time. Perfect; game on. Bridger was a blast, and for the remainder of our trip it was our mountain of choice.
By the end of our ski adventure in Montana, I knew two things, I could ski a real mountain (ok, ok, poorly), and I loved skiing.
So, now days I ski out of Mammoth, cuz it is huge er mammoth and it is only a 5 hour drive or so from the beach. Sweet. I guess you can tell, Labor Day is over and the Table Conversation at our house has drifted from surfing to skiing!
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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