Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Heart is Stuffed

Yesterday I celebrated my 26th birthday.  The past few days have left me feeling so loved, so blessed and so FULL.  It’s an interesting conundrum to be 26, married for 6 years, and a mom of three kids 5 and under.  Some days when I get in a funk, I feel like I don’t fit anywhere.  I feel too young to be “old” and to old to be “young,” so to speak. 

More often than not though, I am blissfully aware of how the unique path that God set out for me resulted in so much more than I could have crafted if I was to design my own life.  I get to dabble in a little bit of everything.  I get to have meaningful relationships with women who are 25 and with women who are 45.  Time has taught me age is much less about your chronological number and much more about the life stage you are at.  Case and point:  The lifeguard who saw me schlepping my three kids, cooler, towels and sunblock into the pool guessed I was turning 32.  The waiter who served my husband and I and some friends a few hours later while we were kid-free, care-free, and dressed like actual 20 year olds guessed I was 23.  Or maybe he wanted a bigger tip.  Anyway, I’ll take the average!

I digress - what made the past few days so incredibly special is how many of my dearest friends took the time out of their VERY busy lives to spend time with me.  As we get older, the gift of time becomes more and more valuable.  Its the only thing that as adults, we seem to have less of.  I’m so grateful for all of you and our special relationships, my heart is truly STUFFED!

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Cous Cous

*My beautiful Aunt made these at the beach for 35 people!  Her’s were much better but I tried to replicate as well as I could guess!  I loved how easy they were, thanks Aunt Patty!!**

1 pound of lean ground turkey or beef
4 peppers (I’m loving getting these at the farmers market, they are a STEAL compared to the grocery store.  79 cents a pepper!!)
1 jar of Corn and Black Bean Salsa (here’s where I screwed up, I needed twice this amount pictured)
1 cup of cous cous
shredded cheese for the top

First off slice the tops off the peppers.  Don’t throw those away!  I chopped the top part, sans stem, and saved for dinner for tonight.

Stab holes on the bottom to release steam.  You can boil them here first if you don’t want your peppers to be crunchy but I like mine with a little fresh crunch.  And let’s be real, it’s easier.

Bring a cup of water to a boil in a saucepan.  When its boiling, add cous cous

Remove from heat and let it fluff up

While the water was heating up I browned the ground turkey in a skillet

When it was about cooked through I added the jar of Corn and Black bean salsa.  Since this wasn’t enough liquid and ground turkey is very dry I SHOULD have added a can of Rotel or diced tomatoes or more salsa.  I would suggest that you have about 4 cups of salsa.  I know my Aunt swears by Walmart’s Black Bean Salsa, and says it is the best for this recipe!

I added more corn because I could get the kids to eat it

Add in the cooked cous cous

Toss it around!  How pretty

Stuff those peppers to the brim

Arrange in a baking dish, if I had more salsa I’d probably pour more on top of each one!

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  At the 20 minute mark, take it out and add cheese to the top.

I added a little hot sauce to the finished product because as I’ve mentioned before, I just can’t leave well enough alone.  These were even better the next day!


The Samson Family said...

Looks delicious in person as well as in the blog! Happy birthday!!! :)

party of five said...

can't wait to try this - looks so yummy!

Rebecca Samson said...

I'm trying this tonight :)