Tuesday, January 31, 2012

my week in recipes

the new year always brings in goals and resolutions.  I think this a healthy tradition.  it gives me time to think about how everything in the past year has gone, what I liked, didn't like, want to change, and want to continue.  2011 was one heck of a year... the good, the bad, the ugly all happened.  we are now one month down in 2012 and I don't quite know how I feel about it except that I know I am going to try to make the best of it.

I have a goal to run a 10k this year, after not EVER running in my life I think that I can do this.  my goal for 2011 was to live a healthy, active lifestyle.  I enjoyed working toward this goal and still am every day.  part of continuing on in that goal is being aware of what I put in my body.  I have used the fabulous pinterest to help me in this journey.  here are some recipes I have found either through pinterest or another pin I saw on pinterest led me to the source... I am going to try to make more healthy food and let you know how it goes!

yes, the name says it all.  this is the best white chicken chili I've ever had.  it was truly a chili, not a southwestern chicken soup with beans.  I made a few alterations as I cooked it (broiled the chicken instead of poaching, less garlic, and beer instead of broth), because that's how I roll, but it was hands down my favorite ever.  I will for sure be making this again.  spicy, yet not over powering, thick and hearty.  yum!

yum.  for a girl that does not like pancakes, like at all, these were great.  I loved them.  they were tangy.  they tasted like sour cream and had a much less cake like texture than other pancakes.  I would love them with a hot berry compote, but my maple syrup did just fine.  the hubs didn't love these as much as I did.  he loves pancakes though.  he missed the fluffy cake like texture and said, "meh, they're okay".  so for me they were a hit, for him they were a miss.

in trying to eat more healthy this was one of my first recipes to try.  I have some go to salads, but needed something to change it up.  the flavor was layered-- the pears, bacon, craisins, and dressing mixed together extremely well.  I added some shredded chicken and ate it with a glass of wine to balance out the salad and make it into a meal.  this will make it into my go-to salad recipes.

a recipe that comes from the deen brothers as a lightened up version of their famous mother's famous recipe strikes my interest right away.  this soup does not disappoint.  I am a girl that loves soup, not any old soup, but a thick, hearty, warms the soul type of soup.  yes, this met my requirements.  this is the same soup I made a few weeks ago and posted here on the blog without knowing the source.  my mother-in-law knows her soups too.  I just went to the grocery store tonight and found the italian turkey sausage I haven't been able to find yet.  so I'll be making this one again, SOON.

the flavor was awesome.  the ingredients seemed easy enough.  but the time it took me to make this recipe was not so great.  mondays are long days for me.  I have a meeting every monday until 5 a half hour away from home.  so, if I were to make this multi step recipe (that dirtied a lot of dishes) I will do it on a weekend.  now, don't get me wrong, the hubs and I LOVED the flavor, and the calorie count was awesome, but the time was a lot.  

so, week one of new recipes and some healthier choices went great.  it's a work in progress and the initial planning takes a little more time, but I'm now finding some new things in the grocery store and loving the new adventure.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

**all photos from the original source named for recipe**

Friday, January 20, 2012


my week started with the arrival of an anticipated package on my doorstep.  a pair of "shoeties" or "booties" or something of that sort.  I was so excited!  I've been looking for the perfect pair this entire fall/winter.  I paired them with an olive sweater dress and purple tights.

however, as the day continued I found that my toes lost circulation on and off all day... I'm hoping it was the three inches of snow that was falling and the cold weather that caused it... I will try them one more time and then decide.  I do not want to have to send them back to start the search again.

have you had this problem?  what's a girl to do??

**UPDATE:  they did work out... it must have been just that one day.  I love these things!**

Friday, January 13, 2012

jimmy's chili

yesterday my joy was found in dinner that was ready before I came home.  crock pot chili to be exact.  I wish I was better at using my crock pot, but I'm not.... but every now and then I break it out and am always left wishing I did it more.

here is the recipe for chili from Martha Stewart.  Jimmy Fallon's chili actually.  I knew that if it was half as good as he is funny I would love it, and it was.  this is a great "basic" chili to keep in my recipe book.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds ground chuck beef, ground for chili
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 habanero chile, seeded and very finely chopped (*I chose a jalepeno*)
  • 1/4 cup chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juices
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Chopped tomatoes, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; drain in a colander, discarding fat, and set aside.
  2. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, and habanero; season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, combine beef, onion mixture, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and beer; cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally, for 5 hours.
  4. Add kidney beans and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with desired toppings.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

today's joy

my joy today is in something incredibly simple... waking up to a clean kitchen and having dinner in the fridge to be completed when the hubs comes home for lunch.... a relaxing evening is ahead...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


my current mantra is to simplify.  to find joy in grace.

doilies handmade by great-grandma helen... now a runner that I adore

I am trying to live by this in all areas of my life.  here we go!

creative projects, how to's, and recipes will remain... everything just a little more simple... a little less pressure... a little more joy