Monday, November 5, 2012

turkey black bean chili

One of our favorite meals on cold evenings is a bowl of hot chili. It is a warm and comforting crowd pleaser and so easy to prepare! This recipe can be made in a snap on the stove top or simmered for a few hours in your slow cooker. Either way, this recipe is sure to please.

{turkey black bean chili}
  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes {if desired}
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans of black beans {drain and rinse 2, add the 3rd as is}
  • 14 oz. can organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes {I use the one with jalapeno added.}

Simply heat the olive oil over medium heat in a stock pot or dutch oven then sauté the onion for about 3-5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned and crumbled. This takes about 5 minutes depending on how large your pot is. Stir in the seasonings and cook for 1 minute more.
Stir in beans, broth and tomatoes then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Top this delicious and healthy chili with sour cream and cheddar cheese if desired and serve along with some corn chips corn bread.
It is so yummy even my children ask for seconds!
If you have a bit longer or simply need to put in the kitchen time earlier in the day, you can easily adapt this recipe for your slow cooker. Prepare as above through browning the turkey then transfer the meat and onion to your slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Set on low and your dinner will be waiting for you whenever you need it! How easy is that?

I hope you will enjoy adding this delicious and very good for you chili to your meal plan. It is sure to be a winner!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


A simple word to sum up a local project I participated in during the month of October. So, what does Onetober mean? 

Simply put, one dress, one month, one cause.
photo (54)photo (53)-
A publication that I actually have the privilege to write a column for created this event where women would wear the same dress for the entire month of October in order to raise awareness for a local crisis pregnancy center. When I heard about it I was all in! How fun to wear a dress and come up with different ways to accessorize it to keep it interesting. I am a little “accessory” challenged so I thought this would be a great way to force me out of my comfortable little box. I am also deeply passionate about this pregnancy center and the ministry it is in our community so helping to raise awareness was a great cause to get behind.
What I didn’t expect was what I would learn about myself during these last 31 days.
This month has raised an awareness in me.  I have noticed things in myself and my outlooks. I have actually learned from this dress, these last 31 days.
I’ve learned…
  • that I really liked wearing a dress each day. I always have enjoyed wearing skirts and dresses.  Honestly, I usually find casual dresses more comfortable, especially in warmer weather. Now, I am a jeans kinda girl and they are my default clothing option. But I have actually enjoyed putting on my dress each day and it has caused me to think more about my appearance for my family. I usually get up and brush my hair before pulling on jeans and a top for the day. As a SAHM I don’t usually need to leave the house so really “fixing” myself isn’t something I do everyday. As I put on my dress, I thought about making my appearance more “tidy” for my husband and children. And because I spent a few more moments on making myself presentable, I discovered something. I was in a better mood! I really was! I felt more put together and more ready for the day. I felt more feminine. The dress caused me to focus on actually dressing for my day and as a result I felt better. More pulled together. More productive.
  • that my hubby likes the way I look in a dress. He commented several times throughout the month on how nice I looked. And I thought for sure that he would be tired of seeing his wife in the same old dress for an entire month! He actually brought me roses twice in the month of October. Hmm, maybe there is a connection? Who knows but receiving roses is always a good thing! 
  • that I don’t really need a lot in my closet to have options. I was amazed that I was able to create different looks for this dress just by changing out accessories and using a few different cardigans and tops. I really am going to think differently about what I purchase for myself in the future. I will think more about what options a piece of clothing will give me and how I can use it to create different looks with items I already have. This is new territory for me. I am style challenged so this is going to be a growth exercise for sure!
  • that I like aprons! I don’t usually don an apron except for after church on Sunday while getting lunch on the table or occasionally during holidays or if I’m having a big cooking or baking day. But because I was trying to preserve my dress and not get it dirty, I found myself wearing an apron a lot. So much so that I now really enjoy wearing one. I have a pretty nice Williams Sonoma khaki apron which serves the purpose but isn’t very cute. I am looking forward to sewing a cute one for myself sometime soon and have been searching for cute and feminine apron tutorials. I love this one!
  • most importantly, that it would draw my heart into prayer. Each day as I put on the dress I purposed to pray for the pregnancy center. I prayed for the director and the workers and volunteers as well as the many women in our community who find themselves in need of this wonderful ministry. My heart is even more tender to this ministry at the end of these 31 days than it was before. I am so thankful that there is a place of hope for women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. I am so thankful that this center shares the gospel and that women choose life for their babies because of the work done there.  Let us stand up for the unborn and support these places that minister to and provide hope for women. When my parents were teenagers, they found themselves unmarried and pregnant with me. I am so thankful that they found support through their families and chose life for me.

At the beginning of October, I started wearing a dress because it would help to raise awareness for a great ministry. At the end of the month I am happy that goal was accomplished and I am looking back on these 31 days with a different perspective and a few insights into myself. Though I won’t reach for that particular dress to wear for a while, I am thankful for the experience it gave me.