Tag Archives: chili

November Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean
There is no better way to kick off the weekend or to say farewell to the month of thanks, than with a Foodie Pen Pal Reveal. Like I have mentioned before, I love nothing more than receiving a box full of yummy goodies from a new friend. It’s the highlight of my month and with each box I get, the treats get better and better.
This is my third month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, and it is fun, fun, fun! If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post. It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)
For the month of November, I received my package from Rene of Adventures in Running. I have loved all of my pen pals before, but Rene was by far the most thoughtful. Not only did she shower me with seasonal goodies, but she included special snacks and coloring pages for Harper. She also sent a cool magnet and postcard from her home state of Maryland which hang on our fridge as a reminder of the friendship that was formed and the delicious treats that were had.

When I opened up my box this month, it was obvious that my pen pal had done some major homework. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for all things s’mores. And these Russell Stover Giant S’mores Bar may just be the mother of all s’mores snacks. They’re huge! It was the first thing I ripped open and began to devour. And it was nothing short of pure heaven. My new favorite treat :)

Another sweet I can’t get enough of are those Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels. I did my best to only eat one but before I knew it the entire package was gone. Oops…I guess you can say they are addictive :)

It goes without saying that I have been going a bit pumpkin crazy the past few months (Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Oatmeal, Pumpkin Bars). I just can’t help myself. And Rene was kind enough to indulge me even more. A can of Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin Puree, a box of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix and a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes (funny enough our great minds obviously think alike because the recipe she sent me was the same Pumpkin Pancakes recipe that I posted earlier this month without even knowing it!). And even though I normally have a hard and fast rule about pumpkin after Thanksgiving, I can’t resist baking up one last loaf of this delicious pumpkin bread (with chocolate chips of course…).

And speaking of Thanksgiving, how cute is that chocolate turkey? Almost too pretty to eat…almost. Harper and I munched on it as we sang the Turkey Song (#18) and finished opening up the rest of our goodies.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am loving this Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar. I can’t believe I have never tried one before. They are the perfect holiday snack. And full of calcium, folic acid, and antioxidants! Not bad for something that tastes so good :) I am also head over heels for that Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar. Great to keep in the car for those important in-between-meal munching.

Another way I like to fight hunger between meals is with nut butter. I am a big fan of Justin’s Nut Butter. I love all the variety of flavors they offer. Rene hooked me up with two delicious packets of Maple Almond and Honey Peanut. Both taste great smeared on apples, bananas, toast, bagels, crackers or simply eaten strait from the package :) I apparently have no table manners…

Trail mix is always a healthy option when it comes to snacking. It is high in protein, filled with nuts, granola and dried fruit and will give you the energy you need to sustain you on long journeys. And even tough I didn’t backpack to Texas, it was still the perfect snack to munch on while flying to and fro.

And while I enjoyed my trail mix, Harper was loving her Snackanimals. Rene said her son (who is just a bit older than Harper) couldn’t get enough of them. You know you have a good thing on your hands when it is both mother (healthy) and child (yummy) approved.

Thanks Rene for an awesome box! You really outdid yourself this time. I hope your pen pal was as generous to you as we were to me :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal? CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, December Foodie Pen Pal will be all about charity. Which means, there will be no sending or receiving of boxes. Instead, Lindsay is asking everyone to donate the money they would have spent on a Foodie Pen Pal box to the victims of Sandy. For more details, check out Lindsay’s post to see how you can make a difference.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

After a very long summer, temperatures have finally dropped down to the 60s. For those of you with “real seasons” this might seem like a joke, but for us Californians, 61 degrees is considered jacket weather. And I am proud to say, I actually put one on the other day (although before I knew it, the sun came out and it was warm again…but still, it was nice to “pretend” it was autumn for a bit).

As much as I would prefer the temperatures to stay at 75 degrees so I can run around in shorts and a t-shirt, there is something so sweet about the crisp autumn air. The green leaves have begun their transformation to yellow, orange and red, and the wind has picked up just enough to hear it rustling through the trees. It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall which means the weather is just right for a nice warm bowl of chili. And with Thanksgiving only 13 days away (yes, I am still counting), the addition of pumpkin makes this chili even more fun and festive.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid

1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin purée

1 cup water

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1 (15 ounces) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Whole Foods Market

I wish I could take credit for this delicious meal, but it was my lovely friend and neighbor who made it for us. One of the things I love most about where we live is doing impromptu family style meals with our neighbors. And since this recipe serves six it is the perfect dish to share with others.

For toppings, we went with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and some chopped fresh cilantro. But feel free to get creative! Sliced green onions are always a favorite or if you really want to get wild, add some crumbled bacon :) The sky is the limit. Oh, and don’t forget to pair it with your preferred corn bread recipe. We served ours with corn bread muffins dressed with butter and honey. A nice sweet compliment to the heat of the chili.

Your turn: What is your favorite meal to prepare when the weather gets chilly? Do you have any special toppings that you like to add to your chili? Looking forward to reading your responses :)


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

What I Ate Wednesday #13

Every four years, we as American citizens have a responsibility to exercise our right to vote for the president of the United States (in addition to other things…).  Today, Harper and I took a stroll down to the polls to make our voice heard (in our Chucks of course…)

I hope you were all able to take some time out of your day to collect a cool sticker and make a difference in our country’s history.  It’s fun to rock the vote!

And after all that hard work, there was lots of yummy food to be eaten.  So let’s take a look at the food that fueled my tummy on this special election day.



Side of Bacon

It’s been a while since I have enjoyed this delicious and ridiculously easy to make breakfast.  I love that with only a few ingredients and 25 minutes (all of which take place in the oven), you have a protein packed meal that can go sweet or savory.  I drizzle mine with pure maple syrup and serve it with a side of bacon (which I also cook in the oven).  It’s a a pretty great way to start the day :)

Snack #1:

1 Pear

Handful of Raw Almonds

I love nothing more than biting into a juicy pear.  And while I am not normally a fan of the skin, this skin wasn’t too bad.  After having Gestational Diabetes, I learned to pair my carbs with fat and protein, so I grabbed a handful of nuts to accompany my sweet mid morning delight.  A lovely autumn combo :)


Tropical Iced Tea

Fettuccine Bolognese

Gorgonzola Walnut Salad

In order to celebrate Harper’s first time voting, we decided to pick up food from our favorite local cafe.  Harper loves “sketti” and I love salad and iced tea. So needless to say it was the perfect ladies lunch.  I make a mean homemade bolognese myself, but when I don’t have time to sit over the stove and cook, this hits the spot.

Snack #2:

Chobani Strawberry Banana Greek Yogurt

After winning a box of Chobani yogurt from Savor Life’s Flavors Giveaway, I have a fridge full of Chobani goodness, and more than a few flavors to choose from.  Strawberry Banana is one of my favorites and it serves as a great snack to get me through until dinner time.


Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Cornbread Muffin

I wish I could take credit for this AMAZING meal, but I can’t.  My lovely friend and neighbor whipped up this seasonal dish for our family and boy was it special!  I will be getting the recipe and sharing it with you shortly.  But until then, you can drool over the pictures and imagine how gooooood it is :)

In fact, this dinner was sooooooo good, it has me wishing Thanksgiving was right around the corner.  Instead, I have to wait a little over 2 weeks to enjoy my favorite holiday of the year (it’s true, I have an official countdown).

Which reminds me…what will you be cooking up for Thanksgiving?  Looking forward to reading your responses.

Happy WIAW!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 12

Today was great.  I woke up to some snuggles from my little girl, hung out with a bunch of adorable babies at music class, enjoyed an afternoon nap, played in the sand at the park and went for an evening stroll in the neighborhood.   Doesn’t get much better than that.  And peppered throughout my day were some pretty darn good eats.  Check out what was making me drool today…


1/2 cup Muesli, 1 cup milk, 1 cup mixed and sliced strawberries and blueberries

Snack #1:

Sweet Mango Smoothie


Crispy Panko Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Peppers

Snack #2:

1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper, diced, sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil with 1 cup cooked brown rice and 1 tbsp chopped pecans


Bean Chili:  1 can Cuban Style Black Beans (from Trader Joe’s), 2 oz ground turkey (cooked), 1/2 tsp chile powder.  Topped with 3 cherry tomatoes, chopped, 2 tbsp chopped green onions and 1 oz avocado, chopped.

Highlights:  Breakfast was a delight.  There isn’t a better way to start your day then with a bowl full of berries.  And this version of Muesli redeemed my first attempt the other day.  Super delish!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today!  Everything was pleasing to the tummy :)

And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, it’s time to beat the hubby in some board games…

Hope your holiday weekend is filled with love, laughter and fun!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Chicken Chili

For someone who doesn’t care much for tomatoes, I sure do cook with them a lot!  But I guess I came to realize that they are a staple in many recipes, especially chili.

I got this idea for Chicken Chili from my mom.  When she saw my What’s in the Box post the other day, she jumped at the opportunity to offer me a yummy way to use those beautiful yellow bell peppers.

I can’t say I have made a lot of chili in my day.  Actually, thinking back I have never really eaten a lot of chill in my day either.  But for some reason, this recipe was calling out for me to cook it.  Plus, Freddie loves chili, so I figured I was in a win-win situation.

This chili is different from traditional chili in that there are no beans or ground meat.  Instead, its full of fresh herbs, veggies and baked chicken.  These ingredients keep the chili lighter so it doesn’t weigh you down.  You can serve the chili a la carte or over rice.  I served mine with a green salad made with red butter lettuce, carrots, celery and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

What makes this recipe great is that it is super easy to make.  It does require some time while the chili simmers but there is little prep and not a lot of time spent over the stove.  For those of you who work, this would be a great recipe to whip up over the weekend.  It makes more than enough for leftovers for lunches during the week and also freezes well for later.  For stay at home moms, you could prep the veggies and chicken while your little one takes a nap and then just stay close to the stove to babysit the chili while it simmers.  That way you are not stuck in the kitchen for hours.

I am a huge wimp when it comes to heat so I was very conservative with the seasonings, but you can always add more if you like it hot!  There is also room for you to get creative with different ingredients such as chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes or beans.


8 cups chopped yellow onions (4-6)

1/4 cup good quality olive oil (plus more for chicken)

1/4 cup minced garlic (8-10 cloves)

4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and large diced

4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and large diced

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried pepper flakes, or to taste

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

4 tsp kosher salt (plus more for chicken)

4 28 oz cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained

1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves

8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on

freshly ground pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  Cook onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne and salt.  Cook for 1 minute.

3.  Crush tomatoes by hand or in batches in the food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulses 6-8 times).  Add to the pot with the basil.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  roast the chicken for 35-40 minutes until just cooked.  Let cool slightly.  Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut unto 3/4 inch chunks.  Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered for another 20 minutes.

5.  Serve with chopped fresh onion, grated cheddar cheese, dollop of sour cream and some tortillas chips.

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Parties!   Makes 12 servings, but is easy to half.

It is the perfect time of year for a delicious meal like this.  It definitely hit the spot!  I am looking forward to the leftovers in the days to come :)


Tagged , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: