Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili

Another not super healthy recipe, but Karl and I love this one, especially when it's cold out. It packs lots of flavor.

Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili
serves 4
recipe found in Better Homes and Garden
I love this recipe!
3 cups tortilla chips
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut in bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons cooking oil
2 19 ounce cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers (1-1/2 cups)
1 4 1/2 ounce can diced green chilies
1 14 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
Sometimes I add a can of cream of corn for kicks
Fresh cilantro (optional)


1. Preheat broiler. Coarsely crush 2 cups of the chips.

2. In 4- to 5- quart Dutch oven brown chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat. Add beans, 1 cup of the cheese, the chilies, broth, 1/2 cup water; and crushed chips. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, for tortilla crisps, place remaining 1 cup chips on baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Serve chili with tortilla crisps. Sprinkle cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Karl's reaction: "Oh yes!!! I love this recipe. I love the cream of corn, babe. You can make this again anytime."

My take: I really do like this recipe. It's easy and filling.

Ham Dinner to Split Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

Karl and I had a tasty ham dinner and then I took the bone and extra meat and made split pea soup in the slow cooker! Delicious.

From this....
Healthy ham dinner
Slow Cooker Split Pea Sausage (I used ham...) Soup
Serves 6-8
recipe found on All Recipes

1 pound dried split peas
10 cups water
1 pound smoked sausage of your choice, sliced (i used ham and ham bone)
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped

To this....

Delicious Split Pea Soup with Ham bone
1.In a 5 quart slow cooker, combine the peas, water, sausage, bouillon, carrot, celery, potatoes, garlic powder, oregano, bay leaves, and onion.

2.Cover, and cook on High for 4 to 5 hours. Remove bay leaves before ladling into bowls.

Karl's reaction: "Not totally a fan of split pea soup, but this is actually good babe. Mmmmm."
My take: I loved this recipe. Will make again. So easy to make!!!

Seared Pork Tortas

A nice little sandwich, except don't do what I did and burn the baguette. I had to improvise with buns!

Seared Pork Tortas
4 servings
recipe found on My Recipes

Don't burn the bread....
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 (2-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops (1/4 inch thick)
1 (12-ounce) baguette, cut in half horizontally
1/2 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1 large tomato, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine cumin and salt; sprinkle evenly over pork. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into thin slices.

3. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 3/4-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Place bread halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Place beans and salsa in a small bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth. Spoon bean mixture into the bottom half of baguette. Top with pork, cheese, onion, tomato, jalapeño, avocado, and top half of baguette. Cut into 4 pieces.

Karl's reaction: "Not bad babe. Lots of flavor. Hey...what did you do to the bread??"

My take: Very good. Mad about the stupid bread, but love the spice to this sandwich, and the avocado.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

A bit of a pain to make, but Karl and I love this recipe. It's really fresh tasting and makes our house smell really good when all the veggies are roasting in the oven.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
serves 6
recipe found online (Better Homes and Garden)

Love this stuff. Who would've thought eggplant could taste so good?
1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
(I also add chicken for more protein. A rotisserie works great!)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

2. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

3. Add roasted vegetables to the orzo, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from roasting pan into the pasta bowl. I add chicken at this time too.

4. For the dressing, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on orzo and vegetables. Cool to room temperature. Add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings; serve at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Karl's reaction: "Ohhh babe, I love this recipe. I always forget how good this tastes. Yummy goodness in my tum."

My take: I really do love this. It's a pain in the butt to make, but the outcome is worth it.

Chicken Enchiladas

Okay...okay....not the healthiest but these are so GOOD and serve a ton of people! My church usually makes these during Lent.

Chicken Enchiladas
serves 12
recipe from Barb Halverson and Jim Wright (Transfiguration Lutheran Church members)

Best chicken enchiladas on the planet
1 (20 oz.) package of chicken breasts (I use a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (19-oz.) can of enchilada sauce
1 (8-oz) carton sour cream
1 small can chopped green chillies
8 oz shredded taco cheese
1 package of 10-inch flour tortillas
Pace Picante sauce


1. Cook chicken or pull meat and chop into bite size. Saute onion. Add into a large mixing bowl with soup, enchilada sauce, sour cream and chillies. Set aside 1/4 of this sauce mixture.

2. Spray baking dish with Pam for easier cleanup. Lay out flour tortillas. Add some cheese, a strip of sauce mixture, then chicken. Roll the tortilla and place in 13 x 9 baking dish, seam side down. Keep repeating until dish is full.

3. Cover tortillas with remaining sauce mixture. Cover with remaining cheese.

4. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with Picante sauce.

5. If made in advance, keep in refrigerator. Cook 40 to 50 minutes.

Karl's reaction: "Yesss, you made these!! Love these!"

My take: I get these crazy cravings for this recipe. What can I say? It's tasty.

Roasted Salmon Recipe - Mediterranean

Mediterranean Salmon
serves 2
recipe found in Snacking in the Kitchen blog

Awesome salmon recipe
Olive oil
2 4-6 ounce salmon fillets (skin removed and wild over farm raised)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
10 green olives, roughly chopped
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
fresh dill
1 lemon, sliced
2-4 tablespoons of wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut out 2 large pieces of parchment paper (about 14 by 14"). Lightly coat one half of the parchment with olive oil. Place one salmon fillet on half of the parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. Top the salmon with half of tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, shallot and garlic.

2. Drizzle the salmon and vegetables with a little bit of olive oil. Cover with sprigs of dill and lemon slices. Drizzle the fish with wine.

3. Now make a pouch out of parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper in half, covering the salmon. Start folding from one end, going all the way to the other end. Be sure the fish is completely enclosed and secure. If needed, use staples to hold the parchment shut.

4. Place the parchment pockets on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Be careful when serving - opening the parchment pockets will release a lot of steam - don't get burned.

Karl's reaction: "This is really good! Are these green olives in here? This is different. I like this recipe."

My take: Will be making this one again for sure. The parchment paper is a bit of a pain but this is so easy to cook and put together! You can't help but feel healthy after eating this. Loved the dill.