What I learned this past week:
1. My husband knows how to River Dance. Well. And he’s not afraid to do it at his Company Christmas Party.
2. I have no balls. When I tell a hairdresser to cut my hair just above my shoulders, and she cuts it just below my ears, I will emphatically proclaim I love it, because I don’t want to hurt her feelings, and then I will go home and slap myself around a bit.
3. My husband thinks my new short hair is cute. . . . . .because he thinks I am cute.
4. I love that guy in #3.
5. I will go to any length to make soup on a cold day. Or a ummm. . . .a cool day.
6. I’m addicted to dumplings. They must be small, about the size you’d get if a cranberry made love to baby carrot. I make double the amount than any normal person would make, and put them in my soup. Then I pick them out and eat them at five minute intervals until dinner time. By dinner, only a normal amount are left, and I’m full, but I only serve the children a few in their bowls because I don’t feel as if they appreciate them enough.
7. Every bowl of soup that touches my lips is adorned with sour cream and cilantro. It’s a problem.
8. I can’t stop making soup.
|Chunky Vegetable Beef Stew|
9. Vodka shots are a mother. 2 Vodka shots, 4 Rum shots, and 3 glasses of red wine are a grandmother. This is not a compliment. Patron shots on the other hand are a brother. And I’m not sure what that means.
10. I am no longer 21. Nobody cares if I’m moderately ill from the night before. They still want to eat.
11. My favorite part of Christmas is the 24 days before.
12. I’m one of those people who really does think life is better at Christmas time. Christmas parties, beautiful cookies, and lights. Lots of lights. It makes my heart sing.
|I like it when the star is whop-sided.|
|This is the same Manger Scene that sat in front of my childhood home.|
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I love this time of year because I’m such a corny little gusher. I believe in all things Christmas and try my hardest to make my life the image of the Lexus Christmas Commercial mixed with the Hallmark commercials with a touch of that Coca Cola commercial with the big fat Santa where he winks into the camera before or after slushing down his cool and refreshing drink. Love that guy.
I want lights twinkling all over the house.
I want clean kids in flannel pajamas tucked tight into their beds. . . . . . reading books to fall asleep.
I want homemade cookies in the oven.
And I want soup.
Lots of it.
So I can sit, relax, and remember that life is beautiful, if only I take the time to notice.
Best Slow Cooker White Chili
Working all day? Too tired to cook? Don’t want to sit around and baby a pot of boiling soup on the stove? I hear you. I feel you. No worries. You can still have soup. Just make it in your slow cooker and life again will be good.
inspired by 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson (check out the book, there is another 149 top dish recipes you might like to treat your self to.)
2 15 oz. cans white kidney beans
2 TB Canola oil, divided
1 pound ground chicken/turkey
2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB ground cumin
1 TB dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (plus more for topping)
1 – 4.5 oz. can of diced mild green chiles, drained
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
Additional Cheese for garnish
1. In a medium sized pot heat 1 TB of oil over medium high heat. Add ground meat and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer meat to the slow cooker.
2. Using the same pot, add the remaining 1 TB of oil and onions. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for one minute longer. Add tomatoes with juice and chicken broth and bring to boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by 1/3rd, about 5 minutes.
3. Add beans to slow cooker, and pour tomato mixture in as well. Stir to combine. Cover, and cook on low for 6 hours or High for 3 hours. At the end of the allotted time, using a potato masher, mash half of the beans in the pot to make the soup thicker.
4. Stir in cheese, mild green chiles and jalapeno pepper (if using). Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender. Spoon into bowls and top with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, and tortilla chips!