Monday, February 28, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Tonight, when my husband asked what was for dinner, I answered "White chicken chili." His response: "Ohhhhh, yum!" Yes, this recipe result in some seriously mouth-wateringly delicious chili. In fact, both of my kids gobbled it up. I wish you could see and hear my almost 5 year old saying "mmmm" while shoveling mouthfuls of chili.

How do you make this fabulous chili? Well, I will tell you. First, I will explain how I make it, then I will share the original recipe (not sure the origin of the recipe...).

First, I chopped a whole medium sized onion with my handy-dandy, much loved Food Chopper. As that began to saute in some olive oil, I chopped up a fairly large garden variety garlic clove with the same food chopper. I threw that garlic in as well and continued to saute the mixture until it was soft.

Next, I dumped in some homemade chicken broth (3 or so cups), 5 handfuls of frozen corn, and the rest of the chicken meat from a crockpot cooked chicken. Time for adding some flavor. I added 2 - 4 oz. cans of roasted green chili peppers, a generous sprinkling of ground cumin, some salt, 2 Tbsp of lime juice, and lemon pepper seasoning 1 Tbsp of lemon juice plus some fresh ground pepper.

After that came to a boil, I added some beans that I had soaked overnight and then cooked all day 3 - 15 oz. cans of great northern beans, drained. I cooked the beans until heated through it was boiling again.

Time to scoop up some chili and enjoy it! Now, to be honest, the best way to enjoy this chili is with a liberal amount of pepperjack cheese. Our family enjoys scooping it up with either some tortilla chips, bread or both, as was the case tonight.

What? You say you aren't a "dump cook"? Well, for those of you who prefer a more exact recipe, here is the original recipe:

White Chili

3 cups water (chicken broth just tastes better, though)
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. lemon pepper

Combine in pot. Cook chicken. Cut up chicken and return to pot.

1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped onion

Saute in small amount of vegetable oil. Add to chicken.

2 - 8 oz. frozen corn (or cans, drained)
8 oz. diced green chilies
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. lime juice

Bring to boil.

Add 2 - 15 oz. cans great northern beans, drained. Heat through.

The First Giveaway! - Winner!

To determine the winner of this giveaway, I entered everyone's name into the list randomizer at 
Here are the results:

And the winner is: 

Celia H!

Celia, I will contact you through email so you can claim your prize! Enjoy some free shopping!
Thank you to everyone who entered!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flower and Garden Show 2011

I enjoyed this purple theme.

It has become a tradition to attend the Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Each year I attend with my mom and a couple of her (our) friends.This year I left my kids and household life behind, thoroughly enjoyed the drive through the enchanting snow and immersed myself in a world of beautiful flowers and other people's hard work.

One of my favorite aspects of the Flower and Garden Show is the welcome. No, there is nothing exceptional about the greeters, although they do a fine job. The welcome I love is the smell. As I walk through the doors, the overwhelming perfume of hyacinth intoxicates me. Well, it doesn't really intoxicate me, but I do feel as if I am suddenly on a gardening high. Nothing matters but the flowers. The fragrance. The colors. The beauty. Ahhh...

This year, the theme was "Once Upon a Time..." I assume that the displays were supposed to incorporate this theme in one way or another, but the theme was not always very easy to recognize. The theme was obvious in this one, and one of my favorites:

I don't remember what the intended theme was for this one, but each year this group does an impressive garden display, making me wish I had unlimited resources and could transform my backyard into a woodland paradise. The trees are immense, the boulders gigantic and the feeling is that you happened upon a hidden natural wonder.

This following display really fed my desire to live (and garden) in the country.

While wandering around, looking at the abundance of items the vendors were trying to sell, it was easy to feel overwhelmed. In the midst of it all, I had a good laugh. This sign reminded me of so many people I know who cannot seem to function without their coffee. (Don't worry, they will remain nameless.)

Each year I attend, it seems like I come home with at least one inspiration. Last year, it was the chicken tractor and how it can be incorporated into a small, city garden. This year, my inspiration is a playhouse for my girls. I don't know if we will build one or not, but it is my current garden dream.

In the midst of such inspiration and beauty, what did I purchase? Well, not very much. Last year (and maybe the year before) I drooled over this little lime green spruce, but I managed to resist the urge to buy it. This year, I went all out. I spent that $6.99 on the "Wilma" spruce. The foliage is lime green, and after rubbing it, smells of citrus. I am looking forward to potting it next to my front door. The Gerbera Daisies were cheap. How could I resist that?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursdays - Snow

Picture and idea taken from my friend, Abbey.

Come join me! Every almost every Thursday, I will post something for which I am thankful, and I would love it if you participate as well. It is medicine for the soul to give thanks and, when practiced regularly, results in contentment. It can be anything: silly, personal, or blog related. Just take a moment to give thanks!

Today, I am thankful for snow. The power of snow never ceases to amaze me. It brightens an otherwise dark night, generates excitement in children and adults alike, draws us outdoors in the winter cold, and completely transforms the world around us. As I think about the beautiful, transforming effect of snow, I am reminded of a poem I studied in high school by Emily Dickinson.

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.
It makes an even face        5
Of mountain and of plain,—
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.
It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,        10
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil
On stump and stack and stem,—
The summer’s empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,        15
Recordless, but for them.
It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen,—
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.        20

Despite the difficulties snow may cause, I am thankful for snow. I am thankful for the beauty it creates. I am thankful for the joy it brings my children.

Now, to go outside and enjoy the snow with my kids... this is the ultimate expression of my thankfulness for the snow.

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"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."  ~G.K. Chesterton

What are you thankful for today? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

The First Giveaway!

I am so excited about this opportunity to host a giveaway! What could be better than giving away something I know you will love?

How do I know you will love it? Because you get to choose it! The winner of this giveaway will receive $15 towards any purchase from any CSN website.

CSN is comprised of over 200 online stores, where you can find everything from home office furniture to fitness equipment to wall art to shoes and cookware! 

Almost everything from these sites ships free! (Although, there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses. CSN only ships to the US and Canada.)

How do you enter the giveaway?

1. Follow/subscribe to this blog.

2. Leave a comment bellow sharing your favorite post on my blog and/or a post you would like to see me write on my blog.

One extra entry in the giveaway for each of the following:

1. Share about this giveaway on your facebook.

2. Share about this giveaway on your blog.

Enter this giveaway until Friday, February 25, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be randomly selected and then announced on Monday, February 28, 2011!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Planning to Run

One of my goals for 2011 is to run a 5k. So far this year I have been working slowly toward that goal, but without a definite plan or deadline date. Well, now I have both a plan and a deadline.

On my own, it was difficult to figure out exactly how hard to push myself and how fast to add time/distance to my running. Another mom mentioned that last fall she used the Couch to 5k method and was running the 5k distance by the end of the training period. After searching for one online, I found a method I liked here.

After finding a good plan, I searched for local 5k runs. I didn't find quite as many options as I hoped to find, but the Run Like a Fool 5k looks pretty good to me. It is on Saturday, April 2, 2011. That only leaves me about 6 weeks to train. So far in my running jogging, I have made it all the way around Capitol Lake two separate times. My current plan is to skip weeks 1-4 and start at week 5 since I am not exactly starting as a couch potato.

Plan in place, date set, and ready to accomplish the first half of this goal! Now, who wants to run the Run Like a Fool 5k with me?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Signs of Life

One of those "getting to know you" questions is, "What is your favorite season and why?" For most of my life, my answer has been: summer. Summer is beautiful and sunny. Flowers are fully in bloom and the air is filled with their fragrance. The temperature is warm, providing the opportunity for summer activities such as running through the sprinkler, swimming and water gun fights.

Over the last few years, though, my favorite season has been changing. How can you top spring? Spring is full of new life, bulbs emerging out of the earth, trees budding and blooming, the sound of birds returning and celebrating eternal new life at Easter. Spring is when I begin to dream of my vegetable garden and plant those first seeds. The anticipation of the vegetables is almost more exciting than the harvest. Being the fan of flowers that I am, I love each stage of spring: crocuses emerge, tulips bud, daffodils bloom, lilacs spread their perfume. It is nearly a magical season.

Yet before spring arrives, my beds surprise me. Before my thoughts return to gardening, flowers bud and bloom. As I walk around the yard and observe perennials barely beginning to revive, it catches me off guard and brings a smile to my face. Oh, beautiful Hellebores, how I love you!

Hellebores are a beautiful, evergreen perennial and come in a variety of colors. These flowers bloom from mid January to April and sometimes even beyond. They start out small, as mine are now, but continue to grow increase in size throughout the growing season. The foliage is evergreen and a nice addition to the flower beds year round. For me, these are the signs that spring is on its way. They are the first flowers to bloom in my yard.

Need a flower to brighten your day in late winter? Plant some Hellebores and enjoy the delightful surprise of flowers out of season.