Friday, February 26, 2010

Cowgirl Chicken & White Bean Chili

The aroma of good chili should generate rapture akin to a lover's kiss. Chili Appreciation Society's motto
I absolutely love chili in the winter. I have about five favorite recipes that are based on beef, Cincinnati style with cinnamon, bison, vegetarian, and chicken. Last weekend for my Dad's birthday I spent a whole afternoon making one of my favorites that I named Cowgirl Chili. It is an all natural perfect blend of white beans, a whole chicken, and green chilies. I made a huge crock pot for the party and it was devoured by the adults and children. I made a "from scratch" version and poached a chicken in a pot to make the broth. For quicker versions you can cook the chicken in the oven or buy a rotisserie chicken at the store and use 6-10 cups of canned or boxed chicken broth. Use some colorful bowls, bandannas for napkins, and have a cowgirl feast! Make it your own.
Happy Cooking!

Cowgirl Chicken and White Bean Chili
1 3-4 lb. chicken
2-4 stalks celery chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. oregano or Italian herb blend
1 T. salt

1 T. olive oil
2t. ground cumin
2 medium onions chopped
3 4.5 oz. cans chopped green chilies undrained

4 cans Great Northern white beans drained and rinsed
3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Optional but delicious garnishes:
fresh cilantro chopped
fresh avocado diced
sliced jalapenos
shredded cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips
bottles of Corona beer with lime or your favorite brew

In a large post place chicken and next 4 ingredients with ten cups of water. Simmer for one hour until chicken is tender and falling off bone. Strain all the broth and put broth in plugged in crock pot or pot on stove. Pick chicken off bone, chop, and put in crock pot. My kids love to pull the wish bone for fun.
In another pot saute olive oil and next 3 ingredients until onions are soft. Add to crock pot. Add the white beans, 2 cups shredded cheese, and more salt & pepper if needed. Simmer in crock pot for 4 hours.
An ice cold Corona with lime is a good garnish too. Yee haw!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

Gratitude can be a powerful positive force in life. It always helps me turn my thoughts around when I am feeling lack or the need for something more. Some of us like to keep gratitude journals. I ususally have running pages in my daily journal just for things I am grateful for. It is fun to read down the list and it instantly infuses joy in my spirit.

I recently found a website just for expressing gratitude. You can post what you are grateful for and send it out into the world. The site is:

Today I am grateful for the golden ball of sun that is shining on the frozen snow and all the possibilities this new day holds.
What are you grateful for today?
Shine your light,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake for Valentines Day

If the people have no bread, let them eat cake. Marie Antoinette

I made this cake for Valentines Day. My sister Libby gave me the recipe and told me we would not be able to keep our hands off this cake. She was right. It disappeared so fast I did not have time to snap a photo. I just enjoyed the last piece with a cup of hot tea for breakfast. Yum!

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
1 box yellow cake mix (18.25 oz.)
1 3.9 oz.pkg French Vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
1 bag mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Stir together dry ingredients and then add in wet ingredients until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool and flip pan to release cake.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Picturesque Morning

The cream of enjoyment in this life is always impromptu. The chance walk; the unexpected visit; the unpremeditated journey; the unsought conversation or acquaintance. Fanny Fern

It is Friday February 12th. This morning was one of the coldest mornings yet also the most beautiful. After I had dropped the kids off from school I noticed a truck pulled off to the side of a desolate country road. I slowed down to see if they needed help only to see a familiar neighbor holding a camera out the window. I just smiled and said I was going to do the same thing. I got home and grabbed some gloves and my camera as the sun was coming up. It was cold, icy, and silent except for a few birds chirping. Here are a few photos I snapped. My hands are still a little numb.
Shine your light,