as GOLD as it gets

Life's adventures should be fully accessorized!


Three Bean Turkey Chili

Back into my slow cooker obsession, I made chili for tonight. I think I’m starting to master forward thinking meal prep, which is making my life considerably easier. I can enjoy meal prep and cooking and not feel the frenzy of scrambling to pull something together while starving.

I’ve made Skinny Taste’s crockpot 3 bean turkey chili before and we both liked it so I thought I would give it another whirl. You can find her recipe here. She has some amazing healthy recipes- shes another staple food blog of mine (her enchiladas might be my favorite!)

Last time I made it, I followed it pretty much to a T- this time I took a little freedom as I realized I had used or didn’t have quite all of the ingredients. Whoops- remember when that happened for the french onion soup? same shopping trip!

Because I realized I was without an onion, I threw in garlic to cook with the turkey (she has you browning the turkey with an onion) and I also showered my turkey with some cumin. I threw in another spoonful of garlic into the bean mixture when I had everything thrown in- just to make sure there would be enough flavor.

The second thing I realized I didnt have was the actual chiles- well, resorting back to my dear franks hot sauce, I threw some in and stirred it around until I thought there was plenty. This is a big batch of chili so it did need quite a bit.

I also replaced the chili powder with cumin- personal preference.

I let it stand in the fridge all night, purely for my own convenience, but I think that helped blend the flavors. JPS says he thought this was even more savory than when I made it the first time!

While its not the most attractive dish- its a sure crowd pleaser!


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Pesto Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken

I’ve been hitting some wins in the kitchen!

I recently found this pin which is a recipe from picky palate. Which I’ve just been trying to find a day that would work to try it out. It took me all of 5 minutes to dump the ingredients into the crockpot and I was merrily on my way to work. Now I think if you can make anything at 630am thats an accomplishment. But this really was because it tasted (and smelled) amazing.

I used less chicken (4 pieces), less pesto (half a jar) and more broth (around 1.5 cups) and changed the ranch packet to be the spicy ranch packet (actually that was JPS- it gave it a little kick!)

The chicken was so tender and the pesto and ranch combined were a great pair- it definitely didn’t have too much of a ranch flavor but I think a smoother ending than leaving you with a mouthful of basil. The only thing I didn’t like about the recipe- which is so vain- is it didnt look good. It floats in the mixture all day- and then you definitely want that flavor- so you want to keep pesto on the chicken- but it looks like mushy spinach or something. Do not be dismayed- however ugly it is. It makes up tenfold in taste! We paired it with a broccoli/carrot/pepper veggie mix and grilled potatoes. It would be perfect for a summer dinner outside!

photoI could never figure out why everyone raves about crockpots, until I got my own. I wish I planned meals out enough to throw all of our meals in them and run out the door. But I’m not that planned out yet. ONE DAY.

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This weekend I plan on cracking open my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and making something delicious. I’ve been reading Smitten Kitchen’s blog for as long as I can remember. It was a dream to see her at a book signing earlier this winter in Philly (pictured above). She was so  funny in the interview she gave and is the sweetest! She was so sweet with the hundred of books she was signing. Andrea and I were so happy that we got called on for a question during the interview- where we very bravely admitted that we obsessed with her! We waited in a several hundred person line…and had to give up because the line to get our books signed just wasn’t moving. We went to dinner and when we walked back to the car we saw she was STILL signing books hours later. A security guard felt bad for us and let us back in after closing. An hour later when we STILL weren’t signed the guard told us he would take our books and get them signed for us. We were going to just leave again without having it signed with work looming early in the morning. He was so sweet and let us come back the next day and get them- we couldn’t believe how kind he was. But after all that trouble,  I haven’t had much time to make anything from the cookbook…hopefully thats about to change.

I think my favorite recipe may be her baked potato soup, but the challah is really good too. But I may make a trip to the farmers market to make this.