Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

Abby_bubble1

Posted by Abby Branham

Time is a hot commodity for most people these days.  The Crock Pot is my go-to cooking tool to  minimize hands-on cook time and allowing me to stick to my goal to make a majority of weekly meals for my family.

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One of my very favorite foods in the Fall is Chili.  I wanted to try a chicken broth based chili because my girls tend to like soups that have a clear broth.  I found the following recipe from another blogger, Ali, from Gimmie Some Oven.  Her fantastic 5-ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili recipe was easily adapted for the Crock Pot.  A printable recipe card is available at the bottom of the post.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Cannellini Beans, drained
  • 2 cups salsa verde (I used Wegmans store bought salsa verde)
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • Toppings:  shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and pickled jalapenos

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let’s get that crock pot set up and cookin’…

The hands-on time for this recipe is under 5 minutes, which I love.  Place the first five ingredients in the Crock Pot and turn on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.  When the cooking process is complete, use two forks to shred the chicken.  Spoon into a bowl and serve warm with toppings.  That’s literally it.

The sour cream thickened the chili up slightly and made it creamier.  The pickled jalapenos are an absolute must!  If you don’t like spicy, just get mild pickled jalapenos.  Trust me – it adds a fantastic pop of flavor.

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Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Cannellini Beans, drained
  • 2 cups salsa verde (I used Wegmans store bought salsa verde)
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • Toppings:  shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and pickled jalapenos

let’s get that crock pot set up and cookin’

The hands-on time for this recipe is under 5 minutes, which I love.  Place the first five ingredients in the Crock Pot and turn on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.  When the cooking process is complete, use two forks to shred the chicken.  Spoon into a bowl and serve warm with toppings.  That’s literally it.

The sour cream thickened the chili up slightly and made it creamier.  The pickled jalapenos are an absolute must!  If you don’t like spicy, just get mild pickled jalapenos.  Trust me – it adds a fantastic pop of flavor.

Project Curb Appeal Reveal...Finally

Project Curb Appeal Reveal…Finally

Katie_Gallup

Posted by Katie Gambone

This post has been a long time coming.  If you recall – waaaaaaay back in May, I posted my plans for improving Carlo and my home’s curb appeal.  It was in need of a refresh.  As is often the case, these projects sometimes take much longer than expected.  The good news is that it’s finally done!  Yay!  And I am happy that it looks much better than it did before.

So, as a recap, here is what the front of the house looked like in May.

front-of-house-before

Our list of projects included:

  • Planting the window boxes
  • Painting the front door
  • Fixing the screen door from when Misha “left her mark on it” in her puppy days
  • Purchasing a new “Welcome” mat
  • Prettying up the mailbox and updating our house numbers from faded stickers on the mailbox
  • And finally, the biggest part of the project, polishing and resetting the stairs

Here is how each of the projects turned out.  The final “reveal” is at the bottom of the post so hang in there.

Window Boxes

This was the first project I tackled.  I planted my first window boxes in the spring.  Here is how they turned out.

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Pretty.  I was happy with them.

Sadly, we didn’t do a great job keeping up with the watering this year.  The plants were seriously crispy after our vacation in August.  A few weeks ago I finally pulled out the dead stuff and started to update them for fall.  Here is a recap of how they look now.

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Painting the Door

The door was brown.  I picked that color and have regretted my choice for many years since.  Here are a few of the inspiration photos we used to pick a new color.

Ultimately we went with the gray in picture #1.  It looks great against the red brick.  Even better, the black outer door doesn’t clash with it anymore.

hello

To improve our front door even more, I was originally thinking of adding a door knocker.  While there were so many out there that I loved, many of them posed a problem for installation because our door isn’t wood.  Ultimately I found this lovely wreath at Terrain on a huge sale.  I hung that up with a pretty fall-inspired ribbon. It looks nice against the newly painted door.

wreath

Fixing the Screen Door AND WELCOME MAT

Here was the outer door before.  Yeah, not good. Misha…puppy stuff.

screen

Turns out we had a perfectly fine piece of glass in the basement so we replaced the screen and we are taking it to the shop for repairs.  Quick, easy fix. Done.  Also, take note of our new welcome mat.  “Hello.”  A friendly greeting and it looks nicer than our previous mat.  I did save the old mat though and have plans to update it was some spray paint when I get a free moment.

door-repaired

Mailbox and House Numbers

This was something we discussed a lot!  We finally decided to completely get rid of the mailbox and put a mail slot in our door instead.  I’m not going to lie.  There was some serious drama (cursing, sighing, insisting it could not be done) to install the mail slot because we don’t have a wooden door so it took some…creativity.   Thank you to Carlo for his patience and perseverance with this particular piece of the project.  It worked and I think it looks soooo much better. We got this mail slot from House of Antique Hardware and I think it looks great.  Works well too.

mailslot

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For the house number, Carlo got all handy.  Using these photos as inspiration…

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…he made this great little flower box and mounted the house numbers on it.  He painted it the same color as the front door and I think it looks great.   Too bad my pansies weren’t totally cooperative for this picture but you get the idea. We decided to paint the other window boxes to match the house number flower box.

house-number-flower-box

Stairs

We actually had to leave our house for the weekend for this part of the project to be completed.  Not a huge burden because we decided to go to the beach and relax instead and the stairs were good as new when we returned.  It was like magic.

The crew came in and took the stairs off the house.  As you can see, we would have needed a ladder to get in.

steps-in-progress

They took everything apart, set a new base of bricks (I had no idea that was what the base was made of but makes sense) and polished the marble stairs.  They did a fantastic job and they look great now. They kind of remind me of pearly white teeth smiling at our neighbors across the street.

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Final Reveal!

So here is the final reveal. I think it looks a lot better than before!  So glad we could finally share it with you.

front-of-house-after

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Help Design the Mudroom/Laundry Room

You Decide! Help Design the Mudroom/Laundry Room

Alicia_Sell

Posted by Alicia Sell

Things are moving along quickly with the house move and we spent this entire weekend packing up and cleaning the house.

This is really happening! The Pod is being dropped off this morning and we are getting things packed up. We are taking our time so we won't move till the first week of October. I am hopeful that the new family loves this house as much as we did. We literally updated or changed every room in this house and I couldn't be more proud of it. Our next fixer upper adventure is a little scary but it will be worth it in the end. #packingisnotfun #8moveslater #buyingafixerupper #expensivehobbies

We have also been working with the contractor for the new house renovations to finish up some space planning and one of the most important spaces that we have been struggling with is the mudroom/laundry area.   This space will be a central hub of activity and has to be high functioning.  In the current house we didn’t really have a separate mudroom, so everyone dropped their book bags, shoes, coats, and dirty sports clothes right at the front door.  There were a set of hooks and a bench there for them to put this stuff on, but it ends up looking like a shoe explosion all over the floor.

Our laundry room is upstairs, which worked fairly well because it was close to bedrooms, but dirty clothes were always left downstairs and it was a challenge (translation – mom yelling) to get the kids to bring them up for washing.  So for the new house, we have designed a space off of the kitchen that will be an entrance for a mudroom/laundry room area.  I am really excited about this space, but I want to make sure it is thoughtfully laid out and I am not quite sure what will work best.

So today I am enlisting the help of you, the Button Jar Readers, to design the features in the room!  Below is a short 11 question survey that allows you to help me pick the design elements for the mudroom/laundry area.  It is super easy – you basically choose from pictures you like, such as below:

Which washer and dryer setup do you prefer?

top-load_wd front-load_wd

 

I will tally up the results and let you know what you decided for the design!  (We will pretend we have endless amounts of money for this particular experiment.)

Thank you in advance for participating and I can’t wait to see what you pick!

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REGISTRATION OPEN FOR FIRST BUTTON JAR WEBINAR

Registration is now open for Button Jar’s very first webinar: Take Better Pictures With Your IPhone! Participants will hear from our friend and professional photographer Danette Pascarella.  You can learn more about Danette here.  You can learn more and register for the webinar here.  The date is October 20 at 2:00PM.  The cost is $10.00 to participate. We hope you can make it!

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Tex-Mex Pizza

Abby_bubble1

Posted by  Abby Branham

In a meeting the other day, the presenter asked the group to share our guilty pleasures, in relation to food, with one another.  A colleague and dear friend of mine said, “Pizza!”  I said, “That isn’t a guilty pleasure, it’s good for you!”  I was being defensive, of course, because we eat pizza sometimes once a week in our house, but at least twice a month. Pizza can be good for you, especially if you make it yourself, and it can be a quick and easy meal.  Here is a pizza that I came across in the Fit Pregnancy magazine when I was pregnant with my girls.  It is a Tex-Mex Pizza, so not the traditional tomato sauce based version that we all know and love.  I doctored the original recipe to make it a quick and easy meal.  Click on the words Tex-Mex Pizza written in pink lettering above if you’d like to try the original version.

INGREDIENTS

Pre-made pizza dough (I like to sneak in whole wheat dough, but Drew isn’t a huge fan)
1 c cooked or canned black beans (rinsed)
¼ c BBQ sauce (I am in love with Wegmans Organic Original BBQ sauce!)
½ t cumin
¼ t salt
Mild chunkier salsa (You will only need a smattering of the salsa.)
½ c grated Cheddar cheese
½ c grated Monterey cheese
2/3 c corn kernels (I buy a can of organic whole kernel corn at Wegmans)
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
A small avocado, thinly sliced (this is a garnish)

Let’s get cookin’…

Preheat the oven according to the premade pizza dough instructions, which usually ranges between 400 to 450 degrees, depending on the manufacturer.  Place parchment paper on a baking sheet to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.  Sprinkle some flour on to a working surface and stretch and spread the dough before placing it on the baking sheet.  I normally only use half of the premade dough to create a thinner crust, and then I use the other half later in the week to recreate a fresh pizza.  Once you have the crust rolled out, place it on the baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mash together black beans, bbq sauce, cumin, and salt until smooth but slightly chunky.

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Spread the bean mixture over the pizza dough.

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Layer the remaining ingredients in the following order:

Spread some salsa over the bean mixture. I find that just a smattering of the salsa is sufficient to add a nice flavor but so that it doesn’t make the crust soggy.  Also, my 2 year old girls LOVE salsa but they don’t like any really large chunks of tomato.

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Next, add the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses to the pizza.

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Finally, add corn, and the thinly sliced red bell pepper, which unfortunately I didn’t add to my pizza today.  It adds some beautiful color, flavor, and vitamins though, so I highly recommended it.

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Bake according to pizza dough instructions, which can range from 10 to 20 minutes. Garnish with avocado slices.

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Finally, ENJOY!

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR FIRST BUTTON JAR WEBINAR

Registration is now open for Button Jar’s very first webinar: Take Better Pictures With Your IPhone! Participants will hear from our friend and professional photographer Danette Pascarella.  You can learn more about Danette here.  You can learn more and register for the webinar here.  The date is October 20 at 2:00PM.  The cost is $10.00 to participate. We hope you can make it!

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Good Books To Curl Up With This Fall

Good books to curl up with this Fall

Alicia_Sell

Posted by Alicia Sell

Fall is the perfect season to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and a good book.  Here is a picture Randall took of me reading on the couch just the other day.  My hair happened to be looking spectacular.

alicia_reading

Just kidding!  This is how I assume I look reading, just in sweatpants.

Anywho… I thought I would share some of the books I have read over the past few months that I thought you might enjoy.  Fair warning – some of these are a little nerdy but I think there is enough of a mix here that I hope you all find something to enjoy.  I won’t bore you with a summary of each book but I have linked to the Amazon copy where a summary is available. However, as a librarian, I highly encourage you to check these out from your local library (they even loan e-books for free). I will give you a simple 1 through 5 star rating and share with you my highly biased opinion on each book, so take it for what it is worth.

Have you read any of these?  Let me know what you thought about it in the comments section.  Do you have a favorite book that isn’t on the list?  Let me know, because I am always looking for favorite books to add to my reading list.  Can’t read books because you have kids?  I get it – been there, done that.  Keep reading those magazine articles and know that in just a few short years you can read full, adult books again.  I promise!

Fall Reading List

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Autobiography)
*****5 Stars

I have to say I was a little bit skeptical about this book because I have always thought of Amy Schumer as too brash for my taste, but I did not stop laughing from the moment I picked it up.  Believe me, she is still brash but her insights into incredibly awkward or difficult situations are spot on.  Surprisingly, she also has some inspiring words for ladies about being confident in who we are and what we believe.  I read through this in two days.

the-nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah  (Fiction)
*****5 Stars

I can’t wait till this book becomes a movie.  And I am pretty sure if it becomes a movie it will win Oscars – it is that good.  This story about two sisters and their harrowing bravery during War II made me ugly cry on the airplane while I was reading it.  It is full of suspense that makes it impossible to put down.  If you don’t read any other books on this list, this is a must read.

all-the-light-we-cannot-see

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Fiction)
****4 Stars

This is another book set in World War II and is told through the eyes of a little girl who is completely blind.  This book was a slow start and I almost didn’t make it past the first 50 pages, but once I did I was glad I stuck with it because it was very suspenseful and, similarly to the Nightingale, reminds us that no one is safe from the horrors of war and its lingering impact. There is a good reason why it won the Pulitzer Prize.

brooklyn-cover

Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin (Fiction)
***3 Stars

This is a great coming of age story about a young Irish woman sent to America for opportunities. It is an easy read, but I made the mistake of watching the movie before I finished the book and I ended up liking the movie better, which rarely happens.  The book goes into greater character development than the movie does, but it can be slow at times.  If you don’t have time to read it, see the movie.

the-kitchen-house

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (Fiction)
*** 3 Stars

This story of slavery is told from the perspective of a young white child who served as an indentured servant to a family in the Antebellum South.  She lived in the kitchen house with some of the house slaves, and the slave’s experiences are shared through her eyes, as well as from the perspective of the slave who was forced to raise the girl.  While the story is engaging, it ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied.

henrietta-lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Nonfiction)
****4 Stars

I will not lie to you that there is a lot of medical information in this one, but Skloot has presented it in a way that makes it easy to read and completely engaging.  The story of Henrietta Lacks and the legacy that she unknowingly and unwillingly left for all of us to benefit from is remarkable.  Her story calls into question medical ethics and patient rights.  A lot of the cures that have been discovered for major diseases were made possible in part because of Henrietta’s immortal cells, and it is worth honoring her memory and the unfortunate story of how her cells came to be.

witchs-daughter

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston (Fiction)
**2 Stars

While this was an easy read, I don’t know that it was entirely worth my time.  I kept thinking something would happen, and then it just ended up being the same events just told in a different time period.  And I knew how the story would end by the third chapter.  So, if you want a light read, this is a good one to pick up.  Otherwise, try something different.

glass-castle

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (Autobiography)
*****5 Stars

This is another book that I can’t wait till it becomes a movie.  It is a must read.  Jeanette Walls’ memoir about her unpredictable and chaotic upbringing left me laughing, crying and feeling furious all at the same time.  Her story is remarkable.  I highly recommend it.

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR FIRST BUTTON JAR WEBINAR

Registration is now open for Button Jar’s very first webinar: Take Better Pictures With Your IPhone! Participants will hear from our friend and professional photographer Danette Pascarella.  You can learn more about Danette here.  You can learn more and register for the webinar here.  The date is October 20 at 2:00PM.  The cost is $10.00 to participate. We hope you can make it!

SUBSCRIBE TO BUTTON JAR’S EMAIL LIST

You can make sure you get all of Button Jar’s posts by subscribing to our email list by clicking here, or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Also, sharing is caring!  If you like this post, please share it on your social media networks. Thanks!

Link Parties

This post was shared on Merry Monday Link Party on My Pinventures, on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floors, on That DIY Party on That DIY Showoff, on Dishing It And Digging It Link Party on Life and Linda, and on Over the Moon Link Party on This Side of 50.

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