Chicken Taco Chili

I'm a big fan of crock-pots. A big, big fan. I've made this chili so many times in the past few weeks, I could probably make it in my sleep. I usually toss all of the ingredients in a crock-pot on Sunday when I'm running all over cleaning the house. Once my house is sparkling and clean, I scoop up a bowl of this goodness and relish in my clean house before anyone else comes home. 

I've been asked by a bunch of women I work with for this recipe, so here you go! Now when I smell up the work kitchen with this deliciousness, you'll know how to make it. It's so, so, so easy. Yet again, this is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe. 5 points per serving, which is about a cup or so. 

1 can No Salt Added Black Beans
1 can No Salt Added Kidney Beans
1 can Rotel (tomatoes/green chilies) 
1 can tomato sauce (the smaller can) 
1 packet of taco seasoning (try to find one that isn't packed with sodium.) 
1 bag of frozen corn
A few frozen chicken breasts (I use the smaller tenderloins) 
A few dashes of chili powder
A few dashes of Cumin 

Place beans, corn, tomato sauce, and rotel in the crock-pot. Stir in the packet of taco seasoning. Add chili powder and cumin. Stir, stir, stir. 

Place as many frozen chicken breasts that can fit on the top of the chili. Don't stir it. Put the lid on and cook on high for about 6 hours or so. You want the chicken completely cooked. 

Once the chicken is completely cooked, remove the chicken pieces from the crock-pot. 

Shred the chicken. Once that's done, dump the chicken back in the crock-pot. Stir the chicken thoroughly into the chili. Let it simmer for a while longer. 

Serve and enjoy! We usually put a little bit of cheese on top and dip corn chips in the chili. 

Have I mentioned how much I adore my little crock-pot? 

It's That Time Again...

The Christmas Season. This marks one of my favorite times of the year. I love any excuse to redecorate the house. Also, any excuse to have twinkle lights in random places of our house, I am all for. The Friday after Thanksgiving, I came home and brought all of the decorations into the house. The next few hours were spent making our home a wonderland covered in glitter, pine needles, and lights.
I am always tempted to find ways to keep this up all year round.
But, then I would be even more of a crazy woman.
Twinkle Lights in our bedroom

Our humble tree. Smaller this year in hopes that the cat won't nap in it.

This image was photobombed by our cat.

Even the bathroom needs some Christmas Decor

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around these parts. Also....I'm done with my shoppping already!!!

Thanksgiving 2012

I want to keep this short and sweet. Simple words. 

I am so thankful for my husband, my family, my health, my job, and all of the wonderful people I have the amazing opportunity to live life with. I am thankful for my freedom, for being able to play music, for being able to pick up a camera. I am thankful for what has been, what we are living now, and the future in front of us-- whatever it may hold. 

So, so thankful. I am also so, so full. 
Contribution #1: Sweet Potato & Acorn Squash 
Contribution #2: Green Bean Casserole (The only time of the year I eat this delicious dish.) 

So much food.

Amazing pies by our sister-in-law. The mini ones were my favorite. 

 I have spent the day decorating for Christmas, wrapping presents, listening to She & Him, and trying to fix our garbage disposal. 

All in a days work. I've got to work off all that I consumed yesterday somehow. 

A Thanksgiving Outfit

Ladies and Gentleman, this is me following through on my November outfit post! On Thanksgiving! I braved the crowds yesterday at Target to finish up some Christmas shopping (I seriously am almost close!) and came home with a new outfit for Thanksgiving. The clearance racks at Target are a weakness of mine. 

Boots via Payless. I wear them just about everyday. 

Just call me Squinty. 

Outfit Details
Dress: Target
Cardigan: Target
Tights: Target
Boots: Payless
Earrings: Charming Charlies 

I have so much to be thankful for today. We are preparing to go consume a feast at Ryan's parent's house. My stomach is growling in anticipation. Everyone knows diets don't count on Thanksgiving. 

I'm sure more pictures will soon follow. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Oatmeal Raisin Bites

The man and I have been on Weight Watchers for a while and we really love it, as far as diets go. I guess I should really call it a lifestyle because I hardly ever feel deprived and that's why I've returned to the plan time and time again. One thing is for sure though, I still love me some baking. It's therapeutic for me to put some headphones and tunes on, get myself covered in flour and brown sugar, and bake something yummy. Some recipes suck in this regard because they aren't good for you, but some, like the ones from WW's are a godsend. I still get my cookie/bread/cake fix and know that I won't totally blog my diet. Win, win. 

The recipe that I recently tried was for Oatmeal Raisin Bites. I only altered the recipe a tad. I added one more egg (which might take this up to 3 points per cookie, instead of two), because the dough was really dry. 

The hubby, roommates, and any other person that walked into our home greatly approved. I will remember this recipe. 

You will need: 

1 1/2 cups uncooked rolled oats
3/4 cups whole-grain wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cups regular butter, softened
1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raising, chopped 

Preheat oven to 350ºF

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside. 

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars until incorporated. Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly.

 Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Add oat mixture and mix until just combined; fold in raisins.

The hubby helped. 
Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto 2 ungreased cookie sheets, about 1-inch apart each. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11 to 12 minutes for crispy cookies. Remove from oven and let cookies rest on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes; remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

Side note: I left these in the oven a tad longer because of the addition of the 2nd egg. They took a little longer to bake completely. 

I'm sad they all have already been eaten. 

The Red Cocktail Cart

I love thrift stores. I love antique stores. I know that when I find something that I really love and have usually been searching for for a longtime, I should probably buy it. I'll kick myself later if I go back to retrieve something and it's gone. It just has to be done. If you find something you adore, you probably should purchase it and deal with the situation later. It's kind of the unsaid rule of thrifting. It's just how things work. 

Last Friday, by chance, I walked into an antique store in downtown Loveland. My old stomping ground. I went in for no other reason than the fact that I parked my mom mobile right in front of the little building. What really caught my eye was a vintage silver Christmas tree in window. Sadly, that was not for sale. But, as I ventured further into a world of thrifting fantasy, I came upon this red kitchen cart. 

I've been looking for one of these for a long time. Usually, I find one that's white, beat to death, and barely usable. Or the store wants an insane amount of money for it and I'm not willing to budge on the budget. 

I found this one and immediately knew I had to have it for our kitchen. I asked the owner how long she had the cart out and she stated that she had just put it out yesterday. Loveland was having a little something called Night on the Town that evening and she said that it would probably  be gone by tomorrow. (Smart sales tactics, lady. Smart.) She knew how to get to me with that one. 

I left. I went on with my business. Got coffee, took photos for my mom, visited the grandparents. 

But, as I was preparing to drive back to Fort Collins, the mom mobile directed me back to that little red cart. Now it is mine and has a lovely home in our kitchen. It is the keeper of the liquor and the baking supplies. 

I love it. I'm lucky it was still waiting for me at that little store I somehow walked into last Friday.