Saturday, March 26, 2011

Table Settings and other formailities

I like to have nice dinners, I'm used to them for Holidays.  Spending time with my grandma and grandpa (dad's parents) taught me to enjoy festive occasions with the good china, the good silverware, the pretty stuff.  We celebrated in style.  The kids had their table, and the adults had theirs, until we were older and  could behave well at the table with the parents.  I missed the kids table, but the formal dinning area was amusing and adventurous in our family.  Grandma would eat off the people's plats next to her, my father, uncle and grandpa would talk "shop", and the ladies kept the kids in line and had conversations between themselves.  There were moments of fights between my aunt and grandma, they loved each other but were both very strong willed and rarely ever saw eye to eye on anything. Conversations were loud, and rambunctious.  It was fun just trying to keep up with it all, let alone try and interject a comment or two.  This differs greatly from my husbands family dinners.  They are more casual, but also more mannered in their conversation.  There is no raising your voice over the conversation of others to be heard.  They will move or talk later to finish a conversation.  It is much easier to speak and be heard, but I miss the more elegant table setting.  So, when I host dinners, I do it with all the formal trimmings that I'm used to, and a few more at times for fun.  My husband thinks I'm nutty, and he teases me about it, but when else will we ever use the fine china? When else will we pull out the fancy linens?
me as a kid at the grown up table in the formal dining area.

I have learned one very important lesson in the death of my mother, and that is, life is short.  There are no more times to celebrate with her, those have ended.  So, now I celebrate the moments I have left with the ones I love with flair.  I want them to know how special they are, how important and loved they are, how this celebration is worthy of the good stuff.  They are worth the fine things, the extra attention to detail, even the extra effort in cleaning up.
My Sister at the kids table, the room behind her is the formal dinning area, this is the kitchen.

I now go all out when I invite friends over for tea as well.  It's easy for me to post recipes and pictures of friends and family, but sharing how I set it up and what goes into the planning, that takes more effort.  I can plan for a while on how, and what I will share, what food I will present, what table settings I will use.  These are the rituals that I enjoy, and savor but they are hard to explain.  I will do my best though.

Setting up for tea

A More informal Thanksgiving setting

Partially set Christmas ever dinner table, the tea cups were out of place but we did not have a bread plate.

I was watching a comedian with my hubby, Larry the Cable Guy go to visit interesting sites Only in America.   One of his stops was at the home of Emily PostOnly in America with Larry the Cable Guy — Episode Guide — Larry Makes Moonshine. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 4:15, March 25, 2011, from was hilarious to me, Larry is not known for manners at all and Emily Post was the Etiquette Queen.  If you get a chance watch the episode, the family of Emily Post is continuing the legacy.
All of this started me thinking about how many people I know here in my circle, who are not familiar with formal dinner settings, or many other formalities that I was raised to know.  I thought I should share.  I do not have kids to pass this stuff down to yet, and so you reading have become my students in this post. I hope you will allow me to share.

The glass was moved on this place setting, and I'm still teased about the place cards. Everyone was family, but the holders are Christmas themed, and we only host the Christmas Eve dinner with family each year.

I love sharing recipes and other things, but the real satisfaction is from the whole package. I did Medifast, and although the food was nourishing, and my hunger was satisfied, I was never completely sure that I had really eaten.  I started to bring my lunch with real utensils, and cloth napkins, to aid in the appearance of an actually dining experience.  I am eating real, whole foods now, and I am truly thankful.  There are some things that make sitting down to a meal together, magical.  People talk, ideas are shared, there is a time to relax and just be in the presence of those we love and cherish.

Buffet Table Setting

Remember to use the utensils on the outside first and work your way in.  That is a helpful thing to remember if you are in a social setting where you are using unfamiliar utensils. 

Here are some links to help you if you need to brush up, or learn it new entirely.
Table Settings with cheat sheets. 
Tip of the day: Properly Setting The Table

Table Settings

Settings Tips
Entertaining Table Setting

Have fun entertaining, and hosting family events.  Use the good stuff, and savor the memories.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Budgets and PCOS

Last week was an especially challenging week for us as a couple.  We had to face yet another week without change to spare.  Winter time gets rainy here, and people are not likely to want windows installed during a rainstorm, it happens.  I learned, after our first winter together, to stock up on pantry supplies and things that would last for a few months.  This was when all the lessons from my Mormon (L.D.S.) neighbors from my childhood, helped me in planning for this season in our life.  If you have never seen a Mormon food storage, you should, and take notes.  One of the challenges with this is the low-carb options, I had not adequately prepared for those, I had also not taken care to keep my stockpile refreshed this winter.  So, last week when we lived out of our pantry, some of the creations were rather unique.  Beans were the order of the day, and since I had run out of rice, I also used up some of my couscous, as well as Broccoli that had been frozen earlier in the season.

Don't be afraid of using dried beans, the only warning I have seen is on Red beans, especially kidney beans.  They suggest that you boil them for 10 minutes before cooking them in a crock pot.  All others, I sort and put into my crock pot to cook over night, or while I'm away working.  Then I rinse them off, and use them and store the rest in the fridge.  Beans in a bag last for a very long time, and they are healthy and have lots of protein.

A version of this Red Beans and Rice was on the menu. It was a paired down version.
Black Bean Cakes There are spicier versions, but we had these ingredients on hand.
There was spaghetti of course, I had already frozen a bunch of home made sauce, and we buy the whole wheat noodles in bulk at Costco. I used the rest of my red chard in this, so we got the nutrients, without chomping down on the leaves themselves.  I used my immersion blender and blended in all together.
Then there was the Shrimp in a coconut and cilantro sauce. It was from the Fresh Food Fast Cooking light cook book.  I used up the last of my cilantro before it went bad as well.
The good news is I had vegetables from the Farm Fresh to You, that I needed to use, and I had to find creative ways to incorporate them into meals that I could actually serve my hubby.  Not all of them am I used to cooking with, so, cooking light, and my food blogs came in very handy.

Having said all of that, we did go and get some canned tomatoes and rice on the last paycheck, and so our meals will be a bit easier to plan out with the addition of those ingredients.  I hope you all have found ways to keep food to feed your families in case of emergencies, it can come in handy.  I've seen some peoples posts with pictures of bare fridges and cupboards, try to keep some things int here to get you through lean times.

Here are some other fun things to consider, regarding PCOS, and Budgeting. Not all things have to be labeled as no, and there are budget friendly goods out there that you can purchase that are still whole foods, and not prepackaged mushed up masses of what used to be food stuffs.  Whole foods can be inexpensive, and when done in moderation starches still help fill the pit of empty stomachs. (I do have to feed a hard working man, who needs more than I do to survive.)  Still, feeding hungry people food is much more important than just filling their stomachs.

by Monika Woolsey of inCYST

  1. It provides you with enough energy. Anything less than 1200 calories, for whatever reason, makes it challenging to obtain all the essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. You can lose weight, I won’t argue that, but you won’t be able to live like this forever. A program that teaches you to eat the way you can eat for years to come is a more practical option. Likewise, overexercising is counterproductive. It is rarely a strategy that can be maintained over the long run. What works best, is a balance between calories eaten and calories expended.
  2. You’re choosing variety in both food and activity. Any program that eliminates major food groups is also eliminating nutrient groups. Many diets that claim to have a special effect because of its nutrient “combination”, is often cutting calories, which is the impetus for the weight loss. The same exercises, day after day, will help certain muscle groups and
    not others. Plus, you’re more likely to become bored, or not want to exercise if your routine takes you away from your normal exercise environment. Mixing it up keeps it interesting and helps you stay on track.
  3. You’re eating in response to hunger more than to emotions.
    Are you reaching for the ice cream when you’re tired? When you’re angry at your husband? When you have yet another negative pregnancy test? Or when you’re truly hungry? When cravings have been in control it can be challenging to even know what hunger feels like. Look for programs that, rather than giving you a calorie level and asking you to stick with it, no matter how you feel, encourages you to think about what hunger and fullness are, and to work to learn to honor those natural body signals. When it comes to exercise, it can be a great stress management activity, but it should never be the ONLY way you manage stress. ..what will you do if you sprain your ankle and all you do is run? Take a dance lesson. Rent roller skates. Be sure it’s about fun, not torturing yourself to make up for something you’ve eaten.
  4. You’re eating what you like and doing activities you enjoy.
    OK, so it’s probably not reasonable to expect that a diet of Fritos and Haagen Dazs is going to promote your overall health in the long run…but there’s also a reason to question that eating foods you don’t like, just because they’re “healthy” or on someone’s “Top Ten” list, is going to be a helpful strategy. A good/bad approach, to food or exercise, sets you up to binge when you eat food you like, and punish yourself with other foods and exercise after you “cheated”. No wonder so many people hate exercise, they only do it when they feel badly about themselves, rather than to feel energized!
  5. You’re eating and exercising mindfully.
    Meaning, you’re not eating standing up in your kitchen, in your car, at your desk, or in front of the television. And you’re exercising not just because the treadmill was set at 30 minutes. And you don’t have to push yourself to exhaustion to feel like it was “enough”. You’ve tasted and enjoyed the food, and you’ve listened to what your body has told you it wants and needs for exercise duration and intensity. When it comes to food and exercise, our
    bodies are amazingly proficient at telling us what we need. The problem is, we ignore it in favor of what fitness “experts” want us to believe. Try the wisdom of mindful thinking. You might be surprised!
  6. You’re flexible without feeling guilty about it.
    When you’re having a hard time conceiving, or wight maintenance doesn’t come easy to you, you can start to feel like if you don’t do everything “perfectly”, you’re going to fail at your goal. The truth is, the more rigid your program is, the harder it is to live a life that includes social activities and stress management opportunities. And that can set you up to fail. The most successful people I’ve ever worked with have been able to walk on a business trip when running wasn’t feasible, and to go to a birthday party and enjoy a bit of the spoils. The ones who struggled, were always the ones who were overly rigid with their expectations of themselves.
  7. You can maintain your program over a period of time.
    At inCYST, we often see women super-motivated until they become pregnant, then they disappear, then they resurface when they’ve gained too much pregnancy weight and are at risk of gestational diabetes. Using food and exercise to achieve a short term goal, then going back to the habits that caused the problem, might fix the problem, but only if the habits are maintained. If you are looking at a program and cannot envision living with it for 1, 5, 10 years, ask yourself why you want to proceed.
  8. You’re mostly craving free. Cravings tell you that you’re out of balance. A healthy diet doesn’t create cravings, and a healthy exercise plan doesn’t make you ravenous. When those things happen, consider that what you’re doing may be extreme.
  9. You’re not using food or exercise to punish yourself.
    Given the popularity of The Biggest Loser, we’re really fighting this one right now. It doesn’t matter how you got to where you are, what you’re doing right now, how perfectly you proceed with your program. You deserve to respect yourself every step of the way. If you’re not coming out of the “better eating and more activity” program feeling better about yourself, you’re a setup for an eating disorder. Food is for nourishing and exercise is for body maintenance. Both should feel satisfying at the end of the day.
  10. You can eat and exercise even if you can’t measure exactly how many calories it involves. If I only had a dollar for every time a client told me they passed on an afternoon in the park, or they apologized for not being able to “exercise” because they had a toddler, and the most they could manage was a stroller. So what? So the picnic doesn’t have calorie labels attached. So the stroller doesn’t have a heart rate monitor. Counting every single thing you do, is not how life was meant to be lived. Thinking about the calories, all the time, may be the root of your problem.
This isn’t concrete, but I hope it helps. Good health is about balance, not extremes. Monika Woolsey of inCYST

Strategies for Healthy Eating on a Budget - An article through Rite Aid
 Source's listed by RiteAid:
"Eating Right When Money Is Tight: Advice for People with Diabetes." Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.  

"Eco-Nomical Solutions: Save Money, Stay Healthy, Reduce Waste." Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

"Energize Yourself and Your Family." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

"Fit and Fabulous as You Mature." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

"USDA's Nutrition Assistance Programs: Eat Right When Money's Tight." USDA. 

Have fun celebrating the best way you can, each day is a gift.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day celebrations

I have a special affinity for St. Patrick's day, it was my grandma's birthday.  Isn't she just beautiful!  I know her kind heart, soft voice and hands, and what a wonderful baker she was.  I absolutely loved taking trips to see grandma and grandpa every year.  I also was delighted to find out that we both had birthday's on holiday's, once I was old enough to make the connection.


That being said, I do not wear the color green well, so all other "normal" traditions of wearing green so you don't get pinched just irk me.  I'm so glad that there are rules about behavior in the work place for times like these. If I forget to wear something green, it's still wrong for a co-worker to pinch me. It's the small things in life that make me happy. 

I do have somethings that I like to do for St. Patrick's day, like watching Darby O'Gill and the Little People and The Quiet Man, it's one of the few John Wayne's that I can really appreciate, there are a few others as well, but that one is a favorite.  I like Maureen O'Hara, she is a wonderful actress, and she makes this one fun.  My new family, the one I married, has a small feast at certain times to share with us. Hubby's mom makes corned beef and cabbage, and we are usually invited to come over and enjoy the meal together.  There is no green beer, or beer bread, or all of that crazy stuff, but good food and family.

There are no special family recipes for this particular holiday on my side of the family, but I have a head of purple cabbage that I'm thinking I really should incorporate into something for the holiday.

See! I loved Grandma from the moment we met.

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Laria Tabul
Photo By: Jenbc27
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
Ready In: 2 Hours 35 Minutes
Servings: 5
"This traditional Irish dish is the centerpiece for many a St. Patrick's Day table. Corned beef takes a long, lovely simmer with potatoes, carrots and cabbage for a hearty and satisfying dish."
3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Corned Beef and Cabbage I (continued) 2 of 2
1. Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
2. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.

Here is one that get's high praise from

For those with kids, or who just like new ways to celebrate, or add kale to breakfast, here is a Green Eggs recipe from Elana's Pantry.  She also has a Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread if you are interested.
Green Eggsprinter friendly
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 large kale leaves (do not trim or remove stems)
  • pinch celtic sea salt
  • oil of your choice for frying pan
  1. Place eggs, kale leaves and salt in Vitamix
  2. Blend on high until smooth
  3. Heat oil in pan over medium heat
  4. Pour egg mixture in pan
  5. Allow eggs to cook a bit, then scramble them
  6. Cook eggs to your preferred doneness
  7. Serve

How ever you are celebrating or just letting the day pass, remember to pray for your missionaries out there, and if you have none that you can think of, let me share an organization that is close to my heart.  This holiday is actually a religious one in Ireland, and places close so they can go and pray for Missionaries.  I think this is a delightful way to remember the history, and to help missionaries around the world.  What ever your religious beliefs, if you are or are not I would hope that you could at least appreciate these two organizations that help stop human trafficking.  I know there are others out there, but these two are the ones I have chosen to highlight.  I have met with David and Beth Grant, long long ago when I went to India, and they are wonderful people to begin with, and they have huge hearts for those who have been sold into sexual slavery.

Project Rescue Blog
Project Resuce: home page

Help to stop the violence against women, human trafficking needs to be stopped.

"Project Rescue is a ministry to women and children in sexual slavery focused on providing physical, emotional and spiritual rescue and holistic restoration. Our multifaceted programs aim to provide a safe environment for transformation and growth. Click here to discover the Project Rescue difference."

There is also another group working against human trafficking.  Their is beneficial in many ways, by just purchasing their coffee you are helping a whole community get out of poverty and end the selling of their women and children into sexual slavery. 

Mercy House Coffee

To stop child prostitution and eliminate poverty.
We now have 11 villages that no longer sell their children into prostitution but grow coffee instead.
We have a dozen children homes that rescue children off the streets and out of prostitution.
The sale of coffee supports the development of farms and industries like coffee that eliminates poverty and supports our children.
A donation of just ten dollars can support a child for an entire week with schooling, health care and a good home.
"By admin, September 1, 2010 6:07 pm
Stopping human trafficking has become a journey, a mission and a lifestyle.  In a sense we are all orphans.  In a sense we are all sold into human bondage.  To some degree, we have been sold out.  As we embrace these abused children in foreign lands, we become aware of the abused in our own neighborhoods and realize the abuse we have tolerated to our own souls.  Is the quick divorce of our spouses and the isolation of our children from our fathers and the turning of the hearts of the children against their fathers, in the media and in our culture, injustice? When we reach out to the furthest child, we reach in to our deepest need.  We begin to know our Father who is in Heaven.  We begin to see the heavens open and we pull down the will of God into the system of this world.  Where there is injustice, may we bring justice.  Where there is violence, may we bring peace.  Where there is wickedness, may we bring righteousness.  Where there is great sorrow, may we bring joy.  Where there is fear, may we bring love. Where there is loss of spirit, may we bring the Holy Spirit.  To all those who have been abandoned, to all those who have lost their purity, to every child who has been harmed, may we be the hands and heart of Jesus. 10/25/10"

So, those are two to get you started if you have no other idea's of who to pray for, or to give to.

For more History on St. Patrick's Day.
and on St. Patrick himself.

Our good by picture, before we head home again.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brownies made with coconut flour

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (GF)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together.
  3. Add honey to bring down temperature before adding the egg.
  4. Whisk in egg.
  5. Add coconut flour, salt and baking soda. Combine.
  6. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  8. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Do not overbake.
  • these brownies they cut best when they are cold
  • can easily be a nut free brownie by omitting the nuts
  • for cake-like brownies, simply add one more egg

I saw a version of these on Elana's Pantry, and there was a link to the Gluten Free Fix, I used a combination of both of them.  I love the use of real butter, but I love the more vanilla as well.  These are not to dense, and not to cakey either, just perfect.  My husband viewed them with wary eyes, and has not tried them.  I took them to work though and tested them out on two co-workers, one is Celiac and the other is not.  Both of them love these brownies!  I used the Ghiradelli chocolate, the higher amount of cocoa so that these were very rich in chocolate flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 servings

Amount per Serving

Calories 412
Calories from Fat 301.6

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 33.51g  51%
Saturated Fat 12.96g  64%
Cholesterol 50.56mg  16%
Sodium 147.77mg  6%
Total Carbohydrate 29.23g  9%
Dietary Fiber 5.09g   20%
Sugars 20.26g
Protein 4.58g  9%

Est. Percent of Calories from:

Fat  73%
Carbs  28%
Protein  4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.

I had to use the nutrition facts from Bob's Red Mill Coconut flour instead of my usual Tropical Traditions, Livestrong (which is where I got the nutritional info from) did not have that brand listed. Not very healthy, but very good.  If I'm going to have something delicious I will have these.  My chocolate fix is complete with these, I'm not looking for anything else to satisfy that craving.  I hope you enjoy these, or make the changes to fit your needs.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another story about pizza

Let me say again, I'm very fond of cauliflower pizza crust.  My husband was not willing to try, until last week that is.  I had made him dinner, and made myself some pizza, and thought that was it.  My husbands hunger won out over his fear of trying this pizza.  So he finished the second pizza and the next day we made some more, and this time I took pictures.  The sauce I used on these was a Raspberry Chipolte BBQ, not very low carb, but I only used a little and the flavor was fantastic.  We each had our own personal size pizza.  Cooking it on the parchment paper and turning it during the cooking process is perfect, and I cook it a bit longer than I originally posted.

I am so excited to say that this little pizza crust is winning it's way to a permanent place in our meal plans, and I won't have to make two separate meals, or hear eww and yuck.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Hot Bowl of Comfort on an Uncomfortable Weekend

How ever familiar you are with PCOS, or me, I should warn you that I have moods, much like others with PCOS.  Sometimes they swing violently, and during those times I generally don't like to be around people much.  This weekend was working out to be busy, and fun, I was looking forward to it, and then things started piling up.  Let me give some back ground here for a minute.
I have two different sets of friends who are in the process of adopting, and I am so excited and happy for both of them. I was honored to complete a survey and let their different agencies know how wonderful each of them are.  I also have a younger friend whom I have worked with since she was in the children's ministry that I be-freinded, and she let me know that she is now expecting.  She is young and just beginning in her future, she will be giving her baby up for adoption, and she is very upset about it.  She will be graduating and heading off to college, and she had no family support to help her raise a child, so it is the best thing for her baby, it just hurts her to have to make that choice.  We are not the family that will be adopting that little blessing.
I'm here in full support, excitement and encouragement for all of my friends, but the baby shower for one of the families was this weekend, and it just hit me; overwhelming waves of "I wish that was me."  It's enough to drive me crazy, I can't share that with others or I'll never be invited to parties again.  In the true spirit of the moment I stayed home and hung out with my little doggies, they love me even when I'm in waves of sadness. Tears really don't wear well to parties, generally smiles are preferred facial attire.

So, today I made my PCOS version of comfort food.  I pulled out the crock pot and threw in my dried black beans, and some chicken stock (low sodium of course).  Since it took me until noon to decide to do this, I cranked the heat on high, and then I waited.  I had just received our new travel bags, so I packed my husbands toiletries and mine into our respective bags and had a great time throwing old things out.

After a few hours I checked on the beans and they were soft, so I rinsed and drained them.  Now the recipe that I made has been a favorite from my 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Cooking Light cook book.  The cookbook does assume that certain seasoning are pantry basics, and do not count towards the 5 ingredient list.

Black Bean Soup with Sausage

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Yield: 6 Servings
Cost per Serving: $1.53


  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  onion, diced
  • 3  cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2  (15.5 oz.) cans black beans (I used the dried beans, which are less expensive and bring the cost per serving down.)
  • 1  (16 oz.) jar salsa
  • 1  cup  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2  (3 oz.) hot Italian sausage links (I use the L.F. Turkey Kielbasa sausage)
  • 1/2  cup  chopped cilantro
  • (I added 2 bell peppers, one red and one green, chopped)
  • Salt and pepper


Warm oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Combine onion mixture, beans (with their liquid), salsa and chicken broth in a slow cooker. Stir well and cook on low for 5 hours.
Stir sausages into bean mixture in slow cooker and cook for 1 hour longer. (I have been cooking the sausage first to brown it, and then adding it into the slow cooker already chopped and browned.)
Using tongs, remove sausages to a cutting board, cut into bite-size pieces and then return to slow cooker. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve soup hot in bowls, with chopped avocado and a dollop of sour cream on top, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  635
Fat:  11g (sat 3g)
Protein:  38g
Carbohydrate:  101g
Fiber:  29g
Cholesterol:  21mg
Sodium:  025mg
All You, SEPTEMBER 2007
This is typically served with quesadillas, I'm avoiding gluten for a bit, and my hubby wanted corn bread, so I made corn bread muffins.  Here is another version you could try if you would like to experiment a bit.

Spicy Black Bean-and-Sausage Soup

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)


  • 2  (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and divided
  • 2 1/2  cups  water, divided (I use chicken stock when I can)
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 2  cups  diced onion
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 6  ounces  turkey kielbasa, diced


Place 1 cup beans and 1/2 cup water in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. (I don't do this, I leave them all whole, but I like a clear broth)
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté 4 minutes or until onion is soft. Add bean purée, remaining beans, 2 cups water, chili powder, and next 4 ingredients (chili powder through garlic); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in turkey kielbasa; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  291 (26% from fat)
Fat:  8.3g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.5g)
Protein:  17.8g
Carbohydrate:  38.9g
Fiber:  7g
Cholesterol:  23mg
Iron:  7.8mg
Sodium:  789mg
Calcium:  72mg
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 1998
It's been a long day, and I'm worn from all of this, but It seems that if my family would really like to know what's going on, and why we don't have a family yet, and how I feel about all of this, I really should share it.  I usually don't, I like to remain positive, and keep the faith.  It's only fair though, to let you in on one or two of those days where I just feel out of sorts, and upset, and I wish that things were different, and that we were the one's celebrating along with our friends. I will share my little doggies love and support with you all, and if you can keep a secret, they really like to help me in the kitchen.

 They like to guard the floor beneath the cutting board, and keep it clean for me.  Only that section though, because they bring in all sorts of mud after they have been out side. 
Well, dish yourself up a bowl of comfort and sit back and relax, it's going to be a wild weekend. 
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