Gratitude, Main Dish, Soup, Turkey

Surprise, Shoes and Chili

Today I am surprised and thankful for:

1. The beautiful words of wisdom from a book I am currently reading, Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, by David Steindl-Rast (1984). My day was framed with these words:

“What counts on your path to fulfillment is that we remember the great truth that moments of surprise want to teach us: everything is gratuitous, everything is gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is the measure of our gratefulness. And gratefulness is the measure of our aliveness. Are we not dead to whatever we take for granted? Surely to be numb is to be dead. For those who awaken to life through surprise, death lies behind, not ahead. To live life open for surprise, in spite of all the dying which life implies, makes us ever more alive.”

2. My favorite shoes. If you are around me very much, you know the ones of which I speak. These are the most comfortable shoes I own. They are casual and dressy. I am surprised and blessed today for my favorite pair of shoes.

3. Chili. I made one of our family favorites tonight and it turned out yummalicious! The best part is all of the veggies that you get to sneak in under the radar. This is also a very low-fat version with a whole lot of flavor. Enjoy!

Jen’s Turkey Chili

Jen’s Turkey Chili


2 pounds ground turkey meat

1 pound light smoked sausage

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 T Olive Oil

1 large yellow onion, pureed in food processor

3 stalks celery, pureed in food processor

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 cans chopped green chilis

4 cubes beef bouillon

1/4 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 cup beer

2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice

3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste


1. Brown ground turkey, sausage, and Worcestershire sauce in separate frying pan and cook until evenly browned.

2. Puree onion in food processor. Heat oil in large soup pot, add onion and and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Puree celery and add to soup pot. Simmer 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic, bouillon, chili powder, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, sugar, and beer. Let spices heat and blend with vegetables for 5 more minutes … be sure to scrape bottom of pan occasionally.

5. Add diced tomatoes, green chiles and tomato paste. Stir to blend. Add meat and sausage mixture.

6. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.

7. Add beans about 30 minutes before done. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.

What are you thankful for today?

2 thoughts on “Surprise, Shoes and Chili”

  1. 1. “End of Funk” – I was in a DEEP blue funk on Monday, and I finally figured out what it was about. That didn’t actually fix it, but it gave me the direction to go, so I am grateful for the change of course!
    2. “Freedom” – A friend of a friend who lives in mainland China was looking for a specific type of local support group – English speaking. I asked my Chinese friend to look online for her, and when my friend tried, she reported back that much of what it there is *not* searchable, inside or outside of China. We are blessed with so many freedoms here… it is easy for me to forget that much of the rest of the world is not that way!
    3. “Library” – Brazoria county has had a long standing rule that each city can only have one public library. My town, though is shaped (East/West) kind of like a hockey stick, so getting to the library here… well, it’s faster for me to go to one in Houston! We’ve had a little distribution center here on the west end, where you could pick up and drop off books reserved online… But the powers that be have finally approved a west branch! It will be a “real” library, where you can sit down and read. Planned for late spring 2013. I am excited!

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