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?

Gratitude, Soup

Books, Tomato Soup, and Yoga

Today I am thankful for:

1. Books. I do not know what I would do without books. I love learning and processing what I learn with others. One way my husband and I were made for each other … our shared love for books. This is my current night table reading:

2. Tomato Soup. Since I was a little girl, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup have been a favorite. I enjoy making homemade for my kids because I can avoid the corn syrup in most of the canned tomato soup. I also feel like I can sneak several colors of veggies in under their radar. Bonus!

Homemade Tomato Soup

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 16 oz can chicken broth
  • 1 28 oz can fire roasted whole tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. dried basil (or a handful of fresh…. mmmm)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like about 1/2 tsp  or so salt)
  1. Heat olive oil in saucepan, over medium-low heat.
  2. Saute onion with a little salt and pepper for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic for a minute, and then add celery and carrots.
  4. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. A
  5. Add bay leaves, chicken broth, fire roasted tomatoes with juice, basil, salt, and pepper. If using fresh basil… wait to add until the last 5 mintues and remove bay leaves (so the two don’t get confused).
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Remove bay leaves.
  9. Puree with hand held immersion blender until smooth.

3. Outdoor yoga. Yoga has taught me to be gentle and kind with myself … more accepting of my limitations. We got to practice outside today in the cool breeze of the morning. Beautiful. Slow down. Calming. Quiet.

What are you thankful for today?