Gratitude, Main Dish, Turkey

Slow Cooker Turkey Carnitas

Today I am thankful for:

Turkey Carnitas

1. Yummalicious Turkey Carnita Soft Tacos. I sautéed the leftovers tonight and the meat was even better the second time. My entire family said we need to make this again soon! Go Mom! Recipe follows below.

Scary Bieber2. Playful fun and laughter. I ended up with a six-foot-tall cardboard cut-out of Justin Bieber today (not to scale). I placed it in our daughter’s room for her to discover when she got home from school. Sneaky sneaky. We waited, breathless, as she went up to her room… and… screamed… and then laughed hysterically. After we calmed down, we put it in our son’s room and managed to scare him, too. Then, we put smirking, flat Justin by the front door for the UPS man. Much mischief has transpired in our home today.

scary Bieber 2

3. I left my door open at my office today. A woman sitting all by herself in the waiting area began to sing hymns of praise in her native African tongue. I just sat back and listened. I felt incredibly blessed during this sacred moment. I was able to tell her what a blessing she was when I went out to get one of my clients. We both smiled… and I know God was smiling, too. Beautiful.

What are you thankful for today?

Slow Cooker Turkey Carnitas

(Adapted from the OH Kitchen Crock Pot Turkey Carnitas)

  • 3 lb. Turkey thighs (skinned)
  • 1-2 tbs. Olive oil
  • 3 tsp. steak seasoning (I used Fiesta Extra Fancy Texas Style Steak Seasoning)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 (4 oz.) cans minced Hatch green chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dark beer
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lime
  1. Generously season turkey thighs with steak seasoning. Brown turkey thighs in 1 tbs. olive oil in a skillet on medium heat until browned on both sides. Place thighs in slow cooker on high heat.
  2. Sauté onions in the skillet with the rest of the olive oil for 3-5 min. until translucent (sprinkle a little salt and pepper onto the onions for flavor). Add garlic and jalepenos. Sauté an extra 2 minutes.
  3. Place veggie mixture and bay leaves on top of the turkey thighs in the slow cooker.
  4. Stir together green chiles, beer, chicken broth, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano. Pour over thighs.
  5. Cut lime in half and add halves to slow cooker and cover. After 1 hour, remove lime, stir, and continue to cook for 5-6 hours on low. Stir occasionally.
  6. The turkey is done when it shreds with a fork. Remove bay leaves and allow to cool with cover removed (to reduce liquid).
  7. Serve on warm flour tortillas with diced cabbage, cilantro, sliced avocado, Herdez green salsa, (or my husband prefers Cholula), and grated monterey jack cheese.
  8. The meat is great “refried” with a little olive oil in a skillet (makes little crunchy bits).

I would love to share your blessings today. It is always a blessing to share gratitude with others!

Gratitude, Main Dish, Turkey

Turkey Florentine, Youth Minister, and Happiness

Today I am thankful for:

1. A new recipe success. I love trying out new recipes, but I also try to prepare myself for the fact that some recipes may not turn out. I even made a deal with my kids. If they do not like a new recipe, my feelings will not be hurt! Quesadilla stuff is always in the fridge. Tonight I played around with a Turkey Florentine recipe (Paleo style). The kids were sopping up the sauce with their un-paleo rolls. The entire house was smiling. Big smile here. Thankful.

Turkey Florentine (Paleo Version)

4 turkey cutlets cut in half

Flour mixture (for dredging):

1/2 C almond meal

2  T dried parsley flakes

2 tsp paprika

1 T dried minced onion

1 tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp ground pepper

2 eggs

1 C white wine

1 C coconut/almond milk

1 T. Turkey Better Than Bouillon

1/4 tsp salt

2-3 T olive oil

3 cloves garlic

Spinach, fresh (about 16 oz)

Combine dredging ingredients in a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs in small bowl. Dip each piece of turkey in eggs and then dredge in flour mixture. Heat about 2 T olive oil in a pan and brown turkey cutlets (about 5 min. on each side). Remove from pan and put on a plate. In the same pan, add a little more oil and add garlic. Saute until translucent. Add white wine and deglaze pan, scraping every bit. Add coconut milk, salt and turkey bouillon. Bring to a boil and simmer until sauce thickens and reduces a little. Add chicken back to pan. Cook on low for another 10ish minutes.

Now in a separate pan, heat 1-2 tsp. olive oil. Saute a little more garlic and add spinach. When done, put spinach on a plate and top with chicken piece, and sauce.

2. Our youth minister. She took some of our girls from our church to a girls’ conference in Abilene this weekend. What an incredible experience for our girls! I picked up my daughter tonight and she has not stopped talking. She learned all about being courageous, and knowing she is a beautiful creation because God made her!

3. I wake up every morning to this beautiful statuette called “Happiness.” The birds make me think “sing, laugh, and love.” It reminds me of a wonderful ladies retreat a couple of years ago where we discussed the many ways to broaden our happiness. One of those things is the practice of Gratitude. Thankful for beautiful memories.

What are you thankful for today?

Gratitude, Main Dish, Turkey

Baked Turkey Strips, Apples and Mom

Today I am thankful for:

1. Oven Baked Turkey Strips. Because of diet restrictions, I have not eaten chicken in over two years. I guess that makes me counter cultural in a silly way. Anyway, I love chicken strips and this Paleo version of fried chicken strips had me licking my fingers. I ate some cold left overs today and just closed my eyes. Mmmmmm. The only adjustments were to omit the cayenne pepper and pour over some Franks Buffalo Sauce before putting them in the oven.

Baked Turkey Strips

2. Apples. I bit into the sweetest tasting apple today. It was one of those moments that you pause and say, “is this really an apple?” Yummo! I feel thankful for God’s endless creativity and the ways He blesses me all through the day with little surprising gifts. Savor.

3. I am thankful to be a mom. It is a challenging job, at times, but the most rewarding job I have ever had. I am honored to share in moments of struggle with my children and walk alongside. I am amazed at the resilience and tenacity they display as they overcome challenges. I am thankful for laughter and silliness that gives life a lift! I  love my head banging sessions with my son as we drive to school listening to amazing drummers in his (and my) favorite bands. Celebrate!

What are you thankful for today?

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, Main Dish, Turkey

Feta Cheese, Alarm Clocks, and Sisters

Today I am thankful for:

1. Feta Cheese. I eat it on everything from salads to burritos. Today I made Cousin Cosmos Greek Chicken (Paleo Style with turkey cutlets), a family favorite stuffed with feta cheese. It was a joy to sit around the table, eat a savory meal, and share our highs and lows with one another. Blessed!

2. Getting up this morning. I wake up at 5:45 to get everyone off to where they need to be. You have to understand that I am not a 5:45 kind of girl … I am a very happy equator girl where the sun comes up at 7:00 am every day of the year!!! I know this because I have lived near the equator. Anyway, when the alarm clock goes off, my initial reaction is “this sucks.” Seriously. Then, I lay in bed for a moment and start remembering my blessings for the day. I get to wake up and have breakfast with my two favorite kids,  a little coffee time with my DSH (dear sweet husband), and spend 40 minutes in the car just hanging out with my kids. The gratitude literally changes “this sucks” to “rise and shine.” Well, not exactly, I am still pretty brain dead, but I am thankful I have something to wake up for. Savor!

3. Sisters. I am blessed to have two beautiful younger sisters who are my best friends. We have been through a lot together, we know each other’s strengths and struggles, and we support one another. We were not always this way. But, we have grown up and worked hard to make our relationships a blessing to one another. I do not know what I would do without my sisters and am grateful that they are a part of my life. Connection!

Kelly Rae Roberts

What are you thankful for today?

Main Dish, Turkey

Spicy Smothered Turkey Cutlet Chops

This is a yummy substitute for smothered pork chops and ooooh so good! Enjoy!

Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 min.

Ready in: approx.2 hours

Makes 6 servings

1/3 cup olive oil

1 T minced fresh garlic

1 c panko or gluten free panko

1 T minced fresh parsley

1 tsp Salt

½ tsp ground red pepper

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp onion powder

6 Turkey Cutlets

1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

½ cup milk

1/3 cup white wine

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 15 X 10 casserole dish. Rinse turkey cutlets and pat dry.2. In small saucepan heat olive oil and garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle, take off burner.3. In shallow dish, mix panko, parsley, salt, red pepper, black pepper and onion powder.4. Dip chops in olive oil, then coat with crumb mixture. Arrange chops in casserole. Drizzle with remaining oil. Cover with foil.5. Bake in preheated over for 1 hour. While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk, and white wine in a medium bowl. After the chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil and bake for another 25 minutes.Do not remove foil for 10 minutes after chops are finished baking.