Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Singular Experience

Tonight, my whole house smells like White Chicken Chili. Though I really like this chili, right now it is a little too much. I need more candles – or some system for food odor eaters in our home.

Why does my home smell like this? Tonight my Communication Capstone class conducted a focus group study. We had no budget, so we decided as a group that we would feed our participants as an incentive. They all came – so it must have worked! I volunteered to make White Chicken Chili – two crockpots worth. I was going to make some yummy cornbread muffins, but I got off to a late start this morning so it didn’t happen!

Our focus group study or discussion was with single LDS professionals. We had a great group of people that participated. For our research we got some great insights and learned about the needs for singles as well as understand how we can assist our client, Singular Humanitarian Experience, in reaching their audience of LDS singles. 

 As we concluded and asked if there were any more questions – it was asked if they could get my recipe. So here it is for you to cut and paste!

BEST-EVER WHITE CHICKEN CHILI                                                                        
2 TBSP. Vegetable oil
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey, or 2 large chicken breasts, cubed**
2 small onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 – 3 tsp. cumin
1 TBSP. dried oregano leaves
1 – 2 jalapeno peppers (opt.)
1 tsp. each, salt and cracked peppercorns (to taste)
1 can (28 oz.) chopped tomatoes, including liquid
2 cups chicken broth
3 – 15 oz. cans of drained white beans – or a variety of beans (black, pinto, white cannellini, kidney)
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced lengthwise, or chopped
1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 - 4 ½ oz. can diced mild green chilies

1.      In a skillet, heat 1 TBSP. oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink.  Remove with a slotted spoon to slow cooker.  Drain and discard liquid.
2.      Reduce heat to medium.  Add remaining oil to pan.  Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened.  Add garlic, cumin, oregano, jalapeno peppers, salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring until liquid is reduced by one third, about 5 minutes.
3.      Add beans to slow cooker and pour tomato mixture over them.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, until mixture is hot and bubbling. 
4.      Stir in green pepper and green chilies.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 to 30 minutes, until pepper is tender. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro and avocado.

** In a hurry? Omit cooking chicken in step #1, by either using 2 cans of chicken meat or chicken meat from a rotisserie roasted chicken. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It is BYO_ Night!

I think it is time for another BYO_ Night.
(BYO_ means Bring your own spoon, fork, plate, bowl...)

What do you think?

Does Saturday night work, January 29th?

Or should I make it a Cinnamon Roll Sunday?

That would be Sunday night, January 30th.

Willing to take suggestions on what to prepare.

But you have to make a comment.

Also, letting me know if you are coming would be helpful.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


On Sunday, the theme for our church meeting was on making goals and working through them. Those that spoke did an excellent job. But one quote that was shared has taken root in my thoughts this week.

“That which is not routine
has no power.”

As I have thought about this, I have seen the truth of these words. Because of school, I have let slip even further the routines that bring me closer to my Heavenly Father - temple attendance, reading my scriptures and personal prayers – and even further – kneeling at the end of the day to express my gratitude! 

For many of us, the reminders of what and where we need to be come subtly, but are we really listening? I keep hearing, but am I listening and more importantly - doing? The Lord has truly blessed my life and I have become negligent in doing simple things that He asks us to do. Hopefully this year I can get back to finding those routines that will afford me the power to do the hard things in life I am asked to do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hmmm, this is interesting.

Can you guess what I am?
This is the "One" sofa from the furniture makers, 
Nusa Furniture Collections.
It has a bronze finished base with white cushions. 
Only 30 pieces have been made, and it sells for $23,000.

Personally, when I first saw it, I immediately thought
of a bean/nut pod with a cocoon and bean seeds!
Hmmm, I wonder how comfortable it is?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Last Sunday in Relief Society meeting, I was asked to share what my favorite treat during the Christmas season was. I said, "My Rocky Road candy," which I then quickly added, "It is the best thing ever!" I didn't realize that this was a game of getting to know you, as the one conducting the meeting asked other women to stand if this too, was their favorite Christmas treat.


"Ann brought me over some a few nights ago, and it was really good," said a friend sitting a few rows back.

"I have had it, and it is great stuff," said the woman sitting next to me, a neighbor.

"I can vouch for Ann's Rocky Road. It is really good - but I didn't get any this year!" said yet another neighbor from across the room.

"I don't think I have had any," said the woman sitting next to her, another neighbor.

"That's right, I didn't get any this year either!" said a different neighbor.

So guess who is bringing some to church to share?

If you would like some of this goodness - here is the recipe.  You don't have to make it only for Christmas!

Vegetable spray
8 oz. cocktail peanuts (Wal-Mart Great Value Party Peanuts the best - just make sure the are fresh and salty!)
Miniature marshmallows
2 cups or 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup or 6 oz. butterscotch chips
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (Skippy or Jif)

Spray 8x12 aluminum pan with vegetable spray. In a single layer, pour cocktail peanuts in the bottom of pan. Next, layer with miniature marshmallows.

Put remaining ingredients in an eight-cup Pyrex measuring cup (or microwave proof bowl). Microwave on HIGH for 2-1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth. If needed, microwave in an additional 15 second increments. Pour over peanuts and marshmallows, and spread chocolate mixture. Tap pan on counter so chocolate can flow to bottom and cover other ingredients. To ensure chocolate has made it to the bottom, use a wooden skewer and swirl very gently.

Place in refrigerator to chill and harden, about 3 hours. When chilled, pull sides of pan away from block and place slab of rocky on cutting board. Cut into 96 pieces. Keep refrigerated or in freezer. Enjoy!