Nut Butters Galore :)

HIA CHICAS!!!

Helena, thank you for starting this….I love it ūüôā

My first post is going to be food-related too because it’s winter and freezing, and that’s how I spend most of my free time these days! Cookin…eating out (Portland, can’t help it)… recipe browsing.

SO! For an easy (delicious one)…NUT BUTTERS….

You need….

  • Food Processor
  • Spatch
  • 2 cups nuts (any kind! Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are my favs…mix and match as you please….)
  • Walnut oil (optional)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey or maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Ok, step 1: roast the nuts on a cookie sheet (if you like that roasted taste). 250 degrees for 15 mins will do — watch them so they don’t burn (Maevo, that reminder is for you mwhaha)!!! Roasting isn’t necessary, but I like the taste better, and it also breaks the nuts down a bit so they grind up easier into the butter.

Step 2: Put nuts in a food processor and process until nuts break down and begin to release natural oils. If they seem quite dry, keep going….the oils will come. Stop the food processor every now and then, and scrape the sides with the spatch. Feel free to add a bit of walnut oil if you want creamier nut butter.

Step 3: Once the nuts are all broken down and well combined, add in the good stuff: cinnamon, honey or maple syrup, salt….yummmmmm ūüôā

Step 4: Scrape into a container (mason jars work well) and VOILA! your own homemade nut butter! Keeps for about two weeks in the fridge.

XOXOXO,

Gretchen

 

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Healthy Crock Pot Chili for the Win

Hello Friends,

So excited for my first blog post ever! What better way to start¬†than with a post about one of my favorite things: a bowl of chili to warm you up on a snowy days like the¬†one we’re having in Portland today. Seriously it’s been snowing all day and I haven’t left my apartment or changed out of my pajamas.¬†

VeggieTurkeyChili4.jpg

This recipe calls for a crock pot. If you don’t have a crock pot, I think it’s worth the investment. Kaylee and I use it almost weekly. You can find them pretty cheap, like $20-$30. I could also find one at Goodwill or somewhere like that. I’m happy to send you some of my other favorite crock pot meals if you decide to splurge for a crock pot. Ours is 4.5¬†quarts and I’d recommend getting one at least this size. Any smaller and it’s hard to¬†fit everything inside your crock pot.¬†This¬†is the one we have.

Crock pots are perfect for me because¬†I’m obsessed with easy meals that are ready when I get home. I don’t get home from work until 7pm and I’m already pretty hungry don’t want to start cooking that late. I’ll¬†prep everything the night before and then¬†put the ceramic crock pot basin part in the fridge. In the morning, all I have to do is put the crock pot back in its base and press start. Super easy.

This chili¬†is not just any chili, it’s my favorite because:

  1. There’s everything I love: turkey, beans, and more veggies than other recipes I’ve found. You can even add an extra pepper if you want to up the veggie portions.
  2. It makes a lot of chili. When I make this It feeds both me and my roommate, Kaylee, lunch/dinner multiple times of the week and when I get tired of it, I freeze whatever is left and pull it out when I’m too lazy to cook. The recipe I’ve adapted this from says it makes 6 servings but I’d say it makes closer to 7 or 8, especially if you serve it over some rice or quinoa (yum!)
  3. It’s a pretty cheap meal. I bought all the ingredients from Trader Joe’s (or TJ’s) and it cost between $12-$16 depending on the quality of turkey you buy. We splurged for extra-lean kosher ground turkey because we never buy meat and buying kosher ingredients makes me nostalgic for my kosher kitchen from last year.
  4. If you’re like me and Kaylee, we rarely cook meat because it’s more expensive…plus we hate dealing with raw meat and are afraid we’re going to make ourselves sick (if anyone has tips on cooking meat, I’d love to hear them). This is nice because you literally just throw everything in the crock pot (even the raw meat) and forget about it until you come home to a delicious smelling apartment.

Vegetable Turkey Chili

  • 1 pound Lean or Extra-Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2 15-ounce cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can Black Beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can Kidney Beans or chili beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can Fire roasteddiced tomatoes from TJ’s
  • 2 Large diced Bell Peppers (different colors)
  • 1 Large diced Yellow Onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced Carrots
    • Note: I use Trader Joe’s mirepoix mix. It saves time and I have the perfect amount of onions, celery, and carrots. Plus you don’t have to chop any onions.
  • 1 cup Corn kernels (I prefer to use frozen corn but a can of corn works as well)
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves, minced or several shakes of garlic powder if you’re like me and want to do the least amount of chopping possible.
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder (add more if you like spicier dishes
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Toppings: Sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc
  1. Crumble raw turkey into the base of a large crock pot. Add Tomato Sauce, all the Beans, drained Diced Tomatoes, corn, diced Bell Peppers, diced Onion, carrots, and celery,Garlic, Chili Powder, Cumin, and Chili Pepper. Stir so everything is combined.
  2. Cook on Low for 7-9 hours, or on High for 4-5 hours, until turkey is cooked and veggies are soft. Be sure to taste before serving it, I usually end up adding a few more dashes of spices and some salt and  pepper because I like things very flavorful and a little spicy.

Enjoy with the optional toppings or over a some rice or quinoa or with some homemade cornbread. Or not, it’s delicious however you eat it.


Seriously, that’s it. It’s so easy and so yummy.

This just made me so excited to share this with you all. Stay tuned for my next easy, cheap, and delicious meal inspired by my rock star mom.

xoxo,

Laurel

FRANDS OF MAINE

Here’s to all you beautiful ladies ¬†that I’m honored to call my friends. In my remote and rural location (yeah, so, the White House lawn¬†is practically the frontier), I’ve at times felt that…what’s it ¬†called…fomo?..or ..nostalgia? …maybe just lonely….for lazy nights on futons playing¬†ukulele, for jumpin’ in¬†some icy Maine water, for late night nutella eats (oh wait, those still happen)…. etc.

To mitigate¬†those particular yearnings….and to keep a running commentary on our chic werkin’ woman lives…this blog was born (and may yet be aborted…depending on you !) A while back, Maeve was telling me about how her sister Nora kept in touch with all her Middkids abroad with a blog. ¬†We figured that we¬†could employ¬†a similar strategy with¬†our Maine beaches (beaches, betches….tomato, tomaaato…. )

As you all know, timeliness is not a strong suit of mine¬†and so its been several months in the making…

This is a blog about nything (I also don’t know anything about blogging…) … .work, school, play,¬†recipes, pictures, articles, book titles, show¬†reviews,¬†observations about the weightloss advantages to living in the cold, ¬†podcasts (hey¬†Overwater hey),beyonce wanne be videos…… the virtual world is your oyster. No limits.

So, if you feel compelled, post away!

xxx

hel