It was the week before Turkey Day and all through the house, there was a frozen Turkey in the garage but it was time to fire up the Crock Pot instead!
15 different beans, veggies and turkey sausage were the ingredients we used to make this perfect Slow Cooked Cajun Soup.
So before you pull out your credit card and settle in for a full day of online shopping this Cyber Monday, pull out the Crock Pot, grab the ingredients below so when you have completed your last PayPal transaction
your dinner will be done!
Toni’s Tip: If you are trying not to have too much food in the refrigerator and freezer before a big holiday dinner, make a big pot of Bean Soup because it makes a good mid-week meal.
Make a big batch so that you will have plenty leftover to freeze then thaw and eat later for when you are too tired too cook or have spent too much money in the malls.
1/2 package Hurst’s® HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup®
32 oz broth (I used low sodium chicken, but you can use beef or vegetable)
1 lb. fully cooked Turkey Sausage (diced)
1 16 oz package frozen Vegetable Soup Mix
1/2 package frozen Kale
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
Optional: Hot sauce or crushed red pepper to taste
Sort and rinse beans, (no need to soak overnight), check for any unwanted debris and discard
Drain beans and place them into slow cooker and top with frozen veggies and canned tomatoes
Mix Cajun seasoning package with chicken broth, stir and pour over beans and veggies stir to mix evenly
Set slow cooker on high and cook for 4 hours (or low for 6-7), or until beans are tender
30 minutes before end of cooking time, add diced Turkey sausage and cook for additional 30 minutes
Serve with a freshly baked corn bread or serve over brown long grain rice
What is your favorite Slow Cooked Soup?
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In October I attended a 2-day eCommerce Marketing and Sales Workshop in Dover where I met a wonderful small business owner, Venetia Thompson who also lives in Middletown, Delaware. In recognition of Shop Small Saturday, I wanted to feature her on my blog this year.
Very Venetia, is the creation of Venetia Thompson who has delighted her family for over 40-years with unique gifts! Whenever there were gifts to be given, Venetia’s gifts were usually quite striking as being so “Very Venetia” which is how she got her name.
Diagnosed with lupus over 18 years ago, Venetia refuses to let lupus dictate her lifestyle. So in 2008, Very Venetia, Inc. was conceived to provide a platform for expressing her love of upcycling with the use of vibrant colors, multiple textures, and ingenuity to design fabulous gifts. Inspiration usually comes from self-necessity or seeing an old piece of furniture and envisioning a new life for it.
When Venetia is not working in her Home Studio, you can find her selling her merchandise at Penn’s Place which is located in Historical New Castle just across from the Courthouse. Her fabulous creations are on view, Thursday through Sundays.
Penn’s Place is a house of Artisans where you can chat with artist while sipping coffee from the Coffee Shop, Trader’s Cove, just on the back end of the shop. So, if you are in the neighborhood, stop at Penn’s Place, 206 Delaware Street, New Castle, Delaware and see what fabulous concepts are waiting for you!
Make sure to support your Small Businesses and Shop Small tomorrow!
Support your local small businesses as they are the backbone of today’s economy. Also, one of the best things about Shopping Small is that you can find unique and cute gifts that are not mass manufactured.
Let’s Chat: What do you like best about shopping small, especially during the holidays?
Although I am not quite ready to start wearing boots full time because it makes me think about snow, I did however, wear a pair last week. I also wore my little black suede booties which I prefer because they are uber cute and comfortable.
This colorful striped dress was thrifted from Goodwill and not only do I love the wonderful colors but also that it is forgiving. It hugs where it’s supposed to and it’s loose where it needs to be!
I chose to wear a multi color bracelet but now that I see this pic, it appears lost!
Pencil skirts and short sleeves are my go-to outfits for work. I do not like to be overheated and I would rather wear short sleeves under a sweater or blazer and you ladies of a particular age know exactly what I mean. #menopause
I normally wear silver tone jewelry with black so with this outfit I have on silver hoop earrings, multi-strand silver tone necklace, silver cuff bracelet and zebra stripped silver ring and watch.
Next week I will be wearing my blue suede booties of which I have two different pairs so stay tuned for those outfits of the day.
How about you, what do you like better, over the knee boots or do you prefer to wear booties?
The calendar may have said November, but earlier in the month Mother Nature had some major hot flashes. Two weeks ago the temps were in the high 70’s breaking all sorts of records, but finally the Autumn weather has settled in here in the Mid Atlantic area.
As previously stated, the only thing I really liked about Daylight Saving Time was having a brighter morning to photograph OOTD pictures. However, depending on the time, some mornings the sunshine can be intense and overwhelming as you can plainly see from this picture.
I think I may have also mentioned in previous posts that I prepare my outfits for the entire week on Sunday nights, undoubtedly I must have missed the weather forecast for this week when I chose to wear this particular outfit. It was however comfortable despite the temps nearing almost 80 degrees!
Long sleeves and cowl neck shirts are my favorites especially paired with pencil skirts and this one was purchased a few seasons back from JCPenney. Ever since they closed the store in the Exton Square Mallwhich was very convenient to shop at during my lunch hour, I haven’t had an opportunity to visit any the other locations. I had always loved their clearance racks and they always had the cutest pencil skirts out of all the other retailers that I have shopped.
These shoes were purchased from Ross, my “Betty Boop” shoes as I like to call them are quite comfortable because of the platform. The scarf was purchased from Avon and it makes a great “mix and match” print when paired with the skirt – what do you think? The other accessories are silver tone which I normally pair with black and white outfits.
Soon it will be time to bring out the big and bulky sweaters of which I recently thrifted a few at the local Goodwill store in West Chester. When you get a chance, go check out the mini haul video on my YouTube channel and let me know what you think.
Have you started your holiday shopping yet, if not, check out the latest Avon catalog for some great holiday gift ideas!
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Disclosure: As a member of #SwitchCircle I received this product free from Jennie-O in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are 100% my own.
Hello friends, I hope all is well is your world this wonderful Thanksgiving week. As most of you know, hubby is battling small intestinal cancer and has been undergoing chemo since June.
Today he is receiving treatment number 10 of 12, and it really wipes him out for the rest of the week, therefore, this year our Thanksgiving meal will be prepared for just he, our two sons and myself no other family members or friends.
Staying positive during this time and keeping the day stress free is the goal and thanks to my friends over at Jennie-O, it will be with this No Thaw ~ Oven Ready ~ From Freezer to Oven Whole Turkey with a Gravy Packet.
I am not unfamiliar with this Jennie-O Turkey as I prepared one last Thanksgiving, which you may remember I stated it was one of the best turkey dinners that I had made in recent memory.
In addition to having the turkey I will also be preparing kale and sweet potatoes which I received from The Help Ourselves Projectwhich is a non-profit organization currently involved in community-based initiatives ranging from food distribution to West African based out of Philadelphia, PA. Of course there will also be stuffing, hot rolls, shrimp and Marie Callender’s Deep Dish Apple Pie for dessert! The instructions for cooking a Jennie-O Whole Turkey is easy, breezy:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and remove turkey from outer bag, leaving it in the roasting bag
Cut 6 – 1/2 inch slits into the cooking bag, and pull up and away from turkey
Place in oven to roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh, there is also a Pop-Up Timer, but it take approximately 4 hours to cook
Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes then cut open roasting bag, be careful allowing the steam to escape
Prepare the gravy
No matter what brand or how you prepare your turkey, there will always be leftovers so if you need any ideas for your turkey leftovers, make sure to check out the www.jennieo.com website.
This holiday season, get your furry friend in the spirit with fun, seasonal treats, apparel, toys and more from Petco.com! Petco has a wide selection of holiday-themed dog and cat essentials. When you shop conveniently online at Petco.com now through the end of the year, you will save on the retailer’s already low prices with $7 off your order of $70 or more! Shower your pets with gifts and holiday love this season, all while saving money, when you shop at Petco!
Keep the entire family stylish and warm this winter with discounted footwear from your favorite brands at Sears! This November, save on Sears’ already low prices when you shop conveniently online at Sears.com. When you shop online for your family’s shoes, you will save an extra 20% off any two or more pairs that you purchase with code! Save on your family’s favorite brands like ASICS, Fila, New Balance, Nike, Vans, Sketchers and more during this amazing promotional event at Sears.com.
Planning an outdoor adventure this winter season? Save on all of your winter athletic essentials when you shop at Sierra Trading Post! Now through 12/2, save on Sierra Trading Post’s already discounted prices by taking 20% off your purchase of $125 or 25% off your purchase of $200, with code at www.imin.com Save on trusted outdoor brands including Icebreaker, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, SmartWool, Carhartt and more during this online promotional event, only at Sierra Trading Post.
Harsh, winter weather is quickly approaching, and it is time to stock up on cold-weather essentials for your children! This November, save on everything your child needs for the winter season with a 40% discount off the entire site, when you shop online at ChildrensPlace.com. Stock up on coats, jackets, hats, mittens, sweaters and other must-haves, while this amazing promo lasts. Hurry and save while this sale lasts! This clearance event at ChildrensPlace.com ends on 11/23.
In need of holiday party must-haves like stylish cocktail dresses, sparkly tops, fun accessories and sleek men’s suiting separates? Shop in stores, or conveniently online at Express to find the top styles of the season for men and women. Even better, when you shop online this November at Express.com you will save 10% off your entire order with code! Get your festive and fun holiday apparel today, while this promotional event lasts. Savings end on 11/24.
The holiday season can get expensive and stressful. Fortunately, Kohl’s is here to help with their everyday low prices and convenient online store—no need to even leave your house! Now through the end of the year, save 15% off your entire online order of $100 or more when you shop hassle-free online at Kohls.com. Save on the gifts that everyone wants, like apparel, home goods, furniture, electronics, jewelry and more during this promotional savings event.
What better way to show you care this season, than with the delicious gift of chocolates from Lindt? This famous, Swiss chocolatier is now offering two free 75-piece bags with your purchase of any three. Save on gifts for friends, family and that special someone, when you shop conveniently online at LindtUSA.com to redeem this deal. These savings are so good; you can even treat yourself to a little something special. Shop online at LindtUSA.com today to save on some of the world’s finest chocolate!
Who doesn’t love the gift of gourmet chocolate? Find something for everyone on your list this holiday season when you shop at popular chocolate-retailer, Ghiradelli. No time to get to the mall or store? Shop conveniently online, without leaving your home, at Ghiradelli.com and save 10% off your delicious chocolate purchase of $50 or more. Shop now through the end of the year at Ghiradelli.com to save on the perfect chocolate gift for friends and family.
Prepare your home for holiday entertaining and out-of-town guests with beautiful home goods from around the globe at popular retailer, World Market. Shop in stores throughout the nation, or conveniently online to save on this retailer’s furniture, rugs & curtains, lighting, décor, dining essentials and more. When you shop online at WorldMarket.com now through the end of the year, save by taking 10% off your entire purchase. Stock up on all of your holiday essentials during this promotional savings event at World Market.
Keep centered and stay zen during the stressful holiday season this year with yoga and workout essentials from yoga-retailer, Gaiam. When you shop this popular yoga brand’s high-quality athletic apparel and accessories, now through December 5th , you will save with a BOGO special! During this promotional BOGO event, buy one and get the second one 20% off! Find the perfect yoga pants, workout tops and other relaxing yoga must-haves during this online sale at Gaiam.com.
Stay healthy this holiday season by shopping at Rite Aid! In addition to their retail stores throughout the nation, Rite Aid also offers hassle-free online shopping at RiteAid.com, so that you can have your health essentials delivered directly to your door! Now through the end off the year save $10 off your order of $50 or more when you shop online at RiteAid.com. Even better, save with FREE SHIPPING on every purchase with code. Stock up on everything you need to stay healthy and enjoy the upcoming holiday season!
The coming winter weather means you will be spending more time inside of your home. Why not spruce it up, and make it a place you want to be with wall art and posters from AllPosters.com. In addition to their popular posters, All Posters also carries a wide selection of many art and photography styles, as well as t-shirts, puzzles and calendars. This November, save on All Poster’s diverse selection of décor by taking 30% off all orders at AllPosters.com. Hurry and shop today. This offer ends 11/30.
Finding comfortable and stylish footwear can be difficult. Simplify the shoe shopping process, by shopping at Naturalizer for high-quality, trendy footwear that is also comfortable! Find leather boots, trendy dress shoes, casual flats and more when shop in stores or online at Naturalizer.com. Save time and money when you shop at Naturalizer.com by taking 10% off your order with code! Find the perfect Fall footwear today, that combine comfort and style, when you shop online at Naturalizer.com!
This season, save on all of your holiday perfume gifts when you shop conveniently online at FragranceX.com. FragranceX has a wide selection of the most popular fragrances, with brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry and more. Even better, you can rest assured knowing that all of FragranceX.net’s products are 100% authentic and secure. Save on the retailer’s already low prices when you shop now through the end of the year by taking 10% off your entire order. Shop and save today!
The year is coming to an end, and it is time to unclutter your life and get organized with space-saving solutions from the Get Organized store. Shop the retailer’s innovative organizational solutions conveniently online at ShopGetOrganized.com and save today! Now through the end of the year, the retailer is offering a discount of 15% off site wide with code. Don’t wait any longer—it is time to get rid of your clutter and organize your life today with ShopGetOrganized.com.
Find the perfect holiday gift for any man in your life at popular menswear retailer Jos. A. Bank. This fine-apparel retailer has a wide selection of high-quality menswear basics, like suiting separates, dress shirts, khakis, dress pants and more. Save on Jos. A. Bank’s stylish menswear when you shop their Clearance Center conveniently online at JosBank.com, and save up to 70% off original prices. These quantities are limited, so shop now and save. This promo ends 12/31.
Hosting out-of-town guests this holiday season? Fear not! You can find everything you need to get your home ready when you shop conveniently online at LampsPlus.com. In addition to being the nation’s largest lighting retailer, LampsPlus.com also have a wide selection of furniture, home décor, outdoor essentials and more. Even better, I’m in is offering a discount of $10 off any purchase of $150 or more when you shop online with code. Get your home ready for the holidays today while this promo lasts!
Dress to impress this holiday season with stylish and cozy apparel and accessories from popular women’s retailer, Loft! No time to get to the mall? No worries! Shop conveniently online at Loft.com today and save time and money with FREE SHIPPING on every purchase of $125 or more. Find the perfect pants, dresses, sweaters, tops, and more for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties and more when you shop conveniently online at Loft.com. Shop and save today!
With the business of the upcoming holiday season, you may have difficultly finding time to get to the grocery store. Simplify your grocery shopping this season with online-grocery service, Peapod.com. Peapod.com wants to change the way you buy groceries, by delivering them directly to your door, or preparing them for convenient pick up. Try it out today, and see how it will save you time and money. Now through 11/30, Peapod.com is giving new customers $15 off their first order with code.
Taking care of your furry friend can take a lot of money and time. Simplify the pet parenting process with the help of pet-care retailer, Pet360. With fast, free shipping on orders over $49, you will save time by shopping conveniently online at Pet360.com. Even better, now through the end of the year the popular pet retailer is offering a discount of $20 off your online purchase of $150 or more! Stock up on pet food, treats and toys from your favorite brands including Natural Balance, Taste of the Wild, Only Natural Pet and more. This promo ends 12/31.
Sundays are fun days made for quick and easy meals especially if chicken wings are on the menu! Did you ever wonder how watching football and eating chicken wings became a tradition? I am not sure how, why or when I just know that we love it!
So if you and your family enjoy eating chicken wings while watching football, here’s an easy breezy finger licking good recipe for making Slow Cooked Saucy Chicken Wings using just 3 ingredients. Ingredients
3 lbs of Chicken Wings – joints separated, if frozen, make sure to thaw overnight
1 bottle of BBQ Sauce any flavor
2 Tbs Honey
1 Cup Orange with Mango juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with foil then spray with Cooking Spray
Add a single layer chicken wings and bake until browned for approximately 30 minutes
Spray Crock Pot with Cooking Spray and add chicken wings
Mix BBQ Sauce, Honey and Orange/Mango juice in a mixing cup then pour mixture over the wings
Stir to coat evenly
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours
Serve with Nachos or the traditional Celery Sticks and Bleu Cheese Dressing, don’t forget the napkins!
How do you cook your Chicken Wings?
To see more recipes, check out my Brunch with Blake YouTube Channel – click here
If you don’t know me by now, you will never never know how much I love my Crock Pot! Just a little play on words from the famous song by the classic group, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. It was another crispy Autumn weekend and my Crock Pot was filled with the ingredients for a delicious 3 Bean Chicken Chili.
Most grocery stores are running specials on their beans so it’s a perfect time to stock up which is exactly what I did with these Bush’s Beans on sale at Food Lion last week.
1 lb of Ground Chicken
Can of Black Beans
Can of White Kidney (Cannellini) Beans
Can of Red Kidney Beans
Can of Diced Tomatoes
Package Frozen Pepper-Stir Fry Veggies
Package Chili Seasoning
Shredded Mexican Cheese
1 Cup Instant Rice
Hot Sauce or Cayenne Pepper
Cook Ground Chicken in a skillet with a little oil, cook until no longer pink
Spoon the fully cooked Ground Chicken into Crock Pot.
Pour in the 3 cans of beans, undrained
Top with tomatoes, undrained
Add Chili seasoning pack then stir to mix all ingredients
Top with frozen veggies
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours
After Chili has cooked, you can pour in a cup of Instant Rice directly into the Crock Pot allowing it to absorb the liquid and thicken, approximately 10 minutes. Top the Chili with a dollop of Sour Cream and garnish with Cilantro and serve with hot corn bread or muffins. Of course hot sauce or cayenne pepper is your option because it is definitely one of mine.
What is your favorite Chili recipe?
Disclosure: Affiliate links are contained in this post, however, it will not add any additional cost to your purchase price.
It might, however, help me buy a second cup of coffee!
In most cases, people typically want to separate the inside of their home’s from the abundance of nature that is outdoors. However, when it comes to lighting the inside of your home, that may not be the best way to approach it. Turns out, we still haven’t found a method of lighting that works better than that good ol’ fashioned sun in the sky. Using windows, skylights, and sunroofs to light the inside of your home can actually yield tremendous benefits! Here’s a handful of reasons why that is…
1. Health benefits
Surprisingly, due to the amount of information that we hear about skin cancer and melanoma, there are more people on this planet that suffer from a lack of UVR exposure (Ultraviolet Radiation) than there are people who get too much. Being in sunlight more often can actually decrease the risk of sun cancer by offering moderate amounts of UVR exposure. Lack of UVR exposure can also cause your bones to become softer and weaker, thus increasing their risk of breaking. It also is important to receive UVR exposure to prevent the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
2. Energy savings
Obviously, keeping an abundance of lights on in the interior of your home is going to add to your electricity bill every month, on top of the added costs of light bulbs and new wiring that will be needed over time. However, if you design your home to let in enough sunlight, there is practically very little reason why any lights need to be turned on in your home during the daylight hours. For this reason, higher quantities of higher quality windows are greatly desired, since they can allow sunlight to flow throughout your home, bringing sunlight to many areas that would otherwise be left in darkness.
3. Mood benefits
Similarly to photosynthesis in plants, sunlight is able to increase the amount of energy that we have. It accomplishes this by causing our body to increase its production of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone in the body that has a positive effect on your mood. It increases your brain’s propensity for social interaction, positive activity, healthy appetite, faster digestion (thus helping you lose weight), stronger memory, and even strong feelings of sexual desire (I guess that explains the phrase “afternoon delight”).
4. Vitamin D
One of the most substantial ways that we get our daily supply of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. This is important due to the fact that nearly every bit of tissue in your body requires Vitamin D to function. Vitamin D is a valuable nutrient in that it heavily increases the effectiveness of your immune system, thus protecting you from invasive diseases and viruses. Vitamin D also is crucial to a sharp mind, as having more of it will increase brain activity and general alertness. Vitamin D even increases your metabolism, making your digestive process healthier and more effective, and helping you lose weight!
You may not have known this, because it’s not very obvious, but nothing brightens up a room like sunlight! Seriously though, sunlight has a very pleasing effect on the aesthetics of a home’s interior. It has a natural feel that will make residents and guests feel cozier and more welcome. Sunlight also works as a powerful stimulant to the human visual system, physiologically, because sunlight activates more optic reactors in the human eye than artificial light.
Strictly democratically, studies have shown that 88% of occupants prefer the look and feel of natural light compared to electric lighting. If you’re worried about the level of control that sunlight will provide you in your interior decorating journey, remember that there are many ways to shape and control sunlight as it enters your home, such as plantation shutters. For more information on tools you can use to shape the light in your home, check out this nifty little blog post here.
6. Helps you sleep better
At the end of a long, hard day, your ability to sleep comfortably may be tied to the amount of sunlight that you’ve been exposed to throughout the day. This is because sunlight alerts your body that it needs to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you drowsy and tired, pretty much the opposite of serotonin. This makes you more active during the day, thus tiring you out. But it also makes the effect of melatonin stronger after the sun goes down and your body needs to rest, because your body is better differentiating the difference between night and day.