Category Archives: cooking

Meatless Monday. Super Bowl Edition

We are getting so close to the big game! Have you started planning your menu? So many good options out there. I spent the weekend browsing recipes. Here are a few party foods I.Want.Right.Now!

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Lime Sauce

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Lime Sauce

Mini Hasselback Potatoes with Creamy Dill Dip

Hasselback Potatoes

Spicy Black Bean Nachos

spicy black bean nachos

Buffalo Chickpea Tortilla Pinwheels

Buffalo Chickpea Tortilla Pinwheels

Avocado Bruschetta

avocado bruschetta

Creamy Strawberry Broccoli Salad

Creamy Strawberry Broccoli Salad

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar



Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries


Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Pineapple Pecan Cheese Ball

pineapple pecan cheese ball

Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs

Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs

Chocolate Toffee Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Toffee Strawberry Trifle

Blackberry Basil Ricotta Pizza

Blackberry Basil Ricotta Pizza

What’s your favorite party food?

Which team are you cheering for in the game?


Chili Recipe (Vegetarian)

It was a weekend of football watching. Football needs chili! Am I right or am I right?

Okay, I take that back. I didn’t watch one minute of football. My Chiefs are out so the season is over for me. And it was actually warmer here this weekend. Not need for hot soup. I wanted enchiladas , but OMG Becky wanted chili. (Sassy had abandoned us for the weekend. She had been invited to attend an out-of-town church conference for middle school kids as a Junior Guide. She was very excited and honored to be asked! She got back yesterday and said it was an amazing experience.)

This has been my go-to chili recipe for years now. It’s hearty, it’s tasty, and even meat eaters will enjoy it. This chili would be a perfect addition to your Super Bowl party!

chili recipe vegetarian

Chili (Vegetarian)

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes ¦  Prep Time: 10 minutes  ¦  Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (10 oz) frozen butternut squash (cubed), thawed
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite cut tomatoes, diced, with zesty jalapenos
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 12 oz water
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Optional Toppings
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to coat. When oil ripples, add chopped onion and diced pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook stirring for another minute.
  2. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt. Stir in squash, tomato, and beans. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 60 minutes.
  4. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in cocoa power. Cook for 10 minutes more.
  6. Serve hot with desired toppings. Serves 8.

Serving Size = 1 cup. Weight Watchers Smart Points = 3 points.

Black Bean Soup Recipe (Vegetarian)

We had a weekend of winter storms with freezing rain roll through. I don’t know about you, but to me that means I need warm, comfort food and that means soup! I made a large pot of this Black Bean Soup on Friday night and we enjoyed it all weekend long.

black bean soup recipe, black bean soup

Black Bean Soup (Vegetarian)

Total Time: 35 minutes  ¦  Prep Time: 15 minutes  ¦  Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 4 (14.5 oz) cans black beans, divided
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded, stemmed, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32 oz) carton vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Optional Toppings
  • Diced avocado
  • Shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar)
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips


  1. Place 1 1/2 cans of drained/rinsed black beans and 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth in a food processor. Pulse until well pureed. Set aside.
  2. Rinse remaining 2 1/2 cans of black beans in a strainer. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to coat. When oil ripples, add chopped onion and diced pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook stirring for another minute.
  4. Add remaining vegetable broth, black beans, black bean puree mixture, fire-roasted tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat up to medium-high.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve hot with desired toppings. Serves 8.

Serving Size = 1 cup. Weight Watchers Smart Points = 6 points.

Easy Taco Soup Recipe (Vegetarian)

It’s soup season! OMG Becky’s favorite soup is a good taco soup. We have tried many recipes, but none have ever seemed to stick around as our go-to favorite. I think we may have a new contender for that title! I started with this recipe and made a few changes.

taco soup

Easy Taco Soup (Vegetarian)

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
  • 1 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 15 oz frozen corn
  • 14 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning
Optional Garnish
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • avocado
  • sour cream

This one is simple! Just place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Or if you are in a hurry, cook on stove top. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a low simmer for 30 minutes.

9 (1 cup)

What is your favorite soup you make at home?

Best chunky potato soup recipe? I’m on the hunt for a good one!

Prom, Track, & Needles

Spring, glorious Spring! Oh how I adore you! We are trying to enjoy every bit of it.

Last weekend was Junior Prom for OMG Becky.

prom, junior prom, prom dress

Love this dress! It had a modest slit (just above the knee) and an open back (not low, just open.) Gorgeous!

Sassy had a big weekend, too.


After three years of studying every Wednesday night, she was confirmed last Sunday! So proud of her!

We are also enjoying her very busy track season. Track is a new sport to us. Up until this year, I had never even been to a track meet!

track, middle school track, run

Her usual events include hurdles, high jump, 1600 meter run, and 1600 meter relay. I am in awe of her high jump skills! And she is getting so speedy! Her placement ribbons are stacking up. I’m really going to miss these meets when the season ends.

A not so good thing happening around here. I hurt my right ankle. No idea how. It’s been giving me problems the last two weeks. It doesn’t hurt much to walk. And I can run on it. It hurts more in the side to side movements. I’ve been icing and elevating it often. Then swelling started on Thursday. Ugh.

On Friday at work, I had ASTYM performed on it and then kinesio tape applied for support. It felt great the rest of the day. Yesterday was another story. It was the worst it had been and hurt with every motion. I spent most of the day avoiding any movement of it.

Today, I got the privilege of being a “patient” for a residency lab on dry needling. They evaluated me, put me through exercises, stretched me, and then the needling began.

(Cotchett M, Landorf K, Munteanu S, Raspovic A)

They needled my lower back, right glut, right calf, and right ankle. And it wasn’t so bad! Half of the needles I didn’t ever feel. The other half were just a slight prick. Others would get into the muscle belly and start twitching &/or pulsating. It was such a weird sensation! A few would then hurt and cause me to curse a bit. I was there for a good two hours. They told me I would be fatigued for a couple of days. I can deal with that. The best part? My ankle feels so much better right now! I hope it lasts! They think I either have a muscle strain or a stress fracture. I will have a couple more treatments this week, perform daily exercises on my own, and then we’ll see how it is doing. If not better, off to the ortho doc I go. Boo.

I will leave you with this life hack today. I have finally figured out how to properly reheat leftover onion rings so they remain crunchy!

onion rings, reheat onion rings

Reheat in an oven at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. Perfection!

Did you run track in school?

What’s your favorite track event to participate in or watch?

Always October

October arrived and seems to have brought fall with it. Though I must say, I am still waiting for the full display of fall colors in the trees here. There are a few trees that have changed, but for the most part things are still green or a bit brown. Boring. But things are looking like autumn in other areas.

Seems our local baseball team is doing okay this year…  😉

royals take the crown

If you have read here for very long, you know my family and I make it to a few games every year. It’s always a good time and we are lucky to have so many pro sport options close by. Winning definitely makes it more exciting! It’s been a great ride 29 years in the making. The Royals have always felt like the little team that could. It’s fun to see the rest of the country getting excited and cheering for our boys in blue.

Loyal to the Royals! My birthday is tomorrow and I can’t think of a better gift than winning the World Series. What do you say boys? Continue your 8-game sweep for another 4 games for me? Party likes it’s 1985!

We are also watching a lot of football. My just-turned-six-year-old nephew is playing flag football. His team plays every Saturday morning and we have made it to several games. Nothing cuter than little itty bitty boys chasing each other down the field!

Sassy and I made it out for a trail run yesterday. She’s been busy with her cross country team so we haven’t run together in a while. It was nice to have my running partner back! (I’ll update you on her XC season soon.)

trail run

We saw a few other cars at the trailhead, but didn’t run into a single person. I love having the trail all to ourselves! And we couldn’t have asked for better weather. A bit on the cool side, but full, warm sunshine. Perfection!

We saw a few woolly worms moving about, also.

woolly worm

Two were solid black, one was brown and black. I hope they are wrong! I can’t stand the thought of a long, cold, severe winter.

Soups are back, too! I could live on homemade soups through autumn and winter. So easy, so yummy.

taco soup

Last night’s selection was taco soup. Yes, please! My girls loved this new-to-us recipe. I thought it was pretty good, but think it can be improved. I’ll have to see how I can change it up.

Which team are you cheering for in the World Series? There is only one correct answer!…

What is your favorite soup recipe? Share a link!

What does Fall look like for you?

Is It Summer Yet?

Hey Friends! Why is the end of the school year so darn busy? Last Saturday evening my youngest niece, Hooty, was baptized. baptismShe was so awesome the entire time. Looking at the Pastor every time he said her name, smiling for pictures. So cute!

After the baptism, we all went to dinner. We ended up spreading out across three large tables. Young adult table! They had fun playing “Pass the Baby.” kid tableSassy missed the whole thing because she was at a singing competition with her honor choir at an amusement park. They lucked out with perfect weather!

Dinner is also where we saw this sweet car. sweet carI’m thinking OMG Becky should get something similar for her first car…

Sunday was Second Easter. Um, what? You know, Second Easter. Another Easter dinner with family that missed Easter Sunday with us. My youngest brother and his family spend Easter Sunday with his in-laws, out-of-town. Also my Great Aunt and Great Uncle didn’t make it out to the ranch for Easter Sunday. It’s a bit of a drive and too busy of a day for them. So my parents had us all over this past Sunday for Second Easter. Only about 20 of us. Much smaller group than Easter Sunday!

I was in charge of dessert and wanted to try something new. I went with this Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Buttercream frosting recipe. lemon pound cake The only change I made to the recipe was adding 1.5 cups of blueberries. (I used frozen, thawed and drained.) Make this! Trust me.

A few of us had to check out the current state of my parents’ pool. They are getting a new liner installed. This was after Day 2 of the removal process. a1 Yuck! I’m not sure if the pool company has been back over working on it this week. But I do know they need to hurry up! Summer is almost upon us!

Thursday night was another choir concert. This one featured nine honor choirs from seven schools. middle school choir We were surprised to find one of my nieces was performing with her choir, too! high school choir And then is was finally Friday! Whew! But no time to relax. Sassy had a special afternoon ceremony. She was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society! ceremony She’s had a great year, even while taking two new-to-her-school honor classes. So proud of this kid!

OMG Becky has also had a fantastic sophomore year. She’s decided to pursue a nursing degree after high school. We’ve already met with her counselor to make sure she’s taking the courses needed now to accomplish that goal. She has AP courses this year and is still rocking all A’s. Smartie farties!

Last night, she and I went to her friend’s baseball game. baseball game And then we hit the road to practice a little nighttime driving. Friday Fright Night! Just kidding. It wasn’t TOO scary.  😉 We also practiced parking. There were a few single cars in this particular lot, making it a perfect scenario. We practiced pulling in and out of the spots, how far to pull up to another parked car, and how/when to use the emergency brake. This school parking lot was a bit confusing because it had extra lines painted on it for marching band practice. Ha! So that’s what we’ve been up to lately. We have a couple of more weeks of this busy end-of-the-year madness and then summer starts for us!

What’s new with you?

What’s the last recipe you tried?

Were you ever in a school choir?