Cooking Club–Chunky Chicken Chili

I had such a good time last night at my friend Courtney’s Cooking Club.  This is our second time getting together, and it’s nice to get to know everyone a little bit better, as going in I only knew Courtney.

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It was tough eating and cooking in these conditions, but we made due. Ha!  Courtney’s house is so beautiful – if anyone in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago needs help with designing or decorating, let me know and I’ll pass her info on to you.

Julie was our cooking demonstrator for the night and made a chunky chicken chili, which was unlike any other chicken chili I’ve ever had and it was delicious.  So spicy flavorful!  But first we started out with Fall Sangria and appetizers – my mini pretzel bowls with cheddar cheese soup and Courtney’s Mom made bacon, tomato avocado lettuce wraps.  I was really happy with how my appetizer turned out – we actually didn’t even need the tiny spoons, because after they sat for just a bit, some of the soup got absorbed into the pretzel roll and you could just pop it in your mouth – delicious at room temp too!

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She walked us through the recipe – she’s gluten free so she tossed the chicken in gluten free flour, but other than that, she followed the recipe below.  Although she says she does “eyeball” the recipe – if it seems too thick she’ll add some more chicken broth.  This is a great make ahead recipe too because it would freeze well!  Can you see all that peppery spicy goodness?!

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Chunky Chicken Chili
Serves 10
A flavorful spicy chicken chili like you've never had before.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
509 calories
20 g
159 g
30 g
39 g
17 g
291 g
1151 g
2 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 509
Calories from Fat 267
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g
Saturated Fat 17g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 159mg
Sodium 1151mg
Total Carbohydrates 20g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 2g
Protein 39g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced pretty small
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 1 cup diced onion
  5. 1/4 cup red pepper, diced
  6. 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
  7. 2 cups chicken stock
  8. 1 cup heavy cream
  9. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  10. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  12. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  13. 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  14. 1 tablespoon salt
  15. 2 (14.5) ounce cans cannelli beans, drained
  16. 2 (4 oz) cans mild green chiles
  17. 1/2 cup sour cream
  18. 1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese for garnish
  19. 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter.  Toss the chicken in and cook until slightly browned and cooked through.  Remove chicken to a large bowl and set aside.  Using the same pot, stir in the flour.  Stir in the onions and peppers.  Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan and stir in the heavy cream.  Lower heat and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  Once the sauce has thickened, add all the seasonings (chili powder through salt).  Stir and cook for a few minutes.  Add in the beans, chiles and chicken and simmer for another 6-8 minutes.  At the very end, stir in the sour cream.  Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cheddar cheese and parsley.
  1. Serve with sweet cornbread to offset the spice of this chili.
My Bizzy Kitchen
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Ha, I just noticed that my insulin pen was right next to my plate – klassy!  All the food was delicious.  Tina (another food blogger!) made a crusted butternut squash and pine nut dish that was amazing – I told her I had never eaten butternut squash by itself, I’ve had it in chili, etc., but it was delish.  Lindsay made a healthier version of Chicken Divan using quinoa – again super delicious.  And Catherine made an almost cake like corn bread that was melt in your mouth delicious.  And last, but not least, Mary Beth made Pioneer Woman’s Knock you Naked Brownies.  I brought that home and Hannah and Jacob gave it two giant big thumbs up.

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What an enjoyable evening.  I love how food brings people together and it doesn’t matter if you’ve just met or known each other for years – our love of food makes us instant friends, and I thank Courtney for including me in this Cooking Club.  Looking forward to #3 in December!

Alright, I guess I have to get ready for work.  Is it 5:00 yet?!  Make it a great day!

Party Pizza Wednesday

You guys, I am am falling more in love with this puppy every day.  He went to the vet yesterday for his first check up – he has a bit of a yeast infection in his ears, which I guess is common for dogs with ears that stick up.  So the kids had to put drops in his ears last night – he looked so pitiful!  All I like to do with him is snuggle with him.

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And when I got home from work last night, Hannah was emptying the dish washer with Roman in a Baby Bjorn!

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Breakfast was an English muffin breakfast panini – although I forgot to put any cheese on it.  I know, I can hardly believe it myself!

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I got to the gym again at lunch and did another 2 mile run, and it felt really good!

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I got this cute top at Goodwill – it was in the .99 cent bin!

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Lunch was more leftover rotisserie chicken from Walmart that I made into tostadas.  The salsa on top is the dried guajillo pepper salsa from Bon Appetit magazine.  So smoky and spicy!

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I had pizza dough in the fridge so it was Party Pizza Wednesday.   I sometimes just make my no rise dough (2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of water) and throw it in a ziploc bag to have later in the week.  I think the longer it sits in the fridge the better the dough tastes.  Hannah made a stuffed crust pizza with string cheese in the crust.  And added onions.  Of course.

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I ended up making a sausage, pepperoni and fresh giardiniera pizza – I got the giardiniera off the olive bar at Heinen’s grocery store – so spicy good.

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I can’t remember if I told you guys or not, but two of the light fixtures that my friend gave me – one in the living room and one for my bedroom – well when I had an electrician install them, um, turns out neither light fixture went to a light switch.  Both the fixtures before were fans with lights in them that Tony installed, and were controlled by remote control.  So the electrician came back yesterday to bring my electric up to code and installed dimmer switches in the living room and my bedroom.  Guess what the electricians name was??!  TONY!  He did an excellent job, and even upgraded what I asked for because he said I’d been through so much.  He was actually here the day the floor was being installed so the place looked like a huge mess.  When he walked in yesterday morning he literally said “Holy fuck” apologized for cursing, but said “if you weren’t standing here, I wouldn’t believe I was in the same house!”

So the other Tony – the window guy?  I asked for an estimate to replace three windows in my living room and one window in each bedroom.  I got the estimate last night:  $4,950.  Um, no way.  They may be Pella windows, but unless these windows can pour me a glass of wine, I am going to get another estimate.  I really only need to change the two bedroom windows before winter, so I may opt to just do those and call it a day.  Am I right that it seems like nearly $1000 a window is a lot of money for windows??!!

I will leave you with Roman’s Halloween costume – Eeyore!

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I have my Cooking Club tonight at Courtney’s house.  It’s a fall menu and I was asked to bring an appetizer.   As soon as I saw Jessica’s cheese soup in mini pretzel bread bowls, I knew that’s what I was going to make.  I did a dry run last weekend to make sure it would turn out.  And the answer to that is a resounding yes.  I am borrowing tiny spoons from Hannah’s work, although you could just sip the soup out of the pretzel bowl before eating it.  How cute are these??!!

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Glad it’s Thursday already – bring on the weekend!  Make it a great day!

It’s Kind of Like When Your Baby Starts To Walk

This is going to be a quick post because I am already at work, but luckily I type 140+ words a minute so no worries!  So the first full night having the new puppy at home, both Hannah and Jacob had to work.  Hannah asked me to let the dog out when I got home, because he’d already be alone about an hour by then.  They are getting a crate, but for now, they put a dog bed in their closet and put the baby gate up.


Right after I let Roman out, the window guy game.  While I was able to get stock windows for the front of the house from Home Depot – the rest of the windows are odd ball sizes and have to be custom.  I am still going with a plain double hung, but while the new windows are framed in black, all the other windows will be framed in white to match the baseboards.  So guess what the guys name was from the window company?  TONY!  He measured the three windows in the living room and two bedroom windows and off he went.  I’ll get a quote tonight and hopefully won’t pass out with the estimate.

So around 6:30 I decided to put Roman back in the closet so I can make dinner.  Just as I was about to drain my pasta, I look down and Roman somehow climbed out of the closet and was at my feet, and well, wanted to be picked up.  So I held him for a while, and then decided to put him down to see if I could continue to make dinner.  Um, that would be no.  It reminded me of when Hannah first started to walk around 11 months.  I couldn’t just let her roam around unsupervised, and the same went for Roman.  He can’t do stairs yet, so I had to block him off from the back stairs, he made it about three feet into the dining room and started to pee (NO!) but I picked him up just in time and he peed on the kitchen tile.  Whew.  

It was at that point that I decided just to sit down and have the dog lay on me.  Up until this point, Rummy and Roman are merely tolerating each other – they smell each other and one goes one way and the other goes a different direction.  But as soon as I sat down on my old comfy chair, Rummy got under the covers and Roman was on top.  So they were laying next to each other basically and didn’t seem to mind.

Then Rummy got too hot under the covers and sat next to Roman.  They laid like this for a good hour.

rummy and roman

How cute is that??!!  But I was very happy when both kids got home at 8:30 and I could hand over the “baby” and finally make dinner, which we ate at 9:00 p.m. 😀

It’s another dreary day today so I will hit up the gym at lunch.  I actually ran two miles yesterday!  It’s the first time I’ve run that far since I got bronchitis in early September.  I did it in 25:45 – so around a 13:00 minute mile – not too bad considering its been nearly two months since I ran last.

Alright, have to get back to work – quickest 3 minute post of my life!   Make it a great day!

Technical Difficulties

Morning all!  I am having computer problems this morning and it might just be time to bite the bullet and get a new computer.  I have rebooted four times, I get a weird black screen error message and now its already time to get ready for work – boo!  I’ll get to work a bit early this morning and will post later.  But for those of you who drink your morning coffee while reading my blog (Hi Mom!) I didn’t want you to think that I slipped in the shower and hit my head!

Talk to you soon!

Puppy and Prayers

Sunday I headed to Oak Park to see my Mom perform with the Sing to Live Community Chorus.  It was their 10th anniversary performance and I was looking forward to it.   My Mom sent me an email telling me that she’d be in the front row, but what I didn’t read was that she was going to be in the front row of the bleachers in the back – I still was able to see her most of the time though.


The founders have such an adoration for each other.  It was a wonderful concert.

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I saw with my friend and blog reader Laura (hey Laura!) and her Mom.  I wasn’t sure that they would be there because her Mom is transitioning into a nursing home, but they were, and as usual, she always brings me stuff – this time mustard! Thanks Laura!  Next to the mustards?  That is a door stop – it was all dusty so I washed it and it was hanging out there to dry.

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My friend Jacky posts on Facebook all the time about a restaurant called Autre Monde and raves about the food, so I suggested taking my Mom there after the concert.  But before that, I had to give my Mom a dozen roses for her performance.  You know, favorite children do that for their Momma’s.

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Well, the food did not disappoint.  It was a Mediterranean tapas restaurant and while they served full entrees and the hanger steak with pomme frites was calling my name, we decided to split a bunch of things, and I am glad we did.  We started off with a crispy piece of chicken with a chili honey sauce – amazing.

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Next up was the chili grilled shrimp:  there was a spicy chili sauce underneath that was delicious.

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Then a simple sauteed spinach dish with chick peas, garlic and lemon.  We both were like “we need to make this at home!”  So simple but the flavors popped:

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I pretty much can never pass up pork belly – this one was melt in your mouth delicious with a bright chimichurri sauce.  After the first bite, I paired the greens with the pork and the acidity of the lemon broke through the fattiness of the pork and it was so good.

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And then we ended up with a flatbread with baby arugula on top – this one had red chilis on it and it was too spicy for my Mom, I’ll probably have the leftovers for lunch today.

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And what’s better than one dessert?  TWO!  We split the olive oil cake with sauteed apples and vanilla gelato and my friend Jacky told me that the hazelnut chocolate pot de crème was insulin worthy, and she would be absolutely correct!

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I still dream about this dessert – so good!  Even though this place is an hour away, whenever I am in that area I know I will be hitting this restaurant up again and again.

So long time readers have heard me talk about my friend Skippy Mom.  She’s had congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis for years.  She and I mostly  communicate via Facebook messenger so when I hadn’t heard from her and she hadn’t replied I started to get worried.  I finally messaged her husband and he called me last night.  I can’t go into details because it’s not my news to tell, but she’s been in ICU for the last three weeks.  So if you are of the praying type, please send some prayers her way.  I know she and her family can use it right now.

In other news, Jacob and Hannah got a new puppy.  Meet Roman:

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He’s a 15 week Boston Terrier.  They picked him up last night and so far Rummy is tolerating the dog.  For some reason Rummy drools around the dog – I have no idea why.  We have a baby gate to the front of the house to protect my new living room until we see how potty trained he really is.  He’s so tiny compared to Rummy – Rummy is 20 pounds and Roman is 4 pounds – so cute! 

Alright, off to get this show on the road – make it a great day!

I live in a magazine.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve already seen my amazeball house.  Saturday night I literally stood in my dining room looking into my living room and I had to pinch myself that I was in MY house.  It was so surreal!

Friday night I had to get the house ready for my friend Whitney to come decorate early the next morning.  I had to remove venetian blinds, the hardware that held them up, I had to put my bed frame together among other things.  By the time we went to bed Friday night, the only things in my living room and dining room were my dining table and the new couch.

Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. Whitney and her husband came with both their SUVs which were filled with stuff, and Hannah had to go back to their house and fill up her car as well.  I was told to get the hockey puck out!  I had a granola bar and then went to the gym and walked a 5k.  I then went to Panera bread and had breakfast and read the new Cooking Light magazine while sipping coffee.  Went to a couple thrift stores, went to a new grocery store that opened by me.  It was a glorious morning.  I kept looking at my watch to see “is it time to go home yet?!”  Then I got a text that I needed to stay out another 30 minutes.  The anticipation was killing me.

So when I finally got the okay to come home, I was told to come in the front door.  As soon as Whitney opened my front door and I walked in, I started to cry.  I cried for so many reasons.

  • I cried because it was beautiful
  • I cried because we could finally live in this half of the house after months
  • I cried because Tony isn’t here to enjoy it

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Even Rummy is like “is this our house??!!”  It was all too much to soak in.  Remember in the beginning of June when it was discovered that basically the whole front of the house was rotten?!


It was worth the wait for sure.  The rest of this post is going to be picture heavy – somehow I set my alarm for 6:30 PM instead of AM and I didn’t actually wake up until 7:30 and I normally leave the house at 8!  Doh!

Please enjoy!!

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Whenever I text Whitney I always send her a ton of emojis, so she bought this thumbs up night light – love it!

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I love where she put this picture of Tony.  She told me that way his face would be the last thing when I went to bed and the first thing I saw when I woke up.  Love.

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And I think this saying next to my bed says it all.

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What Whitney did for me is amazing.  Her decorating skills are amazing to say the least.  Sadly, she’s an attorney by day, but this should truly be her life’s work.  You see, she made it possible for me to live in my home without Tony.  Before this remodel, we never spent any time in the living room.  Even before we had to tear everything down.  Jacob used to ask me “um, why don’t we use that half of the house?” and the easy answer was because that’s were Tony was nearly 100% of the time when he was awake, it was painful to walk in there and see his empty chair, knowing he was never going to fill it again.

What I love about this design is that it is totally ME if I could have come up with this scheme, and believe me, I never would have come up with this in a million years.  It’s classy comfy for lack of a better word, which trumps my previous decorating style of early miscellaneous.   I spent quite a bit of time in this living space this weekend.  Probably more hours this weekend than I have in the last 10 months, and I am so very grateful to her for this. 

I had Tony’s sister and nephew over for brunch – I haven’t been able to have company for months because, well, there was no where for anyone to sit!  Now I know I can live with intention, be bold and fearless, make a difference and live the life I was destined for.

Everything is Almost Done!

Eeek.  I can hardly stand it.  Yesterday we finally unwrapped the couch.  The dining table is back where it belongs.  The rest of my old furniture is being picked up tomorrow by the same woman who came and got my couch earlier this week, so we moved all of that out onto the deck and put a tarp over everything because we may get rain today and tomorrow.

My friend and decorator texted me last night and said “don’t put anything on the blog until after I am done.”  Well, that was after I already put a picture of my couch on Instagram, so if you want a sneak peak you’ll have to find me there at My Bizzy Kitchen.  After months of not being able to use half our house, this weekend everything will be completed and it feels so good.  When I was looking at everything last night, it dawned on me that I won’t have a constant reminder of Tony not being here because pretty much everything is new.  I won’t have to walk into the living room and see his chair and have my heart sink because he’s not in it.

And I actually think he’d love how its turning out.  My friend is so worried that I might not like some of things she has planned, but I keep telling her “Whit, you are talking to someone who was living with garage sale furniture (except the dining room!) for 14 years so anything you do is already a very huge improvement!  She’s coming tomorrow with her husband and Hannah and Jacob are helping them, and me?  I’ve been given strict instructions that I have to be out of the house from 8 – noon tomorrow.  So I see myself maybe eating breakfast out, hitting up the gym and going to the library.  And then when I come home it will be all done.

This is going to be a quick post.  I had a bunch of card board that I needed to throw out in the garbage today, but I thought it was going to rain outside, so I spent 15 minutes on garbage duty this morning.  No worries – I still have 25 minutes to finish this post, shower, dress, throw my food together, make a cup of coffee and get the hockey puck out of here.  Loads of time! Smile with tongue out

I brought whole grain English muffins to work to keep there yesterday and made an inside out panini – I flipped it and buttered the inside for the outside.  Inside was egg whites, spinach, ham and cheese.

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I’ve been walking every day at lunch and have hit a minimum of 10k steps every day this week.  If the weather holds out, I’d love to do some trail walking tomorrow.

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I was walking along when I looked down at my Spotify to change the music when this snake slithered right in front of me – scared the shit out of me!

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Lunch was leftover chicken noodle soup.  So easy and delicious, but this time I squirted a bit of sriracha into the broth to kick it up.

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Liz, you’ll be happy to know that I went through all my email notifications!  When I met her in Denver, she looked down at my phone and saw all my email notifications and she almost had anxiety for me because there were so many.  I am awful about managing my email, but it only took me about 20 minutes to whittle through it, and I didn’t miss anything important.  That’s my philosophy – if I miss an email and it’s important, I feel that someone will always email me again.  You need to check out her blog – she’s got some really awesome photography and recipes.

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So being so close to having a living room again, we decided to go out to eat.  It’s our local restaurant, and while my spaghetti my look boring, their marinara sauce is amazeballs.  This is a half portion too!  I keep telling Vince that he needs to raise his prices and reduce the portions in order to make more money.

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And, cheers to Tony, I drank our favorite beer:

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Thanks for all your comments about having to put our dog Red down.  Poor Rummy is finally beginning to realize that he’s not here.  When we left for dinner last night, we realized it was the first time that she’s been left all alone – usually she has Red for company.  When she started crying when we left it broke our heart.  And usually when I (or anyone) comes in the back door, she’s the first one at the top of the steps looking down to see who it is.  We took two cars to dinner last night because Hannah and Jacob went for coffee and to Walmart.  When I walked in the back door, no Rummy.  I called her name.  Nothing.  I walked up the steps and she was in Red’s dog bed”:

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Poor thing.  Although Jacob already texted me pictures of puppies for adoption, so I have a feeling that Rummy won’t be alone for long.

Alright, time to get this show on the road – good thing I can type fast!  Have a wonderful weekend – come back on Monday for a video tour!!