I heard it faintly at first….I was in the middle of a great dream….but there it was….a little whirring sound that caused me to wake up….it grew louder in my ears….then I realized what it was…..it was theÂ treadmill at Snap Fitness….calling me….to come start my New Year’s resolution regiment of morning exercise.Â Â Heavily, I swung my bloated body out of bed, looking for an excuse to sleep in.Â Â At that point, my wife, who is also part of the “new program” jabbed me with her running shoes and said “let’s go, tubs.”
Part of our routine is making healthier meals, trying to eat better.Â Â The following is a quick and easy soup that is light and it also packs some kick for those cold winter nights.Â Â Â Enjoy – gotta go….the treadmill is calling my name.
1 lb ground turkey
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14 oz. ea.) chicken broth (sub chicken stock for less sodium)
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup salsa (I use the Herdez Hot, but you can use whatever)
1 can (4 oz.) whole green chiles, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 or 2 sliced jalepenos (how much heat is up to you)
Brown turkey, drain, and add to stock pot or Dutch oven.Â Â Add remaining ingredients and heat to a simmer until ready to serve!Â I like to add the cilantro as you serve.
My wife yelled that I was making us late for our friend’s party, but first I had a nasty wrinkle in my shirt that I needed to iron out.Â Â Good thing we were tasked with just bringing an appetizer and I had ours ready to go in the crockpot.Â Â Â With the iron hot, I realized that it’s not a good idea to iron your shirt when your wearing it, especially when you hit the “steam” button.Â Â It sure seemed like a quick fix….before the steam…..must be a guy thing.Â Â As far as heat for the appetizer, I had decided to try something a little different.Â Â Since my wife likes cranberries, and I like peppers, I opted to try a Cranberry Jalepeno Holiday Meatball recipe.Â Â Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try.Â Â Â One thing’s for certain….next time my shirt is wrinkled, it’s going to the cleaners!
Cranberry Jalepeno Meatballs for your Holiday Party
- 2 lbs. frozen meatballs
- 1 can (16 ounces) cranberry sauce, jellied or
whole cranberry sauce
- 12 ounces chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 Jalepeno peppers, seeded, (or not, for more heat) and finely chopped
Combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice in a saucepan and jalepeno pepper. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture is blended. Put frozen meatballs in crockpot, and pour hot sauce over meatballs. Cook on high for 2 hours, until meatballs are ready to be served.
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We were looking for a nice and cozy restaurant in Hudson the other night to take my mother-in-law out to dinner.Â Â Â We settled on Pier500 as it is typically consistently good.Â Â We were commemorating a special event, and we decided that we needed to make a toast with the bourbon of our choice, Maker’s Mark.Â Â Â Â I was a bit shocked when the bartender asked for $24 for the three drinks.Â Â $8 a drink?Â Â Key West?Â Cancun?Â Â Hawaii?Â Newport Beach?Â I momentarily forgot where I was…..and trust me – it wasn’t due to the sip of bourbon.Â Â Â It’s no wonder a lot of folks have cut back on eating out – it just gets too expensive when you start buying $8 drinks.Â Â Well, that and $14 pasta with kalmata olives, EVO, tomatoes and feta cheese….but then again, have you seen the price of kalmata olives?Â I reckon it’s just the way it is these days…..that said, next time, better make it a double, eh?
That'll be $8, please...
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Sometimes you just have to make do.Â Â Sometimes it works out.Â Â County market was gracious enough to give us a 5 lb. bag of potatoes, and I was bent on turning them into scalloped spuds – Fiesta style.Â Â Â I knew we were going to grill some chicken, and I need a zippy side dish.Â Â I thinly sliced about a pound and a half or so, and rinsed them in cold water.Â Â Â I threw the spuds into the crockpot, added a can of Campbell’s Fiesta Cheese soup (my wifeÂ muttered somethingÂ about all the sodium….) and added just a bit of milk.Â Â For the kick I added a can of sliced jalepenos and then topped it all off with a cup or so of shredded Mexican cheese blend.Â Â Â Set it on low, and off we went.Â Â Â IMO, potatoes tend to take some time, so we planned on 8-9 hours crockpot time.Â Â Although my wife thought our guests wouldn’t like the heat of the jalepenos,Â the potatoes turned out to be a hit.Â Â Â Not sure if it was the Pacifico’s, or the shot or two of tequila, but everybody had seconds on the spuds.Â Â Try them on a chilly night – Ole!
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Under the tutelage of my loving wife I have grown into being a thrifty shopper.Â Â When we’re not eating out, we pretty much take turns in the preparation of our nightly meals.Â This gives me the opportunity to try making something different if I come across an item that catches my eye at the grocery store.Â Especially if it’s on sale.Â Â Â Since I spend quite a bit of time at work using my computer, it is great that I can now more easily find weekly deals from some of our local grocery stores.Â Â Â Hudson, WI is the place you would most likely find us out on the town, so we keep abreast of happenings in Hudson on the local newspaper web site, hudsonstarobserver.com.Â Â Â Â Pretty convenient that I can now check the weekly deal from County Market and then also click on the weekly flyer for Family Fresh, both being markets where we purchase our weekly goodies.Â Â Â Last night, as I was preparing to shut off my computer for the day, I decided to check the County coupons.Â Â Within seconds, I had printed out a few specials, and was on my way.Â Â Â It was a cold and windy night, I think my wife enjoyed the hot spiced cider she sipped as I sauteed our chicken with jalepeno peppers and onions to serve over rice.Â Â Who was I to tell her that I had saved $2.45!
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Although I would prefer summer all year long, I actually like the changing of the seasons.Â Â Fall is beautiful and winter brings us a host of great things to see and do.Â Â The part I don’t like is the changing of what’s available at the local Farmer’s Market.Â Â The Farmer’s Market in Hudson, off Carmichael, is on of our favorites.Â Unfortunately, as they wind down the season, their offerings change to gourds, squash, pumpkins and well, more pumpkins.Â Â We did spot a vendor with someÂ good lookingÂ onions, and some brussel sprouts, so we picked those up.Â Â Â Â Later that night, I took the opportunity to clean the brussel sprouts, cut them in half, boil them for a couple of minutes and then sautee them in a little olive oil, rosemary, garlic and basil with a one of those good looking onions.Â Â I pretty much carmelized the onions and the brussel sprouts.Â Â My wife and I enjoyed them as a side to the great filets she picked up from RJ’s.Â Â BBQ in October – the weather was great – and so was the meal.Â Â Did I mention that I would prefer summer all year long?
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My wife has been after meÂ to take her to a nice little Mexican restaurant in Bayport called La Cocinita.Â Â Being originally from East Los Angeles, I was hesitant about taking her to a place that according to their website wasÂ Â ”serving unique Mexican-inspired entrees, fine wines and imported cervezas in a warm and romantic atmosphere.”Â Â It was warm – it was nicely decorated.Â On the other hand, the $14 tacos and the $16 enchiladas that my wife ordered were a bit pricey for the candle on our table and the cozy, warm atmosphere.Â Â When I was told that the first bowl of chips and salsa was on the house but that the second would cost me extra, I muttered quietly “I didn’t get into these 40″ jeans on one bowl of chips, eh?”Â Â All in all, the food was OK, but the price was a a bit high for a guy from the ‘hood looking for tortillas and beans.
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It’s been pretty close to 20 years since the Bungalow in Lakeland, MN had live musicÂ inside the bar.Â Â Jack and Jan Lifteau, former owners of this nice establishment, used to feature a Dixieland jazz band, The Mouldy Figs in the parking lot, but not inside the restaurant.Â Â They used to draw quite the crowd.Â Â Saturday night,Â the new ownership of the Bungalow set up a dance floor and stage to welcome Whiskey Canyon, an up-tempo Country band that gave new meaning to the genre of “Honky-Tonk.”Â Â Â The band did a great job – it was a good crowd, and my wife even got me up on the dance floor to try and two-step.Â Â Â Hopefully, it will be a continued trend for The Bungalow – save for me stepping on my wife’s feet a few times!
My wife and I faced two dilemmas over the weekend. First was, what could we do with the last of our tomatoes, and second, why did we have three pizza cutters? We decided to use one pizza cutter and two of our tomatoes to create this easy End-of-Summer Pizza. Although I typically like to make my own dough, my wife had purchased a Pillsbury pizza crust. Dusting of flour, pop the can, and we had it shaped into our pan in no time. Half a cup of Alfredo sauce, 4 cups of fresh chopped spinach, 2 medium tomatoes sliced and some shredded Italian cheese blend and we were ready for the oven. We cooked it for 15 minutes at 400 and then alternately used all three pizza cutters to figure out which one we really wanted to keep. I thought the Pillsbury dough tasted more like a roll, but all-in-all, it turned out to be an tasty meal – enjoy!
My LW and I were looking for a low-carb substitute for spuds to complement our rosemary-grilled-chicken entree.Â Â Â I had heardÂ using cauliflower as a substitute, so I broke up a head of cauliflower into florets, and steamed it until it was done.Â Â After draining the water, I added one package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix, a quarter cup of whipping cream (could sub with milk) and for a twist, I added two tablespoons of pesto that I had in the fridge.Â Â Â I used our new immersion blender to whip it into a “mashed” consistency.Â Â Both my wife and I gave it 2 thumbs up.Â I look forward to making more variations of this dish – enjoy!