Penny's Passion

Monday, October 22, 2018

Autumn Soup Recipe Swap - Let's Make White Chili

When the weather starts to cool down, my cooking seems to switch gears to more hearty dishes.  Soups and stews are some of my favorite things to fix because many of them can be made ahead of time and then warmed up later in the week after a long day at work.  This White Chili is one such dish!

Here's What You Need
Rotisserie Chicken
2 cans Great Northern Beans (drained)
Olive Oil
2 Medium White Onions
4 Minced Garlic Cloves
6 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese
2 - 4 oz cans Green Chilies
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Ground Cumin
Sour Cream

Here's What You Do
Chop up the two onions into fairly small bits.  Cover the bottom of your stockpot with olive oil and dump in the onions.  Saute them for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic.

Cook the onions and garlic for another 5 minutes or until the onions are clear in color.  

Add in the green chilies and spices (cumin, cayenne pepper and dried oregano).  Cook for another couple of minutes.

Add in the six cups of chicken broth and two cans of drained Great Northern Beans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer while you cut up the chicken.

Use as much chicken as you like.  Typically I use two breasts and one leg, including the skin.  If you want yours a bit more or less meatier, add more or less to your discretion.

Right before serving, add two cups of Monterey Jack cheese and let it melt into the mixture.

To serve, I usually add a little bit of cheese on top and a dollop of sour cream.

This chili truly is even better the next day after the flavors have a chance to meld together, making it the perfect thing to fix on the weekend and have one night for dinner the following week.  Hope you enjoy it as much as do we!

Now it's time to link your favorite soup and check out everyone else's favs.  The group of gals hosting this Autumn Soup Recipe Swap are listed below.  Please make sure to visit each of their blogs!

Amber I Am - Amber
Deb's World - Deb 
Penny's Passion - Penny
Wife Mommy Me - Stephanie

Weekending - October 19, 2018

I.Love.Weekends.  It's not like I hate Monday through Thursday, but there's just something about weekends that I adore.  This weekend wasn't jammed packed, but had a great balance of fun and work.  Here's how it went down ~

Friday morning started with this gorgeous sunrise!  This was my view as I was backing out of the driveway to head to work.  I actually stopped the car, got out and snapped this picture.  So many times I glance up, note the beauty and just keep going.  On this day, it was nice to pause a second and just take it in.

After work, a few of my work friends got together to catch up.  This group used to get together to watch Scandal.  Now that Scandal is gone, this was our first Non-Scandal Scandal night.  The hostess, Jamie, greeted us with the most delicious sangria before our dinner of chili and cornbread.

We capped off the evening by watching Book Club and dessert.  The apple pie was from Sugarfire Pie for all you St. Louis peeps.  I had no idea that Sugarfire opened a pie place!  It was superb!

Saturday morning I lounged in bed for a while reading my book club book - A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult.  It just came out this month.  Have you read it?  Well, there's a part about a girl hiding in the closet and that made me start thinking about what a disaster my closet was and how we needed to change over our summer to winter clothes.  I woke Eric up and we literally spent the next 6 hours cleaning the master closet.  The end result was we have three ginormous bags full of clothes and shoes we are donating and you can actually walk in the closet without tripping over stuff.


I bought a new shoe rack for my booties and boots last week and it was a great addition to the closet.  

The last couple of years I've used the trick of cutting pool noodles and sticking them in my boots to get them to stand up straight.  It works like a charm!

If you have a closet or drawers that needs a bit of a organization makeover, here's my shopping list of things that have really helped me ~

We worked on the closet until it was time to get ready and join our friends for dinner at one of our favorite places, Cooper's Hawk Winery  That place has never disappointed us.  We start with a wine tasting and then move on to dinner.  Fun evening!

Sunday was a lazy morning.  I read more of my book.  Eric was grateful I didn't get any more crazy cleaning ideas.  We decided to grab lunch at Noodles and Company.  It was our first time there and we loved it.  It's located very near our house, but we just never think of eating there.  This might have been our first visit, but I know it won't be our last!  I got the BBQ Pork Mac and Cheese.  Next time I'm going to try their Zoodles.

Eric headed off to work and I headed out to run some errands.  The day wrapped up with me making a pot of white chili.  I'll be sharing this recipe tomorrow with a soup linkup I'm doing with some other blogger friends.  If you have a favorite soup recipe, don't forget to pop in and link up.  If you like to fix soup, definitely come back and check out all the links!

Now here we are at Monday and the start of a fresh week.  My friend, Debbie, and I are going to a cheese making class tonight.  I'm pretty excited to see how that goes!  See you soon!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Five on Friday - October 19, 2018

Oh my gosh -- I'm so darn glad it's Friday!  We've had a super busy week at work with a couple late nights and I can't wait to relax a little this weekend.  But first, here's my five for this week ~

Nicholas Sparks' new book, Every Breath, hit the stands on Tuesday.  Do you have it loaded on your Kindle already?  Here's the synopsis from Amazon:
Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.
Illuminating life's heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, EVERY BREATH explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties--while asking the question, How long can a dream survive?
Sounds like he has another best seller on his hands!

Image result for nicholas sparks every breath

A girl from work came in with this nail polish on this week and I was immediately obsessed with it!  The color (A Game) is so fantastic for fall.  To sweeten the deal even more, the polish will strengthen your nails in just 1 week.  My friend's polish had been on for over a week and it was still looking fabulous.  The description says you don't even have to use a base or top coat.  Can't wait to get my hands on a bottle!  Would you like one too?  Click HERE to get it.

essie Treat Love & Color Strengthener for Normal To Dry/Brittle Nails, A-Game

3.  National Mammography Day
As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the third Friday in October (TODAY) has been named National Mammography Day.  If you've been putting off scheduling your mammogram, DO IT TODAY.  Friends, this is nothing to mess around with.  Get it done.  Enough sound.

National Mammography Day Third Friday in October

4.  Nightmare King
Burger King might have just taken Halloween a bit too far.  Starting Monday, October 22, they are selling the Nightmare King sandwich.  This bad boy is made up of 1/4 pound savory flame-grilled beef, a 100% white meat crispy chicken fillet, melted American cheese, thick-cut bacon, mayo, and onions.  All that on a GREEN glazed sesame seed bun.  As an added bonus, Burger King did some studies with Paramount Trials and Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostics Services, Inc. and Goldforest Inc and found out this sandwich increases the possibility of you having nightmares.  Crazy!!  No, this will not be added to my diet.  


5.  It's worth a shot.....

Image result for housekeeping 101 jokes

Now let's get this weekend started!  I have girls night tonight with a bunch of really fun gals and I'm so excited to spend the evening with them.  Then tomorrow it's a full day of doing nothing planned.  Don't get me wrong, I have a to-do list a mile long but it might just have to wait while I take my time getting out of bed in the morning.  Pop back in next week to see how the weekend goes.

Linking up with:
The Blended Blog
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Friday Favorites Linky Party - October 19, 2018

Happy Friday!  Enjoy the links.  My feature today is the Maple Glazed Butternut Squash with Bacon from Home Cooking Memories.  Hope to give it a try over the weekend.

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Rome - Day Quattro

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  I'm still thinking about our big trip to Rome this year and working my way through the days.  Today I'm on Day Four.  If you've missing one through three, here's the links to catch up.

Day Uno       |       Day Due       |       Day Tre

Day four began early because we had someplace exciting to be -- back to the Vatican to see the Pope!  Since our day was starting early, we decided to pop in on the Trevi Fountain.  I was hoping to get some pictures without a lot of people in the background, which is not an easy thing to do.  At 7:15 am there were not a lot of people and we were able to get some great shots.  Some of them are strong contenders for our Christmas card photo.

After our experience with Bus 62 and getting to the Vatican on day three, we decided a new plan was in order.  We still arrived via bus, but this time we caught our ride at a different stop and took a different bus.  All was well and it was a smooth trip across the river.

You could feel the buzz in the air from the moment we started walking down the street.  We flashed our ticket and was directed to the chairs up front.  Oh yeah -- we were feeling pretty special!

The sights around St. Peters Square were electric.  People were chatting for the Pope and waving flags and banners.  The atmosphere was almost Disney like.  It wasn't hard to catch the enthusiasm of the crowd.  All eyes were waiting to see the 266th Pope!

All the information about the Papal Audience reflected the starting time being 10:00 am.  The gates open around 8:00 pm and we were there pretty close to that to get to our seats.  Having never been to this event before, we choose seats near the center for better viewing of where he would be sitting.  As the ceremony began, we realized that the Pope cruises around the perimeter of the seating area in the Pope Mobile.  If I were to do this again, I think I would try to sit near the outside aisles to see him a bit better.  

We didn't have to wait until 10:00 am for the festivities to begin.  Right around 9:30 am, several Cardinals came to the stage and began welcoming varies groups from around the world.  Seeing so many people from so many different places truly made the world feel a little smaller.   Each message was delivered in several languages and thank goodness one of them was English.

As cheers from the crowd erupted, Pope Francis arrived and cheerfully rode around the crowd with a huge smile on his face before taking his seat.

After the Papal visit had concluded, we decided to do a bit of exploring in that region of the city.  We found an overlook that was amazing!

Our bellies were letting us know it was time for lunch.  We were planning to visit The National Museum of Rome and decided lunch near that attraction was our destination.  Ristorante del Passeggero looked inviting with their outdoor seating.   It definitely hit the spot!

There are tons of reasons I did not want to rent a car in Rome.  Here is just one example why:

We were watching people park while having lunch and were amazed at their techniques.  Can you even image getting out of this spot?!?

The National Museum of Rome was a rather small museum and we covered it fairly quickly.  You will find a huge collection of Roman sculptures to browse through.

The weather was absolutely beautiful the entire week we were in Rome.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon and early evening wandering the streets taking in the city.

We found another great restaurant for dinner - unfortunately, I did not make note of it's name.  Pasta and wine were a wonderful way to cap off the day.

As we made our way back to the hotel, of course we stopped for the 34738473 time to take pictures in front of the Trevi Fountain.  This time we got a little silly!

The next day we were taking a train to Florence and were excited to see that part of the country.  I'll be recapping Day Five soon!

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  What's on your mind?  Link up and share!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop - October 17, 2018

Welcome to the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Welcome to our party! Oh, the creativity that came to our party last week. We are thrilled with the quality and variety of crafts, home decor, recipes and more. You are amazing!
Here are the posts that you visited most last week >>>

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Fabric pumpkins
Chenille Fabric Pumpkins - Flamingo Toes

Very Popular

Classic style personality #fashion
Classic Style Personality - Style Yourself Confident
Layered pumpkin cake recipe
Magical Layered Pumpkin Cake - Crystal & Company
Easy spiced nuts for the holidays
Easy Spiced Nuts - Crafting A Family

Editor's Pick

Chicken Parmesan Casserole - Kelly Lynn's Sweets & Treats

  So let's get this party started!
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop 2018
This week please follow our hosts on Facebook ...
Simple party guidelines:
Please TWEET our party. ♥ Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like to. No Etsy shops, adult sites or blog parties, please. Visit others. Let them know you’ve been there! If you are NEW, let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥ Help us find your posts – tell us what number they are? NOTE: party entries appear in REVERSE. i.e. the most recent entry goes to the top! That way all of our guests will have a chance to be seen no matter when they arrive. Thanks! ♥

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weekending - October 12, 2018

As I was driving home from Kansas City yesterday, I realized why I like writing my weekend posts.  I love to relive them as I type out the details!  So many times in life I feel we rush through things and don't stop to acknowledge the good times.  Well here's me acknowledging that this past weekend was pretty darn fantastic!

Even though I had to work most of the day on Friday, I felt like my weekend started on Thursday night when I met two friends for an impromptu dinner.  It was great to connect with them over sushi and catch up with what was going on in our lives.

Friday I worked as fast as I could and my daughter-in-law, Kayla, and I were able to begin on journey to Kansas City by mid afternoon.  I loved having her with me and it made the car ride so much more enjoyable!  We arrived at my friend Linda's house, scooped her up and headed to dinner at Jack Stack Barbecue.   Linda's brother met us there to round out our table of four.  We started with a nice round of drinks.

If you're ever in the KC area and looking for some great barbecue, check out Jack Stack.  They have a couple locations around town so it's likely that you will be able to find one near you.  Their burnt ends are to die for!  I had a combo plate of burnt ends and shrimp.  And don't underestimate their sides!  I sampled the hickory pit beans, cheesy potato bake, cheesy corn bake and their green beans - all DELICIOUS!  

Saturday morning Kayla, Linda and I cruised over to Chez Elle Creperie and Coffeehouse to meet our friend Mary for breakfast and shopping.

Three of us choose the same thing - the Le Franco - which was caramelized green apple with spices, toasted walnuts, fig compote, Brie cheese and creme fraiche.  I really wish they offered a flight of smaller crepes so you could have more than one flavor!

Then there was shopping!  Nothing like a little retail therapy with friends to make a day wonderful.  The painting on this wall right outside Chez Elle was a beautiful site with its brilliant colors.  Very blog worthy.  

I fell in love with the little bread shop right across the street.  We purchased a few goodies from there to snack on later.  The cheese bread was fantastic and will be on my mind for a while.  Their cheese was equally as wonderful.  I wonder if they ship to St. Louis??

From this part of town we ventured over to the West Bottoms area.  Thrift shopping at it's prime!   All of us found treasures we had to take home with us.    My favorite was the Restoration Emporium.  This warehouse building had a little bit of everything inside.  No matter what your taste is, there would be something for you.

We shopped until the last minute possible before leaving Mary and departing to meet up with our friend Jody who was joining us for dinner and the Ed Sheeran concert.  For dinner we met at Summit Grill and it was the perfect place.  Happy Hour drinks and menu was in force and we took full advantage of it.  No joke, we talked about how good the sliders were for the rest of the night and into the next day!

We had bought tickets to see Ed Sheeran at Arrowhead Stadium almost a year ago and never dreamed it would be 45 degrees outside on concert night!  Winter gear in tow, we headed to the venue.  I had only been to Arrowhead one other time for a concert and remembered how terrible the traffic was getting in.  This time was no different.  We got a later start than we had planned and definitely paid the price.  Arrowhead management people -- there HAS to be a better way to get cars in the parking lots!!  After what should have been a 30 minute process turned into 2 hours, we parked and walked to the gate only to have our purses rejected.  The rule was no purse larger than 4.5" x 6.5".  I measured mine when I got home and it was 5" x 7".  Linda's was about the same size.  Jodie and Kayla were smart and left their's in the car.  Seriously people - so frustrating!!  We went to customer service, crammed everything that was in our purses into our coat pockets and left our purses there.  By the time we landed at our seats, the second opener (Snow Patrol) was on their next to last song.  

Not that I'm bitter or anything, but tell me this purse that we saw inside the stadium is 4.5" x 6.5".  I think it came down to what gate you entered.  

Ok - enough of the badness about Arrowhead.  We were there to enjoy Ed and we did!!  I just love him!!  He stands on the stage all by himself and talks to his audience like you were sitting in his living room.  The set list on Saturday include 19 of his favorites and warming the crowd's hearts even with the cold temperatures.

He might have been a little embarrassed after the show when he realized he was in MISSOURI, not Kansas as he repeatedly said.  Oh well Ed, I forgive you!  I imagine most of the people in the audience did too.

Guess what we did Sunday morning before driving home?  We went to see A Star is Born.  Two of us had seen it and two of us had not.  All four of us loved it (again)!  If you haven't seen it, add it to your list.

And just like that the weekend was in the books.  Kayla and I drove home reliving the fun moments from the weekend and planning Thanksgiving.  We stopped on our way through to say hello to my parents.  What an overall great weekend!  Hope you had a great one too!