It's cozy time: the season of warm and hearty soups, stews, and my favorite Chicken Chili, which is another delicious recipe featured in my cookbook Just Eat! This makes a great weekend meal and is perfect for an intimate gathering around a beautiful lit fire pit with family and friends. It will keep bellies full and warm. Slow down and enjoy food, family, and friendship with bowls of Chili that won’t make you chilly!
10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded (if desired)
1 sweet white onion, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 pieces of skinless, boneless chicken thighs, diced into very small cubes
¼ cup chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon Adobo all purpose seasoning
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning & dash of paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 (depending on your taste for heat) canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce - seeded and finely chopped
1 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
Wash and drain chicken well; season with the Creole seasoning, Adobo seasoning, poultry seasoning, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven broiler with rack about 3 inches from heat source. Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until starting to char, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender or food processor until chunky or smooth (as desired). Separately, chop onions and mince the garlic.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat; add olive oil; add the chicken and cook until brown for 5-10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring for one minute; stir in chipotles and add chicken, raise heat to high. Stir in tomato mixture and cook scraping up browned bits, 3-5 mins. Stir in broth; simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for the desired flavor. Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
Tip: Enjoy with sweet cornbread, fragrant cooked jasmine or basmati white rice and mixed green salad. Healthy, nutritious and delicious.
Have you ever found yourself staring blankly at the nail polish wall of your favorite store? You're not alone. I love switching over to the serene colors of fall, but along with the excitement, I become overwhelmed with the number of shade options...and the number keeps growing when my favorite nail polish brands add new shades into the mix!
To help me with my “nail color dilemma,” I apply the same strategy as I do with clothes and shoes: I seek out what’s in for the season by reading magazines, watching runway shows, and browsing boutiques and salons. Then, I save time by narrowing it down to what’s suitable for my complexion, age, and style.
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up during my research:
When you're in the mood for a low-key manicure color, choose warm beige.
Try jewel-toned polishes! Like switching back to hot coffee or cocoa when the temperature gets cool, a rich emerald nail color feels natural for the season.
Adding a metallic element to any jewel-toned shade gives the fall staple a whole new look.
A mauve-y shade is ideal for Ultra Violet purple fans looking to transition their favorite shade into the new season.
Nothing screams fall quite like a deep, oxblood manicure.
My #1 pick for the season is a luminous sapphire or ice blue polish!
Burnt orange nail polish reminds me of pumpkin spice and is another fall-favorite that makes its triumphant return every year. Whether you go with a terracotta, turmeric, or rusty, the earthy shade is a great neutral. However, it’s not a shade that goes with everything.
The autumn alternative to millennial pink is a warm rosy polish by Essie.
Whether you stick to neutrals or you're a fan of bold colors (as I am), I hope you are less overwhelmed and more enthusiastic as you set out to shop trendy, fun colors...no matter your manicure vibe!
Carving Family Fun
You may have heard me say this quite a few times, but I absolutely love fall. What I love the most is the wonderful memories I’ve created, or shall I say carved (in honor of Halloween), with my family. We marked the calendar for going to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch to pick apples and pumpkins and even scheduled watching scary movies. Everyone looks forward to drinking hot apple cider, eating apple cider donuts, and roaming the orchard picking a variety of apples. Then comes pumpkin carving day. We get creative – no contest, just plain fun and family time spent together. Though my son and daughter are adults, we still get together for this lovely autumn family tradition.
Explore all the happiness and beauty autumn offers by starting your own Fall Family Traditions! Here a few tips:
Seek out an apple orchard and check the schedule for the picking season. It’s fun to have one that offers hayrides and pumpkin patches.
When picking out pumpkins for carving, choose a funny-shaped pumpkin that will look even more unusual when carved.
Pick a day or evening for the family to get together for pumpkin carving time. Play some Halloween music or put on a movie; it’s nice to set the ambiance for this fun time! Carve away and share conversations while you create your spooky or cute jack-o-lantern.
After carving, rub a little petroleum jelly on the carving areas. This helps preserve the jack-o-lantern and prevent it from drying out as fast.
For added safety, try using a battery operated tea light candle instead of a regular candle.
Most of all, have fun with your family! Dress up in a nice or scary costume while handing out candies to the trick-or-treaters.