fresh flowers

White Chicken Chili

We had this at a popular restaurant  several years ago.  It was new and different and we loved it!  As it turns out it was rotated off the menu so I came home and started my own copy cat recipe.  On a quick trip to a store for something I found a McCormick seasoning for it.  I followed their recipe and after many experiments came up with my own simple, restaurant tasting version.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  This is fabulous any time of year.  Especially Fall/Winter.

white-chicken-chili

McCormick makes a spice blend for it.

Jens’ White Chicken Chili

1 pkg boneless, skinless, Chicken Breast or Thighs about 2 – 3 lbs.

2 Cans Great Northern or Navy Beans do not drain

1 can Diced Green Chili’s

2 pkg McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella Cheese + extra for garnish

4 Tablespoons chopped Green Onion (if desired).

In large dutch oven style pan, cook chicken until golden on both sides over medium heat.  Remove from pan.  Cut or shred chicken to bite size pieces approx 1/2 in.  Return Chicken to pan.  Add diced Green Chili’s and beans with liquid.  Mix 2 season pkg with 2 cups heavy cream.  Add to pan.  Simmer on medium low 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.  Once cheese melts serve piping hot, garnish with chopped green onions and extra cheese if desired.  Keeps well in freezer I recommend a double batch.  (One to eat today, one for an easy frozen meal later.)

 

 

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Irish Skillet

We found this on Pintrest and is a family favorite we normally make a double batch and there are rarely any leftovers.

Irish Skillet

We love this stuff! have to give credit to the original author. Link can be found on page, or click here.

 

 

Easter Egg-stravaganza

Are you looking to amp up your Easter Egg Hunt? As the years have passed, we now have diverse ages of participants. Starting with a 10-year-old 5, and two 2 year olds. So as usual when seeking inspiration I flip over to Pintrest to see what i can find. They never let me down. Everything from non-candy egg fillers to neat coloring technic and several ways to make the hunt more fun.

jensperspectiveblog.com

The Scavenger hunt looks like particular fun for the older girls, while Egg exercises look entertaining for the littlest ones. To make this fun I think we’ll try assigning a specific color to each child. (This will also work well with certain food allergies and sensitivities). Each younger child will need an adult paired with to read the exercises to them and make sure they are done before searching out the next egg.

The older girls will have to figure out and solve the clues to find their next egg. I may even add prizes to give incentive to the fun. It will also engage their parents in the game to entertain and participate in the fun.

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Before the big hunt I’m thinking of hosting an Easter Brunch complete with adults only punch. Coffee of course and maybe specialty coffee bar. This will give me the perfect reason to use my new espresso machine I got for Christmas. Regular orange juice for the kids and several selections for brunch itself.

A spinach and bacon Quiche, Easter egg fruit pizza, bunny shaped Orange rolls, and carrot shaped pre-rolled silverware. To make this easy cleanup, The Dollar Store is my go to for Tablecloths, plastic table ware, napkins and plates. I like the idea of very little cleanup. I can remember going to family gatherings and the ladies spent quite a bit of time after dinner putting food away and doing dishes. Even with the dishwasher it still took quite some time and more than one load. It’s not the most environmentally friendly, but in this case throwing away the plates, napkins, and tableware, cloth if need be saves hours that can be spent with little and big ones this Easter.

The phrase “They grow up so fast”, is more true than most of us think. It seems only yesterday of oldest was just learning to walk. She is now getting ready for her first ballet recital.

Easter Sunday

To one and all I hope these ideas inspire your family fun. To all the hunters out there good luck and happy egg finding. Live, Love, Laugh, as your Easter is filled with wonder, good food and the blessing of family to surround you.

We love ideas and like to keep things fun, new, and exciting, so what do you do for this occasion? Share your traditions, recipes, menus, games, and gifts. We’d love to hear from you. If you like any of their ideas featured here make sure you visit the links to their sites.

We appreciate every like and share, or drop us an email at jensperspective71@yahoo.com

Managing Your Year

Facing the rest of the year ahead.

If you’re like me we look at the year ahead and try to put habits in place that will make it easier to handle. My Pintrest boards are getting lots of added ideas. Every thing from recipes to holiday ideas, and don’t forget to update the calendars. I take this time out to both show myself some love, and get organized. Anyone who knows me has seen me go a little OCD when being organized. I try to start with the basics. Holidays, Anniversarys, home and garden, Birthdays and finance, parties, and other projects throuout the year. I start with the basics.

My planner/engagement/brain for the year. I like a full desk size book. Why paper you ask? In the digital world we live in things like smartphone, tablets, smart tv, and even the laptop & desktop give us access to technology at our fingertips. Paper and pen are still my go to medium. I will probably add it to my digital devices, but for my main list I prefer paper. It’s where I start from. If you’ve ever tried updating or creating a note when you were fast asleep you’ll know why I still keep my pen and paper.

I enjoy daily/weekly/monthly views in my planner. It helps me stay on track with both what I need to do today as well as looking ahead in the week or month. There are a lot of free pages available that can be printed however knowing myself, I would probably take a page out and loose it as I become involved in what ever project I’m currently working on. The last several years I’ve turned to Cat Naps.

It is wire bound so I can leave it open atop my desk for quick daily checkins. I have important dates, appointments, moon cycle, holidays, and contact info that I transfer yearly into everyone. I usually purge or make changes as I go. I know your reading this and saying I have all that in my phone. I do too, but the tangible works better to help me stay on track.

As the bills arrive by mail I enter the due dates, and mail by dates. Jot gift ideas as I come across them by person. I often hear people say I wish I had this or that, if appropriate I make a note of it and the name. As my husband and I do not have 9 to 5s it helps track both income and expenses.

My digital lifesaver is a financial program I read about in a top app review… from

I love it!!! There are lots of competition in this area, probably including your regular bank.

Prism is a safe and secure way to not only keep up with but pay my bills as well. “Prism is the easy personal finance app for managing and paying bills. • “Love, love, love this app! For those of you stranded by Mint Bills…..This IS your life preserver ..”

It gives reminders, schedules payments, income and current balances of both bank accounts and credit cards. It saves me a great deal of time, stamps, and energy. Unlike some I don’t have to go between apps to get all the info I need. it does take some time for initial setup but so worth it! Even locks the info on your phone if you left it up. Keeps prying eyes out of your personal information yet with a pin code it can easily be synced to all your devices.

With these two it’s easy to control the chaos in my world. Well time to finish this up because according to my handy book it says I have more to do before hubby gets home from his job. Weeding recipes for collection cookbook to be ready for Mothers Day, Plan Easter Family Gathering, and take some free time to catch up on my to be read pile of books. What do you do to stay on track in your busy life?? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Giving Thanks

 

Cooking Up Memories

Wow! Where did the year go? I would like to apologize for the hiatus in posts.
It was not planned that’s for sure. As many of you know I have been taking physical therapy since my spinal surgery two years ago, however as I prepared to leave for my weekly appointment I started experiencing shortness of breath. As I attempted to get in my wheelchair, I started not being able to breathe. I asked my husband to call 911. I awoke 5 days later having never met the paramedics who came and transported me to hospital. I was in respiratory distress, a breathing tube was inserted and kept in a medically induced coma while testing and stabalizing treatment was given. Luckily the drugs they gave means I remember nothing about this obviously scary time I spent in ICU.

Ten days in step down care before release to a skilled nursing facility. After another twenty days ton make sure prescribed therapy worked I was released to go home on October 30th. As a result I combined my homecoming dinner with my birthday celebration also the 30th. With Thanksgiving fast approaching the stress of the holidays starts creeping in. My answer is to remember just how lucky I am. The main thing I would tell anyone is to cherish the time the we have with family and friends. Instead of coveting toys, gadgets,clothing, or other material items take a brake from the hustle; look around and see all the blessing in your life you have to be thankful for. Friends, family, pets, even a kind word from strangers.

One event that I will never forget ; I think I met my guardian angel during my stay in hospital. After friends, family, visited I have to admit I was feeling really down with fears creeping in. I went to bed that night to shut off my brain from all those stupid thoughts. So 3am comes around and they collect blood for laboratory testing. The room was freezing, this beautiful young girl felt how cold my hand was she was encouraging me to get warm. I’m not proud of it but I was feeling pretty low and I just did not care which way it ended. She stayed with me. Held and rubbed my hand to warm it. She only left long enough to get some heated blankets. The rest of the time she held my hand and sought to reassure me that I would be deeply missed in this world. This girl didn’t know me at all. I’ve never had someone touch my life so profoundly. I try to make it a point to leave nothing unsaid. When I told her how mush her gestures and caring touched me she replied that she was just glad that she could help. After making me feel better she collected her sample, encouraged me to get some more rest because the sun was gonna come up soon enough. When my door closed the biggest thought was this bright light in this world just left me and I didn’t even know her name.

I’m happy to say I related this to my wonderful nurse and she agreed that it was in deed special. She helped me find out her name and since patients do not talk directly to their supervisor I could mention her in glowing terms in the follow-up survey following my stay. Wherever you are Whitney I want you to know how special you are. I hope this holiday season is indeed magical. If by some chance you get to read this please know how special you are and I hope you continue being a light in this sometimes dark world.

As we move into the holiday season I hope the world benefits from many more just like her.  I have many people who are special to me and I have seen evidence of how simple gestures  can touch the lives of others but this is probably the first time I have been so profoundly touched by a stranger.  I hope there are many more like her and they continue sharing that special gift with the world.

Hurricanes!  What you need to know.

Most media forget to tell people that you have to be prepared to take care of yourself and family without government help for at least three days after a major hurricane.  I grew up in Florida so we are very accustomed to hurricanes every summer.  First off the media likes to fuel hystaria!  Most category 1 and 2 should only concern low lunging areas and people who live in manufactured homes.  Unless you are hit by spinoff tornado, our regular storms are worse than these storms.  At 3, 4, and 5 long term locals start paying attention to local weather stations.  National new services are not able to give details and help to locals especially our smaller towns.  A great resource is a place called crownweather.com oddly enough they hail from Maine.  With a little preparation they are easy to deal with and you can reduce stress with hurricane party.  I’ve prepared an emergency list that you can print for easy planning to keep your family safe.  Three to five days is the minimum you should be able to survive on your own.

  It will take agencies like FEMA, or Red Cross to get into the area to help provide things like ice, water, and MRE’s, or medical help.     You may choose as we have after touring a medically needy shelter to take advantage of the electricity guarantee, or with adequate preparation we stayin home.  Our home generator and ample supplies made taking care of our selves the better choice.  My hubby is diabetic and cannot wait 3 hours for a bologna sandwich. We weathered Ivan at home quite comfortably.  The shelter had several difficulties procuring supplies. 

 Remember these must be multiplied for all family members sheltering with you.  Pets, children and the elderly have more specialized needs. For children make it a camping trip.  Add fun camping supplies to keep children occupied.  Camp songs and games keep little ones happy and on fun adventure until normalcy returns.          
Poncho with hood for rain
Emergency survival sleeping bag
Swiss Army knife (with can opener)
FM radio w/Batteries
Pen and paper for notes
60 feet Nylon Rope
Pliers~ to turn off utilities
Duck tape to shelter in place
Dust mask (N95)
Leather palm working gloves
Rolls of toiletpaper paper in Ziploc bag
Hygiene kit-tooth brush paste, wet wipes & femine items
Mini hand sanitizer
Garbage bags and ties for sanitation
Complete First Aid kit with Prescription medication for all. You need emergency supply to last 1 week without refill.
Shovel – to dig sanitation holes
Several flashlights with extra batteries  I also add several lanterns both battery and oil to illuminate lager areas.  Candles, lighters and matches serve well in dinning room and living room to provide light for meals after dark or old fashion board games.  
24 hour light stick
Waterproof matches
Food hard-working high in calories and don’t need to be cooked
Backpacks if needed to move or carry supplies
Solar charger for electronics
Generator with reserve fuel
Manual charger bank for cell phone
Car charger plugin for phones
Car converter to plug in laptops or other small appliances
1 gallon water per person per day
Clothing for 3 – 5 days per person both hot and cold

                      I. Important documents (I keep ours in 3 ring binder)  contains birth certificates, marriage license, copies of driver licenses, and social security cards on all.   Insurance documents both policy and deeds.  Bank account information, Usernames and passwords, list of credit cards, and numbers.  Account numbers for all utilities and services. Tax returns, and anything else I would find important if starting over again.  Don’t go crazy but, I keep all in one binder so if fire or flood I can grab it and go.  I try to update several times throughout the year. Irreplaceable family photo’s should have a book of their own…consider making scans stored on non destructible DVD Rom disks.
Florida in particular the gulf coast has 1 more essential hurricane party must have…

Make mine a double!

Plan early, be prepared and stay safe friends and enjoy your summer!

It’s already August!

Stay tuned for great recipes mine and hopefully some of yours as we pick our favorites for a special project.

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