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White Chicken Chili

October 29, 2011


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stem and most seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 slices of thick cut pepper bacon
  • Salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon)
  • Sour cream
  • Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Grill the chicken breasts until fully cooked, shred into small pieces and set aside. Cook the bacon thoroughly, chop and set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, cook chopped jalapeno and  onions in oil until tender. Add green chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add beans, chicken stock, chicken and bacon. Salt to taste and simmer for up to an hour until the stew has thickened.
Serve topped with sour cream, green onions, and shredded cheese.

Serves 4.

*Adopted from


Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

March 21, 2011

I’ve made these cupcakes many times for parties and guests and every time I do, there is not a single leftover cupcake to take home. So, I made them today. And besides sharing them with my kids and Mr P, they will all be for me.

*recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World



1 c all-purpose flour

1/3 c cocoa powder

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/4 c coconut oil

1 c + 2 T coconut milk

3/4 c granulated sugar

1 1/2 t vanilla extract, divided

2 t coconut extract

1 c shredded coconut, divided

1/4 c nonhydrogenated shortening (I like Earth Balance)

1/4 c butter, softened

2 c confectioners sugar

1 1/2 t coffee extract



Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.\

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over very low heat. Once melted, turn the heat off and leave it in the pan, on the stove.

In a med/large bowl mix together 1 c of coconut milk, sugar, 1 t vanilla extract, and the coconut extract. Stir in the melted coconut oil. Add the flour mixture in 4 batches, mixing well after each addition. Mix until smooth and then  fold in the shredded coconut.

Fill the liners 2/3 of the way and bake for 24 – 26 min. Allow to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting and toasted coconut topping.


Beat the shortening and butter together until well combined and fluffy. Alternately add the sugar and coconut milk to the shortening mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the coffee extract and the remaining 1/2 t vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Toasted coconut:

Preheat a small frying pan over medium heat. Pour the coconut into the pan and stir constantly until it is honey brown. Turn the heat off and continue to stir for about 30 additional seconds. Pour onto a plate.

Assembling these little bits of heaven:

Frost a cupcake with the frosting. Dip the frosting side of the cupcake in the toasted coconut.

Share (at least one) and enjoy!




So, yeah, I’m homeschooling my kids…

August 29, 2010

This is me in a nutshell 15ish years ago (minus the valedictorian part) and it’s one reason I’m considering homeschooling my kids indefinitely.

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

Cooking mama

May 10, 2010

It’s been awhile, I know. Didja miss me? I missed you. Things are a lot different since I was here last. I’m not ready to go into all that, but suffice it to say that I have a lot more time at home with my kids and zero time at the corporate job I once had. This is a very good thing, in case you were worried.

I have been trying to focus in on the key activities that make me happy now that I am home more and one of those is cooking and preparing food for my family. I went balls to the walls today people and everything is so yummy, I have to share.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas

1 3/4 c flour

1 c sugar

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

1/4 c Earth Balance (or other vegan) butter

3 T (heaping) apple sauce

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 c vegan chocolate chips (Whole Foods brand is my favorite)

Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl (I use a potato masher). Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a mixer just until well combined. Pour into a greased bread pan. Bake for an hour at 350 deg.

Note: this bread is very chocolaty. If you don’t like that, halve the amount of chocolate chips. Also? What’s wrong with you? I kid.

Basic bread dough

I checked this book out from the local library and made the basic recipe. I was so easy to make and the dough is rising now. Besides the aforementioned banana bread, I have never baked bread before. I’m sure mine will never look as pretty as the loaf on the cover, but I hope it will be delish!

Vegetable stock

I use a lot of veggie broth around here – for cooking rice in, for soaking beans in, for making soups. I got the great idea from our farm co-op to make my own with the leftover shoots and stems from the veggies I cut up for salads and stir fries. In a large pot add whatever veggie scraps you have (I added pea shoots, the ends of carrots, celery, scallions and radishes). Add water to the top of the pot, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for an hour. Turn off the heat and let cool. Ladle the broth over a fine strainer into containers for storage. I’m refrigerating half for immediate usage and freezing the rest.

Bon appetit!

Five for five

January 27, 2010

I signed up for the 5 for 5 giveaway at Homemade Homeschool. Take a look below and participate if it excites you!

Here’s how it works:

The first five people to leave a comment on this post will get something from me.
But in return, you have to do the same thing on your blog and make something for five other people. The details are as follows, and if you want to play, copy the following onto your blog and leave me a post:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It’ll be done this year (2010).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.

7. Send your mailing address – after I contact you.

Haiti in my heart

January 19, 2010

I have a really hard time dealing with devastating events. After initially hearing about 9/11, I listened to pop music and watched sitcoms non-stop because I couldn’t process it. When I finally did watch a show, which was graphic, and actually tried to process what had happened, I cried for two days. I did not know anybody personally who was affected. But I felt helpless and sad and overwhelmed with grief.

I have avoided many of the  images and stories about the Haitian disaster. My heart can not bear it. Being a mother and imagining the fear, loss, devastation these lovely people must be feeling makes my heart-break even more for those who can not find their loved ones, who have lost their homes, who are without.

I can not fly down to Haiti to help. I do not have much money. But I do have some skills. I can make beautiful jewelery. And because the fantastically lovely Kelly Diels DM’ed me asking to take part in The Help Haiti Blog Challenge, I did.

Help Haiti Blog Challenge

While I was working, I kept loving kind thoughts of these people in my mind. My intention was clear – make this jewelery so lovely that people not only want to buy it to help the Haitians, but so they are happy to wear it and remind themselves of the good they have done.

All proceeds from items listed in my Etsy shop today will go to Doctors Without Borders.

Love and peace,


On saddles, handles and muffins

January 13, 2010

Yes, yes, I’m still here. I know hope there is at least one person wondering WTH happened to Sarita. And I’ll tell you – life. But enough about that, let me bore you to tears with my update on 2010.


Which is funny because I come from the land of flat arsed women, so while ‘baby got back’ won’t ever apply to me, ‘baby got saddle bags, love handles and muffin top’ may or may not. I want out of the bag, I’m letting go of the handles and I don’t even really like muffins. Let’s do this!

I signed up for a swim class with my sister in law because I have worked out a total of ZERO (count them, 1, 2, 3, 4 – ZERO) times this year. My ability to embody Patience may be taking over in a bad way and moving more into lethargy, inaction, laziness. So I’m trying to nip that in the trunk. 

For starters I want to couple the weekly swim class with strength training and yoga on alternate days.  Check back next week and let’s see if I got myself motivated to do this. I’m shopping for a new swim suit today, so I think that may be the best possible motivation. Additionally, I signed up for the #losermoms competition. I highly doubt I am going to win but I am definitely always up for a good competition. And did I mention I need some for serious motivation?

Eat healthy, whole foods

There is a lot more to this and it will require more energy than I’m willing to put in now. Bottom line – I’m working through this – reading, thinking, listening to podcasts, logging points on weight watchers and being part of #losermoms. It’s slowly coming into focus and I will for sure delve into it deeper soon.

I have also been posting to my flickr365 daily and in process of making a patchwork quilt baby blanket for a friend (pics after the surprise). I am working on spending more quality time with the hubs, kids, rents, etc. I have started the house beautification project (slowly). Pauper? Me? not yet… – The hare may win yet.