Lentil Quinoa Chili

How about a warm and nourishing bowl of soup to balance out all of those holiday sweets?  With all of the cookie-baking and festive gatherings, I’m already having to pace myself.  This chili is an updated version of a lentil chili that Ryan’s mom would often serve during our dating years, and there are many happy memories associated with this recipe.   Here I’ve added quinoa for heartiness and fresh roasted green chilis for an extra layer of flavor.  Nothing against canned chilis, those are great in a pinch, but taking an extra few minutes to roast them fresh adds depth and really sets this chili apart.  Having big a pot of soup simmering on the stove in the midst of this hurried and often stressful month is always calming and quieting for me.  Hope it is for you too.

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Nutcracker Sweet Holiday CakeThis post is sponsored by Celestial Seasonings and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  I grew up drinking Celestial Seasonings and honestly love their line of teas.   

With Ryan’s parents hosting Thanksgiving this year, I actually took the day off from cooking and enjoyed a slow morning at home with the kids and working on our Thanksgiving tree together.  It’s hard to believe, but his parents specifically instruct me not to bring anything for the meal.  Although it feels a bit strange not to be cooking on a holiday which is so centered around food, this year I embraced it and focused my heart on simply being thankful.

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Apple Oat Bran Muffins

I’ve fallen into a fairly new morning rhythm of rising a bit earlier to have some quiet time in the kitchen before the kids wake up.  In the past I’d been more sporadic about waking up, sometimes letting myself sleep until the last possible moment and then quickly scrambling to get ready in a mad rush.  (Cereal comes in handy on those days.)  I’ve found, however, that I’m much calmer and gentler in dealing with the children if I’ve had an hour or so to myself.  Being deliberate with preparing breakfast somehow helps me to prepare for the rest of the day and it’s especially comforting on chilly mornings to enjoy something warm from the oven.

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