Ready or not, it is the end of November, Thanksgiving is past us and the joyous and fullness of the holiday season is upon us. It is the time of the year for family get-togethers, parties, and guests packing into homes. I love entertaining, but don’t like being caught off guard with someone stopping by. That is why the charcuterie board or a simple yet elegant cheese board is my go-to holiday entertaining hack. My goal is to have simple things in my pantry or refrigerator that make that last minute guest less stressful and give me more time to enjoy the company of those I love.Read More
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ITS FALL, Y’ALL. It took forever to get here, but we are finally reveling in the glory of good weather. Fall is basically a a blip on the calendar down here in south Louisiana, but I will take whatever the good Lord gives me. This 8-month preggo was tired of 90 degree days well into October, so the fact that I am wearing a sweater and sipping warm tea is a welcomed gift. Forget the whole changing leaves bit. That doesn’t happen here. But a fun + spunky two year-old in cute sweaters?! YES AND AMEN.
I was ITCHING to jump into the most glorious part of Fall- SOUPS. I love a good pot of soup. Easy to put together, hard to mess up, and great for leftovers. All of the good things in one dish. I also LOVE pumpkin. The first fall after Patrick and I got married, he actually had to ask me to calm down on the pumpkin-everythingness when he woke up one morning to pumpkin spice in our coffee grounds. I went a little overboard adding pumpkin to all the things, and have since turned down my basic-ness while still enjoying that wonderful orange gem of a squash. Yes, I love typical pumpkin baked treats, and even a homemade pumpkin syrup for coffee, but I also love using it in something savory and comforting like a chili. This turkey-based chili is warm, comforting, nutritious, and hearty- all the right things for I am looking for these days.
As I note below, I made this version a bit more mild since I am also cooking for a toddler these days, but feel free to add extra chili powder or even 1/2 tsp cayenne if you are looking to spice things up! Or you can do as I do and just add a hefty dose of hot sauce to your own bowl.
This dish is a great meal prep for the week or awesome for a fall gathering. I just may make it for friends on Halloween next week! Go ahead and make some fresh cornbread to go with it, if that is your kind of thing 😉
LET’S GET TO IT.
TURKEY PUMPKIN CHILI
1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, diced
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 4 oz. Can Green Chilies
1 28 oz. Can Peeled Whole Tomatoes
1 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 15 oz. Cans Red Kidney Beans, drained + rinsed
1 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Cumin
3 Tbl Chili Powder
1 Tsp Oregano
Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot (I used my cast iron dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Once hot, toss in the diced onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Toss in the garlic and sautee with onions for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add in the turkey and stir it in to brown. Brown the ground turkey and stir in the green chilis.
I use a can of whole tomatoes instead of crushed because from what I have learned, the highest quality tomatoes are used in the peeled and whole cans. This is where I get my hands dirty. With clean hands, break up the whole tomatoes through your fingers and add to the pot with all of the sauce in the can.
Stir in the pumpkin, chicken stock, beans and spices.
Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, allowing it to cook for at least 20-30 minutes. I find with these kinds of dishes, the longer they sit + simmer, the better the flavors.
Taste for salt + add more as needed.
Serve with hot cornbread + a bottle of hot sauce near by. I topped with a hefty dose of my favorite, Tapatio.
*I made more mild since I also feed a toddler, but would add more chili powder or even cayenne if I was making just for adults. *
Just because I am assuming your day could use an extra dose of joy from this face….
Hummus is one of those “Swiss Army Knife Foods”. You know, the kind that can serve one million different purposes and basically save your life in a pinch. I love hummus, deeply and truly I do.Read More
I LOVE SOUP. Its hearty, full of nutrients, versatile and so easy to make a giant pot and enjoy throughout the week. This soup? Well its in my personal Hall of Fame favorites. My friend Lauren Song made this for me when I visited her while on a Whole30 once and my entire world was changed. I have since changed the recipe, as I tend to do, subbing ground turkey with italian sausage seasoning for the Italian sausage (no pork for me!) and minor tweaks here and there. This is one of those recipes I find myself typing up to send friends constantly, and its honestly one of my favorites to make for dinner guests. These days I have been serving it with a loaf of my homemade crunchy bread (more on the easiest + best recipe later).Read More
Sometimes I encounter things in life that are wonderful, but as they happen I don’t realize the full magnitude of how special they are until I take a moment to step back and examine exactly what is happening.
Some of those things for me have been: marrying Patrick Conti, becoming a mother, fundraising for our move to South Africa in 6 months, the details of finding each of our homes, the people in my life… I could go on probably all day.
Recently i realized one of the absolute hidden treasures in this season of life.
It is Jacci down the street.Read More
A few weeks ago I got an email from an Editor at InRegister, a Baton Rouge Magazine, asking if I would want to share a recipe with their readers. Of course I said "yes!" and was excited to share a project I had been brewing up for awhile. Funny thing is this is not my first piece of work to be published in that magazine, but I was actually an intern with the company who publishes InRegister (and the Baton Rouge Business Report and 225 Magazines) for two years in college. I spent one summer as an editorial intern for InRegister specifically and had a few small pieces I worked on then. It is a little nostalgic and a honor to work with a company I value so much yet again!
I have been brewing the idea for these recipes for about a year, since I started using purple sweet potatoes. I just knew I had to make something for football season, since LSU colors are purple and gold and this town BLEEDS them. With being asked to write a piece right before football season kicks off, I knew it was the perfect time to share.Read More
There are constantly trend words surrounding food, diets + how we can all be better versions of ourselves. Its really just a luxury to have so many options of what to feed ourselves that we can to decided, eliminate and need to control the amount we eat. I think living in the communities we did in South Africa and Tanzania, my perspective shifted greatly on “healthy eating” and fad diets and the like. I saw the utter privilege of choice we are offered in the western world and the indulgence in the amount of food we are constantly able to consume. “Portion control” is not an issue all over the world. Because you work hard to get enough food and you eat just enough so tomorrow you will have enough as well. The fact that we have to work at limiting how much we eat is really wild when you think about it. Then there is the options of WHAT to eat.
OKAY, so all of that to say I don’t believe in diets.
But I have done the Whole30 twice. That is because I do believe in fasting + resets, and want to share a little of my experience with you, if youre interested!Read More
After making them and everyone loving them, I had an epiphany- THEY NEED PEANUT BUTTER.
Because PB&J BREAKFAST BARS?! Uh, yea, sign me up. Sounds like a delicious and healthy childhood memory baked to perfection. And these turned out as such.
They are gluten free (if you use gluten free oats!), no refined sugars, packed with the goodness of oats, fresh strawberries and chia seeds. I know when I serve one of these to Elias for breakfast that he is starting his day with good nutrients getting packed it (even if he asks for pizza after he scarfs them down).
And they’re not just a kid breakfast, we love having them to grab on the go or for an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee. Do yourself a favor a make a batch to have for the week!Read More
Let me start by saying this is not a recipe I created but one from Nourishing Flourishing, a blog that no longer exists.
This is a recipe I started making about 5 years ago as I began to explore the world of paleo and alternative baking. I was trying new and different recipes for the people in my life with food intolerances or health issues and I fell in LOVE with this one. I have it printed out but recently went to try and find the original blog only to find that IT NO LONGER EXISTS. I could not find Nourishing Flourishing anywhere. I used to simply send people the link when they asked for the recipe, but now that it is no longer there I am sharing it here because this recipe is too good not to share with the world. I made a few minor changes to the original recipe, including adding more lemon because I love a lemon and blueberry duo something fierce.Read More
I don’t know about where you are, but here in south Louisiana, we have been having a real-life SPRING, which does not happen each year. The days are longer, the weather has been sunny and cool. It has been AMAZING. The kind of weather where you are scared to blink because you know as soon as you do its going to be 100 degrees with 100% humidity. Elias and I have been walking to the park almost daily, we eat dinner on our back decks most evenings, and we have been trying to spend as much time as possible enjoying the gift of this weather.
Its also really been inspiring me in the kitchen to try more SPRING like recipes. I have been craving lighter foods, softer flavors, fresher everything. That craving plus the lavender plant I just planted in our herb garden set off a lightbulb for the perfect spring recipe.Read More
This is not a quick + easy recipe. This one takes time. There is roasting, blending, soaking, chopping. But you are making a pot of something wonderful from scratch. It is rich in nutrients + filling to boot. PLUS It is delicious and makes a huge batch. I often freeze a good portion so I can have on a week I don't have time to make it.
Check out my serving suggestions at the bottom to see how we use it. I will use them as a side for any taco night, serve with rice as its very own entree, or lately have been serving as the main filling for vegetarian tacos. No matter which way you decide to enjoy these I would suggest topping with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, guacamole + Tapatio hot sauce. I am not opposed to tortilla chips being involved either, because what in the world is more delicious than tortilla chips?
Give it a try + enjoy it as much as we do!Read More
Meal Planning. It either overwhelms you or makes you giddy with delight as you fan out all of your color-coated folders with recipe ideas. I can be found somewhere in the middle, that foggy grey area is where I live on so many issues. I refused to “meal plan” for a long time, because I didn’t really have to. I would think through things, but liked the leave it open ended incase we felt inspired to have something else to eat. These days I am in the mom zone, I try to work during nap-time, and we are living more frugally than we have in the past. So Meal Planning makes sense more now than ever. The more I have embraced it, the more I have found freedom in it, and the less stressed I feel at 5pm thinking “what are we doing for dinner?!”.Read More
We have been back in America for a whole year now. And it just feels as if a piece of me is slipping away, further into a memory of who I used to be. It doesn’t feel like a milestone to be cheered but a loss of the life I longed for to be mourned in some way. This year back “home” has felt like a desert season. It seems as though we are wandering, appearing to be a little lost. Before we came back, I felt sure that the vision of Juniper Table was our “Promised Land”. I was unsure of the path to get there, but knew where we were heading.
I have always liked the book of Joshua because it is about Israel entering into the Promised Land. Finally achieving their goal after 40 years of WANDERING. As I am studying Exodus, I am loving this book more and more. There is a richness in the messy discomfort and failings of the wilderness that I am finally embracing. Real talk is I have always blamed the Israelites for spending so long wandering and not just cutting to the chase and getting their tails to the Promised Land. I think now I realized the wilderness wasn’t all because they were “bad” and disobedient, but it was a process of PREPERATION for the Promise. With that perspective and because of the desert I find myself in, I see myself right there among the Israelites- in the wilderness.Read More
Because I love experimental baking and finding fun new ways to make things, I decided to transform that recipe into a sweet bar with a classic combination of cinnamon and raisin.
These bars are a great, lightly sweet treat that are jam-packed with nutritional benefits from flax, and a great idea for a brunch or party if you have guests with strict dietary restrictions.Read More
It was a no-brainer when we moved into our new house in November that I should bake cookies for all of our new neighbors. But lets be real, life gets busy in a new house, in a new place, starting over from scratch and HOLIDAYS, so my cookie plan fell to the back burner. So here we are FOUR months later, and "introducing" ourselves to the neighbors. I designed these little cards as a simple way to pass on our basic information incase they ever need us. We have such sweet neighbors and want them to know us and know we are around to help or be able to call if ever needed! I baked a big batch of cookies, bagged up a few in each bag and we walked around to a few of the surrounding homes to say "HELLO!" and pass them out one evening after Patrick got home from work.
It was really simple, didn't take too long + I think a great way to introduce yourself in a new place! (To make it REAL simple, you could use pre-made dough....or buy store bought cookies. Nobody would ever know! BUT I do think you should try to make them from scratch because they are the most fun thing to bake.)Read More
Chicken salad is VERSATILE, which just MAY be my favorite kind of meal. Give me a good base and let me mix it up on the regular with what I have around. It is a great meal prep idea that you can make one day and enjoy throughout the week- simple + fun! You could eat a microwaved chicken breast for lunch if that is your thing, but if you are looking to mix it up then LETS GET TO IT.Read More
That being said, as I have become a healthy adult I have learned so much about BALANCE in health. I refuse to categorize anything that God made for us to eat as “bad”, but do recognize which foods have more or less health benefits and adjust how much or how often I eat them accordingly. Needless to say when I am on a road trip I will partake in some glorious Chick Fil a waffle fries most happily, and I will also gleefully slice moutains of red potatoes on the regular to make these crispy delicious wonders.Read More