Week in Review

It was so cold last week and now that daylight savings time has started, I am already ready for bed at 7 pm. Let the hibernation begin! Cold weather always inspires me to make chili and so thankfully I had some leftovers after a busy Sunday to indulge in. Now anyone who knows me knows I do not like beans in my chili. When I was younger, my mom would purée beans and sneak them in. Now that I am an adult, I do the same thing because they are so very healthy for you. I guess it's the texture but when they are puréed, they only add thickness and nutrients. 

I start out with ground mild Italian turkey sausage and over medium heat, cook until almost done with the meat being slightly pink. 
I then add in carrots, onions and celery. (Yes I cheated with short cuts from Hy-Vee, so easy!) I finish cooking the sausage and slightly softening the veggies. 
Usually this is about and additional 5-7 minutes.
 I then add in 2 cups of diced red bell pepper and continuing cooking for 5 minutes. 
Next up is one can of tomato paste and one can of no salt added diced tomatoes. 
Once that is blended and simmering, in goes my flavoring. 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of chili powder. I sometimes like mine a little spicier and will add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. 

Stir under blended, add 1/2 cup of water, pop a lid on and simmer on low for about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. 
In the last 30 minutes, add 1 cup of puréed beans. I used canned cannellini beans or white beans with no added sodium. The beans will help thicken the chili too. And there you have it! It was a delicious dinner tonight. 
Saturday was a perfect day for a lovely fall run outside followed by my annual caramel apple that I treat myself to every year. 
I cannot resist a caramel apple with Heath bits. Pure joy! 
The rest of the weekend involved a pretty entertaining Halloween party hosted by my friends Jason and Justin. They had adorable party treats scattered around the frightfully decorated house. 
Everyone got in the spirit and wore their best Halloween costumes. 

My friend Laura's was my favorite. 

Gary and I really enjoyed the evening as well!  Goodbye October and hello November!