A Valentine’s Date and a Recipe

Logan has had a cold this week, which means he’s not sleeping well, which means we aren’t sleeping well….! I’ve been exhausted all week. So I was super surprised on Saturday morning when I went to the gym and hadย energy for days! It was a great workout! I did 30 minutes of strength training–body weights, free weighs and kettlebells, and then 30 minutes on the elliptical.

I could have kept going, too, but I had things to do! I went to the store to get groceries and then home to make this dinner:


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 231



  • 1.3 lb (20 oz) 99% lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can chopped chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can small red beans, drained
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for topping
  • optional toppings, shredded cheddar, avocado, sour cream, etc


  1. Brown turkey and onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker with the beans, chilies, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin, mixing well.
  3. Cook on high 6 to 8 hours or low 10 to 12.
  4. Garnish with onions, cilantro and tour favorite toppings.

I’ve made several Skinny Taste recipes before and they were always really delicious.

Our friends had a baby last month (their third!!) and we signed up for their meal train dinner. It was so amazing when we had Logan and friends and family made us meals. It was so so so helpful and generous and we ate some really great food.

Originally we were going to do Michael’s mac n’ cheese but our friends are dairy-free at the moment so I decided to make them chili. I’ve been craving chili for awhile now.

I browned the ground turkey and onions. (I added a teeny bit of spicy ground pork for some flavor.)

The recipe called for three different beans — one being chickpeas! So odd. But I went with it and it turned out to be a really good addition. I did black beans, red kidney beans and garbanzo beans.

I mixed it all and it cooked in the crockpot all day. It smelled really good.

After lunch Logan took a nap and I decided to take a nap, too, and ended up sleeping for over 2 hours!! Catching up on sleep after four days of no sleep, was awesome.

When it was done cooking I packed everything up and we went to our friend’s house to take them dinner and meet the new baby! NEW BABY SMELL!! Oh my gosh the baby isย sooo teeny tiny and adorable. I cannot believe that Logan was ever that tiny. It’s crazy. (Especially considering Logan decided to walk this week.)

So for the meal train I took our friends the pot of chili, a loaf of French bread and all the toppings: cilantro, chopped red onion, green onion, shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream (for the kiddos who aren’t dairy-free). Also in the bag was a bottle of wine and some homemade gluten-free brownies (from Bob’s Red Mill). ๐Ÿ˜€

We spent a little bit of time catching up and snuggling with new baby and then went home to get Logan to bed and open a bottle of wine for us:

There was just enough chili left over for Michael and I to have dinner, too. My one complaint about the recipe was that it said there were 10 servings in there but really, it was more like 5 or 6 generous servings. I guess she made the servings small to keep the calories low.

Ok I kind of loved this chili. It was so good! Lots of flavor and texture. I enjoyed the chickpeas, too. At first I thought they were weird to add to chili but the texture was great. The beans weren’t mushy.

This recipe is a winner! I would make it again for sure.

On Sunday I went swimming and then Michael and I got to go out for a Valentine’s Date Day. Michael’s sister babysat this guy:

I planned our date for this month. Our date started with lunch. We went to Ten Barrel Brewery. I’ve never been and it was a cool place with a fun vibe. We both got the Pearl IPA.

It was a pretty decent beer.

Michael got the personal sized pizza and the salad lunch combo:

The crust wasn’t anything special but the flavor of the sauce and the spicy pepperoni were really tasty. I got the Seoul Sandwich which had Korean steak with sauce, pickled carrots and shredded cabbage on it. It was really, really tasty! The meat had a fabulous flavor to it. I would have liked it a little spicier but it was a really delicious meal otherwise.

Next up was the highlight of our date day: A mini spa day! We went to Sole 2 Sole Reflexology in North Portland. I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never tried reflexology before.

It was such a good experience! We both LOVED it! We were in a semi-private back room with two chairs. We sat down in our side-by-side chairs and then we soaked our feet in barrels of hot water while the therapists massaged our arms and hands. They also put some hot neck wrap things on us. Those were nice.

Then they dried our feet and started the foot and leg massage and reflexology. It was SO GOOD! I get massages once a month (thank you insurance)ย but they rarely spend that much time on my legs or feet, which is a bummer. So this was a really nice treat because it was a full hour on your feet and legs!

The reflexology part was really interesting. Hard to describe, but nice. It was a lot of pressure-point massage and the massage therapist did some massage around my knees, which was really nice.

Michael fell asleep. ๐Ÿ™‚ I dozed in and out of very deep relaxation. It was so nice. The place was great and I would totally go back again. Michael enjoyed his surprise Valentine’s date and he said had he’d known what I had planned he would have run extra miles on Saturday to really get the full benefit of the massage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a great date and we went home to be with the baby and just hang out for the rest of Sunday. Kinda lazy, which was nice.

Crockpot Applesauce

When we were in Hood River I really wanted to go apple picking. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but have never done. I thought it would be a nice way to spend a Fall day with the little guy. That didn’t quite happen. It sounded good in my mind but the logistics just weren’t on our side this outing so instead of picking apples, I bought some at a fruit stand in the Fruit Loop.

When we got home I got set up to make applesauce with the 4 pounds of apples I bought in Hood River. I had my little pumpkin to keep me company while I made it.



I got a mixture of apples–mostly honeycrisp but I got a few golden delicious too. I also used one leftover jazz apple to round out the weight to 4 pounds.

When I saw the recipe I planned on using called for 4 pounds of apples I was a little intimidated. That sounded like SO MANY APPLES! But it really wasn’t a ton. Here are four pounds:


So basically a big bowl of them!

I washed and cored the apples and then chopped them up into chunks where they went into the crockpot and nearly filled it to the brim.


I decided to do the High setting for three hours since I didn’t have a ton of time to do it on the low setting for 6 hours. It was a good call. I don’t know that it changed the flavor or texture by doing it high so it was just easier to do it faster!


Since I was home I occasionally stirred the mixture (about once or twice an hour). As the apples started to soften and cook they smelled so good. It smelled like apple pie baking in my kitchen!!

I used the tomato press/food mill that I have and it worked great. The texture of the apples was pretty soft but it wasn’t applesauce consistency yet so I’m glad I used the food mill. Plus it got out 90% of the apple skins. I ran the pulp and skins through the mill two more times after the sauce was done and got more applesauce out of it.


I didn’t have the time or desire to can the applesauce so I put some in a jar to eat immediately and I had two freezer containers that I filled 3/4 to the top and then froze.


I really hope freezing it works well!


The flavors of the applesauce are subtle and flavorful but not too sweet. It definitely tastes way better than the store bought applesauce. Plus it was so easy! I definitely plan on doing this again and making my own applesauce. And next time I will try to can them and maybe give them away as gifts.


It was so much fun to make applesauce from scratch. And it felt like such a Fall thing to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now for the recipe:

Crockpot Applesauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes


  • 4 pounds apples
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or 3 tablespoons honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Wash the apples. If they feel waxy, scrub with brush. Cut into slices or chunks no thicker than 3/4 inch.
  2. Put prepped apple pieces into the slow cooker and mix them with the other ingredients. If you use honey instead of sugar, dissolve in the water separately before adding to the apples.
  3. Pour everything over the apples and stir.
  4. Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  5. Depending on the consistency you like, run apples through food mill. If you want extra smooth applesauce, puree in food processor or blender.
  6. To freeze, transfer to freezer-safe containers or bags, removing excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  7. To can applesauce: fill clean pint or half pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space between the top of the food and the rims of the jar. Use a butter knife or spoon to release air bubbles. Wipe off rims, fasten canning lids, process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

I tried to find the source for this recipe to link to it here but for the life of me I can’t find the website where I got the recipe from! It was a great recipe, though. I liked that it had very few ingredients and that it only called for 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Some of the recipes I saw online called for a lot of sugar, which I didn’t want to do.

Anyways, this recipe was a winner! And it was really easy! Give it a try!