I make a lot of soups at home because they are full of yummy ingredients but they are also super filling and quite comforting for my soul. Beef Chili used to be one of my favorite meals in the colder months but I really don't eat beef much these days. How can I make chili without beef? EASY! You've probably heard of White Chicken Chili and it's SUPER YUMMY! I like to make Chicken Chili but I honestly don't care what color the beans and the broth are, as long as that pot of chili is DELICIOUS. Without further ado... Here is my personal Chicken Chili Recipe which can also easily be a Vegan Chili if you don't add the chicken in.
The first thing you need to do is grab your biggest pot you can find in the kitchen. Put the pot on the stove and pour your favorite cooking oil into it. I'd say enough to line the bottom of the pot. Don't forget your lid.
This particular recipe calls for the following ingredients:
3 small onions or two large. - does not really matter what color or kind, what ever you like.
Assorted peppers - Red, Orange, Yellow, Poblano Pepper, Cubanelle
Various Beans - Canned or Dry - If you get dried beans you'll need to prepare those a few hours before you can make any kind of chili with them. If you get canned, DRAIN & RINSE THEM first.
2-4 Chicken breasts - If you want to add chicken to your chili. You don't need it though. This chili is so flavorful that chicken bits can just be an added bonus for you carnivores.
Garlic Pepper Salt
Personally I shop at Randazzo's for a lot of my seasonings so in the image below you can see a french fry seasoning and a McCormick's Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb from Kroger. You can use your favorite mixed seasonings in this recipe.
Now it's prep time. Depending on how skilled you are in the kitchen or if you have an extra set of hands I'd season your chicken breast and get those babies cooking on low heat so you don't have to wait extra time. You can season your chicken however you like. This time around I used Chili powder, garlic powder, and a premixed taco seasoning.
For veggies: First chop your onions up. You don't need to chop them in any particular way. Just fine enough for bite size. Make sure you rinse and wash your produce thoroughly. Then chop half a giant cauliflower or a whole small cauliflower into bite sized bits, then the broccoli and green beans. The peppers will come last in the veggie prep.
Take your onions and put them alone into your oil lined pot. Turn your stove on, place the lid on top then slice up your assorted peppers while the onions brown. Your whole kitchen should start to smell like onions. YUMMY. When the onions are browned add your chopped Cauliflower, Broccoli and Green beans into the mix. Stir it all together real well then add Garlic Pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder and fresh black pepper. Stir again and let steam with the onions while you chop your fresh garlic.
Once your current mixture gets warmed and steamy add your Beans and Assorted peppers. Mix them together then add a splash of your favorite mixed seasonings, for me it's the french fry seasoning and the roasted garlic & herb. Mix together and let the flavors sink in. After a few minutes with the lid on, add your fresh garlic. Mix well. All your veggies and beans should be in the pot by this time. Turn the heat down to low on your stove and cover while you check on your chicken.
Your chicken should be ready by this time. Remove your chicken from heat and place onto your cutting board. Allow the chicken to cool for a minute or so then start slicing it into small bits. When you are finished chopping your chicken, add it to your veggie and bean mixture. Stir all the ingredients together then add water. You should fill your pot with water until it reaches about half an inch over your mixture. Put the lid back on and increase the heat on the stove until it boils.
Once the chili is brought to a boil, I like to test the flavor of the broth. If it tastes good to you then you're ready to eat. If it doesn't taste very flavorful I'd add another sprinkle of cumin, a dash of Garlic Pepper, and maybe a pinch of your favorite seasoning salt. It really depends on what you want it to taste like! You can even add a dash of sour cream into the mix for a bit more of a creamy broth.
If the flavors are right you can add a bit of freshly chopped cilantro to your chili, mix it in well. I like to top my chicken chili off with cheese. Depending on what's in the house. My favorite cheese is Sartori Shredded Asiago or Sartori Tuscan Blend, which I've only found at Kroger but Meijer might have it as well. (IDK about you but I've not stepped food in a Meijer since the pandemic...) These Sartori cheeses are SO good. I highly recommend seeking them out. Cheddar cheese is also delightful in this recipe. Some times I even add croutons on top. There you have it! Chicken Chili by Citrine.
Let me know if you make it! I am always here to answer questions. <3
While staying in Utica, we discovered there was not much to do, so we ventured to nearby cities to discover good eats, fine art, and explore. One of these explorations days we found ourselves in Syracuse, NY. What brought us here exactly? Donuts and good coffee. As any great day starts, we pulled up to a donut spot called Glazed and Confused. Then we headed to get a fresh coffee at Cafe Kubal just around the corner. I purchased a bag of coffee beans, Ethiopia Aricha, for later and we ate our sweet treats while drinking freshly made coffee beverages.
Next we wandered around the area, discovering several fantastic local shops. After window shopping for a while we found ourselves in Clinton Square. Named after DeWitt Clinton who was the 6th governor of New York and largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal. Clinton Square has a gigantic sculpture, Soldiers and Sailors monument, honoring Civil War Veterans. This is a gathering place for thousands of people through out the year where many seasonal festivals and celebrations take place. The Erie Canal used to come through Syracuse to this location in the 1800s but was later filled in.
Before we left this area of Syracuse for lunch we HAD to visit the spectacular architecture of the Niagara Mohawk Building. It is an Art Deco Classic style building that used to be head quarts to Niagara Mohawk Power Company but is now a National Register of Historic Places as the Niagara Hudson Building. The architecture is absolutely stunning. Talk about attention to detail.
For lunch we ventured over to a highly sought after restaurant called Phoebe's. What lured us here were the many excellent reviews and the elegant interior. Phoebe's lived up to the reviews too! The food was delicious, Freshly made, and healthy! If you are ever in Syracuse, I recommend making a reservation here. Their pricing is incredibly fair and they have a coffee bar too! We did not try the coffee bar but maybe someday we will be back to try it.
Of course we could not go to Syracuse without investigating their art museum. We were pleased to find out Everson Museum of Art was open. Our temperatures were taken at the door and we were asked a couple of questions before entering. Admission was discounted because of the pandemic, we happily paid. It looked like there were a few areas under renovation but being in the building was participating in art already! Everson was designed by the world renowned I. M. Pei! Their new structure was opened to the public in 1968, gifted to the city by Helen Everson. Syracuse's art museum was founded in 1857 by William Fisk Comfort, an art historian who also helped bring us the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before Emerson Museum of Art was built and opened, nearly 100 years prior, the art museum was held in several local locations. I believe that Everson only collects American art.
Over all we had a lovely day in Syracuse but we only spent about 6/7 hours there. I bet there is a lot more to discover. What we did see, we loved. I hope you enjoy all the pictures.
Cold weather = the need to eat comfort foods! I've been craving these simple baked tarts my family makes every year around this time. These little snacks are super easy to make and only require a couple ingredients! You'll need a cupcake pan, circle cookie cutter, a box of pre made pie crust, your favorite jam or jelly, powdered sugar and a little milk.
Take the pie crust and unwrap it onto a clean surface then cut as many circles out of the surface as you can. Take the circles you cut out and place them into the cupcake pan. Try to keep the edges even all the way around when placing your cuts into the pan. Roll or knead out the remaining crust and cut into circles until you use it all up.
Next grab your favorite jam and put a quarter size scoop in the center of each circle cut pie crust in the pan. Put in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes. Bake until the edge of the pie crust is light brown.
While the tarts are baking gather your powdered sugar and milk. You can use what ever kind of milk or milk alternative you like. You won't need to use much of these ingredients for the frosting. I'd say use about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar with a few drops of milk. Mix until the powdered sugar melts into the drops of milk. When your pie crusts are brown along the edges remove from the oven and let cool off. When cool take the baked tarts out of the cupcake pan and place onto a plate. Drizzle the icing into each tart and wah-lah! Your ready to snack!
This year has been blowing with the wings of change. Between the pandemic and political campaigns, I am MOONSTRUCK. How can I experience vertigo from sitting so still? The only thing keeping me sane right now are small businesses and creatives! It's ALSO that batshit time of year where as an American culture, we mash a ton of western commercialized 'holidays' together to sell corporate products.
The silver lining is a lot of talented and passionate beings have had the opportunity to put their life energy into their personal businesses. I've had a blast adorning myself and personal spaces with items that creatives have to offer. Like I said above, this kind of support has been the only thing giving me life energy besides creating myself. WE can choose to spend our money differently this year and years to come. When we create new shopping habits we help build a community of small businesses. Let's consistently support small business, so they can actually GROW.
Citrine Tangerine's Small Business Shopping List:
I have to start with Citrine Dream! The candles and body products are non-toxic and made with gratitude! I highly recommend the candles and body scrubs specifically from here. Treat Yourself.
Glenn Lehrer is an obvious choice to share with you because he is a self taught gem carver from the US. We met a couple years ago at Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. His fine jewelry is available for a variety of price points. I am particularly fond of his Sterling Silver Collection.
Polymer clay creations are all the rage but something about Baublebee Handmade speaks to me. The level of creativity in the colors and textures are truly exciting. Plus these designs are just so dang cute!
Daisy Illustrations creates colorful art that you need to fill your space with! Cover your laptop and notebooks with stickers, purchase prints, or contact her directly for custom portraits. I've got a portrait she made from a couple years ago hanging on my wall. Who doesn't love stickers or personalized art?
Huckleberry Roasters is where I get my daily coffee beans from. I am a huge fan of their beans specifically their single origin flavors! YUM! This is one coffee roaster that has my vote. They are informed about their products and are creating a global community through the love of coffee. Respect!
Can you guess what my favorite thing to collect is? CRYSTALS! Treefort Bizaare is my go to spot for gems! They seem to be the crystal plug when it comes to any jewels you desire. Life is better with gemstone friends!
When the lockdown began, the most devastating blow was losing the ability to travel. Recircle Home is a destination mystic shop in Long Beach, CA. They keep odd hours but when you do finally catch the shop while it's open, it's pure delight. There is a small online shop available but if you have the chance to put yourself in the building, I highly recommend it.
That's all I've got for now. I can't share all of my secrets but I will say two other things. Reading has been a fabulous way to escape the fatigue of being indoors. I know it might be hard to get yourself started but when you do get into a good book it will feel so good to mentally go somewhere else... TRUST ME.
Lastly, if you haven't already, please check out the two collections I've released this year. I know I've been putting a lot of focus on jewelry these last couple years. It's because I am truly passionate about gemstones and creating jewelry collections as Citrine Tangerine brings a lot of my talents together in a very satisfying way. Jewelry design just might be that one skill that I could not live without. It brings me so much joy. Thank you. Shop small.
Jewelry and Gemstones! Some of my favorite materials to work with wrapped into one mind opening conference! Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is dear to my heart because it's creating a community and culture in the jewelry industry that's transparent, ethical, and GLOBAL. Before this very moment have you ever asked yourself 'Where did my gemstone jewelry come from?'. You can probably figure out the jeweler who made your pieces but don't have a clue where your gemstones are from or what variety they are.
CRJC is working to inform us about techniques of mining for gemstones and precious metals as well as upholding a standard for how humans are treated in the process. The more we know, the better we can take action toward changing parts of the jewelry and gemstone industry that are harmful to people, their communities, and the earth. You'd be surprised how many people are designing jewelry with a completely transparent and responsible approach to sourcing materials. You'll be shocked to learn the evil ways MOST of the giant jewelry companies attain their gemstones available to consumers. Something must be done and WE ALL need to get involved to change this global issue.
What exactly can you do? Register for this conference and tune into as any of the events as possible!
This year the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is completely VIRTUAL & FREE. YUP! Anyone can attend and I 110% advocate that you do attend, even if it's just to shop for gemstones to adorn yourself with. This is a chance to learn how we, on any aspect of the supply chain, play a part in how the jewelry industry evolves from here. This is the time for change. This is the time to learn something new. If you have any interest I encourage you to register and listen to all the perspectives offered to you during the conference.
CRJC starts on Monday November 9 with a gemstone fair and boutique and ends November 13. There are presentations from a plethora of people involved with different aspects of the jewelry chain from all over the world. You can shop for gemstones that are responsibly sourced. On Tuesday November 10 you can ask a miner anything and learn about how the Diamond industry has changed and what still needs work. On Wednesday November 11 you can learn about Indigenous Land Rights and Large Scale Mining. On Thursday November 12 you can hear responsible designers speak about their process and experience in the industry. These are just a few specific examples of talks and panels that are included in the conference that I'm excited to tune into.
So the conference is amazing. Still looking for reasons to register? I've got another. The founder Susan Wheeler is a bad ass. Her jewelry is leading by example in Responsible Design. She is setting the standard for how jewelry should be created, from start to finish and cares enough to share her passions for gemstones, metals and jewelry with the world by creating a conference where we can connect with people involved in the industry across the globe. That is no small feat. Susan is cultivating a new jewelry community and calling out evil in the industry that is fighting incredibly hard to stay hidden. Her designs are elegant, colorful and thoughtful. If you are lucky enough to adorn yourself with her creations you're supporting a pillar of positive change in the world.
That being said, if you can contribute financially to the conference, you'd be supporting the spread of positive change in the jewelry industry and supply chain on a global level. Something as simple as a donation to CRJC has a huge impact. If you can donate, DO IT! You can even write it off on your taxes! I had the opportunity to photograph the conference two years in a row and it changed my life completely. It inspired me to prioritize being more responsible as a jewelry designer. It reminded me to care and think about more than external beauty. True beauty in jewelry comes from thoughtfulness that goes into sourcing gemstones and metals more than the design.
About the Author
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.