Spicy Turkey Chili

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Third place in my church’s chili cook-off five years ago cemented my belief that the Spicy Turkey Chili that I had been making every Saturday during football season for the past few years was not only a family favorite but a crowd pleaser. (Or at least the judges were fans – especially one who said mine was the best.)

I try not to brag too much, but (in my humble opinion 🙂 ) my chili is the best. I took someone else’s recipe and tweaked it until it became mine.

Spicy Turkey Chili
Until I make my Spicy Turkey Chili again, this 2009 photo is the best pic I have!

I make fun of my pastor, who took second place that year, because I think his chili isn’t really chili – it’s goulash. He puts weird stuff in his – vegetables that don’t belong in chili. (Also, it makes me laugh because it reminds me of Uncle Felix and the Irish cook Norah in my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas in Connecticut.)

But someone must think it’s chili, because he won the cook-off a year or two ago. That first one was the only one I entered. Just having my friend (the judge) tell me he liked mine and ask me for the recipe … well, that’s all the validation I needed.

I have to be honest: This isn’t dump-a-bunch-of-cans-into-a-pot, bam-you’re-done chili. It takes a bit of time and effort, but my version has also gotten raves at a local half-marathon held in December that Bruce and I used to direct. I’ve had runners tell me it’s better than the canned-and-packaged everything version by another cook.

So go to some trouble for your family. They’re worth it, and you’ll appreciate the difference.

Here’s the version from my other blog, in case you’re interested. That was a modification of a chef’s recipe, and I thought my version was tastier. But since then I’ve tweaked it even more. For instance, I started leaving out the teaspoon of sugar, and it’s none-the-worse, tastewise, and actually better for you (who needs added sugar?). Also, sometimes I mash half of the black beans – sometimes all of them – because Bruce (having Crohn’s disease) doesn’t always digest things the way the rest of us do. (I’m not even sure the original version includes beans.)




Print Recipe
Spicy Turkey Chili
I used to make this every Saturday during football season. If you need a cold-weather bowl of yumminess, this fits the bill. Serve with or without crackers or cornbread, shredded cheese, Greek yogurt (a substitute for sour cream) and chopped scallions.
Course Main Dish, Soups
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
a bunch
Course Main Dish, Soups
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
a bunch
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in medium pot with heavy bottom over medium-high heat. Add meat and stir with wooden spoon to break up. Cook, stirring, until meat is browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Transfer meat to strainer to drain.
  3. Set pot over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cook 6-8 minutes. Return turkey to pot and mix well.
  4. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook, stirring about 2 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Taste for flavor and add salt and pepper if needed. Keep warm on stove until ready to serve.
  7. OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Chopped scallions, cheddar cheese, a dollop of Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), oyster crackers.
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2018 To Well With You Reader Survey

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Hey, y’all. Can you believe it’s already 2018? The older I get, the faster those seconds tick off the clock!

I’m writing a post that I think will hit home with a lot of people. (I want to start you thinking about your future.) For now I’m going to leave you to wonder what it is until you fill out my second-annual To Well With You Reader Survey.

I just want to get a feel for what you want. I want to be sure we’re tracking with each other.

This is the time of year that many people — including me — reflect on the past 12 months (maybe more), think about what went well and what could be improved upon, and decide what we want to see happen in the coming year.

For you, is it some area of personal improvement … finances, weight loss/gain, better relationships, getting organized?

How about career-wise? Do you have a dream that you’ve been shoving aside to do something you think you’re supposed to do but don’t really love, or that you had to do for a season for a specific purpose, but now that reason no longer applies?

Do you want to go back to school, finish a degree, get a master’s, take singing lessons?


I want you to start looking at what’s possible in your life.

Not what your parents told you to do. Not what your friends think you should do. Not even what you think you’re supposed to do because of some misguided sense of obligation.

Sure, we all have things we HAVE to do. But are there things you’re putting in that category that don’t really belong there?

Start dreaming, stop letting outdated or misguided beliefs limit what you can do, and BE BRAVE.

We’ll talk more about that later.

For now, take the survey, and while you’re clicking the boxes, ask yourself where you’d like to go from here. And if one (or more) of the topics lights you up inside, let me know. (Also tell me if there’s something missing from the list that you’d like to explore.)

I want this to spark a fire in you and spur you to action.

Let’s get going.

Create your own user feedback survey

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Help me write a movie and be entered to win!

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My mother and I are in the throes of our annual Hallmark Christmas movie obsession, fueled by visions of Christmas cookies (that we can’t have), beautiful decorations and lots of actors with white teeth and perfect hair.

This starts around Thanksgiving and ends around New Year’s Day. On Saturday afternoons, no matter what I still need to get done around the house, I head to Mom’s, sometimes with Bruce, sometimes without. Husband, being the good sport he is, will watch with us (I think he secretly enjoys some of them).

At the moment, there are no football games to interrupt our viewing, so we veg out for hours. (We may need an intervention!)

Part of the fun of a formulaic movie is saying the lines right along with the characters.

You know, the phrases that are oh-so-predictable and you could write them in your sleep 🙂 — generic phrases in response to predictable plot developments, such as:

There are rules about this kind of thing.

“Rules are made to be broken.”

You know what I mean.

And after a random phrase like that, I’ve been known to exclaim proudly, “I could write these!”

Bruce used to roll his eyes (or ignore me), but lately he has joined in the fun. He could write these movies, too!

We say that with confidence, but it’s only because we’ve never tried. I realize that much more goes on before a movie is ever made, much more behind the scenes than we will ever know. But, still, many of them seem to be manufactured with fill-in-the-blank templates, and I thought I’d give it a try.

So, in the spirit of holiday cookies, movies and ho-ho-ho, I want to know how much Christmas spirit you have.

You’re going to write a Christmas romance with me!

You’ll get two benefits: You’ll be entered to win a $50 gift card (two winners; details in the survey) and Santa will put you on his Nice List. OK, I just thought of a third (and maybe the best) benefit: You’ll have fun!


  • Fill out the multiple-choice survey below to help me with the details of the script. (Title will be chosen after we decide on the basic elements, but feel free to offer suggestions!)
  • We’ll choose a winner at random at 9 p.m. Central on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.
  • The winner will be contacted by email and will choose from five gift cards (list is in the survey below).
  • Please share this so that your friends can join in the fun! (Not a requirement for participation.)

I can’t end this without a word about the reason we have Christmas in the first place. If you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior, seek out someone in your community who can help you know Him, or reach out to me here for a conversation. No obligation, just a simple conversation about the hope that I have within me.

Be sure to share!

Create your own user feedback survey

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Compassion and justice aren’t optional

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Many times in my life, several things I’m working on or doing converge into one lesson. The things I’m reading, thinking about and doing seem to fit nicely together so that I can “kill two (or three) birds with one stone,” so to speak.

Today I was determined to make my Bible and devotion time a priority:

Get the dogs fed (sweet mercy, most days that’s gotta be No. 1 in my household), microwave my refrigerated coffee (No. 2? Most definitely!), then the Bible App.

I hate to admit it, but I’m STILL a work in progress. (Note to self: You always will be.)

I still haven’t disciplined myself to do Bible first, email and social media notifications second. Still working on that.

But I’m going to put that discussion aside for now, because today at least two of the things merged.

The things?

Day 6 of the 30-day Practice in Public Challenge. that I’ve been participating in.

Day 1 of a devotional reading plan in the Bible App. I did this same 40-day plan four years ago, but as I finished my latest plan, rather than search for a completely new one I decided to take a look back at the 68 plans I had already completed.

The plan “Restart: Compassion and Justice” caught my eye because: 1) It touches on issues that I think are extremely important in our society, especially lately. 2) My pastor started a new sermon series last Sunday called “The Invisibles: Seeing the People that God Sees.”

The scripture for Day 1 is Genesis 1:26-27 (I read it in the New Living Translation):

“Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

And from the commentary:

“As we understand and live this out, our lives reflect the One who created us. Instead of oppressing others, we empower them; instead of building fences, we get involved in the lives of others and work toward their good. We stand up for justice, speak out for the powerless, and love the unloved.”

My question (primarily to myself, but to all of us):

What I am doing, other than believing (and occasionally stating in public) that racism, bigotry and favoritism are wrong? That looking down on someone who’s homeless, mentally ill, in prison — or maybe just “different” from us — is NOT okay.

What am I doing to show “the least of these” that I care, that God cares? That no matter what society says they are — broken beyond repair, unworthy, unlovable — God says they are created in His image and, therefore, are of INFINITE value. No one can put a price tag on that which God has determined is invaluable.

His redemption covers all of our brokenness. It covers our sin, our struggles … our bigotry, arrogance and apathy.

But the sacrifice God made for our sin (Jesus’ death and resurrection) doesn’t give us license to spend our days living for ourselves, as if being redeemed means freedom from responsibility.

So, what am I going to do this weekend to “stand up for justice, speak out for the powerless, and love the unloved”?

For starters, I’ve just taken 30 seconds to add a reminder to my Google calendar. Monday I’m going to contact a local agency where I’ve been wanting to volunteer. This agency helps the unwanted have life. I need to be a part of that again, as I was 30 years ago when I had more energy and optimism. It’s time to hit refresh.

And I’m going to spend some extra time thinking through this question with more intention: What else can I do?

So that’s me.

What are YOU going to do?

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Book review: Back to Bremen by Cecelia Wilson

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The following week our orders arrived at the house. Our family had been directed to leave Bremen for reassignment to Saxony in eastern Germany, which had been spared the bombing the majority of the country had sustained. The larger the family, the more likely permission was given to evacuate, so we would be one of the first families leaving our neighborhood. … I remember being sad and excited at the same time. None of us wanted to leave, but we were also more than eager to escape bombs, death, and fear.

– Excerpt from Back to Bremen

By the time Edith Ropke was 3 years old, she was well acquainted with the horrors of war.

In 1939, Edith, seven of her eight siblings and their mother, Marta, could not have foreseen the devastation they would experience as they endured evacuation, separation, hunger, illness and loss before making the weeks-long journey back to their hometown of Bremen, Germany.

With Father conscripted to service — whisked off in the middle of a family meal — the rest of the Ropke family had to carry on with Mutti (Mother) and eldest brother Gunter, not yet 10 years old, in charge.

(That is, until just before Gunter turned 14 and was, himself, ordered to report for duty.)

Throughout the six-year journey that unfolds for us in Cecelia Wilson’s Back to Bremen, Marta Ropke’s mission was to keep her remaining family together, and safe.

Each child knew by heart Mutti’s mantra: Always stay together.

That mindset, Marta’s humor amid challenging situations, and her fierce love and determination to see every family member safe, is at the heart of Back to Bremen, the true story told with heart and skill by Cecelia Wilson.

Most of the World War II books I’ve read are told from the perspective of the soldiers or the Jews or — in my favorite book of all time, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom — the families trying to save Jews from Hitler’s brutal Nazis.

In the case of Back to Bremen, the story is told from the perspective of a German girl whose family was thrust into the thick of it and remained …

Well, if I went any further I’d be giving away too much. (I hate spoilers. Don’t you?)

You’ll have to buy the book, read Edith and Marta’s story, then come back here (or, even better, visit the author’s website) and tell us what you thought of it.

I’m serious. Buy it. Read it. Share it.


My family and Cecelia’s family have been friends for 45 years — since the Taylors moved to Batesville, Ark., in 1972. We met at church, and church (a different one in a different town) is exactly where Cecelia met Edith Ropke Harris, whose story is told in Back to Bremen.

Edith and Cecelia sat for many hours over servings of popcorn and Dr Pepper, Cecelia marveling at Edith’s stories and taking copious notes, grateful that she and her friend had finally found the time and the circumstances to make good on Cecelia’s promise to tell the tale of Marta Ropke and the journey back to Bremen with her children.

I had the privilege of meeting Edith and one of her daughters, Barbara, at a book signing a few months ago. That’s how long ago I promised Cecelia I’d read and review her book.


You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when a friend says, “Do you like my new haircut” (and you don’t) or, “Do these pants make my butt look big” (and they do)?

I had a twinge of that feeling when I found out that Cecelia had published Back to Bremen.

I knew she was a part-time writer — I’d read one or two of her pieces in Searcy Living magazine — but when I heard that she had published her first major book, I was a bit nervous to read it.

I was afraid it wouldn’t be good.

And because I have an extreme aversion to false flattery, I would have to find some way of being a good friend without lying. Or I’d have to avoid Cecelia and her family for the rest of my life.

To join the Witness Protection Program or something.

Imagine my relief when I turned the last page and knew beyond a doubt that I could give the book a good review.

In the span of 36 hours (interrupted by church, sleep and feeding the dogs and people in mein Haus), I read the book, phoned Mom and gushed about it (she then read it and phoned Cecelia’s mom to gush about it), and fell asleep. The next morning at work, I gushed about it to my co-worker, who was also at the book signing, but I didn’t know this because I was too busy listening to Cecelia’s fascinating stories of the book, her writing career and the publishing process. (I’m a geek that way.)


It was such a joy to meet Edith and Barbara at the book signing. I asked Edith a couple of questions, had her and Cecelia sign my copy of Back to Bremen, introduced myself to Barbara, and marveled that I had the privilege of meeting someone who lived through such a time in our history.

If you’re on Facebook, take a look at Cecelia’s video of Edith talking to Fred Hilsenrath, a fellow survivor of WWII, as they converse for a few minutes in their native German.

And here’s where you can buy the book.

Go on. Buy a copy now! Then let us know how you like it. Comment here or on Cecelia’s page, wherever you’re the most comfortable. Be sure to like her Facebook page while you’re there.

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Could you use some help being more productive?

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Sometimes I’m amazed at how distracted I can get.

Even two years after reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (my favorite book of 2015), I still tend to have too many plates spinning in the air.

Michael Hyatt's free Personal Productivity Assessment

I’ve learned to say no to a lot of things. In fact, I’ve used my tip sheet “8 Tips for Saying No Graciously” as my subscriber freebie for the past couple of years because I want you to understand the importance of saying NO to the nonessentials and YES to what moves the needle in finding your purpose and living it out.

If you’ve hung around To Well With You (or me personally) for any length of time, you know that I follow Michael Hyatt and have learned a lot from him. He bills himself as “your virtual mentor,” and that really fits. His courses, books, podcasts, blog posts and other resources have taught me so much – it’s like a college major! In fact, he’s where I first heard about the book Essentialism.

Despite learning the importance of saying no, I still need occasional reminders to focus on what’s important. (I’m a WIP – a work in progress!) And I strive to pass along what I’ve learned and provide tools to help you do that, too.


Michael Hyatt has created a Personal Productivity Assessment that takes just a couple of minutes to click through.

He created the short quiz to give you (and me) clarity in nine areas of your life, identify the areas that need improvement and help you get to the next level.

Take the assessment by clicking here, then come back and tell me how you did and what NEXT STEP you’re going to take to move the needle in the area(s) you need to focus on.

Wanna know how I came out in the productivity quiz?

Visit the To Well With You Facebook page, where I’ll start a conversation and share my results.

Also, please SHARE this post with a friend and invite her/him to take the short assessment and join the conversation. Remember, it’s FREE. 🙂 

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Well Well Well tips & tools – 09/04/17

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I haven’t brought you a Well Well Well in a while, so I guess it’s about time I do something about that.

Well Well Well is a way for me to share three tips, tricks, tools or other resources that I think you’ll find useful, informational or inspiring. And today I got a little carried away, so our “three” will be three themes, with sub-items. 🙂 Here we go:


Some may call it serendipity; I call it a kick-in-the-pants by the Almighty. Read Meeting with God in the Airport, then come back and tell me if you’ve ever had an experience like this and how you responded.


As usual, I’m reading too many books at once, but I’m enjoying all of them. Here are two of the books I’m still reading (you might even say savoring), plus one about which I owe my friend a review.

I’ve been taking in a lot of content about creativity, writing and art lately. These are two of the books on my Kindle app:

Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins. I follow Jeff and, in fact, helped him promote Real Artists Don’t Starve when he published it early this year. The more of Jeff’s content I consume – books, courses, challenges (including one I’m participating in right now – my500words) – the more I like him. If you’re any type of artist (writer, musician, painter, whatever) who wants to make money with your craft – or you need someone to help you understand why it’s OK to make money as an artist – read this book.

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. Before the session on writing that I taught at last month’s Megaphone Summit, I asked my fellow Arkansas Women Bloggers for suggestions on books to give away. This was my third time to lead a class at Megaphone, and I always like to give away books. A Million Little Ways was one of the suggestions. I had never heard of it, but I’m truly enjoying looking at ways I can use my particular skills to serve my audience and help each person realize her/his God-given potential.

… And then there’s my friend Cecelia Wilson’s book, the true story of a German family displaced by World War II. Cecelia and I grew up in the same church, and our families have been friends for longer than we care to admit (but that doesn’t mean we’re old! 🙂 ). When Cecelia spoke at a local event this summer, I sat in the audience, bought the book, met the 81-year-old woman whose story Cecelia told (I met Edith’s daughter, too), and fell in love with Back to Bremen. You don’t have to be a World War II buff to enjoy this book; it’s the story of a mother’s love for her family. Check it out.

And I promise, Cecelia, I’m going to get that book review written soon!


Racism in our country weighs heavily on my mind, and the recent events in Charlottesville, Va., stirred me up again. Here are two posts about racism from a Christian perspective (actually, three, because I’m linking to a post I wrote a couple of years ago). In the second one, I urge you to make the time to watch the 22-minute video:

Responding Biblically to Racism by Bob Lepine of Family Life Today.

On Taking Sides Like Jesus Read it, watch the video, and decide to do something to help make the situation better.

We Are Every Tribe, Tongue and Nation, one of the guest posts I wrote in 2015 on Seth Godin’s Your Turn Challenge blog.

In the words of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was martyred at the Charlottesville rally:

Heather Heyer quote: If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.Check out these links, then come back and let me know what action you’re going to take.

And, if you’ve found any value in this post, please share.

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Not your father’s PB&J – 3 healthy riffs on ‘Peanut Butter and Jelly’

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My dad had an orange vinyl recliner where we used to sit and eat chocolate ice cream together.

Usually, this meant I slurped down my ice cream out of my little blue plastic bowl, then I’d climb up beside him in the recliner and “help” him eat his.

It’s one of my absolute favorite memories of Dad (and the photo above is probably my favorite picture of us).

A love of chocolate ice cream is one of the many things I inherited from him. Besides our mutual affection for writing, a lot of those loves – both good and bad – include food.

Peanut butter and blackberry jelly is high on that list.

But Dad had health problems, partly brought on by diet choices, and I’m trying to avoid that legacy. I’ve spent the past few years educating myself on the negative effects of sugar, refined carbohydrates and modern grains (even “healthy” whole grains), and what I’ve learned is enough to make me seek out healthier alternatives.

When Debbie Arnold, a real food blogger and the curator of Foodie Friday for the Arkansas Women Bloggers, announced this month’s  theme, I immediately started devising ways I could put my own spin on “Peanut Butter & Jelly Time.” My aim was to:

  1. Make “peanut butter and jelly” recipes that are healthful and delicious.
  2. Think outside the breadbox. I interpreted “peanut butter” as any kind of nut or seed butter and “jelly” as any fruit that you might pair with those butters, whether that means a sauce with a bit of natural sweetener or just plain ol’, naturally sweet fruit.
  3. Make grain-free (possibly gluten-free), low-carb riffs on the theme.
  4. Get you to try something new. (I tried a new thing; see below.)

I think I succeeded on the first three, but I’ll let you be the judge. No. 4 is entirely up to you.

Here’s what I have for you today:

  • Nutty Crunchy Grain-Free Granola.
  • Almond Butter Fruity Toast with Sprouted Grain Bread.
  • Maple Almond Butter Cookies (modified from my 2009 recipe).
  • Bonus recipe: Suzy’s Coffee Protein Smoothie (doesn’t contain a fruit that is typically found in jelly, so it’s a stretch to include it in a PBJ post!).
A few notes:
  • These recipes are limited only by your imagination and the fruits and nuts available to you. With fresh fruit, pick what’s in season to make it more affordable, available and delicious. (And don’t forget to #BuyLocal.)
  • Use whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruits and sweeteners/binders you want. Can’t decide between pecans and walnuts? Use both – I did! Honey, molasses or maple syrup? Yes, please! For the fruit, I went with cranberries because it was the only dried fruit I had on hand that didn’t require chopping. (Prunes, anyone?)
  • This was my first foray into eating sprouted-grain bread, although I had been wanting to try it. Sprouted grains can offer more health benefits and be less allergenic for those sensitive to gluten. I’ve been limiting grains for a few years, so this was a good way to eat a sandwich without veering too far off the path.
  • You’ll notice that almond is my go-to butter in all the recipes. I’m not trying to say peanut butter is unhealthy, but I’m in the middle of a doctor-prescribed 60-day elimination diet that forbids legumes, so peanuts are out for a few more weeks. I don’t think I’m allergic, but many people are. I keep almonds, walnuts and pecans in my freezer. (Plus, we have pecan trees in our yard.)

If you’re trying to tame the sugar monster or conquer a carb addiction (it’s a real thing), I hope you’ll start thinking outside the breadbox, as I’ve done for the most part with these recipes.

(Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for the bonus recipe. You’ll need to click through to my other blog, Suzy & Spice.)

So let’s get started.

Print Recipe
Nutty Crunchy Grain-Free Granola
This granola recipe is versatile, because you can use whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruits and sweeteners/binders you want. The first time I made it, I couldn’t decide whether to use honey or molasses, so I used both! Couldn’t decide between pecans and walnuts, so … both! For the fruit, I went with cranberries because it was the only dried fruit I had on hand that didn’t require chopping. (Prunes, anyone?)
nutty grain-free granola
Course Snacks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20-22 minutes
Course Snacks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20-22 minutes
nutty grain-free granola
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix nuts, seeds and coconut in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in dried fruit.
  4. Add coconut oil, sweetener (syrup, honey or molasses) and salt, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  5. Spread mixture evenly in jelly roll pan. Granola should be no more than an inch thick.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before breaking into pieces.
  8. Store in air-tight container.
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Print Recipe
Almond Butter Fruity Toast with Sprouted Grain Bread
Sprouted grains can offer more health benefits and be less allergenic for those sensitive to gluten than with conventionally processed baked goods. This is a good way to eat a sandwich occasionally without veering too far off the grain-free path.
almond butter fruity toast
Course Sandwiches
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Sandwiches
Prep Time 5 minutes
almond butter fruity toast
  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Spread the nut or seed butter on top.
  3. Top with fresh berries or other fruit.
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Maple Almond Butter Cookies

Print Recipe
Maple Almond Butter Cookies
I first made these yummy cookies in 2009. You’ll find the original recipe on my other blog, Suzy & Spice. Back then, I didn’t understand the importance of healthy oils or good photography. 🙂
Course desserts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course desserts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In large bowl, combine almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla or almond extract until well blended.
  3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients, along with almonds and fruit, and stir until just combined. Let sit 5 minutes.
  4. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, flatten to about 1/3 inch and place onto cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  6. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then move cookies to wire rack.
  7. When completely cool, store in airtight container.
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Bonus recipe (on the other blog):

Suzy’s Coffee Protein Smoothie

This one doesn’t have the “J,” but it contains delicious “PB” – along with coffee, banana and protein powder. Suzy’s Coffee Protein Smoothie is a riff on a rich and yummy (but entirely waist-expanding) drink I used to buy at a local smoothie hut. It’s another recipe that you can modify to your tastes (for instance, I make mine with hazelnut-flavored coffee).

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you’re going to make, go make it and then come back and tell us how you did.

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Special deal ends this weekend – Beautycounter 5-Minute Face

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Y’all, I’m not one to tout products very often, as you know if you’ve been hanging with me for a while. But there’s a super deal going on at Beautycounter called the 5-Minute Face, and I don’t want you to miss out. The special deal goes away Sunday night, so you need to hurry.


As you also may know, I recently found the skin-care and cosmetics company of my dreams(!), and I want to keep sharing my love for Beautycounter and what it represents to me and millions of others. You can read here about my search for safer beauty products, why I love this company, and my ultimate switch from a brand I had been representing for nearly 18 years.

On my Beautycounter page, you can customize your 5-Minute Face by clicking through 6 steps; the site helps you pick your colors, starting with foundation and ending with lip gloss, with a dose of the NEW mascara (details below) thrown into the mix. Whatever it is, we’ve got ya covered.

The 5-Minute Face page includes a zippy little video that walks you through the steps in less than two minutes. It’ll take you a bit longer than that to execute, 🙂 but the short tutorial will give you the basics. (This one is for Deep skin tones, but you can also see clips for Fair, Light and Medium skin tones.) 

BONUS: With your purchase of the 5-Minute Face bundle ($148 U.S. for $194 U.S. value), you get a FREE Retractable Foundation Brush ($35 U.S. value) (so you’re really getting $229 in products for that $148 purchase). When I became a Beautycounter consultant in April, I didn’t use a foundation brush. I had always preferred my fingers or a good sponge. I was skeptical. But after I tried this beautiful brush, I was in love! Why had I ever doubted the usefulness of a foundation brush???


Before I let you go, let me say a little bit about pricing, and then a couple of other NEW items of note:

  1. You might experience a bit of sticker shock when you compare Beautycounter products with what you’ve been using (especially if you’ve been picking up cheap foundation and eye shadows at the dollar store). But one thing I’ve noticed about this beautiful brand is that A) there is more product in a container, and B) you don’t have to use as much, so your product will last longer than others. (I can attest to this in my personal use of the skin-care line and the color cosmetics, and I also had a customer tell me she doesn’t have to use as much of the shampoo as with her other brand, PLUS it makes her hair feel amazing. She lives in an area with funky water, so she had been struggling to keep her hair from drying out and her color from fading. Bonus: She loves how it smells!)

I’m working on an ounce-to-ounce comparison chart of Beautycounter vs. my old brand so that I can demonstrate that you’re getting at least as much bang for your buck, if not more. Stay tuned for that.

  1. Even if the above were not true, for me it’s worth paying a little more to know I’m not putting a bunch of toxic chemicals on my (and my family’s) face, hair and body. (Did you know Beautycounter has Kids and Baby collections, too? I use the Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream on my eczema!) Beautycounter has a Never List™ of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that it never uses in its products. I’m proud of that commitment to safety, even if this makes the procurement process a bit more challenging.

Our NEW collection of shampoos, conditioners and styling products is wonderful, so head on over and check out the sets.

Beautycounter masacaras http://www.beautycounter.com/suzyoakley

Two NEW mascaras: If you want va-va-va-volume, check out our Volumizing Mascara, which is a brand new product; and for ooh-la-la-length, we have a new formula for our Lengthening Mascara.


If you want to become a Band of Beauty member and get rewards, discounts, the opportunity for free shipping, exclusive members-only offers, plus a FREE gift with your first order of $50, visit my page and click “Become a Member.” Or if you want to go all in and join the mission with me, visit that same page and click “Become a Consultant.” Ask me for details, or just sign up!


Just look around, and you can already tell that the holiday selling season isn’t approaching – it’s already here! As a beauty consultant for 18 years, I can assure you that now is the best time to get started, whether you just need to earn a bit of extra spending money or you want a new career. Your income is limited only by the effort you want to make. (If you have questions, get in touch with me here or leave a comment on the blog or my Facebook page.)

So, whether you want to jump in with both feet or just want to test the waters, don’t forget – the special deal on the 5-Minute Face ends Sunday night. Hurry and take advantage of this sweet deal!





Have you tried Beautycounter? If so, what’s your favorite product?

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