Motherhood & a Meal

turkey chili

A couple days ago I had one of those days that I actually realized in the moment the joy that mothering is, that I was called to do it and that God has gifted me with some pretty amazing kids. For once, I was able to be present, not rehashing the past or rehearsing the future, but just taking in the precious moments of raising young children. Some of the highlights…

I Got A Gift

My little son Judah insisted on going outside to play despite the fact that it was like 10 degrees out. As I bundled him up, snowpants, scarf, boots, two coats, and mittens I dreaded the fact that I was spending all that time for probably what would only be 5 or 10 minutes of play time. But he insisted. A few minutes later I saw him trudging across our front lawn with a fistful of dead weeds handpicked from the forest surrounding our house, the snow depth challenging his walk with every step. I heard a muffled pounding on our door and when I opened it his chubby cheeks, red with the windchill and life, broke into a smile.

“Look what I got you mom! Some flowers! I just wanted to go outside to find you presents to make you happy.”

Oh, sweet boy. You do. All my mommy emotions came flooding over me and I sensed in that moment how lucky I was to have this little tender heart. I put his “flowers” in a vase on the piano, a symbol of life in the dead of winter. His valiant effort of forging the weather to make me happy is a memory I think will stay with me for a long time.

Chili and Cheers

I love one pot meals with lots of protein, veggies and spices. One of my favorite meals is a turkey chili recipe I got from a friend when I lived in Hoboken. It’s a simple and delicious take on chili, and with healthy ingredients that leave you satisfied and guilt-free.

Even though I love dishes like this, the kids are not always as convinced. Don’t you remember that time in life where it was a pure catastrophe when food items on your plate touched each other? So…when all sorts of ingredients are served mixed together in a bowl, it starts with suspicious  inquiries from them. What’s that green thing? Are there beans in it? Is that a tomato, I don’t like tomatoes?

Well, we have a rule. You have to try at least one bite of something you’re unsure of to see if it might be better than you think. When I served my turkey chili, the initial resistance was high but they slowly started fiddling around to see what acceptable bites might be had. One of the kids loved it and continued to eat well, another slowly warmed up to it and one really struggled with the black beans.

Sometimes I just get tired of fighting with my kids about eating and I wanted to make it fun. So I announced that whoever was doing a good job eating was going to get a cheer. If someone ate a few bites, they got a cheer.

“Go bananas, go, go bananas, Marin’s going going bananas!” Motions and everything. We broke out all the cheers Marin had learned at cheer camp last fall.

Everyone was laughing and having fun, and even Judah was distracted long enough to gag down his black beans. On that note, don’t you want to try it?

The Stuff:

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped


  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup or about 1/2 jar of salsa

1 TBSP sugar

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups frozen corn

The How:

1. To bottom of large cooking dish, add chopped onion and saute in olive oil until turning clear.

2. Add turkey meat and lightly brown.

3. Mix together spices and add to pot. (I like to make an extra baggie with all the spices measured out for the next time I make turkey chili and keep it in my spice cabinet).

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 30 minutes plus.

I serve with shredded cheese and nacho chips.

I hope you try this new recipe, it might be one to add into your rotation! And more importantly, I hope you can enjoy being present in your day and realize what God’s given you and called you to…