Monthly Archives: October 2015

Slow Cooker Unprocessed Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches with Chips

Slow Cooker Unprocessed Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches with Chips

It can be a struggle sometimes to make all of my passions merge. Take for example my passions for cooking (and eating) and creating delicious homemade foods and my passion for #unprocessed cooking and healthy eating. Oh, and now that the temperatures are finally dropping delivering fabulous fall weather I am ready to create some passionately perfect soups and breads and other Autumn Awesomeness.

The past several weeks have been busy with work, family, and tacking my goals and goal posts (football pun). Today there was only one thing on my calendar that I had to do and that was go to a fundraiser breakfast for my nieces ballet troupe. Since it was an early event that left the rest of the day wide open for whatever else I wanted or needed to do.

While the girls worked on their Saturday chores I worked on today’s meal plan. I had already prepped our dinner when I made the weeks meals last Sunday:  Philly Cheese Chickens. The main dish was in the slow cooker so I decided to make the Italian rolls and a side of homemade chips to go with it. Knowing how my family feels about 100% whole grain bread I decided not to push the #unprocessed thing too far today. I found a recipe for Italian bread that sounded like it would work out perfectly. I also made some homemade oven baked potato chips, which were incredibly yummy. All in all, the dinner was a huge success and I was able to combine some of my passions perfectly.

Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwich Filling

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, raw cut into strips
  • 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheese slices (Provolone is my fave)

Add all of the ingredients to a freezer bag. Remove from the freezer 12-24 hours before cooking. Cook in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Turn slow cooker to warm and top with provolone cheese for 30 minutes. Serve on Italian rolls or hoagies.

The bread recipe I used follows. I did substitute 1 cup white whole wheat flour for 1 of the cups of bread flour, and I mixed it up in my KitchenAid.

Italian rolls

Oven Baked Potato Chips

  • 2-3 Potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray 2 large baking sheets lightly with cooking spray. Use a mandoline (or a food processor with a slicing blade) to cut the potatoes 1/8-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheets. Spray the sliced potatoes lightly with cooking spray and bake 5-8 minutes, turning over and baking for until golden brown and crisp. Check often since some of the chips will be done before others. Remove the chips from the baking sheet to a glass or metal bowl and sprinkle with sea salt while still hot. Cool before serving.

This meal was perfect for a fall Saturday evening. We all enjoyed it. And Daughter Number 2 just happened to stop by while the rolls were baking to talk to us about some college stuff, and snagged a hot one right off of the pan. I feel satisfied in knowing that I merged my passions together for homemade bread and a warm and delicious #unprocessed meal for my family! Scored one for my goals! (and a new post)


Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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100 Day Challenge ~ Finish Strong, Even if you Need A Hand

100 Day Challenge ~ Finish Strong, Even if you Need A Hand

Finish Strong ~ Even if you need a hand.

I ran across this a couple of years ago when I was looking for some inspiration to finish my goals for the year. I may have shared it with some of you then. I am going to share it again…

At 7 P.M. on October 20, 1968, a few thousand spectators remained in the Mexico City Olympic Stadium.  It was cool and dark.  The last of the marathon runners, each exhausted, were being carried off to first-aid stations.  More than an hour earlier, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia–looking as fresh as when he started the race–crossed the finish line, the winner of the 26-mile, 385-yard event.

As the remaining spectators prepared to leave, those sitting near the marathon gates suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles.  All eyes turned to the gate.  A lone figure wearing number 36 and the colors of Tanzania entered the stadium.  His name was John Stephen Akhwari.  He was the last man to finish the marathon.  He had fallen during the race and injured his knee and ankle.  Now, with his leg bloodied and bandaged, he grimaced with each hobbling step around the 400-meter track.

The spectators rose and applauded him.  After crossing the finish line, Akhwari slowly walked off the field.  Later, a reporter asked Akhwari the question on everyone’s mind:  “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?”

He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race.  They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”  [Wes Thompson]

This next story is a newer story that happened this year. This story is not just about finishing the race, but helping others finish, as well. This piece is from

There was some outstanding sportsmanship displayed at the Ohio state track meet last Saturday.

Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty-Salem High School in Ohio, won the state’s Division III 1,600 meter race, but she gained more attention for a race in which she finished last.

Vogel was running the 3,200 meter race and about 50 meters from the finish line when she saw Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington High School, collapse. Instead of passing her, Vogel stopped to carry her competitor across the finish line.

Race rules say Vogel should have been automatically disqualified for helping another runner, but the Springfield News-Sun says meet management took no action. They gave McMath 14th place and a finishing time of 12:29.90, and Vogel 15th in 12:30.24. Vogel made sure McMath crossed the finish line first because she had been ahead of her.

“Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship,” Vogel told the News-Sun.

“What a selfless act,” said Arlington coach Paul Hunter. “She could have just gone around Arden. But she chose to help. I’ve never seen that at a state meet. That’s real sportsmanship.”

We’ve seen other outstanding acts of sportsmanship in track and cross country before, and this ranks right up there. It’s great to have a heartwarming story like this to balance out all the negative ones we see in high school athletics.

Well done Meghan, well done.

H/T Richard Deitsch

This story is about more than sportsmanship. It is about humanity. Meghan wasn’t just being a good sport, she was being a good person. She was doing the right thing. In my book, that’s what makes her a winner.

So, as we continue on the journey to the end of 2012, let’s do our best to finish the race, as Akhwari did. Remember too, that if you fall there are people who are here to pick you up and help you cross the finish line.

If the word quit is part of your vocabulary, then the word finish is likely not. ~ B.G. Jett


Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


100 Day Challenge ~ Just Do It!

100 Day Challenge ~ Just Do It!

The “Just Do It’ ad slogan created for Nike is one of the most recognizable slogans, and now trademarks in the world. Those three words account for a 25% increase in Nike’s share of the sports shoe business in a 10 year period.

It is also one of the best motivating statements ever created, stated, and re-stated. I had the opportunity to attend a seminar where Bill Snyder was a guest speaker. His speech focused on the Nike slogan. When he first came to K-State, amidst much urging by friends and acquaintances NOT to, this was one of the things that he utilized in what has been called the “greatest turnaround in the history of college football”. He encouraged the players to do something toward the goal each day. One thing, anything, as long as they did SOMEthing. It really did pay off for Bill Snyder and the Wildcats.

It can also pay off for us. As we go through these last 100 Days remember to “Just Do It”. If you are worried about starting, remember the first step is sometimes the hardest. Get up and do it. No one is judging you for trying.

An addition to Just Doing It is to Do It Now! There are 100 Days until the end of the year, so create a sense of urgency to Do It. If you have 1 BigHairyAssGoal laid out in SMART goal form, do something today to move you in the direction of your goal. Do something, anything to start the momentum so you can Just Do It again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.


I have a response challenge: Everyone Just Do It! Do at least one thing today to move you toward your year end goals. Then, let me know you did “It”! I don’t care what “It” is and you don’t even have to tell me what “It” is. I just want to hear back…

Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping that slow progress…is progress.

Whatever you do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. ~ Pope Paul VI

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Uncategorized


100 Day Challenge 2015 ~ Keeping Score

100 Day Challenge 2015 ~ Keeping Score

WOW! We are 2 weeks into October, and 26 days into the last 100 days of 2015. I’m going to apologize for not being more consistent keeping touch…I’ve been very busy working toward my goals. I hope you have, too.

I’m taking this opportunity between meetings while working at my alma mater! I’m enjoying the opportunity to watch the young college students. They are so carefree, it’s a great place for me to be today. The universe is so very good that way.

For my 100 Day Goals this is where I am:

Health and Fitness

Lose 15 pounds (1 pound per week) to weigh under 120 (4)

Be able to do the splits, a cheer jump, and toe touch kick (closer!)


Become a Mary Kay Director

Pay Off Car (less than 2 pmts left)

2 “plans”

15 new VClients (3)

Personal Betterment

Learn 3 chords on guitar and be able to play guitar

Wear a dress every workday (unless below freezing)

OR Dress professionally and presentably at all times outside of the house (yes)


Continue organizing items that were displaced in flood (on it)

Repair damage from flood

Clean up yard

Freshen up house

For Mom

Re-do bedroom (started re-compounding and sanding)

Paint front porch


2 blog posts per week (behind, but will make that the goal average)

For my October goals I have worn pink every single day! It is definitely fun for me while also brining awareness. My clean eating challenge was a super success for the first 10 days. Over the weekend I had to work a trade show for my job and the food choices were less than healthy. So… now I have to get back into it. Sigh

How do I know how I’m doing? I track my progress.

Gary Ryan Blair, The Goals Guy has said that we get what we inspect, not what we expect.

You might wonder if it isn’t enough just to be making changes to your life and working toward your goals. No. It isn’t. From the time we start our schooling we are scored on our progress. We get gold stars and grades that provide feedback on our progress.

Likewise, with our journey to reach our goals we need to keep track of our progress. There is no failing or losing in the score that we are keeping. (I will give you gold stars if you want!) Tracking your goals keeps you moving…hopefully in an upward direction!

So, keep score of the game! How close are you to the finish line?

If winning isn’t everything then why do they keep score? ~ Vince Lombardi


Posted by on October 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


100 Day Challenge ~ Sharing Morsels #unprocessed burgers and buns

100 Day Challenge ~ Sharing Morsels #unprocessed burgers and buns

Woo Hoo! We had a lovely fall weekend here in Kansas! It was a great weekend for turning on the oven and prepping for some #unprocessed eats!

Saturday morning I made a homemade granola for snacks or breakfasts. It was just a quick throw together of some rolled oats, sliced almonds, walnuts, agave, chia seeds, and vanilla. I toasted it in the oven for about 45 minutes, tossing every 10-12 minutes. I would have thought this almost 5 cups of oats and 2 cups of nuts would have made more than it did. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that as it was cooling on the stove top every single person living in my home was eating handfuls of the stuff! We’ll call that a win!

Sometimes my aspirations outweigh my perspiration and participation. I had aspired to plan and prep meals for the week, workout, do some decluttering at my house and my mom’s house, spend time with my dad (who is in a nursing home post-stroke since 2013), clean out my car, ready my outfits for the week, clean the yard, write a couple of posts, and relax. I got some great workouts in. I spent some time with my dad. I worked on some laundry. I decluttered and cleaned out my pantry. I spent time with my mom. I wrote some lists. I spent some time alone with Daughter Number 4. I made an unprocessed meal for Sunday’s dinner. I relaxed a little.

I had been looking for some meals for #unprocessedoctober and found a couple of recipes that I wanted to try. I made them for the family for dinner. I will share those recipes with you and the varied responses from my family.

First, I chose a Black Bean Quinoa Burger from I had all of the ingredients on hand and the recipe sounded great! I cooked my own black beans, using the fast method, as opposed to the overnight soak method. Then, every good burger needs a good bun! I found a Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Bun recipe on Both recipes came together easily (if you’re comfortable with making homemade bread). I served fresh baby carrots for some crunch as a side, and steamed fresh broccoli. I also had sautéed some fresh mushrooms to top the burgers.

When dinner time arrived the family was raving about how awesome the house smelled. Then, they saw the burgers. Let me just say, the hubs was not a fan. He did not like the black bean burgers and suggested that the next time I make this recipe that his be made out of cow. Daughter Number Three ate a little bit of her burger, but agreed whole-heartedly with her dad. Daughter Number Four leaned over to me with a mouthful of burger and said, “Mom, the next time you make these…go ahead and make hamburgers for them if that’s what they want. We’ll make them eat those and we can eat these.” The hamburger buns were a huge hit. They were so delicious! No one even questioned what they were made from.

black bean quinoa burger and whole wheat bun

I’ll consider the weekend’s food trials a success. I also recommend everyone trying these recipes if you’re trying to rid your life and diet of the chemicals that so much of our food is comprised of and to move toward eating #unprocessed.

What big wins have you had during the 100 Day Challenge? Please share some of the awesome tips that are moving you toward reaching your goals in 2015.

Don’t be afraid of failures it takes courage to try new things and only those who try create miracles. ~ Abhishek Shukla 

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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


100 Day Challenge ~ October check-in

100 Day Challenge ~ October check-in

We are 8 days in on our last 100 days of 2015! I hope you are embracing and enjoying the challenge and seeing some positive changes on your way to your goals! I know I am!

Today is also October 1st! I am giving myself some mini-challenges along the way of the Great Big Challenge!

In September I had a goal to walk 100 miles throughout the month. I am thrilled to report that I hit 111 miles!

In October I have joined with many other people to take the Unprocessed October challenge and am so excited to be a part of such an awesome event. It really does change the perspective of what is in the foods we purchase at the store and what is really in those foods. Another October challenge that I have done for several years is a challenge to wear something pink every day in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month. This might be an easier challenge for me than for some people, because I already own quite a few pink clothes and accessories. You are invited to join me on these journeys this month, as well as your own! I’m including the link for the Unprocessed October challenge!

If you have already had little victories with your 100 Day Challenge I would love to hear (read) about them!

Have a beautiful October!

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. ~  Nathaniel Hawthorne


Posted by on October 1, 2015 in Uncategorized