Crock Pot Turkey Chili for Game Day

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While our team sadly didn’t make it to the big game last night, we still had a few friends over and had ourselves a nice little night. Because really, the food, drinks and friends are the best part of any sports game anyway, right? I went on a cooking spree in the morning, prepping for both the game and today’s snowstorm. My favorite thing to do is throw in a slow cooker meal while I make other appetizers, and today I’m sharing my favorite chili recipe. It has just the right amount of spice and is so easy to make. Plus it’s great as leftovers.

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Football season may be officially over for the year, but there’s still college basketball to use as an excuse to entertain with friends and family. I personally love to enjoy a good glass of red wine in the winter, and this weekend I discovered and tried out Black Box Wines, which went perfectly with our Sunday Funday food and are going to be a go-to for bringing to other peoples’ houses for days like this. These wines come in 3 liter eco-friendly boxes (equivalent to four 750 ml bottles) and stay fresh for up to six weeks. But the best part is that it’s actually great wine (they’ve won over 50 Gold Medals for quality!) for 40% less of the price of comparable bottled wines. I went with the Cabernet Sauvignon but can’t wait to try other varieties.

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Anyway, back to the chili… for this recipe, I tried to keep things on the healthy side and used ground turkey. If you’re doubling the recipe for a big slow cooker, you could consider doing half and half with ground turkey and beef. This recipe requires very little prep. Just brown the turkey, add onions until they’re cooked through, then put them both in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, set on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Then add your favorite toppings (I love a little cheese, sour cream and green onions) and you’re good to go!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

For more game day entertaining and recipe inspiration, visit And I’d love to hear what your favorite game day recipes are – leave them in the comments! Cheers!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili


Crock Pot Chili for Game Day


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 can (7 oz) Mexicorn
  • 2 jars (16 oz each) salsa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp hot Mexican style chili pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, cheese, avocado


  1. Saute the ground turkey, onion and garlic until turkey is browned. Drain excess fat.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients (other than option toppers) with turkey, onion and garlic in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Add optional toppers and enjoy.
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This Year’s Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s been a while since I shared a recipe post, and that’s mainly because I’ve been traveling a bunch and haven’t been good about cooking on a daily basis. Now Thanksgiving is coming up this week and I’ve been busy planning out the menu for our gathering at my mom’s house. Since I’ve never hosted a big holiday with family (our condo is too small!), I’m focused on making the food prep and serving run smoothly while also being delicious – and that means not getting crazy with creating my own recipes.

This year, I’m sticking with a few of my favorite go-to recipes and then adding some others that I found on Pinterest, all of which are either simple, can be cooked in a slow cooker, or can be made ahead of time and then popped in the oven on Thursday. To make things even easier, my father-in-law is deep frying the turkey, so the oven will be free to finish off the apps and sides all day. Read on for my Thanksgiving menu and use the links to get the full recipes! And I also threw in a few tips and shortcuts for making things like stuffing and mashed potatoes even easier.

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas - this is what I'll be cooking!

1. Cheese Platter

You can’t go wrong here. Grab your biggest platter and pick out an assortment of cheeses with different textures, shapes and sizes. Then add delicious deli meats, olives, grapes, nuts, spreads, crackers, sliced baguettes, or whatever you like to pair your cheese with.

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas: DIY Cheese Platter

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2. Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This dip has been my go-to for years. It’s a crowd pleaser and has a few tricks within the recipe that make it healthier than most spinach artichoke dips. I always make this one ahead of time and put it ion the fridge until I’m ready to serve it. Then you just pop it in the oven for 20 minutes or so and you’re good to go. I’m also planning on trying out a slow cooker version of this soon – stay tuned!

Thanksgiving Recipes: Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

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3. Veggies & Greek Tzatziki Sauce with Garlic and Dill

Whip up an easy, Greek yogurt-based dip to fancy up your veggie tray. It’s healthier than the dip that comes with the pre-made trays and it’s also delicious. You can make it with or without the chopped cucumbers – I’m going to leave them out since I’ll be serving lots of different veggies to dip in it. Make this one ahead of time too, give it a stir and pour into a bowl for serving when you’re ready.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip

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4. Baked Brie Bites

I love baked brie with the crescent roll exterior and some delicious jam inside. But the reality is, it can get messy and it will probably leave your guests with sticky fingers. This is an easy alternative that gives you the same taste but in bite-sized portions.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Baked Brie Bites

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5. Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Dressing

My sister-in-law is the best at making salads. She’s actually in charge of salad for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, but based on what she’s made in the past, I would imagine this is something along the lines of what she’ll be making. Plus I love goat cheese and walnuts in salads, so I might have to make this one soon.

Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Dressing

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6. Deep Fried Turkey

As a Thanksgiving amateur, the turkey was stressing me out, so I was a bit relieved when my husband mentioned how much he loves deep friend turkey – and that his dad knew how to do it. Honestly, I don’t know much about making turkeys, but I do know that deep frying it makes it so moist and delicious. Just make sure you do it outdoors and away from the house to avoid fire hazards!

Thanksgiving Recipes: Deep Fried Turkey

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7. Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

The same says it all… an easy way to make mashed potatoes that are loaded with buttery, garlic goodness. For this recipe, you can even leave the skins on, so all you have to do is chop some red potatoes, add a few ingredients and let it be for either 2-3 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Mash them up when they’re done and you’re good to go! If you want to make things even easier, try my go-to shortcut: Ore Ida’s frozen mashed potatoes. You steam them, add milk and butter, mash up and serve, and no one will know they weren’t the real deal.

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas: Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

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8. Slow Cooker Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

Stuffing is another easy thing to make in the slow cooker – just need to borrow a second one from a friend of family member! I love the idea of sausage in stuffing, and this recipe adds a few other flavors with the additions of cranberry and pecans. Or if you want to take the super easy route, go for the tried and true Stovetop and add in whatever you like (my husband is pushing for this instead of homemade… we’ll see!).

Thanksgiving Recipes: Slow Cooker Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

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9. Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce

You can’t go wrong with green beans, and this recipe also has lots of flavors with the addition of cremini mushrooms and a delicious sauce. If you can’t find cremini mushrooms,  you can use a variety of different mushrooms instead, such as white button or chantarelle. This recipe made the list because it was a step up from regular cooked green beans but could also be made ahead of time – just let it return to room temperature and put in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. And while I’m sure it’s delicious to make the crispy shallots yourself, I’m going to make this dish a little easier and cut out that step. Instead, I’ll top the dish with store-bought french fried onions.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Green Beans with Cremini Mushrooms

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10. Brussels Sprouts Gratin

My husband tried to tell me that Brussels sprouts aren’t Thanksgiving-y, but I disagreed, and then discovered that the whole internet also disagrees. So here they are on the menu, along with bacon. Because it’s a holiday and why not make them even more delicious?

Thanksgiving Recipes: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

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11. Citrus-Infused Cranberry Sauce

Fancy up the cranberry sauce this year by taking frozen cranberries, adding orange juice and zest, grapefruit juice and zest, brown sugar and cinnamon. You can also use fresh cranberries if you prefer. Or just stick with the canned version. Nothing wrong with that!

Thanksgiving Recipes: Citrus-Infused Cranberry Sauce

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12. Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

Festive drinks are fun for the holidays, so I went on the hunt for an easy one to pull together for Thanksgiving. I was originally looking for a spiked apple cider but then came across this one. I love any excuse to use my slow cooker and this drink sounds so good and perfect for fall!

Holiday Cocktail Recipe: Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

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13. Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

I don’t consider myself a baker, so I like to keep it safe on the desserts. These pumpkin cheesecake desserts are easy and delicious. And everyone seems to love cheesecake, so you can’t really go wrong there. If you have leftovers, enjoy them all week.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

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14. Caramel Apple Trifles

Since I’m not an experienced baker, I love either simple desserts or no-bake desserts, and this recipe caught my eye because it looks easy and delicious! It’s pretty much cinnamon apple goodness in a dish.

Caramel Apple Trifle Dessert

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Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe

I love Cinco de Mayo, mainly because I love Mexican food, along with the occasional skinny and/or fruity margarita. My husband and I went to our favorite local Mexican restaurant for some food and margs on Sunday, but on actual Cinco de Mayo, I tried out a new recipe from Cooking Classy, Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers.

I made a few tweaks but basically stuck to the original recipe. After making it, I realized that I had essentially made exactly what I order when I get a burrito bowl for take-out Mexican: chicken, fajita veggies, black beans, corn, pico de gallo, brown rice, guac, cheese and sour cream (only the peppers were the “bowl” in this case). So with that said… feel free to play around with the recipe to include your favorite Mexican ingredients!

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on


  • 3/4 cup dry brown rice (2 cups cooked)
  • 5 red, yellow, orange or green bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb chicken, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican chili powder (or combo of chili powder, ground cumin and a little paprika)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole (I used the guac my grocery store makes, but here is my homemade guac recipe)
  • Jalapenos, seeded and chopped (optional, depends on how hot you want it!)
  • Mexican style hot sauce (such as Tapatio or Cholula, optional)


  • Cook brown rice as directed on packaging. While that cooks, preheat oven to 375 degrees and start cooking the filling and boiling the peppers.
  • Boil water in a large pot of water. Slice peppers in half, top to bottom, remove seeds, then immerse them in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes (until tender). Drain and place in baking pans with insides facing up.
  • In a deep skillet or non-stick pan, hear 1 Tbsp oil, add onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds more, then move the mixture to a bowl.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to the skillet, add chicken and cover it with 1 Tbsp of the Mexican chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and chop the chicken into smaller pieces.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, put the chicken back in the skillet and add in the tomatoes, onion/garlic mixture, black beans, corn, cooked brown rice, remaining chili powder, cilantro, lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Optional: mix in cheese if you would like the mixture to stick together more in the pepper (or if you simply want it to be cheesier!). Cook until the mixture is heated through.
  • Fill each pepper half with the mixture (pack it tight enough so it stays put but isn’t overflowing into the baking sheet). Pour water into the bottom of the baking dishes (about 1/8-inch, avoid getting any in the peppers).
  • over baking dishes with foil and bake 30 – 35 minutes, until peppers are soft. Remove from oven, top each pepper with cheese then return to oven to bake until cheese has melted (about 3 minutes).
  • Serve warm topped with more cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and hot sauce if desired.

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper Recipe on


What are your favorite Mexican recipes? Let us know in the comments below!


Festive Cocktail for the Holidays!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hosted a Yankee Swap girls night with my high school friends yesterday and it was so nice to catch up over delicious food and drinks. To prepare, I wanted to make a fun festive cocktail for us to enjoy with lots of appetizers. This cocktail recipe is super easy and delicious!

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  • Vodka (I used Grey Goose, but any will do)
  • Canada Dry
  • Cranberry juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Cranberries (optional)


  • Add ice if desired (I did not because all ingredients were already cold)
  • Combine 1 1/2 parts each of vodka, Canada Dry, then cranberry juice
  • Add squeeze of lemon juice
  • Add cranberries for garnish
  • Enjoy!

Want to skip the alcohol? Just omit the vodka and you’re good to go!

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So head on over to your local Safeway, buy some Canada Dry and other ingredients, and serve at your next gathering. It’s so easy to find everything in one spot there – and we’re all looking for convenience during the busy holiday season.

To help you get through the craziness of the last two weeks of the year, I have a few tips for you:

  • Plan ahead for everything from where you’re spending the holidays to what you’re going to eat.
  • Stick with mostly recipes you can do most of the work on in advance (last night I made a few dips and baked ziti for friends). That way, you can pop each thing in the oven and serve fresh when you’re ready to eat.
  • Take advantage of online sales. I did almost all of my Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday! Plus I got some great deals for myself too.

Find more fun holiday drink recipes and entertaining tips!

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Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts & Teleflora Giveaway

Tis the season for holiday parties, and you don’t want to show up empty handed. I usually go with a bottle of wine or bubbly with an ornament tied to it, but this year I wanted to step it up a notch. Check out lots of great ideas below – and head down to the bottom of this post to enter to win a festive holiday bouquet from Teleflora!

Hostess Gifts


  • Teleflora Celebrations by Radko Starry Ornament BouquetWho doesn’t love a fresh bouquet of flowers, especially around the holidays when your home is nicely decorated for the holidays? This bouquet is a perfect centerpiece, with red roses, carnations, holly and other florals, complete in a limited-edition ceramic Celebrations by Radko keepsake. Once the flowers have reached their prime, you can use it to hold Christmas cookies, flowers or other treats. I love Teleflora because each bouquet is hand-arranged and delivered by a local Teleflora florist.Scroll down to enter to win this bouquet for you or a loved one!{, $52.95}
  • Kohler Chocolates Holiday CaramelsChocolate is another hostess gift that you really can’t go wrong with. These caramels are covered in a creamy chocolate shell and are inspired by the nostalgic winter traditions, tastes and smells of Wisconsin. I love how they come in festive colors and are available in different quantities and price points too. {, $9.99 – $59.99}
  • Landmark Vineyards “For the Holiday Host” Gift SetNot only is this Pinot Noir the perfect red wine to relax with on a cold winter night, but this set truly is perfect for a hostess because it also comes with a gift-ready package of Wonderful Pistachios, which pairs perfectly with Landmark Vineyards’ 2012 Overlook Pinot Noir. This wine is crafted by hand-selecting grapes from the finest pinot noir vineyards in California and pairs beautifully with holiday meals. {}
  • B. Toffee Gift Wrapped CanistersThis toffee is delicious! And it comes in their signature B. toffee canister, nicely wrapped up with crinkle paper and a chocolate brown ribbon, making it easy-to-gift. It comes in both milk and dark chocolate, but if you can’t decide, just get both! {, $19.99}
  • JOCO CupThis is not your everyday travel mug – it’s made from strong borosilicate glass, so it’s both stylish and sturdy. It comes in lots of fun colors and different sizes, is microwave safe and BPA free, and the shape is modeled after standard disposable coffee cup sizes so it’s easy for you or a barista to brew right into it. Gift this with your favorite coffee or tea – or keep it for yourself and use it every day like I have been! {, $24.95 for 12 oz}
  • Sharper Image Kitchen Tablet StandThis is perfect for the hostess that loves to cook – especially if they are like me and get most of their recipes from Pinterest. When you’re in the middle of cooking, you don’t want to be touching your iPad over and over, so use this stand to make it much easier. Just put your tablet into the stand and use the self-standing stylus to navigate the touch screen. {, $49.99}

Hostess Gifts on

Giveaway! Now through December 24, 2014, you can enter to win a Teleflora Celebrations by Radko Starry Ornament Bouquet, valued at $52.95. There are lots of ways to enter below – open to U.S. residents. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

And in case you missed my other holiday gift guides and giveaways, you can view them using the links below. Lots more to come, so check back now through Christmas!

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**Disclosure: While I was provided samples for review, all opinions are my own.