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Crock Pot Picante Chicken with Black Bean Soup

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This makes a nice amount of soup, perfect for freezing and reheating for a second night, or for lunch on the go. I love this topped with avocado and sour cream to mellow the heat, but it would also be great with a little cheese on top why not!

It’s mildly spicy, not over the top. If you want it milder you can leave the ancho chile powder out. I pureed one of the cans of beans to thicken the soup, and left the second can whole for texture. Next time I may even add some sweet corn! A filling, wholesome, high-fiber meal for only 300 calories, or Weight Watchers 6 points plus. Freezer friendly, and gluten-free. (more…)

November 21, 2013 |

10 Percent in 2017

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ROI
By Frank J. Rich

Winter’s ravages are never so near as when seen. Despite familiarity with her storms and their demands on us to protect “house and home,” at least for Northerners across the land, most don’t check the conditions (or supply) of snow shovels until the white stuff arrives. What is apparent in any conversation about the weather is often left unattended until the moment we adjust to its insistence. (more…)

November 19, 2013 |

‘Stupid People, Stupid People’ 50 Years Later

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Mayor, TownLink

When Bruce the Blog Listens, People Talk

Bruce the Blog
By Bruce Apar

In modern America history, we have suffered through twinned dates with destiny that redefine our times and shape generations to come.

The passage of time – whether a half-century or a dozen years – cannot completely cauterize the open wounds that rent our souls on Nov. 23, 1963 and on Sept. 11, 2001.

The signpost that sanctifies but a handful of moments in the pantheon of history is that just about every witness remembers forever, with rare precision of memory, where she was, what he was doing, who you were with, and sometimes exactly what words were uttered. (more…)

November 15, 2013 |

Holiday Shopping Is Right Around the Corner

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BITS + PIECES
BY EVELYN J. MOCBEICHEL    

Couple_Carrying_Holiday_Packages_clipart_image

GIVING GIFT CARDS FROM NEIGHBORHOOD STORES AT HOLIDAY TIME IS A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL MERCHANTS !

I just got an email from my friend Geri with a great suggestion for holiday shopping this year. As a believer in “shopping local,” I try to buy at local businesses whenever possible. It is not to say I never venture to a mall or a big box store, but patronizing “mom and pop” stores in our communities is worth the effort year round.  They are operated in many cases by our neighbors and contribute to the flavor of the town.  Besides, who wants to see empty store fronts? Shopping local is one way to prevent that.

The email Geri passed along suggested that “a new tradition” be started with this year’s holiday shopping: gift certificates that are unique and benefit a nearby business.

If you have a family member who attends a gym or fitness center, the gift card could cover part of the membership fee. Or the person on your list may has a favorite beauty salon or barber shop that they frequent regularly. Our daughters know it is hard to shop for their grandmother, so gift certificates to a nail salon for both a manicure and pedicure work well for an elderly person who  says, “There is nothing I need.” Grandma enjoys these certificates and they work well for birthday and Mother’s Day gifts, too, especially when granddaughter joins her for a day together, including a wonderful lunch.

The list of gift certificate ideas is practically endless: Movie tickets, car wash coupons, dining out. Even on a limited budget, if a dinner gift card is too costly, a breakfast or lunch for two is still a generous gift most will appreciate.

One of the best coupon gifts I received years ago was custom made by our teenage girls. The booklet had several pages of “coupons” we could redeem for them to wash the car, mow the lawn, or cook dinner and clean up after the meal.

It was the best Christmas gift I received that year!  Be creative while you shop local, supporting the businesses in your town. Keep some of your spending dollars close to home, where it matters the most. If every shopper did it, we could make a difference this holiday season.

November 14, 2013 |
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