Book Club has read a lot of really great books this year! The latest one I read was Coal River by Ellen Marie Wiseman. I am a sucker for non-fiction, so the book fit the bill with being historical fiction and gives the reader a “Newsies” kind of story with coal workers instead of newspaper boys. I did not care for the end of the book and some of the plot points… but the book was worth reading for the interest it created with being set in the Pennsylvania coal mines. I would give it 4 out 5 stars.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb – The inner thoughts of a therapist that writes well bring you into her story and then you get wrapped up in the story of her client “John” whose story is revealed throughout the book. I enjoyed the personal stories as well as tidbits of psychology information.
I gave this one 5/5 stars.
Fast read and who is John??? I am sure someone must have figured it out. I was thinking maybe David Shores?
The Great Pretender: The Undcover Mission that Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan – I gave this one 4/5 stars. Dr. Rosenhan is a famous psychologist and an entry in many college level PSYCH 101 textbooks. He wrote a paper where himself and several other volunteers got themselves admitted to a psychiatric institution only to find out that they had trouble being allowed to leave. However, the problem is that the study was falsely represented. One person was a subject and not included in the study. There are sections I thought could be eliminated or condensed and lose the reader.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan – I gave this 4.5/5 stars. This book is a personal true story of how Susannah was flying high working for the New York Post and in less than a few months committed to a psychiatric ward. She was diagnosed with a variety of disorders and baffled doctors until one stepped in. I enjoyed reading the journey as well as the discussion about the revelation of how many mental illnesses may have a simple biological explanation.
It was made into a movie, too!
I have posted white chicken chili on here before. We thought this new version was just as good or better with the added poblano peppers. The chili is VERY thick and almost like a stew instead of a soup. Feel free to add more chicken broth. I made this in about 30 minutes when the chicken was already cooked. Sometimes I will use a rotisserie chicken and sometimes I will throw a few chicken breast into the Instant Pot on 20 minutes and natural release for 10 minutes. Shredded the chicken in the kitchen aid mixer makes chopping a breeze.
This recipe is freezer friendly, too! Feel free to double or triple the batch in a stock pot and then you can freeze and thaw the soup whenever you like.
Add your own toppings! We use lime, tortilla chips and cheese. I top with avocados if we have some that are ripe and they add a bit of freshness with the lime as well. Sour cream and cilantro are also topping favorites as well as pico de gallo. It really just depends on what I have left over in the fridge!
To Cook the Beans from Dry:
I usually don’t buy canned beans anymore. But you can do that for this recipe! If you want to do some prep weekend work, here is how you make them!
Add 8 cups of water per 1 pound of dry white northern beans. Cook in the instant pot on high for 25-30 minutes. Allow to natural release! This amount is more than enough for the chili recipe, so you can save the rest for later and eat with some ham or a side with salt and pepper. Or freeze for later use.
White Chicken Chili
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- 1 jalapeno pepper minced, ribs and seeds removed for not spicy
- 2 poblano peppers diced, seeds removed
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tb. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
- 1.5 tsp. ground coriander
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups water optional
- 2 Tb. lime juice
- 2 cans white beans (or 4 cups of cooked beans)
- 1 rotisserie chicken (or 2 large cooked chicken breast) meat removed from skin and bones
- Toppings: cilantro, chips, sour cream, cilantro, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add jalapeno, poblano and onion. Cook until soft - about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and spices. Cook 60 seconds and stir often.
- Add the chicken stock (and water for thinner chili) and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and beans. Stir and cook until the chicken and beans heat through - about 5 to 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and lime juice to taste.
- Top with toppings and eat!