Best of Show: Creamy Chicken Chili

Everyone else makes up end-of-year lists, so here are mine.

Favorites of the year:

Musical group: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, thanks Ginny and Andrew. Check out their “Howling at Nothing” video too…impossibly cool. If you receive the posts by email, watch the video while you read, by first clicking on the post title.

Sandwich: Vancouver, WA—Joe’s Market Early Girl tomato and Best Foods mayonnaise on toasted English muffin.

Bowl of soup: Greer, SC—Lara’s Creamy Chicken Chili

Pancake: Tacoma, Proctor Street, East and West— Saigon crepe.

Burger: Portland, OR, Killer Burger—1/4 lb. hamburger, grilled onion, smokey house sauce.

Cookie: Tacoma, WA, my house—Ranger cookie made with TJ’s oatmeal flakes.

Toy: Waterfi waterproof Shuffle and earbuds

Tool: Cuisinart cordless wand blender

Undershirts: Walmart, Sacramento, CA on sale for $3.29

Politician: Justine Trudeau

TV show: Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Web series: Jerry Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Book: Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Song: Iris Dement, Let the Mystery Be


2015 trends I’m weary of:

Complicated, slightly hysterical means of proposing: in a hot-air balloon, in a Brooklyn apartment transformed into a tropical paradise, on a concrete park bench with “Will you marry me” carved onto the seat, written on umbrellas…you get the picture. How could the marriage possibly measure up?

Posting selfies on Snapchat or Instagram. Could be an age thing—I took one and quickly realized why most posted selfies are of young people.

Smart watches: head down to your lap at the table is bad enough—head down to your wrist is too much.

Normcore is in, Normcore is out—who cares: Normcore fashion, Normcore dining, Normcore design, plenty of us have been Normcore all our lives.


Kale, gluten-free, farm-to-table, Paleo, high-end salt, cupcakes, artisanal anything

Donald Trump, anyone Palin, anyone Kardashian, over-indulged football players, hashtags, Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, Pinterest, pet and toddler fashion, the 12s, man-buns.


There—have I left anyone out?

Lara’s Creamy Chicken Chili

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or Chipotle powder
  • 1, 14.5 oz can chicken broth
  • 2, 15 oz. cans great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2, 4 oz. cans chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Brown chicken pieces in olive oil, remove from pan and reserve. Sauté onions with salt, add garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne or Chipotle until onions are lightly browned.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add drained beans and green chilies, simmer 15 minutes.
  • Add reserved browned chicken pieces and heavy cream, simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in sour cream, and gently bring back to heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and fresh tomato salsa.


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2 Responses to Best of Show: Creamy Chicken Chili

  1. Jenni says:

    Spot on, but 1) you are much more aware of the music scene than I am; and 2) not sure what Normcore is. Did you forget the Art House Café’s breakfast pizza, or was that on last year’s list. That Saigon pancake looks amazing! Thanks, Marla in the Kitchen!

  2. Ginny says:

    I hope Kramer’s dresser got an Emmy for each year the show was on.

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