white bean chili.

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since the first day of autumn is tomorrow, we decided to welcome it the best way we know how. we pulled our beloved crock pot off the shelf after a long summer of neglect and got reacquainted with one another once again by making one of our favorite chili dishes.

nothing (and i honestly mean nothing) beats coming home after a 3 hour church block on a sunday afternoon to the smell of dinner already awaiting you thanks to your sous chef, the crock pot. that thing is like magic to a gal who doesn’t cook often enough and needs a bit of hand holding in the kitchen.

we made our favorite white bean chili with chicken yesterday. several years ago, i was going through a really hard time when were living in washington DC.  a sweet girlfriend of mine here in new york had her cousin who also lived in the DC area show up on my doorstep with dinner one night. to this day, i still can’t get over what a kind gesture that was and how much it meant to me then, and even now, to have someone i’d never met and who had no idea what i was going through, show up with dinner. she made us this white bean chili, and i’m not sure if it’s because of the back story attached to this dish, or if it’s just because it is freaking delicious, but it’s hands down, one of my favorite dishes.

the recipe is below if you’d like to try it!


white bean chili with chicken

4 15-oz cans great northern beans, rinsed
2 lbs chicken breasts
2 4 ounce cans green chilies (we use mild diced chilies)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves minced garlic
1 14 1/2 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup water

cut the chicken into small cubes and brown over the stove
drain the beans, and place all the ingredients into the crock pot, mix well
cook covered on low 10-12 hours or high 5-6 hours
we eat it over rice with a bit of cheese on top.  makes 6-8 servings


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^^^here’s eleanor measuring and adding all the appropriate spices with a bit of help from papa! she likes to be involved with anything happening in the kitchen. notice how they are both in their pajamas! they put everything in first thing after waking up so that it would be ready for us right when we got home from church.^^^

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^^^before we mixed up all the ingredients, those spices were just calling for their picture to be taken. just look at those rich fall colors! ^^^

chilifinished ^^^she’s all done! thank you, crock pot!^^^

you’ll have to let me know if you try it.  and if you have a favorite crock pot recipe you wanna share, i’d love that.  especially if it’s a chili one!

taza’s new york city guide: under the brooklyn bridge

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happy friday, everyone! today i wanted to share a small guide and video we made covering a few of our favorite activities to do together right underneath the brooklyn bridge! that bridge (and the manhattan bridge too, let’s be honest) is so iconic and fun to walk (or bike!!!) across that i tell all of our family and friends who ask for nyc recommendations that it is a must.  it just doesn’t get old. it’s one of my favorite things to do in this city.

here’s a short video highlighting some favorite things to eat and do around dumbo and the north end of brooklyn heights after you cross the bridge….

if you’d like, you can subscribe to the love taza youtube channel here to see more video guides!

video by jenner brown. song by natalie prass.

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jane’s carousel
brooklyn bridge park on dock street 718-222-2502

lizzmonade
brooklyn pier 1
juliana’s (some of our family’s favorite pizza!)
19 old fulton street 718-596-6700
brooklyn ice cream factory
corner of old fulton and water street 718-246-3963
pier 1 playground and park
info on bike rentals HERE
check out events at brooklyn bridge park HERE
dumbo kitchen
108 jay street 718-797-1695
luke’s lobster at brooklyn bridge park
11 water street 917-882-7516
shake shack (they are literally everywhere now!)
1 old fulton street 718-307-7590
jacques torres chocolate (for warm chocolate chip cookies!)
66 water street 718-875-1269
east river ferry (always fun to ride back to the city if you aren’t up for walking or biking both ways ;)
brooklyn bridge park / dumbo 800-533-3779
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other nyc neighborhood guides and videos here: UPPER WEST SIDE // UNION SQUARE TO MIDTOWN // SOHO + NOLITA // CENTRAL PARK // WEST VILLAGE 

mix it up!

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last spring, i shared a few of our family’s favorite interactive books, one of which was – and still is – press here by herve tullet (which has been on the NYT best seller list for the past 3 years!). well, we heard the best news a few weeks ago that herve tullet just finished his follow-up book titled mix it up! we were kindly sent a copy a few weeks ago to check out. it’s of course as darling and creative and fun as press here, and it’s officially out this week!

a look at it below if you’d like to see…

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what i love about this book is the way we are invited as the reader to interact with each page. you touch, mix, shake, close and open the book to find all these bright and beautiful colors mixing together to make new colors, and new shapes and designs. the “splat!” page is my personal favorite (closing the book down hard between a blob of yellow paint and a blob of red paint to discover a splattered new color of orange on the following page.)

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since we’re asked on each page to touch or mix the colors with our fingers, eleanor, being the proper little lady she is who doesn’t like getting her hands dirty (even pretend dirty), requested we read the book with our paint brushes. haha! so we’ve been having fun rereading the book and doing all the imaginative interactive stuff with paint brushes instead of our fingers. we usually head to the kitchen table afterwards to mix some paint colors of our own, because hello! making new colors out of other colors suddenly makes a lot of sense and BLUE AND RED MAKE PURPLE? WHAT!!!  we’ve been making a lot of purple paint as of late.

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thank you again to chronicle books, who this post is in partnership with, for sending along the new mix it up! book! now let’s get painting!

ps. my post on a few of our favorite interactive children’s books HERE.

eating our way through the garment district…

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we always love the little food markets that pop up periodically around the city. there are few things in this world i love more than a ridiculously good meal, especially if that meal has the words “lobster roll” in it. we stopped by the new urban space food market in the garment district for dinner the other night after being invited down to check it out and sampled ourselves silly with all the good vendors they’ve brought in. (things like japanese curry, lobster rolls, meatball sandwiches, tacos, burgers, wood-fired pizza…) i’m still stuffed a few days later. having such good food around really makes us love being here in new york. a few photos from dinner below…

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^^^a meatball slider from mighty balls…^^^

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^^^and a kiss from E! what could possibly make dinner sweeter? ;) ^^^

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^^^red hook lobster pound has always been one of my favorites since the DC days, so i was stoked to see them there at the market.^^^
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^^^the pizza from roberta’s was top notch, too. josh and samson didn’t get any, but i managed to steal a few bites from E before she polished off that entire thing.^^^

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^^^while i watched the stroller and sat at a nearby table, i caught a glimpse between the crowds walking by of josh swinging and playing with the kids while they waited for our food. i have many many fears going into having a third baby this winter, but if anything helps calm them, it’s this man of mine who is such a patient and invested father. it’s like, ok. i have him on my team. i can do this. ^^^

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^^^samson and his empanada. he sat so still and quietly eating that entire thing. it was the cutest.^^^

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^^^i’m not a big cheesy bread person, but josh liked the maple bacon queijo from cafe patoro.^^^

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^^^and this pistachio and stracciatella gelato was fiiiiiiiiiine. ^^^

baby bump #3 / 26 weeks

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well, we’re getting closer and closer and as a result, i’m getting more and more excited! i’m also getting more and more tired and doing crazy things putting chocolate milk into my kids’ raisin bran in the morning because that seems exactly right. but that’s another story for another day. this mama is struggling with insomnia like it’s nobody’s business. i guess it’s just good practice for all the middle of the night milk parties that are gonna take place after everyone else is asleep at our home once baby arrives.  (but ps- if anyone else out there is struggling with insomnia and terrible terrible leg cramps at night, i asked for advice on my instagram the other day and there were so many good recommendations and tips shared i thought i’d pass that along. thank you to everyone who shared what has worked for them!)

while i might be more of a negative nancy this round (although i’m trying not to be really. i really am!), josh and eleanor and samson are nothing short of ecstatic.  it’s nice too because they always know how to boost my mood and help me get excited again. josh has been pushing for the name gideon if it’s a boy, and one day i said, “but that sounds like giddy-up! to me” to which eleanor chimed in, “oh i love that name, mama! let’s name the baby giddy-up gideon!” she hasn’t dropped it, either. whenever she introduces my baby bump to friends or strangers, she points to my belly and says, “and this giddy-up gideon, our baby!”  lol.

besides my routine check-ups at my regular doctor’s office, i’ve been getting some extra attention and love and care each day at home thanks to my in-house doctor eleanor, and her assistant mister samson (who loves giving me and the baby like 10 shots each day.)  as of now, according to doctors E and S, the baby is looking great, although he or she has no reflexes and is always crying inside my belly – which i have yet to hear but you know, doctors are trained in this sort of thing. ;)

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ps. i’m wearing maternity jeans found HERE (i caved and bought this pair too. why did no one tell me to do this sooner? these things are saving my life this round.) also, my white maternity t-shirt is from HERE. and the doctor kit can be found HERE. that doctor kit man, it has made my littles happier than any other toy could since last christmas. we’ve miraculously not lost any pieces yet, either. i mean, really! it’s a big deal.

other past bump posts HERE.