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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ALDI.

Hey guys!

How are the resolutions going?

Mine are going really well. You guys know that one of my goals is to significantly cut back on the animal products that my household consumes. It’s easier than anticipated – I don’t even think my kids have noticed!

This meatless, dairy-free Black Bean Soup has become a favorite among all of us!

Since my last ALDI post, it’s officially become my favorite grocery store. ALDI stores have just 4 or 5 aisles which makes shopping quick and easy. And you will be amazed at all the good stuff they pack into those 4 or 5 aisles!

For this soup, I used mostly products from the SimplyNature line which is all simple foods free of artificial colors, flavors or unnecessary enhancers. They’re organic and delicious!

I also used a couple spices from the Stonemill Essentials line. You guys, the spices are all $1.19! You cannot beat that for a big bottle of chili powder!

There are some things you need to know before you head to ALDI. Bring a quarter for a cart – you’ll get it back when you return the cart, don’t worry! But ALDI saves money by not employing people to wrangle the carts and then they pass that savings 
on to you! Also, bring bags! They have bags but you have to buy them so save yourself some cash and bring your own.

Anyway, I bought all my ingredients for this recipe at ALDI and then bought the national brand equivalents at my regular grocery store. At ALDI I spent $8.52 and at my regular grocery, I spent $13.97! Multiply that savings by however many meals you make a week and you’ve got quite a bit of savings!

This is the perfect soup for this time of year. I feel like the top 2 New Year’s resolutions are to eat better and save money. And this soup is great for both!

I mean, it’s low calorie, low fat, meatless, dairy-free… kind of perfect for cleaning up your diet! Plus, there’s nothing more inexpensive than beans! Especially if you’re doing your shopping at ALDI!

It’s also really delicious and takes, like, 30 minutes to whip up. You could make a batch on Sunday and have lunch for the entire week for under 9 bucks!

Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win  $200 giftcard to ALDI. You can earn entries by sharing photos or video of your ALDI Try & Tell experience, sharing this blog post on Twitter, and sharing the giveaway with your friends!

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Black Bean Soup

about 6 servings


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Stonemill Chili Powder
½ teapoon salt
2 (15-ounce) cans SimplyNature Black Beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup SimplyNature Thick & Chunky Salsa
Juice of 1 lime
3 cups SimplyNature Vegetable Broth
Queen Victoria cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, stirring frequently. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt; cook and stir until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in black bean, salsa, lime juice, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir back into the soup. Garish with cilantro if desired.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ALDI.


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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield.

Ham and Lentil Soup - the perfect way to use leftover ham! It's quick, inexpensive, and really delicious!

Tomorrow is December 1.



Are we sure it’s really the last day of November?

Like, sure sure?

Anyway, I’m putting my Christmas tree up today because if I don’t do it now, tomorrow I’ll start the “Well, it’s too late now! Christmas is practically here!” thing and we just won’t have a Christmas tree this year.

Click for the full recipe


Is everyone obsessed with squash right now or is it just me?

I feel like every post I’ve put up this month has been squash.

I have 5 varieties in my pantry right now. And as soon as I cook one, I run to the store to replace it. Just in case I have an emergency and need a sweet dumpling squash right now.

I can’t get enough.

Click for the full recipe


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmithfieldCares #CollectiveBias

Slow Cooker Pork and Butternut Squash Stew - a bowl of comfort! Quickly brown the pork and then toss everything in the slow cooker!

Okay guys, real talk.

I broke the driver’s side window of my car.

“How’d you manage that one, Amanda?”

Well, it’s a Wrangler so the windows unzip and the zipper broke.

Okay, fine, I broke both zippers. Which is okay most of the time since I normally have at least the back windows off anyway. But y’all, it’s cold in the mornings and at night in central Texas now. I was shivering on my way back from Austin last week.

An hour and a half at 75 MPH with the window down at 10 pm?

It was cold.

Click for the full recipe


Autumn Squash Soup (Panera Copycat) - this is the best fall soup and so easy! Vegetarian and full of butternut squash and pumpkin!

Heeeey guys! I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever. I’ve been in a weird funk the past month and haven’t been cooking or blogging or anything. And then that post I put up Monday was written months ago. Which is why I shared a cole slaw recipe in fall. It’s fine, cole slaw is delicious all year long! Especially with barbecue!

Speaking of, I had the best barbecue over the weekend at Black’s BBQ down in Austin. I was down there on Friday morning for a work thing and then when it was time to come home and get the kids, I realized I wasn’t ready to be back in Killeen so I grabbed them and we drove back to Austin and had barbecue and ice cream and stayed out way past bedtime.

The brisket was seriously spectacular. And the mac & cheese? Uhhh-mazing.

And then the ice cream was from Spun Ice Cream which I’ve been dying to visit for months. They do the liquid nitrogen thing and I think it is the coolest thing ever. Plus, they use local dairy and only the best ingredients.

I had the horchata ice cream (I’m obsessed with horchata right now) with peanut brittle. So good. And they gave me a punch card which means I now have to stop every time I’m down in Austin.


Click for the full recipe