Slow Cooker Weeknight “Dump & Go” Recipes

Slow Cooker Weeknight “Dump & Go” Recipes

Between our careers, keeping up with the household, the kids’ school and the upcoming holidays, this time of year is just BIZ-EE. It can be hard to get a nourishing and healthy meal on the table with the limited amount of time we have. That’s why we’re so grateful for things like Instant Pots and Slow Cookers! It’s as simple as “dump & go”, “set it and forget it”…. you know what we mean. Here are a few slow cooker recipes that are perfect for weeknights! These recipes are brought to you by GiftTree‘s own Corporate Team! We also thought we’d ask our Sommelier for wine pairings, too, because why not? It’s been a long week.     Slow Cooker Weeknight “Dump & Go” Recipes All Photos Courtesy Shutterstock   Slow Cooker Turkey Black Bean Chili By Christine, Content Manager 1 lb. ground turkey 1 sweet yellow onion, diced 1/2 cup chicken broth 2 cans S&W® Chili Beans, undrained 2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained 1 can S&W® black beans, drained & rinsed 1 small can diced green chiles, your chosen degree of heat Big dollop of tomato paste chili powder, cumin, bay leaf salt & pepper to taste Christine says…. “In a skillet, dice and sauté the onion until tender. Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper. When the turkey is almost cooked through, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until turkey is completely browned. In your slow cooker, combine the turkey-onion mixture, all the cans, tomato paste, spices and bay leaves. Salt and pepper to your liking and cover. Cook for at least 8...
Ten Amazing Gifts for New Homeowners

Ten Amazing Gifts for New Homeowners

Aren’t new beginnings the best? Whether it’s the first or the third, buying a new home is a great thing! A fresh start is cause for celebration, especially after enduring all the stresses that home buying brings. Congratulate those sellers, welcome the new owners with a housewarming gift they’re going to appreciate and remember. Here are 10 amazing gifts for new home owners!   Personalized Housewarming Gift Ideas   Gourmet Housewarming Gift Ideas   Memorable Wine Gifts Even More Unique Gift Ideas   If you are a Realtor, a Lending Officer or just a friend, give a housewarming gift that will make them feel welcomed into their home and make you look...
Weapons of Stress Reduction: Tips to Combat Everyday Stress

Weapons of Stress Reduction: Tips to Combat Everyday Stress

Stress – in one way or another, everyone on this little blue planet deals with it. Whether it’s in the workplace or the home, in our bodies or our minds, with family or among friendships, stress is a real factor that has a huge impact on our lives. It’s an every day battle, and unfortunately it can be a lifelong war. The good news we can fight back! In this day and age, there is an arsenal of weapons to combat everyday stress.   Three Healthful, Stress-Fighting Tips 1. Get Enough Sleep. It’s crucial to human function that we all get enough sleep. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and our brains to recharge. Studies show that not getting enough – or getting low quality – sleep can have a dramatic effect on mood, judgement, memory and more. Most people between the ages of 18-49 need around six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, especially due to worry, develop a routine that helps you get relaxed and ready for bed. Some gentle yoga, a warm bath with epsom salts, aromatherapy or chamomile tea can all help. And avoid screens! The blue light from TVs, laptops, tablets or smart phones have a directly negative effect on sleep quality. 2. Eat Well. We all want to eat comfort foods when we’re stressed out, and it makes sense: your body is actually craving carbohydrates. Carbs produce serotonin, giving you those nice, happy feelings. But if you’re eating unhealthy carbs in the form of high fat meals (think pizza, chips, macaroni and cheese), those types of carbs will...
Chilled Soups for the Dog Days of Summer

Chilled Soups for the Dog Days of Summer

Here in the Pacific Northwest this summer, we broke the record for the most consecutive days above 90 degrees. It was hot. Sure, the PNW doesn’t have the humidity of say, Chicago, but here’s the clincher: because it never (ever) gets hot in Portland, virtually no one has AC. So a lot of the things we normally do here suddenly become impossible – and there is NO WAY any of us are going to be turning on the stove or oven to make dinner. Now that it’s late August, what do we do when the mercury is still rising? You gotta think cool to be cool, people! From the GiftTree kitchen, are four perfectly palate-pleasing chilled soups for the dog days of summer. GAZPACHO Just like a great salsa or pasta sauce, the right recipe for gazpacho is a thing of beauty. There are hundreds of variations of gazpacho, but the general rule is that perfect gazpacho should have the right ratio of tomato flavor and a little bit of heat. I’ve aways been obsessed with Le Pain Quotidien’s version – the red wine vinegar, sourdough breadcrumbs and cilantro pesto drizzle make it truly special. If you get the chance to try Le Pain’s gazpacho, make sure they dress it with a garnish of radish, cucumber and mango for you. Trust me. If you want to make it yourself for dinner and avoid a hot kitchen, this Malibu Kitchen recipe is pretty great (especially if you can do the red-pepper-roasting on the grill outside!).   VICHYSSOISE Yesterday was a particularly hot (and smoky, from all the nearby wildfires) one....
Why We Gift Wednesday (Take a Break Edition)

Why We Gift Wednesday (Take a Break Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. When we take a walk through our neighborhoods in the summertime, we often see large garden plots that look absolutely perfect – neatly tilled rows, weeds cleared away, big happy zucchini plants splaying out every which way… so many home gardeners make it look totally easy to tend and grow a great garden. But the truth is, it takes a whole heap of work, both mental and physical. Even while it’s still during the winter, most home gardeners are already planning and preparing for the layout and schedule of this spring and summer’s garden. It’s good for the soil to not plant the same thing in the same area year after year, so most gardens tend to change. And the schedule varies greatly, region by region and plant by plant. Planning and scheduling a successful garden takes just as much brain power as it does physical labor. In April and May (and sometimes as early as March), we start to see those home gardeners head outside with their gloves, shovels, tillers, seeds and all the tools they need to start this year’s garden. All throughout the hot summer months they’re out there, too. For what seems like hours, home gardeners work away in the hot sun, turning over the soil...
Impressive Real Estate Closing Gifts

Impressive Real Estate Closing Gifts

Buying or selling a home is a big milestone, and when it comes time to thank the buyers and sellers for making them an integral part of the process, most realtors and real estate agents give what is referred to as a closing gift. This industry-standard is practiced all over the United States, and many agents believe that it helps lead to referrals, too. Much of the time, closing gifts come in the form of a housewarming-style offering, and the added touch of personalization – the clients’ names, your agency logo – really elevates the gift to a noteworthy level. Wine is usually a winning option for housewarming gifts to congratulate the buyers or sellers, but if your clients aren’t drinkers,we have some other beautiful ideas to leave a lasting impression. If you’re a realtor or agent who is looking for some refreshing conversation pieces to give the sellers or new homeowners something to remember you by, here are some of GiftTree’s many impressive real estate closing gifts and homebuilder gifts. New Beginnings Engraved Wine Gift New keys, new beginnings! Add your personal or company message (and even your agency logo!) to the engraving on this bottle and create a lasting impression. The engraving is  treated with a smooth, lustrous paint to complete the presentation. Long after the lush red wine has been enjoyed, they’ll keep the bottle on display, reminding them of your generosity. Engraved Keepsake Tray The expert craftsmanship of this polished gold-plated tray makes the perfect keepsake to display in the home – from the mantle to the bar cart. With the addition of an engraved initial, it’s a piece...