Chicken Gumbo

Traditional gumbo can be pretty rich and tends to have crawfish. An ingredient I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you where to purchase in Minnesota! Paging through Clean Eating I came across a recipe for Chicken Gumbo and it looked easy to prepare and like it would freeze well!

It made a huge pot and we had it for dinner one night, froze a portion, and dropped off a container for my friend Ashley, her husband Nick to enjoy while they adjust to life with their brand new baby girl. When friends have a baby I always offer to bring food, they have enough going on and shouldn’t have to worry about who is going to cook. It was also an excuse to get lots of baby snuggles in, she is teeny tiny being almost 4 weeks early but oh so cute.

Chicken Gumbo


  • Precooked brown rice, 1 cup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag frozen sliced okra
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tsp oregeno
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt/Pepper


  1. In a dutch oven heat olive oil, add in onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add cubed chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, frozen okra, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Add kale, rice and frozen corn. Cook until heated through another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Discard bay leaves. Add additional salt/pepper if needed and serve.

Day of Disney

Even though work travel is hard and exhausting we do get time for some fun. The boyfriend surprised me by coming down late Wednesday night. With all the travel I am doing this fall I really miss him so it was extra nice to have the company at the end of the week when the show was wrapping up.

We bought some discount Disney tickets and spent Thursday evening at Magic Kingdom. Surprisingly I had a lot of fun! I had only been once and that was 6 years ago and this time it was all about walking around and just having a good time. We laughed, we were tourists and we went on rides.

My favorite ride? The tea cups But I do love spinning rides and we had that tea cup going as fast as it would go.

We stayed until almost closing time so we were able to see the castle all illuminated. So pretty! We had a good time but I don’t think a Disney trip is on the agenda every year.

Summer Dinner

It is humid, rainy, sticky and just kind of a gloomy day here in Minneapolis and I really wasn’t in the mood to cook. I wasn’t really in the mood to do anything after a day of workouts, errand running, and shopping. My answer for dinner? A plate of raw veggies, apple, cheddar cheese, turkey, spiced nuts, brown rice quinoa and flax crackers, hummus and a nice big glass of red wine.

The wine of choice for this evening? A 2009 Argentina Malbec. Notes of blackberry, plum, smokiness and some vanilla. Perfect for a Saturday evening when you are in your pajamas at 7:10. Don’t knock it! I went out last night and  tonight is all about relaxing.

Birthday Wine

Going to a Ballet Barre class and having it be the first one in more than 15 years and knowing you are going to be sore you can’t move tomorrow, why yes I would like that.

Going to a great upscale Mexican restaurant for lunch and having a delicious salad and almost ordering a margarita for lunch instead, why yes I would like that.

A glass of birthday wine at 4 in the afternoon, why yes I would like that.

Sitting out on the patio when it is 65 and sunny in Scottsdale when it is really really cold in Minneapolis  in a sundress, a light sweater and sandals with my freshly pedicured feet, why yes I would like that.

Going out for sushi tonight, why yes I would like that too. It has been a pretty good 30th birthday so far!

Music in the Zoo

The Gear Daddies put on a great show, I love seeing them! The four of us went to Panino Brothers for dinner and had sandwiches and a few beers. They have great food at Panino, their sandwiches are a mix between a wrap and a calzone almost.

We had a great night for the concert, it was a bit cool but when you get a few thousand people you stay warm enough.

We made a frittata with peppers, apple chicken sausage, dill, some smoked gouda and eggs. I love a good frittata! For sides we had watermelon and blueberries, and some hemp toast. A really good breakfast! The plan for today is just to relax and enjoy a beautiful summer day.

A Busy Monday

The 5:30 alarm comes way too early! The gym is calling for a good cardio and lifting session. I need to get my “normal” workout routine back and that means working out 3-4 times a week instead of the 2 I have been doing. I picked up a few new workout outfits and like having new things to wear to the gym and am hoping it motivates me to get to the gym.

My new Lululemon Sports Bra The best sports bra ever!

I have another busy Monday planned and spent some time on Sunday prepping food for a few days. Breakfast is a Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt and a dish of Watermelon and Blueberries. Delicious!

The plan for lunch is to have a leftover piece of the frittata we enjoyed for Sunday breakfast and chopped veggies. The frittata looks a little like a piece of pizza, yummy!

How to Play the Slot Machines For Fun

The slot machine has the worst odds of any of the games, except maybe the big wheel, but many players just enjoy the excitement of the slots. Due to more states legalizing gambling, the popularity of casinos has spread across the country. The “leisure” gamblers are spending a few days a year giving the modern day one-armed bandits a spin. These are the everyday people that never traveled to Vegas and just take an occasional Saturday night out at the casino for a good steak and a little fun at the slot machines or tables. They are not in it for the big win.

Learn About the Slot Machine

Many of these “gamblers” do not take the time to study the machine and on more than one occasion, I have witnessed someone walking away leaving credits (money) in the machine. There is a way to prevent this mistake, take the time to get to know the machine.

Betting On a Slot Machine Can Be Tricky

What is a slot machine? Basically, it is a computer chip, a chip that is known as a random number generator. Millions of combinations are constantly running through the machine and when the money is in and the spin button is pushed, whatever combination is running through at the time is what you get. It does not matter how long the reels or the symbols spin, that is just for show, the place they land and the amount you have won or lost was determined at the exact micro second that you hit the button.

How much you are betting? Do not just sit down and start hitting buttons. Players that do so wonder how the $20 disappeared so quickly. They are probably hitting the MAX button. Betting the most credits possible. On a penny machine that could be $3 a spin or even more.

Don’t be fooled about the penny machines. Betting pennies does not necessarily mean that the betting is less than a nickel or quarter machine, the ante might be more. That is why casinos are filling up with the penny machines, visitors are having more fun playing them and the casino is making more money. Bet what is in the comfort zone of your budget.

Always be aware of how much is being bet, look before you push. Some machines are called multi-denominational, meaning that a person can choose whether to play pennies, nickels or quarters. Read the denomination before pushing the spin button. Not all machines have this option.

How Much Should I Bet?

Read the machine. Most machines are video screens and usually in the bottom left hand corner is the word “pays” or “help”. The instructions for the machine and the payouts are for the different combinations that are there. On the machine there will be many lighted, numbered buttons and it and can be confusing. Now what do you do? If possible it is best to play all the lines even if it is just one credit per line. This way all possible winning combinations are covered. Keep in mind the payout may not be as high for a winning spin but it did not cost as much either. Facing the machine the top row of buttons is usually the number of lines for possible play. It can be 1, 5, 9. 15, and so on. For example, if the highest number is 15, push 15. The bottom row of numbers is usually the amount of coins or credits to play per line. Example: 15 lines with two credits per line would be 30 cents each time the spin button is pushed. With 15 lines times three credits, it is 45 cents each spin, etc. Same goes for any machine such as nickels, 15 lines times one credit is 75 cents each spin and so on.

What Slot Machine is Best to Play?

Most of us are recreational gamblers. Playing the slots today is like playing monopoly or any other board game, it is fun. The modern day version of the one-armed bandit offers many bonus games which take the player to different screens that allow them to play other games. Some machines have four or five different bonus opportunities.

Winning is not luck, it is timing. One player could play a machine and lose $20 and the next player could win $100. It is all in the timing of when the button is pushed and does not mean that had the previous player stayed on the machine they would have won. The winning spin comes from the exact micro second the button was pushed and that combination stops out of endless possibilities. It does not pay off in a certain number of spins. Change the pace if it is not doing well, sometimes it makes a difference. Experiment with timing. It depends on when the spin button is pressed and nothing else, machines are not due to payoff.

The important thing is understanding the machine and the budget for entertainment. It is entertainment and not likely a get rich quick thing. Take the time to read the machine, have fun and keep enough money for that steak dinner.

Online Slot Machine

Playing Online Slot Machines

Slot machine is primarily a mechanical or computerized variation of a lottery game, and lotteries have been persistently popular for centuries. Slot machines might look very different 100 years from now, but they’ll almost truly still exist – maybe it will be totally online and you will need slot online deposit with some cryptocurrencies.

How to play Slot Machine?

Whatever name you call slot machines; penny-in-the-slot machines, fruit machines, pokies, poker machines, amusement with prizes or one-armed bandits. There is no denying the massive popularity of slot machines . Slot machines can be found in pubs,amusement centers, clubs,casinos and now over the Internet!

And because of their popularity, there are hundreds of new slot machine and slot machine game variations including the classic reel slots, single line slots, multi-line slots,video slots, progressives a lot more!

To play slot machine, first,you have to look for machines that have been vacated recently and left in this advantageous condition.

Read the instructions on the machine thoroughly.

After the game has been loaded you may choose your coin denomination: $0.25, $1, $2, or $5. To increase or decrease your denominations during your game, click to ‘up’ or ‘down’ arrows on the left hand side of the slot machine. Use a valid sized bill for the machine you are playing. Inserting a $100 bill into a nickel machine is not a good idea.

After you have chosen a coin denomination you can the click the ‘bet one’ button up to 3 times, which is equivalent of betting a maximum bet of 3 coins.

You pull the handle or press the button, and the machine’s internal processor continuously generates the next 3 numbers from the random number generator–even when no one is using the machine.

The machine works out the output of the spin, the moment the spin lever is pulled or the spin button is pushed. And when player pulls the lever, the computer records the next three numbers generated. Then,technically the computer has already decided whether the outcome is a win, lose or jackpot.

In order to make a visual representation of the spin results on the screen, the computer reduces the random numbers into a smaller numbers that correspond to the reel positions on the machine.

The computer rolls each reel into the correct stop position to show the output. If you want to play the maximum amount of coins you can also press the ‘Bet Max’ button that will start to spin the reels for you automatically. When the reels stop, your payoff that is determined from a table of winning combinations will be shown on the top of each machine. Any credits that you win will be displayed in the ‘paid field’ and upon placing your next bet the credits in the paid field will then be added to your credits which will be minus the amount bet for the spin, which is displayed in the bet field. To turn your machine credits back into regular casino chips you must click on the ‘Cash Out’ button.

What are the Rules?

There are no rules to playing online slot machines. You simply insert your coins and spin the reels. There are really no particular rules you need to be concerned with. The main objective of the game is to hit a jackpot, with some small wins and bonuses dredged throughout to help your bankroll out along the way. Drop in a coin and pull the handle.

What are the types of Slot Machines?

  • Straight Slot Machines 

Straight slot machines usually have a payout schedule for the amount of coins one bets. Depending on what the of the coin size the jackpot will alter.

  • Video Slot Machines

These game is consists of 3, 5 , 7 different reels,there are more ways for you to win than simply a horizontal lining up of figures across the machine. They also have a additional credits or rounds that you can utilize with multiple pay lines to have a a great payday!

·       Regular Multiplier Slots

These slots do not provide any bonus for the maximum quantity of coins per spin. This machine is for those players who don’t play in the higher amount of coins per each spin.

  • Bonus Multiplier Slots

Bonus Multiplier Slots offer the player a bonus if they bet the max. coins per spin.


Betting one coin pays 2 coins, betting 2 coins pays 4 coins, but then betting 3 coins pays 8 rather than the expected 6. This is a bonus for playing the maximum number of coins per spin.

  • Progressive Slot Machine 

The jackpot for this type grows-the more bets are made the higher the jackpots ongoing! (but that depends on the type of a radical jackpot either stand-alone or wide area). And when the jackpot is hit by a player, the amount will automatically drops to whatever the default jackpot is, and will begin to collect again.


All progressive slot machines will display the accumulating progressive jackpot on a digital monitor usually located at the top of the machine. And when you hit the jackpot, the amount will automatically drop to whatever the default jackpot is, and will begin accumulating again.

Slot Machine Payouts and Payout Schedule

Depending on the payout schedule of a slot machine, winning payouts will differ from machine to machine. Typically, the more active a casino destination is, the higher the slot machine payouts are. And the higher denomination games usually have a higher payout percentage than the lower denomination slot machine games. The usual range for slot machine payouts is from 93.7% to 98.5%. Although online casinos will generally give payouts in the 96-98% range, and sometimes over 100%. Therefore, in terms of playing more online slot machines or land-based slots, players should consider giving the online slots a go more often, if at all possible. Another thing to remember about payout percentage for slot machines is that statistical research shows that higher denomination machines $5 and higher tend to have better payout percentages in the higher end of the scale.

Depending on the slot machine payout schedule, winning payouts will vary from machine to machine. The number one piece of advice for slot players is to know your machine’s payout.

Slot Machine Quick Tips and Strategies

Here are some simple slot machine strategies to maximize your enjoyment of playing slots:

  • Read through the payout schedules when selecting a slot machine to play. Choose the machine with the best payouts for the lower winning symbol combinations.
  • Always decide how much money you are willing to risk before you start to play. You should actually decide this before you log in to your favorite online casino. Stick to your budget and never spend more trying to chase your losses.
  • Only play with money you can afford to lose. Don’t expect to win at any casino game. The odds aren’t in your favor.
  • Always seek for machines with higher payout percentages. This can be alter from game to game, as well as from casino to casino. If you do your research ahead of time by looking through online casino sites over the internet, you will likely be able to find a machine that pays out in the 96-98% range.
  • Play with coins rather than bills, using coins takes longer and will slow down the pace of the game, allowing you to play longer.
  • Discipline is needed when gambling, no matter of which game you are playing. Decide how you will handle your winnings and losses ahead of time. I you get ahead, you may decide to pocket the winnings and just play with the original bankroll.
  • Playing the maximum amount of coins is not always a good idea. Machines which are true multipliers can be played with one coin without being penalized for doing so. True multiplier coin to jackpot ratio is equal whether the player plays one coin or 3 coins. Playing a true multiplier with 1coin may allow you to move up a denomination. If you usually play .75 per spin and move down to single coin spins on a .25 true multiplier, you may be able to move up to a true multiplier dollar machine to play single coin spins. This will give you a chance of winning a bigger jackpot, and most $1 machines have a slightly higher payback percentage than .25 machines.
  • The hardest thing for any slot machine player to do is watch others having fun on the slots. However, if you can manage to wait and watch even for a few minutes, and you will quickly learn which slot machines have more constant – and larger – pay-outs.
  • You hit on jackpot at the first spin. It is likely for you to hope on playing for another round. But as it is, this is a game of chance. You are not sure if you would be hitting on the jackpot the second time or the third, etc. If you win, take the money and quit, don’t fall into giving back the money to the machine.
  • Slot machines should always be fun and entertaining. Try taking a break, and then moving on to another machine or another game altogether. Go ahead, play and win!

Online Slots

Slots are the workhorse of the average casino, the place where the real action takes place, and the real money is made. Though slots offer great returns to players–sometimes as high as 98-99% on high limit machines–their sheer numbers and volume of play ensure that even a 1% edge for the house translates into big money. The flashier table games in casinos are a nod to consumer demand, but every casino still lives and dies by it’s slot business.

Online slots are a natural progression, as individual interaction with a machine forms the core slot experience both on and offline. Most Las Vegas slots no longer even dispense coins, but simply keep track of the credits you have earned and print out a slip to take to the cashier. In this respect, the line between reel slots and virtual ones is even more blurred.

The One-Click Bandit

No matter how sure a player is that a slot machine “wants” to hit the jackpot, the reality is that every new spin of the reels triggers a random sequence to come up on the payline. Each machine is programmed to average a certain return over a long period of time, so even a 98% return dollar machine may run cold for days. Online slots work in a similar way, making them one of the most authentic translations of an actual casino game available.

Playing slots online means not having to journey great distances to sit in front of a screen and watch the symbols spin past. You are able to get the same experience from the comfort of your home, without the expense and hassle of travel. Online slots are a great introduction to the world of online casino gambling.

Progressive Slots

As their name suggests, progressive slots offer continually higher jackpots the longer you play. With typical slot machines you stand to win a fixed amount no matter how many coins you play. The longer you play, however, the greater your odds of eventually winning, even if you never hit the jackpot. Incidentally, this logic is diametrically opposed to that which governs online blackjack, roulette, and other games.

Slot machines have consistently proven to be casinos' biggest money-makers, and it's no secret why. As with lotteries, slot machines offer the promise of great sums for relatively insignificant risk. There is virtually no skill involved in pulling a lever, sitting back, and hoping it's your lucky day. At the same time, there are a few pointers that can improve your odds.

Getting the Most from Progressive Slots

To increase your chances of winning at progressive slots, take advantage of any bonuses that are offered. If your online casino allows you to double your winnings by doubling your bet, the trade-off is hardly worth it. If, on the other hand, you stand to win four times as much money for twice the risk, you'd fare better to double up and take your best shot.

Another slight advantage is conferred upon those who play three-reel slots instead of four- or five-reel machines. While three-reelers usually have lower payouts, your odds at winning on one of these machines are notably higher since there are fewer variables at work. To further increase your odds, abandon progressive slots altogether and opt for standard slots, which offer a lower jackpot but also much higher odds of winning.