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i love a good ending (Tamale Pie)


Happy Halloween Eve!

Getting home from Colorado on a Monday afternoon has made this week absolutely FLY. We all had to shake some fall colds off, along with the cobwebs that come with leaving the most restful vacation, so we really didn't get our bearings until sometime late week.

I was never more grateful for the time spent making and freezing this chili than I was coming in the door Monday. Nothing reheats or tastes better after freezing than soups and stews, and adding some chips and queso took this one over the top.

I think I may even make another batch to have on Monday night before trick or treating (unless I can convince my mom to have us over for her famous lasagna). We only have ONE child left who doesn't want to spend the night in another neighborhood with friends, so I am savoring what might be the last time we get to go as parents!!

Read on to see more about the week!


Can you see the necklace I've got on in these two photos? Sorry I don't have a better shot, but if you click the link you can see it displayed on the website. Plus I feel like you get a better idea of what it really looks like when it's worn.

My mom bought it for me at Ohana in Breckenridge, where it was made by a local designer, Sita Jacobson. It's a bit of an investment, but I feel like it will be a staple piece of mine for years to come.

I've been wearing it nonstop - overnight, during workouts, in the shower - and there's been no sign of damage or tarnishing. I am not a big jewelry person, so I really love when I find something subtle that looks beautifully effortless at such a low cost for 'maintenance.'

The other item I've been wearing nonstop during my workdays (over my bamboo pullover/jogger set in black) is this blanket sweater. Are you familiar with the barefoot dreams blanket? I picked several up years ago at the annual Nordstrom sale. And when I saw they make what is basically a version with holes for arms, I knew I needed it.

While it doesn't look nearly as polished as the jcrew sweater blazer I shared a couple emails back (which is actually on sale now), it is absolutely like wrapping up in the most comfortable blanket all day long. And much to my surprise, I get compliments on it whenever I wear it out. I think we all appreciate a transitional layer we can throw on during these fall days that don't yet require a winter coat. Even if it does resemble the snuggie.


Guys a few things ended for me this week and it was hard!

The first was a (big for me) brand partnership I've had for years. And it felt SO GOOD.

I was going to wait until January to close the chapter with this brand, and a few others, but it happened in such an organic and mutually beneficial way, that I know it was right. And the beginning of a significant shift for me.

Let me backup, because I want to share a little more behind the scenes of what it is like to be a brand ambassador for anyone who may be interested.

Affiliate partnerships are made when a person agrees to represent a brand in exchange for any number of things. It could range from a simple discount (like my relationship with Vuori) to one-time free goods in exchange for a review (I started this way with Cozy Earth and loved it so much we've made it ongoing) to a monthly retainer paid by the brand for deliverables (reels, stories, etc.) - with many variations in between. For some partnerships, there are zero deliverables but simply a 'gentleman's agreement' that I'll speak to the brand when the mood strikes and receive a small commission when someone purchases using my code- those are my favorites because they are most natural and my everyday rhythm anyway, regardless of the partnership (PeScience, PureFin, Beam, G2G).

Obviously there are a lot of 'pros' to partnering with a brand, particularly if you love the product, which is how I believe most good content creators approach this opportunity to monetize.

But the downside is the easy-breezy pattern one can fall into, whereby simply going about your daily routine suddenly produces...income? It's still a wild concept for me. And it's great until it's not! For me, it was the addition of a contract that felt stifling. It became safety without spontaneity. Consistency without authenticity. A feeling of 'stuckness' without really knowing why. Becoming more self-aware and intentional with my time allowed these realizations to the surface.

So here I go...the beginning of my next phase where I pretty much leap without a net and put almost everything down that doesn't feel just right, to see what is meant for me next.

If you listened to our last episode of Decades of Strength recorded last week (The Final Word), you know this was the second thing that ended. And this one is much closer to my heart. I would love to hear your thoughts about the final episode in the comments if you've listened! I hope it can inspire you to consider something you could 'put down,' to create space for what you might not know you even need. Something better. It's incredible how the universe works like this.

Thank you to everyone who has been a loyal listener. The comments and heart-felt messages you've sent me about the ending of Decades means more than words can express.


Just another night racing in the door and needing a meal that comes together FAST.

I re-shared this one in stories after my friend Alyssa (who is the MOST adorable - follow her!) shared it last week. And it somehow blew up even more than when I first created it. The internet is funny that way I guess.

Anyway, because there was so much excitement, I wanted to create a pinnable post and recipe card for you to have. I hope you can give it a try soon and that you enjoy it as much as my family does!

It's basically just saucy, seasoned chicken and melty cheese layered on top of a (gluten free-optional) corn bread, but it comes together way too fast for how delicious it is! Let me know if you try it out!

Gluten Free Tamale Pie


⅔ cup GF oat flour

½ cup GF yellow corn meal

1 tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp avocado oil

½ cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk

1 egg

1 can diced green chilies

1 lb chicken (ground or shredded)

1 cup enchilada sauce (I like Frontera green)

1/2 cup light Mexican shredded cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400. Coat a 9x9 pan with nonstick spray.

  • Combine oat flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt, egg, green chilis, oil, milk. Pour into prepared pan and bake 10 minutes.

  • Brown and fully cook the meat if not using shredded chicken. Season with salt + pepper.

  • Remove from oven, poke holes in the semi-cooked tamale layer and pour about half the enchilada sauce over top. Combine remaining enchilada sauce with chicken. Add this mixture to the pan, and top with cheese.

  • Return to oven and cook for another 10-12 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

If you have a big family or love leftovers, double this in a 9x13 pan. All baking times and temps should remain the same.

4 servings: 275g each

Calories: 381 Carbs: 30

Fat: 13

Protein: 36 Fiber: 2 MFP Entry: Katie Crokus Gluten Free Tamale Pie


  • If you want to double, use a 9x13 pan. Cook times should remain the same.

  • Make sure you chose an enchilada sauce with a flavor you love because it shines. Frontera is my favorite brand. I also sometimes use their red sauce with ground beef!

  • If you love cheese, measure with your heart!

  • If you love corn, throw a drained can into the cornbread mixture prior to baking.

  • A vegetarian combo of black + pinto beans in place of the chicken would be outstanding.

  • If you don't care about being gluten free, you can use regular flour in place of oat flour.

  • I did not try with almond flour and I don't recommend coconut flour. Without the corn meal though, it’s really not tamale pie so I don't have a substitute for that. Just ensure your flours are gluten free if need be; I like Bob's Red Mill products best.

For a printable PDF of this recipe, click below.

Gluten Free Tamale Pie
Download PDF • 346KB


Roughing it the day after we returned from our trip. Two of my girls stayed home from school.

Lots of easy comfort meals to get them back in action and fueled in between homework.

Feeling better by Wednesday and it was a perfect day for flag football for Anna and fetch for Red.

Thursday morning I could barely move. Maybe it was the cats taking turns on my lap, but I didn't fight it. I finally got off the couch when a friend agreed to go for a walk with me.

I am officially obsessed with the pancake bars and it sounds like so many of you are too! I've pinned them to the top of my feed after so much incredible feedback. The serving size, the am-I-eating-cake-factor and the fantastic macros keep me satisfied for hours, and they are all I make now. In the photo above I used half oat flour and half quick oats out of necessity, and they're still fantastic. Could these be taking the place of the reigning #zpo?! Tell me what you think in the comments!! I'll drop a recipe card for them here:

Pumpkin Protein Pancake Bars
Download PDF • 1.89MB

Are you listening nonstop like I am? So far my favorite tracks are Lavender Haze, Maroon (especially), and Anti-Hero but I wonder if it is because I keep getting interrupted and don't get to the final tracks as often. Also, have you seen the conversation about the Anti-Hero video being fatphobic? While I feel like there is a huge issue in our culture with fatphobia, I'm not here for that conversation in this context. I personally love the illustration of her falling victim to the many untruths her shadow self tells her (just like most of us), and I wish cancel culture didn't make it seem like a crime. These are my own opinions and not meant to spread truth in any way! I also reserve the right to change my mind anytime.

Tess still did not feel well late into this week. Her runny nose and awful cough just wouldn't quit. But staying home and cuddling with Sweet Potato helped.

You guys I made THE BEST FILLING this week, totally on a whim needing to use up some fall squash. I'll use this as a sauce to top pasta, baked potatoes, zoodles, layer in a lasagna or as a filling for twice baked squashes or peppers. Simply prepare the recipe (download below), then use the filling as desired, storing any leftovers. You'll be amazed at how micro-packed, creamy, savory and light this is! Macros for 1 serving of 8: 255g | Calories: 190 | Carbs: 13 | Fat: 6 | Protein: 21 | Fiber: 5

The Best Filling
Download PDF • 1.43MB

These two never stray far from me and have even grown accustomed to sharing the space with each other.

I know I just wrote last week about how much I love Edy's slow churned ice cream, but I stumbled upon this and recently I am hooked! So many cookie dough and brownie chunks. Highly recommend.

The Best Filling in action post workout. Eating straight out of the spaghetti squash boat suits me.

Keeping it a little lighter for Friday Fun with smoothies (always kids' choice)....before trunk or treat. No pictures and I am sad because it was a really great event. I am always so impressed by how people transform their cars!

Previously in my cart and finally purchased this morning: advent calendars for the girls. We love them. This year I ordered this one pictured for Tess (on sale for 30% off now with code SAVINGS), this one from Olive & June for Anna and this lego version for Elle. The ones I love from Williams Sonoma always leave us with handfuls of pretty chocolates that no one wants by December 15th.

Our holiday light crew is here wrapping the front yard trees! Kenna is supervising. Don't worry we won't light them for at least a week ;)

Well, maybe just for a minute to get a glimpse. These trees make me so happy.

Post playoff game ice cream on Saturday. Volleyball tomorrow. A few quick breaths, then basketball kicks into high gear.

Then I got to take the most beautiful walk through Madison with a friend of over 25 years. Our friendship is vintage and I love that even after all this time we still have so much to talk about.

Me. In the car. On my way home from Costco. After 17,000 steps I really couldn't wait.


'The ancestor of every action is a thought.'

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let that sink in for a moment, because this is the very essence of your life.

'We become what we think about. We are what our thoughts are made of. Life itself doesn't depress us, but rather thinking something makes it so. We are the sum total of our thoughts. What we think about expands.'

Downloading these thoughts, loosely translated from a talk I listened to on audible this week really brought me to a moment where a lot of things clicked.

If you have less than two hours and the means to afford the download, I highly recommend taking a listen. It's mostly base-hit stuff (for me these days), but do you know the phrase: 'when the student is ready, the teacher will appear'? I feel like this was all stuff I know and preached...but wasn't ready to really process until just this week. And it became super profound for me. I've been walking around lighter and happier since listening.

Wishing you a glorious week ahead! Happy Halloween!!

Please let me know anything you'd like me to talk more about! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

Warmly, Katie G E T I N T O U C H Communicate & Connect @katiecrokus


There is no bigger show of gratitude to a creator than to comment and share their work. If someone forwarded this to you, but you'd like to subscribe, click here T H E F I N E P R I N T This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and words are my own. I only talk about products and companies I truly love! Thank you for your continued support! You can find all my affiliate codes here.

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4 opmerkingen

31 okt. 2022

I've been on the Kemp's Twisted Dough train for like 6 months now and I ain't getting off anytime soon!

LOVING THE PANCAKE BAR LIFE and can't wait to make the tamale pie!

Katie Crokus
Katie Crokus
01 nov. 2022
Reageren op

We are absolute food twins right now!!


30 okt. 2022

The pancake bars are life changing!!! So easy and so good. Congrats on breaking free of the things that don't inspire joy. That can be so hard sometimes. Glad to know you through the internet, you feel like a friend 😊

30 okt. 2022
Reageren op

Thank you so much! For all of this. And I cannot stop with those pancake bars. They are way too delicious to be as protein packed as they are!!

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