April 30, 2017

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

The other day someone asked the question, "What's your favorite type of soup to make?" And I had trouble coming up with a good answer. Because my favorite type to make myself is... whatever soup! As in, I throw in whatever sounds good and see how it turns out! I do have a few I like making over and over again {Pumpkin Black Bean chili, anyone?} but most of the time I start with a basic idea, and see what I have in the pantry/fridge/freezer that I can use up. Saves on the grocery bill, and usually comes out pretty tasty too! This particular recipe started out with an idea I saw in a cookbook. Yes, I do occasionally use cookbooks - more for inspiration than actual recipes. But I saw one for [...Read More]

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Confession: I'm not a big fan of chocolate. I do love a good square of Godiva dark chocolate, and I have a hard time passing up any sort of death-by-chocolate cake. But that's about it. In fact, I wouldn't even touch hot chocolate until my junior year of college. And then I tried my mom-in-law's recipe for homemade hot chocolate mix, and I was hooked. It's still the only recipe I like...     Hot Chocolate Mix -- makes 3-4 cups of dry mix {1 cup} chocolate Nesquik {7/8 cup} powdered sugar {1/4 cup + 2 tsps} powdered creamer {2 + 2/3 cup} powdered milk Sift all ingredients together, and store in an airtight container. Use about 1/3 cup mix per 8 oz hot water. Stir and [...Read More]

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

The following was originally posted on October 26, 2011. If you've never enjoyed spaghetti squash, now is the perfect time of year to try it. As the name implies, the cooked flesh looks like spaghetti (or angel hair pasta), and is often used as a substitute for pasta. It has a mild flavor and a pleasant crunchiness that is very satisfying. And it is loaded with potassium, vitamin C, a few B vitamins, and a whole lot of other nutrients that make it oh-so-good for you. As my husband said tonight, it's hard to believe this food is actually a vegetable!     Spaghetti squash can be prepared many different ways. It can be microwaved, boiled, roasted, sauteed, even put in a [...Read More]

Turkey & Bacon Chili

In case you missed it: I was privileged to guest post over at Time-Warp Wife yesterday, about 8 Ways to Redeem Social Media. I would love to hear your thoughts on what I shared! ◊◊◊ Around this time of year, I start getting excited about the cooler weather, because I love experimenting with crockpot soups and chili! Last year I shared my own Pumpkin Black Bean Chili, which got a lot of great reviews. And here's one I put together last night...   Turkey & Bacon Chili {1 lb} ground turkey {1/2 cup} water {1 Tbsp} olive oil {1 cup} tomato sauce {1 cup} vegetable juice [use low sodium, if possible] {1 cup} chunky salsa [as mild or hot as you want!] {2 cups} kidney beans [if [...Read More]

Apple Breakfast Bread

It's just about September, and that means apple season! In my mind, nothing compares to biting into a fresh crispy apple, picked straight off the tree, juices running down your chin and making your hands all sticky. How about you? Have you ever been apple-picking? I do love fresh apples, but I also love baking with them. Apple crisp, apple pie, apple turnovers, apple dumplings... and today, apple breakfast bread! We usually keep breakfast bread on hand, so we can just grab a piece (or three!) on the run. And this one has the perfect taste for the start of fall! Apple Breakfast Bread {3 medium} yellow/green apples* {splash} lemon juice {1/2 cup} butter, melted {1 cup} white [...Read More]

The Whole Enchilada!

A few weeks ago I was craving enchiladas and, believe it or not, I realized I'd never made any! So I looked around at a few recipes, and then (as usual) did my own thing. I debated adding cream soup - are authentic enchiladas actually creamy? - but in the end, I'm glad I did, as we enjoyed the extra texture and flavor. Although next time I may experiment with Greek yogurt for something a little more nutritious. And even better - they were just as good the second day! I also think they'd be great to make ahead and freeze, for a quick easy dinner later on.   Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas {2 Tbsp} olive oil {12-16 oz} chicken breasts {1 clove} garlic, minced {1 tsp} chili powder {1 [...Read More]

Sweet Summer Smoothies

A few months ago, I really got into the whole smoothie craze. Yes, even the green ones. And as usual, I've made up my own tasty recipes. And I'm sure you could too! Just start with 100% fruit juice (or fruit-flavored tea), add 1-2 types of whole fruit, and either a banana or yogurt (plain, flavored, or greek) for thickness and creaminess. I also add soy protein powder, to make it more of a "light meal" than just a snack. A few notes about smoothie preparation: 1. Whatever method you're using (traditional blender, smoothie maker, or immersion blender), always add the liquid first. If using tea, let it cool slightly before adding. 2. Always use 100% juice, for the most nutritious [...Read More]

Breaded Chicken Caprese

I go crazy for anything with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. I think Caprese salad is like a match made in heaven. And when you've got ripe home-grown tomatoes and fresh home-grown basil already on hand - how can you not plan a meal around them? {I admit, fresh mozzarella would make this even better, but that wasn't quite in the budget for this week.} And so I bring you Breaded Chicken Caprese. Very easy to throw together, and absolutely delicious. Breaded Chicken Caprese {1 pound} chicken {1/2 cup} bread crumbs {1/3 cup} cornmeal {1/3 cup} wheat germ {1 tsp each} dried basil, onion powder {dash} ground black pepper, salt {1 large} egg, lightly beaten {1/3 cup} [...Read More]

20 Minute Penne: a one-dish meal

My husband got a phone call one late afternoon, asking if he could cover someone's evening shift at EMS. And I didn't have supper started. I was planning to put together a baked ziti dish, but all of sudden I didn't have time for that. So I threw this together instead. It uses a few more "convenience" foods than I usually prefer... but it really did only take me 20 minutes from start to finish! However, if you have some extra time, or want to make things up beforehand, you could easily swap out some of the ingredients {like the meatballs} for fresher choices.  ← plus →  makes ↓ 20-Minute Penne {1-2 Tbsp} olive oil {28-30} frozen meatballs {2 medium} white onions, chopped {1 [...Read More]

Smothered Mushroom (fill-in-the-blank)

Here's an easy crockpot recipe that works with just about any type of meat! I've done it with pork chops, beef tips, venison, meatballs, pork tenderloin... It's super easy, and loaded with flavor! Smothered Mushroom (fill-in-the-blank) {1 lb} thawed meat-of-your-choice {1 can} cream of mushroom soup {1-2 cups} sliced mushrooms {1 large} white onion, chopped {1/2 cup} beef broth {dash} worcestershire sauce {1 clove} garlic, minced {1 tsp} onion powder, thyme {1/2 tsp} nutmeg {dash} black pepper Instructions: Saute onion beforehand, if desired. Combine everything in crockpot. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours (longer, for thicker cuts of meat). Serve over egg [...Read More]