Smoothie Heaven


In a rush and want to make a quick, easy and delicious lunch?  This healthy and satisfying smoothie is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals with the opti0n of adding kale and whey for nutritional powerhouse add-ons.  And because kale is such a mild tasting green, it doesn’t affect the smoothie flavor with any bitterness.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Add all the following to your blender:

1 cup of vanilla yogurt.  ( I use a greek yogurt which adds a wonderful richness)

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

A healthy dash of cinnamon

1 Tablespoon of honey

1 banana

1 scoop of whey powder (optional)

2 handfuls of Kale

1/2 cup of low sugar orange juice

1/4 cup of skim milk

2 cups of frozen fruit

3-4 ice cubes.

Blend well.

You may find that you like your smoothie either thinner or thicker in consistency.  Adjust your milk accordingly.


Slow Cookin’ Chicken Stew with Dumplin’s

Combining any food with dumplin’s is always a win-win for me.  It is the ultimate comfort food…sorta like mom’s homemade mashed ‘taters.

That’s how we say it in the South.  ‘Taters.  And ‘Maters. We have our own lingo down here.  If it looks like a full word, cut it in half and you’ll do just fine.  Sounds ‘naners, right?

Anywho, I ramble.  Here’s the recipe for Chicken Stew with some lip-smacking dumplin’s.  Sure to end the rumbly in your tumbly.

Chicken Stew with Dumplins'

Get in my belly!!

Ingredient List:

2 cups sliced carrots

1 cup chopped onion

2 cans chicken broth, divided

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces

1 large red potato, unpeeled and cut into 1″ pieces

1/2 cup corn

1/2 cup green beans

6 oz. mushrooms, halved

3/4 cup frozen peas

3/4 tsp dried basil

3/4 tsp dried rosemary

1/8 tsp tarragon

1/3 cup heavy cream

3/4 to 1 tsp salt

1/4 black pepper

2 cups biscuit baking mix (I use Bisquick)

2/3 cup milk

Combine carrots, onion, celery and all but 1 cup chicken broth in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours.

Stir in remaining 1 cup chicken broth into flour in small bowl until smooth.  Stir into vegetable mixture.  Add chicken, potato, corn, green beans, mushrooms, peas, basil, rosemary and tarragon.  Cover; cook on LOW for 4 hours or until vegetables and chicken are tender.  Stir in cream, salt and pepper.

Combine baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms.  Add dumplin’ mixture to top of stew by the (large) spoonful.  Cook, uncovered, 30 minutes.  Cover; cook 30 to 45 minutes or until dumplings are firm and set.  A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean.

Spoon up in a bowl and try not to cry tears of joy.  Yum.

Slow Cooker Canadian Bacon Double Corn Chowder

This thick and rich chowdah features corn and hominy flavors married with Canadian bacon and onion… and a bit of zesty sweet banana pepper.  Perfect comfort food for a cold, blustery day.  It is versatile in that cooking atop the stove or simmering all day in a slow cooker can be utilized.  Either way, it is a delicious family go-to.  I paired it with a crusty french bread.  Give it a try.  Let me know what you think.



2 small celery stalks, trimmed and chopped

1 large potato, diced

6 oz. Canadian bacon, chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 small sweet banana pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup canned hominy

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

1 T all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk plus 2 T milk, divided


1.  Combine celery, potatoes, onion, banana pepper, corn, hominy, salt, thyme and black pepper in slow cooker.  Pour in broth.  Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

2.  Stir together flour and 2 T milk in a small bowl.  Stir into corn mixture.  Add remaining milk.  Cover, cook on LOW 20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Peas, Prosciutto and Cream


1 whole roasting chicken (around 2 1/2 lbs.), cut up

salt and black pepper

5-6 oz. prosciutto, diced

1 small onion, finely diced

1/2 cup chicken broth

3 T. dry white wine

1 T. parsley

1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas

1 T. butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 T cornstarch

2 T Water

4 cups farfalle pasta, cooked


1.  Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Combine chicken, prosciutto, onion, broth and wine in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

2.  During last 30 minutes of cooking, add parsley, frozen peas, butter and heavy cream to cooking liquid.

3.  Remove chicken when done and no pink remains.  Carve meat and set aside on a warm platter.

4.  Combine cornstarch and water.  Add to cooking liquid in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.

5.  To serve, spoon pasta onto individual plates.  Place chicken on pasta and top each portion with sauce.


Autumn Pear Crumble

I came across a beautiful bag of pears at my farmer’s market the other day for $1.00.  That’s right, $1.00.  It was the perfect opportunity to grab a great deal and go investigate some warm and comforting dessert recipes utilizing this scrumptious fruit.  After several deletes and additions to an old recipe I had, I came up with this cinnamon spiced pear dessert with a hint of orange flavoring throughout.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top finishes it off beautifully.  Enjoy!

6-7 medium size pears, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/3 granulated sugar

1 T cornstarch

1  tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup orange juice

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 tsp salt

3 T chilled butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup oats

1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sliced pears and lemon juice in a 2 quart baking dish.  Toss gently to coat.

Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add to pears and toss well.

Pour orange juice in corner of 2 quart dish so that it spreads underneath pears onto the bottom of dish.

Combine flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in food processor, pulse until combined.

Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add oats and walnuts, pulse 2-3 more times.

Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over pears.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until pears are tender and topping is golden brown.  Cool for 10 minutes and serve warm with ice cream.


Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

I LOVE sloppy joes and wanted to make my own homemade version that could simmer away all day in a slow cooker.  So this is what I came up with…with the help of many differing versions found in cookbooks and online recipe sites.  It is super easy to pull together and smells wonderful while leisurely cooking away in the Crock pot.


3 lbs. 95% lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/4 cups ketchup

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup plus 1 T Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 T. prepared mustard

2 T. vinegar

2 tsp. chili powder

Toasted Hamburger Buns

Brown Beef, Onions, Garlic in large skillet. Drain well. Transfer to Crockpot.

Add Ketchup in a bowl.

Add Peppers…spilling some all over your counter.

Add Worch…Werce…WORCESTERSHIRE sauce.

Then goes in the mustard.

Then vinegar, which you can barely see.

Add packed brown sugar…which is so packed it will not come out of the measuring cup. Thanks brown sugar…way to embarrass me.

Ah, there it goes. Redeemed.

Kick in some kickin’ chili pepper.

And then this is what it all looks like together. Now stir, stir, stir.

Pour Sauce over Beef mixture in Crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours and enjoy the amazing smells emanating from your kitchen.

Making the Cut Continued – Day Three

We received a bunch of rain (thank you Lord) yesterday so that slowed down the logging process however, we are tickled pink with all the work still being done.  It was sunny and in the mid 50’s today with some wind but beautifully perfect for cutting.  The various sounds of the chainsaws, heavy equipment running and tractor trailers going to and fro filled the air and I watched my land get transformed instantly.    Out with the old and in with the new.  It really is amazing to watch.

But I’m simple that way.

Here’s some more pics.  Clearly, there will be some more doxie photo bombing involved.

But you knew that, didn’t you?

I dare you to count the rings.

This is some of the beauty from the day.

Ah…I knew they were there somewhere…

Making the Cut

Due to the infestation of pine beetles, it was time to do some major eradication of some trees on the property.  These little monsters infest quickly so we felt it best to cut them off at the path before they spread to the rest of our timber.  We decided just to have several sections clear cut so that way we can plant grass and raise several beef for self-sufficiency.  Watching the cutting process is really interesting believe it or not and I captured it with my little camera by each day’s progress.  Thus far, we are at the end of day two.  There will be several photos where a couple critters decided to ‘photo bomb’ the entire proceedings with excitement.  You’ll have to excuse them.

Equipment Check. Check!

Warning!! He does not have a license to operate this.

First Tract to be cut

This is ‘Bad Tree’. Upon request, the first to go. ‘Bad Tree’ loved to play ‘slip/slap’ upon the face and body while bushhogging in the general vincity. Take that Bad Tree.

Track Two to be cut

This tree won’t be cut. I just loved the color of the leaves and wanted to show you some beauty. I think I see Heaven.

And….there it is. Photo Bomb Joy. Hello Joy-Joy.

Riley practicing his ‘Walk The Plank” routine.

Day Two Tract One Cut

Day Two Tract One Back Side Cutting


More Progress.

Happy Excitement Personified…aptly named ‘Joy’.

Day Two Cuttings

That’s the end of day two progress.  Lots done today with about 3 1/2 – 4 loads ready to head to the mill.  Will post more later and update our progress.

Home…it’s the place to be.

Our Haven




Home is the place your heart resides
Home is the place that you decide
Home is the womb that holds the soul
Home is the place where one is whole

Home is the glow you hold in your eye
Home is the emotion that makes you cry
Home is safe and a place of peace
Home is where all strivings cease

Home is protective against the others
Home is full of sisters and brothers
Home is where you find your rest
Home is where you feel your best

Home is a memory that follows your being
Home is a dream for those agreeing
Home is the place where reserves fall
Home is the place you yearn to call

Home is where the family meets
Home is a place of restful retreats
Home is the place you know you’ll be heard
Home is the pace where nothing blurs

Home is all these wonderful things
Home is the place you develop wings
Home is the place that you’ll find one day
Home is the place where your heart will stay

Aisha Patterson

Taming the List

It literally takes forever to get through the grocery store with a crazy, disorganized list.  In addition, I always bring coupons with me when I shop so I’m generally juggling the purse, grocery lists, coupon books, pen and cell phone.  Basically, it is a bit of a hodge-podge mess.  And don’t even get me started on BOGO (buy one get one free) days.  So after searching online and doing some massive tailoring, I came up with this grocery list that is organized by food group, aisle, etc.  Feel free to edit and tailor to your needs…it’s in a word document.

grocery-list-personalized blog