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.

Bacon, Onion & Beer Braised Short Ribs

Bacon, Onion and Beer Braised Short Ribs

The cooler temperatures have arrived and with it the yearning for hot and comforting meals in the crock pot.  This recipe fits that bill with  fall-off-the-bone beef ribs combined with the savory flavors of bacon, onion and dark amber beer.  This is a great recipe to make a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.  It makes skimming any surface fats super easy.

4 lbs bone in beef short ribs, VERY well trimmed of fat

1 tsp salt, plus additional for seasoning

1/2 tsp ground pepper, plus additional for seasoning

1 1/2 – 2 T vegetable oil

6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 large onion, halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices

2 T tomato paste

2 T all-purpose flour

2 T spicy brown mustard

1 bottle (12 ounces) of dark amber beer or Irish stout

1 bay leaf

1 cup beef broth, low sodium

2 T finely chopped parsley leaves


Hot mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles (optional)


  1. Trim all excess fat from beef and then season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, cook short ribs in skillet, turning and browning on all sides.  Transfer each batch to crockpot.  Wipe out pan with paper towels and return to heat.
  2. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Remove and discard all but 1 T of bacon drippings from pan.  Reduce heat to medium and add onion.  Cook until softened and translucent, stirring occasionally.  Add tomato paste, flour, mustard, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly with whisk, 1 minute.  Slowly add beer and broth, continue to whisk for 2 minutes.  Pour over short ribs.  Add bacon, bay leaf and beef broth.  Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.  Meat should be tender and fall of the bone.
  3. Remove beef and skim fat from cooking liquid.  Remove bay leaf and stir in parsley.  Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Hash Brown Potato Quiche

Breakfast for supper? Definitely!  Especially when it involves Quiche.  Or Pancakes.  Or Quiche AND Pancakes.  Here is a super-duper, easy-peasy recipe for Hash Brown Potato Quiche.  Enjoy!

3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup cooked bacon or ham, chopped

1 cup (4 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 T butter

1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped (I love to use the orange and yellow peppers.  Delicious and beautiful.)

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1 sweet banana pepper, finely chopped

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pat the potatoes over the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9 inch pie plate.  Drizzle the butter over the potatoes, and pat them securely into place.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until potatoes begin to crisp and turn golden brown.

While potatoes are baking in oven, melt 1 T. butter in a small pan.  Saute peppers and onions until they just begin to soften.  Remove from heat.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Layer the bacon/ham, cheese, bell peppers, onion, banana pepper over the baked potato crust.  Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl until blended and pour evenly over the prepared layers.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Pumpkin Pie Bread

This fall pumpkin bread is wonderful!  I have edited it from its original recipe by changing the oil ratio to include healthy no sugar applesauce as well as substituted the sugar for Splenda, due to a diabetic in the family.  I hope you enjoy both the wonderful aroma these loaves spread throughout your home as well as the homey flavors they bring to the table.

3 1/2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. Splenda Blend (1/2 the sugar content)

1/2 c. applesauce, no sugar

1/2 c. vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 can pumpkin

1/2 c. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Set aside.

In large bowl, beat splenda, applesauce, oil, eggs and pumpkin.  Stir in flour mixture, alternately with water.

Divide batter evenly between loaf pans.

Bake 60-70 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on racks.

To store loaves, wrap bread in plastic wrap.


Crock Pot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Please humor me as I pull out just one more pumpkin recipe from the my cooking archives.  I have never had such an appetite for pumpkin as I have this fall season!  I must admit, when I first came across this recipe a year or so ago I was not initially impressed at the idea of pumpkin in a chili.  However, my curiosity got the better of me and I broke down and ‘tailored’ this recipe to what I think came out to be a winner.  Try it and let me know what you think and if you have any ingredient subs or deletes.  I would love to know what your ideas are.

1 T Olive Oil

1 c onion, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1.25 lb. ground turkey

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1 can navy beans

1 can pumpkin (not the sweetened pie pumpkin)

1/4 c water

1 1/2 T chili powder

1 tsp sugar

1 dash salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour Cream


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute’ the onion, bell peppers and garlic until tender.

Stir in the turkey and cook until evenly browned.

Drain any extra juices off and add mixture to crock pot.

Mix in tomatoes, beans, pumpkin and water.

Season with chili powder, sugar, salt and pepper.

Cover and set on low.  Cook for 4 to 5 hours.

Serve topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Sweetened corn bread is especially good on the side.

Serves 4 to 6.