• Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup



    This soup is to die for!  It’s delicious served with smoke gouda grilled cheese (our favorite combination)!  All four of us love this soup, and it’s great in the winter AND the summer, which is great because we have so much fresh basil in the summer.


    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 package of petite carrots, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 (28 oz.) cans whole Roma tomatoes
    • 1 (32 o.z) carton vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 TBSP granulated sugar (may need to use more–all depends on how sweet your tomatoes are)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 16 oz. refrigerated three cheese tortellini
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
    • Grated pecorino Romano cheese for serving


    1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat; add the olive oil, and then add the carrots and onion and saute until soft; then add the garlic and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the tomatoes until smooth and add to your crockpot.  When the carrots, onion, and garlic are soft add them to the blender and puree until smooth–you can add some of the tomato puree to help the blender along; then add to your crockpot.  Add the vegetable broth through salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  You’ll likely need to adjust the sugar, salt, and pepper after it finishes cooking.
    3. Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.  Remove lid and add tortellini and cook for 15 minutes or until tortellini are heated through.  Then stir in the cream or half and half, taste and adjust seasoning.
    4. Ladle soup in individual bowls and top with basil and and grated pecorino Romano cheese.

    Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Torellini Soup:

  • Chicken Posole


    This Posole is so easy to make and so good.  Ellie, the pickiest of pickiest eaters ate this dish and she proclaimed it delicious and 5 star worthy!  Wow!!  She did ask “what is that mushy vegetable?”  I told her corn because she “tried” hominy a few days ago and said she didn’t like it, but she liked the “corn” in the Posole.  So in our house we had chicken and corn soup. ;)

    Prepared once again in October, 2018 and this soup was loved by all!

    Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, April 2014


    • 10 canned tomatillos or 1.5 lb fresh dark green tomatillos (about 14 +/-)
    • 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 chicken breast halves, cut up in bite size pieces
    • 6-7 c. chicken broth
    • 2 cans hominy, drained
    • Limes, quartered
    • Serve with roasted poblanos and cilantro, optional


    1. If using fresh tomatillos, boil them until they turn color (dark green to army green) and soften; combine tomatillos through black pepper in food processor, and process until almost smooth.
    2. Heat a soup pot oven over medium high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook for 4 minutes; then add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
    3. Add the chicken and saute until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
    4. Add the tomatillo mixture, broth, and hominy and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
    5. Serve with limes.

    Chicken Posole:


  • Crockpot Steak and Black Bean Chili


    Oh how we love this chili, and by we I mean all 4 of us!  Even the pickiest, who generally won’t eat chili, ate this up (granted she just ate the big chunks of steak, but at least she ate it rather than turning her nose up)!

    This is a true Crockpot chili, and I love that this dish actually cooks all day.  Start it in the morning and 8-10 hours later, dinner is ready!  Definitely can’t beat that for a busy weeknight delicious and hearty dinner.

    Serve with Grandma Clark’s cornbread.


    • 2 lbs. boneless beef cubes, for stew
    • 2 heaping tsp. chili powder
    • 1 heaping tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 heaping tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 large green pepper, chopped
    • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans
    • 2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans chili-style chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • sour cream
    • shredded cheddar cheese


    1. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.
    2. Place beef in slow cooker and turn it on low.
    3. Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder and cumin over the meat.
    4. Add onion and green pepper.
    5. Drain and rinse the cans of beans and add them to the slow cooker.
    6. Add tomatoes and sugar.
    7. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
    8. Uncover and sir in the tomato paste.
    9. Season with salt and pepper
    10. Garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese

    Crockpot Steak and Black Bean Chili:


  • Tex-Mex Chowder


    This chowder is quite tasty.  It’s vegetarian, which is nice.  Most chowder recipes have bacon or ham hock in it for flavor, so it was nice to find a recipe without those ingredients.  This chowder had lots of flavor too.

    This recipe comes from The New Vegetarian Grill cookbook.


    • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 2 c. water or more to cover potatoes
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • 6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
    • 1 red pepper, halved
    • 1 green pepper, halved
    • 2 green chiles (2 poblanos or 1 poblano and 1 jalapeno or 1 poblano and 1 anaheim)
    • 2 c. whole milk
    • 1 TBSP cilantro, chopped
    • salt and pepper to test


    1. Prepare grill
    2. Combine potatoes and water in a medium size saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside; do not drain.
    3. Combine garlic, cumin, and oil in a small bowl. Brush the mixture on the corn, bell peppers, and chiles.
    4. Grill the corn, bell peppers, and chiles, turning occasionally, until tender and grill marked about 10 minutes.
    5. Scrape the corn from the cobs and add to the pot with potatoes.  Remove the outer skins from all peppers and dice, then add to potatoes.  Stir in the milk and cilantro.  Simmer over medium heat until the flavors have blended, at least 15 minutes; do not allow the soup to boil.
    6. Use an immersion blender and puree.  Season with salt and add more cilantro if desired.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes.

    Tex-Mex Chowder:


  • Crock Pot Turkey Chili


    This chili is so delicious.  It can be made completely on the stove or once assembled it can be simmered away in the crock pot.  I used my crock pot, and this chili is awesome.  It is thick and hearty and delicious.  I used ground turkey, but you could certainly use ground chicken or beef.


    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP   vegetable oil
    • 4  garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1  lb.  ground turkey
    • 2  TBSP chili powder (I used 1 TBSP chili powder and 1 TBSP ancho chili powder
    • 2  tsp. ground cumin
    • 3  TBSP  tomato paste
    • 5-6 dark chocolate Hershey kisses
    • 3  (14-oz.) cans of chili ready tomatoes diced tomatoes (2 cans fire roasted tomatoes and 1 can of Mexican stewed tomatoes)
    • 1  (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 c. water
    • Top with shredded cheese


    1. Sauté chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
    2. Add turkey, chili powder and cumin, cooking for 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink.  Then add the tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add chocolate, tomatoes, beans and water, stir to combine.
    3. Stove top recipe: Bring mixture to a boil and cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese.
    4. Crock pot recipe: add everything to your crock pot.  Cook on high for 2 hours (more time won’t hurt it) or on low for 4 hours (more time won’t hurt it). Top with shredded cheese.

    Crock Pot Turkey Chili:


  • Easy Chicken and Dumplings


    This is a tasty, hearty, and super easy version of the slow cooked classic: chicken and dumplings.  Be sure to use low sodium broth, and if you don’t I would suggest using half broth half water, otherwise it will be too salty (trust me–there is plenty of salt in the rotisserie chicken, cream of chicken soup, and dumplings).

    This dish makes for a great weeknight meal, as it only took about 30 minutes to prepare, and that’s from start to finish!

    Recipe is adapted from the January 2010 issue of Southern Living.


    • 4 c. LOW SODIUM chicken broth
    • 3 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken)
    • 1 10.75 oz. can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
    • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
    • 1 10.2 oz. can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
    • 1 c. carrots, diced
    • 1 c. celery, diced
    • pepper, to taste


    1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and return to a low boil.
    2. Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat each biscuit to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.
    3. Drop strips, 1 at a time, into boiling broth mixture.  Add carrots and celery. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.
    4. Season with pepper.

    Easy Chicken and Dumplings:


  • Cincinnati Turkey Chili


    It’s getting cold outside and that means it’s time for soups and chilis…my favorite time of year!  And it’s no secret that I live chili, and I really do love Cincinnati chili.  I’ve made two other versions: Cincinnati Chili and Cincinnati Chili Take 2.

    This version was quite tasty and we had enough for a few meals.  It may not get the 5 stars that Cincinnati Chili Take 2 got, but it certainly is excellent.  In all fairness it may get 5 stars next time I make it, because this time I ran out of chili powder and had to sub paprika, and even with the paprika it was really good!

    The interesting spin in this chili is the addition of semi sweet chocolate…it got my youngest to eat the meat!

    This recipe is adapted from the September 2009 issue of Cooking Light.


    • 8 oz  uncooked spaghetti
    • olive oil
    • 16 oz  lean ground turkey
    • 3 c. chopped onion, divided
    • 2 c.  chopped green bell pepper
    • 2 TBSP garlic, minced
    • 2 TBSP chili powder
    • 4 TBSP  tomato paste
    • 2 tsp.  ground cumin
    • 2 tsp.  dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp.  ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp.  ground allspice
    • 1 c. chicken broth
    • 2  (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 5 TBSP  chopped semisweet chocolate
    • 1/2 tsp.  salt
    • 1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese


    1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add 2 c. onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and next 5 ingredients (through allspice); cook 1 minute. Add broth, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and salt.
    2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions.
    3. Serve chili over spaghetti; top with remaining onion and cheese.

    Cincinnati Turkey Chili:


  • Cincinnati Chili Take 2


    I came across this recipe in Easy Everyday Cooking.  Since I love Cincinnati chili, and I’ve had hard time making one that I really like–this recipe is so much better than my last attempt.  Our oldest loved it, and our youngest ate cheese, a few bites of meat, and some fruit.  Since one child loved it, I say success!  Even though our youngest didn’t eat much, I don’t too much stock in that since she really isn’t into eating dinner these days anyway.

    We really enjoyed this dinner, and we will definitely be having this one again.

    Here’s my adapted version.


    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 lb. ground turkey
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 TBSP chili powder
    • 2 tsp. paprika
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
    • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (I omitted)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 14 1/2 oz can stewed tomatoes
    • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
    • 1/2 c. water
    • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
    • 1 TBSP molasses
    • Hot spaghetti
    • Toppings: kidney beans, grated cheddar cheese, chopped onion


    1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat; then add the onion, garlic and ground turkey and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until meat is cooked through.  Drain fat, if necessary.
      Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ground red pepper, and bay leaf.  Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
    2. Stir in undrained stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, red wine vinegar, and molasses.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and simmer to desired consistency.  Discard bay leaf.
    3. While chili is simmering uncovered, cook spaghetti.
    4. In a medium saucepan heat undrained kidney beans; drain.
    5. Serve Cincinnati Chili:
    • Two Way: Chili over spaghetti
    • Three way: Add cheese tot he two way
    • Four way: Add onions to the three way
    • Five Way: Add kidney beans to the four way

    Cincinnati Chili:


  • Cook Off Chili


    This chili is solid.  I found the recipe and the always tasty fashionably foodie.  You can cook on the stove-top or in the crock.  It was also really good the next day on a taco salad with creamy jalapeno dressing.



    • 4 cans kidney beans, undrained (I used 2 cans)
      or 1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender, with cooking liquid
    • 1 lb. ground beef (I used turkey)
    • 1/2 large onion, chopped
    • 1 green bell pepper or jalapeno, chopped
    • 2 TBSP chili powder
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • 2 quarts tomatoes with juice (or two big 28 oz cans)
    • 1 big (15 oz) can tomato sauce
    • 3/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1 tsp. basil
    • 1/8 tsp. allspice (the secret ingredient!)
    • 1 bay leaf (I used more because mine weren’t that fresh)
    • Grated cheese


    1. In a large stockpot, cook ground beef/turkey, onion, and green pepper and/or jalapeno till meat is brown. Drain fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, salt, sugar, pepper, allspice and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover, simmer at least 45 minutes, until reduced and thickened, or cook in Crock Pot on LOW for 3-5 hours (for the crock pot, omit juice from one jar of tomatoes.) taste before serving, add a sprinkle of salt or sugar as needed.
    2. Top with cheese.

    Cook Off Chili:


  • Another Chicken and Dumplings


    This chicken and dumpling recipe is really tasty.  I found a recipe at the Dish on Delish that sounded good, but then adapted it to our tastes, and the end result was really yummy.


    • 3 TBSP butter
    • 1 medium onion, large dice
    • 4 medium carrots, large dice
    • 2 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
    • 1 c. (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour, divided
    • 8-9 c. chicken broth
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, for seasoning, if desired
    • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
    • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 c. plus 2 TBSP milk
    • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, cooked


    1. In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, thyme, and poultry seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 c. flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken in pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, dill, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup milk to form a moist and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon. (Add additional 2 TBSP milk if too thick.) Set aside.
    3. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm, 20 minutes.  Stir cooked peas into pot. Serve.

    Chicken and Dumplings: