Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chocolate Chili

Chocolate in chili?  I have no idea why...but I tried it because the reviews of this recipe were all positive and a lot of them claimed it was the best chili they ever had.  I adapted this recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl.  This is amazingly, delicious and bean free chili...a must try recipe!  You can make this in a slow cooker or stove top.  -Kristin

2 Tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef or turkey or a combination of both
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 -  2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
28 oz. can crushed or petite diced tomatoes
16 oz. beef or chicken broth
1 cup water
3-5 potatoes, peeled and diced small (optional)
  • Heat oil and sauté onion until it is translucent.
  • Add garlic and sauté a minute.
  • Add meat and cook completely.  Drain grease.
  • Add remaining ingredients and either simmer covered on the stove top for 2 hours or put in the slow cooker and cook on low until potatoes are done. (6-8 hours)



Chocolate Date & Pistachio Bites

This is a recipe from a friend that I had to post.  They are quick to make and are such a yummy treat.  If you have ever had a Larabar they are similar to one of those.  -Kristin

1 cup pistachios
1 cup almonds or other nuts
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted


  • In a food processor pulse together the nuts, dates, coconut flakes and raisins.  
  • Then add the cocoa powder and oil.
  • If it is too dry add more coconut oil.
  • Press into 9x9 pan and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This is a recipe I adapted from a blog called Multiply Delicious.  I love when I find good slow cooker recipes! -Kristin


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1.5 pounds)
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped vegetables, combo of carrots, zucchini and or bell peppers
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes (or sweet potato)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil

  • Put all in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked.

Salmon Patties

These are delicious.  I got my salmon at Cosco and for the almond meal I put almonds in my coffee grinder and ground them up...easy, peasy!  I served them with sliced tomatoes, chopped dill pickles, avocados and mayo for the toppings.  The salmon patties are fragile just so you know!  -Kristin

18 oz. canned salmon
1 sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1/3 cup almond meal 
1 Tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 Tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg

  • Mix all the ingredients together and measure out about a 1/2 cup of mixture and press into a patty.
  • Heat olive or coconut oil in a pan and fry.

Monday, July 28, 2014

BLT Tortellini Salad

This is a delicious and quick pasta salad we all really enjoy! -Kristin

1 19 ounce bag frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup torn, fresh spinach
1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
3 or more strips of bacon cooked and chopped
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Ranch seasoning
2 cloves garlic

  • Cook pasta according to package and let cool.
  • Mix in the tomatoes and bacon with the pasta.
  • Make dressing by whisking together the yogurt, buttermilk, ranch seasoning and garlic.
  • Mix dressing into pasta mixture.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

This is a classic recipe for the Vanilla Wafer banana pudding.  We like it with the meringue topping.  The picture is this recipe doubled.  -Kristin

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
3 cups milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter
8 ounce Vanilla Wafers divided
4 very ripe bananas, sliced

Meringue Topping:

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 cup sugar


  • In a saucepan whisk together the sugar, flour and salt.
  • Whisk in the milk
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
  • Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs.
  • Whisk in a small amount of hot mixture into the eggs and then return all to pan whisking constantly.
  • Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.
  • Let it cool at least 15 minutes.
  • In an ungreased 8 inch square baking dish, layer half of the wafers, half of banana slices and half of the pudding.  Repeat layers.
  • To make Meringue topping:  Beat the egg whites with the cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Then add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Put meringue on top of pudding.
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
  • Serve warm or cooled.


Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta

This is a recipe I adapted from Budget Bytes.   It is spicy so if you don't like that much spice consider doing one can of diced tomatoes with green chillies and one diced tomatoes.   My family loves this meal.

8 oz. smoked sausage
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/ green chillies
4 cups chicken broth
16 oz. egg noodles (or other pasta)
6 cups fresh spinach
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
2 green onions, (opt.)


  • Thinly slice the sausage and add to large skillet with the olive oil.
  • Saute until nicely browned. (about 5-7 minutes)  Drain off excess fat.
  • Add onion to skillet and saute till softened.
  • Add the tomatoes and chicken broth.  Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of skillet.
  • At this point transfer to large pot (unless your skillet is really large) and add the uncooked pasta and make sure it is all submerged under the liquid.  Place a lid on and allow the mixture to come to a boil.  Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer until pasta is tender.  Stir once and awhile to make sure pasta is not sticking to the bottom of pan.
  • When pasta is at desired tenderness add the spinach one cup at a time and stir until wilted.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and stir in if desired.  
  • Top with green onions and serve.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

This is a recipe from the The Pioneer Woman's Blog.  These are a great snack or dessert! -Kristin

1 3/4 sticks of butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10-12 oz. jar strawberry preserves
  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan.
  • Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Cut the butter into the mixture until it is crumbly.
  • Sprinkle half of the mixture into the 9x13 pan and press down.
  • Spread the strawberry preserves over the top.
  • Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over and pat lightly down.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. 
  • Let cool and then enjoy!

Oven Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken recipe is from my mom.  We loved it!  The chicken turns out perfect browned a bit first in the oil and baked in the sauce till done.  Serve over cooked rice. Easy and so delicious!  -Kristin

4 large chicken breast, cut up in bite size pieces
salt and pepper
1 cup of cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on the cut up chicken.
  • Mix the chicken pieces with the cornstarch.
  • Pour over the beaten eggs and mix well.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Once the oil is hot, pour the chicken in carefully and brown on both side.
  • Place the chicken in a greased lasagna pan.
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
2 cups sugar
8 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic salt

  • Make the sauce ingredients by mixing them all together.
  • Pour over the chicken.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until chicken is done at 325.
  • Serve over cooked rice.

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Easy pull apart pizza bread!  This is a must try and sure to please recipe!   One recipe of this serves 4.  I doubled it for serving 8 people and made one in a bundt pan and the other in an angel food cake pan, both worked great! -Kristin

2 cans of refrigerated biscuits
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
8 ounce package of pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Optional:  Serve with pizza sauce

  • Grease well a bundt pan and preheat oven to 350.
  • Tear the biscuits into fourths and mix with all ingredients together.
  • Place in bundt pan and bake 26-30 minutes till done.

Oven French Toast

My family likes when I make French toast for breakfast but I don't like the mess and how fussy it can be.  This is a great recipe to use up leftover bread and buns.  It is fine served without syrup because of the streusel topping, although some of my kids wanted syrup on top.  -Kristin

1 loaf day old bread (or whatever you have on hand)
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half (or more milk if you don't have)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Grease a 9x13 pan and preheat oven to 350.
  • Tear bread into pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, half and half, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Add the torn bread to the egg mixture and mix well.
  • Pour into prepared 9x13 pan.
  • Mix together the flour, brown sugar, butter and salt.
  • Crumble over the top of bread.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.