Sunday, December 3, 2017

Creamy Corn Chowder

Reid's favorite soup - from


  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 1 (1 lb.) bag frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or can of evaporated milk)

How to Make It

Step 1
In a 4-quart soup pot, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring, until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp. fat.
Step 2
Add onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add potatoes, corn, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Step 3
Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until thickened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Step 4
Slowly pour in broth, stirring constantly until smooth. Add bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender, 25 minutes.
Step 5
Remove bay leaf and stir in half-and-half. Cook until warmed through.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Lake Powell's Best Breakfast Casserole


A super simple veggie loaded breakfast casserole that’s easily customizable! I loaded mine with shredded potato hash browns, tons of fresh veggies, and a big dash of hot sauce! You can add crumbled sausage, shredded chicken, or anything else you please!

  • Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 20 ounces shredded potatoes, thawed
  • 10 eggs
  • ⅓ cup half and half or milk (see notes)
  • ¼ cup hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (see notes)


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté them for 4 minutes or until they start to brown. Add a small pinch of salt along withe onions and garlic and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add the second tablespoon of oil, if needed, and sauté the peppers for 1 minute. Add in the baby spinach and allow it to wilt, remove from heat, set aside.
  2. Generously spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the shredded potatoes in the bottom of the dish and press to make sure they are spread out evenly. Add the veggies (both the mushrooms and the pepper mixtures) over the potatoes, set aside.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF if you are baking the casserole immediately.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, hot sauce, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the prepared veggies. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and another small pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Bake the casserole, uncovered, until the cheese melts, and the top gets in and golden, 45-50 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


  1. TO MAKE AHEAD – prepare the casserole as directed, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or as required (not to exceed 24 hours) and allow it to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
  2. OTHER ADD INS – I kept this recipe vegetarian, but you can certainly add in browned sausage, ground turkey/beef, shredded chicken or ham. The cheeses I recommend for this casserole are cheddar (mild or sharp), mozzarella, and pepper jack, or swiss).

Julia's Favorite Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Recipe from Lauren's Latest


The perfect sugar cookie for Fall! Sweet, spicy and soft!
Yield: 3-4 dozen
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree {canned pumpkin}
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • for the glaze-
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside. In a large bowl, stir butter, oil, pumpkin, sugars, vanilla and eggs together until incorporated and smooth. Slowly mix in all dry ingredients until completely incorporated. Scoop onto prepared baking sheet using 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and flatten to 1/2 inch thick using the bottom of a glass. If the dough is sticking to the glass, press the bottom of the glass in granulated sugar before flattening. Bake 8-9 minutes.
  2. While cookies bake, stir all ingredients together for glaze until smooth.
  3. Once cookies are finished baking, cool 3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons glaze over each warm cookie. Let glaze harden 2-3 hours before serving. OR eat them warm with lots of runny glaze 🙂

Jamie Feller's Famous Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs coca
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven 350. Grease and flour 11x15 or 12x17 pan.
Mix dry ingredients except baking soda.
Bring butter, water, cocoa to a boil and add to dry ingredients.
Stir in eggs, sour cream and baking soda.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Do not over bake!


2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter
2 Tbs cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
chopped walnuts

Boil sugar, butter, cocoa, milk. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Pour over warm cake.

Recipe might be the same as this one:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Made it tonight - very good
from Pressure Cooker Recipes
  • USDA Choice Grade chuck roast/ Canada AAA Grade blade roast - 2 inches (5 cm) thick (can use 1 pound to 3 pounds)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) unsalted homemade chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light soy sauce (not low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 pinch of dried rosemary
  • 1 pinch of thyme
  • bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine or balsamic vinegar to deglaze
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 - 4 potatoes, quartered
  • 1 ½ tablespoon (12 g) cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  1. Prepare the Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button and click the adjust button to go to Sauté More function). Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be when you place the chuck roast into the pot (Instant Pot: wait until the indicator says HOT). This will promote Maillard reaction and prevent excessive moisture loss.
  2. Prepare the Chuck Roast: Pat dry with a paper towel. When the pressure cooker is hot, season the chuck roast with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
  3. Brown the Chuck Roast: Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil into the pot. Ensure to coat the oil over the whole bottom of the pot. Add the seasoned chuck roast into the pot, then let it brown for exactly 10 minutes on each side (don’t need to keep flipping). Remove and set aside.
  4. Sauté the Onion and Garlic: Reduce the heat to medium (Instant pot: press cancel button, then press sauté button). Add in the sliced onions and stir. Add a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper to season if you like. Cook the onions for roughly 1 minute until soften. Then, add garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrance. Add in the mushroom and season with another pinch of kosher salt if you like. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Deglaze: Pour in a dash of red wine or balsamic vinegar and deglaze the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  6. Deglaze and Taste: Add 1 cup (250 ml) of chicken stock, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of fish sauce, 1 pinch of dried rosemary, 1 pinch of thyme, and 2 bay leaves into the pressure cooker. Taste the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Pressure Cook the Chuck Roast: Place the chuck roast back with all its meat juice into the pot. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for: Electric Pressure Cooker: 45 minutes Stovetop Pressure Cooker: 36 minutesTurn off the heat. Do not touch and let it fully Natural Release for 25 minutes. Open the lid carefully.
  8. Pressure Cook the Vegetables: Remove the chuck roast and set aside. Cover the chuck roast with aluminum foil and let it rest while pressure cooking the vegetables. Submerge the quartered potatoes into the sauce and stack the chopped carrots on top of the potatoes. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes (Electric or Stovetop). Cover the vent with a towel and do a Quick Release. Open the lid carefully.
  9. Make the Gravy: Taste the sauce one final time and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Mix 1 ½ tablespoon (12 g) of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons (30 ml)of water and mix it into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.
  10. Serve: Slice the meat against the grain. High five your family. Serve with the gravy, potatoes & carrots. Immediately enjoy this umami filled dish you have just created!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sausage Lentil Soup for Instant Pot

from My Life Cookbook

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 large piece of celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 5 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth or stock
  • ½ lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup lentils, green or brown
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup spinach
  1. Press saute button on the Instant Pot and get nice and hot.
  2. Add the oil and then the onion, carrots and celery and saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage and brown for about 5 minutes (I cooked the sausage in a separate pan).
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir.
  5. Put on the lid and push the lever to the back to pressure cook.
  6. Press the manual button for 10 minutes.
  7. When time is up, quick release or let the pressure come down naturally.
  8. Serve

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Barbara's Chili

I can't believe I haven't included this recipe. It's such great chili. And now I have instant pot directions too.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 11.5 oz V8 or tomato juice or just use broth or water
1 1/2-2 Tbs Chili Powder
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp cumin
oil for sauteeing

I like to add more vegetables. Last time I added a large package of cubed butternut squash. It was sooooo good. Carrots, squash, pumpkin, green beans are all good additions.

Saute ground been in oil until almost brown, add onion and saute a few minutes, then add spices and saute for another minute or two.

Add beans, tomatoes and juice or broth. Add water as desired.

Simmer for an hour or so until vegetables are tender. Or put in crock pot.

Or use instant pot:

Use saute function, then pressure cook 12 minutes with all ingredients. Allow it to vent naturally and it's great to leave it on 'keep warm' for a few hours - but I'm sure it's good immediately too.

I like it topped with grated pepper jack cheese and crumbled tortilla chips. It's also good with sour cream or cottage cheese.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

French multi-grain flour

A friend gave me two packages of Bio Village Preparation pour Pain Multi-Cereales.

I've used it to make pizza crust and muffins and LOVE the results.

Of course I can't find it here so I'm thinking about making the flour blend myself. I wanted to get the ingredients from the label down here:

whole wheat flour
cracked wheat
rye flour
malted barley flour

Sunday, September 10, 2017


My dad used to make gazpacho.

We had fresh tomato juice leftover from draining the tomatoes for chili sauce yesterday. I couldn't bring my self to throw it out - put some in soup and then decided to try it in gazpacho. So good and fresh!

I (loosely) used this recipe from Food Network

I chopped the garlic and added a bit of hot pepper from our garden, used the fresh tomato juice and added no oil.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Instant Pot Senate Bean Soup

Just made this. It reminds me of Campbell's bean with bacon soup - an elevated version.

From the Dads Cook Dinner blog


  • 1 pound dried navy beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks (or a hambone and some leftover ham) (I didn't have a ham hock so I used chopped ham. I think the smoked hock would taste better, but it worked)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Minced parsley for garnish
  • (I added chopped carrots and 2 tsp of chicken soup base)


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the navy beans, removing broken beans, stones, or dirt clods. Rinse the beans and set aside.
  2. Saute the aromatics: Heat the butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until it stops foaming. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute until the onions are softened and browning around the edges, about 8 minutes.
  3. Pressure cook the beans: Stir the rinsed navy beans into the pressure cooker. Set the ham hocks on top of the beans, and then pour the 8 cups of water over everything. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric PC, or 26 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  4. Shred the ham hock, season, and serve: Remove the ham hock from the pot with a slotted spoon or tongs, and set aside to cool. When the ham is cool enough to handle, shred it, then stir the ham back into the pot. Stir in the fresh ground black pepper. Now, taste the soup, and add salt until the soup tastes sweet and full of body, and you can just feel the taste of salt on the tip of your tongue. (I needed 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to get the taste I wanted.) Serve with a sprinkle of minced parsley on each bowl.


  • Want to speed up the recipe? Soak the beans overnight. Replace step 1 with: the night before cooking, sort the navy beans, removing broken beans, stones, or dirt clods. Rinse the beans and put them in a large container with the salt. Cover with 2 quarts water. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, then continue with step 2.
  • Look for meaty ham hocks, if you can – the ones in the video I shot were from the end of the hock, and didn’t have much meat on them. Larger hocks are usually meatier, so if you have an option, get big hocks instead of small ones.
  • Please, do not forget to season to taste at the end! Soup tastes bland and flat without added salt. Don’t worry if it seems like a lot of salt – you’re still adding a lot less salt than you’d get in canned beans.

Spaghetti Marco Polo

I'm not exactly recommending this recipe. I think I found it watching Mr Roger's Neighborhood with the kids when they were tiny.  I made it for them sometimes and we liked it. It's a bit of an odd recipe, but one with family memories.

I actually found a link to the recipe online.

  • 1lb spaghetti
  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • 1(6 ounce) can tuna packed in oil, flaked, undrained
  • 2tablespoons pimiento, diced or 2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2tablespoons green onions with tops, sliced
  • 2tablespoons black olives, sliced
  • 2tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  •  1⁄3 cup swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain pasta and return to pot, stirring in butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve, garnished with parsley or cilantro.