Happy-New-YearIs it just me, or did 2014 pass by extremely fast?

One thing I am very thankful for starting this new year is a healthier, 40-pound lighter body!  If you’ve read my blog very long, you likely remember that I have severe thyroid issues (Hashimoto’s Disease to be exact) and that does not make losing weight an easy task!  Last fall, after my endocronologist suggested that I begin a diet similar to that of a diabetic, I was introduced to the Trim Healthy Mama plan. It’s a meal plan that separates carbs and fats during a single meal (but not eliminating either!), thus allowing for weight loss, instead of weight gain. Read more about it here and then consider purchasing the book here.

To ring in the New Year, I am preparing my favorite Blackeyed Pea Soup recipe. This is an E (stands for Energizing meal) for those following THM.

Spicy Slow Cooker Blackeyed Pea Soup
~ serves 8 ~

  • 16 oz dried blackeyed peas
  • 32 oz reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 14 oz Turkey (or Chicken) Smoked Sausage – sliced
  • 14.5 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup celery – chopped
  • 1 cup onion – chopped
  • ½ cup carrots – chopped
  • ½ cup green bell pepper – chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cajun spices – or to taste

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours until peas are tender. Top with hot sauce of choice and/or jalapeños, bananas peppers, etc.

I like to serve this with Gwen’s Easy Bread Recipe.


$1.00 off (1) COOL WHIP and (2) JELL-O Pudding

Have you printed this coupon for $1 Off (1) Cool Whip and (2) Jell-O Pudding? If not, here’s a sale and recipe idea for you …


KGR Cool WhipCool Whip or Jell-O Gelatin or Pudding $1
– $1 Off (1) Cool-Whip and (2) Jell-O Pudding Printable Coupon
= 67¢ ea

*If you price match, Elrods has Cool Whip for 88¢ this week!

Recipe Idea:

OreoQOreo Dirt Pudding Trifle / Cake / Cups

8-oz Cool Whip
(2) 3-oz Instant Pudding (vanilla or chocolate)
8-oz Cream Cheese
2½ cups milk

1. Place Oreos in large plastic baggie and crush with rolling pin (or hammer!), or pulse in food processor.  Set aside.
2. Whisk cream cheese until smooth. Add milk, whisking until smooth again.  Add pudding and Cool Whip and stir until well combined.
3. Layer Oreos and pudding mixture.
4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

* Bury gummy worms in the pudding for a fun treat for kids!
** This can be make in a trifle bowl, as pictured, or in a foil cake pan, for easy transport, or in individual cups for a birthday party treat!

photo credit


This past week I purchased some chicken drumsticks that I had price matched for only 49¢ lb. So, Monday evening I baked them and all three of my “boys” loved them.  In fact, all twelve drumsticks were gone faster than I could snap my fingers.

These drumsticks are a tiny bit sweet with a tangy kick.  My favorite thing is that they are so moist and juicy – even the ones that I removed the skin on!

Baked Honey Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12-14 chicken drumsticks

1. Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, and minced garlic in a large, resealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar.

2. Remove skin from drumsticks, if desired. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 450°

4. Place the marinated chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven, turn drumsticks over and baste with marinade (see step below), return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until skin is caramelized.

5. Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Use for basting (in final step above) and before serving.


On one of my recent shopping trips I purchased a discounted pork sirloin roast, so early this morning I went in search of a recipe to use, and when I found this one in an old magazine that mentioned using a crockpot and also honey, I knew this is what I wanted to try. 

Each one in my family really enjoyed this meal, even though my husband is not a huge pork roast / pork chop fan.  His idea of pork is bacon and sausage (but who can fault him for that?)

Slow Cooker Honey Parmesan Pork Loin
serves 6-8

  • 3 lb. boneless pork loin/roast
  • ½ – ¾ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water  – divided

  1. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place pork roast in slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup water, cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork roast. 
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
  5. Remove meat to a serving platter; cover to keep warm.
  6. Transfer juice to a small saucepan; bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and remaining water, mixing until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Slice roast; serve with gravy

I served this dish with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.


Banana Pudding Supreme

October 13, 2012

Everyone in this family, except my husband, is a true fan of banana pudding.  He likes the pudding part, just not the bananas. 🙂  My oldest son begged for me to make him one, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Banana Pudding Supreme
• 14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 2 cups Milk
• 1 pkg. French Vanilla Instant Pudding
• 8 oz Cool Whip
• Vanilla Wafers
• 4-5 Bananas
1. In a large bowl, whisk first 4 ingredients together until smooth.
2. Layer vanilla wafers and bananas in a 3-qt dish
3. Top with pudding mixture; crush a few vanilla wafers on top for decoration
4. Refrigerate for several hours before enjoying


So many of you emailed and/or sent Facebook messages yesterday requesting this recipe that I resurrected the leftovers to get a photo so I could post the recipe.  The picture would have been prettier if I would have taken it last night, though.

If you are looking for a quick, one dish or a two or three step enchilada recipe, you’ll have to look somewhere else.  This recipe was far more time consuming than other enchilada recipes I’ve used.  However, the numerous steps and extra time make this recipe far superior to others I’ve done.  And having to wash just about every pan, utensil and appliance in your kitchen is forgotten when you take your first bite! 😉

Before making this recipe, I’ve always used canned cream soups and canned chilies, but this recipe uses neither.  In fact, this recipe also added to my cooking skills, as I bought and roasted tomatillos for the very first time!

Plus, I just ate one of the leftover enchiladas (my son begged for the other one!), and they were just as delicious as last night … if not better.  The flavors have gotten even more pronounced.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
makes 12-15 enchiladas


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and black pepper – to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion

Sour Cream Sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 Serrano Chile Peppers – diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cup cilantro – finely chopped
  • 8-10 small fresh tomatillos – roasted


  • 12-15 corn tortillas
  • canola oil
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese

How to:

   1. Preheat oven to 350°.

   2. Season chicken breasts on each side with salt and black pepper. In a large cast-iron set on medium heat, add olive oil and sear chicken breasts on each side for three minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool. Shred by using two forks.

   3. Sauté chopped onions in a small amount of olive oil.  Set aside.

   4. While the chicken is baking, melt butter for sour cream sauce in a medium size pan. Add diced Serrano chile peppers and cook until soft. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour and cook and stir for one more minute. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and whisk constantly until chicken broth has thickened. Stir in sour cream, cumin and cilantro. Remove from heat and pour into blender.

   5. Husk tomatillos, wash and slice in half (not top to bottom, but side to side). Place on a foil-lined sheet and spray with cooking spray. Broil on high until blackened, about four minutes per side. Remove from oven and place in blender with the sour cream sauce.  Purée until smooth. 

   6. Heat canola oil in a skillet and warm corn tortillas until soft. Wrap in a cloth or paper towel to keep warm until all tortillas are warmed.

   7. Place one cup of sour cream sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Place approximately ¼ cup shredded chicken, 1 tsp. sautéed onions and 1 Tbsp. shredded cheese down the middle of each corn tortilla.  Roll and place seam side down in prepared 9×13 pan.

   8. Top enchiladas with remaining sour cream sauce and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

I served these with Mini Corn Tostadas and refried beans.

adapted recipe


Bite-Size Corn Tostadas

September 10, 2012

Earlier today I mentioned that I am helping a friend with her wedding this coming Saturday, and this is one of the appetizers that I will be making.  Ever since the bride gave me the recipe, I have intended to make a trial run, and I found myself with less than a week to get them done.  Procrastination over: I made a batch today … and they are so delicious I now wonder why I waited so long to try them!  Since my family liked them so much, I wanted to share them with you.

Be sure to watch your tortillas carefully, as you can see I depended on the timer, and these turned a little too brown.

Bite-Size Corn Tostadas
                                    makes 3 dozen

  • 3 flour tortillas (10 inches)
  • ¾ cup fat-free sour cream
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

 1. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 12 circles from each tortilla. Coat both sides of circles with cooking spray. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 4-5 minutes or until crisp. Cool.
 2. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, 1 teaspoon cilantro, onions and garlic powder; cover and refrigerate.
 3. In another bowl, combine the corn, tomato, jalapeno, orange juice, oil, salt and remaining cilantro; cover and refrigerate.
 4. Just before serving, spread 1 teaspoon sour cream mixture over each tostada. Using a slotted spoon, top each with a teaspoonful of corn salsa.


Oven Baked Chicken & Cheese Chimichangas

September 6, 2012

As you can obviously see, I did not have the best of lighting when taking this picture, but nonetheless, I hope your family enjoys these as much as my family does!  These are super easy to assemble and baking them reduces the calories by a lot. If you’ve been a reader for very long, you’ve […]

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Broccoli & Grape Salad

July 20, 2012

A lady in our church shared this delicious summer salad with me a few years ago, and since I made a half batch of it today, I thought I’d share it with you.  I will admit to you that I am not a fan of fresh broccoli, but when tossed in this sweet dressing … it is […]

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Crockpot Spicy Ranch Potatoes

July 9, 2012

A few days ago a friend sent me this recipe and being the type that loves spicy foods, crockpot recipes, and trying new foods, I knew this recipe was one I’d definitely have to try.  We found out tonight that it’s a “keeper” recipe.  You can tell from the noticable grease spots in the photo that […]

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