Thursday, November 14, 2019

Slow Cooker White Bean Soup

Winter time is always a great time for some cozy soups. I'm always using the slow cooker, anytime of the year. In the winter, though, it's mostly for soup. I was searching online for some vegetarian options for soups other than the regular vegetable soups and came across several yummy ideas. I mixed and matched some ingredients and added some of our favourite flavours and came up with this winning combination. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker White Bean Soup

3 shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped small
3 large cloves fresh garlic, chopped small
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried Marjoram
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions, garlic and herbs in olive oil, on a medium-low heat, until onions are translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add this to the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients:

4 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth (I used a 900ml box)
3 green onions, chopped
2 medium peeled potatoes, chopped small
1 large peeled carrot, chopped small
2 - 14oz cans cannellini or navy beans, drained and rinsed

Set slow cooker on High for 5 hrs or on Low for 7-8 hrs (potatoes and carrots take time to cook in the slow cooker). Stir a couple of times during the cooking.


Serves 4

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

I remember eating this growing up and always loving them. Mostly they came from a mix or a can added to ground beef. I decided to relive my childhood and check online for a good recipe to make it from scratch. I found several and decided to mix and match and add some of our favourite flavours to the recipe. Below you will find the final result. This would also make an awesome sauce over spaghetti! It's a win-win in our home. Enjoy! 

1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 - 7 oz can tomato sauce (213ml)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a frying pan on medium heat, brown onions, bell pepper, chopped garlic and ground beef until meat and vegetables are almost cooked. Add remaining ingredients and turn heat down to a simmer and cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until desired consistency. 

Serve over hamburger or hot dog buns. 

Serves 2-4 (depending on your hunger) 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Low-Fat Oat Bran Muffins

I'm always baking muffins. I'm making them for me and Dave or to give to new neighbours. There's always a reason to bake them. So, over the years, I've tried many recipes and some I still bake. Here is a new muffin recipe that hits the nail on the head with its lightness, sweetness and just the right moistness. I hope you enjoy them, too! 

Low-Fat Oat Bran Muffins

Makes 10-12 medium muffins

In a large bowl, add: 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups oat bran (you can also use natural bran)
1/2 cup white sugar (or brown sugar if you prefer the taste)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Sift together and set aside. 

In a medium bowl mix:

1 beaten egg
1 cup sour milk (add 1 Tbsp vinegar to cup before measuring milk)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture into it. Blend until just mixed. Not too much. 

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tins to almost full and bake for 15-17 minutes. Check for doneness by gently pressing on the top. If it bounces back up, the muffins are done. Cool on a cooling rack. 


Friday, August 26, 2016

Jeanne’s BBQ Spice Rub

We all find our favourite spice mixes and stick to them. I was hard at working trying to find the ideal recipe to make my own mix so we wouldn't be having to depend on store-bought mixes. Homemade is always better, anyway. This recipe is a compilation of 3 different recipes and some changes to make it to our own liking. We use this spice rub mix often to coat chicken for the BBQ or oven.  It's also great on mini potatoes, potato wedges and any roasting vegetables. Just toss veggies (I just use a plastic bag) with a tablespoon of olive oil then with 1 tablespoon of spice rub and roast in the oven (400F) for 35-45 minutes. Enjoy! 

Jeanne's BBQ Spice Rub

1/2 Cup brown sugar (8 Tablespoons)
1/2 Cup paprika (8 Tablespoons)
1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 Teaspoon celery salt

Mix well and place in sealed jar for use on EVERYTHING!

Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups spice rub. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slow Cooker Meat Ragu

Dave and I just love a good pasta meal, whether in a restaurant or at home. I've been making my own sauce for many years, changing it here and there. I was watching Valerie Bertinelli on TV making her Lasagna alla Besciamella and I proceeded to made it from start to finish. We loved it, but we loved the sauce the most. Over the several times that I've made the sauce since, I've added and subtracted ingredients to make it just the way we like it. It is so much better than store bought sauce.

Slow Cooker Meat Ragu


3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped small
3 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 pound Italian sweet basil bulk sausage (or links, casings removed)
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 heaping teaspoon dried basil
1 heaping teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3-4 dried bay leaves 
3-26oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 cup white wine (Yes. White. Not red. I like to use Sauvignon Blanc)


In a large frying pan, add olive oil and onions. Cook on medium until onions are translucent. Add chopped garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Do not burn the garlic. Remove from frying pan and place into a large (5 qt or more) slow cooker with heat set on low. 

In the same skillet, brown Italian sausage and ground beef on medium heat until no longer pink. Add oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes until the spices start to release their aroma. Place mixture into the slow cooker. 

Into the slow cooker, add the crushed tomatoes, Bay leaves and white wine. 

Cook on low for 7-8 hrs or on high for 5 hrs. 

Serve over your favourite pasta. Enjoy! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Everyone loves chocolate, right? Well, okay, maybe not everyone but you could always substitute the chocolate chips any other flavour of chips or for fresh or frozen berries or even raisins. They all go well in this basic muffin recipe. I used carob chips to make these. They are yummy and won't last long... Enjoy! 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes approximately 10 medium muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin tin with non-stick spray or muffin cups. 

In a large bowl, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Make a well in the middle of this and set aside. 

In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk, oil and egg. Pour this into the well of the flour mixture and blend, only until mixed. Do not over-mix. The batter will be lumpy. 

Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, until the muffin tops spring back when you press lightly on top. 

Remove from muffin pan and let cool completely. Enjoy! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Heavenly Potato Salad

Everyone loves summer and salad season, right? I thought so. This potato salad came through trail and error and now I think I've got it down pat. From the two-thumbs up I got from my husband Dave, I think I've finished practicing and I'll finally share it with you. I use chopped eggs in my potato salad but you don't have to use them. You may also want to increase the mayo to 1 and 1/4 cups. Enjoy!

Heavenly Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds potatoes (I use about 30 mini red-skinned potatoes)
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 green onion (green and white parts), sliced small
4 cold hard-boiled eggs (I only use two of the yolks), chopped small
1 cup mayonnaise (I use low-fat. Oh, and mayo only. I prefer the flavour)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (Dijon is good too)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh or dried parsley to garnish

Cook the potatoes, without peeling, until done and let cool for an hour or so, or overnight in the fridge. Chop mini potatoes into quarters or smaller pieces if you prefer, same with the larger potatoes. It's all in how you like to chop it.

Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise, white vinegar and prepared mustard in a small bowl until smooth. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place the chopped potatoes, celery, green onions eggs.

Pour the mayo mixture over top and toss lightly to completely cover the salad ingredients.

Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and parsley. Let cool in the fridge for several hours. I find it's best to make it in the morning if you're serving it for supper. Overnight is good, too! The flavours blend even more as it sits.