Tag Archives: salt and pepper

Split-Pea Soup

Here’s another one that may be better the next day! I tend to cook in a hurry, so four hours in the slow-cooker on High may not be ideal for this recipe. Cooking something else to accompany this is recommended, and it’s actually what I did…luckily (pork chops) or just plan better!

After chopping, everything in the pot.

I stirred it every few hours to check on its progress. Not needed.

This is after eight hours on Low. It doesn’t look like much, in my opinion, but it was very flavorful and filling.

It’s also very chunky since I don’t have a food-processor or blender, and I can’t use my Bullet to smooth it out, so this was it!

This was the leftovers! The peas are more broken down into a paste and a less watery base. It was impressively easy in the end.

Split-Pea Soup

8 oz chopped deli ham

2 cubes beef bouillon

Lb dried split peas, rinsed

One celery stalk, chopped

Half of one large carrot, chopped

One shallot, chopped

One bay leaf

One teaspoon salt

1/4 t crushed peppercorns

1/4 t dried thyme

8 c water



Creole Chicken Gumbo

Better as leftovers? Possibly. Portioning out servings of rice with the leftover Gumbo for lunch the following day, one for my man, plus one to give away, and one for myself, I noticed the rice absorbed quite a bit of the liquid the next day even though I dropped spoonfuls of rice in the storage containers as opposed to mixing it in.


Creole Seasoning

T dried onions 

T dried melange peppercorns, milled with dried onions to make powder

T garlic powder

T dried oregano

T dried basil

T dried thyme

½ T cayenne

2 ½ T paprika 

1 ½ T salt


Chopped carrots, celery, and shallots. Honestly, I’d rather eat not-so-fresh veggies than something from a box.

Brown the roast chicken and chicken Andouille sausage on medium-high with olive oil.

In the same pan after chopping the chicken breasts and adding all of the browned meat to the Crock-Pot, brown the flour and equal part olive oil, stirring constantly.

The darker, the better from what I understand; as long as you don’t let it burn.

It will make the kitchen smell amazing! Or if you just start getting nervous that it’s going to burn, add the veggies. Cook for about four minutes. Then, add the remaining ingredients to the pot.

Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8-10 hours.

This was the result after four hours on High.

This was the leftovers! Both were delicious, but there was no soupiness to the leftovers. I feel like a true Gumbo is more like a stew after the rice has time to soak up the soup…but what do I know?

Chicken Gumbo

Lb chopped roasted chicken

Lb chicken Andouille sausage, sliced on a bias

One stalk celery, chopped

One medium carrot, chopped

One shallot, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

8 c water

8 t Better Than Bouillon – Chicken

One large bay leaf

2 t Creole seasoning (see recipe towards beginning of post)

½ t dried thyme

½ c flour

½ c olive oil

Slow Cooker Pot Pie

2 large chicken breasts, roasted and chopped

4 cups water

4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken

12 oz bag frozen peas and carrots

½-1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

One large shallot, chopped

Lb bacon cooked, extra crispy and crumbled

One cup of heavy cream

2 T flour, for thickening (can substitute or leave out)

Salt and pepper


Biscuits: (optional)

1 ½ cups Bisquick

½-1 cup milk, start with ½ c and add a little at a time until all flour is moistened

Don’t let the photos make you dizzy! They do look sideways because they are; that was the best angle for optimum lighting. I had food on my hand and used my iPhone camera. This recipe went quick!

Starting with frozen chicken breast I had cooking in the Crock-Pot on High for two hours, I used tongs to remove and chop them on a cutting board and transfer them to my second Crock-Pot. Side note: I absolutely love having two! The frozen chicken releases a bunch of goo. If I remember correctly, it’s protein which makes a mess in the pot. Instead of removing the chicken and having to clean the pot before continuing, I just use the second pot when I’m in a hurry.

Add the chopped shallots, sliced mushrooms, bag of frozen veggies, water, and Better Than Bouillon, and then salt and pepper everything. Cook on High for two hours.

I waited to add the bacon with the cream and flour to keep it as crispy as possible. Stir the flour into the carton of cream to save from dirtying another dish and add it 30 minutes before serving as well as dollops of the biscuit mix.

Bacon and cream stirred in.


Result after two hours. I added a tab of butter to my bowl of goodness. So yummy!

I noticed the result was better after I turned off the heat and let the leftovers cool for storage. This is common when making recipes with gravy (flour). The leftovers, I suspected, would be ever more delicious!

Notice the biscuits cooked this way are not crispy, but more like dumplings or pancakes without the browning on the outside. That’s the give for this method. The Crock-Pot steams the dough rather than baking it, and I actually added foil under the lid of the pot during the last 30 minutes to make sure the dough cooked through. You would have to use the conventional oven for crispy biscuits which I love, but they take more time, dishes, and effort. Also, using the oven warms up the kitchen which I like to avoid.

Garlic Butter Ravioli

Bend asparagus spears as close to the bottom as possible breaking off the stiffest part of the stalk and discard (or add to compost pile). Chop shallot, mince garlic.

Melt two tablespoons of butter with two tablespoons of olive oil.

Brown both side of the chicken (pre-cooked in the slow cooker on High for four hours) in butter after adding three cloves minced garlic and one chopped shallots and cooking until clear.

I actually steamed the asparagus while the pasta was cooking. Drain pasta when floats. Plate ingredients and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Add extra olive oil and melted butter to the pasta if preferred. Easy.

French Dip Sandwich

I had high expectations for this recipe having tried the French Dip sandwich from the Shady Lady in Sacramento. They have a mushroom au jus (hope I’m not giving away secrets!) and the sandwich itself has a touch of wasabi which is perfectly complementary to the au jus, not to mention the meat is tender, juicy, and divine!

So I admit, you really have to start with a great piece of meat which I unfortunately did not. I like to “use what I have” and this was the closest cut of meat available. Slow-cooking it is essential, but here, it wasn’t enough. The meat was still tough and chewy even though the flavor was good.

If I had a deli slicer, I would have shaved this meat before letting it sit in the pot.

The marbling is okay, but it needed more time in the heat.

It looked like it had potential, and I’m sure it did…just not enough for my patience or time.


Ground Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Mixing favorite veggies in an attempt to make a one-pot dinner resulting in our new favorite lasagna; although, I have to wonder if the new marinara sauce is to blame.

Ground Turkey and Veggie Lasagna


8 0z Lasagna (half a box) noodles

One eggplant, 3/4 skin removed (potato peeler works nicely) and cubed

8 oz sliced mushrooms

Handful (about 4 oz) of spinach, roughly chopped

One jar (40 oz) of Victoria White Linen Marinara Sauce

One shallot, chopped

4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

8 oz cottage cheese

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Leftover chopped tomatoes (about 7 oz canned)

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Cooking spray

Layer in Crock-Pot on High for 3 ½ hours. 

I began with browning the ground turkey in olive oil on medium-high heat with salt and pepper 1/4-½ teaspoon of each. After draining the excess fat, add chopped shallots to the pan, stir in. Add eggplant, salt and pepper (1/4-½ teaspoon). Sauté until the eggplant is translucent. 

Coat inside of Crock-Pot with cooking spray. Add ingredients from pan to pot.



Oops, forgot to sauté the mushrooms! Into the pan they go with a little olive oil and salt and pepper until translucent!


I almost forgot garlic, too! Right on top of the cooked mix worked out perfectly. (photo below)


Minced garlic, then chopped tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and marinara sauce. Generally when you do lasagna, you layer it three times, but I was running out of time. I needed to get the cooking time going on the Crock-Pot for this meal to be ready for dinner. I did two layers with the mushrooms and tomatoes only in the bottom layer and spinach only in the top layer.

The first layer is always sauce, so since I had half of the meat and veggies already in the pot, I added the tomatoes and half of the sauce over it. Then all of the mushrooms, a layer of pasta, 4 oz cottage cheese, 2 c mozzarella, ½ c Parmesan. Repeat meat mixture, sauce, add spinach, continue with remaining cheese. Cover and cook.

 The result? It was that melt-in-your-mouth goodness that you get from fresh, savory ingredients. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but it was like comfort food…and fusion…delicious!




Mahi Mahi with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Spinach

In an effort to change things up a little, I made mahi instead of chicken; instead of rice, I made quinoa. I thought I’d try to cheat with quinoa, and cook it on the rice cooker. It worked! So easy, so delicious!

Three frozen fillets into the pot with salt and pepper (half a teaspoon or so of each). Fresh mushrooms on top.

Add some olive oil and red pepper flakes (about a teaspoon per fillet).

I waited until the last hour to add the spinach. It wilts quickly and will continue to wilt from the steam and heat if you don’t plate it once the dish is done.

Oh yes! Perfectly cooked mahi every time! Do you see how the fish flakes (I used a fork to break a piece in half)?

Beautiful, too!

Quinoa in the rice cooker? It came out perfectly! It may not have much flavor unless you use some kind of stock. I always have Better Than Bouillon in my fridge, so in it went. Two parts liquid per part quinoa. For rice, I always make three cups dry to four cups water (I’ve been doing that since I was 10 years old, so…).

I was surprised with how flavorful this meal was with so little seasoning.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Too easy! The chicken was already perfectly cooked in the Crock-Pot but with only salt and pepper as seasoning, and I wanted to add a sauce or additional seasoning so that we weren’t just having “roast chicken” again. I put it in the fry pan with some olive oil to brown both side, but as I was browsing recipes for chicken, I found this quick and minimal recipe. All I had to do was add thyme and Parmesan cheese!

I made a mess with how quickly this was done. I could have used a lower heat and waited a little longer before flipping the chicken; then I wouldn’t have the little pieces tear away and stick to the pan, but the resulting flavor was delicious! The thyme infused olive oil and chicken, and the Parmesan cheese gave it a little crust and a little salty taste, but just the right amount. Yum!

Steam some green beans in a bag quickly in the microwave (about three minutes) with some salt and pepper. You could add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to tie it all together, as they say in cooking, et voila!