Some of the recipes I have been waiting to try are from Southern Living’s Off the Beaten Path series. This recipe is from Maxine’s on Main in Bastrop, Texas. I made very few changes as time went on. While this was good, I still prefer MY old recipe that I’ve been using for years and I’ve shared at the bottom. But, one of my ALL time favorites is my Laverne DeFazio Pot Roast!

These slow cooker recipes are perfect for while I’m “LEARNING” to eat again. These allow me to cook a few times a week with plenty of C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) in between.

2 tablespoons Avocado oil
3 pound boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 celery ribs, washed and large chopped
2 carrots, washed and large chopped
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, large diced
3 cups STRONG brewed coffee
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Wondra flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Whisk together 1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1 1/2 seasoned salt.
  • Rub seasoning mixture over entire roast.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown roast on all sides and edges.
  • Place roast and potatoes in slow cooker.
  • Saute’ celery, carrots and onions in hot drippings from browning the roast.
  • Add coffee, Worcestershire sauce and Kitchen Bouquet cooking for 3-5 minutes, loosening any particles stuck to the bottom of the skillet.
  • Pour over the roast and potatoes.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until roast and potatoes are fork tender.
  • Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter.
  • Shred roast with forks, cover and keep warm.
  • Melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in flour until golden.
  • Add to drippings in crock pot, stirring to blend well and cooking until desired consistency.
  • Serve with Mashed potatoes, vegetables and roast.
I love Pot Roast. I adapted grams old recipe to my family and their likes.
3+ pound Pot Roast
2 medium Onions
1 bag baby carrots
3 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
3 large Yukon potatoes~scrubbed clean, but not peeled
Kosher Salt
White & Black Pepper
2-3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Pampered Chef Rosemary mix
Beef bullion
Red Wine (2 cups) OR White Wine (2 cups) or plain old broth (2 cups) or combination of the three.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°. The meat you use is important. My favorite roast is the chuck roast because it has wonderful marbling throughout the meat, and when cooked right (prep, cover, cook ~ don’t fiddle with it while it’s in the oven) any chuck roast winds up being tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Be aware that the tougher the piece of meat is, the longer it needs to cook so that the connective tissue will soften and break down. You truly can’t rush a pot roast, you’ll be disappointed if you try as it will be dry or lack flavor. BE PATIENT. You want the meat to basically fall apart. You SHOULD NOT need a knife to cut it.
  • Bring the piece of meat to room temperature.
  • GENEROUSLY sprinkle the first side of meat with the Kosher Salt and Pepper mix.
  • Heat enough avocado oil in the bottom of a fry pan on medium-high heat to make a thick coating.
  • Cut the onions tip to root, cut off root and stem, peel and lay flat into hot oil. Brown both sides well.
  • Remove to side.
  • Add the baby carrots and do the same. I normally cut each carrot just in half. Brown carrots (you’re aiming more for color here than cooking them). They will have plenty of time to cook in the oven.
  • Add garlic and spices at this point. By this time I have put them all into a mortar and pestle to revive their scents and aromas.
  • When carrots are finished, remove them to the same plate as the onions. If necessary add more olive oil to the pan and add the roast seasoned side down. While it’s browning season the other side really well. Brown both sides and all edges really well.

Now, for the oven I like to use my grandma’s old Magnalite dutch oven which cooks really even! And see those little hobnail bumps in on the bottom side of the lid? Those are better known as drip catchers. They collect the steam from the juices and redistributes it all right back down on the roast as it cooks. These help keep the meat moist and juicy.

  • After the roast is browned, place it in the dutch oven and spread vegetables all around it.
  • While fry pan is still hot, add white or red wine and the beef bullion to deglaze the pan ~ make sure you scrape up all the stuck little bits from the bottom. Cook long enough to mix well and then pour over the roast. The liquid should come up at least half way on the sides of the roast and vegetable mixture. For this recipe we added the white wine to the recipe and drank the red. The red wine, Harrod wine, is from our nephew’s vineyard so we don’t waste it cooking, but enjoy every last drop.
  • Put the lid on the dutch oven, put it in the oven, don’t open the door for AT LEAST 3 hours! Today’s roast was 2.39 pounds and I roasted it for 3 1/2 hours. Go relax or at least get the dishes you’ve dirtied so far done up. At 3 hours, I prep the potatoes for boiling. I prefer not to cook mine with the roast  every time ~ sometimes I prefer a bit of substance instead of the mush they can become with the roast. I do a basic mashed with heavy cream, salt, pepper, and butter (hey you gotta splurge a little sometimes!)


On the weekends when we are going to be home all day, I LOVE the smell of something scrumptious cooking and this recipe is one of my favorites. The great thing about this recipe though is that it’s great for working moms during the week too.
1 1/2 pounds ground beef*
4 slices stale sourdough bread made into crumbs
1 JUMBO egg, beaten
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of golden mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and herbs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil

  • With your hands mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion and half the seasonings.
  • Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
  • Spray the bottom of the slow cooker lightly with PURE.
  • Gently lay the meatballs in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Mix together the soup, broth and tomatoes.
  • Pour over meatballs.
  • Cover and cook 7-9 hours on low.
NOTE: I like to make my own ground beef when brisket is on sale. It makes for a richer tasting beef flavor! Thank you Tyler Florence!



This is another one of those recipes that is floating around on facebook, but looked so yummy we HAD to try it.  O.M.G. this is phenomenal! I added a diced shallot to the mix that is sooooooo good. I did have to do an internet search to see why it was called crack chicken and LOL all I could find was a blog that alluded to it being “addicting”.  Anyway you slice it, it is DELICIOUS! Hubby hates the name though so we’re calling it Cheesy Ranch Chicken Salad.

1 1/4-1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
8 ounce block Cream Cheese, cut into small cubes
1 Dry Ranch Dressing package mix
1 shallot, diced
1/3 pound Bacon, diced and cooked crisp
4 of your favorite rolls
4 slices Quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 small Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
Your favorite BBQ Sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays or King’s Hawaiian)

  • Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel and place them in your crock pot.
  • Top evenly with cream cheese cubes.
  • Sprinkle the dry ranch evenly over the top the cheese cubes.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Chicken is ready when it can easily be shredded with a fork.
  • When chicken is cooked, shred it.
  • Add the bacon pieces.
  • Stir the mixture to blend everything well.
  • Spoon one portion of chicken mixture on the bottom half of each roll, top with a slice of cheese and place under the broiler JUST until cheese has melted.
  • Add onion slices.
  • Drizzle with BBQ sauce
  • Spread BBQ sauce on the top half of each bun.
  • Enjoy!



I worked for quite awhile in the studio today and ran across several unfinished projects that NEED to be finished!  Binding for some reason is my least favorite part of quilting though it should be my most favorite since it is the last step to a completed project.  I’m still trying to figure out where to start!  I’m leaning towards starting with the smaller pieces just because there will be a bigger sense of accomplishment as I whip them out, but am leaning towards the larger ones so I can set them aside into the Christmas pile as completed presents.

In the meanwhile we still needed to eat so I reworked a couple of recipes from my “TO TRY” pile that used ingredients I had on hand.  It’s almost June 1st and I try to clean out both the freezer and pantry every 6 months or so.


2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
4 slices crusty french bread, torn into pieces
3 cups crumbled cornbread
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped small
2 large eggs, beaten
Fresh ground sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup butter, sliced thin

  • Put butter slices in freezer while you assemble the casserole.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the broth, eggs and soup.
  • Fold in breads.
  • Fold in celery, onion and chicken pieces.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 3 quart slow cooker.
  • Dot with butter slices.
  • Cook on high 1 1/2 hours and then low 2-3 hours on low OR 3-4 hours on high.


1 pound bag baby carrots, washed and dried
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Pinch of ground ginger
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Parmesan cheese
Snap peas

  • Preheat oven to 400˚.
  • In a large ziplock bag add the carrots, avocado oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Close and toss until carrots are well coated.
  • Spread carrots in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  • Roast carrots 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Cool carrots.
  • In a large sauce pan melt butter,
  • Add onion and saute’ until tender.
  • Add broth and simmer while carrots roast.
  • Add carrots and puree with an immersion blender.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with Parmesan crisps and chopped snap peas.



1 cup diced shallot
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 sprigs fresh basil
2 sprigs fresh oregano
4 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese – garnish

  • Remove the leaves from the basil and oregano, chopping each.  Reserve half of the basil for garnish.
  • Lay chicken in bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle the onions and peppers all around the chicken.
  • Top with the tomatoes, half the basil and all the oregano.
  • Pour chicken broth  over it all.
  • Cook on high for 3 hours.
  • Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred. Keep warm.
  • Add pasta to crock pot and cook another 35-40 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  • Stir shredded chicken back in and heat through.
  • Season to taste.
  • Top each serving with fresh basil and some of the Parmesan shredded cheese.






4-6 bone in chicken thighs
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup Bertolli balsamic reduction glaze

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  • Arrange chicken thighs in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle onion pieces around chicken.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Add garlic and blend well.
  • Pour over chicken and onions.
  • Cook 5-6 hours on low.
  • Heat Balsamic glaze to a slow simmer in a small sauce pan.
  • Serve over Jasmine Rice.
  • Pour glaze over chicken and rice.

CELEBRATION CHICKEN an OLD family favorite A.K.A. as Chicken S.O.S.

I believe this wonderful recipe came from the 1950’s or 1960’s, but the chicken scratch writing of my grandmother with all her changes and then mine too make it a bit hard to tell.  I think this recipe probably came as a promotional recipe on a soup can, box of Philly cheese or even the jar of beef, but who really knows? This is a wonderful recipe for a large family gathering or having company.  It looks and tastes like you worked all day!  Hubby calls it Chicken S.O.S. I add small pasta shells and toss those with the excess sauce. The chicken turns out so tender and juicy you could cut it with a fork and it will melt in your mouth. The pasta work well for a pot luck dish, but the chicken is also tasty with mashed potatoes for a home meal.

1 jar dried beef
8 skinless chicken breasts
8 slices bacon
2 packages cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cans undiluted cream of mushroom soup
Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Layer dried beef slices on the bottom of the baking dish slight overlapping each piece.* / **
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each chicken breast and place on top of beef in a single layer.
  • In a medium saucepan combine the cream cheese, soup and sour cream stirring until smooth and heated through.  DO NOT BOIL – will burn easily!
  • Pour sauce over chicken.
  • Sprinkle with paprika.
  • Cover and bake 2 hours.
  • Spoon some of the soup mixture over each piece of chicken as you serve it.
  • Garnish and serve immediately.

COOK’S NOTE 1: *When cooking for just the 2 of us I have much more dried beef than I need so I layer it on the bottom as well as use it on the chicken and then chop the last 2 pieces to add on top of the sauce – YUMMY!

COOK’S NOTE 2: **An alternative method is to wrap each chicken breast with the beef and then the bacon.

COOK’S NOTE 3: This recipe works well in the slow cooker on low also making it good for church suppers or potlucks.





CHICKEN CAESAR SAMMIES ala Rotisserie OR Slow Cooker

I love this recipe!  It can be made one of 2 ways, slow cooker or quick and easy. It just depends on whether I’ve just gotten home from Costco with a batch of their rotisserie chicken parts or in the slow cooker when thighs are on sale. Yep, they now sell just leg quarters from yesterday’s rotisserie chickens at a much reduced price.

You can also choose to use bottle dressing or make your own.  I tend to use bottle when I’m using the Costco chicken to make it quick and easy. Using the Costco chicken also gives you the added option of making the recipe cold OR hot.

CHICKEN CAESAR SAMMIES ala Rotisserie OR Slow Cooker

6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Caesar dressing
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Kaiser Rolls

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in slow cooker skin side up.
  • Cook on low 5-6 hours.
  • Remove from slow cooker.
  • Remove skin and bones, shredding the chicken into a bowl.
  • Add dressing and cheese, mixing until well incorporated.
  • Serve on rolls.

CAESAR DRESSING  makes 1 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, whisking until well combined.
  • Taste and adjust to taste. Use immediately.

NOTE: Since I’m deathly allergic to mustard I make this recipe without the mustard, split the batch and then add ALL the mustard to my husband’s half. He loves it.



1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Avocado oil**
Fresh ground salt and black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup beef consomme’
1/4 cup Wondra flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste

*Soak the mushrooms in 2/3 cup HOT water for 10 minutes.
*Toss carrots and chicken with avocado oil in slow cooker.
*Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
*Strain mushrooms through coffee filter lined sieve, reserving the liquid for later.
*Finely chop mushrooms.
*Top chicken with chopped mushrooms, garlic.
*Strain tomatoes into the mushroom liquid.
*Hand crush tomatoes over top of the chicken.
*Whisk together the tomato mushroom liquid, tomato paste and red wine with the flour until smooth.
*Pour wine mixture over chicken pieces.
*Cover and cook on low 7 hours.
*Using 2 forks shred chicken.
*Let stand uncovered 15-20 minutes and sauce will thicken.
*Re-season as necessary.
*Serve over prepared pasta.

**NOTE: I don’t care for the flavor of olive oil, but it is a great substitute for the avocado oil.



3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, frozen
2 cups homemade chicken broth, frozen
1 can cream of potato soup
1 jar dried beef, chopped
1 Williams chili mix package
1 can chopped green chilies
  • Place frozen chicken breasts on the bottom.
  • Pour green chilies over chicken pieces.
  • Top with cream of potato soup.
  • Top with frozen broth.
  • Sprinkle chili seasoning mix on top of chicken broth.
  • Top with beef pieces.
  • Slow cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce to low for 6 hours. Or cook on low 10 hours.
As the slow cooker heats up, the broth will melt absorbing the chili seasoning mix which will then be absorbed by the potato soup and by the end of the day you have a huge bowl of wonderful yummy goodness perfect for a crisp fall evening. Serve with cheddar cheese biscuits.


1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons white wine
4 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounce package coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
1 bag shredded carrots
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
green onions for garnish

  • Combine Hoisin sauce, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, wine, cornstarch and garlic.
  • In slow cooker place cabbage and carrots on the bottom.
  • Top with chicken pieces.
  • Drizzle 1/4 cup of the Hoisin sauce mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low 6 hours.
  • Stir in remaining Hoisin sauce mixture.
  • Serve over green onion pancakes.
  • Top with green onions for garnish.

2 cups flour
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/4 cups chopped green onions including tops
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the center.
  • Pour boiling water into the well.
  • Working quickly, use a wooden spoon and work water into the flour to make a stiff, but not dry dough. Knead lightly into a bowl.
  • Remove dough from the bowl and brush with sesame oil.
  • Invert bowl over dough and let cool 5 minutes.
  • Lightly knead dough until smooth and elastic.
  • Brush again with sesame oil and place in plastic bag.
  • Set aside for an hour.


  • Roll dough back and forth to form a log about 10 inches long.
  • Cut into 6 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball.
  • Roll out each ball to a 7 inch pancake.
  • Brush with sesame oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Top each pancake equally with green onions.
  • Roll into a tight coil.
  • Brush with sesame oil.
  • Using a rolling pin flatten into a thin 5 inch pancake trying to keep the onions on the inside.
  • Use enough coconut oil to make 1inch deep in a shallow skillet.
  • When oil is hot, cook pancakes until golden brown, turning once.
  • Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.


My favorite slow cooker took a dive this past week so I ordered a new one and I love it!! My old one was great, it was a west bend with a non-stick surface and griddle base, but was a bit limiting when trying to make say a pot roast.  I did a bit of research and found this one:

It’s only 3.5 quart and has latches for carrying making it perfect for pot lucks AND is the perfect size for two!  It came with a little recipe book and since I woke up with a cold I did a little juggling on my menu and made this recipe.  Because I felt so bad I adjusted it to what I had on hand, which included “GASP” canned soup and I hate to admit it was YUMMY

I will make a few additions next time, and there WILL BE a next time, and I will adjust for “REAL” soup base as well as serve it over mashed potatoes instead of the noodles for our personal preference.

1 can Cream of chicken soup or 1 batch real soup base
1/4 cup bleu cheese or ranch dressing (I used Ken’s Sweet Vidalia Onion)
1/4 cup Cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank’s original hot pepper sauce)
1 stalk celery, sliced
+1 small onion, chopped
+1 carrot, chopped
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack (I used half jack, half medium cheddar)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 batch of your favorite mashed potatoes

  • Whisk together the soup, dressing and hot sauce.
  • Fold in carrots, celery, onions and half the cheese.
  • Spread into crock pot base and layer chicken pieces in a single layer.
  • Cover and cook on low 6 hours.
  • With 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Add remaining cheese and stir well.
  • Serve over prepared mashed potatoes.
  • Enjoy!