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.



Recipe Yield: 6 servings

1 whole chicken or 3 cups chicken pieces**
1 cup homemade concentrated chicken broth
7 cups hot water
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup quality butter
1 cup scant Wondra flour
1 small jar chopped pimento, optional
Fresh flat parsley for garnish
Garlic Butter croutons

  • If starting from scratch: Place chicken pieces in large pot and cover with water, about 10 cups. Add vegetables and simmer until chicken almost falls off the bone. Strain off enough liquid to make 8 cups of stock. Cut cooled chicken into bite sized pieces and be sure to pick all the little chicken bits off the bones. Set chicken aside.
  • If not starting from scratch:
  • In a stock pot, whisk together the hot water and concentrated broth.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add vegetables and simmer 1 hour.
  • When vegetables are tender, use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables to a food processor. DO NOT DISCARD.
  • The vegetables are a crucial flavor component. Process vegetables until smooth and then whisk back into the broth.
  • Bring to a very LOW boil.
  • In a small sauce pan melt butter.
  • Whisk in Wondra flour until golden in color making a yummy roux.
  • Gradually add the roux, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Simmer 10-15 minutes until desired thickness.
  • Add the chopped chicken*** and 1 small jar of diced pimento.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve in warmed soup bowls.
  • Garnish each serving with homemade Garlic Butter croutons and chopped parsley.

**I used rotisserie chicken pieces.

***Since my chicken was fresh and hot from Costco, I chopped about 3/4 cup rotisserie chicken per person and put it into the bottom of each bowl instead, then poured the hot thickened bisque over the chunky parts. This way the remaining bisque stores in a jar easier. I also just used the pimento as a garnish with the croutons.

Cooks Notes: Whenever I bring home a Costco rotisserie chicken I use the skin, drippings and bones (where all the flavor is) to make a pot of broth. I then portion it into 1 cup containers for the freezer. This really makes things easier for those quick weeknight meals.




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.






I love Escalante’s Roasted Corn Bisque – Fresh roasted corn, poblanos, bacon, grilled chicken, and onion in a sherry wine bisque and have been working to duplicate it. I think I have FINALLY accomplished it!

Roasted Poblano Chicken and Corn Bisque

2 medium Poblano peppers
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups peeled, small diced potatoes
2 cups cooked, grilled chopped chicken
2 cups fresh roasted corn on the cob, sliced off
2 cups half and half or light cream
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
4-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup sherry
Salt and pepper, to taste

Shredded Cheddar or Parmesan  cheese
a dollop of Sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut Poblanos in half and remove seeds.
  • Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Spray Poblanos with non-stick cooking spray and roast for 8-10 minutes or until skins begin to blacken.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
  • Dice roasted Poblanos in to small pieces and add them to the pot along with chili powder and cumin, cooking a few minutes longer.
  • Add chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add potatoes and corn.
  • Simmer about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender.
  • Puree’ about half of the corn and potato mixture.
  • Add puree’ mixture back into pot.
  • Stir in chicken.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the half and half, remaining 1/4 cup broth, the sherry, sour cream  and 4 tablespoons of flour.
  • Whisk the cream mixture into the soup until smooth.
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow soup to thicken.
  • Stir in the crumbled bacon and cilantro.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve with optional toppings, if desired.



This same recipe works well with a chuck roast!


3 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, diced
3-4 good sized cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces root beer
3½ cups beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Whiskey Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon paprika
8 new potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, sliced
1 small stalk celery or fennel for added flavor, sliced
1/3 cup Wondra flour
Finely chopped fresh Parsely – garnish

  • In a large ziploc bag sift together the flour, salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Toss beef in flour mixture until well coated. Save flour!
  • Over medium-high heat, Heat oil in large Dutch oven.
  • In a single layer brown meat on all sides, working in batches if necessary.
  • Remove to medium bowl and toss with peanut butter until well coated. Set aside.
  • Add onion and celery (fennel) to Dutch oven and reduce heat to low, cooking until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.
  • Pour in root beer, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, paprika, ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours until meat is tender.
  • Stir in potatoes and carrots, simmering until vegetables are tender and meat is falling apart, 45 minutes or so.
  • Remove 1 cup of liquid from pot and slowly whisk in leftover dredging flour.
  • Slowly stir flour mixture back into pot and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
  • Adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley.

NOTE: To make this in the crock pot, brown beef. Add beef and all other ingredients, except flour to crock pot. Cook on low for 10-12 hours, or on high for 4-6. Remove 1 cup of liquid and slowly add flour. Slowly stir four mixture back into crock pot. Cook on high for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.


1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup Quick Grits
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 medium eggs, beaten

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat individual ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine water, and salt in large sauce pan bringing it to a SLOW boil.
  • Stir in grits gradually.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Cover and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add most of the cheese and butter, stirring until melted and well blended.
  • Add milk, eggs, peppers, mixing well.
  • Pour into prepared ramekins.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until set and golden brown.
  • Garnish with a little grated cheddar cheese.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.




The weather took a serious turn towards fall early last year.  But, I was ready!  One of my favorite things about fall is fun food for tailgating or just watching football at home.  This soup recipe is no exception.
Whether you serve it in a bread bowl (which is my favorite way) or just in a bowl, the flavor is smokey, deep and intense – perfect for warming you from the inside out. AND it is super easy in the crock pot!

1 pound navy beans, soaked overnight
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups water
1 KNORR vegetable gel tub
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ribs celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 can petite diced tomatoes (I use Chipotle & jalapeno flavored)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste (I use 1 t. Himalayan pink salt and 1/4 t. white pepper)
1 ham steak, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound bacon, crisp and bacon
grated cheese

  • Spray slow cooker with PAM.
  • Drains beans of soaking water and add to slow cooker along with onions, garlic, celery, tomatoes and carrots.
  • Whisk together the water, KNORR gel tub, thyme, salt and pepper until well blended. Add to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours.
  • Add ham pieces.
  • Cook another 2-3 hours.
  • Garnish with cheese and bacon before serving.
  • Enjoy!


The weather has been super gray so I decided to make some soup! Turned out to be some of the best soup ever!  I’m making this one again! One of the best parts is that when you’re ready to eat you can doctor it up to your individual liking, just like a real cheeseburger.


1 pound organic ground round
1 small sweet onion, chopped small
1 shallot, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Whiskey Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces Velveeta, cut into small chunks
3 small potatoes, diced
Pickles, Mustard, Ketchup, shredded cheese for garnish

  • In stockpot add beef and sprinkle with Chili powder. Brown beef, drain well of fat.
  • Add butter to pan and saute’ onion, shallot and garlic.
  • Add broth, Worcestershire sauce and beef crumbles.
  • Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add Velveeta and blend well.
  • Add potato pieces and simmer 30 minutes more or until potatoes are tender.
  • Preseason to taste.
  • Top with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy.

I found a secret ingredient too.  It has become my new go to seasoning. LOVE this stuff!


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.


2 LARGE white turnips, peeled and cubed
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 cups chicken stock
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup heavy cream**
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Parmesan cheese

  • Sauté green onions and leeks in butter, stirring often until softened. 
  • Add potato and turnip cubes and sauté another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken stock and pumpkin puree. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft. 
  • Puree soup in a food processor or blender. 
  • Return soup to saucepan, whisk cream and heat through 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve in hot bowls.
  • Top with bacon and cheese.

**NOTE: For a more inense flavor use 1 can Classic Coconut milk


CREAM OF CELERY SOUP adapted from The Daring Gourmet

1/4 cup butter
1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 cups very finely chopped organic deep green (for optimal flavor) celery
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose Wonder flour
2 cups rich chicken broth, skimmed of excess fat (I use homemade)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the onions, celery and garlic until soft and translucent, 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the flour and cook for another minute, whisking until well blended.
  • Add the chicken broth milk and cream, stirring until smooth. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve with a CADILLAC (Parmesan Roast Beef) or grilled cheese sandwich. YUMMY!!

NOTE: This recipe is roughly equivalent to two cans of prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup. You can enjoy it as a stand-alone soup  with a grilled cheese sandwich or use it in any recipe calling for prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup. If using as a base for other recipes, soup will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.


Fall is here, but we are still having seriously warm weather, like Indian Summer warm weather, but I don’t care.  I WANT SOUP!

2 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1 Sweet Vidalia onion, diced
1 small red pepper, roasted, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups mashed potato flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
3 green onions, chopped (green part only)
sour cream (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400°. 
  • Bake potatoes one hour or until cooked through. 
  • Remove them from the oven to cool.
  • Roast red pepper until singed on all sides.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • As the potatoes and pepper cool, start soup by melting butter in a large saucepan.
  • Sauté onion until light brown. 
  • Add the flour to the onions and stir to make a roux.
  • Add stock, water, cornstarch, potato flakes, and spices to the pot and bring to a slow boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • When potatoes are cool enough to touch, but still warm gently peel the skins away and discard.
  • Do the same with the pepper.
  • Chop potato into chunks about 1/2 inch in size.
  • Chop pepper into pieces about 1/4 inch or smaller. 
  • Fold in the potato and pepper pieces to pan as well as the half and half and bring to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until desired thickness.
  • Ladle soup into bowls.
  • Top with cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions.
  • For a bit of complete decadence also add the sour cream.


Hubby loves Gazpacho, a spicy tomato based soup made of raw vegetables and served cold. There are many variations to this soup, but mainly it has a tomato base and is very forgiving for ingredient adjustments.  Here is hubby’s favorite version.

1 red onion, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
1 large jalapeno, chopped fine
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 cups V8 juice
2 cups beef broth
2 cans original ROTEL diced tomatoes
2 cans Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
Juice of 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
Fresh ground salt an pepper to taste

  • Mix all together in a large container.
  • Chill.
  • Enjoy – it’s as simple as that.