Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken.


This is an oldie but goodie that I haven’t made in a while.  I had a busy day and planned on attending our local high school’s swim meet (to see a friend’s daughter who was on the other team) and to cheer on our team.  I love being able to throw all of the ingredients into the crock pot and having dinner ready when we are!  I just prepared some brown jasmine rice earlier so that I just had to heat it.

1.5 lbs of boneless chicken tenders
3/4 cup of raw honey or regular honey
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup low sodium organic ketchup
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 green onions, diced for topping
Toasted sesame seeds, topping


Into your slow cooker add the chicken.  In a small bowl combine the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil and garlic.  Whisk until combined.  Pour over the chicken.  Then add the onions on top and red pepper flakes.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.  Serve over rice, brown rice, quinoa, noodles or whatever you wish.  Top with green onions and sesame seeds.


Whole Wheat Chobani Pear Muffins with an Oatmeal Crunch topping.




Chobani is sending me a case of their new flavors in February and I have to tell you… I cannot wait!  I did hear from my friend Julianne that my local Target store had pear and I KNEW I had to run over and get some.  I bought two containers the other day and just ran out for fresh pears.  I come home to find one container of pear left.  Thank God!  I had enough for this recipe that I wanted to create.  These muffins are heavenly… not overly sweet and would be perfect for a snack or breakfast!  Protein-packed.  Hello, gorgeous!


1/4 cup of butter or butter substitute
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 -6 oz container of pear Chobani yogurt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of all purpose flour (Used King Arthur’s)
1 cup of whole wheat flour (Used King Arthur’s)
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
1/8 teaspoon salt (pinch)
2 pears, I used Bosc (peared and cored) finely chopped

Oatmeal crunch topping:
1 tablespoon of butter – cut into little cubes (cold)
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of oats
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray your mini muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.

In your stand mixer, blend butter (room temp.) with sugar for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Then add your room temperature eggs & Chobani yogurt.  In a separate bowl blend your flours, soda, salt and flax.  Then add it to the creamy mixture.  Add the pears.  Blend until just combined.

Scoop 3/4 of the way filled into each well.  Then start on making your crunchy topping.  In a bowl add your cold butter pieces, brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon.  Blend with your hands, pinching the mixture until the butter is well incorporated.  Then drop some on top of each muffin with your fingers.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and they’re golden brown.




Basic Popover Recipe.


Popovers are always well received and pair up perfectly with soup!  I actually did just that. My family gobbled these right up.  You must cook them the full time, without opening the oven door, and eat them pipping hot :)


2 eggs
1 cup of All Purpose Flour (I used King Arthur’s)
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and spray your popover pan with baking spray.  Beat the eggs first, then add the flour, milk and salt until just creamy.  AVOID over-mixing.  Pour 1/2 the batter into each well.  Bake at 450 for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove and serve.



Italian Turkey Sausage and White Bean Soup. {easy}


Winter has arrived this week in Pennsylvania, at least for this week – looking forward to warmer temps already next week.  But bone-chilling temps for me means making soup for dinner.  I experimented with this one and I have to say, it’s one of my favorites.  Not only was it super easy to make, relatively cost effective – it also tasted phenomenal and didn’t blow the pursuit of healthy eating.  I’m officially down 17 lbs!

So get ready… this would be the perfect weeknight night dinner idea or simmering along on a weekend for a lazy, family dinner.


Olive oil
1 lb or so package of turkey sausage (I used hot), casing removed
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 14 oz can of cannellini beans (white beans)
1 -28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
Salt and pepper


In your sauté pan over medium heat, drizzle a touch of olive oil to prevent the sausage from sticking.  Then add your sausage and break apart with a spatula as it cooks.  Cook until no longer pink.  Sprinkle in your fennel seeds.  Then add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer.  Cover.  I let this simmer all afternoon.  Add additional broth if necessary.  You can serve this with noodles or not, I opted not to.  Adjust the salt and pepper before serving.

Beans are packed in fiber and protein – a great meal choice especially after kids/adults have finished practicing or working out.  :)




Raspberry Orange Rosemary Sauce.



I wanted to dress up my grilled pork chops and whipped up some raspberry orange sauce that just pushed it over the top.  My kids cleared their plates!  It is super easy and would be lovely on chicken or fish!  Some times you just need to dress up your grilled meat  and this fit the bill.


1/3 cup raspberry jam (with seeds)
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 sprig of Rosemary
Balsamic vinegar (better quality)


Place all of the ingredients except the rosemary and whisk it together.  Bring it a boil and then add the rosemary sprig.  Splash in a bit (1 tbl or so) of the balsamic.  Turn it to medium-low heat and let it simmer until it thickens. Once thick, drizzle over your meat.  Endless uses and it just lightens up your dish without being heavy or calorie-laden.


Sweet & Salty Valentine Cookie Bars.



Adapted from Guittard Super Cookie Chip Cookie Recipe.


1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of butter, softened
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces of Guittard Super Cookie Chips
1/2 cup of pretzel pieces, salted
1/4 cup of M&Ms
Sprinkles (optional) Valentine Day oxoxo sprinkles used.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda and salt.  Spray the 9×9 glass pan with baking spray. Set aside.

In your stand mixer, paddle attached, cream butter and sugars.  Then beat in the egg and vanilla until creamy.  Add the flour mixture, blend.  Blend well.  By hand, stir in the chocolate chips.   Spread the dough into the pan evenly distributed.  Then press in pretzel pieces and the m&m’s throughout the top.  Bake for 20 minutes or so (until the edges are golden brown).  Let cool and then store in a container with a lid.



White Wine Braised Chicken with Thyme.


Braising meat, if you’ve never done it, is so easy and such a flavorful way of cooking a typically low cost meat (red) but I opted to use some chicken for this recipe.  It’s flexible, work with what you have on hand.  You can braise this on the stovetop or in the oven, like I did, for a minimum of 2 hours but up to 4-6.


Olive Oil
Chicken breasts and thighs (one piece per person as a guide)
1/2 roughly chopped yellow onion
1 large or 2 medium carrots, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s)
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
8 olives, various Mediterranean, pitted
(2-3 cups) White wine, I used Pinot Grigio (anything you would drink)
Salt & Pepper


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

First your going to start by browning the meat.  In a large Dutch oven heat some olive oil in the bottom of the pan.  Let it get hot and then add the meat.  AVOID overcrowding, working in batches, and let the meat sear on each side for at least 5-6 minutes.  You want a good crust on the meat, which adds the deep flavor to the final dish.  Then flip and repeat.  Remove and set aside.  Working until all of the meat is completed.  Then add the onions, carrots and garlic.  You may need to add additional olive oil, if so, splash some in.  Cook the veggies for 6 minutes.  Then add the tomato paste and flour.  Give it a good stir.  Then add the chicken back in, now is okay to overlap and overcrowd.  Add the olives, thyme and white wine (don’t be shy with the wine).  Cover.

Add to the oven and let it braise for hours.  I let it go all afternoon (6 hrs) just checking on the liquid level every hour.  Add additional wine as necessary.  You don’t want to the meat to dry out.  I would suggest having at least 4 inches of liquid in there at all times.  Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.  Then serve.  I served with sesame zucchini slices.  It is heavenly!


Zucchini Sautéed in Sesame Oil.

I wanted to demonstrate another feature of the Magimix food processor that I’m giving away next Sunday.  Today I thinly sliced yellow and green zucchini that I will sauté in sesame oil right before dinner.

I’ll take you on a photo by photo how-to.  This machine was literally thinly slicing without me even having to push the veggie through the spout.  It’s incredibly powerful!  Slices like a dream.  Took me about 15 seconds to slice up 4 medium zucchinis!  Take about efficient!

First, I used the larger bowl no blade in the bottom.

Next, you’re going to add the long tubal piece to elevate the blade that will slice the zucchini.  This piece gets placed right in the center and fits perfectly.


Then select the slicer blade that you wish to use.  I used this one to create paper thin zucchini slices for a light salad sautéed in sesame oil and topped with some sesame seeds right before dinner. It fits nicely right over the extension rod you added previously.


Place the lid on top and turn until it locks.


Next step, place the plastic insert into the top.


Then place the zucchini into the opening.  It started slicing without me even using the plunger to push it down towards the blade.  Talk about fast!


Quick and efficient.  Love that!  Uniform slicing at it’s finest.



When I’m ready to cook, I’ll add a tablespoon of olive oil and a drizzle of sesame oil to a hot pan, toss the zucchini in for a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and top with toasted sesame seeds.  Can serve hot or at room temperature.

Make sure you sign up for the Magimix food processor giveaway!

Click here to enter:




Guinness & Beef Stew in the Crock Pot.


There’s nothing quite like a beef stew on a cold winter day.  This is a wonderfully easy crock pot recipe but it does require a little prep work.  Well worth it once you taste this dish!


1/2 cup of flour
2 lbs or so of lean stew meat
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 carrots, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 large onion, diced
2 bottles of Guinness Beer (or whatever dark beer you have on hand)
Parsley, garnishing


Into a large ziploc baggie, add the flour and some salt and pepper.  Then add the rinsed off beef and seal the bag.  Give a good shake until all of the beef is covered properly.  In your Dutch oven, add the olive oil and let it get nice and hot.  Cooking in batches to avoid overcrowding, add several pieces of the beef to brown on each side then promptly remove.  Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.  Repeat.  Once all of the meat is cooked, discard the bag and add the potatoes, carrots, garlic and onions and cook for about 4-6 minutes.  Add additional oil if necessary.  In the meantime, add the meat to your crock pot on the low setting (if cooking for 6+ hours) if less than that turn the heat to high.  Once the veggies have softened a bit, remove them and top the beef in the crock pot.  Turn your flame to medium and gently (very cautiously) add one bottle of beer and deglaze the pan (scraping up the bits of meat and veggies that have stuck to the bottom of the pan).  Once this is complete, pour on top of the meat and veggies.  Add the additional beer to the mixture.  Cover and cook.

I serve with pasta but you can with other noodles, quinoa etc.  Season the gravy prior to serving.


Oat Chobani PB2 Cookies. {no flour & gluten free}


I had an old recipe that I wrote down on a notepad – totally random that I discovered it and I thought I would tweak it and mess around with the ingredients and see what would happened.  I made the batter two days ago and refrigerated it, only because the dough was really loose, and forgot about it.  Ha ha.  Life is just too busy lately.  So I remembered it today before I headed out to pick up my daughter and made the batch.

I haven’t been eating cookies or really anything “sweet” that I’ve been making because my weight is down 15-16ish lbs and I’m afraid eating something sweet will open the flood gates to the sweets again.  You know what I mean, right? So I reserved them for my dad and my girls to review.  Everyone LOVES them.  Hey, who would’ve thought. They look funky and a bit healthy but the reviews are glowing hence me sharing it with you.  Now bare with me on this recipe… You MUST be flexible.




1 stick of Smart Balance butter or regular butter, room temperature
1/4 cup of Chobani (vanilla)
1/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of PB2 powdered peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3 cups of old fashioned oats


In your stand mixer, blend the butter, Chobani, PB2 and sugars together.  Don’t panic if it looks weird!  Then add the eggs and beat well.  Add the vanilla extract.  Then in a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet mixture.  Blend together.  It will be ooey, gooey and a mess!  Scoop this mixture into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or more (I let it go up to 2 days) so it can firm up.  Trust me, you need to this or they will be impossible to work with :)

Then preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  On your cookie sheet line with parchment or a Silpat liner.  Scoop and place the dough about 1.5-2 inches apart.  Now the baking time will vary.  Normal cookies take 8-10 but I thought they were still too loose.  I baked them for about 14-16 minutes or until crispy and brown around the edges.  Trust me, I kept testing them and taking them out – inspection and then back in.  Your oven make take a bit longer so be patient.  This recipe makes a ton of cookies!  36 or so (small scoop sized).