April 14th, 2018

Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes

Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes

I love using the crockpot to make dinner for those busy nights all families have pretty often. The reason why the night is busy doesn’t matter, just the convenience of starting dinner during a quiet part of the day. One of our favorite meals for the crockpot is Italian Chicken and Potatoes. We usually add carrots too, but they’re optional.

When my kids were still on baby food, this was one of my favorites to make and grind up in my food mill. I kept it super mild, of course, but chicken that has cooked in a crockpot is very easy to grind up. It made a much better tasting baby food than that jarred stuff. I wasn’t ambitious enough to make a lot of baby food, but I did some.

This is a delightfully lazy meal to make. Cutting up the potatoes is the only part that takes some work.

The carrots are optional. These days my kids don’t like cooked carrots, but I do. I didn’t add them this time, but most times I do.

Otherwise, you just have to put in the chicken, throw on some spices, Italian dressing, and Parmesan cheese, then add the carrots and potatoes, and adding more spices, Italian dressing, and Parmesan cheese.

crockpot italian chicken

I honestly don’t measure things very often for this one. This is crockpot cooking, not baking. So long as you don’t overdo the spices or something, it should be fine.

One of the things I loved most about making this recipe with small children underfoot was how flexible the start time was. If I didn’t think to start it early enough in the day, it could be cooked in the crockpot on high rather than low, and still be ready for dinner.

Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes

Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 potatoes; peeled cut into wedges
  • 1 lb baby carrots optional


  1. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle with half Italian dressing, spices, and the grated cheese.
  3. Put potatoes and carrots (optional) over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

  4. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

April 7th, 2018

Easy Brown Sugar Slow Cooker Ham

Easy Brown Sugar Slow Cooker Ham

My favorite way to make ham at home is in the slow cooker. It only takes a little work at the start, and then you can ignore it until it’s cooked, and then it’s delicious. That’s why I love making this easy slow cooker ham.

The bad part is smelling it cook all day. That’s pure “When will it be ready to eat??” torture. Especially if I have to leave the house for a little and come back to that wonderful smell.

A lot of people cook pineapple in with their ham. I don’t like to do that because the pineapple comes out almost inedible. The cook time is too long for it.

Instead, I use a can of pineapple juice. The dollar store by me carries small cans fairly regularly. I keep a small supply in the pantry and double check to be sure my son hasn’t finished all of them if I want to make a ham.

You can drain the juice from a can of pineapple chunks if you prefer. It won’t be as much juice as my little cans hold (8.4 liquid oz), but it should be enough. When I do this, I put a lid over the rest of the pineapple and put it in the fridge until dinnertime. It keeps well enough that way.

I don’t like to use a spiral cut ham with this recipe. The one time I did, it dried out too much. Spiral sliced is easy to serve, but too easy to dry out.

Start out by spreading about a quarter cup of brown sugar in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the ham on top, and pour the pineapple juice over it. Then coat the ham with the rest of the brown sugar. Cover and cook. It’s that easy.

ham in slow cooker

The challenge with cooking a ham in the slow cooker is keeping it moist. Most hams are too tall to fit under the lid of the slow cooker. You can improve by making a cover out of aluminum foil.

ham in slow cooker

Mine needs two pieces to cover things well enough. Spread the first piece of foil across the back top of the slow cooker, covering the edge of the cooker and as much of the ham as possible. Tighten down the edges to keep it in place. Spread the second piece in the same way, but starting from the front. Make sure no parts of the foil leave too large a vent for moisture to escape.

Cook the ham for about eight hours on low.

That’s pretty much it, aside from serving and eating. As usual, this ham goes great with pineapple.

slow cooker ham

Easy Brown Sugar Slow Cooker Ham


  • 1 bone-in ham
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice


  1. In bottom of slow cooker spread about 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Place ham on top, flat end down.

  2. Pour pineapple juice over ham.

  3. Rub the rest of the brown sugar all over the ham.

  4. Most hams will be too tall for your crockpot lid to fit. You can beat this by making a lid out of aluminum foil. Do your best to keep it close enough to keep the moisture in so that your ham will not dry out.

  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.

February 17th, 2018

Broccoli Beef

Broccoli beef

Broccoli beef is an easy recipe to make on those nights that you don’t want to put a lot of time into dinner. Thinly sliced beef cooks very quickly. I use my Instant Pot to make rice as a side dish, so that part takes almost no effort at all. There’s still some work to do, but broccoli beef isn’t a difficult recipe at all.

Chopping takes most of the time with this recipe. The beef is best when sliced thin, which is easiest to do when it’s partially frozen. You don’t want it frozen solid, but a partial freeze is so helpful. I usually try to slice meat for more than one meal when I can. It saves a lot of time for the next meal.

sliced beef

If you want to get out of chopping the broccoli, buy the prechopped stuff or have one of the kids do it. I’m sure one of them can use the practice.

Once everything is chopped, mix up the sauce. Put the flour, broth, sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce in a small bowl. A dash of fish sauce helps this recipe so much. That’s a trick my mother learned from some Japanese exchange students, who were completely amazed by the lack of fish sauce in her refrigerator. Don’t add a lot. A dash is plenty. The flavor it adds is subtle, but really helps the dish overall. Stir the sauce until the sugar and flour dissolve. Put it aside for now.

Preheat your wok or skillet, then put the sliced beef in. Stir it up occasionally as it cooks, until all of the meat is browned.

cooking sliced beef

Now add the rest of the ingredients, including the sauce you made at the start. Stir to coat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally.

Always be careful with how long you cook broccoli. Cook it too long, and it becomes this awful mushy stuff with a horrible flavor. I think overcooking is the biggest reason why so many people hate broccoli. They’ve only ever had it cooked to awfulness. Cook broccoli so it is just a little soft, but still has some firmness, and the flavor is so much better.

I’ve done this recipe with a variety of vegetables. Zucchini works well, as does asparagus. In this case, I used green beans with the broccoli. Some vegetables need a little longer cook time, while others should barely be cooked at all. When I make this recipe with bell peppers rather than broccoli, for example, I aim for less than five minutes of cook time for them. Bell peppers get soggy fast, and I like a little crunch left in them.

Depending on your family’s preferences, the broccoli beef can be served over rice or just beside it. My kids prefer to have it beside the rice, so that’s how I do it.

Broccoli Beef

Broccoli Beef


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 10.5 oz beef broth
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • dash fish sauce
  • 1 lb round steak cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix flour, broth, sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce in a small bowl until sugar and flour dissolve. Put aside.

  2. Cook steak strips in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until browned. 

  3. Add broth mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Stir to coat beef and broccoli with the sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.

February 11th, 2018

Instant Pot Artichokes With Lemon Butter Dipping Sauce

Instant Pot Artichokes With Lemon Butter Dipping Sauce

My family loves it when we can find artichokes at a good price. It doesn’t happen often enough, especially with really good ones. We get lucky sometimes at a local dollar store that often has excellent produce. Steaming artichokes can take a long time, so they’re perfect for the Instant Pot. These Instant Pot artichokes go great with lemon butter dipping sauce.

Our favorite artichokes are the globe variety. They have more of a round shape, both to the artichoke and to the leaves. Sometimes the store includes a long stem with them. The long stem can be peeled, steamed, and eaten just like the rest of the artichoke. We like the flavor of these better than the artichokes that have a more pointed shape. They’re also bigger. We can’t always find them, but when they’re available and the price is right, guess what’s for dinner! These ones aren’t globe artichokes, but they were pretty good anyhow.


These artichokes are usually a full meal for us. You can go with just a half artichoke per person and serve some other food with them, but my family always wants a whole artichoke each.

My Instant Pot can only hold about 2-3 artichokes at a time. That’s with them sliced in half and carefully arranged in there. This means that most times we have to do two rounds of cooking in the Instant Pot. That’s okay for us because we finish them off in the oven anyhow. No worries that someone will have a cold artichoke that way.

Prepare the artichokes for the Instant Pot by washing and cutting the stem off if necessary. You can also trim the thorns off the petals if you like. Some varieties have a fairly sharp thorn on the tips of the petals.

Slice the artichokes in half from top to bottom. Use a spoon to clean out the fuzzy choke in the center. Clean the spoon off well when you’re done – the little bits of the choke are hard to get off if they dry on.The dishwasher won’t be able to handle it, or at least, mine can’t.

sliced artichokes

Pour chicken or vegetable broth into the Instant Pot, and put in your trivet. The height of your trivet may determine how many artichokes you can cook at a time, as well as the size of your Instant Pot.

Arrange the artichoke halves in the Instant Pot. I start by going around the edges. Sometimes one half can fit in the middle. If you have enough room to do it safely, you can stack halves on the top. Keep in mind where the fill limit is on your Instant Pot.

Sprinkle the artichokes with spices and minced garlic. Seal the lid. Use the Manual button to set the cook time to about 9-11 minutes.

artichokes in instant pot

Make sure the artichokes are completely cooked before this next step. It’s a real pain having to gook them further in the Instant Pot, as it takes a while to get the pressure back up, but sometimes it’s necessary. A petal should pull off easily when they’re done.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the artichokes on a baking sheet with the cut side up. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, so the cheese is just melted.

While they bake, make the lemon butter sauce. Melt the butter in the microwave, then add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Italian seasonings, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well and serve as a dipping sauce for the artichokes.

Lemon Butter Dipping Sauce

Instant Pot Artichokes

Instant Pot Artichokes With Lemon Butter Dipping Sauce


  • 2 artichokes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Wash artichokes and slice off any excess stem if necessary. Slice the artichokes in half from top to bottom. Clean out the choke portion from the inside of the artichoke.

  2. Pour chicken broth into bottom of the Instant Pot. Put in the trivet, then add sliced artichokes on top.

  3. Sprinkle with seasonings and minced garlic. Seal the lid. Use the manual setting of the Instant Pot and set to cook for 9-11 minutes.

  4. Make sure the artichokes are fully cooked. A petal should pull off easily.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  6. Arrange the artichokes on a baking sheet with the cut side up. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is just melted.

  7. Serve with the lemon butter dipping sauce below.

Lemon Butter Sauce For Dipping Artichokes


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt butter in the microwave.

  2. Add in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, seasonings, salt and pepper. Mix well and use as a dipping sauce for artichokes.

January 27th, 2018

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Brown sugar meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those meals people joke about a lot. There’s good reason for that – dry meatloaf is awful. Properly made, on the other hand, meatloaf is a wonderful meal. My family loves this recipe for brown sugar meatloaf.

I often make a double recipe when I do this – one to cook that night, the other for the freezer. It freezes well, and that means the next time we want meatloaf, it takes hardly any effort. Best of all, making a double batch is hardly any more work than making a single. It’s always nice to have a few meals ready in the freezer. They make busy days so much nicer.

I hardly ever get complaints from my kids about meatloaf. The only one who does complain can be soothed with the addition of ketchup to her meal.

The only bad part about meatloaf is the prep and cook time. It’s not something you can make if you’re in a rush. Cooking time usually runs about an hour.

Meatloaf is a great recipe to have the kids help make. They’ll either love the mess or be completely horrified at how raw meat feels. Either one works for me. They have to get comfortable with all that sometime.

I start out by sprinkling some brown sugar in the bottom of my pan and topping it with some ketchup. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but I think it helps. I don’t use a loaf pan. I prefer my 8×8 baking pan. I’m not going for pretty looks here. It gives me more flexibility on the size of the brown sugar meatloaf.

Then it’s time to get my hands dirty and mix up the ingredients. Everything except the brown sugar and ketchup go into a large mixing bowl. If you’re doing a double recipe so you can freeze one for later, it needs a pretty big bowl. Get your hands in there and mix those ingredients together.

brown sugar meatloaf ingredients

When everything is sufficiently mixed, make the meat mixture into a loaf or two. If you made one for the freezer, put it in a freezer bag and get it put away. Otherwise, put the loaf into the pan on top of the brown sugar and ketchup.

Wash your hands really well. They’re a mess after handling all that meat.

Sprinkle the top of the meatloaf with brown sugar and spread ketchup over the top.

brown sugar meatloaf in pan

Put the whole thing in the oven and bake for about an hour or until the interior temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F.

brown sugar meatloaf temperature

Brown Sugar Meatloaf


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1-1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cups oatmeal


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread half the brown sugar in your baking pan, topped by half the ketchup.

  3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix remaining ingredients, except ketchup and brown sugar. Shape into loaf and place in pan.

  4. Cover with remaining brown sugar and ketchup.

  5. Bake for 1 hour or until interior temperature reaches 160 degrees F

Recipe Notes

Double this recipe and put the extra meatloaf into the freezer for an easy meal another day.

December 1st, 2017

Double Bacon Feta Burgers

Double bacon feta burgers

My kids get so excited when we make this recipe. Making double bacon feta burgers comes close to eating out in terms of happy kids. Happy adults too. Bacon in the burger patty itself along with strips of bacon on top makes a great burger.

Being burgers, the burger part is best made on the grill, but that doesn’t always work out. My propane grill is out of order, so if there’s no time for heating the charcoal or if we have a no-burn day, we resort to making them in the oven. It still works.

That’s what happened the day I most recently decided to make these. My niece was visiting, and we wanted to have something fun to eat without spending as much as we would by taking her out to eat. Unfortunately, due to local air quality, we had a no-burn order, so grilling over charcoal was out.

If you have to make your burgers in the oven, make sure you have them up on racks to get them out of the grease. It helps. You can also make your burgers in a skillet, but I find the oven easier when making these for a crowd.

You can use your favorite burger recipe for the burger part. We mix bacon crumbles from Costco and feta into the burger mix. The feta gets mixed in last because one of my kids really doesn’t like it. I have to track the burger without feta carefully for her.

ground beef bacon

If you’re cooking outside, be warned: flies really, really love this mix. We have to get them on the grill fast if we’re making them during warm weather. I think it’s the strong smell of feta combined with the meat that does it. We get a lot of flies here sometimes because there’s a chicken farm about a mile away.

These, of course, were prepped for the oven. It’s really hard to keep up with the burgers if you want to make them in a skillet when you’re cooking for seven people. They won’t all fit in the skillet, and who wants a cold burger? The oven makes sense sometimes.

bacon burger patties

The regular bacon used to top the burgers I make in the oven. That’s easier when you’re making a bunch of bacon. Watch it carefully – it can burn quickly. I line up skewers to keep the bacon from lying flat on the baking sheet if my racks are being used for the burgers. If the bacon is flat on the baking sheet it can be difficult to remove.

Oven bacon


The other toppings for double bacon feta burgers depend on what you like. I make sure to have sliced tomatoes, sliced pickles, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and pickle relish ready. Sometimes I thinly slice bell peppers as well. I’m often lazy with the lettuce and just use the packaged stuff for salads. It’s more likely to get used up with other meals than a whole head of lettuce around here.

Get your double bacon feta burgers

This is one of those self serve meals for the family. Once everything is ready, everyone gets called to come make their burgers. Things get a little chaotic for a few minutes, but it’s a happy chaos.

Double bacon feta burgers

Double Bacon Feta Burgers


  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 package sliced bacon
  • 1 package hamburger buns
  • lettuce, tomatoes, etc.


  1. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, crumbled bacon, feta, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper by hand. Form into patties.

  2. Place patties on grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until done. Burgers may also be cooked on a skillet or in the oven if grilling isn't possible.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Cover baking sheet with foil. Place baking rack or several skewers on baking sheet. Spread sliced bacon on the rack or skewers. Bake for 12-20 minutes. Check frequently starting around 12 minutes. Bacon goes from not done to burnt very quickly.

  5. Move the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

  6. Set up burgers, bacon, buns, and toppings for everyone to assemble their burgers. Call in the hordes to come eat.

November 10th, 2017

Homemade Pizza With Herbed Crust

Homemade Pizza With Herbed Crust

If there’s one food most families love, it has to be pizza. It’s easy to order, but it’s also not that hard to make. The main focus in this recipe is on the crust. Toppings and all that, I’m pretty sure you can figure out, although I will share some ideas. A good crust is key to a good homemade pizza.

A good pizza stone is a help when baking your pizza. You can use a pizza pan or baking sheet if that’s what you have, but a properly used pizza stone helps the crust bake better. How best to use a pizza stone varies by the company that made it, so check the instructions to see how best to use yours. Some need to preheat in the oven for as much as an hour. Others don’t need to be preheated.

You can have all kinds of fun making pizzas as a family. You could even break up the pizza crust dough into smaller batches to make personal pizzas for everyone, and let everyone choose their own toppings. It takes a lot more room in the oven, and it’s more work rolling out the individual pizza crusts, but it’s not too bad.

I have one kid who doesn’t like pepperoni, while the rest all adore it, so I usually make two pizzas. This also ensures leftovers. The kids love taking homemade pizza to school for lunch, so this is a good thing.

I use my bread machine to make the dough. It’s much easier than making it by hand. Give it some time to rise after the machine is done mixing it.

pizza dough rising

Believe it or not, I worked for more than a year in a pizza place, and I never learned to toss the dough. I worked the phones or front counter, taking orders and sometimes making salads. The guys who made the pizzas used to joke that women weren’t allowed, although they were perfectly willing to teach those who insisted. I didn’t especially want to back then, so I didn’t.

I roll out the dough instead. Coat the counter with flour and drop the dough for the pizza crust on it. Rub more flour on the rolling pin, keeping it above the dough so that flour falls on it as well. Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on your pizza pan, stone or baking sheet as well.

ready to roll

Roll out the crust to fit your pizza pan, stone or baking sheet. When the crust dough is the right size, place it on its pan. Stab several times with a fork to minimize bubbles.

uncooked pizza crust

I like to bake it for about five minutes before adding toppings; otherwise I’ve found it sometimes challenging to bake the crust completely without burning the cheese.

While the pizza crust bakes, prepare your toppings. I’m lazy enough to use grated mozzarella from Costco rather than grating it myself. If you want a better quality cheese, you’ll have to grate it. The Costco stuff does well enough for our purposes.

homemade pizza topping ideas

My family likes using bacon and pepperoni for toppings. We use the precooked bacon crumbles from Costco. They aren’t greasy, which I consider to be a huge plus. Feta cheese also goes well.

uncooked homemade pizza pepperoni bacon

For my daughter who doesn’t like pepperoni, I just use the bacon and some vegetables. Usually, that’s olives and bell peppers. That all goes on half the pizza. The other half gets the same, but I add pepperoni and artichoke hearts to it as well. Everyone eyes the half I make for me, but they never want it made for everyone. All part of the fun of homemade pizza, I guess.

uncooked homemade pizza mom style

Finish baking the pizzas. The cheese should be completely melted and the crust lightly browned when done.

homemade pizza mom style

Wait 5-10 minutes before slicing. This lets the cheese solidify a little so the toppings don’t slide all over. Call in the ravening hordes (or just the kids) and let them eat.

Homemade Pizza With Herbed Crust


  • 1 cup warm water about 110 degrees F
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups bread flour may need extra
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs oregano, basil, thyme, etc., to taste


  1. Add water, olive oil, sugar, and salt to bread machine, then add both types of flour and the garlic. 

  2. Add the yeast on top. Sprinkle with the herbs and turn the bread machine on in a dough cycle.

  3. Mix 15-30 minutes, then allow dough to rest for at least 10 minutes. You may need to add extra flour if the dough doesn't form a good ball.

  4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

  5. Sprinkle counter with flour. Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on pizza pan as well if desired. Roll dough out to fit your pizza pan, stone or baking sheet. Place on pizza pan and roll up any edges that hang over.

  6. Bake without toppings for five minutes.

  7. Add your choice of sauce, cheese, and other toppings. Bake 7-10 minutes more or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

September 1st, 2017

Creamy Chayote Soup

Creamy Chayote Soup

Chayote soup is a favorite of mine. It’s healthy yet super creamy in flavor. The great part is, there’s no cream, just a little butter.

You need a good blender for this recipe. I use my Vitamix, which works very well. The soup comes out nice and smooth. An immersion blender might work well enough for this recipe too.

Many chayote soup recipes say to peel the chayote. I don’t. It’s not necessary. You won’t notice the peel in the flavor. Many people have a reaction to raw chayote while peeling it, causing irritation to the skin. If you peel yours, wear gloves!

Start out by chopping the chayote into 1 inch chunks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter, then add onions, garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute until onion is clear. Add the chayote and cilantro. Add salt and pepper for taste. Saute for about five minutes.

saute chayote

Add broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chayote is tender.

cooked chayote

Blender time! I scoop the chayote out of the liquid with a slotted spoon or bamboo skimmer, and put it into the blender first, then pour the remaining liquid in. This feels much easier than trying to control the whole thing while pouring hot liquid. No worries about the chunks getting out of control if you do it this way.

chayote soup in blender

You do not need to use all of the liquid in the blender. All you need is enough liquid to make it blend. Blend until smooth.

chayote soup

If you want to bring this recipe up a level for meat lovers, add in some cooked bacon. Bacon does something nice for the flavor. It’s not necessary, but it is good! Add it in when you start cooking the chayote.

It’s easy to make this soup vegan if you prefer. Just use oil in place of butter, and vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

This is a very filling soup. A bowl of it can almost be a meal by itself.

Creamy Chayote Soup


  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • jalapeno optional
  • 2 chayote squash cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • bacon optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and red pepper. Include jalapeno if desired. Saute until onion is tender. 

  2. Add the squash, cilantro, salt and pepper (and bacon if desired), and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

  3. Add broth and simmer for 20 minutes or until chayote is tender.

  4. Use a slotted spoon to removed chayote from broth, and place in blender. Pour enough broth into blender to combine ingredients. Blend into a puree.

  5. Pour into bowls to serve. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

Use olive oil to replace butter, and vegetable broth to replace chicken broth to make recipe vegan.

August 18th, 2017

Turmeric Chicken

turmeric chicken recipe

Turmeric chicken is a very popular meal in our house. My youngest, who swears up and down that she hates all spicy food, calls turmeric chicken one of her favorite meals. Admittedly, I don’t put a lot of the red chilies in there, but the flavor is there. I’m not going to point that out to her.

That my picky youngest likes this goes well with my husband’s theory on kids and yellow foods. He says kids just like yellow foods. He counts carrots as yellow. Unless you’re buying yellow carrots, they’re usually orange when I look at them. But it’s not worth the argument. Too minor.

I like making turmeric chicken when I don’t want to spend a lot of time on dinner. Chopping the onion and the chicken can take a while, but it’s not that bad. Start cooking the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the chicken.

chicken in pan

Then you throw the turmeric and other spices. Stir to coat the chicken completely with turmeric. Cook until the chicken is lightly cooked on the outside, but not cooked through.

Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

This goes very well with rice. The leftover water in the pan goes well with rice. I usually simmer the water down a little to evaporate the excess water before adding to rice.

Be warned that turmeric stains. Get too much on your hands, and it’s hard to get all of it off. It can also be difficult to scrub off your countertops, floor, sink… trust my experience on that one. If any turmeric gets spilled, clean it up promptly. Try hard to keep it off your clothes.

turmeric chicken on plate

I served this one with rice, tomatoes and bell peppers. The mess off to the side is a pile of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts. I found the bottles at my local 99 Only store, and they are soooo good! I bought probably too many bottles (over a dozen!) but at a dollar per, I figured it was reasonable. The hard part is not going through them too fast, because I want to figure out some recipes with them. They’re good on their own, though.

Turmeric Chicken


  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • crushed red chilies to taste
  • 3 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Turn stove burner to medium. Heat oil in large frying pan and fry onion, garlic, and red chilies until onion turns clear.
  2. Add chicken, turmeric, salt, and pepper and stir to coat chicken thoroughly with turmeric. Cook until golden all over.
  3. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Turn the stove to low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Uncover and continue to simmer to evaporate excess liquid.
  5. Serve with rice.

August 8th, 2017

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
additional oil for frying

  1. Oil a frying pan (nonstick pans are very helpful).
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
  3. In another bowl, scramble the egg, then add the milk and the 2 tablespoons of oil.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, well enough to eliminate dry spots but no more.
  5. Heat the frying pan to medium temperature.
  6. Pour a pancake, about 4 inches in diameter using about a 1/4 cup of batter.
  7. The pancake will bubble. When the bubbling settles down and the edges are slightly dry, flip the pancake.
  8. When the pancake looks done, remove it and start another one.

These are slightly healthier than pancakes made with white flour, as they have more fiber. Be creative and don’t limit yourself to just maple syrup – how about a fruit topping, depending on the season? Of course, you could just put the fruit on the side and still have a very good breakfast, but combining them can be fun too.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.