Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Mmmmm…fall.  I love this time of year! In South Texas, I get my soup on during the cooler weather and this Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup is one of my favorites.  It’s hearty and oh so good!  While we were slaving away painting our house one recent Saturday, I threw this in and we got to enjoy it after a long day’s work.  Yum!

We do VERY limited bread but I suggest you don’t skip out on serving this with crusty bread.  Perfection!

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. wild rice, uncooked
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • Additional water or broth for proper consistency

Directions:

  1. Place everything in a 6 quart crockpot except the heavy cream.  Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.  When finished cooking, shred chicken and add heavy cream to crockpot.  Add additional water or broth if needed.
  2. Serve with crusty bread.

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

We LOVE these white chocolate cranberry granola bars!  I’ve made these countless times over the past 5 years for camping trips and playgroups. In fact, their inspiration comes from an AllRecipes.com recipe for Playgroup Granola Bars.  I’ve made some major tweaks to the recipe and they are oh so tasty!  Perfect fall flavors!

A few notes first…

These are best cut warm but wait until they cool to handle them.  Also, the honey is necessary.  I’ve substituted corn syrup before (in a pinch) and they were hard as rocks.

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 c. craisins
  • 1 c. sliced almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 X 13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar, & honey.  Stir in egg, vanilla, & almond extract.  Add salt, flour, & rolled oats.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and craisins.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cut while bars are warm but let them cool before handling.

How to Dust Wood Blinds

We are smack dab in the middle of painting the inside of our house. As everything has gotten a new clean face…one thing that has been bothering me is the dust on our Wooden Levolor Blinds.

I have a solution for you so today I’m going to share with you how to dust wood blinds super fast!

How to Dust Wood Blinds - Fast

Honestly, until very recently, I didn’t know how to dust our blinds.  And did you know that dust is 75% to 90% skins cells?! Yep…uh huh! So the dust had to GO, ASAP!  <shudder>

Prior to my discovery, I dreaded dusting the blinds so badly we interviewed a housekeeper to tackle them, (and other areas of the house that are a hassle).  But instead of spending $200/month for a housekeeper to clean, I ignored the dead skin cells.  BLEGH!

Back to where we are today…painting and it’s all clean but those blinds.  So I got out my trusty Google. All the sites I came across recommended you fill your bath tub with water and a little soap. Next you put your blinds in there for a minute or 2 and agitate the water. Pull out the blinds and let them dry. I was game but the problem is a few of our blinds are wider than our bath tub is long.

And I’m so happy to announce that I conquered the dusty blinds and it was so much easier than the bath tub method!  Here’s how, but first…

Since we’re in Texas we can still do this as it’s not freezing outside.  For you Northerners, you have a few more weeks before snow flies.  Eeeek!  For you all, file this away as a great spring cleaning project.

Steps to Dust Wood Blinds

  1. Remove blinds from windows.
  2. Take them outside.
  3. Spray dust off with a water hose.
  4. Hang them over fence, railing, or table to dry.
  5. Replace blinds back on windows.

Blinds Drying

Seriously…that was so simple, I’m almost ashamed I made steps.  Ha!  But really truly, this worked like a charm to remove the dust.  Our blinds are spick and span clean and it was SO SO easy.  For our kitchen blinds, a few of them had a spot or two of grime.  For those, I simply took a damp rag and wiped the area.

And let me tell, our blinds look brand new!  And in case you’re wondering, there is zero amount of warping or water damage on the wood. Wooohoo!  I love easy cleaning solutions!

Grain Free Rollup Pancakes

I’m so excited to share my grain free rollup pancake recipe with you today! We’ve been working hard at finding foods that are kid-friendly AND grain free. Today I have a winner!

I found this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. They looked so good but had flour in them. I decided to make them as directed on the site and then I got to experimenting. (If you’re not concerned about grains, the recipe linked above is EXCELLENT!)

Grain Free Rollup Pancakes ~ Kid Friendly

My Grain Free Rollup Pancakes

I made a few tweaks to Mel’s recipe by incorporating buttermilk, butter, stevia, and coconut flour. YUM!!!! My kids didn’t even bat an eye when I gave them my grain free version! Win! I tasted both, one after the other, and the only thing I noticed about the different versions is that my grain free ones have an ever so slightly different taste. (if you’ve ever eaten coconut flour pancakes, you’ll recognize the flavor.) By no means, is the coconut flour overpowering though.

Our New Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

The versatility of this recipe is the beauty of it! Since we aren’t really doing bread anymore and I love that the texture of these pancakes is perfect for filling and rolling up. In fact, I gave my Eva a peanut butter and jelly rollup using the leftover pancakes and she gobbled it right down. Yay for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches being back on the lunch menu!

Grain Free Rollup Pancakes ~ Kid Friendly ~ Stacked

Grain Free Rollup Pancake Recipe

  • 1 c. lowfat cottage cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk (can also add small splash of vinegar to regular milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 teeny tiny scoop of pure stevia extract

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Turn blender on and process until smooth; the batter will be very thin.  Let batter rest for 5 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat or 400 degrees.

Pour batter onto hot and well buttered skillet and cook for about 1 minute.  The batter will not bubble or puff up like regular batter so turn after the edges are set.  Turn gently (these are more delicate than regular pancakes).

Grain Free Rollup Pancakes Cooking

Remove from griddle when cooked on the other side.

These can be served as regular pancakes or with filling and rolled up.  The texture of these is very moist, especially for grain-free and coconut flour.  Filling and so delicious!!!

 

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Homemade Knoephla Soup Recipe

There must be an unwritten rule that if you do any time in North Dakota, you have to eat Knoephla Soup. I spent most of my first 20 years of life in North Dakota and hadn’t tried this German soup until 2 years ago. As a native North Dakotan, and 1/32 German. I am ashamed.

But to redeem myself, today I’m sharing the absolute VERY best, most delicious homemade Knoephla Soup recipe with you.

So for those of you who may be wondering what on earth Knoephla Soup is, it is a potato soup with little noodles (German word for these are knöpfle – meaning knobs). It is thick and hearty, somewhat like a stew so you can add less water to my version if you’d like.

I’m a protein girl so you may add cooked chicken to this soup as well. My sister and grandma both swear off chicken in Knoephla Soup…but I assure you, it’s yummo with it!

Homemade Knoephla Soup

This recipe is adapted from A Pinch of This.

Knoephla Soup Recipe

Soup:

  • 3 Tbps Butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 c. milk
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 c. heavy cream (added right before serving)
  • boneless chicken, cooked and cut up, optional

Dough:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion salt, (or 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 1/2 c. milk

Instructions:

In a large pot, melt butter and saute onions, celery, & carrots for about 10 minutes or until onions are cooked and transparent. Add water, seasonings, milk, broth, & seasonings to pot. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about a half an hour or until the potatoes are almost cooked.

While soup is cooking, in a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dough. Roll dough into a ropes 1/2″ in diameter.

Knoephla Noodle Ropes

Cut these ropes into 1/4″ lengths.

Cut Knoephla Noodles

When potatoes are almost cooked, drop the cut dough pieces individually into the boiling soup. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the dough is cooked through. Add the heavy cream and serve.

Deep Fried Dill Pickles Recipe

I got to spend some time with my sister recently, (a rare treat). I love sisterly bonding time…it’s so nice especially when you live several states away from each other.

My sis has one of those fancy deep fryers so we plugged that puppy in and got to frying.  Donuts, cheese sticks, french fries, and dill pickles.

And as luck would have it she also has an AMAZING recipe for deep fried dill pickles.  She shared her recipe with me and now you all are beneficiaries!  Lucky you!!

Deep Fried Dill Pickles Recipe

*Now to make these healthier, I highly suggest you use refined coconut oil.  Refined means the there is more processing and the coconut taste is absent.  The place I like to buy bulk oils from is called Soaper’s Choice.  Don’t be freaked out by the name of the company.  Yes, they sell oil to soap makers, but their oil is food grade.  Love, love, love it!

Deep Fried Dill Pickles Recipe

  • 2 quarts of oil, (highly recommend refined coconut oil)
  • 1 (16-oz) jar of dill pickle chips
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 c. wheat flour
  • 1 c. white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Drain the pickles in a colander to get all the juice off.

Place the pickles in a bowl and cover them with buttermilk.

In a separate bowl, stir the flours, salt, paprika, & cayenne.

Take a handful of the pickles out of the buttermilk and dredge in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour and place the coated pickles in the hot oil.  Do not place too many pickles in the oil or the pickles won’t crisp up. Fry until golden brown. Remove the pickles from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain. Continue frying pickles until all are done.

These are yummy dipped in ranch dressing!

And this is her awesome fryer, the Presto Stainless Steel Dual Basket Deep Fryer.

Presto Dual Basket Deep Fryer

It is available on Amazon, here and it’s on my wish list!

 

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe

I realize we are getting out of soup-eating weather but  I guarantee, you won’t regret making this Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe!

I originally made this soup almost 10 years ago when I first read Eat Fat Lose Fat.  I’ve made just a few changes to the original recipe and it suits us just right now.  One change I made is to not add the chili flakes to the soup pot since I have younger children eating it.  Plus instead of chili flakes, we use this….

Chili Garlic SauceAlso let me say that this fish sauce is a must…

Thai Fish Sauce

The fish sauce was in the original recipe but up until this past winter, I always used 1 tsp of salt instead.  Oh this makes  difference!  Find fish sauce if you can!

Lastly, we serve this soup with a bit of steamed rice to fill the bellies and I double this recipe for our family of 6.

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Coconut Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 c. chopped uncooked chicken breasts
  • 1 can whole coconut milk, (not light)
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar, (we love coconut sugar)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, (fresh is best)
  • garlic pepper sauce (or red chili flakes)

Instructions:

  1. Sauté onion and garlic in coconut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until translucent
  2. Add uncooked chicken, chicken stock, coconut milk, and all seasonings except garlic pepper sauce and basil.  Simmer about 15 minutes, reduce heat if it starts to boil.
  3. Top each bowl of soup with basil  and garlic pepper sauce.