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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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)


  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.

SweetLeaf Stevia Flavor Drops: A Giveaway!

I’m so excited to announce a giveaway on The New Lighter Life!!  Hang on for details, but first the product….

I use to drink Crystal Light like it was going out of style.  Turns out it was…because many people figured out that Aspartame is all sorts of bad.  Once that revelation came, I ditched the Crystal Light and pretty well gave up on the idea of a flavored water that was super-convenient.

But today I’m so excited to share a new stevia product.  These handy little bottles of stevia-sweetened Flavor Drops are so easy, you just add several drops to your water to taste.

No Aspartame or artificial sweeteners in these babies…just organic stevia.  And they’re perfect for the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan!

Raspberry Water Enhancer Bottle - Stevia Sweetened

There are 4 flavors of these Sweet Drops:

  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Lemon Lime
  • Peach Mango
  • Raspberry Lemonade (my personal favorite)

I’ve tasted them all and they are refreshing and light.  I’m a fan!

Now The Giveaway

SweetLeaf Stevia Flavor Drops

I am giving away 4 full-size bottles of the Sweet Drops!

To enter this giveaway, follow the Rafflecopter form below!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Napa Cabbage Salad ~ With Sweet Crunchies

This Napa Cabbage Salad is a favorite.  It is so yummy!  In fact that one month I made it every week, multiple times.

Oh it hits the spot!

There are all sorts of Napa Cabbage Salads, but this one is different because the Crunchies are sweet and caramelized.

Before I get into the recipe though, I wanted to show you how I cut up my cabbage.

1.  Cut base off Napa Cabbage Head.

Cut bottom off Napa cabbage head.

2.  Remove outer leaves that are damaged or wilted.

3.  Wash cabbage, (shhh – I forgot and we ate dirty cabbage – any guests I’ve given this to, it’s ALWAYS been washed – promise).

4.  Cut cabbage head in half, length-wise.

Cut cabbage head in half length-wise.

5.  Cut 3 or 4 strips down the length of the cabbage head.

Cut strips down length of napa cabbage head

6.  Cut thin strips width-wise.


That’s how I cut up my napa cabbage.

Now the recipe…

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sweet Crunchies

Napa Cabbage Salad ~ With Sweet Crunchies


  • 1 head napa cabbage
  • 6 green onions


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg ramen noodles, broken
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce


  1. Finely slice the head of cabbage; do not chop. Combine the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make the crunchies: Melt the butter in a non-stick pan. Mix the ramen noodles, sesame seeds, and almonds in the pan with the melted butter. Saute until the mixture starts to lightly brown.  Stirring continuously, add sugar and cook until caramelized.
  3. To make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, & soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
  4. Combine dressing, crunchies, and cabbage immediately before serving. Serve right away or the crunchies will get soggy.

This salad does not refrigerate well or keep.  That said, I like to mix little portions of this salad at time.

I also have a confession to make, My salad above doesn’t have green onions.  Since Mark hates onions, I make it without the onions.  I almost bought green onions simply for the photo but I’m all about keeping it real.

Favorite Homemade Cookies – Best Ever Snickerdoodles

I love homemade cookies!  They are my favorite dessert, hands down.

My healthier cookies, the chocolate chip cookies with beans are so yummy and completely guilt-free.  But these Chewy Snickerdoodles are so amazing, they are worth the sugar-spike if you aren’t taking Plexus Slim!  They melt in your mouth and are chewy.

The recipe, from Nancy Baggett is nearly perfect, but I sub in honey for corn syrup.  Also, Ms Baggett does a great job of explaining the process in detail, I don’t roll that way.  I like easy and I pretty much make creating these little morsels as painless as possible.

Before I share the recipe, let me just rave on this book, The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett.

All American Cookie Book

If you are a connoisseur of homemade cookies, this book is a must.  Unfortunately, it is no longer in print but I adore it!  It is one of the few books I kept through our move into the camper.

You can pick up your copy, here but you’ll have to buy used.

I’ve made about a dozen of the recipes in this cookbook and every one of them was delicious!

Here is my simplified and ever so slightly healthier version…

Best Ever Snickerdoodles - Chewy and melt in your mouth.  Without corn syrup and so delicious!

Best Ever Snickerdoodles

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 2/3 c. flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. sugar + 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, honey, and butter.  Mix in the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and stir.  To this bowl, add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.  Mix until consistency is even.

Let batter dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes or until it firms slightly.  In a shallow bowl mix 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Roll dough into generous 1 inch balls and coat in sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place balls on greased pan or ungreased stoneware.  Slightly press down and bake for 8 to 11 minutes, turning halfway through baking.

Remove from oven when just golden brown on edges and let them firm up slightly on your pan until you remove them to a wire rack to cool.

Best Ever Snickerdoodles



Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

I do believe I have you guys covered as far as hot chocolate recipes go!

First Ellie showed you how to make hot chocolate without powdered milk.  Next it was a gourmet hot chocolate ~ mint edition.

Today, I have my Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe.  Seriously, we live in San Antonio now…so it was bound to happen!

It is delicioso!  But in the interest of full disclosure, my kids don’t care for this one.  Rest assured they are normal kids and never heard of cinnamon in hot chocolate till this year.

Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • teeny pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch chili powder (or cayenne if you like heat)
  • whipped cream

Heat the milk in a cup in the microwave for 1 1/2  to 2 minutes.

Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, & chili powder.  Top with whipped cream.

Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate

Now if you are not into homemade, you likely didn’t make it this part of the post.  But you can buy Abuelita’s Mexican Hot Chocolate in the grocery store.

All you need to do is heat the Abuelita chocolate with milk and sugar.  It’s yummy and perfect for a crowd!