Yummy Veggie Soup

Yummy Veggie Soup

Veggie Soup


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, pressed

3 medium carrots, chopped

4 medium potatoes, chopped

1 small sweet potato, chopped

1 small zucchini, chopped

1 14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 14.5 oz can of white kidney beans

1 c. chopped green beans

1 1/2 c. chopped kale

1/4 c. dry white wine ( I like to use Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc )

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

4 c. vegetable broth 

2 bay leaves

1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste


In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and pressed garlic.  Cook until onions are clear and garlic is fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the wine and allow the liquid to reduce by half

Add the remaining vegetables ( minus-  green beans, kale and zucchini), canned tomatoes, beans, bay leaves and vegetable broth.  Simmer on low for 1 hour.

The last 15 minutes, add the green beans, kale, zucchini, and one big squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Cook until green beans are tender.

This soup is delicious and best served with warm crusty bread and butter.


Crock Pot Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes

Crock Pot Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes

Crock Pot Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes


  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp. oregano, dried
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving


    • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear until golden brown. 

    • Meanwhile, in a large slow cooker or dutch oven, toss potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, butter, garlic, thyme, oregano and parsley. Add parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until potatoes are tender and chicken is fully cooked. 

This is super easy and a great addition to the busier season now that kids are back to school.  You can use a traditional crock pot as mentioned above  or a dutch oven at 300 degrees for approximately 3- 4 hours.


Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon Lemonade


6 c. cubed seedless watermelon, chilled

4 c. cold water ( You can also use sparkling water )

3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice 

2/3 c. granulated sugar


Fresh mint leaves


In a blender, blend watermelon chunks until well pureed – Pour through a fine mesh strainer to reduce pulp

In a large pitcher, whisk water, fresh lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the watermelon puree and ice.

Pour over ice and serve with fresh mint.  Store in refrigerator

Enjoy !

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad


Watermelon – 1 small melon or 1/2 of a large melon (cubed into bite size pieces)

1 English cucumber, sliced

1 shallot – chopped finely

1/2 c. fresh mint leaves

1/2 c. fresh basil leaves

1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese


1/2 c. nonfat greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. honey

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill in refrigerator at least 20 minutes prior to serving.

This is a great summer salad to enjoy alongside hamburgers, turkey burgers or grilled chicken.


Strawberry Crunch Cake

Strawberry Crunch Cake

When I was a little girl, my grandma would make what she called a “Poke Cake”  She usually made it for her girlfriends when they were coming over to play bridge or for a Sunday dinner after church.  She always used Cool Whip, but I prefer real whipping cream – you choose 🙂

I hope this easy strawberry cake brings joy to your celebration or you can make an ordinary week night feel special.




You are going to start with a white cake mix.  Just follow directions on the box.  I like to make 2 9 inch rounds and layer this cake but you can also use a 9×13 pan.

  • 1 (3-oz.) box strawberry Jell-O


  • 1 1/2 cheavy whipping cream
  • 1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt


  • 24 vanilla sandwich cookies, such as Golden Oreos
  •  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 (3-oz.) box strawberry Jell-O
  • Fresh strawberries, halved for decoration on top and on sides of cake

Next steps…

After your cake has cooled, use a fork to poke holes in the cake.  Make sure you don’t go all the way through to the bottom.

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add Jell-O powder; whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup cold water.
Pour the gelatin mixture evenly over holes on cake. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat heavy whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

In another large bowl, using handheld mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, then add in vanilla and salt. Fold in whipped cream. Spread frosting over top of cake.

In a food processor, pulse cookies to pea-sized crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl. Pour melted  butter over crumbs, sprinkle with Jell-O powder, and stir to combine.

Sprinkle crumb mixture over frosting, pressing lightly into the frosting so it adheres.

 Add freshly cut strawberries and creatively decorate


Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa


  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder

Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least one hour prior to serving.

This salsa is great for an appetizer, served with tortilla chips or I also love to serve it over fresh fish ( halibut or tilapia really blend well with the flavors of this salsa)