Intentional Living

For those that know me well it won’t come as a shock when I say that while I do very much believe in God, or the Universe, or whatever title you wish to give the higher power you believe in, I do not believe in organized religion.  There are too many inconsistencies, or requests for blind faith, and don’t get me started on the amount of violence done in the name of religion. Continue reading Intentional Living

Apple Cake

Since I don’t like pies I had to find some alternative so I could justify convincing my family to go apple picking this year.  Then I remembered a few years ago someone made me an apple cake made from a Pampered Chef cake mix and some chopped apples that I really enjoyed.

The recipe below is a bastardization of several recipes I found on the internet, and I’ve decided not to credit any one source as I took a bit from here, there and put my own spin everywhere. Continue reading Apple Cake

Roasted Tomato Salsa

I made this twice before I posted it, just to be sure it wasn’t a one hit wonder.

4 beefy slicing tomatoes (not too soft) quartered
(2nd time I used 6 smaller tomatoes on the vine, just as good)
1 white onion peeled and quartered
2 gloves garlic peeled
1 jalapeno whole
Cilantro (I used the leaves of one small fresh bunch)
Olive Oil
2 capfuls of White Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Roasted Tomato SalsaToss the quartered tomatoes and onions with the whole peeled garlic and whole jalapeno in a shallow roasting pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Let cool, set the jalapeno aside(1) and put the rest in the food processor.   Add to the food processor the white vinegar, a little more olive oil (1 turn), the cilantro leaves, salt & pepper to taste, and a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.  Pulse until it’s your desired consistency.  Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are this can become soupy fast, so if you like chunky salsa you’ll have to watch this closely.

(1) Working with the jalapeno: The first time I left the jalapeno out of the food processor entirely and there was enough of a kick from roasting them all together to give it the standard “mild” flavor.  The second time I used about a quarter of the jalapeno without the seeds.  Provided a nice little kick for me…for my husband he’d have been happy if I threw the whole thing in.  Adjust the amount you use to your heat level.

Ok I admit to not letting it “cool” that much and used it warm on tacos, then the next day cold with chips and guacamole.



Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Last night I tried one of the many recipes I pinned on Pinterest.  I haven’t always had the best of luck with Pinterest inspired recipes but this one was a hit all around.

I made 2 lbs of egg noodles, there was plenty for 4 generous servings as well as lunch for 2 and I still had plenty enough left over to store for the midnight raiders.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs cube steak or stew beef cut into bite size pieces
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup (I used regular, not golden)
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 14 oz can beef broth
8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream

In the crockpot, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream about half an hour before serving, stirring every ten minutes or so to break up cream cheese.

Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice. (After the egg noodles cooked, I add a few ladle fulls to the crockpot to thicken up the sauce.)

Not Quite Chicken & Dumplings

My husband isn’t a fan of the dumpling part of chicken and dumplings.  Something about them cooking in the broth just doesn’t appeal to him so last night I made the same chicken and replaced the dumplings with baked biscuits.


10 chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces
1 small onion, diced
3 gloves of garlic, diced
California blend frozen veggies (or whatever veggies you like)
3 small potatoes, chopped small
1 small can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom (Low Sodium)
1 small can Campbell’s Cream of Celery (Low Sodium)
1 to 2 rolls of flaky dinner rolls
Adobo seasoning (no pepper)
Black Pepper
Italian Seasoning
Canola Oil

Yields:  2 full meals for a family of 4, plus 2 lunches


In a dutch oven (or any deep pot) heat just enough oil to coat the bottom, then toss in the diced onion and season with a little Adobo and pepper.  Stirring occasionally, let them sweat out for 5 minutes then add your garlic.  You only need to cook the garlic a couple of minutes before you dump in the chicken, don’t let it burn.  Once you’ve got the chicken in re-season with a little Adobo and pepper and give it all a nice stir.

I waited about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, just until I started seeing some color on the chicken before I added in my potatoes and frozen veggies.  Re-season with a little Adobo and pepper, mix well.

Add in the two cans of soup and one to two cans of water (1 can = thicker, 2 cans = thinner/soupier).  Neither will be very thick so you can add the thickening agent of your choice, I simply chose to leave out any extra calories.

I let this simmer away for an hour, stirring occasionally, before I made my flaky biscuits (store bought roll) according to the package instructions.  *Then serve it by opening two biscuits on a plate and scooping the chicken, veggies and broth right on top.

*Set aside just about half to cool and freeze, for a quick prepared meal next week.  The remainder will give your family of 4 each two servings, plus 2 next day lunches.*

Another freezer idea that I haven’t tried yet:  portion it off into individual freezer-to-microwave safe containers for grab and go meals if your household is on different schedules, or like me you are simple meal solutions you can make in advance.