Diet & Nutrition, Recipes

Crock Pot Taco Soup



  • 1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (10 oz each) diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, undrained (I used the Rotel with the lime juice)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (about 13 oz) vegetable broth
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning (gluten-free)
  • 1-2 lbs ground turkey, chicken or beef
  • shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
  • avocado slices and/or fresh cilantro (optional)

Layer onions, peppers, then canned vegetables, sauce, diced tomatoes and broth in crock pot. Sprinkle in taco seasoning, stir, and heat on low for 5-6 hours. (Optional: I made this as a veggie dish, so browned the ground beef/turkey/chicken separately with a bit of the taco seasoning and offered it with the cheese, cilantro, and sour cream as “garnish.”)

Simple and delish! Serves 6-8.


Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

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I am not a food blogger, but this seems like a great way to capture some of my thrown-together recipes. I am hopeful this will save me time the next day I want to fry some chicken. Since I’m gluten-free and currently grain-free, seems like an even better reason to remember what I did!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

4 large chicken thighs (these are from Costco with bone in)
Coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond meal (trader joe’s)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (trader joe’s)

Penzey’s Seasoning Salt (eh – just a bit)
Some seasoning (I added rosemary, but you could add any dry herb that strikes your fancy)


  1. Thaw those chicken thighs (I always forget to do this ahead of time, but the microwave works well for this purpose). Remove skin (if you like) and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. In gallon Ziplock bag, toss all those dry ingredients, then seal and shake to mix.
  3. Melt a crap-ton of coconut oil in the skillet at medium-high heat.
  4. Throw the chicken thighs in the bag with your breading mix and shake (do remember to seal the bag first)
  5. If your oil is heated and ready, throw those thighs in the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Turn once more and cook another 5-10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Drain on paper towels, then serve with some roasted cauliflower for a terrific and quick dinner.

Notes after Making:

  • You might use all almond meal. Coconut flour is dry and requires more liquid than I used. I had to add coconut oil several times during the frying to produce enough fat. You could also use olive oil for cooking or perhaps leave the skin on to produce more fat during cooking.
  • This was delicious! Cooked perfectly for about 27 minutes.  Was dry enough there was no need to drain. Flavor was delicious, especially the hint of rosemary.
Family Traditions, Recipes

Grandma’s Pumpkin Cookies

Note: I originally wrote this post in December, but didn’t get the recipe until later, so the moment passed. That being said, pumpkin cookies taste great any time of year.

No Christmas is complete without Grandma’s pumpkin cookies. They must be iced, and they must be individually wrapped, especially if sent to loved ones through the mail. It helps to keep them frozen so icing doesn’t run. The pumpkin cookies symbolize all that is good about Christmas – generosity of spirit, sacrifice, love, and sugary sweetness with a hint of nutmeg. Here’s my sister Kathleen’s adaption of Grandma’s recipe:

2 ½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
½ cup butter softened
1 ½ cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla 

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.  Cream butter, and sugar then add pumpkin, egg and vanilla until light and creamy.  Then add the dry ingredients.  Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes depending on size.

To ice them, you can use store bought icing, but if you have time then use this: 

Mix together:
1 lb powdered sugar
½ cup butter
2-3 tbsp milk – may need more
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp butter flavoring

Ice the cookies after they have cooled a little. Enjoy!