Slow-cooker German Potato Soup

Boy, this soup smelled good cooking! But…it ended up being kind of bland. Of course I left off the sausage at the end, but you wouldn’t think that would MAKE the soup, right? We ended up adding some Maggi liquid seasoning to the mix and that helped, but I feel like this was a lot of effort for a ho-hum result. Shame.

rating: 6

Slow-cooker German potato soup

serves 8


Olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 large leek, washed, and chopped
1.5kg/3lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
Half a head of sweetheart cabbage, sliced
1 tablespoon marjoram
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 litre/4 cups vegetable stock
A small piece of German sausage, to garnish (optional)
Fresh parsley


Put the onion, celery, leek and carrots into a large saucepan, add a splash of olive oil and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until they have softened.
For the slow cooker/crock pot version, transfer the vegetables into your slow cooker, add in the potatoes and cabbage, sprinkle with marjoram and add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pour over the stock cover with the lid and cook for 6-8 hours on a low heat setting or 4-5 hours on a higher heat setting.
If you are cooking the soup on the stovetop, add the potatoes and cabbage to the partly cooked vegetables, sprinkle with marjoram and add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pour over the stock, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Make sure the vegetables are always covered with stock; adding a cupful of extra water if necessary during cooking.
Check that the potatoes are soft. At this stage, you can either serve the soup as it is, or else gently mash some of the vegetables and add them back on, or puree the soup with a stick blender.
To garnish, finely slice the German sausage and fry it gently in a small frying pan. Serve the soup with the sausage and a sprinkle of fresh flat leaf parsley.

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“Chicken” Tetrazinni

This was pretty easy to make, but my two kids did not love it. My 8 year old hated it, and my 5 year old ate it reluctantly. My 8 year old, though, doesn’t like the fake chicken or mushrooms, so there’s that. My husband and I, though, thought this was really good! I used Quorn Naked Cutlets in place of the chicken. I just warmed them up in a pan and diced them up. I also used Cream of Mushroom soup in place of the Cream of Chicken soup (hence the mushrooms). I just love casseroles like this, and this one was really good.

rating: 8.6

Chicken Tetrazinni

yield: SERVES 8-10
prep time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 60 MINUTES


16 oz thin spaghetti, cooked (or any of your favorite noodles)
½ cup butter (plus more for buttering pan)
4 chicken breasts, cooked, diced (I used Quorn Naked Cutlets)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I used cream of mushroom soup)
2 cup sour cream (I used Lite Sour Cream)
½ cup dry white wine
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Combine 1/2 cup butter, cooked chicken, soup, sour cream, salt, pepper and white wine. Add cooked noodles. Pour into a buttered 13×9. Sprinkle both cheeses on top. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. May be made in advance and refrigerated (before cooking). However, add time if that is the case to heat thoroughly! Enjoy!

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Mexican Street Corn Salad

This side dish was so easy, and we all (well, not my 5 year old), had seconds! I did use feta instead of the Cotija cheese (the recipe notes said that was an option), and I left out the jalapeno. My corn took forever to get some color on it and I kind of got impatient. I am sure if you cooked yours longer than I did, it would get nice and charred. Great side dish!

rating: 9

Mexican Street Corn Salad

time needed: 15 min.
serves 6


1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn (or 3-4 cups fresh corn)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3-4 oz Cotija cheese, crumbled (I used feta)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (I omitted)
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil over medium heat. Add frozen corn and let cook until corn starts to char, stirring occasionally (it took about 7-8 minutes before my corn was lightly charred).
While the corn is cooking, mix together mayonnaise, cheese, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, garlic, chili powder, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. When corn is done, gently fold it in with other ingredients.
Serve immediately and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Creamy Basil Parmesan Italian Soup

This soup was a little time-consuming to make, but man, was it good! If you buy pre-chopped veggies, it would make things go a little faster. It didn’t take too long to cook, and the end result was just AWESOME. Make this soup! Thank you, Pinterest!

rating: 9.8

Creamy Basil Parmesan Italian Soup

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 35 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins

serves 6


1 pound chicken breasts, chopped bite size (I omitted)
2 cups uncooked small macaroni
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
5 cups chicken stock or broth (I used vegetarian chicken broth)
2 14.5 oz. cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (with garlic), NOT drained – I used plain diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (I omitted)
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
Dash – 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups heavy cream or half and half*
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until almost cooked through. Remove to a plate.
Melt butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in the now empty pot and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, while stirring, for 4 minutes.
Add 1 more tablespoon olive oil, celery, red bell peppers and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour and cook, while stirring, for 3 minutes (it will be thick). Gradually stir in chicken stock followed by tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves and all remaining herbs and spices. Bring to a boil; cover, and reduce to a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is completely cooked through.
Stir in Parmesan cheese until smooth followed by heavy cream/half and half. Stir in pasta. If you would like a less “chunky” soup, stir in additional broth or cream/half and half.
Garnish individual servings with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil (optional) and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Easy Mac-and-Cheese Muffins

I thought my kids would be all over these, but they weren’t. But my husband was! I lost count how many he ate. These were really easy and I had no problem getting them out of the pan, but my only complaint about these is that they were a little salty! Next time I will leave out the salt!

rating: 9

Easy Mac-and-Cheese Muffins
(All Recipes Magazine, Nov. 2015)


2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, olive oil and salt; set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes, it should still be a little bit firm. Remove from the heat, drain and return to the pan; stir in the butter and egg until pasta is evenly coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of sharp Cheddar cheese and stir the remaining Cheddar cheese, milk and mozzarella cheese into the pasta. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the reserved cheese and the bread crumb mixture over the tops.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the topping is nicely browned. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. This will allow the cheese to set and they will hold their muffin shape.

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Smokey Green Beans

This is the side dish that I served with the BBQ bean sandwiches the other night. They were good! I used two packages of frozen green beans. They weren’t too smokey, so next time I would add more liquid smoke. My kids liked these!

rating: 9

Smokey Green Beans


24 oz package frozen green beans (I love the Trader Joes french green beans)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 tsp liquid smoke (depending on how smokey you want them)


Place frozen green beans in a large skillet over high heat, add 1/3 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil.
Cook green beans 6-10 minus, or until no longer frozen and they reach desired tenderness. For this recipe, I prefer them “cooked to death” but you may want them more crisp.
Once desired tenderness is reached, if there is any water left in the skillet, boil on high until water is evaporated. It should only take a minute, if any water remains.
Once water is evaporated, add soy sauce and liquid smoke to the skillet with the green beans. Saute over high heat until all liquid has been absorbed by green beans and is evaporated. Serve hot.

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BBQ Bean Sandwiches topped with Creamy Coleslaw

WOW, was this good! It is a little time-consuming, because you have to bake the beans, and it’s best to make the slaw ahead of time so it can sit. This whole meal was vegan! The sandwiches were really messy, but they tasted really great. The combination of the beans + slaw + toasted buns was just super yummy. I can’t wait to have another sandwich for lunch!

rating: 9.8

BBQ Bean Sandwiches topped with Creamy Coleslaw


2 (15.5 oz) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 pkg shredded cabbage (slaw mix)
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (my fav is Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart)
2-3 tablespoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer it)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp poppyseeds


Prepare coleslaw. Mix together vegan mayo, sugar, vinegar, and poppy seeds. Once combined, mix in the shredded cabbage. Place in refrigerator to chill while beans cook.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together beans and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of bbq sauce.
Place bbq beans in casserole dish, cover with foil, bake in oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil from beans, stir, and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes until sauce had thickened and reduced.
To serve, toast bread, layer beans, top with some coleslaw. Enjoy!

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