——creativity never goes out of style——


Kale and Vegetable Soup

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For those of you that work a regular Monday to Friday schedule…. it’s officially half way through the week and only a couple of days till the weekend! This week I have been feeling extra domesticated in the kitchen. I have been on a creative spree and have managed to try a new recipe every night for the past five days and so far each one has been successful! My cooking creativity was partially inspired by a boredom of dinner ideas and partially because I’m paying closer attention to the quality of food I take in. This soup is a combination of several different soup recipes that I felt should all be united into one slow cooker. Continue reading


Healthy Slow Cooker Clam Chowder

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Happy Monday everyone!! I hope you all had a great weekend! If you read my post the other day you might remember me ranting and raving about the best clam chowder I had on the coast. I’m sure it was composed from a vat of cream and an ample amount of butter, so in order to enjoy it on a regular basis I knew I had to Chels-ify the typical chowder recipe. I re-created an equally creamy and delicious version with a fraction of the fat. Continue reading


Spicy Sausage Soup

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Happy Friday everyone! I just got home from the gym and since I’m famished and already thinking about food, it’s the perfect time to share a recipe. This is my slow cooker spicy sausage soup. I just love the combination of spice with a hearty vegetable base so I used spicy Italian sausage in this soup and it was the perfect amount of kick for my liking. Enough to tingle the tongue but not enough to send me face first into a carton of milk. This soup is packed with nutritious ingredients and served aside fresh cheesy garlic bread or homemade biscuits, you’ll be in comfort food heaven. Be creative too! I made mine basic but you could add chick peas, beans, lentils, orzo or even cooked noodles at the end. The more the better! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 spicy sausage links
  • 2 cans reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

Directions:

1. In medium pan over medium-high heat add oil and saute onions and garlic. Squeeze sausages from casings and cook until no longer pink.

2. Add onions, garlic and sausage to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

For those of you devouring a homemade meal tonight…. I will live vicariously through you. Tonight I will be eating while driving safely operating a motor vehicle with due attention. (If there were ever such thing as car-dining Olympics I would come in first place) We are going with close friends to Penticton tonight to see a country concert! I have always loved a wide array of music but ever since I was a kid, country music has been my bread and butter for music choice. So for those of you that are in the honky tonk loop… tonight we are seeing Eric Church and Colt Ford! I cannot wait to see him perform live…. who knows, I might even dig out my cowboy boots to boot. (haha) These are some of the musicians I have seen live.

  • Trisha Yearwood
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Clink Black
  • Terri Clark
  • Julian Austin
  • Jo Dee Messina
  • Patricia Conroy
  • Cruise Arrows
  • The Wilkinsons
  • Adam Gregory
  • Alan Jackson
  • Big and Rich
  • Emerson Drive
  • Johnny Reid
  • Aaron Lines
  • Deric Ruttan
  • Dean Brody
  • Aaron Pritchett

There’s something that always puts me in a good mood when I listen to country music, so I’m excited to end the week with great company and great music!

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A few years ago when I met Aaron Pritchett.

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Last year when I met Dean Brody, Aaron Lines and Deric Ruttan….. my hubby was such a good sport while I soaked in the spotlight with three other men! haha

She likes huntin’, loves fishin’, and she can hold her own in the kitchen – Colt Ford


Skinny Minestrone

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I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend, because I know I am! Last night my girlfriend and I went to see the movie Silver Linings Playbook. I personally find that my opinion on a movie is always affected by the reviews I hear before-hand. Movie reviews to me are silly because your feelings towards a movie are about as personal as your food and wine preferences. To each their own. So when everyone says Continue reading


Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

My brother was staying with us for a few weeks when he moved back to town last month. I’m so glad he’s back home and I was soooo excited to have some company in the early afternoons when I get off work early. But that posed a problem. Now I was feeding two grown men and myself (and I can out eat both of them on a regular basis) So I had to expand my usual light dinners to a much more meat-and-potatoes friendly menu. I told my brother I’d treat him to some homemade slow cooked ribs even though I’d never made ribs before. Now that is sibling love if I ever heard of it.

So I made an easy BBQ sauce and cooked them all day in the slow cooker while I was at work. My house smelled like a steakhouse when I walked in the door and my brother loved the ribs! The sauce was great over rice as well. He is a true rib connoisseur so I knew they were good. This picture was the ONLY chunk of ribs that stayed in one piece pulling them out of the pot. The rest literally fell off the bone. And baking them first made a huge difference in sealing the juices in. Hope you like it!

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs (enough to fill a 9 x 13 baking dish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • several dashes of hot sauce (depending on taste)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Place ribs in a shallow baking pan. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes. Drain fat.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, BBQ sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.

4. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender. Enjoy!

A smiling face is half the meal. – Latvian Proverb


Slow Cooker Chili

In my opinion, soups, stews and chili’s just need to be homemade. I never used to be a big fan of chili because the restaurant and store-bought chili’s just tasted too processed for my liking (and I’m the LEAST picky eater I know) So in order for me to eat it, I guess I needed to make it.

    But I also don’t particularly enjoy babysitting a pot of chili on the stove for hours. Insert slow cooker here. If you’re like me, you don’t get up earlier than you have to. For anything, especially not to prepare dinner. So in the evening while I’m watching a little TV I get everything prepared and ready. Then I put the slow cooker insert into the fridge overnight. So first thing in the morning, I just have to put the insert back in the slow cooker and turn it on. So here is my favourite easy chili recipe. It took me a while to figure out what I put it because usually it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that until it tastes right. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (I like ground turkey and ground chicken as well)
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 2 red, green or yellow pepper chopped
  • 1 small can of tomatoe paste
  • 1 large can of stewed tomatoes (garlic stewed tomatoes are great too)
  • 1 can 6 bean medley
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 can corn kernels
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • several drops tobasco sauce
  • season with salt and pepper

*Secret Ingredients* (sharing is caring)

  • 1 can of pork and beans in molasses sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Saute onions and garlic until clear. Add meat and cook almost completely. Transfer to slow cooker

2. Chop celery, carrots and peppers and add to slow cooker.

3. Add remaining ingredients and cook in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. The longer the better!

Next to music there is nothing that lifts the spirits and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili – Harry James