Tag Archives: recipe

Chicken Divan – A Family Favorite

A friend of mine gave me this recipe.  It is FANTASTIC.  I really like it, as does everyone in my family, including my 3 year old.

I’ve made a few changes to the original, but it is so simple, and yummy.



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover the bottom of a 8 x 8 baking dish with the shredded chicken. IMG_0566
  3. Cover that with the partially cooked florets (cook these for about half the time you usually do)IMG_0573
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, condensed soup, and  1/2 cup of cheese.IMG_0567IMG_0569
  5. Spread this on top of the chicken and broccoli.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining half cup of cheese over the casserole.IMG_0578
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.IMG_0580
  8. Serve over rice.  (Rice how-to here)


As you can see from the pictures, I basically just cover the bottom of the dish with chicken and layer the broccoli over.  As you make it, you may find you like more or less chicken or broccoli.  Again, it’s up to you and what you like.  That’s one of the big pluses of cooking for yourself.

The flavors in the soup is so delicious I find I don’t need to add any extra spices.  The brand is made of whole natural ingredients.  You are not eating chemical soup with this, you are still eating real food. So if you are looking for a good replacement for your Campbell’s Cream of Whatever, I highly recommend these soups.

Strawberries – Dehydrated

The strawberries are here!! That means summer is here.

And we have oodles of strawberries.

WAY more than we can use just for fresh eating.


There are so many things you can do with your strawberries:

  • eat fresh
  • preserve into a jelly or jam
  • strawberry pie (my husband’s favorite)
  • Strawberry Muffins
  • Fruit Salad
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  •  fruit leather
  • freeze
  • dehydrate

With today’s batch-o-berries, I’ve decided to dehydrate.  I like dehydrating strawberries as a way to preserve them.  It’s a much healthier snack than jelly (which is made from the juice of a fruit) or jam (which has the chunks of fruit in it.) as those tend to have lots of sugar, but I still make it.  It’s a tasty treat.  Especially when paired with homemade peanut butter.

Back to the Dehydrated Strawberries

I think they taste like a gummy fruit snack.  However, this is coming from a person who has probably eaten about 5 fruit snacks my entire life, and has not had one in years.  I believe my opinion on this snack being akin to fruit snack is similar to a vegan’s opinion on meatless bacon.  But these are pretty dang tasty.

And easy to make.

What do you need to make this delicious snack?

  • A dehydrator – You can certainly use your oven on a low temperature overnight, but I really do like my dehydrator.  It’s easier than my oven and more fool proof.  So while I encourage LESS clutter and LESS equipment, I do like having a dehydrator.  I use it to make Kale chips, fruit leather, and other dehydrated fruits
  • Fresh Strawberries – I used about 3 1/2 cups of fresh whole strawberries. Try to get them local and seasonal.  The better the ingredients the better the finished products.

How To Make Dehydrated Strawberries:

  • Slice them about 1/8 of an inch thick.  You can also put them on whole if you have small strawberries.  Keep in mind: the thicker the strawberry the longer it will take to dehydrate, AND the strawberries will shrink when they are dehydrated.

    I sliced, my little guy placed them on the dehydrator.

    I sliced, my little guy placed them on the dehydrator.

  • Place them in a single layer on your dehydrator.  If they are layered, they will stick together.  They will still be deliciousIMG_0437
  • Set your Dehydrator to 135 degrees F and let it do it’s thing for about 3 hours.  It may take longer or shorter depending on the current climate and the thickness of the strawberry slices.IMG_0440


I store mine in a mason jar in the fridge.  They may not need to live in the fridge, but I think that’s the best place for them.  They will last for months, if you don’t eat them.


These are good for snacks, or in granola, or in cold cereal.  We really like to eat these as snack plain.  I love having this healthy, convenient snack in the cooler months, long after strawberry season has passed.


Honey Mustard Lentil Salad

Lentils are super healthy for you.  They have fiber, iron, and other good stuff.  My husband hates most things having to do with Lentils.  Except this.  This salad.  This Lentil Salad has BACON, it has cheddar cheese, and a wonderful homemade Honey Mustard dressing.  AND, it’s super-duper easy.

The best part – the homemade dressing can be used on your green salads. So save the dressing recipe.  In fact, here it is, so you can easily access if for a green salad, if you like:

Make the Dressing:

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Sour Kombucha
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Olive OilIMG_0297

Mix all of the ingredients together in a glass bowl or measure glass using a spoon.  Taste it.  If it’s delicious, it’s ready to use.  You may want to use salt and pepper at this point, if you wish.  I generally do not.


Ingredients for the Lentil Salad (less the dressing):

  • 6 slices of cooked bacon.  If you do this like I showed you in this post, you can have that baking while doing these other steps.
  • 2 cups of dry lentils
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese (chopped or grated)
  • 1 cup of frozen corn or peas (adds a little sweetness)
  • If you want to add some extra healthiness to it, wilt some spinach to throw into the mix.

Make your Lentils:

I choose “Organic French Baby Lentils”


You can use whatever kind you like.  Measure out about 2 cups of the lentils.


Pour into a pot, cover with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil (**TIP** While this is boiling, now would be a perfect time to work on preparing the other ingredients and dressing**), stirring occasionally:


If during this time your lentils are higher than the water level, please add more water.

After about 20 minutes, remove two or three lentils from the pot, let cool and taste.  If the lentil is a little too toothy, let boil for a few more minutes before testing for doneness again.  If the lentil was done, remove from heat and drain through a sieve:


You have now made Lentils!! Yay!!!

Preparing the Other Ingredients:

Chop 1/2 an onion and add to the bowl that you will be serving the salad in:


Chop those six slices of bacon and add to the bowl:


Either cut about 1 cup of cheddar cheese or use about 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to your bowl.


Add 1 Cup of frozen corn or peas to the bowl.



If you decided to wilt some spinach to add to the bowl, go ahead an add.  To wilt spinach simply warm oil on medium heat in a pan, add fresh spinach and watch is wilt.  It’s that easy:


add those lentils to your large bowl.  Now it’s time to add that awesome honey-mustard dressing you made, and stir so that everything is combined and coated with honey-mustard goodness.

Last step, eat it.



My Favorite Chili Recipe: A Winter Favorite

Here is my favorite chili recipe.  It’s not only my favorite, it’s my husband’s favorite, too.  To taste this is to love this.  I’m not sure where the recipe originally came from, but I’ve modified it a bit over the years.  I’ve been making it for just under 9 years, and I have it just about dialed in for my tastes.

It’s so super easy, and they are ingredients you may have lying around.  Perfect for a day when you may be snowed in.  Or make it in the dutch oven and re-heat it on a campfire.

You need:

  • Some Butter (or oil, but please no veggie oil, that’s really bad for you) (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
  • An onion, diced
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic, diced
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 16 oz cans of beans.  Or you can cook up dried beans, I started with 1 1/3 cups of dried beans and went from there.  Here’s my post on how to do that.
  • 1 cup of water (if you are using store canned beans, put the whole container (bean goo and all) in the chili, OR 2 cups if you are using the dried beans, which at this point will be strained.
  • 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 14.5 Ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chili
  • 2 14.5 Ounce can of diced tomatoes (if you like it spicier, have two cans with green chili’s and one without.  We don’t like a lot of spice in our house)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • If you like it hot, you may want to add some hot sauce, too.  I’m not a spicy fan, so I don’t have any expertise here.

Now the next steps are really simple.  You’ll love this:

  1. Melt your butter or heat your oil.  Mix in your onions and garlic.  Heat until the onions are translucent. 20150108_175338
  2. Add your 2 pounds of Raw Beef to the pot 20150108_175434
  3. And Brown it. This really shouldn’t be a third step, but I have a picture!20150108_181209
  4. Now, add in all your other ingredients:20150108_181801
  5. Stir the ingredients together and let simmer for at least 1/2 an hour.20150108_184713
  6. Now EAT IT!!!20150108_184946
  7. And/Or Serve it to you family (we like ours with a little Parmesan Cheese sprinkled on top):20150108_190144

All of our bowls looked like this at the end:



This is a great and simple chili recipe that I have used for years.  Once it sleeps in your refrigerator overnight, it gets even better!  This is a family favorite in my house!