Family Dinners

Ham and Navy Bean Soup… A Man’s soup!

It’s a culinary fact… some dishes are just more popular with men.  Ham & Navy Bean Soup is one of those.   Lots of women like it, but A LOT of men LOVE it.  It’s that stick to your ribs thing, I guess.  When I get a pot going at home and the smell fills the house, hubby’s eyes light up and he gets his bowl ready.  My dad and multiple friends also love this soup.  You know the best part??  It’s so easy!!  All you need is an afternoon for it to cook on its own.  Serve it up with some crusty buttered bread plus a salad and you’ve got a nice dinner for a crowd.  I have made this soup for many years, adapting it over time.   I honestly don’t know where the original recipe came from.  Fix it soon for the man in your life!

Ham and Navy Bean Soup

What to do with Cherry Tomatoes??

My son loves to garden with Daddy.  They enjoy mapping out the plan each year, choosing the seeds, planting, watering and harvesting.   One of our son’s favorite garden “candies” is cherry tomatoes.  Every couple of days, son and daddy present me with a fresh bowl of juicy red bounty.   We keep some on the counter and my little one pops a few in his mouth each time he walks by.  Fine by me since they are packed with vitamins and nutrients. What to do with all those Cherry Tomatoes???   How many salads can a person eat!  Here are two simple ideas.  I hope you’ll share some of your ideas in the comments section.

Slice them and layer on a BLT sandwich.  I used thick cut bacon, whole wheat toasted bread, olive oil mayo mixed with seasoned salt, and a hearty portion of organic baby spinach and mixed greens.  Add a side of fruit or pasta and you have a simple, tasty meal that puts a big dent in your cherry tomato stock.  

Another idea….. thread a few onto skewers, marinate and grill along with some tasty beef filet chunks or Asian Grilled Chicken.  This chicken recipe was shared by a friend and I love it!

The Family Gets Fishy

It all started when I was in the bathroom.  When my son was about 11 months old, Daddy and I took him to the beach.  Daddy was in charge while I took a restroom break.  When I came back to the table, my little angel was gobbling up Daddy’s crab legs dipped in butter and loving every bite!  I tried to push aside my food allergy fears and smile as he looked up at me with a butter-dripping-chin.  Ever since then, my son has LOVED fish and seafood. We all do!  So, over the years, I’ve gotten more confident making these kinds of dishes at home.  Here are some of my faves.  My son eats most of this as long as it’s not too spicy.  I usually “deconstruct” the dish before serving to him and that does the trick.

Not easy, but worth it..  Crab Stuffed Shrimp

Other great recipes that are completely doable!

Baked Shrimp with Feta

Scallops & Green Beans with Creamy Bacon Vinaigrette    MY FAVORITE


Salmon Cakes with Cool Lime Sauce

Seared Ahi Tuna

Don’t be afraid of cooking fish and seafood.  It’s not as hard as I used to think and it’s fun experimenting with different choices.  If it’s on sale, cook it!


Chicken with Sausage and Potato Stuffing Makes Hubby Really Happy

Since we had a “stay at home” weekend, I tried a new recipe for Roasted Chicken with Potato Stuffing. It all turned out great, but the big hit element was definitely the stuffing made from sauteed red potatoes, onions, butter, Italian sausage, rosemary, thyme, S&P. It was delicious with the chicken but I think it would be equally amazing as a stuffing for a roasted red pepper or even a green pepper, if you like that better. There is definitely enough stuffing left over to freeze (after having the chicken) and then bring out later as a reinvented meal with the peppers.  This recipe does require some cooking time, so do it on an afternoon when you’re hanging around the house.  Your whole house will smell like Southern Sunday Yum!

Chicken with Potato Stuffing