Slow Cooker Meatloaf– Best Meatloaf Ever!

I love, love Cooks Illustrated.  It’s my go-to place when I’m looking for a tested and trustworthy recipe.  I also really like Ina Garten, Epicurious. Alton Brown and Tyler Florence.  But I digress… I’ve been doing a lot of slow cooker recipes for my family recently since I’m so busy these days teaching cooking lessons.  Funny huh?  The cooking teacher doesn’t have time to make dinner.  I came across a slow cooker meatloaf recipe in Cooks Illustrated and made a few modifications to come up with this To Die For recipe. It’s moist without being soupy and really flavorful.  Drag out that slow cooker and give it a whirl.


Low Country Shrimp and Grits– easier than you think

I love to travel and Charleston is one of my favorite destinations.  I recently taught a Low Country Grits recipe in a Jr. Chef Road Trip Recipes camp and it was a huge hit! There are many versions of shrimp and grits, but I prefer the Charleston style with yellow cheese grits as opposed to the brown-gravy style. This is not a daunting recipe at all! Cooking the grits is the most time-consuming part.  If you live near Greensboro, NC, I  encourage you to get your shrimp from the Shrimp Connection. He usually has a truck near the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market.  Check it out!


Chicken & Vegetable Soup

I love shortcuts as much as the next mom.  This soup takes advantage of a really good product from the grocery store- Perdue Shortcuts.  I used the Fajita flavored one in this soup, but you could make it with any kind of cooked chicken.


Mushroom Soup with Herbs and Sherry

Here’s a warm and savory soup for a cold day.  I like this recipe because no matter what kind of mushrooms I use, the result is a woodsy, deep flavor.  I have also added some heavy cream to this recipe at the end to make it a Mushroom Cream Soup.  It could also be reduced down to a delicious sauce (just back off on the salt). The soup-making technique outlined here is very similar to other soup recipes. Once you master this technique, you can substitute the ingredients you like or happen to have on hand.  So what are you waiting for?  Go make some soup!




I Scream for Chocolate Ice Cream!

Ok I’m going to make this really simple.  If you own any kind of ice cream maker, go make your family some chocolate ice cream.  Just nothing like it.  This past week, I made two different kinds.  The ultimate Alton Brown’s chocolate ice cream and the “Frosty Style” Chocolate Soft Serve.  For the Alton recipe, I stirred in a couple handfuls of crumbled leftover brownies and popped in the freezer for a few hours to harden up.  Off the hook good!!  The only caution with this one is to pay close attention to the ice cream maker and turn it off as soon as the mixture looks like soft-serve.  There is so much cream in the recipe that it can quickly turn into chocolate butter.

Here’s the frosty style recipe. Tastes just like a Wendy’s Frosty.

-Combine 8 oz. sweetened condensed milk, 2 quarts chocolate milk and 8 oz. Cool Whip (thawed).  Stir it with a whisk to combine more easily.  Freeze like usual in your ice cream maker and serve right away.  Makes about 3 quarts. Kids will swoon!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake- 16″

Here’s another cookie cake recipe using Crisco.  This is the best recipe for the longest “keeping quality.”  Cookie cake stays softer for longer.  Plus, cookie spread  isn’t a problem.  I know the measurements are weird in this recipe, but I’ve tested several times and these are the measurements that work the best for one thick 16″ cookie.



Couscous Salad with Veggies and Herbs

This is the time of year that I get obsessed with salads.  And I don’t mean a pile of lettuce and bacon bits, I’m talking about creative, delicious salads made from interesting ingredients.  Black bean salads, kale salads, exotic fruit salads, watermelon salads, the list from the past goes on and on.  My current focus is couscous.  You know couscous, that tiny little wheat particle that tastes kind of like pasta and kind of like rice, but not orzo.  It makes a great base for all kinds of salads. Here is one that I think you’ll enjoy because it showcases lots of fresh spring and summer ingredients.  I would say 98% of people (including kids) who have tried this give it a thumbs up!

Sauteed Kale and Butternut Squash Medley

I enjoy creating dishes that include ingredients people THINK they don’t like.  My husband says he unequivocally doesn’t like kale.  But Honey, it’s so good for you!  So I got out my culinary palette and developed a tasty side dish that would change his mind.  Ok, Ok I had to add bacon but at least he’s eating kale now.  I know you will love this one, kale fan or not!