For the Cold Days

This is a soup for the cold days that have hopefully left us for awhile. Today it was around the 80 degree mark, but two weeks ago it was snowing and we got about 2 and half inches of snow! Looking for something to make on the cool evenings that warmed the tummy of my family and easy to throw together in the crock pot, I made turkey wild rice soup in the crock pot. I used some leftover turkey from our Easter supper and voila, a lovely soup was made! Onto the recipe.


8-10 c. chicken stock

8 oz. uncooked wild rice

1 T. olive oil

1 medium chopped onion

2 ribs of diced celery

2 diced carrots

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 T. bouillon

4 T. butter

1/2 c. flour

2 c. cream

2 c. cooked diced turkey

Salt and pepper to taste


In the crock pot, add the chicken stock and uncooked wild rice; set to high. In a large skillet add the olive oil and saute the onion, celery and carrots on medium heat; for about 10 minutes. Season with the black pepper and add the sauteed vegetables to the crock pot. Stir in the bouillon and cook on high 3-4 hours or 6-8 on low, until the wild rice and veggies are tender.

In the same skillet, melt a 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Gradually add the cream and whisk constantly. Add some more chicken stock to thin, if you feel it is too thick…thin it to your liking. Once the consistency is thickened to your liking and smooth, add the sauce to the crock pot. Stir to combine. Add the turkey and cook on high for 15-20 minutes, until heated through. Taste and season as needed. Enjoy!


Brunch Classic – Egg Bake

Nothing says brunch like an egg bake! There are many ways to make an egg bake, some with bread others with hash browns…this one is made with tater tots. Yes, tater tots and it’s delicious!

I treat the tater tots just like the hash browns in an egg bake recipe. I let them thaw, and pat them dry to avoid a mushy egg bake. Another key to remember, drain your sausage! So, on with the recipe.


1-16 oz. tube of Jimmy Dean sausage. I used the regular pork sausage, but you can use whichever sausage works for you and your taste buds.

12 eggs

1/2 c. milk

32 oz. tater tots

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees. Brown your breakfast sausage in a pan. Drain and set the sausage aside. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with some non-stick spray. Place the tater tots at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with some of the cheddar cheese, about a quarter of the cheese. Layer the browned sausage over the cheese sprinkled tater tots.

Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage. Finish the top of the egg bake by sprinkling the remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Enjoy!!

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife – A Book Review

I enjoy and love the world of food, and was intrigued by the title of this book. It is written by Elizabeth LaBan, who ironically is a restaurant critic’s wife, but the intrigue soon turned to monotony. I don’t want to say that I am disappointed in the book, but I am feeling that I missed the point.

I am left asking, what was the story about? What was the story line; where is the climax! Outside of reading about day to day living of a woman who was deep into a career, and now a stay-at-home mom; and her career obsessed husband, what was different about this story?! It’s like a movie that ended and you’re left wanting more, and not because it was that good, but because it was that voided. There was a missing twist of fate, or drama, comedy…something! I really wanted to enjoy the book, but I just couldn’t find that climatic moment. If you read this book, and find a total different outlook; I would love to hear from you.

My next book…Dark Moon, A Legal Thriller by Deborah Hawkins. I know, this book reading went in a whole different direction. I like to change it up sometimes. Happy reading!!

A Family Classic

When we have bananas that are reaching their ripening prime, we make banana bread! This is a classic in our family. The kids like it with chocolate chips. My husband doesn’t like chocolate chips, but likes walnuts. The kids don’t care for walnuts.

So, I say what’s wrong with the original…just banana bread. It’s a wonderful moist bread, and does not need anything else but the banana. Celebrate the banana!

This recipe is simple and delicious.


2 c. Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

¼ tsp. Salt

½ c. Butter

¾ c. Brown sugar

2 Beaten Eggs

2 1/3 c. Mashed Overripe Bananas


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.

Stir in the eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.


Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake in oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Enjoy your slice of banana joy!


Flour or Oats?

At our house, we have baked apple crisp recipes made with oats; and also recipes made with flour. I don’t know what is preferred in your house, but in mine…flour wins. I guess my family enjoys more of a deconstructed apple pie vs. an oaty (is that a word?) crumble.

So, here is one of our favorite recipes. Not too many ingredients, and filled with yummy deliciousness.


9 Apples, peeled and sliced

1 T. Cinnamon

2 2/3 c. Sugar, divided

2 c. Flour

1/2 c. Butter

2 Eggs


Place apples in a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1 cup of sugar; add an extra 1/2 cup of sugar if you are using tart apples. Combine flour, remaining sugar, butter; cream together. Add eggs and mix well. Top this mixture over your apples.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or until lightly browned. Serve with ice cream, and your enjoying a dish full of um um goodness!

What wins in your house, flour or oats. Maybe this recipe will win you over.


Brazilian Fish Stew?

I am all about celebrating my successes as well as my failures, and I believe today I am celebrating a half-failure, if that’s possible?

In my house, I like to spruce up the menu once in a while. When my children see me looking through my Pinterest recipes and searching the recipe sites; I can sense their mixed feelings. I hear them whisper, ‘mom’s looking for new recipes.’ We’ve had our wow food moments, and not so good moments. When I feel the need to change it up a bit. It’s about 60/40 that the whole family is going to enjoy the chosen dish.

Well, this recipe was a wonderful tasteful delight for my husband and me; but not so much for the children. I recall the hesitantly asked question from my teenager, ‘Brazilian fish stew, mom?’ I just smiled, nodded and said ‘yes’ with a smile.

My finished take on it.

Onto the recipe, Brazilian Fish Stew!

Recipe Posted by: BellevueMama from


3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 large bell peppers, sliced

1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 (16 ounce) can coconut milk

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Stir together the lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the cut up tilapia and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes, up to 24 hours. I let it sit for about 1 hour.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions in the oil for about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the bell peppers, tilapia, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Pour the coconut milk over the mixture. Cover the pot and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and continue cooking until the tilapia is completely cooked through, another 5 to 10 minutes.

If you enjoy a refreshing meal, this is the one for you. Enjoy!

Birthday Party Ideas and a Free Printable

This year, my youngest daughter wanted a sleepover party instead of going some place to celebrate. That was music to my husband’s ears, and meant saving some dollars in the pocket book. To me, all I was thinking about was entertaining about 10 9-10 year old little girls, oh mamma!

Anyway, we survived except for the fact three of the girls (including my daughter) ended up with a sore throat and the sneezes. Share the germs, I guess.

There were a few things that I want to share with you that might help you plan your next party. A money saver for me was that I created and printed our own invitations as well as our thank you cards. 

Another fun idea that kept the girls busy for a bit, was decorating your own cupcake! It was fun, and a sort of crafty thing to do.

Here is what ours looked like:

Chocolate cupcake in the middle, and all the sprinkles, frosting and colored sugars the kiddos would need. The trays were $1.00 each from the dollar store, each girl got their own. It was a blast for them, and most of the girls hadn’t done it before. Unfortunately, I don’t have an after picture. The girls ate the cupcakes as soon as they finished decorating them.

Here is a link to the invitations we printed for her party. Just write your information, and fold. Homemade cards! Blank-Invitation

As for the thank you notes, I just took a picture of the girls and pasted it into a Word document with a note of thanks typed along side of it. Pretty easy, and another money saver idea.

Hope these ideas work for your next party, and stay tuned for some more creative ideas! Please comment if you have any to share.