Herbed Navy Bean Soup

The taste and creamy texture of navy beans is addictive to me.  So, in my thinking, navy bean soup is nearly a perfect food, especially when it’s so cold outside.  Now that I’m experimenting more with herbs, it only gets better!

Navy beans are easy to cook while being a great source of protein, minerals and B vitamins, not to mention they can stretch a dollar.

My soup starts with a chicken broth base to which chopped veggies were added.  A good blend of herbs for seasoning and little chunks of ham rounds it out.  You might include chopped parsley ~ I include celery leaves instead.

Now, for the recipe of this delicious soup:

Herbed Navy Bean Soup


1 pound dried navy beans, sorted and rinsed

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

3 green onions, green and white parts, chopped

½ cup celery leaves, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon dried tarragon

½ teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon rosemary

1 cup ham steak, cubed (or smoked ham hocks)


Add beans, broth and water to large pan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil again.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cook until beans are tender, 90 minutes to 2 hours.

To thicken, mash a few beans at a time to the side of the pan.

Stir well and serve.


Apricot Glazed Pork Chops

It’s 15 degrees below 0 this morning ~ that’s -15, and with wind chill, it feels like -30!

It’s so cold that I put the pork chops in the freezer to thaw!

Seriously, last night’s dinner of pork chops was delicious, and it’s all because of the “just right” slightly sweet savory glaze.  This is a Better Homes and Gardens recipe, combining apricot preserves with Dijon mustard and white wine.

The piquant sauce turned out to be a powerhouse glaze for the tender juicy pork chops ~ I helped myself to more than a little extra glaze.  It’s a great simple entrée for a weeknight meal, that’s plenty good for company. 

I can see this glaze for pork tenderloin in the near future, and for pork chops on the grill, if it ever warms up out there… 

Apricot Glazed Pork Chops 


2 thick pork chops, excess fat trimmed
Salt and seasoned pepper
Cooking spray
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
½ cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup white wine (or water)
1 teaspoon paprika


Season pork with salt and pepper.
Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat.
Add chops and onions, and brown chops on both sides.
Cook for 4-5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat.
Reduce heat to medium and cook covered until pork is cooked through, and fork tender.
Place on platter and top with sauce and onions.


Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

It’s 2 degrees now, with wind chill -20 degrees ~ just another day of arctic cold blowing through here again today!  The wind is “howling” and, we can look forward to several more inches of snow this afternoon.  Paradise, it’s not!

I’ve been cranking up the oven a lot lately because of the weather and this chicken dish was dinner last night.  Just combine simple ingredients in a roasting pan for a complete meal that doesn’t require additional work from you!

It’s a one-pan meal of chicken and potatoes, which is infused with lemon, garlic, and rosemary.  The Southern Living recipe, uses chicken legs and thighs, I made it with breasts and thighs.  The addition of capers and the great sauce with balsamic vinegar tops it off.

It’s easy to pull together for a weeknight dinner, or company too!

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes



2 lemons, sliced

1 (3.5 ounce) jar capers, drained

10 garlic cloves, smashed

3 sprigs rosemary, halved

2 chicken breasts

4 chicken thighs

2 pounds small red potatoes

1 cup heirloom grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Arrange first eight ingredients in a roasting pan.

Whisk together oil, juice and vinegar and drizzle over chicken.

Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Roast until chicken has browned and is done, about 50 minutes.


A Healthy Splash of Bourbon in the Acorn Squash

Having grown up in Louisville, I’ve been along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail more than once, and know a healthy splash of bourbon can’t hurt.

Without doubt, bourbon jacks up the taste of acorn squash.  This dish is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, thanks to the heavenly flavors of butter, maple syrup and bourbon, floating together in the squash cavities. It’s delicious and goes well with pork, ham or turkey.

The distinctive flavor of bourbon sends this squash over the top.  What a way to eat your veggies!

Bourbon Baked Acorn Squash


1 acorn squash

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¼ cup bourbon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste


Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Cut squash in half and set cut-side up on baking dish.

Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour into squash cavities.

Brush edges with mixture.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until fork tender, basting once during baking time.



Chile Lime Shrimp

Oh, la la!  This is a tasty sauce for shrimp!

It’s spicy, but light and good.  It’s an old recipe from The Chicago Tribune, which I filed away. We really enjoyed the saucy shrimp, and I wonder why it took me so long to make it. 

This is the first time I have used the chili-garlic sauce.  If you’ve never tasted it, you’re in for a treat if you’re a garlic and chili sauce fan!  As the ad says, “it’s a tempting blend of ground chilies and garlic.  It has a full-bodied flavor that will make your mouth water.”

Combined with brown sugar, lime juice and scallions, it’s an enticing sauce and I wish I had doubled the recipe. I will the next time ~ and, I won’t wait so long!  

Chile Lime Shrimp


1 teaspoon olive oil

Nonstick cooking spray

4 scallions (green and white parts), sliced thin

¼ cup lime juice

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar Blend

1 teaspoon Asian-style chili-garlic sauce

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

9 ounces peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp


Add olive oil and a generous amount of cooking spray to a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add scallions and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, garlic, brown sugar and chili-garlic sauce.

Pour over scallions and simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes.

Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp is pink and just cooked through, about 4 minutes.

4 servings



Roast Chicken with Old-fashioned Dressing

Who wouldn't like golden roast chicken, especially with a couple of spoonfuls of dressing on the side?

Roast chicken that’s crispy on the outside, juicy and succulent on the inside makes for an uncomplicated easy meal. For me, it requires only three ingredients ~ butter, salt and pepper.

I like roast chicken with a basic dressing, just like Mom used to make way back when. Throughout the year, I save the ends and crusts of white, wheat and rye bread in a plastic bag in the freezer. Then, when needed, I use a coarse box grater, to make the breadcrumbs. 

This recipe is about warm comforting down-home food that’s good enough for company! 

And, if there’s one dish that makes me contented on a cold winter days like we’ve been having, this is it! 

Roast Chicken with Old-fashioned Dressing


1 large roaster chicken, about 5 pounds

1 loaf of dried bread, grated

¾ stick butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage

1 teaspoon crumbled dried parsley

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

2 eggs, beaten lightly

¼ cup chicken broth, more if needed

2 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in large stockpot and sauté onion and celery until soft. 

Add breadcrumbs, sage, parsley, salt and pepper and combine.

Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes to cool.

Add eggs and mix lightly.

Add ¼ cup broth, and combine well, add more if needed.

Add only enough broth to hold stuffing together.

Sprinkle chicken cavity with salt and pepper.

Stuff chicken, packing it lightly with room to


Rub outside of chicken with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Place chicken in roaster and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 1½ to 2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in inner thigh area registers 180 degrees and stuffing registers 165 degrees.

Baste every 15 to 20 minutes.

Let chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Serves 5-7 people


Lazy Man’s Ribs and Brrrrrrr!!!!!!

I’m telling you, it’s so cold in Chicago-land this morning, that our neighbors’ snowman is begging to come inside to get warm…

Our thermometer here in Cary, registered -15 degrees this morning.  That’s 15 degrees BELOW 0, with a wind chill of -40 degrees! 

Not to mention the 30” of snow we’ve had so far this winter, with about a foot of it on the ground now. 

Ice is cracking on the roof ~ the sound is akin to a gun being fired from above ~ a loud, very quick bang.  An eerie, eerie, creepy scary sound, for those of you not familiar with it --- particularly when it happens during the middle of the night.  

But the sun is shining… These ribs were definitely the comfort food that was needed here.  My younger son, Matt, gave me The Taste of Home Cookbook, for Christmas.  It’s packed with great recipes:  Lazy Man Ribs, by Allan Stackhouse, Jr., being one of them.  


It has to be about as close to perfect for a rib recipe that I have come across.  He says some friends have suggested he bottle the sauce and sell it to the public.  I get that, as the sauce is so distinctive ~ a savory, tangy sauce!

It looks like a lot of ingredients below, but do not omit or substitute ingredients, especially the molasses and liquid smoke.  I will gladly make this sauce for pulled pork, chicken and so forth.  These ribs are easy to make, juicy, falling off the bone tender, and in 2 words:  sensationally scrumptious!  

Lazy Man’s Ribs


3 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into eight pieces
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup ketchup
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup cider vinegar
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke


Rub ribs with Cajun seasoning.
Layer ribs and onion in a 5-qt. slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, orange juice, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, paprika, garlic powder and Liquid Smoke.
Pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.

5 Servings


Hope you’re warm and cozy wherever you are!

You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



Total Pageviews