slow cooker chicken parmesan soup.

Friday, I made the best soup I’ve ever made. I know that that’s not saying a lot, as I haven’t made that many soups in my day. But this stuff was good. I mean real good.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parm Soup


  • 1lb boneless chicken breast
  • 1C yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24oz diced tomatoes
  • 15oz tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4C chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2C heavy cream
  • 1 – 1 1/2C rotini pasta
  • mozzarella for topping


  1. Add chicken, vegetables, tomato sauce, spices, chicken broth and bay leaves (I substituted extra thyme because I didn’t have any) in slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  2. Remove chicken, shredding with forks. Set aside. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in parmesan cheese and heavy cream until fully combined. Return to slow cooker along with shredded chicken and uncooked pasta. Stir. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with shredded mozzarella and optional parmesan cheese. Brown under a broiler in oven safe bowls.IMG_2506.JPG

We also ended up having it for leftovers 2 days later and added some Boston butt to it. So so good!

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jalapeno turkey burgers.

Yesterday I wanted to crash after lunch. How do people make it all day? I motivated myself to pick up B, go by the grocery store, and cook dinner as planned. I pulled this recipe from a Whole 30 meal plan I saw posted. (I added onion hamburger buns and roasted red potatoes as a side — oops.) It was good, and I’m thinking about scratching the meal I’d planned for tonight in favor of leftovers!

This isn’t my first time cooking turkey burgers. I’ve made even simpler ones with just Mrs. Dash, avocado stuffed turkey burgers,  and even chipotle bacon turkey sliders. Apparently I have a thing for them.

These were fairly simple, and I was able to fix supper while B was entertaining herself in her jumperoo thing. She pretty much rocks.

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½-3/4 of one jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 medium size shallot, peeled and minced
  • zest and of one lime
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t cumin
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ½ t black pepper
  • guacamole (optional)
  • pico de gallo (optional)
  • poached egg (optional)
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s (not optional in our house)


  1. Place turkey, herbs, spices and lime in bowl and use hands to mix well.
  2. Form into four patties.
  3. Place pan on medium heat.
  4. Add olive oil to bottom of pan.
  5. When pan is hot, place patties in pan and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until cooked through.
  6. Top with guacamole, pico de gallo and poached egg if desired!

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white chicken & quinoa chili.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions has been to try to cook more — aka up my wifey game. D is such a fantastic cook. I can read directions … and then still tend to have questions. So I love a recipe that is pretty full proof. Don’t worry, I still had questions about how to operate the crockpot.

Sunday morning, after a fun Saturday night out and celebrating two of our best friends, I got up bright and early and started chopping celery to put together dinner. I plan to make it again and again, I liked it that much. We even had leftovers for supper last night.

Slow Cooker White Chicken & Quinoa Chili


  • 1½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (4.5 oz) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Toppings (optional): Cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese


  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, add chicken and the rest of ingredients. Cover and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and shred with two forks then add back into the slow cooker. Season with additional salt and seasonings if needed.
  3. Spoon chili into bowls and top with favorite toppings.

lemony shrimp & arugula risotto.

Lemony Shrimp & Arugula Risotto


3 T unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine – I used chardonnay because it’s the only white I had at home and I forgot to take my driver’s license in to Publix so they wouldn’t let me buy any pinot grigio. 
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound peeled shrimp
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 T chopped fresh parsley


1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed.

4. Add half the broth (1 ¾ cups) and simmer, stirring once, until absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining broth and simmer, stirring once, until the rice is tender and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Fold in the arugula, parmesan, lemon zest, and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the parsley and additional parmesan, if desired.img_1072

dresser reno.

D has had a dresser I’ve been itching to update for as long as I’ve known him. And we (mainly, he) finally completed that process over the weekend. Needless to say, I’m in LOVE.

The before picture is rough. This was taken after we’d moved it out of our master bedroom (with the help of removing the bottom drawers to lighten the load) in order to lay hardwoods in there. It stayed in our dining room in its current state until I convinced D to move it outside to begin the task of beautifying it.

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The handles are all too wide for the holes so I knew I’d be caulking the holes and re-drilling based on what I found to replace them with. I also had to sand it down before D primed and painted it.

Friday I went on the hunt for some great knobs because I knew it would inspire me to finally get the project completed over the weekend so we could move back into our master and take our clothes with us!

Here is the completed project before we moved it back in to our bedroom:

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Here is a close up of the knobs and handles I purchased:

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I picked up the knobs at Anthropologie and the pulls at Target. They look great together! To add to the fun, I already had a jadeite lamp base with white shade that I had used on the dresser and much to my surprise (and complete lack of planning) they look fantastic together! If you know me, you know I’m not much of a “matcher” so this was surprising and fun!


chipotle bacon turkey sliders.

Much to D’s surprise, when he came home on Friday night I was in the kitchen cooking. Here’s what I whipped up:

Chipotle Bacon Turkey Sliders


1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chipotle pepper, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo (found in the international section at Publix)
2 T olive oil
8 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon
8 hawaiian solls (dinner size rolls for sliders), toasted
2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


For the sliders:
1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, salt, pepper, garlic, chopped chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Mix until just combined. Form the turkey into equal-sized patties, about 8 burgers, though I usually make mine the size of the buns I have so you might get up to 10 sliders.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the turkey sliders and cook until golden and brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes each side. A minute or so before the sliders are done, add a slice of cheese on top of each and allow it to melt.
3. Top each slider with a few pieces of the fried bacon. Spread the avocado mayo on the bottom (and top, if desired!) of the bun and add the slider. Serve!

For the avocado mayo:
1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mash until combined.
2. Continue to mash and stir until smooth (you can add it to a food processor if you want it super smooth). I added some salsa to mine as well!

I used some of the remaining bacon to add to my twice baked potatoes as our side! It was delicious and we enjoyed a Friday night dinner on the porch.



black bean burgers.

I haven’t cooked lately. At all. Anything. I think sometimes you’re just in a funk … that’s what I’m calling it. A “my husband’s an incredible cook, why do I bother?” funk.

Friday I was out running errands and I texted D and told him I was handling dinner. I had a craving for a black bean burger and I was going to make it happen. So I turned to the Pioneer Woman for a how-to. And now it’s a recipe I’ll always go back to – so easy and so, so good … D even ate it up.

Black Bean Burgers


2 cans (14.5 Each) Seasoned Black Beans
1 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Grated White Onion
1 whole Egg
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
Salt And Pepper
Hot Sauce – I used Marie Sharps.
Swiss Cheese
Olive Oil, For Frying
Butter, For Frying And Grilling
4 whole Kaiser Rolls Or Good Hamburger Buns

  1. Drain, but do not rinse, the black beans. Place them in a bowl and use a fork to mash them. Keep mashing until they’re mostly broken up, but still have some whole beans visible. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until everything is combined, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil with an equal amount of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Form the bean mixture into patties slightly larger than the buns you’re using (the patties will not shrink when they cook.) Place the patties in the skillet and cook them about 5 minutes on the first side. Flip them to the other side, place 2 slices of cheese onto each patty, and continue cooking them for another 5 minutes, or until the burgers are heated through. (Place a lid on the skillet to help the cheese melt if needed.)
  3. Toast the buns, place patties on them, and serve!

I also made some homemade guacamole as an appetizer and as a topping for the black bean burgers! Delicious.


quinoa & turkey patties with tahini sauce.

I have a lot of cookbooks. For someone who is not that exceptional in the kitchen, it really is amazing. I love reading them. It’s like a scavenger hunt to find which recipes I can do, especially without having to get too much from the grocery store.

I pulled out my Power Foods cookbook the other day and found a recipe for quinoa and turkey patties in a pita with tahini sauce. I decided to make it sans pita and just throw it over a bed of lettuce using the tahini sauce as a dressing of sorts. It worked out well for dinner and even for my lunch for the next day.

Quinoa and Turkey Patties with Tahini Sauce


2 1/2 cups water, or more as needed
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove
1 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
12 ounces ground turkey
1/4 t plus 1 pinch ground allspice
1/2 t plus 1 pinch ground cumin
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 t finely chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
coarse salt
2 t canola or safflower oil, or more if needed


  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender but still chewy and has absorbed all the liquid about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, process garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 cup water in a food processor until smooth. (I used my vitamix!) If mixture is too thick to pour, thin with more water. Transfer dressing to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  3. In a clean food processor (I rinsed out the vitamix and used it for this as well.), pulse turkey, allspice, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, mint, scallions, and 3/4 t salt until a smooth paste forms. Add quinoa; process until mixture comes together around the blade, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. With dampened hands, roll about 2 T of quinoa mixture into a ball; flatted slightly and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 24 patties.
  4. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium, until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, fry patties until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer patties to a clean plate, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add more oil to skillet between batches as necessary.
  5. Serve over a bed of lettuce. Drizzle with tahini dressing.


zuppa toscana soup.

The weather in Columbia is one moody being. There were snow flurries on Saturday as Ashley and I ran the Red Shoe Run and then yesterday I was walking around in a tank top.

As we got our first true glimpse of colder weather this weekend, Ashley told me about a soup recipe she loved, so I took her word for it and got our Ninja crock-pot ready to go on Sunday.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • 1 lb. ground Italian pork sausage
  • ¾ cup onion, diced
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1¼ t garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups kale, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup vanilla almond milk (in place of whipping cream)
  1. Cook your sausage in a large skillet and brown over medium heat
  2. Drain and set aside
  3. Place your onion and bacon to the skillet and saute over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
  4. Place sausage, onions, bacon and garlic in your crock-pot along with remaining ingredients
  5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours
  6. Add your kale and almond milk to your crock-pot an hour before finished.
  7. Stir before serving

Delicious! D raved about it. What’s not to love — Italian sausage and bacon!? Winner.


when you love a chandelier.

A couple of months ago I picked out a chandelier for a house D was flipping based on some inspiration I had found online.

Here it is in place with some globe light bulbs! I really love the simplicity of it as well as how it adds a darker feature to the room.


I’d love to try the Round Edison Bulbs with this chandelier for a house one day, too. (There are Edison bulbs in the pendant lights over the bar.) Did you know Anthropologie sells all kinds of light bulbs?

If you’re interested in viewing this listing, please contact Creech & Creed Real Estate Services, LLC.