Category Archives: Hump Day

Crockpot Chili

When the weather gets cold, I always think about chili.  This batch is probably my easiest.  I will admit that I do cook all of my beans from dry, which is easy enough, just time consuming.  Growing up, we mostly had vegetarian chili, so I’m used to beans, and lots of them.  Then, typically I add in peppers and corn.  I was keeping it simple, so just frozen corn this time. So, I prefer a variety of beans.  I had about 2 cups of black beans still – cumin flavored.  Then I cooked about 4 cups total of red kidney beans, pinto, cannellini, navy and small red beans.  Some tomatoes (pureed and diced), some ground turkey, chili powder and 8 hours in a crock pot.  I warn you, this makes a ton of chili.  Make freezer space, or plan to share.  But if you can prep the various things in advance, it’s so easy to just dump, simmer and enjoy.


Crock Pot Chili

6 cups beans (any variety)

1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 6 ounce can tomato paste

1 4 ounce can green chiles

1 pound ground turkey (or beef or bison)

1 large onion, diced

1 cup liquid ( I keep my cooking juice from black beans and mix that in now, or you can add water, or any other appropriate flavor – beef broth, red wine or chicken broth would also work nicely)

1/4 cup chili powder

Other spices as you like them – oregano, garlic, cumin, onion powder, etc.

1 small bag of frozen corn

Cook meat and diced onion until meat is cooked and onion is soft.

Puree whole tomatoes with juice in blender, VitaMix or food processor.

Mix tomatoes, beans, meat, onions, green chiles, tomato paste and diced tomatoes (with juice) in crock pot.  Add additional cup of liquid.  Add spices and give one stir.  The pot will be full, the beans should be just barely covered by liquid.  Turn the pot on low and simmer at least 6 hours (or on high for about 4 hours).  30 minutes before eating, add in the bag of corn, stir.  Serve with rice or corn bread.  Top with cheese or sour cream.  Yum.

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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Hump Day, Seasonal Soups and Salads


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Spinach, Onion and Ham Quiche

One of my favorite meals to deliver to a family is quiche.  I am reminded that “real men don’t eat quiche” but I haven’t met a man yet who won’t at least try it.  It’s just eggs in a pie!  Now, mix in some sausage and spice and I get a better review from men than when it’s just vegetables.  But quiche is fun because you can mix in whatever you have ~ be creative! 


I’ve always just used a Pillsbury pie crust for my quiche.  This week I decided to make an almond crust by inspiration from a friend.  Then I was digging around and discovered that instead of heavy cream mixed with my eggs I could use Greek yogurt – less fat, more protein!

The basic idea with quiche is eggs, cream, cheese, and goodies.  For this one, we’re going to use what’s in the fridge.  I bought a bag of onions at Costco this month.  Great value, but there are about 10 HUGE onions, so I keep looking for reasons to use them 🙂 I caramelized about 1/4 cup sliced onions.  I cooked down a cup of spinach and diced 10oz ham.   

But use what you have – sausage, asparagus, broccoli, chicken, etc.  Saute most vegetabls so they don’t remain too watery in the eggs.  Then when it comes to cheese, classic quiche is usually with Swiss or Gruyere, but I prefer monterey jack, cheddar and this time, I used an herb goat cheese (from Trader Joes).  So on with the recipe.

Spinach, Onion, Ham Quiche with Goat Cheese
Image1/2 large onion, finely sliced and cut again into about 1″ pieces
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
10 oz ham, diced
Pie crust (see Almond crust)
5 eggs
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
4 oz herb goat cheese
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp pepper
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tsp smoked paprika


Prepare all of the pieces in advance if you need to so all you’re doing is mixing and cooking.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Saute onions until they darken, soften and begin to caramelize.  Chop spinach and mix in with the onions until it reduces to about 1/2 cup vegetables.  Set aside.  Dice ham.  Set aside.

Prepare crust and press into pan.  Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes until it is slightly darkened.  Turn oven down to 350.  Stir together 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and eggs with some salt and pepper.  Mix in 4 oz goat cheese until crumbled and combined. 


Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded cheddar in bottom of pie crust.  Top with “goodies” and pour in egg mixture.  Carefully move to oven and bake in a preheated oven (350) for 35 minutes.  If it is especially full, you may bake it on a cookie sheet, just in case it overflows!  After 35 minutes, pull out the quiche and sprinkle Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika.  Bake another 10-15 minutes until eggs are set in the middle.

Let cool about 10-15 minutes.  Serve.  Enjoy.

Printable Recipe: Spinach, Onion and Ham Quiche


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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Hump Day


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Hump Day Dinners

Wednesdays are called hump day for a reason.  If we can just get over the hump, it feels like the rest of the week might be easier.  So dinner Wednesday night needs to happen, but it also should be easy.  There’s only so much mental energy to devote to dinner on Wednesday nights around here.  Typically our Wednesday nights are either our easiest meals or just leftovers to clear out the refrigerator.  We have ballet until 5:45 so getting anything organized means a very late dinner.  In addition, I seem to find myself in the stage of life where there are LOTS of babies being born among friends and our church.  So we find ourselves sharing meals regularly.  I’ve always wanted to compile those meals into a cookbook.  I want a collection of meals that are easy to prepare in advance, easy to transport in disposable containers.


So that will be our Wednesday features: crockpots, easy to prepare, easy to share, easy to freeze meals.  Some of my favorites are salsa chicken in the crock pot, barbecue pork or chicken, chicken enchiladas, chicken pot pie and poppy seed chicken.  What are some of your favorites?  I would LOVE to know some of your favorites in this category, I’m always looking for new shareable meals.

Well, as Wednesdays are a tough night to get dinner on the table, I better go tend to that.  Tonight, it’s leftovers, quesadillas and salad.

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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Hump Day, Kitchen Notes