Brown Sugar & Apple Pancakes

Tomorrow being Sunday, my official lazy brunch day, is the best time to make these!  Given there is fresh fruit and an oil substitute, you can feel somewhat healthy when eating these or feeding them to your kiddos.  They’re not overly sweet but will remind you of a deep dish apple pie.  Enjoy!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 Red Apple, your choice
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour, leveled
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp BakingPowder
  • 1/2 cup Applesauce
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 200degrees.  Cut your apple into bite size chunks and place in a Saranwrap covered bowl.  Put the apple filled bowl into the microwave for about 2 minutes until softened.  Set aside.

In large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, add together the milk, egg, applesauce & vanilla.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.   Pour the softened apple chunks into the batter and carefully mix in.  You don’t want to overmix the pancake batter, some small lumps are ok.

Heat a nonstick pan or buttered griddle to medium heat.  I, personally, like to spray my pan with extra nonstick spray between pancakes.  Cook each pancake about 2-3 minutes, until tiny bubbles form on the top.  Carefully flip over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Transfer these pancakes to an oven safe plate or baking sheet and place in the warmed oven till brunch time!

*These pancakes take on a darker color than normal due to the brown sugar.  Serve with warmed REAL Maple Syrup , extra softened apple chunks and a dollop of apple sauce!

Roasted Squash & Chicken Soup

Depending on what part of the country you live in, basically anywhere but Arizona (where it is already 90-degrees outside), you’ll find this recipe keeping you warm and full!  There are many flavors in this dish that work wonderfully together.  Pair a bowlful with a great piece of crusty bread and butter.  Dinner done!  …yes, it’s still fantastic in sunny AZ..

The Starting Lineup

1 pckg chicken breasts or tenderloins
•4 cups chicken stock/broth
•1 pckg 1/3 light cream cheese (cubed)
•1 can diced tomatoes (plain, undrained)
•1 can black beans (low sodium, rinsed)
•1 cup corn**
•1 butternut squash (roasted; keep the seeds and set aside)
•1 yellow onion (chopped)
•2 stalks celery (leaves included)
•1 carrot (chopped)
•2 cloves garlic (minced)
•1 small can chipotle chili in adobo
•3 tsp+ cumin
•Sea or Kosher salt/Pepper
•E.V. Olive oil
•nonstick spray
•Light sour cream

*you can use either a heavy bottom dutch oven on a simmer or a crockpot. I opted for crockpot so I could walk away for longer 😉

Line a large pot or crockpot with nonstick.  Add the chicken with the can of undrained tomatoes and about a cup of chicken broth.  Cover and turn on low.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise.  Squash can be a bit thick skinned and seem difficult to cut, so keep your patience and be safe with that knife!  Place on foil covered baking sheet (I sprayed nonstick on foil) and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over both pieces.  Liberally sprinkle salt, pepper and a tsp of cumin on each.  Place in oven for 40 min till soft and a bit caramelized.

Meanwhile, chop your onion, celery, carrot & garlic.  Heat a pan & a tbsp of oil to med high heat.  Add in the onion, celery & carrot with a tsp of cumin & salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for about 5-10minutes till tender and turn pan down to low.  Add the garlic and cook 30-60 seconds.  Remove from heat.

Around now your squash should be about done.  Remove from oven and let cool to touch.

Once cooled, cut or peel the rind off the squash leaving as much flesh intact as possible.  Cut the squash into rough bite size pieces.  Add around 1/2-2/3 of squash to a food processor, leaving remaining 1/2-1/3
of cut pieces aside.  Add the veggie mix from pan into the food processor along with one chipotle chili and about a tbsp sauce from can. *I like to add at least 2 chilis, but I like it spicy.  If you don’t like any heat, then omit all chilis 🙂 Reserve the rest of can for later.

Blend till smooth..add 1/2 cup chicken broth if needed to thin. (A blender would work also, just make sure the ingredients are not too hot…better yet, if you have an immersion blender use that in main pan!).

**Corn, extra step, I either roast my corn or pan fry it in same pan as I cooked above veggies in to give it a char.  Not necessary, but I like it for color and extra taste.

Rinse black beans.

Now add the corn, black beans, the set aside cut squash pieces and the veggie purée you made to the pot with chicken.  Add the remaining chicken broth to your taste.  Cover and let continue to cook.  If in a crockpot, allow 4-6 hours on high or 8+ on low.

About a good hour or so before you’re ready to eat, add the cubed cream cheese to pot and allow to cook down and melt.


*I like to roast the squash seeds just like you would with pumpkin seeds. Olive oil & sea salt.  Sprinkle over soup & chipotle cream.

*Chipotle Cream: Mix 1/2 cup of your sour cream with a tbsp+ of the reserved chipotle chili sauce.  I shake mine in a cooking squeeze bottle and drizzle over.  A big dollop of the chipotle cream would be just as good too! 🙂

*If you don’t have carrots, add a tsp or two of sugar added to onion, celery mix.

*In the crockpot on low (from when I originally added the chicken), I had it on for around 8 hours.

*I shred the chicken a bit with two forks in pot before serving.

Any other questions (hoping I forgot nothing!!) please ask 🙂

Guinness Corned Beef Sliders

Growing up I was quite fond of St. Paddy’s Day.  The corned beef and cabbage part, I was not.  Since being on my own, I created something along the lines of the traditional American-Irish meal.  However, mine is better.  At least to me.  It is also a crockpot meal, so you can be at work during the day and when you return home all you need to do is eat & have a green beer. 🍀🍻

The Starting Lineup

  • 3lb+ corned beef
  • 2 small yellow onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, quartered
  • 1 bottle of Guinness 
  • 1-2 cups water 
  • KerryGold Dubliner cheese, sliced
  • Bakery slider rolls/potato buns
  • *I like too add spicy mustard or this great, simple sauce to my finished sliders.

Tangy Horseradish Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon creamy horseradish sauce (or more to taste)

Mix all of the above ingredients together, cover and refrigerate till serving.

In a large crockpot, spray with non-stick and place in your cut veggies.  They’ll act as a rack for the brisket.

Layer your corned beef over top.  Typically, it will either have the seasoning already on it or you just cut open and sprinkle the attached packet over top the meat. (In a crockpot I like to trim off some of the fat before cooking it.  Normally fat is a great thing for flavor, but a crockpot makes meats so tender due to its long cook-time).. Add in the 2cups water and the Guinness over top.

Whelp!  That’s it for the meat!  Cover that baby up and let it cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for about 5-6.

Dinner time!!!!  Serve how you please, but I like to halve potato rolls and place on a lined baking sheet.  Brush halved buns lightly with a bit of olive oil, butter or non-stick spray.  Place under the ovens broiler for just a couple minutes till golden.  Meanwhile, slice up that Irish KerryGold cheese!

Assemble the tender, hot corned beef over the toasted bun bottom and top with a slice of cheese or two, tangy sauce and the bun top!  Serve with a cold Guinness and repeat! 

Caprese Green Beans

We ate pizza late last night, so I “worked out” today.  That being said, I figured maybe a healthier dish was in order for this evening.  After my 3-minute jog and jumping jack, I was craving an Italian’ish marinated fish.  That, of course, must be paired with rice & veggies.  It seems to be almost a rule.

Given what I already had in my fridge, I thought that this would be a great and fun flavored side dish!  The only thing I would add in, if it was just me at dinner, would be torn FRESH basil (given the definition of ‘caprese’).  Unfortunately, my husband isn’t the biggest fan of uncooked basil and dried is just a no-no in this dish to me.  *I will be doing so once he’s on a rail road trip though! 😉 

The kids loved this and the colors are beautiful!!  

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 8oz container of mozzarella 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • Sea salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves, rough chopped (optional)

Trim and rinse your green beans.

Prepare a large pot of water to a boil, salt well.  Add in the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp of EVOO and the garlic to a medium heat.  Add in the cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper.

Cook, while stirring, about 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan that the tomatoes were cooked in, add in 1 Tbsp EVOO and heat to med-medhigh.  Place in the par-cooked green beans and cook for about 2 minutes, season with more salt & pepper.

Once the green beans are cooked till soft yet crisp, pour into a serving dish.  Add the garlic tomatoes and drippings to the green beans and top with the mozzarella.  Season with more salt & pepper. *garnish with chopped fresh basil.  Enjoy!!!

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