Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Croutons

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of College Inn®. The opinions and text are all mine.

I have to tell you a little story.  I’ve been working so hard on my cookbook and have created so many recipes that I really wondered if I’d ever be able to create another one.

What if I’d poured everything I had into that book and there was nothing left to work with?

I turned the manuscript in to my editor and then planned to take a big break.  That’s not how things went though, because the next weekend I wanted to create a Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe and partnered with College Inn broth to do so.

This Chicken Pot Pie Soup is a comfort in many ways.  For me, it’s great to know that I’m still able to be creative in the kitchen, even after the intense cookbook work.

This soup has all the warm, hearty ingredients you expect in a chicken soup, especially as the weather cools down.  It starts with a great chicken broth and I like to use College Inn – It’s got a savory taste that helps elevate any dish to make it delicious. Then the soup is topped with Pie Crust Croutons.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup + Pie Crust Croutons is amazing!  It’s the perfect comfort food.

Here’s what you’ll need to make a big pot for your family (and you will want to get to your kitchen as soon as you can to stir up a batch!).

[Read more…]

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18 Sweet Fall Breakfasts

I’m curious, do you find it easier to swing your feet out of bed when a cool crisp day awaits, or does it just make you want to curl up under the covers for a few more minutes? If you’re like me, then it feels like an invitation to start fresh and new with a crisp clean slate. And there’s no better way to start than with a delicious and satisfying breakfast, especially one of these 18 Sweet Fall Breakfasts! From there you can move on to enjoy the beauty of the season, complete with a classic autumn dinner, some seasonal side dishes and all wrapped up with a scrumptious fall dessert.

18 Sweet Fall Breakfasts

Pancakes & Baked Goods

There are so many baked goods options for a delicious breakfast. You can always add a breakfast meat, or eggs or yogurt if you want to up your protein intake to get the day started. And most of these already take full advantage of seasonal fruits.

When you take a whole wheat pancake and dress it up for fall you end up with Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes. And just so you know, we eat these for dinner with a meat and fruit, probably more than we would like to admit.

These Gingerbread Pancakes with Sweet Cider Syrup are sweetened with molasses and spiced with ginger, cinnamon and allspice.  But it’s the Sweet Cider Syrup that steals the show. Try them and you’ll see.

If you’re not as crazy about sweets, then these Cinnamon Chip Scones are for you because they’re not overly sweet. You can always add a little more sugar to your coffee or tea if you must!

1-Minute Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Apples literally take one minute to cook in the microwave. Add some yogurt and your favorite granola and you’ve hit most of the food groups first thing in the morning.

Pear Tart with Cream Cheese Icing takes a roll of crescent rolls to a whole new level. It makes a sweet breakfast treat, but it would make a nice little dessert too!

These Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Rolls are so easy because they begin with frozen dinner roll dough. Simply mix up a few ingredients to pour over the top and you have a company-worthy fall breakfast!


Muffins are such a quick way to enjoy baked goods. If your weekday mornings are a bit hectic, try mixing up the dry ingredients the night before and set your muffin tin and a mixing bowl on the counter and you’re ready to go. Mix them up and let them bake while you continue getting ready for your day. You may even sneak a few extra minutes to linger over your favorite coffee or tea.

Apple Butter just smells like home to me! You can whip up a batch in your slow cooker in no time at all using this Easy Apple Butter Recipe. Then you can whip up these Apple Butter Muffins too.

If you’ve never made baked goods with Butternut Squash, then this Butternut Squash Muffin recipe is perfect for you. It’s milder and creamier than it’s pumpkin counterpart and really should not be overlooked as a tasty fall treat!

These Cinnamon Streusel Muffins are super easy and the combination of warm cinnamon with some butter spread on top will be all the encouragement your reluctant morning people need to throw off the covers and greet the day.

Gingerbread Muffins pair wonderfully with orange marmalade and the combination tastes like fall. Go ahead and make a double batch because these are a wonderful mid-morning snack, or mid-afternoon, or anytime really!

Cranberry Muffins with Orange Marmalade Glaze are sweet, but the tart taste of the cranberries along with the citrus make them taste bright, like sunshine sparkling over a pile of crunchy leaves on a crisp fall morning.

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice and Pumpkin Butter makes these Pumpkin Butter Muffins amazingly moist and flavorful. And technically pumpkin is in the vegetable family, so it’s like having veggies for breakfast, right?

Spiced Chai Tea has such a wonderful flavor profile that you just know you’ll love these Spiced Chai Tea Muffin. They’re kind of like a coffee cake but packed with even more flavor!



Do you remember hearing stories about your parents or grandparents having oatmeal for breakfast? Every. Single. Day? It’s a pretty healthy, hearty way to start the day, but I’m thinking theirs may not have been quite as tasty as these Autumn versions. And all of them are made in a slow cooker.

You could call this Apple Oatmeal “Apple Pie Oatmeal”. Go ahead and make up an entire batch of it and just heat it up the next day with a little milk for another breakfast, if it lasts that long that is!

The citrus flavor with the sweet-tart cranberries in Cranberry Orange Oatmeal is a great way to start the day. It just sounds like fall and holidays, doesn’t it?!

This Gingerbread Oatmeal is a flavorful combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and vanilla. Be prepared for lots of thank you texts, comments, hugs and things of that sort.

A hot bowl of oatmeal is a comfort food for fall and winter both, especially if the ground is covered in leaves or snow. I can’t think of anything more comforting than waking up to a world wrapped in the colors of fall or the soft white of winter and having a bowl of this Hot Spiced Apple Cider Oatmeal to go with the view.

Forget the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and try this Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal for some wonderful fall flavor. And then you can grab your latte on the way home from the day later if you must.

Which ones are your favorite fall breakfasts?

So, what’s your breakfast preference? Do you even have it? If not, these ideas are a perfect place to start! Which one will you start with?


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9 Savory Autumn Main Dishes

Autumn is just one of those seasons that involves special foods and dishes that we don’t necessarily enjoy other times of the year. And you know we could never just pass up the opportunity for a culinary celebration of all the fall foods! Two weeks ago we shared 17 Autumn Desserts that are sure to delight, and last week it was 14 Flavorful Fall Sides. As much as we might like to just have sides and desserts, main dishes are pretty important when it comes to dinner, so today we give you 9 Savory Autumn Main Dishes.

Chicken and Poultry for Fall

You’ll never believe how easy it is to make Homemade Chicken and Dumplings! And by homemade, we mean [Read more…]

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14 Flavorful Fall Sides

I hope you are getting to enjoy a taste of fall in your part of the world. Between cooler temperatures and leaves on the brink of turning from the greens of summer to the vibrant brights of autumn, we’re ready to welcome all that is fall around here! Last week I shared 17 Autumn Desserts with you and today let’s talk sides. These 14 Flavorful Fall Sides to be exact …

14 Flavorful Fall Sides

Autumn Appetizers to whet your appetite

7-Layer Dip End Zone

7 Layer End Zone Dip can easily be made to look like a football (or soccer) field and suddenly [Read more…]

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17 Autumn Desserts to Welcome the Season!

I just love fall. The cool crisp air. The gorgeous vibrant colors. And of course, most of all, the wonderful, aromatic flavors of autumn ingredients. Pumpkins, winter squash apples, cinnamon, caramel and spice! There’s nothing better than that. This collection of 17 Autumn Desserts is proof of my love for baking treats with these ingredients.

17 Autumn Desserts



Pumpkins are for more than Decorating!

1) This Caramel Pumpkin Cake is one of those that quickly jumped to the top [Read more…]

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Grain-Free Stuffed Bell Peppers

If you’re trying to eat more grain-free, no/low-carb foods, these are for you!  And even if you aren’t looking for low-carb options, these are so good you’re going to want to make them anyway.

This is the first recipe I’ve created outside of cookbook work in forever!  It feels really good to have a new recipe to share with you here on the blog.

But can we just pause for a moment and realize that I’ve obviously spent a lot more time working on the creating of recipes than the photographing of them?  I’ve never been great at photos, but I’m way out of practice.  Many apologies for the fuzzy ingredient photo!

Being out of practice with the camera isn’t the only issue I’ve had after a summer of recipe testing.  Testing ten and twelve recipes a week – sometimes four dessert recipes in a day – I was feeling like I’d consumed All. The. Food.

I ended up signing up for a fitness program that involves exercise and new eating habits.  I’m going to wait to tell you much about it until I get through the first six weeks so I can give an honest opinion, but so far it’s been good.  I was even able to put on a pair of jeans that were too tight to wear all last winter.

Part of the program involves some low-carb days and that was the inspiration for this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Grain-Free Stuffed Bell Peppers:   [Read more…]

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – August 21

Are you watching the eclipse today?  We’re actually not too far from the path, so I’ll be watching from home.

1. A new recipe coming to the blog soon! – Grain Free Stuffed Peppers

It’s been forever since I’ve posted a new recipe to the blog, but I’ve got one coming for you soon.  We loved these stuffed peppers and I think you’ll love them too.  If you’ve been watching your carbs, you’ll be happy to know that these are very low-carb.  They are also very delicious!

That pepper looks a little lonely on the plate.  I should have added some salad or something next to it.  I’m woefully out of practice with food photos, and I’ve never been great at them anyway.  But I do believe I’m decent at creating recipes, so there you go.  Taste over looks 😉

2. George Foreman grill for quick protein

I’ve been trying to eat more salads, but I need some protein in there too so our old George Foreman grill has been coming in handy.  It only takes a couple of minutes to thaw frozen chicken tenders in the microwave and they cook in just 5 minutes on the grill.  I usually splash a little white wine vinegar on them before cooking, along with salt and pepper.  Sometimes I add garlic powder or onion powder.  It’s like instant marinade.

3.  Strawberry Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken

And there’s evidence of a really great salad I had for lunch on Friday.  Spinach, chicken, strawberries, parmesan, and pecans all drizzled with Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider Dressing.  So good!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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Our Surprise Trip and How We Ate Our Way Through the City!

Instead of the usual “3 Things that Work in the Kitchen” post, I thought I’d share about the surprise trips that my oldest daughter and I planned for each other.  This turned out to be one of the funnest things we’ve ever done!


Earlier this summer I decided that after taking our son to college, it would be fun to go on a trip with just our youngest.  I wanted to kick off our “3 Musketeers Years” (when there will be just the three of us at home) with something fun.

There’s a website called Pack Up & Go that will plan a surprise three day trip for you.  Intriguing, but it was a little bit expensive.  I told our oldest daughter about the site and she decided that we should plan trips for each other – I’d plan a trip for Meredith and her husband and she’d plan one for Jim, Mia and me.

Their Trip to Pittsburgh

After checking the map for cities within driving distance of Lexington, KY that Meredith and Stephen haven’t been to, I settled on Pittsburgh as their destination.  I’ve never been to Pittsburgh either and had no idea what it offered, but that is a cool city!

I booked an Air BnB for them (their preferred way to stay and within their budget) and then set to work on an itinerary.  With the help of the blog Discover the Burgh, I was able to easily plan a great trip for them.  I gave them a list of restaurants and activities to choose from.

I made a folder of info for them that was not to be opened until they were in the car ready to leave.  So fun!

And they had a blast!

It was fun to plan a trip for someone else and I loved getting texts from them throughout the weekend about what they were doing.

Our trip to Memphis!

For our trip, Meredith had several envelopes to be opened at specific times.  The first one just told us which direction and which highway to get on.  We had one envelope that included a CD of an electronic mash up of weatherman vocals.  If you don’t know what that is – neither did we, but it was hilarious!  Our son has a friend who is studying to be a meteorologist and is currently a student at WKU in Bowling Green, KY. They used some clips of him saying “Bowling Green” to let us know that was the direction we needed to go.

At Bowling Green we opened another envelope that told us of a lunch stop in Nashville – Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.

The chicken was great, but the Pimento Mac & Cheese was awesome!  Such a fun stop.

After lunch we were instructed to go to the Parthenon in Nashville, where we’d open the next clue.  Lucky for us, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams had a food truck there.  I’ve wanted to try this ice cream for years and I finally got my chance!

I had Brambleberry Crisp ice cream and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.  Both were so amazing!  I didn’t even think to take a photo, because I as so absorbed in how delicious and intense the flavors were.

After ice cream we opened the envelope revealing our destination – Memphis!

To keep this post from being ridiculously long, I’ll use our meals to walk you through what we did.  We basically ate our way through Memphis.  I have no regrets!

We hit up Beale Street and the Rum Boogie Cafe for dinner.  We went early before things got crazy – and it did look like it would turn into a real party atmosphere later that night, which is not our kind of scene.

At the Rum Boogie Cafe we had Fried Green Tomato and Bacon Po’ Boys, gumbo and red beans and rice.

The next morning we started with breakfast at Brother’s Junipers – delicious!  Then we headed to Graceland.

What we didn’t realize until we hit Memphis is that we were there at the start of Elvis Week.  Elvis died 40 years ago and many, many people were coming into town.  Graceland was busy!

Later that evening we went to Central BBQ.  Oh. My. Goodness! That was the best bbq I’ve ever eaten.  And this is how serious they take their bbq:

The line was out the door.  An armed security guard – yes, he carried a gun – let each party in the door just a few people at a time.  But wow! That bbq was worth guarding!

The three of us shared ribs – half wet, half dry rub, a plate of bbq nachos and four sides.  It was all so, so good!

After dinner we went to the Pyramid that houses the Bass Pro Shop.  We’re not outdoorsy, but that place is so cool!  We rode the glass elevator to the top, stepped out on the lookout and took in gorgeous views of the city and Mississippi River.

Our last morning started with breakfast at Blue Plate Cafe.

Then we walked through the historic house district and headed to the Peabody Hotel to see the famous Peabody ducks.

We had such a great trip!  If you have someone in your life that you could swap trip planning with, I highly recommend doing it.

We never would have planned a trip to Memphis for ourselves, and Meredith said the same thing about Pittsburgh.  But it was so fun to explore a new place for a few days, to experience the surprise of it and to not have to do any planning for your own trip.

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen – Giveaway – $150 Walmart card!

1.  Giveaway! A week’s worth of groceries!

Today on Facebook Live I’m giving away a $150 Walmart card.  That’s about a week’s worth of groceries, depending on your family size and what all you’re buying. If you’re only buying items from the Eat at Home Meal Plans, you’ll get two or three (or more) weeks out of $150.

How to win:

Click over to the Eat at Home Facebook page and look for the live video for today.  I’ll be going live about 10am Eastern, but you can also catch the replay.  Share the video and you’re entered to win.  Winners will be announced on the Facebook page.

You can also still enter to win an Instant Pot by sharing this video where Beth and I made 6 Freezer Meals in 1 Hour.  

And enter to win a set of Cuisinart knives by sharing this video where we made an easy sheet pan dinner.

I have to say that this screen shot is everything!  Embarrassing, hilarious and unfortunate!

Beth and I got a huge laugh thinking of possible headlines to go with that photo:

“Two moms busted for trying to save the dinner hour”

“You’ll never believe what’s in that bag!”

Save on Eat at Home Meal Plans

Eat at Home Meal Plans are on sale right now, so this is a great time to become a member. Get your dinners under control before school starts, so you can spend time with your family instead of figuring out how to feed them.  Use the code EAT25 to save 25%.  Today is the last day of the sale!

Click here for more info

2. New knives that I’m loving!

This is the set of knives I’m giving away (entry info is above).  I needed some better knives for myself, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune.  This set came up in the Amazon search and has over 3000 reviews of 4 1/2 stars.  They are sharp and nice to use.  I love the colors too.  It’s easy to grab the right knife since each one has it’s own color.

3. I finished recipe testing for the cookbook!!!

I am so glad to be done with the recipe testing portion of the cookbook!  I feel like we have eaten ALL. THE. FOOD. this summer.  There were weeks when I made a dozen recipes, 3-4 or more in a day.

So much food!

I will say that I’m very excited about the recipes in the book.  I’ve already gone back to make quite a few of them, just because we loved them so much the first time.

I’m hoping to have the creative energy to start sharing recipes on the blog again soon too.  That has taken a back seat to the cookbook the last few months, but I have some great ideas for recipes for the blog that I’ve been rolling around in my mind.

What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – Plus Summer Reading

1. Fantastic salad (and a great, new dressing)!

The other day I made a big salad for dinner that had spring green mix, tomatoes, red bell peppers, cucumbers, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and avocado slices.  That might be considered a Cobb salad, but what’s in a name, really?  It was great no matter what you call it!

I happened to see Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider dressing in the grocery the other day and bought a bottle.  I highly recommend that dressing!  It’s very good, light tasting and not too sweet.

2.  Hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker

While prepping the big salad, I decided to try using a pressure cooker for the hard boiled eggs.  I used my Cuisinart and set the cook time for 5 minutes, then let them have another 5 minutes of natural pressure release.  Once finished, I rinsed them under cold water to stop the cooking process.

The pressure cooker worked great.  I hear people way that the eggs are easier to peel when cooked this way.  I’m not sure they were any easier or any harder to peel.  Mostly, it seemed about like cooking them on the stove.  The only difference was that on the stove, I time the for 10 minutes from the time they start to boil.  But sometimes I get distracted and miss when they start boiling.  The pressure cooker solved that problem.

3. Grocery shopping – all the ways to do it

I have bought more groceries in the last few weeks, as I’m working to finish recipe testing for the cookbook.  Last week alone I ordered groceries from Walmart, tried Instacart twice and did a big trip through Walmart myself.

Here’s what I’ve learned: ordering groceries is a modern day blessing!  I love the convenience of not having to go into the store.  It’s such a time-saver!

Walmart and Kroger both have online ordering with store pickup in our area.  I’ve used both and like both.  Instacart delivers right to your house and offers same day service, often within the hour.  I do like that, but Instacart is more expensive.

Do you use an online ordering service for groceries?

Coming this week…

I’ve got some great things planned for you this week and into next!  It all starts tomorrow with a Facebook Live where we’ll make 6 dinners in 1 hour to get your freezer ready for back-to-school.  There will be giveways involved, so you won’t want to miss it!  Look for me on the Facebook page around 10am Eastern or you can catch the replay.

What I’ve been reading

The Precious One by Marisa De Los Santos – I love all of her books for the way she portrays family and relationships.  Her characters are also interesting and like-able.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel – Apparently this is also a TV series, although I’d never heard of it before.  If you like history, the space race and reading about women you will like this book.  I found it really interesting to read the things these women went through and the experiences they had.  This was also an interesting read after seeing the movie Hidden Figures.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that as well.



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