Where to find me today

If you are interested in learning one of my secrets then you will have to visit Mike and Molly’s House  where I have been invited to guest post today.   Thank you Mike and Molly!


Not only will you hear my silly confession, but you will find a simple recipe for a non-fattening but seriously delicious chocoholic treat

And don’t forget to join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset today.  Yes, great prizes are involved!


I’ve entered my Creamy Chicken Asparagus Soup.   If you missed my original post go ahead and take a look, or find the recipe below.

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1 pound thin fresh asparagus

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 32 oz. container of chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 cups cooked boneless chicken breast, cubed

2 cups half-and-half cream


Cut tips from asparagus spears – approximately 1/4 of the way down the spear; cut tips in half again; set aside. Place stalks in a large stock pot and cover with water (you will need 3 1/2 cups of broth later so be generous with the water). Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from heat.

Strain 31/2 cups asparagus broth from the pot and set aside. Discard stalks; rinse pot for late use.

In large sauté pan, add 3 tbsp. of oil, potato, onion, celery, carrot, parsley and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender; set aside

In a medium sauté pan, add 3 tbsp. oil and cubed chicken breast, cook until lightly browned; set aside.

In stock pot, add chicken, sautéed vegetables, asparagus tips, reserved asparagus broth, chicken broth, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Add cream and remaining 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Makes about 10 servings (about 2 quarts).

I’m also sharing a bowl of my soup over at Premeditated Leftovers Tuesday Hearth & Soul Blog Hop.  This blog hop features recipes made from wholesome, healthy ingredients that are made from scratch.


And if all of that isn’t enough – whew! I’m sharing the color yellow at She Wears Many Hats Share the Shot today.  Amy has decided yellow  is the color for this week’s assignment.   Check out all the pretty yellow things everyone has posted over there, including my Elegant Lemon-i-cious Cake


So go ahead.  Do a little blog hopping yourselves!



12 days till – homemade vanilla extract

As an avid baker there is one thing that I don’t ever want to be without; pure vanilla extract. 

My love for the real stuff developed years ago when my sister took a trip to Mexico and returned home with a huge bottle of it for me.   She couldn’t have picked out a better gift.  I cherished every single drop of it until it was gone.  Since then I’ve been hooked like the true vanilla junkie I am.

Now, imagine how happy I was when one of my favorite blogs, Mike and Molly’s House, recently shared their recipe for homemade vanilla extract.

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Mike and Molly made homemade vanilla to give away as Christmas gifts and I’ve got to say I love the idea.

I don’t want to spill the (vanilla) beans and tell you all the details, I‘d rather you hop on over to their blog and read all about it yourselves.  Not only will you find their recipe and see their great photo’s, you will also find a breakdown of how much it cost them to make, and a link where you can download the cutest little labels for your homemade goodies. 

I  won this bottle of their vanilla during the giveaway they hosted at the time they wrote their post.  I am so grateful for having won and I will play it forward by sharing some great recipes using their homemade vanilla with you. 

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I can’t wait until I can crack this bottle open! 12 days and counting…

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Just curious, do you like the black and white photo, or the colored photo’s best?  I’m experimenting and would love your input!