Easy Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

 

A simple and fool-proof coq au vin recipe prepared in the slow cooker. A one pot meal, richly flavored with thyme, onion, mushrooms, potatoes and red wine.

Easy-Slow-Cooker-Coq-Au-Vin

I was looking at the old Julia Child recipe for coq au vin, and I could already begin to taste the rich, earthy, full flavor of this famous French chicken dish.

The garlic and onions.

The thyme and butter.

The slow cooked chicken.

And of course, plenty of red wine.

It all sounded amazing, comforting, and perfect for a chilly evening inside.

Small problem though. The recipe involved at least 20 steps, about 10 pots and pans, and several hours worth of work.

I had to ask: how does coq au vin even begin to fit into the typical workday evening?

So I created my own simplified and fool-proof version of the recipe using my slow cooker. View Post

Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

 

The easiest 30-minute recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. Moist with delicious cinnamon-spice flavor, these mini muffins are healthy and only 114 calories each!

Mini-Chocolate-Chip-Pumpkin-Muffins

I’ve been loving these mini chocolate chip pumpkin muffins so much this fall. There is nothing like the moist texture and sweet, cinnamon-spice flavor of homemade pumpkin muffins. And the way it fills your home with that heaven-sent aroma of freshly baked pumpkin and gooey chocolate!

But so many pumpkin muffin recipes are time-consuming and a lot of work.

This mini pumpkin muffin recipe is my favorite solution. The recipe makes a delicious batch of 24 mini pumpkin muffins, warm and ready to eat in about half an hour.

There’s one other bonus of pumpkin muffin minis. View Post

Apple Orchard Adventures with Baby

 

It was baby Trevor’s first adventure at the gorgeous, warm-homemade-donut-selling apple orchard that I’ve been visiting since I was a kid…

baby-picking-apples

In the town in Maine where I grew up, there’s an apple orchard.

The most important thing about this particular orchard is that it sells made-from-scratch, still-warm-from-the-oven, heaven-sent apple cider donuts.

The second most important thing is that they offer made-from-scratch, heaven-sent apple squares with a buttery crust and a generous drizzle of icing on top.

Of third importance: the orchard is located in a remote and scenic spot, with beautiful, sweeping views of the mountains beyond the acres of apple trees.

Least importantly, but I should still note, they also offer hay rides and the opportunity to pick your own apples straight from the tree.

Needless to say, my family made the trip to the apple orchard every fall for a donut, an apple square, and a bite of a juicy, ripe apple.

This year, we had the opportunity to take baby Trevor for his first trip to the apple orchard. View Post

Slow Cooker Tuscan Bread Soup

 

Hearty, healthy (and vegan!) Tuscan bread soup with potato, kale, and white beans. This slow cooker recipe makes it easy to achieve rich, homemade flavor.

Slow-Cooker-Tuscan-Bread-Soup

There was a definite nip in the air this morning, which meant two things.

First, it was time to go in search of the padded, woolly slippers that I’d abandoned since last May. And second, I needed to pull the slow cooker out from the back of the cabinet and cook up something homemade and warm and delicious. What is it that’s so thrilling about finding that perfect warm and comforting remedy when the days grower darker and colder?

I love this Tuscan bread soup because it’s vegan and packed with healthy veggies like potato and kale. But it’s also very hearty and full of tasty flavor. (I wondered if I should really call it a “stew.”) And adding cubed crusty bread to the soup is so comforting and delicious too. The bread just soaks up all of the broth.

It’s a great way to satisfy cold-weather cravings, and for just about 350 calories per serving. View Post

Chai Pumpkin Smoothie

 

A healthy pumpkin smoothie that’s velvety, slightly sweet and full of the cinnamon-spice flavors of chai tea. Easy to make, 5 ingredients, 116 calories per serving.

Chai-Pumpkin-Smoothie

To introduce my latest recipe, the chai pumpkin smoothie, I have to begin with little tale of gratitude. Chai tea has been a reliable old friend of mine for many years now. When I’m sad, when I’m sleepy, when I’m stressed. Chai tea beckons, offering me a moment to sit down and do nothing but breathe in that intoxicating aroma of cinnamon and spice. (The refreshing jolt of caffeine is pretty helpful too.)

Chai tea and I have become especially close since baby Trevor was born. Every night, he wakes at 3 am for a little snack and then goes right back to sleep. Meanwhile, I toss and turn and count sheep and can never fall back asleep.

So that’s why I’m really loving this Chai Pumpkin Smoothie these days. It’s full of pure pumpkin puree, which I crave so much every autumn. View Post