Simple Southwestern Tortilla Soup


It has been so cold in Alabama the past 2 months, so my family has been living on soup galore. It has finally warmed up thank goodness, but this Southwestern Soup is one of my kid’s favorites. My friend, Nancy, worked hard helping me to perfect the recipe. Many thanks to a wonderful friend. I used rotisserie chicken which saves a lot of time and effort. I love the touch of the homemade tortilla strips. I make this soup even in the summertime, but it’s always fabulous to serve this time of year.

Weeknight Favorite: Low Calorie, Low-Fat Awesome Tasting Greek-Style Meatloaf

IMG_2374

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I thought you might want to get back to some lighter weeknight fare. This meatloaf is amazing, and only 142 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. I developed it for Laura’s Lean Beef Company, and it’s a hit. If you don’t like meatloaf, but you like feta cheese, Greek seasonings and herbs, you will love this dish. This recipe makes two meat loaves, so you can freeze one or give one to a friend. I gave my extra to my friend tennis friend, Heidi. She told me that she didn’t really like beef in recipes. When she tried it, she said that I changed her entire mind-set. When you make this recipe, you will see what I mean.

Healthy Thanksgiving or Christmas Side Dish: Marinated Broccoli and Cauliflower

IMG_2670
Yesterday I was a presenter in Wetumpka, Alabama at “Gathering at the River”, a Cookbook Fair and Tasting. This was a fundraiser for Trinity Episcopal Church. I had a great time and met some fabulous, sweet people who loved my book, recipes and Ingredients, Inc. t-shirts. We talked a lot about Thanksgiving, and a few asked me for some low-fat, healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas side dish ideas. This recipe for Marinated Broccoli and Cauliflower is a great one and is so easy to prepare. Thanks to everyone who attended! Hope you like this recipe.

Traditional Thanksgiving Dressing with a Southern Twist: Biscuit-Cornbread Dressing

IMG_2673

Every year, I make cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving, which usually takes place at my house. Last year, one of my favorite friends told me that their mom makes her cornbread dressing with the combination of cornbread and biscuits: Biscuit-Cornbread Dressing. I was so excited to try it and of course, I was wowed at the results. It was awesome, really southern, and everyone loved it! My kids request it anytime they want pure southern down-home comfort food and are looking forward to having it again this Thanksgiving.

Note: If you don’t have the time to make your own cornbread and biscuits, use store-bought or packaged cornbread or frozen biscuits. You will need 3 cups of cornbread and 3 cups of biscuits.

Kid Favorite Dessert: Easy Funnel Cakes

IMG_2387

My oldest son, Alec, is running cross country this season which is quite the challenge. He runs 5 days a week after school (2 to 5 miles) and has a track meet almost every weekend. It’s quite impressive for a 12-year-old. At most of the meets, they sell funnel cakes so he has been begging me to come up with an easy recipe to make funnel cakes at home. We worked together to create this simple Funnel Cake recipe, and it’s really pretty tasty. I tried to make it as low-fat as possible.

Holiday or Anytime 15 Minute Appetizer: Cheddar-Maple and Pecan Log

IMG_2308

Today, I am in Madison Wisconsin for a Wisconsin Cheese Media tour. I get to tour about 8 different cheesemakers around the area while tasting fabulous cheeses, attending a Fondue lunch as well as an award winning Cheese and Beer Pairing reception. I thought I would feature a simple cheese appetizer that my family loves in honor of the amazing Wisconsin Cheese. It’s so easy and wonderful for this time of year or as the holidays near (Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas), and my kids love it!

Also, I will also be featured on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama at 11:30 a.m on Thursday cooking a simple Slider recipes so check it out. I know-busy week.

Dinner Under 30 Minutes or Football Game Day Delight: Pizza Romano

I love to serve Pizza Romano for a quick weeknight dinner or even for weekend football game fare. There’s some great SEC football games this Thursday night and this weekend, so I thought I would offer up something that’s truly simple, low-fat and delicious. I love to use Laura’s Lean Beef for the beef in this recipe. Good luck to your favorite teams!

Simple Baby Back Ribs

IMG_2249

Birmingham Alabama is a great place for ribs. I always cook my baby back ribs on the grill, so when I was asked to create a recipe for wintertime and indoors, I was a little nervous. These Chipotle Baby Back Ribs came out great. The Baja Chipotle Marinade is awesome, and these ribs fell of the bone. These are so easy that anyone can make them.

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Milkshakes

IMG_2190

We have been on a huge milkshake kick at my house lately. Every night we take our favorite flavor ice cream and blend it up with skim milk, a touch of chocolate syrup and our favorite topping. I made this for NBC 13 Daytime Alabama coming up to air September, but Brooke Smith called me after the shoot and made these milkshakes that night.

Easy Peach Cobbler with Steel Cut Oats Topping

IMG_2072

If you ever get the chance to try Chilton County peaches from Alabama, you’ll relish in their fabulous juicy fresh taste. We had a basket of fresh peaches so I decided to make a simple cobbler with ingredients I had on hand. I love oatmeal in my cobbler toppings, but all I had was steel cut oats. It worked great! Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an added touch.