Crock Pot Lima Bean Soup

Crock Pot Lima Bean Soup



I will be honest. I am not a big bean fan. Especially Lima Beans. My mother will back me up on this. But my husband loves them. I love him. SO I make things that involve beans. This is a great soup even if you are not a bean fan. And it is really great on a cold winter night. I did not have a ham hock so I used cubed ham. You will need to rinse and sort your beans and soak them overnight or at least 6 hours (follow directions on the bag). I used a 6 quart slow cooker but you could probably use a 4. I added the celery because I had some leftover and it was a nice addition but optional. This freezes well.





  • 1 1 b bag Dried Large Lima Beans – Sorted Rinsed and Soaked
  • 2-4 cup Meaty Ham Hocks or 8 oz ham, cut in chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Onions- Chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped (optional)
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • Additional Water
You can skip this step but I find it adds some nice flavor: Add oil to large frying pan and sauté onions until tender, add celery and carrots.
Place beans in crock pot
Add ham hocks and onion/celery/carrots.
Add broth and any water needed to bring the waterline 2 inches above the beans.
Stir in seasonings.
Cook for 6 hours or until beans are tender





Ravioli Di Ricotta

Ravioli Di Ricotta

These are just plump pillows of wonderful cheesy goodness. Serve with a simple tomato basil sauce or butter with some sage leaves. I used a 3 1/4 inch cookie cutter and got about 30 ravioli. You can also used refrigerated pasta sheets if you don’t want to make your own pasta dough.

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Ravioli Dough

  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)


  • 1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the ravioli filling:

1. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well,
and set aside.

To make the ravioli dough:

1. Mound the flour on a clean work surface and create a well in the center. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and oil (if using) in the center. Using a fork, whisk the eggs and oil together and slowly start dragging the flour into the egg mixture. Knead by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on medium speed, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a covered bowl and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

2. Set up a pasta machine and turn it to the largest opening. Cut off pieces of dough about the size of an egg. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into sheets about 1/8-inch thick.

3. Lay a pasta sheet flat on a lightly floured work surface. Using a 3 or 3 1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles in the pasta dough and set on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Spoon mounds of the filling, about 2 teaspoons each, onto the middle of the pasta circle. Fold in half to cover the filling. Press the pasta together to seal the edges around the filling, and press out any excess air. Use a fork to crimp the edges. As you cut out the ravioli, place them on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to keep them from sticking. Repeat with the remaining pasta and filling. You can refrigerate them until you are ready to cook.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli all at once and stir a few times to submerge and separate them. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until the pasta is just tender to the bite, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain the ravioli thoroughly and serve with a desired sauce or cheese.

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice

This is adapted from a New York Times recipe. I have been tweaking and finally got it to where my husband loves it. He likes to add a little extra hot sauce and some cider vinegar. I used brown rice this time and chicken andouille sausage to cut down on some of the fat. I assembled everything and then put in the crock pot for 6 hours.





  • 1 pound dried red beans 
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick and cut into quarters (or Andouille chicken sausage)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2 large rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  •  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Emeril seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh green onions, chopped
  •  Cooked white long-grain rice, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, cover beans in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Water should cover beans by at least an inch.)
  2. In a large, heavy pot, brown sausage in 1 tablespoon of oil until slightly crisp. Add remaining oil, then the garlic and onions. Sauté over medium heat until onions become transparent and limp. Add celery and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour soaked beans and water into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add black pepper, cayenne, salt and all herbs except parsley.
  4. Cook until beans are softened, about 11/2 to 2 hours. (Or in crockpot for 6 hours). Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Fifteen minutes before serving, remove 1 cup of beans to a bowl and, using a fork, mash them and stir back into the pot to enhance the creamy texture of the dish. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, and add up to 1 cup more water if beans seem too thick. Remove bay leaves. Serve over white long-grain rice.
Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn “Grits”

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn “Grits”

This is one of the best things I have made all year!!! It is summer in a bowl and full of all of my favorite things. This is Shrimp and Grits but with fresh corn instead of the grits. You can use all 1% milk but the cream really adds to the flavor. This was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. 







7 ears fresh shucked corn
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tbsp butter
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup halved grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)


Heat oven to 400. Place the grape tomatoes on a baking sheet and line with foil. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with corse sea salt. Roast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place into a bowl until ready to use

Cut kernels from corn. Set aside 1/4 cup kernels. Pulse remaining kernels in a food processor until almost creamy, 7 or 8 times. In a medium saucepan add the processed kernels, milk, cream, and cornstarch to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

In a large skillet heat olive oil and cook onions and garlic over medium heat, stirring often. Cook about 20 minutes until golden and caramelized. Combine with roasted grape tomatoes.

Combine shrimp, Creole seasoning, paprika, and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add remaining olive oil to skillet. Add shrimp; cook about 3 minutes until opaque. Add onions, tomatoes, thyme, and garlic, stir to combine. Remove shrimp mixture with a slotted spoon and  place in a bowl. Add wine to the skillet; cook, stirring and scraping pan to loosen browned bits, 30 seconds. Serve shrimp mixture over the creamed corn. sprinkle each bowl with the reserved fresh corn kernels.


Pineapple Shrimp Curry

Pineapple Shrimp Curry

I have collected James McNair cookbooks over the years and this recipe is adapted from his Southeast Asian Cookbook. It is bursting with flavor. I used fresh pineapple but you can substitute canned. If you cannot find curry paste, Trader Joe’s has a lovely Yellow Curry sauce that I have used that would work in this as well.  





2 Cups light coconut milk*
2 Tbsp Yellow Curry paste or Yellow curry sauce*
2 Tbsp Peanut or olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Palm, coconut or brown Sugar
1 red Bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 Onion, halved and sliced thin
1 Cup fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks (or use canned)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Whole fresh mint leaves for garnish

*If using prepared curry sauce eliminate the curry paste and coconut milk.



In a bowl combine coconut milk and curry paste and mix until smooth.

In a large wok or saucepan heat oil. Add the onions and cook on medium heat until golden and slightly caramelized, stirring to prevent burning. Add the red pepper.

Stir in the coconut milk/curry mixture. Add fish sauce, sugar and pineapple. Bring to a simmer and cook about 3 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the simmering curry and cook until the shrimp turn opaque.

Serve over rice and garnish with mint leaves.



Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Slaw

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Slaw

This is so good! I served it with a side of fresh Mexican corn. I posted a recipe for the corn last year and we eat it constantly when corn is in season.







1 pound shrimp, deveined, peeled on skewers
Coconut oil spray
1 tsp paprika
4 Corn or flour tortillas
1 heaping cup finely shredded cabbage
1/4 cup yogurt Ranch dressing
2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
1/2 lime or about 1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
salt & pepper to taste
Half a sliced avocado


For the Sriracha Ranch, whisk together the ranch and Sriracha sauce. For a spicier sauce, add extra Sriracha to taste.

For the Slaw, combine cabbage, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Cut your lime in half and add juice of half the lime into your slaw. Adjust honey to taste and set aside to marinate while you cook the shrimp.

Pat shrimp dry and season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well to coat both sides. Put shrimp on metal skewers and set in the fridge while you make your slaw and sauce.

Heat the grill and cook, depending on shrimp size, about 3 min each side.

Remove from skewers and chop each shrimp in half. Line your tortillas with shrimp and top with a hearty drizzle of sauce. Top with slaw and sliced avocado.


Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie

I was trying to come up with something to make with the boneless, skinless chicken thighs I had in the fridge so I started going through some old cookbooks I had not used in a while. I adapted this from an old James McNair recipe in his “Chicken” cookbook. I have quite a few that I have acquired over the years. This is a great weeknight recipe. It warms up well, too. 










1 can (28 oz.) Italian-style plum tomatoes, with their juices
1 can (16 oz.) cream-style corn
3 – 4 tsp. salt
1 medium-sized onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 canned adobo chipotle chili (chopped)
1 cup milk
½ cup yellow cornmeal
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pitted ripe olives
5 chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Olive oil for drizzling


Sauté onion until golden. Add tomatoes, corn, salt, olive oil and chili powder in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the milk, cornmeal, and eggs; add to the tomato mixture and cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thick, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the olives, chicken and about 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased shallow ovenproof dish. Top with the remaining cheeses, drizzle with oil, and bake until the pie is firm and the cheese is crusty, 35 – 45 minutes. Serve piping hot.