Fabulous Turkey Makeovers: Best Ever Heisey Chipotle Chili

For Thanksgiving we served “Smoked Turkey Breast with Cajun Infused Spices” which we cooked in my brand new tabletop smoker purchased at Buc-ee’s — that Texas mega-road gas station and convenience store highway stop. The turkey was delicious; but what stole the show was the “Chipotle Chili” made with some of the leftover turkey breast. The chili recipe is a creation of my brother and his college-aged daughter. They did some cooking while they were quarantined in their Boston home this past summer during the pandemic. I believe that this dish is a “throw in the pot” stew made with ingredients which they found while sorting through their kitchen cupboard. Well, they got the seasonings just right and the chili has a great “Cajun kick’ proving that Yankees can indeed cook seasoned dishes. And it is a very healthy recipe which includes carrots, black beans, tomatoes and ground turkey rather than beef. I made the chili using leftover turkey. Here’s what I did to make this very, very easy chili recipe. But first, I must tell the Texas Buc-ee’s story and brag about my smoker.

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Pork, Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Stew

Here’s an interesting combination of ingredients – pork, sweet potatoes and tomatillos plus poblano peppers. I had never heard of the vegetable, the tomatillo, until recently and decided to give this ingredient a try. Plus, sweet potatoes are in season in autumn and I always like to feature several recipes with this Louisiana agricultural product on my blog each year. The poblano peppers and tomatillos give just amount of “zing” to flavor the pork and sweet potatoes to make a really tasty stew.

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Rouse’s Italian Wedding Soup

Here’s a different sort of soup recipe; it is very tasty — “Italian Wedding Soup.” I was excited to find a recipe which includes fresh dill — now have a good use for the herb which grows in my garden. Although the soup is often served at weddings (and June is a popular wedding month) the title actually refers to the “marriage” of the flavors in the soup — not the actual wedding.  But please serve this soup any time of the year — the hearty soup is also very healthy and satisfying.            . Continue reading

Easy Cook: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

We stopped at a farmer’s market on our recent trip to Upstate New York. What fun it was to walk up and down the isles and see what was for sale that we don’t have in Louisiana. I loaded up the car with produce to bring back to Louisiana since this was a road trip. One of my bounty prizes was butternut squash. Much less expensive than in Louisiana.  Continue reading

Thai Wonton Soup (Simplified) and Family Vacations

Part of the fun part of a family vacation is the unplanned adventures which happen along the way. But what is more frustrating that taking a family road trip vacation and finding that the family navigator can’t read a map? I discovered the answer for modern-day travelers. Like may other families we’ve dropped the maps and rely on GPS tracking systems. Last summer we tried to find an address for a Fed Ex store in an unfamiliar urban city and listened to our three GPS systems shout contradictory instructions at the same time.We found the Federal Express Store just before it closed and then noticed a Thai restaurant down the street in the same strip shopping center. We decided to stay and eat supper there. Continue reading

Val’s Split Pea Soup

When a co-worker mentioned that she was going to cook split pea soup for her family; I thought to myself that I haven’t eaten this soup since I was a child. Split pea soup was a standard menu item on Saturday lunches, but I  have never tried to make it myself since growing up. And I really like this soup. So Val sent me the general recipe via Facebook and here’s my attempt at the soup. Continue reading

Good Soups: White Bean, Sweet Potato and Tasso Soup

I love a good hearty soup in the winter time. This year I tried a new soup–White Bean, Sweet Potato and Tasso Soup. The inspiration for this recipe is a Cuban soup and comes from a tiny restaurant featuring International foods in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. With spring arriving; I need to get this recipe post done.

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup


Here’s a favorite family soup, “Loaded Baked Potato Soup.” It is a soothing soup; welcome on a cold winter night. When I bake potatoes, I often bake a few extra and then make this creamy, flavorful soup. There’s something about this soup made with potatoes — a comfort food — which is very satisfying.Baked Potato Soup - 1 - IMG_1995_1

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Savory Vegetable Beef Soup

Hot soup and sandwich on a cold winter day makes a heart-warming, soothing meal. Savory Vegetable Beef Soup reminds me of a soup served at a small restaurant, Ludwig’s Center Stage Cafe, in upstate New York.The deli shoppe at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester serves sandwiches and wraps named after composers and musical compositions. Their vegetable beef soup was full of healthy vegetables and beans.Savory Vegetable Beef Soup - IMG_6752_1 Continue reading