New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gluten Free Search Engine

Not all of my readers are gluten free, I know.

If you aren't gluten-free, feel free to file this away for a "just in case I need to cook for someone who happens to be gluten free" event or forward along to somebody you think might benefit.


We are a gluten free family because my 10 year old has Celiac, which is an intolerance to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye.

We don't miss gluten, it doesn't define us, and it just simply isn't something that I think about much except for when I'm grocery shopping. 

All of the recipes that are on my website and in the cookbooks happen to be gluten-free, but many of my readers don't pay a lick of attention to the notes I put in parentheses, they are just here for the slow cooker recipes.

And that is WONDERFUL. I love that we can make Korean Soft Tacos and Lasagna and Cheesecake and nobody misses the gluten at all.

I have no problem finding a way to tweak recipes to make them gluten-free friendly; I think of it as a bit of a challenge. I already try to make everything crockpottable, why not gluten free to boot? 


Back to my 10-year old. She loves to bake. I'm not a big baker. I like boxed mixes and I am too absent-minded to pay attention to the oven when there is something in it. 

I regularly burn cookies.

But my fifth grader? She loves it. And she wants to make All The Things All By Herself.

This summer I was gardening and she rushed outside to tell me that she thought we had all the ingredients to make a fluffy version of a vanilla cupcake she saw on food network and asked how to make it gluten free.

So ---- I did what any mom in the technicological era in which we live would do. 

I told her to Google It.

YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW what came up when she searched "tasty fluffy vanilla cupcakes"

And that is how was born.

Jennette Fulda and I worked together to hand-select approved (and PG!) recipe sites that are completely void of gluten.

Anything you are craving, type it in, and you will find a completely gluten free recipe to make your very own version.

I hope you enjoy it!!

I hope you're having the best day ever,

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Baked potato soup is complete and utter comfort food. There are cheater ways to make it with boxed potato flakes or hashbrown potatoes from the freezer section, but I wanted to see if I could make an awesome all-from-scratch soup that was just as good, if not better!

We all really liked this soup---the kids ate a ton, and we have a bunch leftover. I made a big batch so we'd have leftovers in the freezer. I'd guess this serves 10.

The Ingredients.

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 teeny onion, diced (a bit less than 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, to add at the end
--crumbled bacon and green onion or chives as garnish (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them into the stoneware. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings, and pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender. You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held immersible blender. I suppose you can also leave the potatoes in chunks, if you really wanted, but I wanted a smooth soup.

After smashing the potatoes, crumble in both packages of cream cheese, and put the lid back on. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved. Stir a few times during the 30 minutes.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and I'd assume cheddar cheese would be just delightful.

The Verdict.

When I first started hanging out on the internet, I was surprised at how much bacon talk there was. Everywhere I turned (clicked), it seemed there was somebody else going on and on and on some more about their love for bacon. 

Since I don't eat pork, I really didn't get it, and just figured it was a weird internet thing.

But yesterday I figured out the secret to really good turkey bacon. Fry it in a ton of butter. Now I think I might sort of get it. Although I'm not terribly pleased with how messy it is....

anyhow, this is a fantastic soup, and the bacon on top really seals the deal. My kids both ate a bowl when it was first finished around 4pm, and another later in the evening.

We're going to have BLT's with the leftover bacon for lunch. or maybe breakfast. I'm excited.

other great soups:

Jamaican Pumpkin
Thai Coconut
Corn Chowder
Harvest Stew
French Onion
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