When I cook I take a lot of things into consideration, cost, time, my mood that day, and how many mouths I have to feed. I LOVE TO COOK! But sometimes I feel my "creative cooking well" is running dry. Thankfully I have lots of cookbooks to help me out.

Chicken Cacciatore over Rice:
Serves 5
5 boneless/skinless chicken thigh pieces
1 26oz can spaghetti sauce (yes I cheated)
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 small onion rough chop
2 cups rice uncooked
water to cook rice in (read package)
1. Place the chicken, onions, peppers in a deep frying pan (one with a lid).
2. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the chicken. Cook on LOW for 1 hour.
3. Place rice and water in a saucepan, cook rice according to package instructions.
Place rice on serving platter (optional) and place chicken on top.
Pour sauce over chicken and rice and serve hot.
Serve with garlic bread and/or a crisp salad.

With all the good food deals at the holidays and a huge deep freezer to store it all in, we bought large portions of ham and turkey. The ham used this time was over 11#, so I had to cut it in half and use both 6 quart slow cookers.
The recipe below is for a 6-8 pound bone-in ham, spiral sliced ham will work
but tends to ‘fall apart’ when you remove them from the cooker.

Slow Cooker Ham

1.    Spray the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray (or use veggie oil)
2.    In a bowl, combine 1 ½ cups brown sugar, pineapple juice and preserves (or other juice of your choice) stir well
3.    Rub ½ cup brown sugar directly on ham
4.    Place ham, fat side down, in slow cooker
5.    Place pineapple slices/chunks on top of ham
6.    Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours (you may baste ham with juices at 4 hour mark, do it quickly so you don’t lose too much heat)

Mediterranean Pasta & Veggies
This can be served HOT or COLD


16 ounce box Bow Tie pasta cooked according to package, drain
1/3 cup sliced stuffed green olives, drained
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (or buy whole and cut yourself)
¾ cup bell pepper, cut in ¼ x ½ inch strips (bite sized)
1/3 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar (any kind you want, add more or less to taste)
Salt & pepper (optional)


  1. Place cooked, drained pasta in large sized bowl
  2. In medium sized bowl mix olive oil and vinegar, mix well
  3. Add green olives and artichoke hearts to the oil & vinegar
  4. Pour mixture over pasta and blend gently
  5. Taste test, add vinegar and/or salt & pepper to taste
  6. Sprinkle Feta cheese over pasta
  7. You can serve this  dish hot or cold, it is good both ways.

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