Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Soup


2 ½ lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (remove skin after purchasing
4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 large stalks celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 poblano peppers (mild chili pepper) seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 – 15oz. cans white (cannellini) beans, drained
2 tbsp. lime juice
Chopped avocado for garnish/optional
Cilantro leaves for garnish/optional
Sour cream for garnish/optional
Baked tortilla strips for garnish/optional


Use a 6-7 quart slow-cooker bowl, add chicken, broth, celery, carrots, peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, beans and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours or until carrots are tender.
Remove and discard bones from chicken; shred chicken and return to slow-cooker bowl.
Add cheese, lime juice and ¼ teaspoon salt to soup bowl, stirring until cheese melts. Served topped with avocado, cilantro, sour cream and baked tortilla if desired.

Green Beans with Bacon and New Potatoes


Serves 4
4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion chopped
2 lbs. fresh green beans snapped
8 new potatoes cut in half
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Cut bacon into thirds and cook in a large sauce pan over medium heat for five minutes. Add onion to the sauce pan with the bacon; saute’ until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add green beans and potatoes to the sauce pan with just enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add salt and pepper and cover. Simmer about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary to keep the beans covered.
• You may use pork or turkey bacon. If you use turkey bacon you may need to add a little of your favorite cooking oil.

Baked Brie


A Simple Holiday Starter

Sometimes you may need a quick and delicious starter when guests are coming or baking with friends and family. This is an easy recipe everyone will sure to love. You will be finished in minutes.

1 large sheet of puff pastry dough
1 - 8 ounce package of pasteurized brie cheese
1/4 cup raspberry preserves or your favorite preserves
1/8 cup toasted almond slices

Lay out the puff pastry on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Place brie round or wedge on top of the pastry puff sheet, leaving the rind on the brie.
Place the preserves on top of the cheese and add the almond slices on top of the raspberry preserves.
Bundle the pastry puff up and around the cheese, preserves, and sliced almonds.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the brie pastry in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes insert a cooking thermometer in the center of the brie pastry. Continue baking until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F and the puff pastry is golden brown.

Serve warm with crackers and apple slices. If you are not serving it right away, set the oven to a temperature that will keep the brie pastry’s internal temperature above 140 degrees. Keep the brie pastry in the oven until it is time to eat. It is important that you read the label of your brie cheese, making sure it is pasteurized.

Easy Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

apple crisp

Easy Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 lb. boneless skin chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp. ginger root, finely chopped

1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

1 cup of baby carrots, cut lengthwise in half

1 cup of chicken broth

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

2 cups of broccoli florets

1 cup of fresh diced mushrooms

½ cup diced red bell pepper

2 tsp. cornstarch

4 cups hot cooked Chinese plain noodles

Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic and ginger root; stir fry 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is brown.

Add onion, carrots, ¾ cup of broth, soy sauce and sugar. Cover and cook over medium heat five minutes, stirring twice.

Add broccoli, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Mix cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup broth; stir into chicken mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened. Serve over noodles or rice.

Autumn Apple Crisp

apple crisp

Autumn Apple Crisp

1 cup of flour

1 ½ sticks of margarine, melted
1 cup of sugar

4 cups of cooked apples
2 cups of oatmeal

1 cup of walnuts (optional)

1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon to taste
2 cups of brown sugar

Mix flour, sugar, oatmeal, walnuts, 1 cup of brown sugar and margarine together to form the topping.

Place apples in a lightly greased pan and sprinkle with 1 cup of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle on topping. Bake at 325°F, for 1 hour or until done.

Roasted Pear and Cranberry Relish

Sensational Side Dish

cran pear


Serves 6


2 cans (15 ounce each) pear halves in juice, drained and cut in ½ - inch chunks

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ teaspoon finely crushed, dried rosemary

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup pecans pieces

1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 Blot pear chunks with paper towels to absorb all surface moisture.  Toss with olive oil,

 rosemary, salt and pepper on a large rimmed sheet pan and spread into an even layer.

 Roast for 10 minutes. Toss, scatter pecans on top and roast for five more minutes.

 Transfer to a bowl, cool for 10 minutes and fold in cranberry sauce.

An Apple a Day


These apples are an apple connoisseurs delight.  They possess a distinctive sweet-tart flavor, snappy bite satisfying texture and crimson color that have made them a favorite since 1866.

Great Flavor – Crisp Texture               Versatility – All Purpose

*Distinctive sweet-tart taste                                         * Ideal for baking and cooking

*Firm Texture                                                                    *Makes outstanding applesauce and apple butter

*Crisp snap with every bite                                           * A delicious snack or bite on the run

Availability -  Mid-October through March


The flavor of these apples is delicious and they have exceptional shelf life.

Golden delicious apples are lightly textured with a crisp interior and sweet juiciness.

Versatility When Flavor is Important       

*Great for salads

*Ideal for baking and cooking

*Favorite for applesauce and apple butter

*Tasty fast snack or quick bite

AvailabilityMid-September through April


Fuji apples are definitely at home in Virginia.  This sweet apple is a cross between a Red-Delicious and Old Virginia Rawls Jennet apple.  Its color is a distinctive combination of red blush, striped with green and yellow.


*Ideal for cooking and baking

*A favorite for applesauce

*A tasty snack

*Stores well, even without refrigeration

Availability – November through March


This is the apple of everyone’s eye and palate.   They are now available from the orchards at their juicy and flavorful best.  Their crisp sweet flesh make Virginia Red Delicious apples ideal when baked into such quick treats as pancakes, muffins and crisps. 

Unbeatable Flavor

*Crisp texture and sweet taste make them great for salads

*Tasty fast snack or quick bite

*Sweet, juicy, firm and crisp

Availability – Mid-September through March


This great tasting apple has extraordinary eye appeal, long shelf life, and versatility that customers love.

Gorgeous outside and in

*Great size

*Doesn’t brown when cut

Tart and Tasty

*Crisp, firm

*Store well

*Keeps shape when cooked, ideal for pies, fried apples

*Super snack for salad

Availability – Late Fall Through Spring


Virginia Rome apples are now available fresh from the orchards. Their firm fresh and mildly sweet flavor make them the quintessential baking apple. 

Great color and shape

*Deep solid red

*Perfectly round

*Cream-colored flesh

Excellent for cooking

*Ideal for baking because of firm texture, mildly sweet taste and tendency to hold its shape

*Makes flavorful sauces, pies and baked apples

*Sweet-tart when first picked, but mature into a mellow flavor

*Tasty snack when eaten fresh

Availability – Mid-October through April / May


Holidays, Gracious Dinners and School lunches are all perfect occasions for this red-as-red-wine favorite, a beauty of an apple that looks terrific on store displays and at home in wreaths, fruit bowls, and cheese platters. 

As gorgeous as Virginia Winesap apples are to look at they are even better to eat – tart, tangy, juicy and extra firm. 

Rich red color

*White flesh

*Crisp texture

*Juicy inside

Holidays and everyday

*A great snack

*Excellent with wine and cheese

*Perfect cut into salads

Availability – Late fall through spring


These apples are yellow-green in color and may be lightly splashed with a hazy orange and red highlight.  The French took it to England where it was used for cider.   The apple is recognized for its excellent apple flavor.

Flavor and texture

*Rather rough skin

*Tender but firm, crisp, tart

*Juicy flesh

Very good dessert apple

*Excellent apple flavor

*Great tasting applesauce

*Superior apple pies

Availability – September through December


Theses apples are exceptionally sweet and tangy.   They are absolutely tantalizing to the taste.  Pink Lady apples have a “reddish-pink” hue and a  long shelf life. 

Flavor and Texture

*Very  Sweet


Very good dessert apple



*Good Shelf  Life



Love your leftovers

Ham and Spaghetti Alfredo (you may also use chicken or turkey)


Serves 4


½ pound ham (fully cooked), cut into ½ inch cubes

8 ounces spaghetti

2 cups broccoli florets

1 10 – oz. container light Alfredo sauce

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Cook spaghetti in a 5- quart saucepan according to the package directions.  Add

the broccoli florets 2 minutes before spaghetti is cooked just enough to retain a somewhat firm texture. Drain and keep warm.

Add the ham, Alfredo sauce and pepper flakes to the pan and heat over medium heat until warmed, about 1 minute. Return the spaghetti and broccoli to the pan and toss to mix.

Spoon onto individual serving plates.

Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and freshly grated pepper.