Monday, April 16, 2018

Slow Cooker Hearty Vegetable and Bean Soup

Since Mother Nature is obviously bi-polar and doesn't remember if it's supposed to be winter or spring, I thought I would share a "comfort food" soup recipe for this meatless Monday. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 sweet onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1” cubes (optional, white or red potato) 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1” pieces 
  • 2 stalks celery, diced 
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn (optional) 
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste (can be substituted with cayenne pepper) 
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh green beans 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium (chicken broth can be substituted) 
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley 
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained (navy, black, or pinto can be substituted) 
Directions: Add all the above ingredients to the slow cooker, stir to combine, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until carrots are tender. Note: To make this a meat dish, simply add 1 pound chicken fillets (cut into 1" cubes) to slow cooker along with the other ingredients. Tip: If you prefer a thicker soup, near the end of cooking time, remove 1/2 cup of soup (liquid and veggies) and combine with 1-2 tablespoons flour or corn starch, puree and return to the slow cooker. A fork works well to mash the ingredients along with the flour or cornstarch. Be careful not to allow the hot mixture to spin out. Continue cooking until soup thickens, about 15 minutes. Minimum Slow Cooker Size: 4 quarts

Nutrition info: Servings: 6 | Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Calories: 183 |Total Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 |Cholesterol: 47 mg | Sodium: 253 mg | Carbohydrates: 17 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 5 g | Protein: 6 g

(Recipe and photo courtesy of SkinnyMS)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Celebrate National Library Week!

Happy National Library Week! Visit your public, school or academic library this week to see what's new and take part in the celebration!

Thank you...

I've been overwhelmed with kind words from my readers since A Matter of Honor debuted in February. I was extremely nervous that it wouldn't be well-received, but the reviews I've gotten so far have been wonderful, and I just want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has contacted me to let me know how much they've enjoyed it. Here are just some of the sweet compliments I've received:

"I just finished A Matter of Honor. Your first book! I couldn't put it down! You wrote such a beautiful story that just pulled me in and I could really feel for each of the characters! But there was one problem...I need MORE! What a beautiful story you weaved. Some books you just read...others you feel. And this one had me smiling, laughing and on the verge of tears. Keep writing, my friend! You have such a gift from God." - Tonda S.

"I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. I felt what the characters were feeling. I laughed, I cried, I even got angry at one of the characters. I would recommend this book to teens to 90's. Loved it!" - Wendy R.

"I could not stop reading! I actually read the book in a 24 hour period. It is that good! So proud of you, Stephanie!!! Waiting on the next!" - Amanda B.

 
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