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The following are tips on how to get back to basics, eat healthier and save yourself a lot of time and money!

Sheryl's Favorite CORN CHOWDER – Slow Cooker Style

Sheryl McGlochlin - Friday, November 25, 2011
1 Slow Cooker
8 med. Potatoes – washed and unpeeled (I prefer Red Potatoes)

Put whole washed potatoes with skins in a Slow Cooker.
Add enough water to cover all potatoes.
Set heat on low and leave for 4 -5 hours.
Or set heat on high and leave for 2-3 hours.
When potatoes can easily be cut in half with a knife, they are done.
Drain all water out of the slow cookerLeave the potatoes in slow cooker.
While the potatoes are still piping hot, take a knife and cut up the potatoes. They will look nearly like mashed potatoes or bite size potatoes when cut up.

Add the following to cut up potatoes:

3 15 oz. cans of corn – drain corn water first OR use frozen corn.
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) Avoid margarine if you want a healthier choice and better taste.
Milk - Enough to make it a "thin or thick" soup – which ever you prefer.
NOTE: For a creamier soup, add whole milk. I like 2 % Milk.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons Onion seasoning
Bacon- cooked, drained and cut into bite size pieces (Cook this up a head of time. You can add as much as you want – depending on the flavor and calories you want.)
Bacon is an important ingredient since it gives the soup a lot of it’s flavor.

Reheat in Slow cooker to blend all flavors - about 30 minutes.

Serve with a tossed green salad, bread sticks or crackers with cheese, etc.
Save any leftovers into individual size "Glad Ware" containers so it can easily be eaten later as a quick nutritious snack or meal.

Vegetable Pot Pie

Sheryl McGlochlin - Monday, September 27, 2010
2 carrots, small cubes
2 potatoes, small cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 leeks, finely chopped
2 stalks of young garlic, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup cauliflower, small pieces
4-5 sugar snap peas, rough chopped

2-3 sprigs of thyme
1 pinch of herbs de Provence
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 sheet puff pastry, at room temperature
2 tbsp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a ovenproof casserole dish.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic, and saute until they become translucent. Next add the carrots and potatoes, and saute for 3-5 minutes until they start to become tender. Add the remaining vegetables, the thyme leaves (without the actual stems), and herbs de Provence. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. Next, add the stock and half & half. Let the vegetable mixture simmer. The flour will help to thicken the sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the casserole. Top with a sheet of puff pastry cut to size. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top. Bake until the puff pastry rises and the vegetable mixture bubbles. This could take anywhere from 25-45 minutes, depending on the thickness and temperature of the puff pastry sheet.

Serve hot.

Note: You could add pretty much any vegetable you have on hand. Just ensure that everything is chopped to roughly the same size.

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