Cioppino is a Christmas Eve tradition in my family. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother would throw it together every Christmas Eve and serve it with salad, white rice, and freshly baked bread rolls. It is a dish everyone expects when the holidays come around. Cioppino is the Italian equivalent of Paella seafood casserole.

My sisters and I would normally join her in making this dish. Now that my grandmother is gone, it is my turn to take on the cioppino and prepare it for Christmas Eve. Thankfully my grandmother left helpful notes on the recipe, like to triple to recipe in order to feed the 12 person group that gathers at her house on Christmas Eve. And to cut the salt in half to avoid it being too salty. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can prepare the sauce a few days before and freeze it. Then on the day you are ready to serve, simply heat up the sauce and pour over the fresh seafood, cooking it for about 20 minutes more. You serve it immediately, but it also reheats very well as leftovers.

Rating 5/5



Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours


1 minced large onion

1/2 cup minced celery

1/2 cup minced green pepper

1 or 2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 cup olive oil

2 1/2 cups canned tomatoes

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 tsp dried basil

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 small bayleaf

6 black peppercorns

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine (find a cheap dry wine like pinot grigio)

2 lb fresh fish (halibut, cod, sea bass, or rockfish), cut into 2-inch squares

1/2 lb mussels in the shell (live and scrubbed)

1/2 lb clams in the shell

2 large king crab legs

1 lb shelled raw shrimp

1/2 lb scallops

Cook the onions, celery, green pepper, garlic cloves and olive oil in a large deep pan until translucent. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, bayleaf, peppercorns, salt and pepper; stir. Cover the pan and simmer for one hour, thinning with hot water as needed.

Add white wine and cook for 10 minutes, bringing it to a boil.

Place the seafood in layers in a deep stock pot and pour the boiling sauce over it. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve immediately.



Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings


Right now I am very active on pinterest. I’m constantly looking around on the site and pinning recipes and other ideas to my boards. I have a few recipes pinned that I have wanted to try for dinner and today I decided to check out the chicken and dumplings in the crockpot.

It has been pretty cold out lately and I thought that I would make this dish to share with my boyfriend (who is always surprising me with dinner). The picture sold me on the recipe and I would like to share my experience with my readers.

1 lb (2-3 pieces) thawed, boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can chicken broth

1 medium onion, diced

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 stalks celery, sliced

4 large flaky refrigerator biscuits (1/2 can)

black pepper to taste


Place thawed chicken at bottom of crockpot. Add cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, onion, carrot, and celery over chicken. Add pepper if desired. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 8 hours. Do not stir while cooking.


Cut each uncooked biscuit into 9 small pieces and stir into chicken stew. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred with a fork. Return chicken to pot. Stir and serve hot.


I really love meals in the crockpot. They are inexpensive and provide you with 2 or 3 nights of dinner. The original recipe did not call for carrots or celery, but I added it because getting some extra veggies doesn’t hurt. It reminded me of chicken pot pie. So delicious!


Recpice found on

Can of Coke Pot Roast

It was tough trying to figure out what to make for dinner on Sunday afternoon knowing my boyfriend and I had the whole day to prepare something. We couldn’t settle on a recipe right away. Lately I have been surfing on Pinterest, checking out their food section. One of the recipes I came across was one that I have always wanted to try – the can of coke recipe for cooking beef pot roast in a crock pot. Apparently the coke provides flavor and a base for the broth. I wanted to see if this was really something worth sharing. The recipe only involves a few ingredients.

1 package dry onion soup mix

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can Coke (or any other soda you want to try)

2 lb beef pot roast

fresh vegetables (we decided on potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onion)

First prepare all of your ingredients. Chop the vegetables to your liking. Set aside.

Place the pot roast in the crock pot. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the meat and then add in the cream of mushroom soup. Pour in the soda. We were unable to find a can of Coke at the grocery store so I just grabbed a whole bottle. That just means more tasty broth!

Add in your vegetables. Briefly stir to get the liquid and vegetables evenly distributed around the beef. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Or if you are crunched on time like we were, cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. Stir occasionally.

A super easy recipe that not only tastes good but it fills your whole house with an amazing smell. I realized this recipe would work out much better during the cold winter weather when you need something to warm up with. I would like to try using Dr. Pepper next time to see how different the end result is.

Recipe found on the Feels Like Home Blog.

Bean Soup

Ever since I was little, I always loved this soup that my mom made. She only made it a few times a year so I always stuffed myself with several bowls. One thing I love about it is the fact that it is so simple! It’s beans and ham! That’s it (with a few added parts for flavor of course).

1 (1 lb) package pinto beans

1 ham bone or 1/2 lb ham, sliced

1 white onion, minced

2 tbsp minced garlic (make those heaping tablespoons!)

1 tsp white pepper

salt and black pepper


Pour the beans into a large bowl and fill with enough water to cover. Leave to soak in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to make your soup, clean and drain the beans. Pour into a large pot.

Take your ham bone; add to pot. If you are using ham slices, (which I used this time) be sure to cut them up into smaller pieces. Anything works really, but I preferred the smaller chunks. I also cut off any fat from the slices. Add to the pot.

Add your onion and heaping tablespoonfuls of minced garlic.

Add white pepper. Add as much salt and black pepper as desired. I personally prefer a lot of black pepper in my bean soup. Once everything has been added to the pot, fill with water (about an inch or two away from the top).

Bring soup to a boil over high heat. Keep covered. Lower the temperature to medium heat and let simmer for two hours.

I found that this bean soup goes really well with corn bread, especially on a cold day. I’ll plop myself down in front of the tv and enjo. It’s something I always look forward to. It’s also good to freeze a few bowls in case you want some later on.