Making your own granola is really easy, and tastes so much better than store-bought.



  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup dried fruit, diced (apricots, dates, raisins and apples all work well)


Preheat oven to 300°.

In a roasting pan, heat the coconut oil until melted. Add all ingredients except the dried fruit, and stir to combine.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir in the dried fruit. Cool for 30 minutes before storing.


  • This will keep at room temperature for a month and 3 months in the fridge.
  • Makes an awesome ice cream topper.

Satay Chicken

Another super quick and easy dinner when you’re in a hurry. Pretty much no effort or cleanup at all. Not so much cooking, as assembling already prepared ingredients.



  • 1 lb package of pre-cooked chicken kabobs
  • 7 oz Satay Peanut Sauce
  • Rice


Line a 13 x 9″ baking dish with foil. Spray with oil/cooking spray. Place the kabobs in the dish, and pour the sauce over the top.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Simple Spaghetti

This might be the first dinner recipe I ever learned to make. My version has evolved over the years to include sherry and Italian Seasoning. You can use any kind of pasta you like. In the photos you can see that I used linguine and fettuccine, because I was out of spaghetti noodles.



  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean Natural Pork Sausage
  • 16 oz spaghetti (or your favorite pasta variety)
  • 26 oz Blue Parrot Spaghetti Sauce (or your favorite variety)
  • 1/3 cup Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and olive oil. Add the pasta and cook to your preference; I prefer al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander.

Brown the sausage in a large saucepan. Add the sherry and reduce. Add the spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer over low for at least 5 minutes, or as long as you like.

Serve sauce over the pasta.


  • Serve with: garlic bread, Parmesan and a salad
  • Gluten free: just change the noodles

Beans and Kielbasa

Another super simple weeknight dinner my mom used to make. It’s especially yummy when camping. No talent or ability needed for this one!



  • 1 lb Smoked Kielbasa Sausage
  • 28 oz can B&M Baked Beans


Chop Kielbasa into ½” coins. Combine the beans and the Kielbasa in a pot and warm over medium heat, about 15 minutes.


  • Side suggestions: cornbread, corn on the cob, salad


Oyster Stew

This is one of those recipes that you either love or hate. I haven’t found anyone outside of my family that is into oysters like we are. I remember feeling really special when my mom would make this for me on days I was home from school. Whenever I make this, it takes me right back to those special lunches. It only takes about 10 minutes to make this, and serves two.




  • 8 ounce can whole oysters
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 12 ounces whole milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add the oysters, Worcestershire and seasonings and cook over medium for 5 minutes. Add the milk, and heat through.

Serve with salad and crusty french bread or oyster crackers.

Cran-Apple Pork

This dish is all about the sauce. You can either use half of it as a glaze, while roasting your pork tenderloin, or serve it on top of your grilled pork chops. I’ve included both methods in the instructions below.



  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, OR 4 thick pork chops
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup apple, pealed and chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted

Directions for Pork Loin Version

Preheat oven to 350°. In a sauce pot, combine cranberries, apple, sugar, water, onion, ginger, curry and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, trim the fat off of the pork loin and rub with the steak seasoning. Place the pork into an oiled 13 x 9″ pan. Uncover and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes more, or until thickened.

Cool 10 minutes, place in a blender, and blend until smooth. Divide the sauce in half. Brush the pork with half. Bake for 30 minutes, or until desired doneness (using a meat thermometer).

Serve pork with remaining sauce.

Directions for Pork Chops Version

In a sauce pot, combine cranberries, apple, sugar, water, onion, ginger, curry and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, heat a large frying pan with the coconut oil. Sprinkle the chops with the steak seasoning. Fry the chops until desired doneness.

Uncover and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes more, or until thickened. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.


  • Side dish suggestions: Roasted potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, stuffing, steamed green beans, corn on the cob
  • If you don’t have steak seasoning on hand, use whatever your favorite pork chop seasoning is. Salt and pepper work just fine too.
  • Don’t like spicy? Remove the red chili flakes, and cut the curry in half.
  • I like to keep the sauce chunky when I’m making it for pork chops, but it is just the same when blended.
  • Want to make it Paleo? Don’t add sugar. Easy peasy.

Slow Cooker Ham and Barley Stew

This is perfect for when the weather is getting cold outside, and you want to come home to a pot of hearty stew. There is very little prep time, and it’s a very filling dish.



  • 1 large and meaty ham bone, or 1 ½ lbs. hickory smoked pork hocks
  • 14.5 ounce can green beans, drained
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery, diced
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 64 ounces beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove and discard bay leaves. Take the ham bone or hocks out, remove the meat and chop it into small chunks if need be. Put the meat back into the stew and serve


  • If you want a meatier stew, add 1 lb. of ham to the pot
  • You can make it gluten free by substituting rice for the barley
  • Goes great with a salad and a nice sourdough baguette