Slow Cooker Mexican-Style Chicken (for a Crowd)

There are probably hundreds of similar recipes to be found on the great big interwebz, but I tweaked this to suit a larger crowd. I use my 6 quart crockpot and serve with a nice, big pot of rice and tortilla chips alongside.


  • 5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thigh)
  • 3 16 oz. jars salsa
  • 3 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 cups frozen corn
  • 2-3 8 oz. blocks cream cheese


  1. Place first four ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6.
  2. 30 min. before serving, shred chicken with two forks. Place whole blocks of cream cheese on top. It will melt in nicely by itself.
  3. Give it a good stir to incorporate the cream cheese fully and serve over rice or with tortilla chips. I like to include a bottle of hot sauce for the more adventurous.

Blender Batter Dutch Baby (a.k.a German Oven Pancake) – Gluten / Dairy Free

Blender Batter Gluten / Dairy Free Dutch Baby (a.k.a. German Oven Pancake)

(When you have free-range chickens AND snap a pic at sunset, your pancake looks super yellow!)

Whew. How’s that for a title?!

We’ve been making and enjoying Dutch Babies for a long time around here. It started with my husband and I sharing the standard 3 egg version, baked in a cast iron skillet, with our lone toddler Maya. Delish. Nowadays, I make (are you ready for this?) the equivalent of 8 times that recipe for the seven of us. This is basically the recipe I use, only I use 1 tsp course kosher salt and start checking for doneness around 20 min. We usually use some form of whole grain flour. But not always…

Now, with me being gluten- and milk-free (I can still tolerate butter, cheese, yogurt), I have had to experiment with a version I can enjoy. And since I’m lazy and try to stick to whole grains, I also had to convert it to a blender batter (no pulling out the gluten-contaminated grain mill). Here’s the version I am enjoying now.

Gluten/Dairy Free Blender Batter Dutch Baby (a.k.a. German Oven Pancake)


  • 4 TBSP coconut oil (or butter, if you tolerate it)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole oat groats
  • 1/4 cup whole dried corn
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or 1 tsp course kosher salt)


  1. Preheat oven to 400. While oven is warming, place the 4 TBSP oil/butter (cut into 4-5 chunks) into a 9×13 pan and place it in the oven to melt.
  2. Put all the other ingredients into the blender and blend on high for 1-3 min or until grains are no longer chunky. (I use a Vitamix; other blenders may take longer.)
  3. When butter is melted, carefully remove from oven and pour batter in. Bake for 20-30 min, until puffed up and lightly browned.
  4. Enjoy with maple syrup, fruit preserves, or powdered sugar & lemon juice.

* Obviously, you can make this with gluten and dairy while still enjoying the convenience of the blender. Just use about 3/4 cup of whole wheat grains (or experiment with barley, spelt, etc.) and 1 cup milk of your choice.
* I usually use unsweetened almond milk.
* I use our own farm fresh eggs and make a double batch, which just fits in the Vitamix without overflowing. Since our eggs can vary in size, I often use 13 (which is more than double, of course).
* You can also skip the blender entirely and substitute 1 cup of your favorite gluten-free flour blend for the whole grains.
* Try other GF grains. Brown rice goes well with oats. Or try brown rice + millet.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

My friend Karen served this soup to my family a few weeks ago, and my kids all raved about it. I have made black bean soup in some form or another for years, and no one has ever raved like that. So naturally, I got the recipe. The secret? Pumpkin. It adds a smoothness and depth of flavor that is just right. Thank you, Karen!


Karen’s Black Bean Pumpkin Soup


  • 2 cans (or 4 cups cooked) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (or equivalent) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1-2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 tsp. fat (butter, coconut oil, lard)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (or equivalent of dried)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 1 can (or 2 cups cooked) pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


Puree beans and tomatoes with the appliance of your choice, set aside. In soup pot, sauté onions in the fat of your choice. Add garlic and cumin, sauté another minute. Stir in broth, lime, pumpkin, black pepper, and bean mixture. Bring to a boil, simmer 20 minutes. Salt to taste.

* I doubled this recipe and it just fit perfectly in my 6 quart slow cooker.
* Since I doubled, one quart of home canned tomato puree worked perfectly.
* I think other winter squashes, like butternut, would work splendidly.