A new year is before us. There are endless opportunities and possibilities and a fresh start! I’m sure most of you have traditions for the day; I certainly do. For me it’s a time of reflection and the memories made. It’s being thankful for what I have. It’s about the people in my life that matter. I want to spend my time wisely and not worry about the things I can not change. I want to be worthy of the life I have been given.

We are once again going to Aruba in January. It’s our favorite place to be. This year we have some new travelers coming to stay with us. We truly will be spending the New Year with the people we love, the people who matter most. Family and good friends, I can’t think of a better way to start 2019. Before we go, there are other traditions that need attention.

Once the New Year rings in I turn off the lights on my Christmas trees. They are dismantled in the morning and put away until next Christmas. A daunting chore but necessary. I am reminded by each ornament of time gone by. Some remind me of happy times. Some remind me of people who are no longer here. They are like a picture album full of memories. I cherish each and every one.

I also make a pot of black-eyed pea soup and some homemade bread. Black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck when eaten New Years Day. Who am I to argue?? My Grandmothers and my Mother always made it. It’s a tradition I like to carry on. It’s also pretty tasty and healthy.

I like to make mine in the Crock-Pot.  You can easily convert it to your Instant Pot or stove-top. If you use the Crock-Pot or IP you don’t have to soak the beans. Just rinse and sort them to make sure they are free of any stone or debris. The stove-top requires soaking them in water over-night.

I always have a fresh ham on Christmas. I save the bone and put that in the pot with the beans. It gives it a nice flavor. You could use bacon, a beef bone, chopped ham, or leave it out all together. I like to live by the “waste not, want not” theory. So in the pot the ham bone goes. You can also add chopped tomatoes and kale. It’s soup; make it yours!


[recipe title = “BLACK EYED PEA SOUP” serving = “6-8” time = “8 hours” difficulty = “easy”]


  • 72.5 oz chicken broth
  • 16 oz package of dry black-eyed peas
  • 1 ham bone (optional) (can use diced ham or other meat of choice if desired)
  • 4 medium carrots, 1 inch dice
  • 2 stalks celery, 1 inch dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • OPTIONAL: chopped kale, canned tomatoes. (If using tomatoes, add them to the pot the last 15 minutes of cooking)


  1. Place all the ingredients in your Crock-Pot except for the tomatoes if using.
  2. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.

NOTE: if using canned tomatoes, (I like fire roasted), add them to the pot 15 minutes before the cooking time is up. Give it a good stir.


Whatever your traditions are I wish you Happy New Year. Thanks for reading my thoughts and leaving comments. It’s nice to know someone is out there. Have a wonderful 2019.

Til next time

Ciao xoxo

Viki D


Well, here is the crock pot mystery soup I promised earlier. I got up this morning before work and made this. It took all of 20 minutes to put together. I walked in the door after work to a wonderful aroma and dinner.

This is a dry bean soup. No pre-soaking or cooking the beans. The crock pot does it all for you. It’s healthy, filling, and I promise very tasty. This is a Weight Watcher friendly recipe too.

You can find packages of 15 bean soup in most groceries. Mine came from Walmart. They are sometimes labeled as 13 bean; it doesn’t matter, it will come out fine. They usually come with a flavor packet. I never use it but feel free if you want a different flavor. The ingredients listed are all you need. You could add a meat to it. Sausage, shrimp, ham, or chicken would work well. In my world, the beans stand on their own.

As always, I prep everything and then just throw it all together, mix well, and turn on the crock pot. The only thing left is the can of tomatoes. They get thrown in last  just to heat through. That’s it; your soup is done.


I like to dice the veg smaller, close to the size of the beans. The addition of Italian seasoning may seem odd, but it works well.


This recipe makes a lot. Be glad, it’s always just as good (maybe better) the next day. This is the final product. Serve with a salad or some nice rolls and enjoy.


Well, I’m off to my grandson’s last soccer game of the season. I hope you enjoy the recipe. My family loves it!

Thanks for reading and following along. I love seeing your comments and photos. Keep them coming!!!


  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 (32 oz) boxes of chicken broth ( or equal amount of canned broth)
  • 1 C water
  • 1 package of 13 or 15 bean soup mix (dried beans)
  • 4 medium carrots, small chop
  • 3 medium stalks of celery, small chop
  • 1 large onion, small chop
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dry)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can, fire roasted tomatoes


  1. Mix everything together except the can of tomatoes
  2. Cover and cook for 10 hours on low
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes to heat the tomatoes through.

It’s soup!!!!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D




It’s Fall! Or is it? Hard to tell with the temperatures we’ve had in Maryland. It’s been in the upper 80’s and severely humid. It’s been a boaters paradise to grab the last moments of summer fun. As for me……it’s just too stinking hot!!!!

I’m ready for sweaters, jeans, and colorful leaves. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s ever going to happen. I know it will and I’m really pushing it. I do every year because I love the cooler months. I am truly a Fall and Winter gal.

It’s getting to be that time of year when I am ready for a change in foods too. Soups and stews are two of our favorites. There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of yumminess on a cold day.  I can remember going to my Grandmother Pearls in the fall and winter. She would always have some sort of soup on the wood stove. This was a soup she made all the time. It’s quick and easy and very tasty.

Fresh lima beans have a short season. My grandmother used to get them by the bushels and shell them. She would then freeze them for later use. So if you can’t get fresh lima’s, no worries. Frozen limas are just fine for this. Same goes for the corn, I use frozen all the time.


A nice complement to this or any soup is cornbread or a buttermilk biscuit. (See the posted link for buttermilk biscuits below). You can add a salad if you like. We usually make the soup our main, but anything goes!


You can make this on the stove-top or in a crock pot. Either way the taste is great and the soup is very filling. I hope you enjoy it!!


  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 40oz. fresh or frozen green lima beans
  • 16 oz frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15oz) cans of fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 6-8 C of chicken broth (depends on the amount of broth you like)
  • 2 pieces of uncooked center cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp of sugar (more or less after you taste, it depends on the tomatoes)
  • Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste


  1. Put the first 5 ingredients into a large stockpot on the stove-top.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, stir all together until well combined.
  3. Simmer for at least one hour, 2 hours really brings out the flavor.
  4. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper to your taste.

To use your crock pot repeat the steps above. Set your pot to low for 4 hours.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS..and failed fried chicken!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D