Monday, April 15, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

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Does April scream pork to you? It does to me and I really don't know why. I have been noticing that I'm sneaking more summer like ingredients in with it though. Don't worry, I am in zero hurry for the heat and humidity of summer! I just like fruit.

Pineapple Pork Tenderloin:

Ingredients:
3 pound pork tenderloin
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup apple juice
16 ounces frozen pineapple

Directions: 

Combine meat, sugar, spices, and cornstarch in a plastic zipper bag. Seal and shake well to coat. Pour contents of bag into crockpot. Add garlic and peppers. Pour in soy sauce, apple juice, and an entire bag of frozen pineapple.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 4-6.








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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wordsmith Wednesday: Bestselling Author Secrets

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For the past couple of weeks, I've been working my way through a video series hosted by Sara Connell. The tag line? Increase Your Income & Change the World With Your Story ...Did it follow through on the promise? Let me break it down for you.

The Good:
There were a wide variety of speakers from all different areas of writing. Each day, at the same time, there was an email in my inbox introducing the video of the day with a link. I appreciated the fact that I wasn't bombarded with 10 different videos each day with only 2 days to watch them. Life is busy and I don't have the time to watch videos full time.

The Bad:
Only about half of the videos were really worth watching for me. Quite a few of them were little more than a glorified infomercial for whoever was being interviewed. I don't need things laid out for me down to the tiniest step by step detail, but if you're promising me that your interviews will increase my income and help me to change the world, I need a bit more than to hear someone was the first person in their niche back in 1996.  That ship has sailed.  The hostess also repeatedly promised links to the various speakers' books, websites, etc and not once did she provide those links. I checked each speaker's video page as well as the main page and individual emails. They weren't there.

The Summary:
I don't know if Sara will repeat this series in the future. As of right now, this series is now only available if you want to purchase it for $47.99. Is it worth it? If you're the type of person who can glean the true gems from a presentation, it might be. I got quite a bit out of listening to Russell Nohelty, Jackie Kotei and Eric Easter. A lot of the others gave the same reminders that we hear a lot of the time: "Build your audience." "Build your platform." "Never give up."  While these can be great reminders, I'm not sure they're worth the financial investment. Since I'm on Sara's mailing list now, I'll check out any future programs that she offers and let you know what I think.



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Monday, April 8, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Orange-Apricot Pork Chops

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Yay! April! Spring is trying really hard to be here and I am so, so glad. I'm not as thrilled that I've already managed to acquire a sunburn but if it means not freezing, I'll slap on the aloe and keep on going. Speaking of going...how about I go ahead and give you this week's recipe?

Orange-Apricot Pork Chops:

Ingredients:
6 pork chops
1 cup apricot jam
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges (and juice!)

Directions: 

Use a 4-6 quart crockpot. Put pork chops into your crockpot. In a small bowl, combine jam, brown sugar, and spices. Spoon over pork chops. Add the entire can of mandarin oranges evenly over the top.

Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, or on high for about 4.

Serve with rice to soak up the yummy juice.




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Monday, April 1, 2019

Crockpot Monday : Crab Dip

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Holy cow, it's April! Time for the weather to be warmer, but just in case it isn't, how about a yummy snack that you can enjoy while curled up with a good book? You know what, this would make an awesome party treat or potluck addition! There's never a bad time for a good crab dip.

Crab Dip:

Ingredients:
1 pound crab meat
3 packages (8oz each) cream cheese
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (or you can use 1/2 cup jarred salsa)
1 can chilies and tomatoes, drained (or Rotel)
1/2 cup milk
2 lemons (optional)

Directions: 

Sort through the crab and make sure that there aren't any shells.

Cube the cream cheese and put it into your crockpot. Plug it in and turn to high to begin melting the cream cheese. Add the buffalo wing sauce (or salsa), milk, and the drained can of tomatoes with chilies. Add the crab, stirring carefully.

Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes, or on high for no more than 2 hours, stirring often.

Serve with your favorite crackers, cubed bread, or celery sticks.






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Monday, March 25, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Cedar Plank Salmon

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Crockpot Monday - Cedar Plank Salmon
Do you ever get the urge to try something fancy? I've heard a lot about cedar plank salmon and thought I'd give it a try. It sounds fancy, but it turns out that it's not super hard to make.

Cedar Plank Salmon:

Ingredients:
1 single-use cedar plank, cut to size
1 pound salmon
2 limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon honey

Soak the plank in water for at least an hour. While it is soaking, combine the dry spices in a bowl. Rub the salmon on all sides with the spice rub, and then drizzle on the honey. Top with slices from 2 limes, and slide it all into a plastic storage bag. Refrigerate while the board is soaking, at least one hour, but overnight in the refrigerator is fine.

When the time has passed, put the wet cedar plank into the bottom of your crockpot. Remove the salmon from the bag and put it (with the lime slices) directly on the board.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Check the salmon. It should flake easily with a fork. If it doesn't, cook on low for an additional 30 minutes and then check again.

Extra Note:  You can buy cedar grilling planks at places like Walmart, Amazon, and even local hardware stores. Just look for ones marked for grilling.







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Monday, March 18, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Crab and Corn Soup

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Crockpot Monday - Crab and Corn Soup

Is it Spring yet? Almost? Whew! This winter has been brutal in so many ways. We've gone through polar vortexes, icemageddon, and a bomb cyclone. Did I mention a broken furnace, water heater, and fridge? We'll be digging out for a while and what's the best thing for digging out? Something hot and delicious, of course!

Crab and Corn Soup:

Ingredients:
1 quart chicken broth (4 cups)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup finely chopped onion, or 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion flakes
1 (32-ounce) package of frozen corn
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (6-ounce) can lump crabmeat, drained and picked through for any remaining shells
1 cup half and half or heavy cream (to add later)
1 avocado, sliced (to add later)

Directions:

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour the broth into your crockpot and add the butter and onion. Stir in frozen corn, garlic, butter, cayenne, and the crabmeat.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, high for 4 hours, or until the onion is cooked through and translucent.

Add half and half or cream. Stir well, and ladle into bowls or bread bowls, and garnish with avocado slices.







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Monday, March 11, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Fish Chowder

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Crockpot Monday - Fish Chowder

March is all in like a lion, out like a lamb, right? I hope that lion = snow and cold because I'm so ready for winter to be done! Since it's not, how about a nice, warm chowder? 

Fish Chowder:

Ingredients:
1 pound of white fish 
3 cups of chicken broth
9 baby potatoes 
1 cup frozen roasted corn
1/2 white onion
handful baby carrots
heart of celery
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt 
2 cups frozen shrimp (to add later)
1 cup heavy whipping cream (to add later)

Directions:

Chop up all the vegetables. Cube the fish and dump everything except for the cream and shrimp into your crockpot. 

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.

30 minutes before serving, stir in the cream and frozen shrimp. Turn your crockpot to high for the last 30 minutes.

Serve with a bit of fresh Parmesan cheese and maybe a nice hunk of crusty bread.






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