Monday, May 20, 2019

Crockpot Monday : Homemade Stuffing

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Homemade Stuffing

My apologies for the missed week! I had to go to Ontario for a funeral and there was chaos and emotion and exhaustion and it plum skipped my mind. I'm back though and I've been seriously craving comfort food...like stuffing...

Homemade Stuffing:

Ingredients:
10 slices of bread, lightly toasted in the oven
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup tart apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground marjoram
1/2 teaspoon savory
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: 

Toast the bread slices in the oven at 300 degrees. Keep an eye on this. It can go from toasty to burnt rather quickly. While the bread is toasting, chop up the onion, parsley, celery, and apple. Add to crockpot. Add the seasoning, and add melted butter. Stir well.

When the bread is done, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to the crockpot. Toss very well with the butter, chopped vegetables, and spices. When the bread is coated nicely, pour in 1.5 cups of broth.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.  When finished, the bread will have browned a bit on the top and around the edges, and it will be hot throughout.



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Monday, May 6, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Cranberry Pork Roast

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I looove cranberries. It's true. At Thanksgiving, I do a cranberry rice instead of regular rice. I drink cranberry juice. I just love cranberries. I hope you love this recipe!

Cranberry Pork Roast:

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds pork roast
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes, or 1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (16-ounce) whole berry cranberry sauce

Directions:

Place the meat into the crockpot and add the onion and soy sauce. Pour in the entire can of cranberry sauce over the top.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 5-6.

Serve over mashed potatoes and with a green salad.

Also, I love mashed potatoes too! 





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Monday, April 29, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Peking Pork Chops

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Are you feeling a little bit adventurous today? Looking for something with a new twist? I think this week's recipe might be just the thing you're looking for.

Peking Pork Chops:

Ingredients:
6 pork chops
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon 5 Spice Powder
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Directions: 

Place chops into the crockpot. In a small bowl, combine sugar, spices, soy sauce, ketchup, and garlic. Pour evenly over the top of chops.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for about 4.

Serve with rice and veggies; ladle sauce on top. 

Nice and easy, but oh so yummy!







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Monday, April 22, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Sweet Mustard Roast

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I really do love this time of year when everything is blooming and my allergy meds are working overtime. After so many months of grey skies and cold, it's such a welcome change. What does this have to do with Sweet Mustard Roast? Not a thing except that when you're out enjoying the kids' spring sports, this is really nice to come home to.

Sweet Mustard Roast:

Ingredients:
3 pounds pork roast
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons white vinegar

Directions: 

Place meat into crockpot. Top with molasses, Dijon mustard, and vinegar. Add in the garlic powder. Using tongs, flip the meat over a few times to coat it nicely with the sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for about 4.






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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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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wordsmith Wednesday: Write a Novel

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Wordsmith Wednesday - Writing a Novel - Russell Nohelty Course
Hi, all! Long time no Wordsmith Wednesday, eh? There's lots of life that's been happening, but I am so, so pleased to be back this week to tell you about a course that I just finished. As in, I finished it less than an hour ago. It was the Write a Novel course put together by Russell Nohelty of The Complete Creative.

As someone who has read a lot of novels, has proofread/edited quite a few novels, and has even helped write a couple of novels, I wasn't sure if this was the course for me, but when I was asked if I'd be willing to beta it, I couldn't find one good reason to say no. It turns out that I'm very glad that I said yes.

Russell's course is broken down into 7 modules with each module having multiple videos covering different subtopics within each one. I loved this format because it allowed me to take the course over multiple days, stopping and starting where I needed to. The videos ranged from about 5 minutes to 20 minutes. For those of us with crazy lives, this is such a fantastic way to be able to learn without feeling as if you're missing out on something.

At the end of the course, Russell provides multiple resource downloads, including an outline one that I can guarantee that I'm going to find insanely valuable as I continue to write the final book in The Tether Saga.

Now, like any true review, let's break it down...

The Good:
I love the multiple video format. Like I said above, it makes it so easy to watch whenever you can steal a few minutes from your day. On top of that, Russell breaks everything down in a clear, concise manner. Every time I had a question, he answered it in the video before I even had a chance to jot it down to ask him later about. I came away feeling as if I had really learned and to me, that's the true value in something like this.

The Bad:
Russell covers a lot of material in this course, including his entire process, editing/finding an editor, but the one thing that he didn't mention and that I think would be a valuable addition would be a segment regarding covers. Perhaps where to find covers and things of that nature.

The Summary:
I believe that Russell is launching this course at an insanely reasonable $47. For that price, you get over 2 hours of instructional video and honestly, outside of the editor module (which I didn't need since that's one of my many hats that I wear), there wasn't a single video/module that I didn't get something from. I honestly believe that this is a course that any writer can gain some valuable knowledge and insight from. My suggestion? This is a great course to get a lot of knowledge as well as a feeling for his other, more expensive courses. Go sign up now!

To check out this fantastic course, just click the words sign up now.

Edit: I just found out from Russell that this course is FREE until March 15th when the price will go up to the $47 that I mentioned earlier. Do NOT miss out on this opportunity!

More Edit: Since I wrote this, Russell has added sections on book formatting, covers, and blurbs!





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Monday, March 4, 2019

Crockpot Monday: White Fish with Pesto

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Crockpot Monday - White Fish with Pesto
How much do you love that new logo for #CrockpotMonday ? I'm in love with it. I'm not going to lie. It's going to take a while before I'm not like oooh, look at that! But, you aren't here to hear about my awesome logo. You're here for a new recipe so here you go!

White Fish with Pesto:

Ingredients:
1 to 2 pounds of white fish (sole, halibut, etc)
Bottled pesto (or make your own!)
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Aluminum foil

Directions:

Spread out a layer of foil on the counter top. Put a piece of fish on it. Cover it with a spoonful of pesto. Sprinkle on some shredded Parmesan. Fold over the foil to create a little packet. Put the packet into your crockpot. Continue to layer in foil packets until you run out of fish.

Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. The fish is done when it is fully white and flakes nicely with a fork.

Enjoy with your favorite veggie and maybe a side of rice!






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Monday, February 25, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Peanut Butter Cup Cake

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Crockpot Monday: Peanut Butter Cup Cake
I'm not going to lie. Peanut butter and chocolate are two of my favorite flavors to combine together. I don't know who came up with it originally, but if someone knows, let me know because I'm going to make a national day to celebrate them. Until then, how about some yummy cake?

Peanut Butter Cup Cake:

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

Directions:

Coat your crockpot well with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. In the microwave, melt peanut butter for about 30 seconds, and then add to the mix along with milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir really well to combine.

Spread this mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker.

In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa powder, the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 cup boiling water. Pour this evenly over the peanut butter batter in your cooker.

Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours, or until the top has set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake sit uncovered in an unplugged crockpot for about 20 minutes, then serve warm in dessert bowls.






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Monday, February 18, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Peanut Butter Brownies

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Mmm....brownies. Let's face it, there is little on this planet as delicious as a warm brownie with a glass of cold milk. I dream of brownies sometimes. Add in peanut butter? Heaven.

Peanut Butter Brownies:

Ingredients:
5 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions: 

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into crockpot. Prop open the lid of the crockpot with a chopstick or wooden spoon.

Cook on high for 90 minutes. Check for doneness. These can sometimes take longer than planned.





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Monday, February 11, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Peach Compote

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Crockpot Monday - Peach Compote
I'm still dreaming of a balmy Spring and a mild Summer. What? A girl can dream, can't she? Speaking of warmer months, don't peaches scream Summer? I know that fresh ones are near impossible to find this time of year, so if you can't find any, hold onto this one and with any luck, they'll be back in your local produce section soon!

Peach Compote:

Ingredients:
3 to 4 fresh peaches (I used 3 large ones)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: 

Use your 1.5 quart crockpot for this recipe.

Wash and slice your peaches. Put them into your crockpot. Cover with the brown sugar, brandy, the 2T of butter, and the cinnamon and vanilla.

Cover and cook for about 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Serve over vanilla ice cream.

* I haven't tried it, but this recipe may turn out just as well using frozen peach slices that you've allowed to thaw.






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Monday, February 4, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Key Lime Pie

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Crockpot Monday - Key Lime Pie
Oh my gosh, guys...Is it Spring yet? I am being the biggest whiner about winter since the cold and snow hit. We still have at least 6 weeks to go and it feels like 6 months. I can hear my children now..."Mom, don't you think you're being a little bit dramatic?" It's true I am...but I'm still posting a recipe that makes me think of warm, tropical climates this week!

Key Lime Pie:

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime zest

Filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)

To put into the crockpot:
1 cup warm water

Directions:

Use a 6-quart slow cooker with an inserted 1.5-quart oven-safe casserole dish. You’ll be creating a water bath for your pie to cook in.

Spray your dish with cooking spray. In a plastic bag, smash up the graham crackers to make crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the butter, brown sugar, and lime zest. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish.
 
In a large mixing bowl, use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer to whip the egg yolks, condensed milk, lime juice, and lemon juice together until it's frothy. Pour this evenly over the top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Pour 1 cup of warm water into the bottom of your slow cooker insert, then carefully lower in the baking dish, being careful not to splash water into your pie.

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or until the pie is no longer shiny on the edges and the center has set.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) before serving. If you'd like, you can add a layer of whipped cream on top.

--Would it be too much to put on some steel drum music and a Hawaiian shirt? I want to dream of a warm vacation!






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Monday, January 28, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Fudge

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Crockpot Monday - Fudge
January is nearly gone! Can you believe it? It's been quite a month around here... my oldest turned 19 and went to a residential program, my youngest turned 18 and started college auditions...as for me? I've just been trying to keep up! Today we're all snowbound and trying to mentally prepare ourselves for possibly record breaking cold this week. I think we need some comfort food....like fudge!

Fudge:
Ingredients:

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon salted butter
Cooking spray to spray down the crock
Parchment paper or non-stick foil to line a 9 x 9 baking pan

Directions:
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Spray the crock well with cooking spray. Add everything into the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for about 1 hour, or on low for about 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes. Once the chocolate has lost its form and can be stirred into a liquid state, spread it out onto a lined 9 x 9 baking pan.

Chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours) before cutting into bite-sized squares.

Then, curl up with a blanket, a book or good movie, and enjoy! Stay warm out there, my friends!






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Monday, January 14, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Orange Chicken

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Crockpot Monday - Orange Chicken
I was just talking to my oldest about having some sort of fancy food for dinner and what do I come upon? Orange chicken. That seems mighty fancy to me on a cold winter's day. Do you have a favorite cold weather food?

Orange Chicken:

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds boneless chicken, cut in 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup flour
olive oil for browning the chicken
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons ketchup

Directions:

Dredge the chicken pieces with the flour, and shake off the excess. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove and brown the chicken on all sides. Sear it just enough to get the flour to stick and to get some nice color.

Add the chicken pieces into your crockpot. In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken, and toss gingerly to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4.

Serve over rice.

Enjoy!




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Monday, January 7, 2019

Crockpot Monday: Maple Dijon Chicken

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Crockpot Monday - Maple Dijon Chicken
January ....already....wow...In just 5 days, my oldest will turn 19 and then will be off to a special "college" for five weeks. I'm not sure I'm ready for that but it's time. He needs to find his wings. And me? I'm going to need something delicious...

Maple Dijon Chicken:

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
1 cup chicken broth
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme

Directions:

Put the chicken into the bottom of your crockpot and toss it with the thyme, maple syrup, and dijon mustard.

Peel and chop the sweet potato, and add to the pot. Add the onion and garlic.

Pour in the chicken broth. Add the bay leaves.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.

Remove the bay leaves before serving and enjoy!




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