Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gets me every time!

Shewwww!! I just cannot believe that tomorrow marks the first of February and the end to the crock recipes, at least for a while that is!! So what better way to end the crock recipes than with my all time favorite dip.....BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP (low fat version)! You can cook this in the oven or in the crock-- whichever way you prefer it is sure one that EVERYONE will love! This will be perfect for THE upcoming SUPERBOWL!!!!

1 10 oz can of canned chicken (I go the can route as it requires no additional work)
2 8 oz cream cheese (low fat)
1 c of low fat ranch
3/4 c hot sauce (use as much as you like-- I prefer the color to be a dark pink)
1 c fat free cheddar cheese

Drain the water off of the chicken and combine all ingredients.  Cook in the crock on low for 2 hours.  Place in a serving dish and sprinkle immediately with cheddar cheese-- the cheese will melt and create an oh so gooey and delicious dip :) Serve with fritos or tostitos!

On another note, the end of January marks one day closer to our CRUISE and my mama bears BIG 5-0!!! AHHH I'm so excited and cannot wait to celebrate poolside with bahama-mama's in hand!


Monday, January 30, 2012

BBQ - ohhh boyyy

Now I must say that this is not a winter favorite of mine! I prefer BBQ much more in the summa with a fine piece of corn bread and a juicy slice of watermelon served up with a cold glass of sweet iced tea!  I couldn't leave it out of the mix though it's too "slap your mama" tasty to keep to myself!!!!!  Here's the recipe:

2-3 lbs pork shoulder
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 c ketchup
1/3 c worcestershire
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 large gloves of garlic pasted
1/2 Tsp paprika
1/4 c brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste

Marinate your meat in sauce the night before.  Place marinated pork in a roasting pan and blast it in the oven out for 20 minutes (depends on oven) at 450!  Pour sauce all over the pork in the crock and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  The meat should easily pull apart with a fork!  So tender!!! As mentioned above, I suggest serving with cornbread and a good ole juicy piece of watermelon!!!



Thursday, January 26, 2012

4 things . . .

WOW! I feel like I haven't done this in ages so what better time than now! 

1.  ONE WEEK TODAY we leave for our CRUISE!! I could not be more EXCITED!!!!!  Bring on the sunshine and cute little umbrella drinks!

2. Pintrest! Who's with me??!  This is the most fabulous thing to be invented!!! I mean it's crazzzzzy to think of my life without it ha!

3. AMARETTO creamer-- this seriously takes your coffee up soo many notches! I forget what normal coffee tastes like! YUMMM!!!

4. GRAPEFRUITS!!  They are the best winter fruit!  I love love love them in the mornings!! This weekend I am going to toast them in the oven with honey and brown sugar. Heard it makes for a real treat!

What are y'all loving this week?!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Say it isn't so...

Meat so tender you don't have to chew!! This pot roast will have you coming back for seconds and at time thirds!!  It's the perfect winter dish for snuggin' in you jammies and watching the snow fall!  Speaking of snow-- where are you?! Let's make some snow days happen!!!

3 lb beef chuck roast
**you want a tougher piece of meat for this as the cooking is a slow process and the meat becomes very tender
8 carrots peeled and cubed
2 large yellow onions sliced
10 (or so) baby new potatoes 
1 cup of beef broth (you can opt for chicken or veggie broth)

Season your meat with your favorite goodness.  I prefer garlic salt, pepper and cayenne pepper-- press these seasonings in to the meat insuring that most stay on while cooking.  Once heavily seasoned, sear the beef on all sides in a skillet.  This creates an outer crust to help lock-in the juices (depending on the thickness of the meat 5-7 minutes on each side).  Once meat is seared place in the crock with veggies and broth.  Add water to insure the meat is fully covered with liquid (I only had to add 1 cup).  Cook on low for 6-8 hours (again this will range depending on size of meat). Make sure to use a laddle to scoop out the goodness!!



Monday, January 23, 2012

Velveeta Sausage Dip

This is one of my uncle's infamous dips!! He makes this for most, if not all, of our family occasions and it is a fan favorite, scrap the bowl, dont leave a crumb behind kind of favorite! It is so simple to make but I must warn you, IT IS NOT FIGURE FRIENDLY, again NOT figure friendly! Not sure what might have tipped you off,  I'd have to go with the 16 ounces of velveeta!! But hey we can all treat ourselves once in a while, right?!

16 oz velveeta (it comes in a huge block), cut in to cubes
1 lb of sausage browned and grease drained (hey--im trying to help a little with the fat content :))
1 can rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles

Throw all this in the crock and let simmer until cheese is nice and gooey and all ingredients are fully incorporated (1-2 hours on low).  Serve with fritos or tostitos!  GREAT for the super bowl right around the co-ner!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oldie yet oh so GOOOOODieee!

I must thank Theresa for this one!  She introduce me to this recipe and I can't tell who loves it more, me or Jenna!?  It's an oh so simple recipe to a fan favorite-- meatballs!!!!!!  They are great for tailgating, girls night in and/or meatball subs! Here you have it... 

2 lbs hamburger ( I typically go the lighter route and use ground turkey)
1 c packed corn flakes (crushed)
c of dried parsley ( I use less)
2 Eggs
2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
c of Ketchup
2 tbsp. Minced Onion

1 Can of Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 12 ounce Chili Sauce
2 tbsp.  Brown Sugar
1 tbsp.  Lemon Juice
Roll the meat mixture in to balls and place in the crock, cover with the sauce ingredients.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours! ENJOY!!!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stuffed with GOODNESS

Last night we whipped up some stuffed peppers, they are so simple to make and yet have so much goodness running throughout!  Now I  know this month is dedicated to crock pot recipes but I have to admit that I did not use the crock to make mine.  So I'll give you my run down and also include the crock recipe in case you want to try it :)

4 LARGE green peppers
1 box/bag of spanish, dirty or jambalaya rice
1 lb. ground turkey (you can substitute chicken, beef or the like!)
1 yellow onion
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatos
3- 4 tbsp tomato paste
sprinkle or two of cheese
LOTS AND LOTS of hot sauce

Start by cutting the tops off your peppers and cleaning out the seeds and veins from the insides.  Dice up your onion and let it sweat out. In the same pan brown your meat then combine with your beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked rice (while the onions and meat were cooking I cooked the rice) cheese and hot sauce to your liking.  Scoop all of this into your peppers and allow to cook at 450 for 40-45 minutes.

**if you were going to "crock" this recipe, you would combine all ingredients uncooked stuff in to the peppers and cook on low for 7-9 hours (for this I would suggest using minute rice as it cooks much faster than regular rice)-- easy as pie!

before going under the heat!

out and ready for tasting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Old Man River!

Just wanted to give a brief shout-out to my old man/corn-hole partner today on his bday!! Hope you have a GREAT day today dad-- wish I were closer but we'll be together oh so soon to celebrate!!

**did you find your george allen wrenches!?!?


Breakfast in a crock.... pinch me I'm dreaming!

This is great, just GREAT! If you're like me and love breakfast for supper what is better than coming home to a warm, hot and delicious BREAKFAST CASSEROLE!!!!!! Or... if you're hosting breakfast on the weekend you no longer have to slave in the kitchen the night before and lose countless hours of sleep trying to remember how long to cook what and at what temperature!!  You can wake up rested and look like you spent hours in the kitchen! Here's what you need:

32 oz bag frozen hash browns
1 lb turkey bacon or you can cut up 1 lb. of deli ham
1 yellow onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 c mushrooms
1 1/2 c reduced fat cheddar cheese
12 eggs
1 c milk (I used skim-- let's try to keep it skinny)
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer all ingredients in the crock one by one (reserving the eggs and milk until the end)-- makes for a delightful bite in each fork-full :)  I recommend a total of 3 layers but completely up to you on your style! Beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over your layers.  Allow to simmer in the crock for 8-10 hours on low.



Monday, January 16, 2012


I know this month has been dedicated to recipes and what have you but this weekend all my JMU loves visited and we did it up just like old times! I tell you no matter how long we go without seeing each other we always pick up right where we left off! I love these girls oh so much and don't know what I would do without them some days!!! Happy Monday everyone!

**random guy in the middle ha!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Baked potatoes... say it isn't so!

I must admit that my freezer is experiencing an overload at the moment from all the delicious fixings Kels and I have been whipping up, therefore I have not yet tried this BUT thought it was such a GREAT idea I could not pass it up!!  I mean who doesn't love baked potatoes and better yet who doesn't love having baked potatoes ready when walking in the door from a long hard day at the office!!??  Here's what ya got to do...

Wrap potatoes individually in aluminum foil...

Cook on low for 8 hours and tadaaaaaaa you have yourself a baked potato ready for some delicious fixings!

I would like to take all credit for this ingenious idea, however I did not come up with this one on my own-- rather I found it on pintrest-- holy pete I just love that site!  To this blog I give all credit!

Load her up!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


2 cups Pace Picante Sauce
2 large green or red peppers, cut into 2-inch long strips (about 4 cups)
1.5 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds turkey breast cutlets, cut into 4-inch long strips
16 flour tortillas, warmed
Shredded Mexican cheese blend

1.) Stir the picante sauce, peppers, corn, chili powder, lime juice, garlic and turkey in crock pot.

2.) Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours or until the turkey is cooked through.

3.) Spoon about 1/2 cup of the turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Top with the cheese.  Fold the tortillas around the filling.

Note: This was great to throw in the crock pot in the morning and let simmer away while I was at work.  It was so nice to come home to a cooked meal!  My fajita filling turned out pretty soupy and I'm not sure what went wrong.  However, it was delicious and flavorful!  Dave and I actually ate it over rice and then another day I ate it as almost a turkey chili and sprinkled the cheese on top.  So those are a few tips if yours turns out soupy as well!  But hopefully, you won't be as crock pot challenged as I am :) 

Happy eats!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Everyday Chicken

This recipe could seriously not be any easier, not to mention pretty gracious on your pocket book as well!

1 lb chicken breast (cubed)
1 can cream of celery (98% fat-free)
1/2 c white wine
1-2 c diced celery
1-2 c diced carrots
Salt and pepper to your liking

Toss all ingredients in the crock pot.  Allow to cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 on high.

I used my dad's old trick for this one to take it up a couple of notches.  I put the crockpot fixings on top of a piece of bread- yummm yummm yummm!! The bread soaks up the gravy and its a sloppin good time!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Roast Pork Soup with Soba Noodles and Bok Choy

Brought to you by Kels

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 pork loin (about 2.5 pounds)
6 cups chicken stock
1.5 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
3 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 head bok choy, sliced
1 pound soba noodles, cooked

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In small bowl, combine hoisin sauce, sugar, and five-spice powder.  Baste pork with sauce and roast 45 to 60 minutes, or until just cooked through.

2.) Let meat rest 15 minutes and slice into thin matchstick pieces.

3.) Place pork in crock-pot slow cooker and add stock, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and bok choy.  Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.

4.) Stir in soba noodles and cook until just heated through.

This makes a LARGE portion, so feel free to cut down accordingly.  Also, I had trouble with all the liquid being absorbed into the noodles when I put the noodles into the crock pot at the end.  Overall, this was a pretty good dish and I would recommend that you try it!  This is definitely a full day ordeal though so it is good for Sundays and then you will have leftovers for the week!  
Enjoy :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

16 Bean Soup

This recipe could not be easier and its extremely healthy and filling.  At the beginning of the winter I make a big ole pot and freeze! Its perfect for those snuggly winter mornings where you hit the snooze one too many times!

2-3 c diced carrots
1 yellow onion
2-3 c diced celery
1 pckg 16 beans (I prefer to buy the one pckg of dried beans instead of all the beans separately and/or canned)
1 c broth (go with what you like I've tried all kinds and there is not much of a difference)

This recipe requires one extra step, you have to soak the dried beans overnight. Place them in a sealed container fully covered with excess water and let them retain the water, they will not absorb all of the water so rinse the beans in a strainer before placing in the crock.  Add remaining ingredients to your beans. Make sure that the beans and veggies are fully covered with water as some of the water will be absorbed. Place on low for 8 hours!


Bacon Potato Chowder

Hey guys! You may recall in my earlier post I mentioned doing a mixture of crock pock recipes and restaurant suggestions with my bf, Kels!  Well today she is sharing her recipe for Bacon Potato Chowder.  We are going to try to alternate days sharing our glorious recipes with y'all.  Hope you enjoy what we're bringing to the table!

Although your waistline may not love this recipe, it is a great Sunday afternoon/evening treat, especially during football season (just take 30 minutes in the morning to throw it in the pot and let the slow cooker works its magic).  So throw calorie counting out the window for the day and cozy up with this delicious "comfort" chowder.  Just in time for the play-offs!  (Play-offs!? Play-offs!? Don't talk about playoffs!...haha sorry I just had to).  Enjoy :)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
4 soup cans of milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes and 1/4 cup chives in a 6-quart CROCK-POT slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender (closer to 4 hours for me).

Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.  Serve with the remaining chives.

Happy Eating

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pots for your Crock in January

Hey there! After chatting with one of BF's we've decided that for the month of January we will dedicate this blog to crock pot recipes and a few restaurants here and there that we both LOVE!  She lives in B-more and I here in DC so with this cold weather approaching what better than some warm hot dishes!  We hope that you will enjoy our recipes and our "throw together, go to work, dinners ready, kind of meal"!  If you have some you would like to share please let us know!


We'll start the first post off with some delicious chili I threw together yesterday.  I used a mixture of turkey and chorizo (added heat!) for my meat combined with lots of beans!

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb chorizo
3 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 can dark kidney beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can of black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup of corn
1 can tomato sauce
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tbsp chili powder

Brown the turkey and chorizo (chorizo will have a casing on it, remove the casing with a sharp knife and brown the meat).  Carmelize the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Combine the cooked ingredients with remaining ingredients in crock pot. (I also suggest rinsing the beans in a colander prior to putting in the crock pot as they hold a load of sodium.) Let simmer for 1-3 hours on low.

** tomorrow Kelsey's Bacon Potato Chowder!!!**

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012... can you believe it!?

I seriously cannot believe 2012 is here in full gear!  It is down right crazy talk if you ask me!

I'm not one for new year's resolutions.  I have never really made any, no particular reason why, just haven't. So instead of new years resolutions, I'd like to reflect on what I'm thankful for. Any my oh pete it's A LOT! I have the best family a girl could ask for.  I have a mom who is the most caring, loving, selfless, warm and gentle soul you have ever met; a dad that is a comedian, if only to himself at times, thats always there to brighten my day and daggon good corn-hole player, and a brother, who has always taken my side and more times than most been the voice of reason.  I'm so thankful for our closeness and the fact that my parents have been with us every step of the way! I must say I have a pretty awesome extended family too!  My aunts and uncles sure do know how to warm a heart and make anyone feel welcomed in their presence!  My loving grandparents are sweeter than buttermilk!  They are always eager to know what's going on in my life and constantly praising me for the life I've made. Ryan who continuously challenges me and altogether makes me a better person.  The Carrs, my family away from home.  Theresa's delicious home cooked meals and Ricky's one liners make my weekends! Lastly all my friends!  All my JMU loves, Northern Virginia friends, beach buddies, and good ole franklin homies I am pretty blessed with people that love and encourage me to be me!! 

Thanks 2011 for a great year, and to you mister 2012 I'm looking forward to what you have in store for me and my family!

Happy NEW YEAR everyone!