Category Archives: slow cooker

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

Hey look! I have a recipe for you! Actually it’s more like I have a dinner idea that includes using Stubbs new Chili Cookin’ Sauce and a bunch of yummy add-ons.  I was excited to get my recent Stubbs package and see that it included some of their new products including this “Chili Fixins” kit.  I’m so into chili right now that the weather is cold.  Just throw a whole bunch of stuff in the slow cooker and a few hours later your house smells all spicy and cozy and you have a big bowl of healthy goodness to dive into at dinner time.  I’m sure this probably would have been good as is but in true food blogger fashion, I had to doctor it up with some extra goodies.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve been loving pumpkin purée lately so I’ve been throwing it in everything.  I’ve read its nutritious for the babies and of course its delicious and its fall and we have to make pumpkin everything all the time.  SO, of course I threw the pumpkin in here as well.  It doesn’t give it a super strong pumpkin flavor but I think it adds a little complexity to the flavor and richness in texture.  My other favorite way to enjoy pumpkin lately is to mix it up with plain greek yogurt, a little maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and top it with some crunchy granola, yum!

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

The Stubbs Cookin’ Sauce bag comes with a packet of sauce and a spice pack.  Just mix it up with meat in the slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it.  I wanted a little more texture and chunkiness in mine so this is what I added:

1 lb ground beef

1 small can diced green chiles

1 can organic pumpkin

1 can organic black beans

1 can organic kidney beans

1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not pictured)

I used a little over half of the spice pack and it was HOT! Like holy moly spicy! It was good but it may have been too hot for many peoples taste since I like stuff pretty hot.  I would suggest using only half of the packet and then taste it before you serve it, you can always add more then if you prefer more heat.  It’s a lot easier to add spice and flavor than to mellow it out if you make it too hot.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

This was SO good, I didn’t mind having it for leftovers 3 days in a row.  I served it with some shredded cheese and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

Stubbs Pumpkin Slow Cooker Chili

If you see these at your store, I recommend picking up a few bags, it makes an easy dinner even easier! Perfect meal for a big crowd!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My baby shower 🙂

BabyShower

I had my baby shower last weekend and it was so much fun.  It made me realize how lucky I am to have so many amazing friends and family members in my life, I was so overwhelmed by all of their love and support! It’s always fun to have events like this that bring together friends you’ve made during all different parts of your life; childhood, college and beyond! Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and to all those who couldn’t make it for sending your love and thoughts, these are going to be two lucky boys!

P.S. The nursery is almost done! I’ll check back in soon with some photos since I don’t have much food stuff to share these days 🙂

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok, so here’s the deal folks.  Its Thursday night, I’m exhausted, this week has completely kicked my ass.  I’ve been completely bombarded with work to the point where I literally (without hurting myself of course), banged my head on the desk a few times out of frustration. Don’t these people know I’m pregnant and these hormones can’t deal with the stress right NOW?? Anywho, I’m ready to go relax and enjoy a fun long weekend with friends, BUT, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly neglecting you guys and need to share some new recipes with you.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

SO, I’m stopping in briefly to share this one with you.  The only wrinkle is that I didn’t copy my steps down carefully enough to write down an actual step-by-step recipe so I’m hoping you guys can take this as inspiration and go navigate your way through it and create a bowl of creamy squashy bacony goodness on your own.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I decided to try making the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker which totally worked apart from the fact that it was a little more mushy and less stringy.  So, it tasted delicious but didn’t have that same spaghetti-like texture I’m used to.  If you’re ok with the mush, make it in the slow cooker, if not – make it in the oven like normal.

SquashCarbonara4

So in nutshell, this is how I made this:

I cooked about 5 slices of bacon in a pan, then removed it to drain on some paper towels.  Then I added diced onion to the bacon juices, cooked until soft and then added 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) peas.  When those were heated through I added 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper & nutmeg and simmered it briefly.  Then I stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash, chopped bacon and topped it off with some more parmesan cheese & bacon bits.  It was yum-o-yummy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful long weekend!! Love to you all!

 

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Yes, I realize its Wednesday and that usually means What I Ate Wednesday but I forgot to take photos of my dinner yesterday and I figured rather than showing you a half assed day of eats, I’d focus on my breakfast and the yumminess that were these oats.  If you’re still interested in reading about my eats, I’ll share my lunch & snack pics down below.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut OatsThe weather is getting a little chilly out there so I’m finding myself craving things like a hot bowl of oatmeal or soup.  Its been ages since I’ve done this and to be honest I almost forgot about it but I pulled out the trusty old rice cooker so I could have a hot bowl of oats waiting for me in the morning.  I think I posted a recipe ages ago, but in case you weren’t with me then, this is how it works.  Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

If you have a rice cooker sitting in your cabinets, its time to dust that thing off and put it to daily use.  Basically you throw 1 part steel cut oats and 2.5 parts water into a rice cooker, select the porridge setting, set the timer to the time you want it to be done in the morning, start it and then walk. away.  Or you can be extra stealthy and throw in things like diced apples and cinnamon and you’ll wake up to the smell of fall exploding in your nostrils.   Word is, you can do this the exact same way in a slow cooker, I’m just old now and I go to bed at 9:00 so I’m worried that over 9 hours of cooking would create a burnt mess since mine tends to run hot.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

I like to keep the ingredients I put in the rice cooker pretty simple, I haven’t tried putting a sweetener in yet because I’m afraid it would crust up and make it harder to clean. Its easy to dress it with those things after its done cooking so keep the first step simple, then you can get fancy.  For mine, I added a swirl of maple syrup, more pieces of cut up fresh apple, flax seed, chia seeds and a splash of almond milk.  I’m thinking I may try to get adventurous soon and make a bowl of savory oats, have any of you tried that? What’s your favorite combination.  Its such a great meal, its cozy, healthy and super filling, oh and did I mention easy peasy?

lunch

Speaking of savory… here is my lunch from yesterday.  I went out to dinner with a friend on Monday night and I ordered a buffalo chicken flatbread that I barely ate any of after I filled up on the appetizer so it made a delicious lunch along with a side salad.

snacks

For an afternoon snack I had some carrots and hummus along with some TJ’s nacho tortilla chips.

For dinner (not pictured), I cooked up some steak, sautéed zucchini and Alexia Roasted Smart Classics Fries.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Cleaning out!

This weekend, Tom and I started the process of emptying out some of our unneeded stuff to make way for the boys on the way.  BTW – if you’re looking to get rid of stuff fast, post it for free on Craigslist! People go bat shit crazy over free stuff, doesn’t matter what it is.  Within 3 hours on Sunday we had people come to get an ikea coffee table, an old TV, a DVD player, a rug, a framed pic of a map, a snowboard, bindings, a little fountain and a broken office chair.  I realize we could have made some money if we had more patience but we just wanted to clean house and get things out of there as soon as possible.  It feels so good to have all this extra space right now.  I know it won’t last for long, the baby hand-me-downs are already filling up our spare bedroom but for the meantime, it feels good to get rid of some old stuff and make way for the new!

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Serves 3-4
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 Large apple (diced)
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • sprinkle ground nutmeg

Directions

1. Place ingredients in the rice cooker
2. Set on the porridge setting and then hit the "Cooking" button to start immediately, or set the timer to the desired time you would like them to be done. It will take around an hour for it to cook.
3. Serve with the other half of the apple pieces, sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar and any other desired toppings.

 

 

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

Ok, so I know its boring to talk about the weather and whatever but I don’t care, this weather is making me SO FREAKIN’ happy! Every time I step out my door I just close my eyes, take a look at the sky and take in a deep breath of warm air.  Summer is almost here and I can’t WAIT!  Summer is why we live in this great little beach community, I just wish it lasted longer! Anyways, I hope you all had great weekends as well, how could you not with the sun shining and 80 degree weather?

So in case you missed my last Stubbs BBQ post, I’ve been lucky enough to partner with them for some recipe creation this year.  They just send me the product and its my job to get busy in the kitchen.

I made some baked turkey egg rolls last year that came out really good so I’ve been wanting to revisit them and come up with a new creative version.  I thought it could be really delicious to give them a try with some shredded chicken, and avocado and a creamy bbq dipping sauce.  Well, I guess I thought right, holy yum!

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

I’ve been using Stubb’s BBQ sauce for a while and I’ve always bought their original flavor but this time I tried out the Smokey Mesquite.  Holy Moly that stuff was SO GOOD! It might be my new favorite go-to sauce when I make ribs and pulled pork in the summer.  I kept accidentally spilling it so I could lick my fingers.  Whoops!

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

I made the shredded chicken for the egg rolls using my slow cooker.  I would suggest you throw as much chicken as you can in there, you’re going to want some leftovers for sandwiches.  Simply line the slow cooker with a layer of onions, place the chicken on top, pour on the bbq sauce and let the slow cooker do its thang.  If you don’t have a slow cooker or don’t have the time, you can boil the chicken on the stovetop in some chicken broth for about 30 minutes or until cooked through and then toss with the sauce after shredding.

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

This recipe is seriously easy, the only thing that will take a little time is assembly.  Just set up a little assembly line for yourself and it will go quickly.  I folded in the straight sides but you could also fold in the corners if you prefer.

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

If you’re feeling a little naughty and want to go all-out you can go ahead and fry the egg rolls, I’m sure they wold be ridiculous.  I baked them so they could stay on the healthy side.  The texture isn’t quite the same as the fried egg rolls you get in a restaurant but they are still crispy and the filling is delicious and the sauce is out of this world.  It is seriously so simple but just mixing a little sour cream and bbq sauce together is like WOAH.  Next time I made pulled pork I might need to serve it with this creamy bbq sauce.  You can also drizzle it on top if you want to get messy (we’re talking bbq here, why not bring out the stack of napkins?)

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

Hope you guys love these as much as we did!  Happy Eating! BBQ Season has arrived!!!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Getting back to golfing!

Golf

I played my first round of golf this year on Sunday.  It was such a picture-perfect day and its so relaxing to get out there.  You forget about all the stresses of work and life while being active and enjoying the sunshine!

BBQ Chicken & Avocado Baked Egg Rolls

Serves 12-15 rolls
Meal type Appetizer, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1-2lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 Small onion (sliced)
  • 1 jar Stubbs BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 Medium hass avocado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 12-15 egg roll wrappers

Directions

1. First you will need to make the shredded chicken*. Please sliced onions in a single layer on the bottom of a slow cooker, cover with chicken and season well with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 jar of Stubbs BBQ sauce over the chicken, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
2. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup bbq sauce (you can make more or less depending on how many you are serving). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
3. When chicken is done, remove from the slow cooker using a slotted spoon and shred in a bowl using two forks. Add a few tablespoons of leftover cooking liquid to the chicken along with more BBQ sauce until it is coated evenly (you might need to do a little taste testing here to see how delicious it is).
4. Preheat oven to 425 F and set out a piece of parchment paper for assembling.
5. Lay egg roll wrappers flat and top with a spoonful of shredded carrots, one slice of avocado and a spoonful of shredded chicken. Moisten the edges of the egg roll wrapper, fold two opposite edges toward the center and then fold in the remaining two edges, rolling so that the seam is on the bottom.
6. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet until lightly browned & crispy (15-20 minutes).
7. Serve with creamy BBQ dipping sauce.

Note

* If you don't have a slow cooker, you could buy shred a rotisserie chicken or cook on the stovetop by boiling in chicken broth for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shredded Chicken BBQ Baked Potato

Shredded Chicken BBQ Stuffed Potato

One of my favorite parts of being a food blogger is getting to try delicious food products and report back to you guys.  I’ve been a fan of Stubbs BBQ Sauce in the past so when they reached out about partnering in some recipe creation I jumped at the opportunity. They sent me a box of marinades, rubs & bbq sauce a few weeks ago so I used the citrus onion marinade & bbq sauce to make this shredded chicken bbq baked potato.  This dinner was SO good and came together in less than 20 minutes (not counting the chicken in the slow cooker), it would be the perfect weeknight dinner, I’ll definitely be making it again.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Stuffed Potato

I’ve tried their BBQ sauce in the past but this is my first time experimenting with the marinades.  It was fantastic, I can’t wait to make some grilled chicken with it this summer when we pull the grill out.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Stuffed Potato

I put a couple chicken breasts in the slow cooker with the marinade and let is cook for 6 hours on low until it was tender and shredded easily.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Stuffed Potato

After the chicken was done I made the “baked” potatoes in the microwave.  Simply wash the potato, pierce it with a fork a few times, roll it in a paper towel and microwave on high for 6-7 minutes.  If you are making more than one, cook them separately.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Stuffed Potato

When the potato is done and slightly cooled, scoop out with a spoon and mash with BBQ sauce, salt, pepper & a little butter or butter substitute (I used Melt).

Shredded Chicken BBQ Baked Potato

Then scoop the potato back into the skin, sprinkle with shredded cheese, top with shredded chicken and garnish with more BBQ sauce and diced green onion.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Baked Potato

Feel free to get creative and add your favorite veggies or top with a sauce like creamy ranch or buffalo sauce.  If you’re lucky you’ll have some leftover chicken because it makes a KILLER chicken salad 🙂

Enjoy!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Spring skiing!

Skiing

We had a gorgeous sunny day on Saturday so we went up to NH and enjoyed a day of skiing with my parents.  It was such a fun day, I got to try out my new skis and soak up the sun!  I hope there are more days like this left in the season.

I did not receive monetary compensation for this post, all reviews represent my own personal opinion.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Baked Potato

Serves 4-6
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Stubbs Citrus Onion Marinade
  • 4 Large russet potatoes (or one per person)
  • 4 tablespoons Stubbs BBQ Sauce (one tablespoon per potato)
  • 4 teaspoons butter (one teaspoon per potato)
  • shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker and season with salt. Pour marinade over the chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. When finished, remove from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. Toss in a few tablespoons of remaining liquid from the slow cooker.
2. Cook one potato per person, the chicken will make enough for 4-6 servings. Wash the potatoes, pierce with a fork a few times, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. Cook each potato separately.
3. Let potato cool slightly, cut in half lengthwise and scoop flesh out into a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, a tablespoon of BBQ sauce and a teaspoon of butter (per potato).
4. Scoop potato back into the skin, sprinkle with cheese, top with shredded chicken and garnish with diced green onions and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Sweet Potato Tacos

Chicken Sweet Potato Tacos

Happy Friday everyone!! What’s up for the weekend? Anything fun going on??  This week flew by!  Let’s celebrate with some Tacos! Taco Friday!  Do you guys do anything like that? Taco Friday? Pizza Friday? I usually adhere to the “Get Me Outta the Freaking House Friday.”  I don’t care where, I just want to get OUT!

Chicken Sweet Potato Tacos

Ok so we’re not really reinventing the wheel here but I figured it might help give you a fun dinner idea if you’re short on ideas these days.  If you didn’t see my post on Wednesday, the sweet potatoes I used were purple sweet potatoes.  They had great color and tasted like sweet potatoes but they were definitely dryer.  They would work great for fries because they crisp up really nicely.

Chicken Sweet Potato Tacos

These tacos were super simple, all you need is a few chicken breasts, a sweet potato, tortillas and some good salsa.  We used this awesome mango salsa from The Brooklyn Salsa Company.

Shredded Chicken Sweet Potato Tacos

Ok, here’s all you have to do:

• Put some chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cover with some salsa.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. When its done shred with two forks and toss with a little extra fresh salsa. Season with salt & pepper.

•  Cut & peel the sweet potatoes and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder & chili powder.  Roast at 400 F for 20-25 minutes until tender.

•  Assemble tacos with shredded chicken, roasted potatoes, salsa & any other toppings you like (guacamole, sour cream, cheese).

Shredded Chicken Sweet Potato Tacos

Hope you guys have a great weekend! Enjoy!

 

Beef Brisket w/ Pickled Green Tomatoes

Shredded Beef Brisket with Pickled Green Tomatoes

Hey there!  Hope you all had a great long weekend if you were lucky enough to have yesterday off!  Happy Veteran’s Day to everyone who has served this country, we truly appreciate all that you do!  I can’t remember if I told you this story last year so I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself but Veteran’s Day brings back some memories from my childhood.  One day when I was in second grade I woke up and was having breakfast before school.  My dad said “Happy Vet’s Day!” I asked him “What’s Vet’s Day??”  He proceeded to tell me that its a day to commemorate our Veterinarian’s because they do such a good job taking care of our pets.  Our pets are very important because they are like a part of the family, blah blah blah..

Little naive Mai-Lis went to school that day and sure enough, the teacher asked, “Does anyone know what day it is today?”  OOH OOH, me me, pick me!! I know what it is!  I proceeded to give her the whole lengthy explanation my dad had given me.  I knew by her face that I was WAYY off.  I was kind of a goody two shoes in school so needless to say, I was NOT happy.  Let’s just say I decided to give my Dad the silent treatment for a while after that.  I ‘m pretty sure for a few years after the incident every time he would say something I would turn to my Mom and say “Is that true Mom?”

I forgive you Dad.  Happy Vet’s Day!

Shredded Beef Brisket With Pickled Green Tomatoes

Is anyone else starting to get into the Christmas spirit?  I usually have a strict “after Thanksgiving” rule every year, but something about this colder weather is making me tempted to start with the Christmas music.  We’ve been playing a bunch of Nat King Cole & Frank Sinatra so that we can “feel” like we’re listening to Christmas music without actually doing it.  It makes it that much more special when you have to wait for it right?  I’m so glad my husband is on-board with the x-mas music love!

Shredded Beef Brisket With Pickled Green Tomatoes

This year I had a bunch of green tomatoes left on the vine that decided they weren’t going to ripen.  They’ve been sitting on our counter and I’ve been meaning to make some pickles with them.  I couldn’t seem to find time to get it done so I ended up just slicing them up and throwing them in some of the leftover liquid I had from pickles I had bought.  I let them sit in there for a few days and holy moly! They were SO good!  The moral of the story?  Go ahead and be ambitious if you want but they are just as good if you buy some pickles, eat them, and reuse the pickling liquid.

Shredded Beef Brisket With Pickled Green Tomatoes

I made the beef brisket using the slow cooker recipe I posted a while back.  Yum, so good! It went perfectly with the crunchy pickled green tomatoes.

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

That moment when you have all of your laundry done and put away.

laundry

It doesn’t last very long but doesn’t it feel good while it lasts??

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Holy effin’ crapper is it cold out there!  We went shopping on Sunday and I was ALMOST on board with the Christmas decorations and music playing.  Almost. It’s still too early but the freezing weather is making it slightly tempting and a little less annoying.  It makes you just want to throw on some sweats, light some candles and cuddle up to a cozy dinner like…I don’t know…Chicken Pot Pie!?!!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe is super easy because you just throw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker to cook all day and then when you get home, throw it in a dish, put some biscuits on top and then bake until the topping is brown & crusty.  SO GOOD!

We’ll come back to this in a few minutes but let’s talk about this weekend first.  We decided to head into the city on Saturday to see the Red Sox victory parade…

RedSoxParade1

Holy moly, it was AWESOME!  I’ve never seen so many people coming out to celebrate, it was such a cool thing to be a part of. Everyone was so excited and happy, it was awesome to feel that you were a part of something bigger, like you are completely connected to the thousands of strangers standing next to you.

RedSoxParade2

Can you imagine how amazing that must feel for those players? To have MILLIONS (no joke) of people come out to cheer for you and line the streets for miles just to see you.

We ended up making a day out of it and decided to walk the whole city, we ended up clocking 10.4 miles for the day. It certainly didn’t hurt that it was an absolutely gorgeous sunny fall day.  It totally made up for the fact that Sunday was a cold craptastic day.

RedSoxParade3

I even wore my Red Sox hat (I don’t wear hats so this is pretty impressive for me).

Ok, enough about that (GO SOX)! Let’s get back to this dish of delicious chicken goodness…

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

I’ve been all about slow cooker meals lately.  I’ve been going to cross fit in the evening and I don’t generally feel like spending a ton of time cooking when I get home.  It’s nice to have something that is ready to go!

This is slightly different from your normal chicken pot pie.  It has sweet potatoes and kale and a little turmeric to create that gorgeous golden color.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

If you’re feeling ambitious you can make your own crust.  For this one I used Immaculate Baking Buttermilk Biscuits which worked wonderfully.  This was one of those meals that is so good you look forward to leftovers the next day.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

If you don’t want to make a pot pie out of it, the chicken mixture would be worth making on its own.  Just serve over some rice or quinoa and you’ve got yourself an amazing comfort meal.

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

That surreal evening light you experience every once in a while.

EveningLight

We took a nice walk with Oto when we got home on Saturday.  As the sun was setting there was that cool lighting where everything is illuminated without any direct light source. I don’t know how to explain it but you know… right?  You know!

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 4
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

slow cooker ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1lb boneless chicken breasts (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
  • 1 cup carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

add after cooking

  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 handfuls kale (chopped into small leaves)

topping

  • 1 package Immaculate Baking Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1 Large egg

Directions

1. Add the chicken broth to the slow cooker and whisk in flour. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Set to cook on low for 6-8 hours.
2. When chicken mixture is done cooking, whisk in the half & half and flour. You may need to add a little more flour to reach your desired consistency.
3. Transfer the mixture to an oven safe baking dish. Flatten the biscuits with your hands and arrange on top of the chicken mixture. Whisk the egg and then brush egg on the top of the biscuits. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until biscuits are browned & cooked through.

 

 

 

Cocoa Slow Cooker Chili

Cocoa Slow Cooker Chili

Guess what?  I do Cross Fit now.  Yup, its official.  I’ve been waiting to announce it until I finished my first official WOD and made it through alive.  I finished the 2 week intro class and then I was thrown in with the wolves.  I’m not going to lie, I was terrified.  Actually I may still be a little terrified but at least I made it through one real class without dying so its a little less scary now.  To make things better, the workout on my first day was Fran which is like the most famous Cross Fit workout ever, its also freaking HARD.  For people who are unfamiliar with it, it consists of 21 thrusters (deep squats with a shoulder press), 21 pull ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull ups.  Holy SCHIZER! I think I’m still shaking.

So, what do I think of cross fit?  I love it so far.  The people are really nice, everyone is so supportive, giving each other high fives after workouts and cheering each other on.  I was a little nervous that it was going to be a bunch of muscle heads grunting and slamming bars but its totally not that.  There are people from all different ages and levels, everything can be scaled to meet peoples abilities.  Another thing I was worried about was that I would injure myself because they use a lot of heavy weight and intense movements but they are extremely focused on good form and injury prevention.  When we started, the coach said that their main objective was to make us bad ass old people who would be able to bend down and pick anything up and stay active our whole lives.  I loved thinking of it that way.  I like that they focus on functional movement and strengthening certain muscles to actually prevent injuries from happening.

I definitely miss my boot camp but I’m excited to start this new fitness adventure.  I knew that a boring gym workout was not going to work for me.  I like to be pushed to my limits and work out in a fun group environment.  I’ll keep you updated on my progress, I’d love to hear your experiences with it as well!

Cocoa Slow Cooker Chili

Ok, let’s talk Chili now shall we?  Its rather appropriate since it was one of the first cold days this fall.  Can we agree that this October has been FANTASTIC?  65 and sunny almost every day, yah, I’ll take it.  Maybe its a sign of a mild winter to come?? PALEEEEASE!!!  Actually I take that back, let’s have a gorgeous snowy December and New Years and then it can go away. Sound good? Ok, thanks.

CocoaSlowCookerChili3

Know what I love about having a food blog?  It forces me to be more creative in the kitchen.  I wanted to make a chili to share with you guys but I couldn’t make it some boring old chili.  So I threw some chocolate in there, why not right?  Um yah. So good!  Just do it. I don’t care, use another recipe, make your own chili but use the cocoa powder.  Its awesome.

Cocoa Slow Cooker Chili

This recipe includes ground turkey but if you’d like to make it vegetarian, just omit the meat, it would still be delicious.  You could even add more vegetables in there like peppers and butternut squash.  You could also make this on the stove top if you want, I just like to throw everything in the slow cooker and let it do its job filling the house with amazing smells and blending all those flavors together.

Enjoy!!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Switching out wardrobes for the different seasons.

I feel like its always a surprise when I get my winter or summer clothes out again, I always forget what I have and then I get to have a little clothes party going “Oh yay, I forgot I had that, I love that shirt!”  Woohoo for sweaters, scarves and boots!!

Cocoa Slow Cooker Chili

Serves 6-8
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 14.5oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 14.5oz crushed tomatoes
  • 10oz black beans
  • 10oz kidney beans
  • 4oz diced green chilis (canned)
  • 6oz beer (I used pumpkin beer)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Add turkey to the pan and cook until nicely browned and cooked through stirring occasionally.
2. Transfer turkey mixture to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 

 

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

So I realize we don’t normally think of the slow cooker when its 90 degrees outside, but you know what I think of when its hot out?  Not cooking.  And slow cooker = not cooking, so that sounds great to me!  Its hard to even think about turning on that oven when you’re literally roasting yourself, but throw some stuff in the slow cooker and you’ve got yourself an awesome meal 6 hours later and you didn’t even have to turn on the oven.  (I actually do recommend holding these in the oven while you finish the sauce, but let’s just pretend like that doesn’t happen).

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

They seem to have a sale going on pork ribs whenever I visit Whole Foods lately so I’ve had a hard time resisting them.  We’ve done the BBQ ribs quite a few times this summer so I decided to switch up a bit and cook a different sauce this time.  I made these using country-style pork ribs but I’m sure that regular st.louis or baby back ribs would be just as delicious.

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

I’m totally loving fresh apricots right now.  I picked up a container at Trader Joe’s recently and fell in-love with the cute fuzzy skin and the way the pit just pops right out with no fuss.  Nothing annoys me more than a peach that won’t let go of its pit.  COME ON, let it GO! It’s time for me to eat you!

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

Anyways, Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great weekend!  I had one of my best friends visiting from Vermont this weekend so it was fun to show her around the island and surrounding towns.  We went shopping, cooked up some fresh lobster, went to the beach, took a nice long walk, and visited the farmer’s market, it was the perfect summer weekend!

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

Allergy Soy
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 2lb bone-in country style pork ribs
  • 8 Medium fresh apricots (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
  • 5 drops tabasco
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions

1. In a food processor blend together apricots, pineapple & garlic until smooth & creamy.
2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients (except ribs).
3. Pour half of the sauce in the slow cooker, place the ribs on top and then pour the remaining sauce over the ribs. Set to cook on low for 6-8 hours.
4. When slow cooker is done, preheat oven to 200 F. Carefully remove ribs from the slow cooker and place in the oven to stay warm. They will fall apart easily so you may need to use a large spoon or spatula.
5. Spoon a few cups of the sauce out and place in a medium sauce pan. You may need to skim some fat off the top using a large spoon. Heat the sauce over medium heat until it reaches a simmer and then reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
6. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon corn starch and a few drops of water until smooth. Whisk in to the sauce to thicken. You may need to add more to reach your desired consistency. Serve the pork ribs with the sauce and more crushed pineapple (optional).