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Category Archives: crockpot

Marinated Chicken Wings – Our Super Bowl Choice

As I have been shopping in the grocery stores over the past week, I have been amazed at all the party food that is available for the Super Bowl.  It has truly become an event that includes food and it includes some of our favorite appetizers and fun time foods. I  I think by now many of us have broken all of our New Year’s resolutions and are ready for a special treat.

We will have the usual of chip and dip, cheese and crackers and the marinated chicken wings I am sharing with you today.  This recipe was sent to me by my California cousin and it seems to be a good one and easy to make.

Marinated Chicken Wings

20 whole chicken wings (about 4 lbs.)

1 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp sugar

2 garlic cloves/minced

1 tsp ground ginger.

Cut chicken wings into 3 sections and discard the wing tips.  Put wings in large resealable plastic bag.

In small bowl whisk the remaining ingredients until blended

Add to chicken wings, seal bag and turn to coat – refrigerate overnight

Transfer chicken and marinade to slow cooker.  Cook covered on low for 3 to 4 hours until tender.

Using tongs transfer to plate and serve.

I love buffalo wings but sometimes they are just too hot and spicy.  This seems to be a a great alternative.

I hope you are planning a great Super Bowl Sunday with special friends and family.  We aren’t big sports fans anymore but we do love the food that goes along with the game.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

I know you have probably heard “Life happens while you are making other plans.”  That statement came to mind over the weekend as I was baking goodies and planning meals for the Christmas weekend.  I was thinking that as we are making all of the plans for the holidays we are still busy preparing meals for our family every day.  I really get to the point where my brain just gets tired of thinking.

I try to prepare simple meals as we prepare for Christmas and the crock-pot helps me to save time..  I have been wanting to make macaroni and cheese and when I saw this recipe in my “Crock-Pot The Original Slow Cooker Recipe Collection I thought it looked simple.  I think it would be a good choice if you are having guests over the Christmas Holiday. I am also including a recipe for Gratin Potatoes with Asiago Cheese that looks delicious. The bacon in that potato recipe makes my mouth water.

crockpot-mac-and-cheese

I hope these recipes help you to save some time during this busy season.  I think the crock-pot is one of the greatest inventions ever.

Thanks for stopping by.

New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t For Me But Northern Beans Are A Favorite

As I have a business background and worked in corporate America for a long time, I have heard of goal-setting and how to attain goals many times.  I decided a few years ago to abandon New Year’s resolutions.  I want to strive to do better and be better every day.  I always want to present positive thoughts on posts on my blog so that would sort of be a New Year’s resolution but it has always been a goal of this blog.

Today, I am sharing thoughts on how I want to improve and one way is to use recipes I have used for years but amp them up a little bit by changing the ingredients or adding different spices to the mixture.  I have started preparing northern beans for us over the last few weeks and I am going to share how I have made them more tasty:

8 ounces of dried northern beans

Of course the first thing to do is soak the beans and rinse them as is usually directed on the package.

Add chicken broth instead of water as the liquid to prepare the beans.  I try to have enough liquid to just cover the top of the beans in the pot. If I don’t have enough chicken broth, I will add water to reach that level.

I add the following to the beans:

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

1/2 teaspoon of basil

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder.

The beans can be simmered on your stove top or cooked in a crock pot. As you can see, there is no oil in these beans and we enjoy them with only the seasonings.  However, I have drizzled a small amount of a good olive oil over them when we are ready to eat them and that makes them even more tasty.

Last year I made a file on my computer of “Things I want to make.” I would refer back to that file from time to time and I prepared everything except Bananas Foster.  I will make that soon even though Mr. D is afraid I will burn down the house.  Having the file to refer to saves time when I am wanting to prepare something special or a little different and can find something quickly in the file.  When I am writing my posts I will refer to my “Things I want to make” file and that helps me to set a goal of preparing the recipe sometime in the near future. As this isn’t a cooking blog, I do not prepare every recipe that I share with you.  I am sharing Southern traditions and a large part of our Southern traditions is food.

I will work smarter in the kitchen this year and not harder.  I always like to prepare new and different recipes; however, I want to make sure I include recipes and favorites that we have eaten over the years. I will go through my menu planner (yes, I do plan my menus every week and I always have) and make a list of dishes that I want to make sure we have in 2016.  I keep that list with my menu planner and I can refer to it when I can’t think of anything to put on our menu.

As far as my blog is concerned, I want to share the foothills of North Carolina with you and my experiences of growing up and living in the South.  I always feel I fall short in sharing pictures with you.  That would be a goal I set for myself every year and I want to take the time to share pictures of where I live.

I hope you will file my Northern Bean recipe in your “Things I want to make file.”  I know there are many theories on why we eat beans and greens as our first meal of the New Year.  I will still say that I think the cooks were just tired of cooking from the holidays and that was the easiest thing for them to make.

Happy New Year Y’all and I look forward to sharing 2016 with you.

 

Country Style Vegetable Soup

Here in the foothills of North Carolina, we experienced a drought this Summer.  Over the past few weeks we have experienced lots of rain.  This is the third day of rain this week and the thermometer is hovering around 55 degrees.  That always makes me think of making soup. The first memory I have of homemade soup is this recipe I am sharing with you today.

My Grandmother and Mother made their homemade soup this way.  As I am the only existing cook in our family, I am very happy to share this recipe with you so it will be shared with future generations.  I have suggestions beside some of the ingredients.  When my Mother and Grandmother made this soup they did not include meat.  Actually, they would make it in the summertime and we would eat it as a meal.  Just remember we lived in homes that were not air conditioned.  No one complained because it was so good.

Southern Style Country Vegetable Soup

1 lb of hamburger or lean stew meat  (if desired)  this is my variation to the recipe even though I have made it without the meat and it was good

1 large can of crushed tomatoes (this is my variation on the recipe as my Mother and Grandmother would used home grown tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes)

1 16 oz can green beans, undrained

1 16 oz can whole kernel corn, undrained

1 16 oz can lima beans, undrained

3 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces  (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)

1/4 head cabbage, cut into small pieces

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tsp. cajun seasoning.

Brown hamburger and drain.  (If using stew beef, brown slightly in dutch oven and remove from dutch oven.  Add cabbage and potatoes with the two cups of water to the dutch oven and cook until tender.  Add all other ingredients including browned ground beef or stew beef and simmer for an hour.  Makes approximately 8 to 12 servings.

This recipe could be adapted to a crockpot after all the ingredients are added.

I have made chili but I have not made any homemade soup during this fall season.  However, I do plan to make some soon and I think I will try french onion soup as I have never made it.  However, this country vegetable soup is my all time favorite.  I think it is because it stirs wonderful memories of my Mother and Granny working so hard in their hot kitchens to prepare it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday Dinner Is Alive and Well In The South – Pot Roast or Fried Chicken?

Growing up in the South, I remember how families would go to Sunday services and then have a special lunch together.  It was known as Sunday dinner even though it was the meal served at lunch time.  Families had all types of traditions for the meal.  Many families had fried chicken every Sunday and others would have pot roast or stew beef.  In the summertime, that meal could be served outside and become a picnic.  I really thought the tradition had gone away until our church decided to change the service time of the later Sunday morning service.  Boy that didn’t go over well and many families were upset as they always went to service and then ate lunch together.  I will say that many families now go out together to a favorite restaurant for their Sunday “Dinner.”

As Mr. D and I were traveling home from Morehead City in July, we stopped in Kinston for some wonderful barbecue.  We realized we were coming close to the 12 Noon Sunday Dinner time but didn’t think much about it.  I will tell you that Kinston is in the farmland of eastern North Carolina.  I was astounded at the families that gathered at King’s Barbecue for lunch.  There were tables with 15 or so family members at the table and they did not all arrive at the same time.  That made me think that King’s might have been a great central location to come together.  Or they could just agree with me that King’s has some wonderful barbecue and eating it every Sunday wouldn’t be so bad.

Thinking of the Sunday Dinner tradition, I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you. The first one for pot roast is one I have shared on this blog previously but I think it would be a great choice for Sunday dinner.  It is fairly easy to make and is ready when you return home from Sunday Services or a busy workday.

Crockpot Pot Roast

One beef roast ( sirloin tip, chuck roast, it is really your choice,)  The weight can be from 3 to 6 pounds and actually depends upon the size of your crockpot and family)

one can of condensed tomato soup

1 bay leaf  (remove bay leaf before serving)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup of water

Peeled potatoes 1 to 2 pounds cubed

peeled carrots  1 pound sliced ( I used the fingerling carrots and just cut them in half diagonally)

onion – one sliced

Determine the size of crockpot needed ( I have one of the crockpots that has 3 sizes to select from)  I normally use my 2 or 4 quart pot depending upon the size of my meat.

Spray the crockpot with cooking spray.  Add the roast, bay leaf, tomato soup, water, salt and pepper.  Cook according to your crockpot directions.  I placed my ingredients in my pot at 8 am and it was ready for lunch at noon. When I came home from church I checked the liquid and did not need to add any.  However, it would be a good idea to check and make sure you have enough gravy for the vegetables when you add them.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking time I add the carrots, potatoes and onion.  I have prepared the vegetables by microwaving them for about 5 to 7 minutes per vegetable.  I do microwave the carrots, onions and potatoes individually in 1/2 cup of water.  I drain them and add them to the roast. I pour the gravy over the vegetables and let them cook for the 30 minutes.

Mr. D’s Mother made fried chicken every Sunday for lunch even though she never attended Sunday Services. The recipe I am sharing with you for Southern Fried Chicken comes from James Villas the Glory of Southern Cooking.  His recipe for perfect Southern fried chicken is the way I saw my Mother, Granny and Dale’s Mother prepare their chicken so he could be right that it is perfect.  You can tell by his introduction how passionate James is about the preparation of Southern Fried Chicken.

southern fried chicken

I think it is a wonderful tradition to be together as a family and share a meal.  I also know many Southern women that have worked and planned to make sure the tradition continued.  I do believe the idea of Jello congealed salad or broccoli casserole must have been created by a Southern lady for a Southern Sunday Dinner.

Mr. D and I usually eat Sunday Dinner every Sunday at home.  First of all, the restaurants are very crowded at lunch time and second, I have been preparing Sunday Dinner for us for almost 45 years.  It has become a Southern tradition in our home for sure.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

One of my goals this summer is to use my crockpot more.  Remember I live in the hot humid South and I try not to bake or use my oven that much in the summer time.  Now, that doesn’t mean I am being good and healthy because I do have a large and small ice cream maker.  Ice cream is a great summer time favorite at our house.

I purchased the Crockport Recipe Collection Cookbook recently and as I browsed through it, I saw recipes that would be good for summertime. Also, I have been wanting to make Lasagna.  First of all, Lasagna is a great meal stretcher for us and when I make a pan of it, I freeze portions of it to be eaten later.  When I saw the recipe I am sharing with you today, I liked it because it only makes four servings and it only includes four Lasagna noodles that is great for Mr. D as he is diabetic.

On Saturday I made the dish and I will tell you that you might be amazed at what a small kitchen I have but it is totally acceptable with me.  However, I make a horrible mess as I am assembling a Lasagna dish.  My kitchen looks like a wreck when I finish.  Even though this recipe was simpler to make, I still wrecked the kitchen.

Here is a picture of the Lasagna:

IMG_3449

ckn lasagna

We enjoyed this Lasagna and it is definitely a keeper for our family. I found the prepared alfredo sauce at the deli in the grocery store and we enjoyed the creaminess of the dish.  The flavors blended together so well and this would be a good dish to incorporate any leftover chicken you might have.

I have a girlfriend, Sherry, that I meet once a month for lunch and she gave me the idea of using my crockpot in the summertime.  I am so glad that I invested in this cookbook and I look forward to sharing more recipes with you as the summer continues.

Happy Friday Everyone and I hope your weekend is great.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

Let’s Start The Week With Easy Parmesan Chicken

IMG_3377I purchased the Crock Pot Recipe Collection Cookbook during the cold winter months.  I have really enjoyed reading it and like the idea of making different types of recipes in my crock pot.  On a recent Sunday we had many different obligations and I decided the crock pot was going to be a great way to prepare our main meal of the day.  As I read through the cookbook, this recipe really appealed to me.  The aroma of the Parmesan Chicken was so welcoming on a busy day. As the pasta was cooking, I made a salad and put some prepared garlic bread in the oven.  Everything was ready quickly and enjoyed very much by Mr. D and I.

As you read the recipe you will see they recommend on step 3 to sprinkle cheese over the chicken and cook for ten more minutes.  We chose to add the cheese to the sauce at the table as it was being served.

ckn parmThis will definitely be something that I will prepare again soon and I do plan to use my crock pot even in the summertime.

Our family will be visiting for a very short time in June and as much as I love to cook, spending time with our grandchildren will be our top priority. I hope you are having an easy Monday and thanks for stopping by.

 

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