Archive for the ‘CrockPot Wonders’ Category

Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Grab on to your hats as I’m about to blow your mind with one of the BEST slow cooker chicken recipes I have ever had in my life! Chicken cooked low and slow that practically falls off of the bone just by looking at it. And that Honey Balsamic reduction!  Fahgeddaboudit!

Almost 4 years or so ago I was introduced to Brod & Taylor with their unbelievably amazing Folding Bread Proofer. Whether you want to proof bread dough at an even temperature, temper chocolate flawlessly or make your own cultured yogurt, this bread proofer is truly incredible!  Plus when you’re not using it, it folds up rather compact which if you’re like me, you hate having clutter on the counters.  This stores perfectly in one of my kitchen cabinets off to the side.  For the past 3 years I’ve been using mine on an at least weekly basis if not more whether it’s for bread or my own yogurt.  Seriously.. YOGURT. Then I teamed up with them on their Professional Knife Sharpener. Best. Sharpener. EVER!

Well they decided that they wanted to push the limits and expand the functionality of their Folding Proofer and include additional options with it.  Today we’re showcasing their Folding Proofer & Slow Cooker!  YES!!!  IT SLOW COOKS TOO!!! Yeah, sink your teeth into that.. and while you’re sinking your teeth in to that I’m sinking mine into these EPIC Honey Balsamic Chicken Thighs!

Oh hey you’re back.. hold on a sec, let me wipe my face as I went to town on these thighs.

You are going to LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this!!!

Strawberry Compote with Grilled Angel Food Cake Cubes

This post is being sponsored by Daisey Fresh featuring their incredible 100% Natural & Organic fridge filters.  All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING filters are mine. When Dan from Daisey Fresh reached out to me to discuss a bit more about these filters I was immediately intrigued. You guys know me; I pretty particular about the products I use. I’m not about anything unnatural or full of chemicals. So knowing that they’ve created a 100% Natural & Organic filter that I can put in my fridge that will extend the lifespan of my fruits and vegetables definitely caught my attention. I mean who doesn’t love fresh crisp veggies or juicy, sweet fruits?!  AND to know that they are natural to boot!  Seriously it was a match made in heaven…or at least my fridge!  *wink*

I mean knowing I can buy fresh strawberries at the farmer’s market on Saturday and still have them be just as fresh and delicious a week later is awesome!  That means I can make this amazing Fresh Strawberry Compote with Grilled Angel Food Cake Cubes a whole week later and still have the berries taste just as fresh as day one!  BONUS! Just look at those luscious berries and compote.  Super juicy, super delicious and most importantly, still super fresh!
TKW Strawberry Compote GAFC3

We’ve all been there – we buy fresh fruits and veggies at the market and within a couple of days they start to turn; either in the fridge or on the counter.  You rush to try and turn them into something edible though often you find you end up having to just throw them out.  And unless you have Oprah money, it’s not cool.  You, just like I do, work hard for your money.  Well thanks to these folks at Daisey Fresh and these revolutionary filters, you can keep those fruits and veggies fresher longer, up to 2-3 times longer!
Your fridge NEEDS these AMAZING filters! Save your fruits and veggies!

Creamy No Bake Cheesecake Strawberry Tart

Oh Summer how I love you! The sun on my cheeks, riding with the windows down with the radio blaring (80’s metal naturally), backyard cookouts and chilling out with friends around a fire-pit drinking a few cold ones. There’s just something simple about summer to me.  It’s unpretentious and more ‘take me as I am’ type of season. It’s carefree even.  The kids are out of school, families are going on vacation, graduation parties are in full swing and it’s like every weekend someone is having a cookout.  No need to get dressed up or put on a winter coat.  Just throw on some shorts, grab a tank shirt (clean please) and if you are one of those folks that likes flip flops – grab ’em.

Summer is a time to chill out in the evenings, hang out with family and friends on the weekends.  Catch a game – FYI, PNC Park here in Pittsburgh is GORGEOUS!!!  OMG one of the prettiest skyline views ever!  And if you’re like me right now you’re in full on Penguins Fever as we are going for the Stanley Cup.  GO PENS!!!  Yeah – I’m a HUGE sports fan.  I mean growing up in Pittsburgh AND having 4 older brothers of which one of them played for the NFL it’s kind of requirement to be a sports fan.

Growing up our house was the house that folks gathered at especially during the summer. We had 41 acres and a field that was an actual football field (with goalposts). Again – 4 brothers, all played sports.  I can remember us having cookouts weekly and at least once a month we’d have a huge picnic/bbq where at times we had close to 200 folks there.  Everyone brought stuff even though Mom would insist that she would take care of the food.  It’s funny as we were probably the poorest family yet somehow she managed to put out a spread a king would be impressed with.
Cheesecake Berry Tart5

I can still remember her the day before the huge party we’d all have our jobs to get things done.  The boys were in charge of setting up the volleyball net and tether ball, my sister would set up croquet, my job was to thumbtack the plastic tablecloths to the 6 picnic tables Dad built as well as the 10-15 card tables and whatever else we could use as a table. Heck we’ve even used wooden saw horses with sheets of plywood across them as a table.
Make this tart and you’ll be the hit of ever summer cookout!

Sweet & Sassy M&M’s® Chili Nut Chocolate Blueberry Bark

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MMSFlavorVote #Walmart #CollectiveBias.

Okay so let’s dish and by dish I mean the candy dish.  What’s in yours?  I grew up in a household that at least one candy dish had MARS M&M’s® in it.  This is something we fought over all the time. So now fast forward some X number of years to present day (yeah… it’s a lot of years; no like A LOT.  Like crypt-keeper a lot… LOL well okay not really).  What’s in my candy dish? MARS M&M’s® The amazing folks at MARS M&M’s® reached out again to discuss their awesome Flavor Campaign. In this campaign they have 3 flavors that you get to help select!  Well part of what they challenged me to do was show how any one of these amazing flavors M&M’s® Chili Nut, M&M’s® Honey Nut or M&M’s® Coffee Nut would rock your socks off either in a recipe or a tutorial. I mean how could I not do both?! EVERYONE loves M&M’s® so why not make some and share it with those I love?! So that’s exactly what I did in my Sweet & Sassy M&M’s® Chili Nut Chocolate Blueberry Bark!  Not only are you getting seriously one of the BEST bark recipes I think I’ve made but also you are able to create your own Sweet & Sassy gift jars with downloadable printable gift tags to decorate with!  I mean we all have those Sweet & Sassy moments!

Sweet & Sassy Chocolate Chili M&M Bark7

Now what’s awesome is that many Walmarts are having in store demos featuring these 3 proposed flavors.
Make sure you cast your vote for your favorite flavor!

Creamy Cheesecake Strawberry Parfaits

I had EVERY intention of posting this recipe like 3 days ago buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut this house remodel is literally taking up every single minute of spare time I have.  I honestly forgot about it.  No that’s not entirely true.  I’d remember while I was sitting in traffic or when I was in the shower.  Neither of those were truly the appropriate time to start writing up a blog post – one could get me a ticket and or in an accident and one could electrocute me.  Apparently you cannot take your laptop into the shower.  LOL My life has turned to honestly – getting up for work, working all day, coming home, trying to make dinner (albeit in my bedroom or hallway), working on the remodel – from plastering to washing tools, to moving crap, to picking up crap, showering and then bed.  I haven’t been to the gym in like 2 months (trust me it’s KILLING ME!), I haven’t see my hairdresser in 2 months (That’s worse I think!), my poor nails are well non-existent and mangled from all the chemicals I’ve been using here.  My allergies and asthma are horrific now.  I should really wear a mask as I sound like a mafia hit man who has smoked 4 packs a day for the past 30 years.

Friday I ended up working part of the day in the office and then throwing in the flag and coming home to finish the rest of the day there as I felt like crap.  What’s funny is when I got home and logged back in I had a meeting I had to dial in to.  This guy and I had been emailing back and forth for about a week about an issue but had never spoken on the phone.  To reduce the back and forth threads I just set up a phone call – when I HAD a voice.  So when he dialed into my conference line and introduced himself I, through a very raspy deep voice said “Hi, how are you?”  SILENCE… LOL I then chuckled-turning-into-a-coughing-fit said “Please pardon how I sound or if I abruptly go on to mute mid sentence.  As you can hear I sound horrible.  I have severe allergies right now and the first thing to go is my voice.  So no, I don’t normally sound like this and no I don’t smoke 5 packs a day. I have never smoked.”  He then busted out laughing.

He proceeded to tell me about this waitress he knew back in college that worked the midnight shift that would bring you your food with a half lit cigarette in her mouth.  He said she had the most growling/husky/raspy smoker’s voice he had ever heard. He said I sounded like her and that I made him all of a sudden crave pancakes and bacon – apparently that’s what he ordered after the bar.  LOL
Cheesecake Fresh Berry Parfaits

So thank you for being patient and sticking with me through this remodel from hell.  Never in my life did I think it would be THIS involved! All I know is the day we sell this house will be the 2nd happiest day in my life.  First day is obviously marrying Mr. Fantabulous. For me it’s not so much selling a house but it’s about the fact that we finally get to close a long, not so good, chapter on our lives. This house consumed our lives and almost alienated us from our family and friends.  It’s so far from those that we love and care about that even a simple “wanna come over tonight and hang out?” was a trip.  No one wants to spend an hour to 1.5 hours in the car each way just to hang out for a few hours or even a movie.
Soon we’ll have normalcy.. and cheesecake daily!

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