Archive for the ‘CrockPot Wonders’ Category

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!

Best Ever Pork Roast and Sauerkraut

This pork roast is probably the very first roast I ever made on my own.  It was after both my Mom and Dad had passed on and it was my first New Year’s Eve with out them.  Now I was going out with friends that night however it’s a tradition in my family to have pork roast and sauerkraut on NYE.  Mom always said it was to bring us good luck and fortune. Yeah, we never had fortune or good luck but at least we had each other and to me that’s priceless!  Now this is the same woman who, every NYE would go outside at the crack of midnight, bang a wooden spoon on the back of a pot loudly 12 times (not sure why 12), put that down and then put some change in her purse, zip it shut and with her right arm (never left) swing it forward around and around like she was winding up to throw a strike.  I can still remember her saying “Lori Ann you always want to put in some change and swing it forward, never backwards.  By swinging it forward your capturing all the good fortune and bringing it towards you.”  Yeah.. that didn’t work either.

But while we never had money we had other “riches”. We had love, honor, respect and integrity.  We learned to rely on our God given talents – fortunately for me it all lied in my brain because God help me if we had to rely on my dancing capabilities.  HA!  I’m about as graceful as a rabid hippo on skates!  Yeah…ponder that image for a minute.  LOL

New year pork roast5

Now if you’re my age, you know…ancient and borderline senile per my darling husband, your parents or grandparents almost NEVER wrote down a recipe.  Am I right?  Well this is one of those recipes they never ever wrote down yet the first time I went to make it, it’s like I knew how to make it based off of all those years watching her cook it.  However when she made her it was not small and never just one.  There were at least 3 or 4 and they all weighed in about 7-8 pounds each.  Plus she would make a roaster full of kielbasa, hot dogs and more kraut, baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, brownies, a chocolate layered cake with her to-die-for pudding frosting, a huge tray of leftover Christmas cookies, fudge plus chips – potato chips and pretzels.  Yes.. we had all of that at midnight .. well after the obligatory pot banging and purse twirling.

Do you have any New Year’s Eve traditions?

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