Archive for the ‘Dinners’ 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!!!

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?

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

There are days when I swear there truly aren’t 24 hours in it.  Like I think there are those days when you maybe get 18 hours and somehow those other 6 hours magically disappeared.  Like maybe Mother Earth needed to borrow some time and took mine. They say the older you get the easier it gets.  Thing is I’m not sure I believe that’s entirely true. I think the older I get it *may* get easier but that’s only because at our age we’ve become the expert at doing it; whatever it is. Like remember when you were a little kid and you first learned to tie your tennis shoes?  It took FOREVER to get it right and I’m sure you sat there, tongue sticking out of the corner of your mouth and your eyes intently staring at your little fingers all the while your parents sat there reciting the bunny rhyme to help you tie them.  However eventually over time and practice you became and expert at it and now I’m pretty sure you don’t even give it a second thought when you do tie them, huh?

Thus since you aced the whole shoelace tying thing you were able to add another task to your day.  Eventually you aced that too and you added another task.  Eventually you are at the age you are now and you have a bajillion tasks to do and while you may be an expert at them all, they still take up time. For me I’m at that point.  I need more time in my days. Like you know how you can buy more cell phone minutes when you run out?  Well I want to buy more hours in my day.  Anyone know who I can speak with about this?
Honey Sessame Chicken

So this recipe happened on one of those days when I just didn’t have enough hours in the day but I knew at some point I’d have to eat.  See Mr. Fantabulous was off being a rock god (aka band practice) and I had 797 bajillion things to get done while he was gone AND somehow include some much needed ‘me’ time in there. Since I knew I’d be short on time I broke out my trusty crock pot and grabbed some stuff out of the fridge, whipped up a quick sauce, plopped it all in the slow cooker, turned that sucker on and went about my day.
Could you use more hours in your day?

Dad’s Red Beef Soup

At least once a month growing up Dad made his famous Red Beef Soup.  In the wintertime this was made every week.  It made a TON, it was inexpensive and it was just damn good. It took me years to figure out how to replicate this as like most in my generation our parents and grandparents wrote nothing down recipe-wise. And the stuff that was written down usually called for “a hint of this” or “a smidge of that”. Or my mom would write “carrots, onions, meat and can goods” and that was the ENTIRE recipe.  Wait, what?

So while I was home sick for those 6 weeks I wanted comfort food.  Even though my parents have been gone well over 20+ years I wanted them here. I had sent Mr. Fantabulous off to the store with a list of stuff to make this soup. The thing is I had to go from taste memory as like I said, nothing was written down.  Over the years I tried countless times to replicate his soup but was never quite there. It was always missing something.

Red Beef Soup3

As I stood there assembling it I tasted the cold broth (pre-cooking it) and it still was missing that one thing. It wasn’t until I added the Worcestershire (you know that word I can’t say and can’t spell without the help of Google or Word!) that it came together.  Now I made this in the crock pot but you could most certainly make it in a large covered soup pot on the stove top for a good 2-3 hours or until the meat was done. But I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to rest so the crockpot won out.
Fess up, without spellcheck or help, can you spell Worcestershire?

Crock Pot Italian Style Pot Roast

For me growing up Sundays were typically a huge pot roast dinner.  This is one of those recipes that I can really only ever remembering my Dad make though I’m sure Mom was there with him adding stuff while he wasn’t looking.  While Dad never wrote down recipes, heck Mom almost never did, I had to recreate this all from memory and taste.  This recipe took me FOREVER to  get to near perfect like his.  I still think I’m missing “something” but for the life of me I can’t figure it out however I’m persistent.  Or if all else fails I’ll take some to my sister and brother and see if they can recall.

I’m sure you can recall (unless you’re brand spankin’ new to the site – if so, welcome to the TKW Family!), growing up we had a big household/big eaters.  4 older brothers, my sister, parents and at least 3-6 friends were at every meal.  These people ate a lot.  I mean A LOT!  This recipe is made in a standard crock pot (actually one of my favorite crock pots) but when Dad made it he made in Mom’s HUGE 21.5 quart blue pot that she used for canning (like this one!).  No for real, he made 21.5 quarts of pot roast for dinner!

Italian Style Pot Roast1

In this pot would easily be 15 pounds of pot roast, a 10lb bag of potatoes, 2-3 pounds of carrots and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Come join me for a Sunday classic pot roast dinner!

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