My toughest critics

My toughest critics

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Banana Fruit Cake with Icing

It tastes as good as it looks! This is not your average fruit cake!


I Love that the Princess likes to help me in the kitchen. We made this entire cake together and she was so proud when we all oohhh and ahhh'd over it.










Little Man Loved it...so did Big Man (aka Captain)


This cake was divine. I am not a huge fruit cake fan...not even a little. I saw the recipe for this on Crockin Girls and they mentioned it was great for cooking with kids so I thought Princess and I would give it a shot. It was easy and wonderful. In the future my only addition would be vanilla ice cream on the side!




1 box yellow cake mix (prepared per instructions to batter stage)


1/2 cup sour cream


1 large box banana cream pudding mix


1 bag of frozen cut up fruit. I used DOLE mixed berries


1 small bag walnuts (if wanted)


1/2 cup powdered sugar


1TBS Half and Half (or milk)


1/2 TBS Vanilla extract


SPRAY CROCK WITH COOKING SPRAY


Add pudding mix and sour cream to cake batter. Mix all the way through. Add frozen fruit....stir thoroughly. Pour into the crock. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Cook on high for 3 hours or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Should be able to life cake out in two or three sections.




In a bowl mix powdered sugar and half and half. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Microwave for aprox. 20 seconds. Drizzle over the top of the cake. ENJOY!!!!






Friday, January 27, 2012

Fall off the bone pork chops



Again, I am not a food photographer but I will tell you this meal was delicious! Thick bone in pork chops are something I normally stay away from but the organic, grass fed ones were on sale for $2.99 per pound so I thought why not. It turned out really good. The meat fell off the bone. We did not even need knives. The whole family including Bahbum and Grammie loved this meal.


4 bone in pork chops...the thicker the better

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cups water

1/2 cup flour

2 beaten eggs

1 onion


dip pork chops in egg, and dredge in flour. Brown in a skillet on both sides. (just a few minutes) Place in the bottom of the crock. Put sliced onion on top and pour in milk and cream of mushroom soup. Cook on low for aprox. 5 hours.


I served this with a potato bake as well.

2 white or red potatoes (whatever you like) peeled and cubed

2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed

1/2 small onion (I used vidalla)

3 carrots unpeeled just cut into bite sized pieces.


Mix all together with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Add sea salt and thyme and a little sage. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Yummy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Brie



I LOVE BRIE. I seriously would eat this everyday if I could. I had seen a variety of different recipes for brie in the slow cooker on several sites (365 days of slow cooking, Recipe.com and The Cooks Next Door) and I combined them all to make my own recipe using what I had. It was DIVINE!


1 round of brie (must be a round...not the huge one)

2TBS balsamic vin.

3TBS dark brown sugar

1 tsp Thyme

2 tsp water

1/2 cup dried cranberries (could use any dried fruit...apricots etc.)

1/4 cup crumbled walnuts (could use pecans)


Make a tin foil bowl and place brie in tin bowl in the crock. Make sure you cut off the top part of the brie so the hard stuff is off the top. Stir together, brown sugar, balsamic vin, water and thyme. Pour on top of brie in tin foil bowl. sprinkle cranberries and nuts on top. cook on low for 1.5-2 hours. Serve with crackers or apples or both! Would be great with french bread too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

salsa chicken



Both kids LOVED this. I LOVED this. Captain LOVED this. Sooo good. I was given this recipe by my sister in law and my friend Erin and I saw it on Pintrest so I had to try it. It is creamy and flavorful and mouth watering. Amazing and can be served over noodles, potatoes or you could even make a taco salad. Seriously peeps this is YUM!

3-4 boneless chicken breasts

1 package taco seasoning

1 cup salsa

1 can cream of chicken

1 cup of sour cream


Mix cream of chicken, taco seasoning and salsa in bottom of crock. Put chicken in and cover chicken with the mixture. Cook on low for aprox. 5 hours. Shred chicken. Put chicken back. Add sour cream and mix together. Heat for aprox. 15-20 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!




Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barley Beef Stroganoff

Okay don't judge. Little man is a little particular read super annoying when it comes to eating protein. Sooo lately he has been on an oatmeal kick and I thought hmmmmm. I convinced him it was hamburger oatmeal and he ate every bite!
My mom and dad and the Captain loved this meal. I did not care for it and have discovered I am not a big mushroom fan and I am thinking I do not love barley. If you like mushrooms and barely this is the dish for you!
It is a little high maintenance so this is not a throw it in the crock and leave it all day when you are at work dish. Should be a weekend special when you are home to make sure the barley is not over cooked.
2/3 cups uncooked barley...do not use the quick cooking type.
2.5 cups veggie broth
1 package (6 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon marjoram (I did not have this so Mr. Google told me Italian Spices would do the trick and it did)
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup half and half

Put barley, broth, mushrooms and marjoram in the crock. cook on low 4-5 hours. Watch the barley...you do not want mush.
cook ground beef and drain fat. Add celery and onion and pepper and cook and stir for three minutes. Transfer to crock. Mix in half and half cover and cook on high 10-15 minutes until beef is hot and veggies are tender. Garnish with parsley.

Wisconsin Beer and Cheese Soup

Are you licking the screen yet? This was an easy good recipe. We really enjoyed it! I made homemade croutons to top it off which were super yummy!

1 can 14.5 ounce chicken broth
1 cup of beer (use a good hearty beer...not a dark beer but a nice medium beer) We use Stella Artois. The captain enjoyed finishing the rest of the bottle at 9am when I started this recipe...Why throw away perfectly good beer?
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme (you must use thyme....it really brings in great flavor)
6 ounces American cheese shredded or diced SMALL
6 ounces of other cheese. I used smoked Gouda and aged cheddar
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine broth, beer, onion, garlic and thyme and cook on low for 4 hours.
Turn Crock to HIGH and stir in cheese and milk and paprika. cover and cook 45 minutes to an hour or until cheese is melted and blended. You will need to stir a few times during the 45 minutes.

CROUTONS
preheat oven to 425degrees slice pempernickel or rye bread into 1/2 inch cubes, brush top with olive oil, place on sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes flipping half way through.

Laddle into bowls and serve with brats during football game!

Captain loved this. Princess ate it but not the whole thing and Little Man hated it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate Lava Cake

It's UGLY...but a really good kinda of ugly. This is not a dish you serve to company...it is not pretty BUT oh my word it is heaven in a bowl. It is the kind of dish you save all of your Weight Watchers points for! I was seriously tempted to pull out my maternity pants just so I could eat more. I am serious. Do I even have to mention that the kids and the Captain loved it.

1 package (6 serving size) instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix
3 cups of milk
1 package (about 18 ounces) chocolate fudge cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix.
crushed peppermint candies
whip cream....and LOTS of it!

Coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pudding mix in the croc, whisk in milk. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Carefully pour into croc, DO NOT STIR. Cook on high for aprox. 2 hours, check to see if done by using a cake tester or knife inserted into the center. If it comes out clean, it is done. Let it sit for five minutes before serving.
It will be cake with a very pudding like center. Spoon into mugs and serve with whip cream and candies.

ENJOY....you will hate me for this...in a good way!

Old Fashioned Chicken N' Noodles



Winna Winna Chicken Dinner!



Both kids enjoyed this for lunch this afternoon. It is almost like a hardy soup with lots of noodles. Served with warm pretzel rolls. We had a few guest tasters including my mom and Little Man's God Mother and they both said it was delicious and a keeper!






2.5- 3 pounds bone in chicken (I used 2 large double skinless but with bone chicken breasts)



1 small onion chopped



1/2 cup thinly sliced celery



1 clove garlic minced



1/2 teaspoon salt



1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper



1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning



1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (I used dried)



10.5 ounces condensed chicken broth



1/4 cup corn starch



1/3 cup cold water



8-12 ounces egg noodles



chopped fresh parsley



I added a few sliced mushrooms for flavor and color.






Rinse chicken and pat with paper towel. Combine chicken, onion, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, thyme and mushrooms together in the crock. Add chicken broth. Cover and cook on low for aprox. 4 hours or until chicken is cooked.



Remove bones and cut chicken in bite sized pieces. Set aside






Turn control to HIGH. dissolve cornstarch into cold water. Stir into juices in the crock. Cover and cook on high for 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens. Stir in chicken pieces.






Meanwhile cook noodles per directions. Spoon mixture over cooked noodles and sprinkle with chopped parsley.