Make Some Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

Monday, January 14, 2019 Food

There’s something so satisfying about making your own chicken stock, and doing it in the slow cooker is a total set-it-and-forget-it exercise.

After we’ve eaten our roasted chicken and all that remains is the bird’s carcass, I begin snapping bones for chicken stock.

How to Make Chicken Stock in the Slow Cooker

I prefer to make chicken stock in the slow cooker on weeknights when we’ve eaten roasted chicken for dinner. I toss the newly disassembled carcass into the pot then add vegetables, herbs, and water.

Next, I set my slow cooker to low and let it simmer all night.

I typically strain it in the morning, but if I’m too busy, I continue to let it simmer away until my work day is done. Twelve to 24 hours is a perfectly reasonable amount of time for chicken stock to simmer.

I wouldn’...

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Jalapeño poppers

Monday, January 7, 2019 Food  No comments

Peanut Butter and Jelly Jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon

Making sweet and spicy jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon, these things may sound weird but go so well together.

# Preparing the jalapeño pepper

First you start by coring out your peppers. Some like to slice the pepper in half,but I’d rather keep it whole. I start by slicing the top off and using a core tool to remove the insides of the pepper.

# Filling The Pepper With Your Ingredients

I am using the peanut butter jelly mixture called “goober” it has the mixture of the two already done for you. I like to use a cake decorating bag to fill the pepper. I fill the bag with my desired amount and then squeeze into the jalapeño peppers. Then I wrap a piece of bacon around the pepper...

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Pan Seared Pork Chops with Greens

Monday, December 31, 2018 Food

These pan-seared pork chops with a side of garlicky greens are the perfect one-pan meal. It’s ready in about half an hour, too! Brining makes all the difference with making juicy chops,

These pork chops, served with charred lemon slices, and greens, are quick to make, and a fabulous treat for any night.

WHAT PORK CHOPS SHOULD YOU BUY?

Thick pork chops about 1-to 1 1/4-inches thick are best for brining and cooking if you want to keep the meat from drying out.

The bone-in chops are my favorite—I think they have more flavor, like anything that is cooked on the bone. You can also use boneless chops, both are very lean, which leads me to the next point.

How to Pan Sear Pork Chops cook the chops

BRINNING THE PORK CHOPS MAKE THEM JUICIER

I was happy with the taste and texture of these cooked chops: perfectly moist inside with a touch...

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Hearty Vegetable and Chicken Stew

Monday, December 24, 2018 Food

1 Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2 Roast the veggies: Spread chopped mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes on a baking sheet in three separate rows, keeping each vegetable separate from the others—this will come in handy later when you have to add them to the soup in separate steps.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon harissa. Toss each individual row to coat.

Roast veggies in oven for 20 to 25 minutes. When they are fork tender, set them aside while you finish the soup base. ( You don’t actually want the vegitables to brown too much for this recipe; you want the colors to stay vibrant.)

While the vegetables roast, cook the chicken and begin assembling the stew.

Chicken Stew Recipe roast the veggies

3 Cook the chicken: ...

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Yummy Holiday Punch

Monday, December 17, 2018 Food

Here’s a festive holiday punch that’s fit for a crowd! We make it with cranberry juice, orange juice, bourbon, and hard cider, though we include a non-alcoholic version so kids to enjoy, too.

Want an easy cocktail for your New Year’s party without playing bartender all night? Punch is the perfect solution.

A good punch mixes together spirits, juice, and spices in a  punch bowl with a ladle for filling up the cups. Guests serve themselves, and you can relax and enjoy the night.

Holiday Punch

A PUNCH WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

It brings together winter flavors such as cranberry, orange, and cinnamon in a delightful drink that leaves you glowing with cheer.

I’ve included both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of the recipe below...

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Try These Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 Food

Oat flour and rolled oats add a nutty flavor to these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies! Bittersweet chocolate adds some chocolatey depth. Keep these around for your friends and family who can’t have gluten.

In my world, there’s no such thing as too many chocolate chip cookie recipes. Making a batch following one recipe or another is one of my many default moves in the kitchen.

And I don’t know about you, but with the eating habits of me and my friends it has become increasingly useful to have recipes that can accommodate loved ones who need to cut out gluten.

That’s why I decided on this gluten-free recipe for the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie lovers in your life.

Gluten-free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a lovely combination of crispy and chewy...

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Items Every New Cook Needs

Monday, December 10, 2018 Food

Nothing is more frustrating than deciding you’re going to be all chef-like and cook a great dinner, then walk the aisles of a crowded grocery store for all the random ingredients you need for one recipe, only to find you actually don’t own a cast iron skillet. Thankfully, it’s the holidays, meaning this is the time to ask for new kitchen stuff, especially if you’re just now deciding to adult. Below, I have compiled a must-have list of go-to tools every amateur, cook needs in his or her arsenal.

Citrus Press,  on Amazon

When a recipe calls for fresh lime or lemon juice, this squeezer is a total dream. Just slice the fruit in half, then place it cut-side down into the well that matches the size of your fruit, and squeeze the handles together...

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Try This Delish Eggnog French Toast

Monday, December 3, 2018 Food

Can’t get enough eggnog? Make this Eggnog French Toast! It’s a great way to use up leftover eggnog in a festive holiday breakfast.

One of the biggest debates amongst my friends during the holidays is eggnog. Is it the best thing ever, or one of the worst things about the season?

I lean to the “best thing ever” side of the debate, but I can’t drink too much eggnog all by itself because it’s too rich on its own.

However, I can have endless amounts of things made with eggnog, such as  French Toast!

French Toast with Eggnog transfer to wire rack

How to Make Eggnog French Toast

Classic French toast is fairly simple to make, and eggnog French toast is just as easy. You simply swap out the milk for the eggnog.

This also appeals to my sense of frugality, as I usually have a carton of eggnog in the fridge from the holidays that I ...

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OWL DASH CAM

Monday, December 3, 2018 Technology  No comments

I have always been a little of a technology geek, with that being said I am going to tell you about what I picked up. The Owl Car Cam is a dash cam and security device that pairs with your smartphone. Video clips are stored on your phone, so no memory card is required, and you don’t run the risk of losing your clips if the camera is stolen. It has some cool features like two-way talk, an inside camera, and remote camera access. It’s certainly innovative, but it’s missing some key features that we would expect at this price. That said, I am excited to see how the Owl Car Cam evolves.

The price of the Owl Car Cam does include one year of LTE Instant Video service, which allows you to view the video feed from the interior and exterior camera remotely...

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Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Sunday, November 25, 2018 Food  No comments

One of my favorite pork dishes besides bacon, ”Pork Belly Burnt Ends ” I love these things.

When making something like pork burnt ends. This cut will come in many sizes, from small strips to a full slab (10+ lbs). Make sure when you buy it, you ask the butcher for the skin to be trimmed off (saves some weight when you have to pay by the pound!). And be sure you get enough to feed a crowd, because they will be coming back for seconds, and thirds. I like to get at least 3 lbs as it gives me enough to get good size bites. When we cater we think 5 ounces of meat per person for a serving, so you roughly get three servings per pound. What we have here in this picture is 5 lbs.

The Prep

If you still see skin on the belly, or there is a little extra fat, trim that off...

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Great Herb-Spiced Mixed Nuts Recipe

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 Food

Once you taste these salty-sweet Herb-Spiced Mixed Nuts, you’ll be glad you invited people over to help you eat them. Make them right before guests walk through the door and be prepared to make a second batch!

It’s always good to have an appetizer you can make quickly during the holidays—or during any party-going season, really. But there’s something festive and indulgent about spiced nuts that always feels right for the season.

This snack takes the idea of your standard nut mix and, thanks to the addition of some fresh herbs, cayenne, butter, and maple syrup, adds some sweet heat to the situation.

Roasted Mixed Nuts

A LAST-MINUTE PARTY SNACK

This is not a make-ahead snack. You have to wait until the last minute to bring it together—preferably 15 to 20 minutes before people arrive.

This is best ...

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Try This Great Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Bake

Monday, November 19, 2018 Food

This Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Bake is a crowd-pleasing and budget-friendly meal that still feels indulgent. Look for kielbasa on sale and round it out with peppers, potatoes, and onions.

Like most adults, I struggle with finding the right balance between frugality and indulgence when it comes to meals. Basically, I’m super frugal but it makes me mad when I can’t buy whatever I want to eat! Also, like many people I know, the end of the month tends to reveal itself in my sparse pantry.

I actually encourage its barrenness and enjoy being resourceful. Growing up, we often didn’t have a full larder. Many nights we ate canned spiced ham with rice for dinner. Those memories help me to appreciate the value of a full fridge.

A BUDGET-FRIENDLY MEAL

This Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Bake is...

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Yummy Chocolate Cranberry Rugelach

Sunday, November 18, 2018 Food

Rugelach is a classic Jewish pastry that’s not at all hard to make at home. This version is full of chocolate and dried cranberries! Bonus: They freeze well and keep well!

When I  traveled to the East Coast during the holidays, I was required to fulfill a rugelach mission for my  friends who were transplanted New Yorkers.

This involved a trip to the Babka Bakery on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I would pick up a big batch of rugelach to bring home with me.

These tiny, rich pastries with fruit, nut, and chocolate filling were a revelation to me, and so it became my personal mission to recreate them, without the plane trip.

WHAT ARE RUGELACH COOKIES?

Rugelach’s origins are Jewish—the name is Yiddish for “little twists” and pronounced “RUE-geh-loch”.

The little rolled ...

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Try this Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Thursday, November 15, 2018 Food

Classic green bean casserole with fried onion topping, from scratch!  So much better than canned!

A Thanksgiving Must-Have

Our family, like every other family at Thanksgiving, is no stranger to green bean casserole, with its crunchy fried onion topping and rich, creamy filling. Truth be told, it’s one of my favorites, along with the jellied cranberry sauce.

But over the years, I have come to expect more from my green bean casserole than just opening up a few cans of beans, soup, and sprinkling on some prepared fried onions.

Here is my totally from-scratch version you’ll never look at green bean casserole the same way again.

Classic Green Bean Casserole made from scratch

Homemade Fried Onion Topping — Better than French’s!

Frying your own onions gives them a crunchy texture that can’t be beat by anything from a can...

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Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Food

This quick chicken noodle soup using rotisserie chicken is a winner if you’re cooking a family dinner. Kids love soup! You can make it quickly, freeze it, and even add a soft-boiled egg to take it up a notch.

We are in soup season, which is both good and bad news for parents. The good news is that it’s easy to make fast, healthy soups that kids tend to like. I’ve found soup, especially chicken noodle soup, to be a reliable dinnertime win.

The bad news? If you have little kids, it’s especially messy. Do you even know how far a two-year old can launch a spoon of broth?! You don’t want to know!

Easy Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Making an all-day chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy and chilly Saturday, but honestly, who has the time?

So, I won’t pretend that this...

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Food Deals

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Food

Your refrigerator may soon be full to the brim with Thanksgiving leftovers, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times to think ahead about getting in on the food blessing that is subscription boxes.

While many tend to think of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as days to save big bucks on flashy kitchen appliances and cookware, this is the time to save on sub boxes as they also drop in price. In other words, if a wine fridge isn’t in the cards this year, try a sub box as a way to treat yo’self instead. Or shop for that uncle who has everything—except a beer of the month subscription—or finally take the plunge and try a meal-kit delivery service. Below, the best sub boxes to buy now.

The sale: Get $20 off per box for a total of $80 for your first month

If you’ve ever stru...

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Yummy Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Food

Roasted sweet potato soup! With shallots, cumin, thyme, and stock. Swirl in a little sour cream or yogurt and serve with some crusty bread. It’s a light meal on its own, or serve it alongside roast chicken or a hearty salad!

There’s been a lone sweet potato sitting in my pantry for the last couple of weeks. Every time I would open the pantry door, there it would be, looking back at me.

I have a habit of buying perishables with the noblest of intentions, only to forget them in the sea of everyday distractions, until their good for nothing but compost.

EASY SWEET POTATO SOUP

The distinguishing elements of the original recipe were sweet potato, red onion, and cumin...

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You Have To Try This Chili !

Monday, November 12, 2018 Food  No comments

It’s that time of year again Chili time! I have found a new way of making my famous Chili, I decided to give my pellet grill a go and I put my hamburger and veggies on the grill and smoked the ingredients.

I must say this had to be the best idea I have came up with. I am not sure if I will ever make it the old way again. There was so much more flavor.

I mixed up my hamburger with my seasonings and I also added some Pico de gallo in with my meat, mixing everything together like a meatloaf.

I cooked the meat till it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I cooked everything at 225 degrees on the pellet grill...

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How To Make Pressure Cooker Taco Soup

Sunday, November 11, 2018 Food

WHAT IS TACO SOUP?

Taco soup is lighter than chili, but still hearty enough to serve as a meal in itself. It’s spicy, brothy, and full of ground beef, beans, and corn.

When you serve it with toppings of crushed tortilla chips, chopped onions, sour cream, and fresh cilantro, you get the flavors of a crispy taco in every bite.

EASY TACO SOUP IN THE PRESSURE COOKER

I prefer to use my 6-quart Instant Pot pressure cooker to make this soup (and for just about everything else!), since it will cook the soup fast, and also keep it warm for up to 10 hours if I need to make dinner earlier in the day. It really is the best of both worlds. 

How to Make Taco Soup in Instant Pot How to Make Taco Soup in Instant Pot

HOW TO MAKE TACO SOUP

To make the soup, you’ll start by cooking the onions and beef together for a few minutes...

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Try these Salted Pork-Chops on a Himalayan Salt Block

Sunday, November 11, 2018 Food  No comments

I tried something different yesterday and done some Salted pork chops on a Himalayan Salt Block on my green mountain pellet grill. I just love using this little grill, I will attempt about anything on it. There hasn’t been much I haven’t made on here. I do believe these have to be by far the best pork chops I have ever made. I also have to thank my wife for the Himalayan Salt Block she got me for my birthday. Ok on with the Chops !

I put the Salt block in grill before starting, set grill to 150 degrees and let it come up to temp. Once it reached 150 degrees I waited 10 minutes and then set temperature to 300 degrees...

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