Christmas in October!

Question:  what has 1 pot, 1 lid and can maybe make almost anything taste good with little effort?



So friends, after work today I couldn’t hold out ANY LONGER and stopped at Best Buy on the way home and bought myself a present 🙂 I also did my consumer reports research like a good girl and found this to be the best choice within my price range.  Can we just talk about how excited I am about this purchase gahhh!!!  

I know I have the slow cooker already, which we all learned here is not the same as the crockpot… so it was time for an upgrade!  The Man’s mom gave me an old school crockpot cookbook that I plan on reading through tonight, I can’t freaking wait to use this thing ohemgee happy lady.

Speaking of (?), earlier today my sister and I were discussing recipes to make when she returns home in 3 weeks & she suggested this Curried Vegetable Soup that I came across the other day.  This of course got me to thinking about my true love spicy pumpkin soup and how insanely deelish the addition of coconut milk in place of half and half could be in this dish!!

So needlesss to say, while I was out I decided to hop over to World Market and pick up yet some more spicy pumpkin soup mix (shocking? I have problems, I know)… imagine the horror (drama queen?) when I approached the shelf to this sight!


Nooooooooooo it can’t be true?!?!  The VERY LAST pack of spicy pumpkin soup mix 😦 and yes friends, it’s a seasonal item so I don’t know if they will get more…  can we just say that good thing I got the crockpot to compensate for this sad moment haha! 

So obvi I bought the last sad pack of mix there was *sigh* and also decided to venture out and try the harvest vegetable as well.


All in all – a pretty good post work adventure 🙂

Oh and I almost forgot to fill you friends in on my afternoon snack!

bar  baropen

So what’s the verdict?  I thought it was pretty good, I think I will put them in the fridge to firm up a bit next time around to improve my liking of the texture.  Taste wise they were great, and nutrition wise just phenomenal 🙂

Dinner time!  Tonight’s meal was based on a modification of a meal we had a few weeks back, pumpkin gnocchi with balsamic cream sauce

Tonight’s plan was for chicken & mushrooms w/ balsamic cream sauce served over pasta 🙂  since last time around this sauce was amazing!

Here were the key players, I made some modifications per usual (if you want to see the basis for this recipe idea check it out here 🙂 )

sauceingred  meat

  • 1 huge chicken breast (could easily be omitted veggie friends 🙂 )
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch nutmeg
  • black pepper/salt
  • pasta
  • grated parm to serve

I love doing recipes that use up ingredients from earlier in the week – I try to plan this way.  The chicken stock was from Saturday’s dinner and the half and half from last night – nothing to waste (do I gots to do the Frugal Gourmet joke again 😉 )!

First up I did a quick saute in EVOO of the chicken (season with salt/pepper) until cooked on the outside.


Then I removed from the pan and added the garlic, onion, mushrooms & a splash of wine and let cook down til mushrooms were tender (don’t forget to season with salt/pepper too!)


Then I removed these from the pan and started on the sauce, combining the half and half, chicken stock, balsamic, nutmeg & pepper – stirred together and let cook over medium until the sauce thickened up (5-10 minutes).

Then it was time to throw it all back together and let the chicken finish cooking!  The best part of “staging” the dish in layers is that each step picks up the flavor of the last… so it all melds together so beautifully!


Boiled some linguine & combined with the pasta and sauce.


Plated (bowled?) up 🙂


Prepped up a quick salad to go with

  • romaine
  • tomato
  • cucumber
  • onion
  • feta
  • oregano/black pepper

And dinner was served!! 🙂


Don’t forget the grated Parm 😉 


This dinner?  SO GOOD!  I loved this sauce mixture over the pasta – creamy & indulgent in disguise! (no butter or cream, just some half and half + 1tblsp EVOO was really all the fat this dish had friends :))

So now the rest of the night is going to be devoted to my new fascination, the crockpot haha!  I can’t wait to check this thing out, feels like Christmas in October 😉

See you friends tomorrow, have a great night!


10 responses to “Christmas in October!

  1. foodieinthecity

    You are too adorable. Heck yes for buying yourself a present :). And don’t you just love random adventures?

    Your dinner seriously is making my mouth water. Do you want to come over and cook for me? Haha.

    I keep on meaning to tell you we need to plan our foodie exchange soon.

    • Yes, let’s plan that very soon! Start thinking of some things you may want to try — do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? If not then that could be a good idea?! I need some PB Loco in my life – ahhhh it’s been too long! 🙂 And if you didn’t live 8583 miles away I would love to come cook ya some din anytime girlie!! 😉

      • foodieinthecity

        I do have a TJ’s, which I will be hitting up tonight!

        We don’t have a lot of random fun food stores here in MN. So if you guys have some fun little stores, random stuff is always fun!

        I am maybe thinking two weeks to collect all the goodies? 🙂

      • Sounds like a great plan to me! 🙂 I’ll be on the look out for some super sweet VA stuff 😉 in the next couple weeks and then swap time it is girl!!!

  2. foodie gifts are seriously the BEST. Makes me feel like a real adult when I get excited about kitchen items hehe. Fantastic din din. Way to make a healthy, creamy dish. Hope you’re having a good night

  3. I’m jealous. I’ve been wanting a crockpot forever. You’re gonna have a might fine warm and toasty winter!

  4. I seriously can’t get over how good of a cook you are, and how extravagant all of your meals are. I’m so jealous and WILL NEVER tell my husband about your blog, he would hate my cooking! ha ha!! Last night after running a bunch of errands i said..what do you want for dinner…he said spegettie..i said no hooney, that will take too long, he said, terriaki chicken and rice…I said no again…we ended up stopping at wendys and getting him food and I came home adn made sweet potato fries and a blt. I do hope to get better!! one day! one day!

    • You are soooo sweet girl!!! Thanks for this wonderful comment 🙂 I have been very into recipes/food/cooking since a young age but just recently with me and the man living together been able to actually make it all happen in the kitchen – it’s such a passion for me and love it! If you ever want any tips on easy fun recipes let me know… Also, here is an awesome website that has dinners using few ingredients/minimal time – my mom passed it along and I love it so much, thought you might too! Have a great Thursday

  5. That’s such a good idea for the cream sauce! I love creamy dishes but don’t like to add tons of extra fat. Half and half seems like something everyone always has on had too.

    Such a smarty you are 🙂

  6. Cookin fanatic you are GREAT”””” loved everything you said. it really cheered up my night. I have a crockpot and just love it. but I wanted to know if recipes and cooking times were the same for a crockpot and slow cooker.Im making stuffed green peppers for dinner and they will have to cook about 6hours while Im at work.

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