Tag Archives: crockpot

Peaaanut, peaaanut butter. And chicken?

Monday’s word of the day was T-I-R-E-D!

After a post-Super Bowl bedtime of wayyyy too late o’clock followed up with the random early body-clock-alarm-wakeup I was seriously struggling for energy yesterday!

Good thing I had planned on throwing together a crockpot meal to be ready & waiting upon my arrival home 🙂

Gave me plenty of time to relax and get in a rejuvenating yoga session.

Has anyone else tried the Body by Bethanny yoga workout on ExTV?  I absolutely love her first of all, plus am really liking this workout on days where I want some physical activity but not too much, ya know?

Perfect for this particular Monday if you ask me 😀

After yoga was over it was time to serve up some dinner.

Crockpot, sometimes I think we may be soulmates… you make my life so easy on days that just seem to be so hard!

Here’s the recipe, courtesy a A Year of Slow Cooking.

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Chicken

I kind of doubled the recipe to fill the 6-quart slow cooker I have (did you know you are supposed to make sure your slow cooker is between 1/2 to 2/3 full?)

I also didn’t have any soy sauce on hand, so substituted this wonderful SoyCha sauce instead.

For the sauce:

  • 2/3 cup MaraNatha peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup SoyCha (or soy sauce)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 container chicken broth

For the rest:

  • 2.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced

I mixed up the marinade (sans chicken broth) Sunday afternoon before we left for the Super Bowl festivities. 

I also chopped up the red bell peppers and onions so they’d be ready to roll in the morning.

After 9 hours on low, I came home to some pretty awesome kitchen smells!

Once I opened up the slow cooker I removed the chicken & veggies and drained most of the fat from the remaining sauce.

With the combo of peanut butter, chicken thighs and SoyCha sauce there was a bit of oil to remove, no big deal 😛

To serve, I cooked up some spaghetti to serve as well as some simple spinach.

Dinner is served.

Very very rich dish.  A little goes a long way!

But also very flavorful and tasty.  The cumin and lime added a different spin to the “normal” peanut sauce that I’m used to – but in a good way!

The chicken was also fall apart tender and just sunk itself into the spaghetti with each bite.

Good thing we liked this because we’ll be eating it for a few days (close to 3 lbs of chicken, what was I thinking? 😉 )

Does anyone else remember this song (in reference to the post title)?  Guess having a sister 7 years younger means I remember wayyyyy more Barney than any normal person should hahaha.

Here’s to a much more “awake” day today – thank you 8 hours of sleep!!!!

Happy Tuesday all 🙂

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FRIENDS 🙂

Whoa chocolate overload, look what The Man gave me!

We decided to do low-key gifts this year and plan on really celebrating when we get to make our trip to the wineries & the Ashby Inn soon (post-surgery) so this was definitely a welcomed surprise 🙂

I reminded him that I really can’t exercise, so if I eat all these chocolates it’ll be him that has to suffer those consequences 😉

He was cool with it, which is why I love him so 😛

Speaking of exercise, I ended up getting in two mini-workouts today which was the perfect way to ease back into things.  This morning was a 20 minute yoga session and this afternoon this 20 minute Bikini Body Workout on ExTv (I loved this!)  I am definitely not as strong post-sickness, think my body is still in recovery mode, but it felt good to get moving and splitting things up was perfect 🙂

We decided that since today was Lucy Dog’s birthday, she needed a day out on the town!  So The Man and I took the pup to PetSmart (even let her ride in the bmw!) and she had a blast… sniffing everything in sight I tell ya.

We got her some fun bones & toys to celebrate, but she wouldn’t let us leave until she tried on a new summer dress…

P.S. she is wearing a gentle leader bc she pulls on the leash like crazy, helps us to control ‘the situation’

She also wanted to make sure I captured a pic from her “good side” 😉

 

Biggest dog ever that loves wearing clothes, you think I’m kidding?  She wags her tail and immediately sits whenever I get her sweater out, whoever had her before I adopted her must have also dressed her up bc she is a D.I.V.A.!

Snacks today included a ‘fun-fetti’ smoothie as I like to call it 🙂

 

Papaya, strawberries, spinach, ice & peanut butter (? don’t ask, but it was good ?) all blended up… resembles this guy? No? haha

Valentine’s Day dinner was a plan for a dish that the both of us could enjoy, so I got out the trusty slow cooker to help me out along with a few other friends.

Cooked up 1 diced onion in a lil’ EVOO & gave 4 medium potatoes a peel and chop.

 

Then added them to the crock pot along with some of my leftover homemade chicken stock (which freezes just beautifully!) and some S&P, “set it & forget it” for 6 hours!

Once time was up, I used the infamous immersion blender to give these a good smoosh right from the comforts of the crockpot and voila!

Yea, no so pretty… YETTTTTTTTT!  Here comes the good stuff 😉

Cheese & light cream, where ya been all my life?

I also baked up some hickory smoked bacon in the oven, love this method!

All served up, soup topped w/ sauted onions, bacon & extra cheese 🙂

What a perfectly indulgent way to spend Valentine’s Day, at least I think so.  And even better news, I could eat the bacon (where there’s a will, there’s a way? 😉 )!!  My throat & body are feeling seriously at about 93% right now for the first time since last weekend… I am in HEAVEN! 

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I am really excited to get back to work tomorrow.  I haven’t been in quite some time thanks to this horrid sickness & sometimes you don’t realize how nice things are when you are healthy until that gets taken away.  So I’m going to most likely be the annoying chipper Monday morning girl tomorrow – don’t play, ya’ll all know “him/her” haha – as long as this get well thing keeps goin’ on track 🙂

With that being said, I better get back to my Valentine & enjoy the last of our Sunday evening… 

Hope all of you had a most wonderful day however it was spent and see ya on the flipside!

Most redundant recipe title award goes to….

Ah friends, it’s been too long!  Sorry for bailing on you last night but between the wisdom tooth adventure & studying for my Six Sigma exam I just got a bit side-tracked…. 😦

And of course you wonderful bloggies, thanks so much for all your kind words of support – as always you friends put a toothless? smile on this gal’s face!!!  😛 

And also at least my new favorite Yoga Works BodySlim routine was there to keep me somewhat sane too, if you haven’t tried this video I would highly recommend doing so.  It’s not traditional yoga (whatever that means anyways) and it really gets your heartrate up making it both cardio & strength which I adore!

Anywho, in other news, I have a fun crock pot recipe to share with you today!  This is something that I just threw together with stuff we had in the house and it turned out great 🙂

Cream of Mushroom Chicken & Mushrooms

(most redundant recipe title award haha!)

  • 3 small chicken breasts (unpictured)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced in half
  • salt/pepper

I prepped the chicken by chopping into large chunks.  The mushrooms were cleaned & sliced in half.  Then I poured a bit of the cream of mushroom soup & chicken broth into the crockpot, layed in the chicken and mushrooms – seasoning with S&P, then covered with the rest of the liquids. 

Shut the lid tight and cooked on high for 3 hours.  The Man was running late from work so I ended up having to cook it on low another 1.5 hours too – holy tender chicken, it was literally falling apart!

Once the cooking time was up, I whisked in a few spoonfuls of flour to thicken up the sauce plus about 1 tblsp butter to finish it off 😛  The smell + flavor was phenomenal, I really loved the combo!  The only 1 note I have is that next time I may decrease the broth/wine ratio to 1/3 cup so I didn’t have to deal with the flour whisking step.

Served it over “lasagna rags” (whole wheat lasagna noodles broken up into pieces)

With some cheesy cauliflower of course!

Twas deelish!  I really liked this combo of flavors, it was a hit in our house 🙂  The Man ate it without once requesting any form of cheese product to sprinkle on top — which I knew was a silent way of him telling me it was a winner since he’s a cheese fanatic 😉  And could it get any easier, really?

Alright friends, well I just finished up my Six Sigma exam (2 hours later, what is this, finals week?) and am awaiting my grade… while crossing my fingers as tightly as possible hahaha.

Gotta run, see you tonight for a few cooking adventures (oh yes, that would mean multiple!) and a much needed cardio sesh tonight 🙂

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Update:  I PASSED!!! 🙂

Mexico here we come!

Hello again friends!! 🙂  How has everyone’s Sunday been so far? 

Mine definitely got better after my hour nap earlier…. after which I had to do some work and then studying (??? hello graduated college 5 years ago last I checked haha) for a quiz we have first thing in the morning at training tomorrow.  Nothin’ says Sunday relaxation like a few hours of Six Sigma and statistics (barffffffffffff)

Anywho, I have some exciting news for you guys!  Seems like things are lookin’ up around here because this weekend we finalized and booked our annual

CHRISTMAS CRUISE!!!!

Yes yes friends, this is a family tradition that started just a few years back and one that I just love.  Nothing says holiday fun like a week of Christmas festivites, New Year’s Eve blast out then a few days later departing for Mexico – OLE!!!!

This will be the first year that The Man goes with the fanatic fam and I couldn’t be more excited to have us all together.  Cruises really are the perfect vacation for our family and we just adore them 🙂  So the 5 of us are jet settin’ to Florida early January where we will “debark” on  5 night cruise to Mexico aboard one of my fave Royal Caribbean ships! 

Can I mention that I have the best mother & father ever — because without them this trip may not have happened thanks to the car fiasco.  You guys are the best and I can’t wait to spend some great QT with ya’ll (and you too sis, I know you are there 😉 ) on this vacation! 

It still hasn’t sunk in yet since it was so last minute, but 1 month from today I’ll be in Costa Maya, Mexico or somewhere close to that 😛 hooray!!!!

Now onto Sunday night dinner!  Before I get to the crockpot action, I gotta show you friends what we roasted up tonight bc it turned out fantastic 🙂

Using these guys

I roasted up some “fries”

and some carrots!!!!  at 425F for about 25 minutes, flipping half way through.

P.S. I had heard about this from a few of you lovelies & just had to try it – why have I not done this before btw, they turned out so amazing?!?!?!  Ya’ll friends are the best, obvi 🙂

Alright, onto the crockpot creation already right?!

After about 8.5 hours check out what I found

So freaking moist & juicy

After shredding it up, adding some of the juice back to the meat + some Frank’s hot sauce it was ready for some eatin’

Got all the fixin’s ready for serving 😉

Decided to “roll” open face style (worst joke ever award? haha) with some more Frank’s & a touch of bbq sauce

Add some coleslaw on top and serve up the “fries” and roasted carrots with some ketchup…. and voila!  You got yourself a pretty good Sunday night meal 🙂

If you’ve never roasted up some carrots this way (EVOO, seasoning – I used mesquite, salt and pepper) then you really should give it a whirl!  So goooooood 🙂

Well, this week is going to be very busy.  It’s my last week of that training and we have to do more presentation giving and exam taking this time around…. couple that with having to potentially buy a car and figure all that out you can tell that I may be a bit overwhelmed :/

Plus I really need to get back to an exercise routine to balance this all out, considering I haven’t done anything since before the accident on Wednesday.  Feelin’ a lil’ blah but my back just isn’t fully ready yet – I can just tell.  Maybe I’ll actually ease into it with some yoga tomorrow, my body needs something as does my mind!  (not to mention I have to be in a bathing suit in less than a month, uhhh motivation hello!)

Before I go though, check out this amazing giveaway over at my fave twin’s site – it’s a good one!!!   They make some amazing creations, and I would LOVE to win some of my very own to try 😉

Alright ya’ll – I gotta run and get to bed early tonight – I hope you had a wonderful weekend and see ya for another Monday tomorrow!

More sleeeeep please!!!!

Woah friends, where have you been all my life 😉 feels like it’s been forever… it’s been a very busy weekend!

Last night’s Tacky Sweater party was tons of fun… too much fun perhaps 😛 ??  considering I am functioning currently off 5 hours of sleep oops!  I can thank Lucy Dog for the 7:30am wake up call since she slept in our room at The Man’s parent’s house + post party Jersey Shore watching ti’l wayyyy too late haha.  Ah well, it was worth it! 

Here we are decked out and ready to drink lots party in our finest fashion gear!  Note that both of us are sporting The Man’s mom’s fine attire…. I couldn’t take him seriously all night – it was freaking hilarious.

They had this amazing apple cider at the party that I really want to make for the holidays, gots to get my hands on that recipe!  I think it had apple juice, sugar, apple cider, vodka and cinnamon all merried together – and merry it was haha 😉

This morning after Lucy’s wake up call we finally rolled outta bed and headed back to our house… not before The Man took a bad spill walking Lucy Dog down the icy front stairs though 😦  His bum is a’bruised – poor thing – between the 2 of us we are a walking disaster these days I tell ya!

I wanted to get back early so that I could get the pork butt in the slow cooker for tonight’s man food! (I always call Sunday “man food day” since I try to do football watchin’ friendly foods 🙂 )

I followed a recipe passed along to me by The Man’s brother’s girlfriend’s mother (say that 10 times!) since we had this meal at her house recently and it was superb!  Here’s how I made it work (few modifications based on what I had)

  • pork shouder
  • 2 tblsp smoked paprika (used Hungarian)
  • 1 tblsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 brown sugar for rub, 1 tblsp for sauce
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup

First make a spice rub out of the paprika, dry mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Rub it on the pork all over (this is messssssssssy hahaha) and place the meat into the crock pot, fat side up.

Then mix together a sauce of cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. 

Pour over the meat in the slow cooker + 1 cup water and close her up.  And now I am just ‘patiently’ waiting for 8 hours (low setting) until this sucker is done! 

In other news, we went to the BMW lot and took a look around (may be even better than a grocery store peeps?!? *gasp*!) and I think I have narrowed down to what I really like…. there are some details to be worked out but I am hoping that we are on the right track!

Alright, I need a nap ASAP.  After that I have some work to get done before tomorrow, boooo to working on a Sunday!  Stay tuned bc I also have some exciting vacation news for you friends…. plus the turnout of the pork dinner of course 🙂

See you later tonight!

Steph vs. Crockpot Chicken

Well well friends…. here we are at the end of this rainy (in VA) day off work 🙂 still a day off work in my book, so I’ll take it!  I must start this off by saying that I think I am having one of “those weeks“….

Why you ask? 

Round 1:  Steph vs. Crockpot Chicken.

bird

Winner:  Chicken

Well, after about 3 lovely hours in the crockpot on low… I woke up from a quick snooze to a COLD CROCKPOT. Yes, that jerk had shut off and I have no idea how or why.  The power never flickered (according to the The Man who was also home) and the crockpot didn’t appear to be broken.  Needless to say I broke out into instant tears of disappointment since I had worked hard on prepping it and cleaning a chicken ain’t fun was extremely upset and felt like this was major fail #2 of the week 😦 considering me ruining the romantic surprise last night….

Round 2:  Steph vs. Crockpot Chicken

Winner:  Steph!!! 🙂

So what did The Man do?  He let me drown in my misery while he cleaned up the entire mess (didn’t know how long it had sat there not on so wasn’t going to risk food poisoning) AND THEN he took me to the store to buy a replacement chicken AND THEN he acted as sous chef and chopped up all the ingredients for round 2.

Really. Who is this guy?

This whole mishap made me think about how sometimes things happen that are really upsetting/frustrating & seem like a bigger deal than they are at the time (aka last night) but that sometimes those are the moments than can turn everything around.  What do I mean?  Basically I had the best time going to the store with The Man (Jordan @ grocery store = rarity) and we had such a fun time working on the meal together in the kitchen.  He made me feel better x1000 😛  To say that I LOVE HIMMMM is really an understatement friends (mushhhhyyyy)

If you’re curious about the chicken recipe, follow these lovely instructions (except I didn’t remove skin & I used dried rosemary) from a sensational blogsite recommended to me by a certain Iowa Lady 🙂

By this point it was already 3:30 so obvi the chicken couldn’t get done on low for 8 hours as planned unless we preferred to have din at midnight (no thanks).  So I cranked it up to high and planned for 4 hours.

After opening up the crockpot here’s what I found…

PB110622

It literally fell apart when I tried to remove it… OMG sooooo tender & falling off the bone!

donechick

Holy yum.  And the smell was heavenly as well 😉

I also had plans for some butternut squash, I’ve never used this veggie before *gasp* so I was excited to try it!

I found a Cooking Light recipe for Baked Rice with Butternut Squash & knew that would be the perfect accompaniment to the slow cooked chicken!  Here’s what ya need (plus the butternut duh! 😉 )

squashingred

Step 1:  Bake squash at 350F for 30 minutes while you watch Monday’s episode of How I Met Your Mother 🙂 

wholesquash

Once it’s done, remove from oven and crank oven up to 400F.  Let squash cool for a minute, then peel & chop into small cubes.

squashsliced

Step 2:  Saute chopped onion in EVOO for about 6 minutes over medium heat, add chopped garlic & saute another 2 minutes.

step1

While this is cooking, heat up chicken broth (I used stock) and water to a simmer (I omitted the sage bc I didn’t have any on hand)

Step 3:  Add rice and saute another minute or so. 

step2

Step 4:  Add warm chicken stock/water mixture, wine,salt, pepper, thyme (I used dried) and let cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

step3

Step 5:  Put mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

step4

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. 

casserole

Step 6:  Sprinkle with Parm cheese and bake another 5 minutes until cheese melts, and voila!

casserole2

Dinner served… perfect for this rainy day off if you ask me 🙂

plate

So what’d I learn from tonight’s meal?

  • Crockpot chicken is legit! … and for $4.73 we have enough chicken for a couple meals and the flavor is incredible (hello lemon + rosemary + garlic!)
  • Baked rice impromptu dish was seriously soooooooooo good – thank you Cooking Light for this fab idea, I think this will feed us for 3 meals (my wallet says thanks too 😉 )

Alright friends, off to go relax and do some more snugglin’ with The Man…. I just can’t seem to get enough of him this week!  Plus we have some cookies baking that are callin’ my name (Stephhhhhhhh eattttt meeeeee)…. 😛

I hope ya’ll enjoyed your Wednesdays and I’ll see everyone tomorrow!

Hurricane Ida-who?!

Happppy humppppday 🙂

First things first, I must give a major shout out and sincere thank you to all those individuals who have and are serving in our military.  Even though many of us have the day off work, we must remember that this day is meant for remembrance of all those who have served to protect us & our country.

I will say that this day off is a much welcomed mid-week break however, even though Hurricane Ida decided to put a major rain on my parade….

spec_trop2_325x220

We’re supposed to get 3-7″ of rain over the next 24 hours, 15-25 mph winds and a flood watch is in effect.  Needless to say I don’t think I’ll be spending much of today outside – grrrr rainnnnn!!!

So I trekked to the gym this morning for one of my fave classes ever – Cardio3!  One hour of pure cardio, different routines are built upon and repeated for a fantastic all over body workout.  Love love love.  Also, the instructor that we had today is like my fave lady evah, she is NUTSSSSSSSSS and I adore it 🙂

When I got home I started on the crockpot adventure for tonight’s dinner.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous bc I have never done anything like this before…..

bird

More to come on that later….. 😉

Lunch included some leftover stir fry from last night yummm.  I had worked up quite the appetite at Cardio class!

lunch

And since I ate all the carrot/pear/raisin bread already (yea, that happened haha) I had to find another form of dessert obvi 🙂

Laura’s red velvet cupcakes stored in the freezer to the rescue!

cupcake

No, I didn’t eat 3… although I may have secretly wanted too bc they are just sooooooo good!

Lovin’ having my lunch at home today.  It is pourrringggggggggggg out there p.s. gahhhh sounds like some is dumping buckets of water on our sky lights!

Before I get outta here, wanted to send a shout out over to Bonnie @Salad Craze for passing along this guy

 

Thanks so much Bonnie!  I’ll refer you friends to when I filled this Q&A a few weeks back 🙂 

 Alrighty, gotta run.  Not much planned today besides relaxing and probably some reading/napping.  May go out to get some new glasses (woah exciting, I know) but that’s about it.  I’m really taking this “day off” thing seriously peeps 😉

Dinner tonight will include more of the crockpot chicken action + butternut squash (first time too!) 🙂  See you friends soon!