December 12, 2016

Holiday recipes ideas (and tips for saving time!) from Safeway and Lucerne Farms

safeway-lucerne-holiday

I don’t know about you, but this time of year I love to try new recipes – especially for holiday gatherings and meals. I’ve partnered with Lucerne® Dairy Farms, whose products are exclusively found at Safeway, to share some holiday recipes I think you’ll love.

triplepumpkincreamcheesebar5

Did you know Lucerne makes a pumpkin cream cheese? Sound delicious. Pick up some Lucerne® Pumpkin Cream Cheese and you can make this recipe for Triple Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars! The prep time for this is just 15 minutes!

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December 10, 2016

Cream cheese spritz cookie recipe

Pin it.

Pulled from the archives, I originally shared this cookie recipe in 2012. Hope you enjoy!

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

These Cream Cheese Spritz cookies are so delicious and as far as Christmas treats go – they are really frugal!

Cream cheese is on sale for $0.99 or less this time of year and you only need 1/3 of a block for one batch, the dough makes a lot of cookies and they don’t require a lot of extras – just some sprinkles and they look beautiful, thanks to the shapes you can make with the cookie press.

kuhn-rikon-clear-cookie-press

This recipe does use a Cookie Press. I have a Pampered Chef cookie press but you can also buy a variety of cookie presses Amazon here. This one seems to have the BEST reviews – Kuhn Rikon Clear Cookie Press with Decorating Tips and Storage Box on sale for around $20 right now. I like that it also has six decorating tips!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of butter (softened at room temperature)

3 oz of cream cheese (also softened)

1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.) Using mixer blend together butter and cream cheese until creamy

3.) Add sugar and mix well until light and fluffy

4.) Mix in eggs yolks, vanilla and almond extract

5.) Slowly add your flour and salt, mix well

6.) If you want to add food coloring, you can take a small part of the dough or all the dough and add food coloring for desired color.

7.) Shape dough into a small log and add it to your cookie press.

8.) Press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet (sometimes if you freeze your cookie sheets first the cookies will stick better)

9.) I recommend adding sprinkles before you bake – otherwise you’ll need to frost them to get the sprinkles to stick.

10.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they start turning a light brown around the edges.

11.) Let cool and eat!

Here are some photos from when we made them!

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November 22, 2016

My Family’s FAVORITE Thanksgiving recipes

Favorite-Thanksgiving-Recipes

I love Thanksgiving recipes – good ole home cooking. . .so I thought I’d share my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve posted in the past.

How-To-Brine-A-Turkey-Alton-Brown

If you’re going to brine a turkey, here is my post on how to brine a turkey.

Slow-Cooker-Crockpot-spiral-ham

And if you prefer ham (or have both!), this recipe for a Crockpot Spiral Ham could not get any easier!

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October 31, 2016

Crockpot Slow Cooker Spiral Ham with pineapple

Slow Cooker Crockpot Ham. This is an easy way to make ham - especially spiral ham!Pin it

Slow Cooker Crockpot Spiral Ham

You can’t really screw up a ham. And when you toss it into a crockpot, it really feels like cheating. I’ve been wanting to try cooking a Crockpot Spiral Ham for awhile and I’m glad I gave it a try. This Crockpot ham recipe calls for pineapple and brown sugar so it definitely comes out tasting sweet – perhaps like a Honey Baked ham? I’m only guessing since I’ve never had one.

INGREDIENTS

Spiral Ham with glaze packet
You would ideally want it to fit in your slow cooker. Mine was about 10 pounds in a 6 quart crockpot.

Pineapple bits in can, with juice, 20 oz

2 Cups brown sugar

1 Cup Ginger Ale

Crock pot Slow Cooker Ham

How to prepare

1.) Line the bottom of the crockpot with two cups of brown sugar. Some recipes call for three, that seems like an awful lot.

2.) Place ham, slices down (flush with the flat bottom of the crock)

3.) Sprinkle the ham glaze powder (comes with most spiral hams) over the ham

4.) Pour full can of pineapple bits into crockpot with juice. Pouring over the ham and glaze powder.

5.) Pour a cup of Ginger Ale over the ham

6.) Place lid on top of ham and cook on low for 4-6 hours until it’s heated through
If the ham is too big to fit in the crockpot, you can cover it with aluminum foil – for a makeshift lid. Or you can cut off the top part of the ham and shove it into the side of the crockpot. Whatever works – as long as it can be covered.

7.) Serve with some of the juice from the crockpot and it’ll be great!

Crockpot Spiral Ham Slow Cooker recipe

If you overcook this it will be dry. Basically you want to give it enough time to soak up some of the juice and heat up! Don’t even think about putting it on anything higher than low. And don’t go playing with it – the more you move it around the more it’s likely to shred and break apart.

Crockpot Spiral Ham recipe, with pineapple

I hope you like it! 

amazon-black-friday-fire-tv-stick

It’s Amazon Black Friday! The All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player is on sale for $29.99 (reg. $39.99)

black-friday-kindle-sale-2016-4

And the Fire Tablet, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black is on sale for $33.33 (reg. $49.99). The BEST price it’s been!

October 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili Recipe

This Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili is easy, filling and delicious. It's a great gluten-free recipe and you can leave out the chicken if you want it to be vegetarian!Pin it here

I’m not sure whether I’d call this Quinoa Chicken Chili or Quinoa Taco Soup – either way, I’d call it  scrumptious. I’ve never made quinoa in a savory way – so I was excited to give it a try and it didn’t disappoint. Quinoa is very high in protein, so it goes great in this chicken chili to help give it some heft and substance.

I love that it was cooked in the Crock Pot – which means it only took me about 15 minutes to toss together this morning and the slow cooker did all the work.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed

One (1) 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (you could use crushed)

One (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)

Two (2) 16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed, drained

One (1) 15 oz can of corn, drained

3 Cups chicken stock

2 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed (cook longer if frozen)

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp crushed red pepper

2 tsp chili powder

This has a nice little kick to it, but I didn’t think it was too spicy. If you’re nervous about spice, reduce the red pepper and the chili powder by half.

Quinoa-in-crockpot-slow-cooker

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Toss everything into slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-7 hours on high. I added frozen chicken breasts to mine and cooked on high for about six hours. As long as the chicken is cooked – it’s done!

2.) Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Return to slow cooker.

3.) Top with cheese, sour cream, avocados – whatever sounds good to you! I’m thinking the next day it would probably thicken up enough to eat in a whole wheat tortilla.

Crockpot-Quinoa-Chili

Have you made a quinoa dish in the slow cooker? I’d love to hear about it!

Did you know you can also cook quinoa in the rice cooker?  Here are some other Quinoa recipes:

This recipe was inspired by this recipe from Sweet Treats More.

October 10, 2016

Slow Cooker Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese (with Tillamook cheese!)

This slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipe is so easy!  It’s not fancy but it is flavorful. And I love that you know exactly what’s in it – as opposed to the boxed stuff. And I used my absolute favorite cheese, Tillamook!

This recipe is from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook (Amazon) – a cookbook I bought in preparation for this Crock-tober series and I have really enjoyed the book!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2  cups skim or low-fat milk

One 15-ounce can evaporated skim milk

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt

Large pinch of black pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese (I used my favorite, Tillamook cheese!)

8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups) – this is HALF the box

2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese 

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Coat your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In a separate bowl combine low-fat and evaporated milks, egg, salt and papper in the cooker and whisk until smooth. Add the cheese and uncooked macaroni – stir it in softly.

2.) Pour mixture into slow cooker and cook on low for 3.5 to 4 hours. Mine was done in only about 2.5 hours! Watch it, you don’t want it to overcook. If you overcook it the sides will burn and dry out.

3.) Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook – $11.41

Here are other Slow Cooker Crockpot recipes we’ve recently posted:

See Amazon’s best selling slow cookers and Crockpots here

October 7, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Spice French Toast recipe

Pumpkin-spice-french-toast-recipe

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

I’ve seen a lot of pumpkin flavored french toast recipes. Most call for pumpkin puree. But this recipe. . . it trumps them all because you get the pumpkin flavor without the extra hassle of canned puree.

International-Delight-Creamer-Pumpkin-Spice

This Pumpkin Spice French Toast recipe uses International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer in place of the milk or cream. The creamer gives it the perfect pumpkin pie flavor (not over-the-top) and it could not get easier to make. And I love the way the creamer creates a caramelized effect on the bread – it really is perfect for this.

And for those of you who are lactose-intolerant using International Delight creamers for recipes in replace of the milk is a great option!

INGREDIENTS

Bread, thick cut

1 Cup International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer (also available in sugar free)

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whisk-Pumpkin-Pie-Spice-French-Toast

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) In a large bowl whisk together your eggs, creamer, nutmeg and ground cinnamon

2.) Pre-heat a griddle or skillet and add non-stick spray or butter.

Soaking-french-toast-pumpkin-flavor

3.) Pour batter into a low edged bowl, big enough for a slice of bread. Soak bread in egg mixture. Flip to soak from the other side.

4.) Place slice of bread into pre-heated skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown.

5.) Serve hot with maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar or whatever you prefer. I think it tastes good enough to eat plain!

Pumpkin-Spice-French-Toast-Recipe-international-delight

International-Delight-Pumpkin-Spice-French-Toast

international-delight-creamer-recipe

Pumpkin-Spiced-latte-french-toast-recipe

Other International Delight recipes we’ve featured:

October 6, 2016

Crockpot Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Mississippi roast recipe)

pot-roast-crockpot-slow-cooker

Crockpot Pot Roast

This isn’t the first crockpot pot roast recipe that I’ve made, but it is now my favorite. The way this browned up and seasoned was amazing for being in a slow cooker. It was incredibly easy and my entire family loved it.

This recipe was sent in my Karri as part of our Crock-tober series. She said she found the crockpot pot roast recipe on Pinterest so I did some digging and discovered this is also called Mississippi pot roast and apparently it’s a very popular crockpot pot roast recipe! I could not find an original source but did find that it is on many, many blogs. It’s now on my list of favorite beef pot roast recipes!

Pot-roast-crockpot-slow-cooker-pepperonchinis

INGREDIENTS

Beef roast 3-4 pounds
I used a bottom round roast that was 2.5 pounds

Butter, a whole stick

Package of Ranch dressing powder

Package of Au Jus mix 

5-7 pepperoncinis

Crockpot-Slow-cooker-pot-roast-mississippi-roast

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Put pot roast in bottom of crockpot

2.) Sprinkle with ranch dressing powder and Au Jus mix.

3.) Put the butter on top of the roast. I quartered mine. But I don’t think it matters. Add pepperonicinis.

4.) Cook on low in slow cooker for 5-7 hours

5.) Serve with mashed potatoes, on a sandwich, or just plain (like we did!)

Crockpot-pot-roast-slow-cooker-recipe

Crockpot-pot-roast-slow-cooker

I didn’t touch the pot roast the entire time it was cooking. I didn’t flip it or move it and I left the lid on the slow cooker the whole time. The top caramelized similar to how I’ve seen on prime ribs and it smelled like my mom’s prime rib. Nom nom.  You can probably serve with the juice to keep it moist or I bet you whip up a pretty good gravy with it!

I couldn’t find the original source of this recipe, but Food.com is one of many, many places I found it online.

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