Monday, September 2, 2013

Crockpot Chicken or Pork

Crockpot Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin1

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breast or Pork Tenderloin

If you are like me, you don't eat pork or you try to limit your pork intake to only bacon or ham. I don't eat bacon or ham a lot, maybe a couple times a year, and I rarely ever eat any other form of pork. It was ruined for me and it's really not that healthy, so I tend to stick to chicken only. I try to come up with real creative ways to cook chicken so that it doesn't seem like we are eating it yet again. (Like every night.) 

My kids have voiced their opinions about how much we eat it and they will do it, but it can't be the same way every day. (I used to just bake it in the oven.) So I decided that I had to be creative in order for them not to complain and so that they would eat it. And my kids are old! I have a 18 year old and a 15 year old. I understand how they feel. I really do. I get bored too and then I don't even want to cook it again.

Don't get me wrong, we eat tacos, pizza, and burgers. But that is like one day out of a week that we eat something that isn't chicken. So yeah, we eat a lot of chicken unless we are eating salad.

I found this recipe on pinterest from a great website Laura's Sweet Spot. But she used a pork tenderloin and I won't eat that. I won't even touch that. The thought of pork makes me hungry for it, but then I think about the time someone close to me made pork chops and they were thick, and NOT cooked all the way through, still bleeding and we got very sick. So needless to say, that is the main reason we don't eat it.

But this recipe is awesome on chicken, so you can use it on either. It's freaking delicious! So if you want my opinion about this recipe, the only thing I will say, is cook more chicken, because you will eat it all!

Here is the recipe:

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds Pork tenderloin or 6-8 chicken breasts cut in half (and pounded) or 8 frozen cutlets
  • 1 teaspoon Ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic; crushed
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
  1. Mix together the seasonings: sage, salt, pepper and garlic.
  2. Rub over tenderloin. Place ½ cup water in slow cooker; place tenderloin in slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. hour before the roast is finished, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan: brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.
  5. Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  6. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. (For a more caramelized crust: remove from crock pot and place on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze, and set under broiler for 1-2 minutes until bubbly and caramelized. Repeat 2 to 3 more times until desired crust is achieved.)
  7. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

I didn't really alter this recipe much, except I did notice that when I rubbed the chicken with the seasonings, and put it in the crock pot, I ended up having to scrape it off after it cooked because that is the part that was out of the water, just turn the rubbed part of the chicken down into the water to cook.

The chicken ends up being moist and so yummy.

Also, I took it out of the crock pot, brushed the glaze on it and then put it in the oven, I repeated 5 times, not the 2-3 that the recipe says. And it paid off. The chicken had a yummy sticky glaze on it. I served with a side of rice and mixed veggies.

You have to try this. It's so good.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed your visit.
Have a wonderful labor day.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chicken Gloria

Mom’s Best Recipe – Chicken Gloria

Chicken Gloria

If you know me, you know I love pinterest and blogs to get my inspiration for cooking. I hate having to think of dinners on my own and find that if left to my own devices, I would rather starve then cook, if it's left up to me. I am far too busy with crafts, reading and dogs to want to spend hours cooking over a hot stove, especially in the summer. 
I made this for my husband the other night. I can not take credit for the recipe, I got it from Cooking with Sugar. I made some small changes in the recipe based on preference. It came out so good. Beyond good actually. My husband ate it right up and asked for more.

Here is the recipe:

Chicken Gloria

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour
Servings: 6
  • 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and filleted in half lengthwise (I used six pieces of thawed from frozen chicken)
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 (8 oz) container of sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of sherry wine
  • 1 small can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I used 1/4 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup cream) - I don't buy whole milk
  • 6 slices of Muenster cheese (Here I used shredded Parmesan instead)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F
Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, dredge lightly in flour to coat both sides. Shake off excess.
Add oil to frying pan and brown chicken in batches on both sides. You don’t need to cook the chicken completely.  It will finish cooking in the oven. Transfer the chicken to a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Add the butter to the frying pan and let it melt over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and brown mushrooms until golden.  Then add the sherry wine and cook for another minute or two. Add the creamy mushroom soup and milk and mix well.
Pour sauce over the chicken breasts, cover with foil and bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top each piece of chicken with one slice of Muenster cheese. You can fold the cheese in half if it is too wide for the breast.
Place chicken back in oven uncovered and broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

You have to try this recipe. It's so delicious. If you like mushrooms, this is a must try.
I served it over angel hair pasta. the sauce makes an amazing light sauce to the noodles.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Something Light

Light Cajun Chicken Pasta

Oh my God, let me just say that when I made this dish, I didn't expect it to be so good! And by good, I mean, freaking awesome.
(Courtesy of
This recipe is to die for, and it will certainly be going on my menu from now on. My son even loved it, he hate three helpings!

Here is the recipe:
Cajun Chicken Pasta on the Lighter Side
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 323.8 • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 25.9 g • Carb: 44.1 g • Fiber: 6.3 g • Sugar:3.2 g
Sodium: 126.5 mg (without salt)  


  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine (I used Dreamfields)

    • 1 pound chicken breast strips
    • 1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
    • 1/2 red onion, sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
    • 1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/3 cup skim milk
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • 3 tbsp light cream cheese
    • fresh cracked pepper
    • 2 scallions, chopped
    • salt to taste
    • Smart Balance cooking spray


    Prep all your vegetables. In a small blender make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. Set aside. 

    Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.

    Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.

    Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and add half of the chicken. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until done, set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.

    Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sauté 3-4 minutes

    Add mushrooms and tomatoes and sauté 3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

    Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pour in slurry stirring about 2 minutes.

    Return chicken to skillet; adjust salt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cook another minute or two until hot, then addlinguine; toss well to coat. Top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

    Makes 7 1/2 cups.

    I made a couple small changes to the recipe, mainly to conserve time. I used Tyson, green bag frozen, already cooked chicken strips. I used garlic powder instead of the garlic cloves and I only sprinkled it across the pan, 3 cloves of garlic would have been too much (at least in my opinion and I love garlic). Also, I used a can of diced tomatoes, not petite diced mind you, I drained them and added them to the pan. I don't have patience for cutting up tomatoes, and I don't have any fancy equipment. 

    This dish is a must try. It is so good, and I am not a huge lover of cajun seasoning. So that should tell you something.

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013

    Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

    Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

    Last night, I didn't have anything planned and I needed a quick easy recipe that I had the ingredients for. I came upon this one while I was searching pinterest. God, I love that site. It's my go to place for recipes and crafts. I love to see pictures of what I am going to make before I spend time making it.

    Here is the recipe, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

    Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

    Prep Time:
    Cook Time:


    • 4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
    • 1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
    • 1/2 stick Butter
    • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced
    • 3/4 cups Heavy Cream
    • 1/4 cup Half-and-half
    • 1-1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
    •  Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
    • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped

    Preparation Instructions

    Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
    In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
    Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

    I did however, substitute some things in the recipe. For the half and half, I used skim milk instead. 3 lemons is a bit much, at least for me and I happened to only use three lemons, but I doubled the recipe and the lemon taste was still pretty strong. And because I didn't have fresh basil, I used dried, which worked out just fine.
    The dish tasted wonderful and teenagers like it, which was amazing in itself.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    Have a wonderful day.

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Banana Cake

    Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    So I finally got done doing dishes and baking, cooking and making lunch for the hubby (for tomorrow). And I wanted to show you what I made from scratch tonight.

    I am not a cake eater, but I do love to make them. I was going to make two round cakes and stack them, but decided because I have a family of four plus any other kid that decides to stop in, that I would just do the quick and easy but not always pretty 9x13 pan. And I am leaving off the nuts. We have enough of those in this family we don't need to add anymore. Ha! Yes I am very lame when it comes to my jokes.

    I did two hours of dishes tonight. And I baked for about an hour, plus I did have to do some final touches to tonight's dinner, even though my daughter started it in the crockpot. So basically I have been on my feet since I got home at 415pm. That is 5.5 hours my time. Ugh. But I do love my family, and I love to make stuff for them to eat, although I must say, I haven't felt much like doing anything lately. But this week, I am scheduled to make certain dinners and so far, I am doing well with the set up.

    Here is the recipe for this cake 
    (by Sweet Revelations, which they adapted from

    Best Ever Banana Cake

    Note: the recipe on recommends immediately putting the cake in the freezer after removing it from the oven.  I did not follow this step.
    • 1 ½ cups bananas , mashed
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    • ¾ cup unsalted butter , room temperature
    • 18; cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs, room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
    Preheat oven to 275°.  Grease and flour 3 6 inch cake pans.  You can also make this in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
    1.  In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda , nutmeg and salt; set aside.
    2.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in 2 tsp vanilla.
    3.  On low, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Stir in banana mixture.
    4.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for one hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.   Unmold on to wire racks and cool completely.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    *this makes just enough for two of the cakes
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 pound cream cheese softened
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 pound sifted powdered sugar
    For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add icing sugar and beat on low-speed just until combined.  Don’t overbeat.  Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

    A side note, I don't buy buttermilk, it's way too expensive for the amount I am going to use, so I made my own, sort of. 1 cup of milk plus 1 tbsp of vinegar = buttermilk. Set it aside after you combine it for 5 minutes, it will turn on it's own, then just add it to the recipe. It worked very well and the cake turned our super moist. The milk I used was skim and even though this is a dessert, I like to cut down on the calories as much as possible. I didn't skimp on the butter or the sugar though and this recipe has a lot of that in it!
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    If you have any questions please let me know.
    Time to go do more laundry. :(


    Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli Over Rice

    Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli Over Rice

    So today my daughter helped me make dinner, that we of course got off of Pinterest. If you know me at all, I am absolutely in love with that site. I find so many awesome things on there. My family does sometimes benefit from the ideas I get off the website.

    This recipe came from Picky Palette. I want to give them all the credit. The only thing I changed was no cheddar cheese on the finished product. It was creamy enough and yummy enough, that I saved myself some extra calories. 

    Boy was this yummy!

    Here is the recipe. 

    Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli Over Rice
    3-4 boneless chicken breasts
    1 14oz can cream of chicken soup
    1 14 oz can cheddar soup
    1 14 oz can chicken broth
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril’s brand)
    ¼ teaspoon garlic salt seasoning (Lawrys)
    1 Cup sour cream
    6 Cups broccoli florets, lightly steamed, just fork tender ( I cook it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes)
    1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

    1. Place soups, chicken broth, salt, Cajun and garlic seasoning into a crockpot over low heat. Whisk until smooth. Place chicken in, pressing to the bottom. Cover lid and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
    2. When chicken is cooked, use 2 forks to shred into bite size pieces. Stir in sour cream and broccoli.
    3. Serve over steamed rice and sprinkle with cheese.
    4-6 servings

    It took exactly 6 hours on low. And the chicken just falls apart.
    I used frozen broccoli that I steamed real quick in boiling water. Then added it to the crockpot with the sour cream, on high for ten minutes.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas

    Vegetarian Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas
    Black Beans and Sweet Potato Flautas

    I don't know about you, but when trying new recipes, especially ones that are vegetarian  I get nervous. I am always under the assumption that the dish will lack something. But not this recipe!
    I want to make sure I give credit to the right place, I found this recipe via Pinterest which is pinned from the website
    And let me tell you, it's simply one of the best dinners I have had in a while. I recommend making rice as a side, or having a side salad with it, especially if you are feeding men. But my daughter who is half vegetarian/half undecided, loves this dish, even though it has black beans in it! I wasn't a black bean lover, until recently, actually my bff tried many times to get me to try black beans and I just wouldn't do it. 
    Anyway, let me share how to make these delicious flautas.

    9 corn tortillas
    1 cup of black beans
    1 cup mexi-corn [corn + colorful red/green peppers!]
    1 small/medium sweet potato
    1/4 cup of diced white, yellow, or red onion
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp dried or fresh cilantro
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes [optional]
    2oz  full-fat or 1/3 fat cream cheese, room temperature [optional]
    4-6 ounces of grated cheese [habanero cheddar, cheddar, pepper jack, etc...]
    1-2 heaping tablespoons [or more!] of taco sauce, enchilada sauce, or salsa
    salt and pepper to taste
    all-natural olive oil spray or plain oil
    parsley [or cilantro!] + fresh veggies to garnish
    salsa, guacamole, and plain greek yogurt (or sour cream!) for dipping 

    Pre-heat your oven to 425F.  Poke a few holes in your sweet potato, wrap it in a slightly damp paper towel, and microwave on high for about 6-8 minutes.  [The paper towel trick keeps the potato moist]  While you wait, combine corn/peppers/onion with your black beans, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, and taco sauce/salsa.  Your cayenne and red pepper flakes will control the spice-factor; adjust to taste.  I alternate between using my favorite flavorful red enchilada sauce, spicy taco sauce, and a natural, zesty salsa.
    Add the sweet potato [minus the skin] to the rest of your veggies and mix thoroughly.  Add salt, pepper, and any additional seasoning to taste.  I usually add a little extra sprinkle chili powder, cumin, and garlic!

    Next wrap your corn tortillas in a damp paper towel, followed by a dry paper towel, and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Follow it up with an additional 30 seconds.  The goal here is to steam the tortillas so they roll into perfect flautas without breaking or cracking =)  This trick works like a charm!  Spray or rub one side of the tortilla with oil and add "line" of veggie filling to the center of the "dry side" of the tortilla, about 1-inch thick.  Top it off with a layer of cheese [as much or as little as you want!] and roll the tortilla. 

    Place on a wire baking/cooling rack and seal with a toothpick, if needed.  Repeat these steps until you have a rack full of flautas.  Give them one more teeny spritz of olive oil or pam to get them extra crispy [no-frying] and set on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  The wire rack elevates the flautas and allows them to get nice and crispy on both sides.  If you don't own a wire rack, simply place the flautas on aluminum foil after spraying and turn over halfway through cooking so both sides will get a chance to crisp up.  Super easy.

    Bake on the middle rack, at 425F, for 15 minutes.  At the end, set to broil on HIGH for just under a minute to crisp the tortillas into a perfectly golden, crunchy shell.

    Pile high with any + all veggies you have on hand and serve with plain greek yogurt, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole for dipping!

    You will love these!
    They are so awesome and I am so glad that I found this recipe. It's super easy, I can make them in less then 10 minutes and they are filling because of the black beans. But just like I warned you, make sure if you have men in the house, you make a side of something, because after you make these, you will be full but they might say they are still hungry, well at least my hubby did, but my son was satisfied with them.

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

    Chicken & Dumplings Casserole - So yummy!  And easy!

    Chicken and Dumpling Casserole
    Courtesy of Deep South Dish

    Now this recipe is fairly easy. I was surprised on how good it came out, because I have tried recipes like this before and they were a flop.

    2 cans of chicken broth
    4 pieces of boneless chicken breast (I used frozen from Walmart)
    1/4 cup of butter
    1 cup of self rising flour (or 1 cup of regular flour and 1 1/4 tsp of baking powder)
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can of mixed veggies (I added this part, sneaking those veggies in again)

    Here's how to make it.

    First things first, if you're using raw chicken, you'll need to bring 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil. 

    Add the chicken breasts (or whatever pieces you are using) to the stock, bring back up to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.

    Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Reserve the stock - you'll need it in a second.

    Melt 1/2 a stick of butter and pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

    When the chicken has cooled down, shred it. I usually use two forks to do this.

    Spread the chicken on top of the butter in the baking pan.

    Combine 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of self-rising flour. You can also substitute regular all purpose flour - simply add in 1-1/4 teaspoons of baking powder plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt and whisk that together before mixing with the milk.

    And whisk that together.

    Pour the flour mixture very slowly over the chicken so not to move the chicken around.

    Don't stir!

    Now strain the chicken stock that you used to cook the chicken in.

    Add the cream of chicken soup to that.

    And whisk it until it's well blended.

    Pour that very slowly and carefully over the flour and milk mixture.

    Again, do not stir!

    Bake at 400 degrees F about 35 to 45 minutes or until top begins to brown.

    Spoon out and enjoy!