R.I.P Crockpot

Today, I celebrate the life of my beloved red crockpot. The crockpot I’ve had for almost 4 years now. The crockpot I’ve made many good Thumbs up….. and not so good meals in Thumbs down

Brad was off from work yesterday and felt ambitious. He found a pulled pork recipe in one of my  magazines he was anxious to try. After talking to him from work in the morning about his plans for the day and what he wanted for dinner, we decided pulled pork sounded real good. So off he went to the store.

When I got home from work later on Friday night, the house smelled soooo good! He was just in the midst of shredding the pork and mixing with the bbq sauce. After 20 minutes and stealing small bites for us and tastes for the cat and dog, dinner was ready. Mmmm it was good on a potato roll with a little added bbq sauce on top.

After dinner, Brad cleared out the crockpot and packed away the meat.  Doesn’t it look good!?

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After the pork was put away, he left he crockpot on the on the counter to cool before he soaked and washed it. Needless to say, we didn’t get too far after that and left the pot on the counter overnight (yeah gross I know). This morning I moved it over towards the sink as I was doing dishes and unloading/loading the dishwasher.

I had plans in the morning to grab coffee and do some shopping in downtown Saratoga with one of my co-workers who has never been! Off I went to shop, again forgetting about the crockpot.

About 4 hours later I came home and walked through the kitchen to get the dog out of her crate. As I stepped into the kitchen something caught my eye. What is that? What is the shiny glass near it? Did the cat knock a mug or glass off the counter? As my eyes move further back towards the counter, this is what I see….

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That’s right, the entire crockpot smashed to pieces on the floor. All the lovely glass (which I’m still stepping on) was from the cover. I was NOT a happy cat lover at this moment Steaming mad

I swept up most of the glass (need to sweep more obviously) and put the big pieces in the base.

This is how your crockpot should NOT look.

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But now I get to shop for a new one, that’s always fun! I eyed a couple at Target tonight and will look around more, maybe investing in a better model.

Anyone have any suggestions?

R.I.P Crockpot-  3/1/2007- 10/16/2010

Chicken Chickpea Chili

For a few weeks now (literally) I’ve been wanting to make this chili. The recipe is from one of my Weight Watcher cookbooks (New Complete Cookbook) and it is a little twist to your basic chili.

*makes 4 servings*

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green (I used orange) bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3/4-1lb ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (yeah I used 1 teaspoon by mistake, its got a little extra kick!)
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used close to 2 full cans, I heart chickpeas!)

 

Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven. Sauté bell peppers and onion until tender.

Look how colorful!

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Add in ground chicken and break up while stirring. Cook for another 5 minutes or until brown.

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Sprinkle flour, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook another minute. Then add tomatoes and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer 30-40 minutes. Finally add in chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Voila!

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Look at all those chickpeas and vegetables  mmmm!

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Meanwhile, the hubby was making us an apple pie! No recipe here. He used the one on the Pillsbury pie crust box. No home made crust or anything fancy tonight!

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And the finished product……. he seriously makes the best apple pies. I  Red heart my hubby.

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Now I clean up my mess and wait for the pie to cool before we dig in. This nice glass of wine is keeping us company while we wait … g’nite!

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Lazy Sunday and a easy dinner

Today was the perfect Sunday and it was perfect outside. I kind of regret not getting out to enjoy the day. I did venture out to buy some Fall candles thought @ Bath and Body Works to take advantage of the Columbus Day weekend sale!  Then I walked through Marshalls eyeing all the nifty kitchen items they have. I love their home section. I couldn’t help but notice all their CHRISTMAS items already?! I’m still buying and decorating for Fall and Halloween. I’m not ready for December yet!

Anyways, I came home and played it low key. Ok I’ll admit it, I did n-o-t-h-i-n-g for a majority of the afternoon and took a nap with the Abby Dog face Finally I got off my butt and was in a cooking mood! Though I made an easy dinner since I still had other things I wanted to make tonight.

Dinner was super easy…. and kind of lazy. (I told you it was a easy and lazy Sunday!)

I planned on making a simple meatloaf, but one problem. We couldn’t find our loaf pans. Strange since we used to have 2? Must remember to pick up more. Instead of meatloaf I decided on Meatloaf muffins!

 

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 package Lipton dry onion soup mix

Seriously, that’s it. Told you I was lazy.

Mix meat and soup mix together

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Next you simply fill a muffin pan….. with the meat mixture and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile I cut up some acorn squash I’ve been meaning to eat. I sliced it, brushed with oil and salt and pepper and baked.

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The finished product- (small) meatloaf muffins with a side of acorn squash topped with just a sprinkle of brown sugar. Yum Yum.

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Dinner as you saw was easy and lazy tonight. Though the hubby and I had plans to cook even more. Up next, Chicken Chickpea Chili and home made apple pie! I love the Fall In love

Apple Fest or Wine Fest?

I mentioned this morning, we (the hubby and I ) were off to spend the day together. Today was the Apple Festival at a local orchard, Goolds Orchards. I still have plenty of apples form when I met up some local bloggers for apple picking  few weeks ago so we definitely did not need anymore.  Did I mention that Goolds now has  winery, Brookview Station! There was a handful of other NY wineries there also. That was our main only point of interest today…..

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There were a handful of local wineries. We tried some at each and soo many I liked! Though they are local so if I did want them bad enough I could track em down!

This was the Brookview Station table. Here we picked up Sunset Charlie. A new wine from them and to us, it was great. We got 2 bottles Be right back

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Next we stopped at Tousey Winery. We never heard of them until today.  When we arrived at the table a British gentleman was running the table. I was in love as soon as he spoke.  Hubby offered for me to take a pic with him… but I passed. Instead I got a picture of the sign and then we splurged on a  bottle of nice Riesling. 

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Our last stop for our wine purchases was from Cascade Mountain Vineyard. A few years ago we purchased 2 small bottles of their dessert wine (Heavenly Daze) which is awesome. We still have one we’ve been saving. It’s the perfect mix of warmth- cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla stand out the most.  Today we found that they now make it in regular size bottle since it’s so popular. After one taste as a reminder of how much I love it, we got another bottle. The lady also told us about poaching peaches or pears in it mmmm or her friend made a glaze for pork. You can get I’m going to try one if not both of these! Then we picked up their newest wine, Summertide. Sweet, light and crisp.

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Here I am enjoying my last taste of the Tousey Riesling mmmm

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And what Apple Festival would be complete without apple cider donuts!

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Nom nom nom, I think apple cider donuts may be the best thing about the Fall. Yum!

We are now stocked on wine for the holidays. I’d have to say today was more of a Wine Fest for us rather than Apple!  I can’t wait to dig in to the new purchases. Especially to cook with the dessert wine. Yummmmm!

Sexing up the sprout

Yes, I actually just said that. I told you the British have an odd sense of humor. Check out this article Sexing up the Sprout.

 

Brad is home this weekend, yay. We finally get to spend more time together than 1-2 hours a night together. We are heading to an Apple Festival in a bit. NO more apples needed (I still have to post those pics and blog!) But wine tasting tent opens at 10am. We were the first one’s in the tent the first year they had the wine tent Rolling on the floor laughing hopefully we’ll come home with some new wines and old that we love. All local wineries!

Then hit up the crafters, check out the store and of course….. cinder donuts! Enjoy this beautiful Saturday!

Sprouts are the new black

…well according to my awesome book on Brussels Sprouts “The Sprout book- a Celebration of the humble Brussels Sprout” by Tess Read. Yes, it has arrived!!

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Oh you get bet your sprout (hardee har har) I’m going to have some good posts from this book. The author is from the UK so it’s got that good British humor. Ab Fab anyone?

I’ve just skimmed through half of the book and have been busting out laughing with some of the recipes (I just might have to attempt), to some ideas of what you can do with Brussels sprouts, to some of the odd fun facts!

did you know?

You get four times the amount of Vitamin C from a full cup of sprouts than you get from a whole orange?  I sure didn’t!

 

Brussels sprouts are apparently a big Christmas food in the UK.  Mainly because they are a winter vegetable that will grow in cold weather.  For tonight, I will leave you with this.

Q: What is the nations’ favorite wine at Christmas?

A: “Do I HAVE to heat all my Brussels sprouts?”

 

G’nite! Nyah-Nyah

Brussels Sprouts in Balsamic Vinegar

It’s here! My first sprout recipe. This will be is an epic moment!

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper

 

Start by trimming the stems and loose leaves from the sprouts.

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Next you will want to blanch the sprouts. Start by boiling the sprouts for about 5 minutes.

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Then drain and submerge under cold water to stop the cooking

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Heat olive oil in a frying pan and sauté onion and garlic until tender

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Enjoy a Pom and seltzer “spritzer” while cooking Rolling on the floor laughing

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Add the sprouts and cook to your liking. I probably cooked them about 10 minutes until the edges started to crisp a bit. mmm look how good those sprouts look!

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Add vinegar to pan and toss! I cooked for another minute or 2, topped with a little S & P and voila!

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Don’t they look so good you want to eat them through the screen?!!?

Final verdict: Yummm! The sprouts were cooked perfect! Why have I never blanched sprouts before? Only thing I would change is the amount of vinegar used. I ate these alone and the vinegar was a bit over powering. Maybe next time I’ll add some chicken or tofu to the pan when I add the sprouts and make one main meal with this recipe. Sounds like a winner!