Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork In Slow Cooker

This melt in your mouth pulled pork has the perfect balance of flavor, sweet, tart, a little tang the best part of this is the balsamic vinegar, it makes the pork so tender then the addition of the sweet brown sugar, garlic, Dijon mustard and ketchup all of these flavors make a different delicious melt in your mouth pulled pork. Then grab your favorite buns and place this pulled pork on the bun and I love it
topped with Cole slaw and you have a great meal. Make some French fries on the side. This is perfect for anyone, even for working people you simply put the pork in the slow cooker in the morning and when you get home you simply make the sauce in about 20-25 minutes and your dinner is done, I always love making this and taking a little out for myself for leftovers for the next day for my lunch.  instead of the ordinary barbecue sauce, I like this recipe much more then the regular BBQ sauce that I make, I just love all of the flavors that when they come together yumm..I saw this recipe and when I see balsamic vinegar I am a huge fan, after my recent post about making my own balsamic glaze it became so sweet and I loved it. It became an entire new flavor I never had before.

  • 2 1/2 - 3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup onion, chopped about 1 yellow onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hamburger buns
  • Optional But we love it:
  • Homemade Coleslaw or prepared: to make homemade coleslaw purchase a bag of dole coleslaw mix, pour into a large bowl, add 1 cup of mayonnaise to the coleslaw mix (you can add another 2 Tablespoons if needed) add to the coleslaw, then stir until combined, then in a small bowl add 1/4 cup vinegar and 2 Tablespoons sugar and whisk together then and add to the coleslaw and stir to combine, add a few dashes of pepper then refrigerate in a storage container until ready to use. 
  • 1. Prepare your crockpot, plug in place on low, then trim some of the  fat from pork roast then place roast in a slow cooker and pour broth over top. Place on top of the roast the onions, thyme rosemary and lightly sprinkle with pepper. Cover and cook on LOW 8 - 9 hours or HIGH 4 1/2 hours. 
  • 2. Meanwhile during the last 30 minutes while the roast is cooking.
  • 3. In a medium saucepan add and whisk together balsamic vinegar, ketchup, honey, brown sugar, worcestershire, mustard, garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil whisking constantly over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring and whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened about 20 - 25 minutes.
  • 4. Remove pork from slow cooker, shred with two forks while removing the fat and discard. Drain onions and broth from slow cooker and discard then place slow cooker on warm, and return shredded pork to slow cooker. Pour in balsamic sauce mixture and toss to evenly coat. Serve in buns with coleslaw if desired. 

  • recipe and photo source from:http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/10/slow-cooker-balsamic-honey-pulled-pork-sandwiches-giveaway/
  • Recipe Source: adapted from BHG

Monday, January 25, 2016

Citrus Chicken Tenders

This simple citrus chicken has such great flavor from the orange and lemon, you have seared browned chicken in a buttery garlic sauce then paired with the citrus is a perfect combination, so simple to make just grab a few nice oranges and lemons and you have a easy meal that will be on the table in less than 30 minutes. The balance of these ingredients is perfect, great to make for a family dinner or a crowd. 

I saw this recipe and had to try it right away, that's what is on the table for dinner tonight with some basmati rice and some fresh asparagus would go perfect with this dish. This is a nice refreshing meal, not heavy just the perfect balance. It also makes a great presentation with all of the beautiful colors of fresh fruit and green from fresh parsley. 

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest 
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1. In a large skillet add the olive oil over medium high heat. Then season both sides of chicken tenders with salt and pepper and (cook the chicken in 2 batches, you want nice brown seared chicken and do not want to crowd the pan with all of the chicken so cook in batches) add half of the chicken tenderloins to the skillet and cook about 2 - 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and then cook remaining half of the chicken tenders. Remove remaining chicken from skillet and transfer to the plate with the other chicken tenders. 
  • 2. In same skillet now melt 1 Tablespoon of butter into the empty skillet then add garlic and saute 15-30 seconds or until just fragrant, then add flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Slowly pour in chicken broth, orange juice and lemon juice while whisking and scrapping up browned bits from bottom of pan and whisking constantly. Allow mixture to simmer, stirring frequently about 3 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter with orange and lemon zest. Return chicken to skillet, with a spoon ladle sauce to make sure all of the chicken is covered  with sauce and sprinkle with parsley the serve hot. 

  • Recipe slightly adapted and photo source:http://www.cookingclassy.com/2016/01/skillet-citrus-chicken-tenders/#more-22813
  • Cooking Classy used Recipe source: slightly adapted from Cook's Illustrated 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chicken With Creamy Mushroom Sauce

This chicken dish has a perfect moist and tender chicken breast on the inside and perfectly browned on the outside, then a creamy sauce with mushrooms, garlic, just the perfect amount of Parmesan cheese, with thyme and oregano. This chicken paired with this creamy mushroom sauce is the perfect easy dish to make for a crowd or a simple dinner that you will all love, I found this recipe and knew we would love it. Even if someone in your house does not love mushrooms the sauce and chicken alone is so good that you will reel them all in to eat, ( okay if your kids will not eat the mushrooms, just take them out of their dish, no big deal)

So what is everyone doing in this major snowstorm, well I am snowed in and planning to bake and cook all weekend why not try some new recipes and some favorites. For one I made this chicken last night, with also a big pot of chili, and today my all time favorite cheddar corn chowder with corn, potatoes, onions, topped with the cheddar cheese and bacon, yes bacon everything is better with bacon, and this soup is to die for it's the best soup I ever made, I have been making it for years, the recipe is on my blog you can search for it in the search window, then making another favorite stuffed pepper soup, recipe also on my blog, with some homemade cornbread. Also for some snacks and desserts buffalo chicken monkey bread, omg, I will post that recipe, and chili cheddar and cream cheese dip, with scoops to grab that delicious dip. And will try some muddy buddy recipes, pound cake, crumb cake, and I will find some others to try out, perfect time to blog and bake.


  • 4-5 chicken cutlets
  • 1/2-1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 10-12 ounces cremini or baby Bella  mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus 2 Tablespoons 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnishing


  • 1. In a medium shallow baking dish add the flour salt and pepper, then whisk together.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. 
  • 2. Using a fork, place the chicken in the flour mixture and dredge both sides each piece of chicken then place in hot oil in skillet. Cook until bottom is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook other side, reducing temperature just a little bit if to hot, cook about 4-6 minutes or until golden brown on bottom and chicken is fully cooked. Place chicken onto a plate on stovetop to keep warm. Keep the skillet on the stove but shut the heat because you will be using that skillet again, do not clean because you want the delicious brown bits on the bottom of the pan, that is where all the best flavor is.
  • 3. In a seperate skillet while the chicken is cooking, melt butter over medium heat then add mushrooms and garlic and saute until mushrooms just begin to soften, about 3 -4 minutes or until soft and have a slightly golden color.
  • 4. Heat the skillet again that you cooked the chicken in on medium high heat and add 1 1/4 cups of the chicken broth into skillet, while scraping and whisking all of the browned bites from the bottom. Add mushroom mixture to broth in skillet as well as thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and let simmer until reduced by about 1/2, about 4 - 5 minutes.
  • 5. Whisk together 1 tablespoon broth with cornstarch. Pour into chicken broth mixture in skillet and allow to gently boil, while whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Stir in parmesan cheese and cream, season with pepper if needed, also if needed salt (taste first you may not need because broth still has salt), then return return chicken to skillet, spooning all of the gravy and the mushrooms over the chicken, remove from heat and serve on platter or plate and then garnish with parsley and serve chicken while hot, then after on the platter pour the rest of the sauce and mushrooms mixture over the top. Serve with rice, pasta. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddy Mix

This muddy buddy mix is the perfect treat, with eat bite you bite into a layer of fluffy powdered sugar, then a rich chocolaty, peanut butter then the crunch of the cereal that gives this treat layers of flavors when you take a bite. How could something so super easy with few ingredients be so good and yet so easy, it's just so good.

There is a trick to making this because literally everyone has made or eaten muddy buddy mix so many ways to make this, the most important is your ratio of your ingredients to the cereal, you without a doubt need a lot of powdered sugar, two cups for me are good but you can add more if needed.

This treat literally takes 5 minutes to make and from the taste of it you would think you spent a long time making this, It happens to be our favorite snack, great for kids snacks, grab a handful and take in the car, perfect for company, football games, make a bunch of different kinds of muddy buddy mix and place it on the table and let everyone enjoy all the different varieties. Their are endless recipes for Muddy Buddy mix, you can also find on my blog. I think my favorite is the Cinnamon And Churro and cookies and cream, and I can go on and on.
I should have named my blog cinnamon and sugar, because they are the most wonderful foods on earth to me. If I could I would and I actually do put cinnamon on mostly everything I eat, sugar well I love sugar.

9 cups rice Chex cereal
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Place 2 cookie sheets on counter and place 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper on the cookie sheets and set aside.
1. In a large bowl add all of the Chex cereal and set aside
2. In a large storage bag place the powdered sugar and set aside
3. In a medium sized microwave proof bowl combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter,  then microwave for 1 minute, remove from microwave and stir with a spatula. If needed place back in microwave for 20 seconds and stir until completely smooth, after the chocolate mixture is completely melted add the vanilla extract and stir until it's all combined.
3. Place the chocolate mixture all over the Chex mix and gently with a spatula stir to completely coat all of the cereal.
4. After the cereal is all coated with the mixture, pour into the bag with the powdered sugar, seal the bag and shake, shake, shake. Gently turn bag upside down and back and fourth to get all of the cereal coated. Place on the 2 cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper until set. After it is set and cooled place into a airtight container and enjoy.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Balsamic Glazed Avocado Caprese Chicken

This amazing Caprese chicken made with fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, basil is great enough on its own, but placing a avocado, then a balsamic glaze on top just adds this great dish into something incredible. The chicken is seared to perfection in Italian seasonings, then on top a slice of avocado that is just so creamy( by the way if you do not like avocados you will in this dish, they just blend in so perfectly) it may be because your putting a delicious balsamic glaze on it, and topping it with fresh basil, oh boy is this dish so good..and the presentation is very impressive if I do say so myself, when I served it the family said wow..
And by the way I had no idea first how to make a balsamic glaze and when I found out you simply put 1 cup in a pan on medium- high heat until boiling then to a simmer, and then simmer for about 5-8 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon and reduces to half, while your house is going to smell like vinegar for the first few minutes, then all of the sudden a sweet wow glaze is made from 1 ingredient, did anyone know it's that easy to make, well I didn't, actually I rarely use balsamic glaze but I will now, it is the best, I made some pasta on the side and the sauce dripped off the chicken onto the pasta, and the rest of the pasta I ate with the pasta. So there is my theory on glazed balsamic sauce, AMAZING!!!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets 
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
  • 4 avocado slices, large avocado's
  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • **4 Tablespoons balsamic glaze on each chicken, if purchasing from the store already made, ( if making homemade drizzle about 2 Tablespoons on each chicken) recipe below
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil ribbons, to top each chicken breast before serving 
  • **Quick and easy homemade balsamic glaze:
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

  • For homemade balsamic glaze: 
  • 1. In a non stick small/medium saute pan place the balsamic vinegar in the pan, on medium high heat stirring constantly with a spatula bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook and reduce to half, for about 4-6 minutes until you see the vinegar become thicker, not to thick, just until it sticks to the back of a spoon. It becomes sweet and delicious..

  • 1. In a bowl mix together garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of each chicken cutlet. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • 2. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 4 - 5 minutes. Rotate and cook opposite side until chicken has nearly cooked though, reducing burner temperature just slightly if needed, about 4 - 5 minutes, depending on thickness, then add two slices of mozzarella to the top each cutlet, followed by one avocado slice, and 1 - 2 tomato slices. Cover pan with lid, return to heat and allow to cook 2-4 minutes longer until cheese has melted and chicken is cooked.
  • 3. Sprinkle chicken with pepper, drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Honey Roasted Almond Butter

This roasted almond butter is so good, a few ingredients and you have your own fresh almond butter,
great for toast, dip strawberries or apples. So creamy, and just that hint of honey comes through with every spoonful, great way for you and your kids to get your fiber, protein, and vitamins while loving it. I used this almond butter to make the amazing pumpkin seed spiced cranberry snack bars, which by the way you have to try those also. Here is that recipe. http://cookiescrumbsandchickens.blogspot.com/2016/01/pumpkin-seed-spiced-cranberry-snack-bars.htmlThis is so good, you will find yourself eating right out of the jar, and that's okay because it's good for you. So simple no artificial ingredients simply honey roasted almond.

  • 3 cups raw almonds, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, then more to taste if desired 

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl whisk together melted coconut oil, 3 Tablespoons honey and 1/8 tsp salt until well combined. Place almonds in a large mixing bowl then pour honey mixture over almonds and toss to evenly coat. 
  • 2. Spread almonds into an even layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner, using a spatula scrape all the sides of the bowl completely to get all of the honey and then coat the almonds what is left from the bowl. Bake in preheated oven 14 - 15 minutes until nicely roasted, tossing once halfway through. Cool completely, about 20-30 minutes.
  • 3. Pour almonds (and any honey mixture what is left from baking mat) into a food processor. Pulse until ground into butter, stopping and scrapping down sides and bottom of mixer every few minutes (processing time will vary depending on food processor models. It will take anywhere from 8 - 20 minutes). Near end of mixing, if more sweetness is desired add up to 1 Tbsp honey and another pinch or two of salt as desired, taste first before adding anything. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for 3 weeks or longer. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pumpkin Seed Spiced Cranberry Snack Bars

These bars are the ultimate snack healthy bar, with the best ingredients, honey, almonds, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds ( Pepitas), almond flour, and almond butter, and this have that amazing pumpkin spice added to it, it's just right, the best bar to keep you going for the day, you can wrap them individually and grab and go, or keep them on your counter and eat one a day, but I can promise you this. You can't eat just one. I have to say I will try to never buy a nut bar snack, these are like the Kind bars, and you can make these right at home in no time, so easy to make just placing in a bowl baking and letting them cool, the prep work is very simple. I went onto Sally's Baking Addiction and found and made this recipe and just keep making them, I always have these ingredients on hand, we love nuts, dried fruit, almond butter, and even if you grab the ingredients once you can get a few batches out of these, thank you for this amazing recipe we love it and I know you all will..

I am going to try to develop and make some new recipes for snack bars, I seem to be always running to stores to buy them, when I have been thinking about it, you can simply come up with your favorites and make them into snack bars without all the preservatives just healthy simple snack or granola bars. Also today going to make my favorite of all times, my cinnamon pecans, they are so so good, you can just eat handfuls of them and before you know it they are gone, I have made them so many times I can make them with my eyes closed, I will post the recipe today.. Also made a tender juicy London Broil, with my marinate that I have been using for years, I can't believe I never posted it yet, but last night I made it, perfection so keep an eye out for that recipe today also..Have a great day..


  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond meal or homemade ground almonds into a flour, just pulse until powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 and 1/3 cups whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (shelled pumpkin seeds) salted pepitas

  1. Preheat oven to 300 and line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and almond butter together until combined. Fold in the almonds, dried cranberries, and pepitas until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. Pack it in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour, covered. This helps firm up the bars which makes them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so the refrigerator may be better, see how you like them.
  4. Make ahead tip: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Crockpot Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup

This creamy tomato basil tortellini soup is so delicious, the best part of this soup is the addition of the sweetness from the carrots, you do not actually taste carrots it's the taste that people say, hmm what is that in the soup that makes it so good, it's the sweet carrots that take away the acidly from the tomato's, plus it also makes it a beautiful color, then the garlic, onion, are added you will get just the perfect amount, not to much but just enough to make this soup so good, then it's always best with the addition of a fresh herb and the fresh basil is the perfect addition, this is not your ordinary tomato soup, I hate canned tomato soup but this with the cream makes this a creamy soup
I am sure everyone grew up on canned tomato soup, with some grilled cheese, well no more bump it up with all of these fresh ingredients and the cheesy tortellini yumm..Have some nice Italian bread and you will love this. I love after I found this recipe..

  • 1 3/4 cup diced carrots about 3-4 large 
  • 1 3/4 cup diced yellow onion 1 large
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (28 oz) cans whole Roma tomatoes
  • 1 (32 oz) carton vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces three cheese tortellini
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan, shredded, for serving
  • 1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion and saute 3 - 4 minutes, add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes longer. Pour mixture into a 6 or 7 quart crock pot along with tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil, bay leaves, sugar. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW 6 - 7 hours or HIGH 3 - 3 1/2 hours.
  • 2. Remove bay leaves then puree mixture well with an emulsion blender (or carefully in small batches in a blender. If your slow cooker doesn't keep all the moisture in well while cooking, you may need to add in 1/2 cup water or so at this point so the soup isn't too thick). Stir in tortellini, cover and cook on HIGH heat 15 minutes longer (or until heated through). Reduce heat to warm, stir in heavy cream. Serve topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil to taste.