The Perfect March Madness Dish – Crock Pot Meatballs

March Madness marks one of my favorite times of year.  No; it’s not football.  But it’s college hoops at its finest!  It never matters which two teams are facing off against each other… it could be a Cinderella (a team that was lucky to receive an invitation to The Big Dance as it’s called) versus one of the top ranked teams expected to win it all… the games are fantastic.  Rarely is there a blowout; often times there’s a buzzer beater; and there’s almost always a handful of upsets, making the first weekend of the tournament a truly exciting time for any sports enthusiast.

So, what goes great with March Madness?

Meatballs!!

Sweet & Tangy Meatball Ingredients

First, what’s needed:

1 – bag of frozen Swedish meatballs (we used a 2lb bag of Great Value meatballs)
2 – 12 oz bottles of chili sauce
1 – large jar of grape jelly

Now let’s cook:

Dump in the crock pot.  Yep!  Dump all three ingredients and stir until the meatballs are completely covered.

Cook on high for two hours or low for four.

Sweet & Tangy Crock Pot Meatballs

This is some serious yum here, folks.  I know the combination of ingredients sounds funky, but we didn’t have one single meatball left last time we made this.

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other easy meatball recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original recipe found on this site:

http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2011/12/crockpot-meatballs/

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

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Football Foods – Crock Pot Buffalo Wings

Football is here!!

This means it’s not only time to watch our favorite teams kick off, but also time for those special foods that we make specifically for football games.

But first… baby feet in football shoes!

Baby Football Feet

Now onto the food…

Buffalo Wings!!

Crock Pot/Baked Buffalo Wings

I’ve posted this recipe before, but it’s worth the share again.  Especially since my guy and I love these wings so much we’ve made them the past two weekends for Texas Tech football!

I first found this recipe via AllRecipes.com for the Super Bowl, and luckily my wings were a much bigger hit than the game itself this year…

My guy and I aren’t big on frying foods.  We’ll eat ‘em when we go out on occasion, but we tend to stay away from making fried foods in our house.  Which is why this recipe was very intriguing to us both.  It’s not fried AND it uses the crock pot!  I do love my crock pot…

First, what’s needed:

1 – 4 lb bag of frozen chicken wings, thawed
2 – 12 oz bottles of wing sauce (we used Frank’s Red Hot)
1 cup of melted butter
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder

Now let’s cook:

In a saucepan, combine one of the 12-oz bottles of wing sauce, ½ cup of melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Heat sauce over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.

Place chicken wings in the crock pot and pour the sauce mixture over them.

Cook on high for two hours.

Reduce heat to low and cook for another two hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a large baking sheet.  We sprayed with Olive Oil Cooking Spray.

Spread the wings onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven until the wings are crisp and brown (for about thirty minutes).

Meanwhile, melt the other ½ cup of butter with the other 12-oz bottle of wing sauce in a small saucepan and simmer until thickened (about twenty minutes).

Brush sauce onto wings before serving.

Also serve with ranch and/or blue cheese.

This is some serious yum here, folks.  The meat just falls off the bone.

My pan after ten minutes... all wings gone!

And before anyone says, “But I like crispy wings…”  These slow-cooked and baked wings are crispy!!  We don’t always have to fry for the crisp.  Just sayin’.

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other easy wing recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original recipe found on this site:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/awesome-slow-cooker-buffalo-wings/

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Freezer Meals – Mediterranean Pork

Freezer Meal Time!

I’ve mentioned in my last few posts that these adorable monkey feet and adjusting to parenthood have made it very difficult for me to stand in the kitchen and prepare a nice and healthy meal each night.

I mean, c’mon…

Adorable FeetSock Monkey FeetObviously, I’d much rather enjoy every moment I can with my little guy (and take pictures of his feet!). Enter the freezer meal…

Today – Mediterranean Pork.

Freezer Meals – Mediterranean Pork What’s a freezer meal?

A meal that is prepped and frozen prior to cooking all day in the crock pot. Pretty simple, right?

Well, without a doubt, they are lifesavers! But are they any good? Round one (pot roast) proved successful! So let’s move on to the next one…

First, the supplies:

Large Freezer Bags (gallon)
Marker (permanent wouldn’t hurt)
Vacuum Seal (not necessary, but definitely an added bonus. We LOVE ours and use it all the time)

Next, the ingredients:

6-8 Pork chops
1 Sweet potato (although we used two the first time and three large sweet potatoes the second time)
½ Cup of olive oil
2 Cups of chicken Stock (we used three to four, unmeasured because of the extra sweet potatoes to ensure we had enough liquid)
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped (we always tend to use extra here too because we love the stuff)
2 Tablespoons of paprika
2 Tablespoons of chicken seasoning (we used Montreal Chicken)
2 Tablespoons of dried oregano
2 Tablespoons of dried basil (we used fresh basil because we grow it out back)

Before we begin:

Write the name of the dish and all of the ingredients on the freezer bag/s in permanent marker. Include the cooking instructions. Don’t assume you will remember later on. We may *think* we’ll remember later, but probably not.

Prep Instructions:

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Chop or slice the garlic cloves.

Mix the sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil and all the seasonings together in a large bowl.

And finally, bag the food. If necessary, use two separate freezer bags… one for the sweet potato mixture and one for the pork.   I didn’t add the chicken stock until I was ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw the pork and sweet potatoes overnight in the fridge. The next day, dump everything in the crock pot (I love crock pot dishes!!). Pour in the chicken stock. I like to add a little of the stock before I put the food in and then pour the rest over the top, but people say I’m weird.

Cook on low for eight hours.

But is it any good?

Delicious! We’ve already made this dish twice. And I have a feeling we’ll have it again soon…

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://kleinsis.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/its-nearly-time-lets-pepare/

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Freezer Meals – Pot Roast

Adjusting to parenthood is not easy.  But it’s wonderful. Really. I’m totally in love. How could one not be? Just look at these feet… toe curls!

Baby O Toe CurlsHowever, if I thought time moved fast before the baby was born, I was sadly mistaken.  The past six weeks have FLOWN by (yet have been the longest six weeks of my life). Every time I turn around, the day is gone and I’ve accomplished nothing besides feeding and entertaining the baby… with the occasional completion of a load of laundry. Heck, I’m lucky if I take a shower. Correction—my guy is lucky if I take a shower. Hahahaha.

But seriously…

If we didn’t have pre-prepared foods right now, my guy and I might starve half the time. After all, feeding the baby comes first… right?

So in order to ensure we had meals in the house that didn’t require a lot of time out of my day, I found some freezer meals via Pinterest to check out. That, and our fabulous friends and family have kept us well fed… (thanks, everyone!!).

But for the sake of today’s post (and a few future posts), I’m focusing on the frozen meals.

Today – pot roast.

Freezer Meals - Pot RoastWhat’s a freezer meal?

A meal that is prepped and frozen prior to cooking all day in the crock pot. Pretty simple, right?

Well, without a doubt, they are lifesavers! Since the baby, I barely have enough time to brush my teeth on some days, let alone stand in the kitchen and cut vegetables for a nice and healthy dinner. So after seeing some freezer meals on Pinterest, I thought it surely wouldn’t hurt to give them a try—and my guy agreed.

First, the supplies:

Large Freezer Bags (gallon)
Marker (permanent wouldn’t hurt)
Vacuum Seal (not necessary, but definitely an added bonus. We LOVE ours and use it all the time)

Next, the ingredients:

1 Eye of Round Roast
1 Packet of Dry Pot Roast Seasoning
1 Bag of Mini Carrots (I LIVED on these things during my pregnancy…)
4-5 (Russet) Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped
1 Onion, Quartered/Chopped in Chunks

Before we begin:

Write the name of the dish and all of the ingredients on the freezer bag/s in permanent marker. Include the cooking instructions. Don’t assume you will remember later on. We may *think* we’ll remember later, but probably not.

Prep Instructions:

Wash and dry the carrots. Peel and chop the potatoes. Cut the onion.

And finally, bag the food. If necessary, use two separate freezer bags… one for the veggies and one for the roast.  I sprinkled the dry roast seasoning all over the veggies, but you can also add later when you are ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw the roast and veggies overnight in the fridge. The next day, dump the roast and veggies in the crock pot (I love crock pot dishes!!). Fill the crock pot about ½ way with water. If you didn’t already sprinkle the dry roast seasoning over the veggies before freezing, do so now.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

But is it any good?

We thought so! Only next time, we’re adding chunks of chopped celery. We both agreed that would make the dinner taste even better!

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://freebies2deals.com/2012/08/frozen-crock-pot-meals-save-money-and-save-time.html

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Not Just a St. Patty’s Day Food – Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick’s Day means a couple of things in our house… it’s a day to wear green or get pinched, a lot; it’s a day to treat ourselves to a green beer or two, or maybe a Guinness; and it’s a day to enjoy one of our favorite Irish dishes—Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Corned Beef and CabbageActually, tons of families eat this popular dinner to celebrate St. Patty’s Day… but why limit ourselves with this delish dish only once a year? Corned Beef and Cabbage is not only yummy, but it’s easy to make and it is actually very healthy for us… not to mention, it makes a ton, perfect for leftovers. And who doesn’t like leftovers?

Now, I’m sure there are multiple ways to make Corned Beef and Cabbage, but here’s how we do it:

First, what’s needed:

Corned Beef Roast, prepackaged with a seasoning packet (any size, depends on how much you want)
2-4 Cans of beer (any flavor, we usually use whatever domestic is in the fridge… like Miller Lite)
Bag of baby carrots, washed and dried
Bag of red potatoes, washed, quartered, and punctured with a fork
Head of cabbage
Extra pickling spice

Now let’s cook:

First, you’ll need a roaster. It can be a disposable foil roaster, a heavy-duty oven roaster, or a countertop roaster oven.   Thanks to my parents, we use a GE countertop roaster oven. It’s amazing how much cooler my kitchen is when cooking a dish all day in the countertop oven versus using my gas oven for hours…

Pour the beer in the roaster oven until the bottom is covered. The quantity of beer will depend on the size of the roaster.

Place the Corned Beef Roast—fat down—in the oven with a tiny bit of the natural juice from the package.

Sprinkle the packaged seasoning over the meat and then add some extra pickling spice as desired.

Pour another beer or two over the meat. The meat doesn’t need to be covered, but we usually want the beer level to be about half an inch up on all sides of the roast. If the liquid dissolves while cooking, add water. But in using so much beer, we rarely (if ever) have to add water while cooking.

Corned BeefCover with foil (if using a foil roaster) or lid and cook at 350 degrees for a couple of hours… usually thirty minutes per pound works great.

Sprinkle in the carrots and potatoes in the juice surrounding the roast after about two hours. Cover again with the foil or the lid and cook for another hour or two.

Corned Beef, Carrots, and PotatoesTurn the heat down to 250 degrees. At this point, I usually puncture the carrots and potatoes with a fork.  If hard, obviously they need to cook longer.

About an hour before you’re ready to eat, core the cabbage and cover the entire meal with the cabbage. Season with pepper, cover, and cook.

Corned Beef and CabbageServe with toasted pumpernickel bread and butter. This is some serious yum here, folks.

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other holiday recipes that are good year-round to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

The Perfect March Madness Dish – Slow-Cooked Buffalo Wings

March Madness marks one of my favorite times of year.  No; it’s not football.  But it’s college hoops at its finest!  It never matters which two teams are facing off against each other… it could be a Cinderella (a team that was lucky to receive an invitation to The Big Dance as it’s called) versus one of the top ranked teams expected to win it all… the games are fantastic.  Rarely is there a blowout; often times there’s a buzzer beater; and there’s almost always a handful of upsets, making the first weekend of the tournament a truly exciting time for any sports enthusiast.

So, what goes great with March Madness?

Buffalo Wings!!

Crock Pot/Baked Buffalo Wings
The finished product…

I first found this recipe via AllRecipes.com for the Super Bowl, and luckily my wings were a much bigger hit than the game itself this year…

Now, my guy and I aren’t big on frying foods.  We’ll eat ‘em when we go out on occasion, but we tend to stay away from making fried foods in our house.  Which is why this recipe was very intriguing to us both.  It’s not fried AND it uses the crock pot!  I do love my crock pot…

First, what’s needed:

1 – 4 lb bag of frozen chicken wings, thawed
2 – 12 oz bottles of wing sauce (we used Frank’s Red Hot)
1 cup of melted butter
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder

Now let’s cook:

In a saucepan, combine one of the 12-oz bottles of wing sauce, ½ cup of melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Heat sauce over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.

Place chicken wings in the crock pot and pour the sauce mixture over them.

Cook on high for two hours.

Reduce heat to low and cook for another two hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a large baking sheet.  We sprayed with Olive Oil Cooking Spray.

Spread the wings onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven until the wings are crisp and brown (for about thirty minutes).

Meanwhile, melt the other ½ cup of butter with the other 12-oz bottle of wing sauce in a small saucepan and simmer until thickened (about twenty minutes).

Brush sauce onto wings before serving.

Also serve with ranch and/or blue cheese.

This is some serious yum here, folks.  The meat just falls off the bone.

My pan after ten minutes... all wings gone!
My pan after ten minutes… all wings gone!

And before anyone says, “But I like crispy wings…”  These slow-cooked and baked wings are crispy!!  We don’t always have to fry for the crisp.  Just sayin’.

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other easy wing recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original recipe found on this site:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/awesome-slow-cooker-buffalo-wings/

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Tasty Breakfast Recipe – Blueberry Croissant Puff

My in-laws visited earlier this month and I wanted a breakfast that we could just pull out of the fridge and warm up.  For one, I’m lazy and anything easy I’m all for.  But also, we like to sleep in and realize that our guests don’t always keep the same sleeping schedule as we do.

Enter Pinterest.

Blueberry Croissant PuffI saw this Blueberry Croissant Puff recipe a while ago and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make it.  And man, I’m glad I did!

First, what’s needed:

3 large croissants, cut up into bite size pieces (about 5 – 5 ½ cups)
* I bought the Great Value Wal-Mart brand croissants and baked them up before tearing them apart.
** Plus I used all of it, making a double batch.
1 cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries
* I didn’t measure; I just used an entire (large) container of blueberries.
1 package (8 oz.) of cream cheese, softened
* I doubled up.
2/3 cup of sugar
* I did NOT double up here.  It seemed like it would be too much sugar if I did.
**Turns out, it worked just fine with only ½ of the required sugar…
2 eggs
* I doubled up.
1 teaspoon of vanilla
* guess what?  I doubled up.
1 cup of milk
* I doubled up.  Surprise!

Now let’s cook:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place croissant pieces in a 9X13 baking pan.  If not doubling up on everything like I did, go ahead and use a 9-inch square pan.

Sprinkle with blueberries.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended.

Gradually add the milk, beating well along the way.

Pour evenly over the croissant pieces and blueberries.

Let stand 20 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until set in the center and golden brown.  Cover it with foil the last 10 minutes if the tops are getting too browned.

Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Although, we skipped the powdered sugar bit…

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other easy breakfast recipes to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2013/02/blueberry-croissant-puff.html

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.