Archive | November 2011

Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Bacon & Blue Cheese

As I was delivering a wholesale order to a local natural foods venue I walked past a stand with the recipe posted below.

I have never had mashed sweet potatoes before but this sounds so good!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Bacon & Blue Cheese


3 lbs. Sweet Potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
1 quart Chicken Broth
4 Tblspoons Butter, melted
1 cup Half & Half
3/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
6 slices Bacon, cooked & crumbled
Salt/Pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh Chives, chopped


Cook sweet potatoes in broth until tender. Drain excess liquid.

Mash with butter, half & half, cheese and bacon.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top with chives and serves.

Serves 6




Crockpot Split Pea Soup

Yea, Yea….I know what you’re thinking….
Pea Soup?

That’s what I thought growing up and would never touch the stuff. As we get older our tastes seem to change and before I knew it split pea soup is a regular during the winter.

I used to only make it on the weekends due to the long cook time but no more!

I found a recipe that uses the slower cooker!
Just throw it all in in the morning and it’s ready to eat when you get home!

We had ham over the weekend and there was a huge bone with lots of meat left over. I put the whole dang thing in the pot. My pea soup is not green but more brown. I’m assuming it’s because of the type of ham I used.

I also subbed out 1 can of chicken broth for part of the water.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup


1 (16 oz./450 grams) pkg. dried green or yellow split peas, rinsed
1 meaty hambone or 2 ham (pork) hocks (or you could use 2 cups of diced ham, in a pinch)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. seasoned salt or kosher salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
1 1/2 quarts hot water


Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given in the ingredient list. Pour in hot water. (Note: if you have a smaller slow cooker and all the water won’t fit, pour in what will fit then add the rest later as it cooks and water is absorbed by the peas). Do not stir the ingredients.

Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours (for best results) or on low for 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bones and bay leaf. Mash peas to thicken more, if desired. Serve garnished with croutons. This soup freezes well.

Serves 8.



Crockpot Caramel Apple Cider

Stephanie O’Dea (of Crockpot365 of course!)…you are my hero!!!

I LOVE Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Cider during the colder months. It’s actually a very hard decision sometimes….coffee (read: caffeine) or cider!

But now….thanks to Stephanie it just might not be a hard decision anymore when I can make the same thing at home!

Quick & Easy Caramel Apple Cider


4 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons caramel syrup (the ice cream topping)
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons sweetened whipped cream


Use a 2-quart slow cooker. Now this is sweet—I’ve modeled it after the stuff they serve at the store. After making it this way a few times, I’ve successfully cut back on the syrup without my kids (and their friends!) knowing—do what is right for your own family.

Mix it all in together—stir, and cook on low for about 4 hours. I like to put it on after I clean up the breakfast dishes and then leave it alone until our after-school snack. I’ve also made a large pot for Girl Scout events and playdates. The kids really like it, and it’s a nice change of pace from hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Leftovers refrigerate and reheat well (in the microwave).



Pumpkin Spice Latte

Another Crockpot365 recipe (you have GOT to check out her website!!!).

Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte


2 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 T canned pumpkin
2 T white sugar
2 T vanilla (not a typo. it asks for tablespoons)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
OR: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a teeny tiny pinch of ground ginger
1/2 cup brewed espresso or 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
garnish with whipped cream (optional)


This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit leftover. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 4-quart crockpot, but as small as a 1.5 quart will work with these amounts.

Add the coffee/espresso and milk to the crockpot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again.

Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon. I added a cinnamon stick to be fancy.



Korean Beef Tacos

I LOVE Crockpot365 and yesturday I was playing catch-up as I had not been on her website for quite some time!

Recipes are simple, quick and use relatively few ingredients.
Nothing I like more than to come home and have dinner already done!

Here is one that sounds absolutely scrumptious! I plan on giving this one a try in the next week or so.

Slow Cooker Shredded Korean Beef Tacos


3-4 pounds beef roast (I used a trimmed chuck roast)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari Wheat-Free are gluten free)
1 head garlic (peeled, but leave cloves intact–approx 10 cloves)
1/2 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 whole jalapeno, diced (be careful! use gloves!)


Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Okay. This truly can’t be any easier. I didn’t brown my meat, but I did trim off the visible fat. I can make these directions complicated and tell you to add this or that first,
but it honestly doesn’t matter. This is going to cook on low all day long, and the ingredients will distribute just fine all on their own. Throw everything in however you’d like.

Cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat has fully shredded— you can help it out by cutting the meat into pieces an hour or so before serving time. Serve in soft corn or flour tortillas (we are gluten free, and used tiny corn tortillas that are labeled gluten free) with shredded cabbage salad and white or brown rice.

This is how I made my shredded cabbage:
1 bag shredded coleslaw from the grocery store’s produce section
1 tablespoon soy sauce (la choy or tamari wheat-free)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
toss together and serve immediately (it gets too wilty if you make it early in the day)

Sounds good doesnt it!!!??