Monday, November 23, 2015

Crock Pot Stuffing

Do you call it stuffing or dressing? I got into this discussion with a friend recently and he said that he had studied the history of this side dish for his cookbook and found that dressing was cornbread based and stuffing is made with cubed white or wheat bread. I love food history like that! Either way you enjoy it - it is a comfort dish for many of us!
And let me tell you, it's even better when you add some Johnsonville ground Italian Sausage to it. Oh my gracious, it takes it to a whole 'nother level! No fussing with removing the casing from the sausage. You get all that yummy Johnsonville sausage but in a much easier form to work with when you need ground sausage. It's lightly seasoned with Italian seasonings and it adds just the right amount of flavor to the stuffing. And making it in the slow cooker keeps the stuffing moist and lets you get it going first thing on Thanksgiving morning. You just let it cook, then you can switch your slow cooker over to the warm setting until you are ready for your holiday dinner! This will become your new favorite way to make it! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crock Pot Apple Dump Cake

So, there was this one time I got to go to the CMA Awards...ok, it was just a few short weeks ago. But it was one of the best nights ever. Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I went to a live show of anything. Much less, music. To hear these amazing musicians sing and play live and actually sound good, gave me goosebumps. Music really should be enjoyed that way. It's one thing to hear it in your headphones but to experience it live takes your breath away. I mean, did y'all hear Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake's performance that night. Goose. Bumps. 
We went to Nashville to see the CMA's with our good friends from Martha White. They invited us to come along and join in on the fun along with the winners from their CMA promotion. Me and my foodie bff, Tina from Mommy's Kitchen, went along for the ride. They took us to RCA Studio B in Nashville. Thank goodness the building is still there. That is a music goldmine! Tons of hits from Elvis were recorded in there. I even got to sit my butt down on the same piano stool that he sat on to record his gospel albums. It was a moment, y'all. And of course, I had to show some love to my girl, Dolly. 
We also had a chance to meet up with some of our favorite folks while there. Linda Carman, from Southern Pantry and also the Martha White Test Kitchen Director for over 20 years, joined us. This woman is so talented and generous and loving. She is a natural teacher and I have learned so much about baking and cooking from her. Also in the photos below (along with me & Tina) is Rhonda Vincent. If you are a fan of bluegrass, you will know Rhonda. She travels all over the country with her band, The Rage, on the Martha White Express. She is the Queen of Bluegrass. This girl can play and sing and she's also one of the sweetest and kindest folks you'll ever meet. She works hard and laughs harder. Plus, we kinda bonded over tater tots. I mean, seriously, a girl who loves tater tots is my kinda gal. Amiright?
The night of the CMA's was truly breathtaking. I mean, literally, breathtaking. We avoided the elevator lines and decided to walk up the flights of steps to our seats. It was then I realized I probably should lay off so many tater tots. Shew! I had to pretend I was admiring some artwork in between levels so that I could catch my breath. Ha! And then I thought "What would Dolly do?" Dolly would keep on trucking up those steps. Who needs air anyways? So I did it. I made it up there. And it was totally worth it. And amazing. Have I said amazing yet? The lights, the music, some really great friends by my side. It was a night I'll never forget...
Special thank you to Martha White for making all this happen. Thank you for supporting independent writers and recipe creators like me and for supporting music creators and all those who dare to create and bring a little joy through food and music. So, in honor of Martha White and their humble beginnings, here is a humble and scrumptious recipe using their muffin mix as inspiration. Dump cakes may not have the prettiest name but they get it from the idea of dumping all the ingredients in and then letting it bake. They are some of the simplest but most scrumptious desserts you can make. Perfect for the holidays when oven space is at a premium!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Dinner - Weekend Potluck #197

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Crock Pot Ultimate Party Meatballs

If there is any food I love the most, it is party food. I am a total sucker for little bites of goodness. I guess it's because I am more of a grazer. I mean, I love my 3 square meals a day, but if I have the choice, I love to eat a little bit all throughout the day. That's why I get excited for tailgating or holiday parties. Lots of bite-sized goodness! I can just keep going back and eating here and there as the mood strikes.  
That's where the slow cooker comes in handy. You can use it to keep your party food warm. Just make and take! Plug it in when you get there and keep it on warm and let your guests serve themselves. For this recipe, I am making a homemade meatball. You can make these meatballs in advance and freeze them. Just put the meatballs on a tray in a single layer. Then put the tray in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can pack them up in a freezer safe bag and then when ready, put them in the crock pot with the sauce and cook for about 4-6 hours (it takes a little longer for them to cook from frozen.) 
So the one ingredient that is crucial to any meatball or meatloaf are the eggs. I'm using Eggland's Best eggs here. The eggs keep everything together. They bind all the other ingredients so the meatball holds it's shape.
But that doesn't mean we can't add a little nutrition in with our meatball filling. Eggland's Best eggs are produced locally near you so they aren't being trucked in from hundreds of miles away. AND, look at all the nutrition they pack (see image below). You aren't gonna get that in just any ole meatball. Your family will be getting in some good ole Omega 3's and not even know it!
For this particular recipe, I chose to make a larger meatball. Most cocktail meatballs are half this size. However, I'll be totally honest, I have no patience for rolling out meatballs. So I figured I would make these larger ones and each one would be perfect for two or three bites. You can certainly use a smaller scoop and you would be able to double the amount of meatballs. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

One Pan Little Potato & Sausage Bake

If there is one veggie I can get my son to eat, it's potatoes. He absolutely adores them (just like his Momma!) So, I found that a great way to get him to try new foods is to add potatoes into the mix. Especially these Little Potatoes. They are bite-sized, simple to prepare (you don't even need to boil them first!) and they go great with anything. For this recipe, I wanted to make it a whole, one pan meal. So I added smoked sausage (another kiddo-favorite) and I decided to go with these colorful varietals called Terrific Trio. Look how pretty they are! Who wouldn't want to eat such a colorful meal?!
And, I let my son help me prepare it all. It's super simple for little and big ones to help. Plus, he gets a bit of a math education as I show him how measurement works in cooking and we talk about fractions (which still makes my brain hurt!) But nevertheless, when kids help prepare their own food, it not only teaches them how to cook but it makes them more likely to try new foods because they help to make the meal!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...