Friday, April 11, 2014

slow-cooker barbacoa beef

I am sooooo excited to share this recipe with you!  It was our hands-down favorite recipe to review from Gooseberry Patch's 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes. Have you entered to win it yet?  It's so good!

We've always loved going to Chipotle and getting the barbacoa beef, but we don't live near one anymore.  This recipe has just as much flavor and is so easy!  We didn't even need all of the add-ons of sour cream, salsa, and cheese - it had enough flavor on its own.

These beef was great in tortillas, over a bed of salad greens, or on top of rice.  Heck, I was eating it straight from the slow cooker.  This is a new favorite at our house - I'm sure it will be at yours, too!

Slow-Cooker Barbacoa Beef
3 to 4 pound beef chuck roast
3 bay leaves
1 cup cider vinegar
juice of 2 limes
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 cloves garlic
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. dried oregano
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 cup chicken broth
flour tortillas
Garnish: shredded Colby Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole

Place roast and bay leaves in a large slow cooker.  In a food processor or blender, combine vinegar, lime juice, peppers, garlic, and seasonings.  Process on high until smooth.  Pour vinegar mixture and broth over roast.  Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours, until roast is very tender.  Shred beef with 2 forks; return to juices in slow cooker.  Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.  Serves 8.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

split pea soup

Here's another delicious and easy recipe from Gooseberry Patch's latest - 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes!  You MUST enter to win this book - go here for the giveaway!

Honestly, I didn't know what I was going to think about this one.  I decided to try it because it only called for a few ingredients and seemed relatively inexpensive.  Split pea soup has never seemed all that appetizing to me, otherwise.  But I really don't know why I doubted - this soup is great!

Because it's got ham in it, it's a full meal.  There is so much fiber and nutrients packed in, that I felt great about feeding it to my toddler.  And it was easy to customize - I swirled some sour cream in my husband's and topped mine with a bit of bacon.  Mmmmmmmm.........

Split Pea Soup
from Gooseberry Patch's Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes
1 lb. cooked ham, diced
1 lb. carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 12-oz. packages dried split peas
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ham, carrots and onion in a freezer-safe container.  Refrigerate overnight, or freeze until ready to cook.

To cook: Thaw ham mixture overnight in refrigerator if frozen.  Combine thawed ham mixture and dried peas in a slow cooker.  Add enough water to cover.  Cover and cook on high setting for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender and soup becomes very thick.  Add additional water to reach desired consistency, if desired; season with salt and pepper.  Serves 8 to 10.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

101 super-easy slow-cooker recipes | review and giveaway

I may have just reviewed a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, but who says I can't go straight into reviewing another?  That's right!  Here's another review and giveaway (see bottom of post) just for you.  I love this book just as much as the last one...maybe a bit more.

Unlike many of the traditional Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, this is a flat-lay spiral bound full of large color photos - one of each recipe!  If you like pictures in your cookbooks, you'll love this book.  I love the way it's organized as well.  The chapters are divided by cooking time - "1 to 6 Hours," "6 to 8 Hours," "8 to 10 Hours," and "Make-Ahead Meals."  That's so perfect!  I'm always trying to find slow cooker recipes that will fit the amount of time I'll be away, and this takes all of the guess work out of it.  Totally ingenious, Gooseberry Patch!

There's lots of good stuff in here that I've bookmarked - Chipotle-Black Bean Dip, Perfect Pumpkin-Apple Cake, Brunswick Stew, Maple Praline Chicken, and the Easiest Rice Pudding (to name a few - but I've tried three recipes that I'll be sharing with you this week.  Here they are:

Slow-Cooker Barbacoa Beef

This is, hands-down, the best barbacoa beef we've ever had.  Chipotle, watch out!  I can't wait to share this recipe with you because I know you will agree.  Perfectly spicy, this beef needs no barbecue sauce, salsa, or other embellishment - it's just right the way it is.

Split Pea Soup

This soup only has 4 ingredients (peas, ham, carrots, onion), so it's not only easy but also economical.  I love that!  Don't let it's lack of ingredients fool you - it's got great flavor and makes the perfect base to add in other favorites, like bacon, sour cream, or tabasco.  It's also chock full of fiber and has delicious flavor.  Since it feeds a crowd, we froze half of it to enjoy later.  I love soups that are easy to assemble and freeze well.  Is there anything better?

Chicken Cacciatore

This is such a delicious meal!  Once again, not a lot of ingredients, but a lot of flavor.  Like the recipe suggested, I combined all of the ingredients in a freezer ziplock bag and froze it until we were ready.  That made making this dish so easy - just poured the bag into the slow cooker!  This is a great dish that I know will be gracing our table time and again.

I'll be sharing all of these recipes with you over the next few days, but I'm starting with Chicken Cacciatore...

I can't tell you enough just how easy this was to put together.  We didn't add in the optional sherry, and we ate ours with fettucine.  So good!

Chicken Cacciatore
from Gooseberry Patch's 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • cooked spaghetti
  • Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except spaghetti and garnish in a freezer-safe container.  Refrigerate overnight, or freeze until ready to use.

To cook: Thaw chicken mixture overnight in refrigerator if frozen; spoon into a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high setting for one hour.  Turn slow cooker to low setting and cook for 6 to 8 hours more.  Remove lid during last hour of cooking to allow sauce to thicken.  Discard bay leaves.  Serve chicken mixture over spaghetti; garnish servings with Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4.
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Friday, March 28, 2014

mexican roasted cauliflower

My friends, I bring you the last in a series of recipes from Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Good-for-You Everyday Meals.  This one is sooooo good!  I'm actually salivating just looking at the pictures.  I've been a cauliflower fan for a while, but I never knew it could be so delicious.  My husband ate it up, too!  I have to admit - we ate the whole head of cauliflower in one sitting!

This side dish is a must next time you make Mexican food...or even just plain grilled chicken!  And don't forget the lime - it takes the cauliflower to a whole new level.

Mexican Roasted Cauliflower
from Gooseberry Patch's Good-for-You Everyday Meals

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chili powder, or to taste
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 lb. cauliflower, cut into bite-size flowerets
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Mix oil, garlic, and spices in a large bowl.  Add cauliflower; toss to coat.  Spread in an ungreased shallow roasting pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven.  Drizzle with lime juice; sprinkle with cilantro and toss well.  Serve warm.  Makes 6 servings.

Friday, March 21, 2014

honey-lime peas

The giveaway for Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Good-for-You Everyday Meals, has ended and the winner is announced here.  Congratulations!

But even though the giveaway is over, I still had to share a few more of my favorite recipes.  These peas may look pretty average, but they are oh-so-good.

The honey-lime coating on these peas makes them a delicious hot side dish (we loved them alongside grilled fajita chicken) or a perfect cold topping for your favorite salad.  And they are soooo easy to make - takes just minutes!

Honey-Lime Peas
from Gooseberry Patch's Good-for-You Everyday Meals
2 12-oz. pkgs. frozen peas
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. honey
2 T. fresh chives, snipped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cook peas according to practice directions; drain and transfer to a serving bowl.  Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender.  Pulse to combine; slowly stream in olive oil and blend well.  Drizzle mixture over cooked peas and toss to coat.  May be served warm or chilled.  Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

spicy chicken soup

Here's another great recipe from Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Good-for-You Everyday Meals.  If you haven't already entered the giveaway to win a copy of this book, you can do so here.

If you like chicken soup, you'll love this spiced-up version!  It's similar enough to that down-home traditional favorite to make you all warm and fuzzy inside, but it's different enough to make your everyday dinner a fiesta!

I made a few changes to the recipe when I tried it.  We had leftover chicken in the freezer, so I used the leftover meat and 8 cups of chicken broth - it worked perfectly!  We also topped ours with our favorite pico de gallo.  Absolutely delicious.  You really can't go wrong no matter what you do!

Spicy Chicken Soup
from Gooseberry Patch's Good-for-You Everyday Meals
1 lb. chicken breasts and/or thighs
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
8 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
Garnish: lime wedges, avocado slices, shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients except rice and garnish.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.  Remove chicken and set aside to cool, reserving broth in soup pot.  Return broth to a boil; stir in rice.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Meanwhile, shred chicken, discarding skin and bones.  When rice is tender, return chicken to the pot and heat through.  Serve soup in large bowls, garnished with a squeeze of lime juice, a few slices of avocado and a sprinkling of cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

energy boost smoothies

Here's the second in a series of recipe reviews from Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Good-for-You Everyday Meals.  If you haven't already entered the giveaway to win a copy of this book, you can do so here.  It's fabulous!  Don't miss out on a chance to win a copy!

This smoothie has a delicious flavor, and there's no added sugars!  I was so impressed.  I do wish I had had a Magic Bullet to make it - my food processor didn't get it quite as smooth as I would like.  Despite that, Miss Pebbles declared it to be "good soup" and gobbled it right up, which is a compliment coming from a picky eater like her!

Energy Boost Smoothies
from Gooseberry Patch's Good-for-You Everyday Meals
1 ripe banana, sliced
3 to 5 strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 carrot, sliced
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup water
optional: flax seed to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Process until smooth and well-mixed; pour into tall glasses.  Makes 2 servings.
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