Happy New Year!

Now that we are a couple weeks into the new year, it’s time to get back to business! I’d like to first start by wishing all of you a Happy New Year! From my family to your’s, I wish nothing but happiness and joy in the new year.

I was beyond happy to spend Christmas back in Pennsylvania with my family. It was great to see everyone to have time to just catch up and relax for a week.

The holidays came and went so fast. And I actually did some cooking over the past few weeks, regardless of the sickness that had plagued our house again. My coworkers and I had another potluck lunch. For this I made my aunt’s deviled eggs and baked corn. I also made the chocolate and M&M pretzels that I had made for our Thanksgiving potluck.

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Merry Christmas Circles Printables
Striped Paper Printables

While I was home in Pennsylvania, I took the time make dinner for my parents, brothers and their families. On the menu was…..slow cooker Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and roasted green beans. Recipe for the Salisbury steak to posted later this week.

I have also made a few meals for my family since being back in Tampa, including Alfredo stuffed chicken breast and stove top macaroni and cheese. Recipes also to be posted later this week.

One of my favorites was the slow cooker chicken tacos we had for dinner last night. So simple and quick to put together. The hardest part was setting up all the fixings buffet style for us to assemble our tacos.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 jar mild chunky salsa
1 cup chicken broth/stock

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth. Lay chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker. Pour salsa mixture over chicken. Cover, and cook in high for 3-4 hours, until chicken shreds easily with a fork.

**Recipe credit: Guilt or guilt free?

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Serve along with any toppings you and your family like. We had lettuce, tomato, red onion, corn, black beans, taco sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, as well as store bought chipotle and ranchero dressings. I also served a combination of hard and soft shell tacos.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!

Don’t forget to check back later this week for more recipes that I have made over the holidays.

ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thanksgiving Potluck

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Last week, a coworker and I decided we wanted to have a potluck in honor of the thanksgiving holiday. Somehow, I immediately became responsible for the ham. I have not made very many hams in my day, but I was definitely up for the challenge! As usual, I took to the wonderful World Wide Web to find some recipe ideas. With in minutes, I came across a that not only sounded delicious, but was incredibly simple, AND……..it was made in the slow cooker!!

Ingredients:

1 bone-in spiral ham, about 10lbs
1 can pineapple tidbits, with juice
2 cups light brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
Cooking spray

Directions:

Spray bottom and sides of the slow cooker.

Evenly spread 2 cups brown sugar on the bottom. Lay the entire ham on top (My ham was slightly larger, so I ended up having to cut part of my ham off in order to fit in my 6 quart slow cooker).

Pour pineapple, including juice, over the ham.

Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over ham.

Cover with lid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

**Recipe credit: The Crockin’ Girls

The ham was absolutely delicious, and all of my coworker were in agreement! I would definitely make this again. Possibly even at our Christmas potluck!

But………

My potluck contributions did not end there! For reasons yet to be determined, I felt like Super Woman yesterday, and decided to also make a 10lb turkey as well as a Thanksgiving Potluck party favor for each of my coworkers!!! I just might be nuts!

Nothing special to report about the turkey. I just sprayed it with cooking spray to help the skin brown nicely as well as seasoned with salt and pepper. I did reserve all the “extras” to make some stock for gravy to serve along with the turkey. Where the gravy recipe called for water, I substituted the stock I made. A delicious substitute!

On to my favorite part……THE FAVORS!

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I do not know exactly what these bite-size treats are called, but I can promise you they are delicious and easy to make!

You only need 4 ingredients:

Waffle-shaped pretzels (I used Snyder’s brand. I had to represent my hometown.)
Hershey kisses and/or hugs*
Reese’s pieces
Orange-colored sugar crystals

Directions:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Lay pretzels flat on top of foil. Unwrap kisses/hugs and place 1 on top of each pretzel. Please note: If you are going to both hugs and kisses, you will want to prepare them on separate baking sheets. The hugs melt much faster, and therefore do not need to bake as long.

Bake pretzels with kisses about 5-7 minutes. Just until they are soft enough to push a Reese’s pieces into the center of each. The pretzels with the hugs will bake about 3-5 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Keeping them on the baking sheet, put them in the refrigerator to cool and allow the chocolate to harden.

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Now as for the way in which I packaged them. I searched on Pinterest for some free Thanksgiving printables, and came across this site — Dimple Prints. This site provides you with 125 pages of Thanksgiving-themed DIY party decorations. I only printed off the full page designs and cut them to size. I then stapled them over the plastic bag. I also printed the circular badges, and stuck one to each favor with double-sided tape.

These are so delicious, and can be made to suit any holiday. Last year, I made them using red and green M&M’s, and will likely do so again this year!

Hope you and your coworkers find that these recipes are just as tasty as me and my coworkers did!

ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Repeat Recipe!

Thanks to very little time and preparation this morning, dinner was mostly ready to serve when I got home from work.

This slow cooker chicken curry requires only a few ingredients, and is easy to throw together before you leave the house in the morning.

Last time whenI made this I used all boneless, skinless chicken breast. This time, I used a combination of chicken breast and thighs. ENJOY!!!

cookingwithatwist

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I have always been a fan of different cuisines. Since meeting my husband, I have fell in love with Indian food, although I wish I knew how to cook it really well. This recipe is a slight nod to my husbandโ€™s ethnicity and his family. Itโ€™s a novice cooks way to introduce a little cultural cuisine to their family.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-16 oz. jars chunky salsa
2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp curry powder
2 cups fat free sour cream

Directions:

Place chicken in slow cooker.

Combine salsa, onion, and curry powder in a bowl.

Pour over chicken. Cover with lid.

Cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or on high 5 hours).

Transfer chicken to a plate. Cover to keep warm.

Add sour cream to slow cooker, and stir until well incorporated.

Serve over chicken with rice or steamed vegetables. I alsoโ€ฆ

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If only……..

……there were more than 24 hours in a day!!!!

I apologize for not getting this up yesterday. After working almost 2 weeks without a day off, last night after we ate dinner, I finally reached the end of my rope!! I was absolutely EXHAUSTED!! So, I went to bed at 6:30PM ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to food! Yesterday day before leaving for work (which I was late for….LOL) I put a few things in the crockpot to cook while I was working.

Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup 1% milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and put potatoes on the bottom. Salt and pepper potatoes.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the potatoes. Salt and pepper chicken.

Mix together the condensed soups, Ranch dressing mix and milk. Pour on top of the chicken and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.

**Recipe developed from: Six Sisters

For some reason, that was not good enough. Then, of course I couldn’t just leave it, so I went a few steps further!

About 45 minutes before I was ready to serve, I removed the chicken to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, I put all the potatoes into a bowl. And returned the chicken back to the slow cooker to keep it warm.

Meanwhile, I added a 1/4 cup fat free sour cream and dried parsley, to taste, to the bowl of potatoes. Blended until smooth.

Then I put the mashed potatoes into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish, and dotted the top with a bit of margarine (about 1 tbsp total). Baked in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

With about 10 minutes left to bake, I returned the chicken back to the plate to rest a bit before serving. I then poured the sauce into a sauce pan, brought it to a boil, then simmered about 5-10 minutes to thicken it a bit.

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From cooking low and slow all day, the chicken was so tender, and the potatoes were delicious after having absorbed all the flavors!

ENJOY!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

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I have always been a fan of different cuisines. Since meeting my husband, I have fell in love with Indian food, although I wish I knew how to cook it really well. This recipe is a slight nod to my husband’s ethnicity and his family. It’s a novice cooks way to introduce a little cultural cuisine to their family.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-16 oz. jars chunky salsa
2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp curry powder
2 cups fat free sour cream

Directions:

Place chicken in slow cooker.

Combine salsa, onion, and curry powder in a bowl.

Pour over chicken. Cover with lid.

Cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or on high 5 hours).

Transfer chicken to a plate. Cover to keep warm.

Add sour cream to slow cooker, and stir until well incorporated.

Serve over chicken with rice or steamed vegetables. I also served it with whole wheat pita warmed in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

**Recipe credit: Kraft Recipes

This recipe is pretty healthy. The original recipe calls for chicken thighs. I tried to lighten it up a bit by using chicken breasts. And the use of fat free sour cream helps to make the sauce creamy with out adding too many extra calories.

By the way, I should really start using my slow cooker more often. It was nice having a little extra time to relax after work. ๐Ÿ™‚

ENJOY!