Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs

Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
Ask and ye shall receive. At least in the case of crock-pot slow cooker recipes. I love getting emails from you awesome readers (well almost all of you – there is this one person  ehem … ) telling me you made something and loved it, asking me where I purchased an item, asking for more of a certain type of recipe.  Lately I have been inundated with requests for more crock-pot slow cooker recipes. Perfect timing because I’ve partnered with Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers to bring you a few recipes using their new Crock-Pot® Smart Slow Cooker WeMo Enabled. What does that mean? It means that it works with your smart device (Android and Apple) to let you easily adjust cook settings … from virtually anywhere. Technology is (most days unless it locks me out of something) awesome.

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Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce
Holy cow, next week is THANKSGIVING! Yes, gobble gobble until we can’t wobble. I will be enjoying my Mom’s cooking this year. Happy. Happy. Dance. I don’t care how ehem old I get, there’s nothing like your Mamma’s cooking is there? What I’m most looking forward to is talking her into making Turkey and Dumplings with the leftover 10 pounds of turkey that I KNOW we’ll have. My Mom has ALWAYS over cooked. I’m guessing it stems from the years of always having extra guests at our table. My Dad was forever bringing home Air Force boys with no family in town. It made for a rowdy meal (with the mandatory embarrassing stories) but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Go Blue ; )

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Spicy Sausage Balls

Spicy Sausage Balls

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I can’t believe that the year is almost over. The shorter days, the fact that’s it’s now dark by 5pm (sigh), the COLD temperatures and the sheer amount of appetizer recipes that are being searched for on the site all tell me this is true. It also tells me that it’s time to share a few more easy and effortless appetizers with y’all. Wouldn’t want you to not have options. That would be a shame. Today we’re going way back to a family favorite. Sausage balls. Not just any regular sausage balls, oh no, SPICY sausage balls. Now IF you don’t happen to like spicy, you’re welcome to simply substitute a milder Italian sausage for the hot. We won’t hold it against you. Much.

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Mushroom Gourgeres

Mushroom Gourgeres
Gourgeres is a fancy schmany word for cheese biscuits. Or at least that’s how I’m choosing to describe them. Now I’ve heard people go on for days about how amazing cheese biscuits from a certain lobster restaurant that is the color of scarlet. I am telling you these little cheesy gourgeres are WAY better. In my little humble opinion of course, but it’s mine all mine and I’m sticking to my guns. I’ve made several variations of these little cheese pillows and this one with MUSHROOMS is high on my list of favorites.  It’s pretty much impossible to eat just one. Go ahead and try. I’ll wait.

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Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuff it! I meant that in the nicest possible way of course. We’re stuffing ‘shrooms because they’re obviously delicious and because it’s appetizer season. Small bites rule the roost for the next little while and stuffed shrooms are one of the simplest and crowd pleasing appetizers you can put together. They grace just about every restaurant menu (read they’re good people, really good). Not to mention you can stuff them with just about anything your heart desires. Today our heart desires SAUSAGE and CHEESE please. What could be bad about those two? Um, nothing.

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Easy Under Sink Organization

Under Sink Cabinet After
My under the sink cabinet was a HOT MESS prior to this organization project. Had I known how quick and easy it was to get that unorganized black whole of cleaning products storage that I had organized, I would have done this a long time ago. All I needed was a quick trip to Lowe’s Home Improvement. 3 items and about a half hour later and I’m sitting pretty and am actually able to find the granite cleaner that I didn’t know I had. Once I actually pulled everything out from underneath the cabinet (and there were a lot of bottles) I found that I had duplicates of many products. 3 bottles of glass cleaner (I rarely even clean my windows, yes I just admitted that), 2 boxes of Brillo pads, and more bottles of air freshener that I could use in half a year. Now I know.

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The Florida Keys: Key West

Ibis Bay Resort

Earlier this summer I took a little (and by little I mean seriously amazing so much so I really didn’t want to come home) trip to The Florida Keys. This is part TWO of that amazing trip. The first two days of the trip were spent bouncing around the idealistic ISLAMORADA . We packed up ours bags and headed further South to Key West for the final 2 days of our trip. Key West was as vibrant and delicious as I imagined it would be. Trying to compare these two places would be like trying to compare apples to oranges. I adored them both. Clearly I didn’t want to come home.

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve never been able to resist a cupcake. Especially a chocolate cupcake. It’s just not going to happen. No matter how tight my pants are. Sigh. I’ll just spend a little more time on the treadmill. Reading my kindle and perhaps eating another chocolate cupcake while I’m there. What, haven’t you ever eaten while on the treadmill? If not, don’t tell me. Apparently I’m not very good at this whole exercise thing. Back to something I am good at, cupcakes. Swoonworthy Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes.

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Pot Roast with Balsamic Mushroom Gravy

Pot Roast with Balsamic Mushroom Gravy

This isn’t your grandma’s pot roast. Oh no. This one is bigger, badder and bolder in the flavor department. It’s tender, melt in your mouth beef that’s made even better by the balsamic mushroom sauce that you’ll want to just spoon into your mouth (yes I did that). If that doesn’t make you want to make this tonight how about I sweeten the pot. It’s made in ONE POT. Y’all know how excited I get about those kinds of things. This roast is a low and slow stunner that you’ll be gravitating to all fall and winter long.

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Pumpkin Pots de Creme with Salted Caramel and Pecans

Pumpkin Pots de Creme

If I could put a fall dessert in a jar this would be it. It’s like pumpkin pie but better. Way better. There’s no crust bogging you down, which also makes this little gem in a jar gluten free. Bonus. It’s pumpkin perfection and if this doesn’t make you want to jump on the pumpkin train that’s currently making it’s way across the food blogging virtual highway I’m not sure what will. Go ahead and pick up a few cans of pumpkin puree (or make your own whatever floats your culinary boat) because these won’t last long.

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The Florida Keys: Islamorada


Mile Marker 88Marker 88

Over the summer I was invited by the Keys Tourism Board to tour the beautiful and oh so sunny Florida Keys. I know, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it. You can imagine that when the invitation arrived, it took me all of two seconds to say yes and thank you. Thank you very much. I had actually never visited the Florida Keys prior to this visit and I can honestly say that it was better and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I’m actually thinking that now would be a VERY good time to pack up and go for another visit. The people, the food, the restaurants, the hotels, the WATER, seriously I fell in love with the colors of ocean. So much so I bought a necklace off a gallery owner (true story) that reminded me of the water and my trip.

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Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Cranberry Sauce and Caramelized Onions

Pork Tenderloin Sliders

Are you ready for some tailgating? You all know that I’m not actually a big football fan. I don’t keep that a secret but I do enjoy tailgating. What’s not to love about sitting on the back of a tailgate with your boot (cowboy of course) covered feet swinging away with your favorite cold beverage in your hand and a slider or two in the other. Right? Right. I’m already thinking about recipes for this season. Wings and SLIDERS are some of my favorites. This Pork Tenderloin Slider with Cranberry Sauce and Caramelized Onions might be my new all time favorite slider and could possibly be yours too. It’s cooked to perfection and without worry too. Want to know the secret?

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Sauteed Mushroom and Asparagus Puff Pastry Appetizer

Sauteed Mushroom Asparagus Puff Pastry AppetizerPuff pastry is something I ALWAYS keep in my freezer. It’s like a bag of frozen peas, we just need them (most of the time those are to actually eat but with 3 kids in the house they’re more than often used as ice packs, ehem).  Puff pastry is so versatile and has saved my patutie on more than one occasion. It can go sweet OR savory, meaning we can whip up an appetizer and/or dessert on the fly. Now I COULD make homemade puff pastry but on most days I certainly don’t have all day (and have you seen the price of butter lately. I’m seriously considering buying a cow, sigh) to do that so it’s boxed for me 99.9% o the time.

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Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Carnitas

Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Carnitas

 

I’m all for low and slow cooking. Set it and forget it if you will. Now that it’s finally fall (happy dance) I’m doing a lot more of that type of cooking. I’m excited to share with y’all that I’ve partnered with Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers to bring you a few recipes using their new Crock-Pot® Smart Slow Cooker WeMo Enabled. What does that mean? It means that it works with your smart device (Android and Apple) to let you easily adjust cook settings … from virtually anywhere. Pretty smart, right? Right!

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Mixed Food Conference 2014 Ticket GIVEAWAY!

 

Mountain Lake Lodge
In case you haven’t heard, my friend Susan and I organize a food conference called Mixed. It’s a small boutique conference for approximately 100 food lovers bloggers that is held at Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia. You might recognize it from the movie Dirty Dancing. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading right now and look it up on Netflix, or Amazon Prime (what would I do without that) and then come back when you’re done because you don’t want to miss out on this GIVEAWAY! Not to be pushy or anything (because I would never ever do that would I) but it is one of the best movies of all time right underneath Pitch Perfect of course. We will actually be showing Dirty Dancing and another chicken flick (what’s your favorite? We’re open to suggestions) each night at the conference because we like to have just as much fun as we do learning. Pajamas and pillows are encouraged.

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Spaghetti with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Spaghetti with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Did you know that October is National Pasta Month? To be honest, I actually didn’t – every month is kinda pasta month around here ; ) But I’m glad for the pasta-bration never the less. Any chance to bring on the bowls o pasta is a good thing in my book. In honor of National Pasta Month, Dreamfields is celebrating with a new blogger pasta recipe EVRY day this month. That’s 31 new recipes coming at ‘cha. 4 weeks of themed pasta dishes using different cuts of pasta. Heck to the yeah. This week is vegetarian and we’ve plucked a few red peppers out of garden and put them to good use with an easy dreamy creamy sauce that will twirl your socks off.

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Clementine Marmalade

Clementine Marmalade

So we’re just going to get it over with a sing a chorus of “Oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine …” because naturally that’s what pops into my mind when I hear the word clementine. Sorry we can all suffer together. Misery loves company or something like that. What I should be thinking about is clementine marmalade. Ours is a small batch recipe. This means that once you’re finished whipping it up you’ll have a few jars to keep in the fridge and slather on just about anything and everything you like. Not 2 dozen jars to store or give out to each and every one of your neighbors (not that that’s a bad idea, especially with the holidays coming up. Okay scratch that maybe we should double or triple the recipe) Did I mention that in this recipe there’s absolutely no canning to deal with? It’s pretty much a win win situation.

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DIY Gourd Candles

DIY Gourd Candles
I’m kinda crazy for all things squash (I eat it, every variety I can get my hands on, and often) so it was only natural that I looked to the gourd family to inspire a little fall table-scape. I don’t like to go to any grand effort to dress up my tables but I do like to do something small and in season. That something for me needs to be: easy and LOW profile. There’s nothing more irritating to me during a meal (other than over cooked food and that’s just a given) than to have to bob and weave around a large centerpiece to try and have a conversation with your family or guests. Hence LOW profile.

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Spaghetti with Mushroom Meatballs

Spaghetti with Mushroom Meatballs
Meatballs. You gotta love ‘em. I mean come on. They’re fun sized spheres of meat. Okay we’ll just stick to calling them meatballs, that’s much more appetizing. Whether you like to bake them, fry them or stew them in sauce. Totally up to you. Want them made with multiple types of meat? Press on. Want to stuff them? Have at it. Options. You know we love those. A lot.

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Amaretti Tiramisu

Amaretti Tiramisu
If you’ve been around my little corner of the web or have known me for more than 5 minutes you know my absolute two hands down favorite things to eat are Spaghetti alla Carbonara and Tiramisu. Hands down. No need for me to even think about it. Those will always be my answers. Always. I get glossy eyes and glaze over just at the thought of them. At this very moment I’m contemplating making Carbonara for lunch. ^&**(!)%). If I didn’t have to get into this little black dress this weekend I would be all over that. Sigh. I’ve been trying to be better about portions, which isn’t my strong suit. These little jars of individual Tiramisu are the perfect pick me up dessert and help me keep my sweet tooth in a proportionate check. Well mostly.

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