Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sweet Addition to our salad tonight.

Dressed Up Pecans

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla

Beat egg white and vanilla till fluffy
Stir 1 lb of nuts into egg white mixture

In a seperate bowl mix
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Dump sugar mixture onto nuts coated with egg white and mix. Spread sugar coated nuts onto a cookie sheet and bake at 225 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

***Can use almonds or walnuts too

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wondering how long food is still good?

If you're like me, I'm paranoid about expiration dates & how long meat is still safe to eat. Check out this website.... http://www.http// It's a great resource and even has an iPhone app! Thanks, Frugal Dr. Mom for sharing!
Check out Frugal Dr. Moms blog. She's hosting an "Eat from your pantry" challenge. Frugal Dr. Mom
Let's all post a picture of our pantry. I know if there was hurricane, we could eat out of mine for a couple weeks. Let me go get my camera...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pressure Cooker Flop

Well, I tried to use the pressure cooker that I got for Christmas last year. I've always been scared of the darn things. When I worked in the Burn ICU, we would always get someone burned from one so I've always stayed away.

I was late getting the Beef Stew going so thought I'd be slick and pop it in the pressure cooker. When that thing started hissing, I think I jumped to the ceiling. The older kids were laughing at me. I'd never heard one and had no idea they sounded so violent.

When I opened the "thing", my precious beef stew was charred and the meat looked like baby food. Michael was so looking forward to having stew. When he walked in the door, I had a counter full of fish sticks, fries and chicken nuggets. Sorry Honey! I'll try again next week with my trusty crock pot.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I'm so excited to jump back in "Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays!" I mean really....who doesn't like the thought of their tummy being tempted?!


1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
4 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the pretzels, 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread evenly over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water. Mix in frozen strawberries, and stir until thawed. Pour over cream cheese mixture in pan. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour

This is soooo good & got rave reviews at Christmas! It's been requested again this week.

Be sure to stop by Blessed with Grace and check out the other Tempting Recipes!

Menu Plan Monday ~ 12/28

I'm so excited about getting back into Menu Planning and stop flying by the seat of my pants.....Hoping my family will enjoy the benefits of eating before 9pm. :)

Drum Roll.....Tap your Heels together.....

Monday: Left Over Buffet, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday: Beef Stew, Homemade Yeast Rolls, Best Chocolate Cake Ever
***Celebrating the coming snow with comfort from the kitchen!

Wednesday: Husband's Delight Casserole , Green Salad

Thursday: Family Fondue Night & of course, a Chocolate Dessert Fondue

Friday: Left Over Buffet for Lunch

Saturday: Turkey, Roasted Broccoli, Baked Potatoes, Cake Mix Dinner Rolls

Sunday: Chicken Taco Soup

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hello Friends out in the Blog World! Knock, Knock are you still there? I hope I didn't lose you! I promise.....I'm coming back after spending a few months trying to get my life in order or should I just say "controlled chaos."
What should we cook up this week or bake for the family? I know everyone is tired of cookies and sweets..... but we didn't get to do a whole lot of baking since we were all sick with the nasty flu bug that's been going around.
Let's share what's on our menu this week......I need to get back into menu planning.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ranch Style Oyster Cracker Snack

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (12 ounce) package oyster crackers

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, ranch-style dressing mix, dill weed, lemon pepper and garlic powder. Pour this spice mixture over the crackers in a medium bowl, and stir until the crackers are coated. Arrange the crackers on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated 275 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes

This is our favorite snack for road trips, Premier Rally's, GNO'S, drive in's or whatever you'd like......We're off to Rally with snack packed and ready!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slow Cooker Sunday

2 Peaches thinly sliced
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 whole cloves
6 tea bags
3 quarts of water
Thinly slice two peaches and place them on the bottom of your slow cooker along with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add the tea bags and 3 quarts water.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Strain and discard the solids. Chill tea and serve over ice, with additional sliced peaches if desired.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Family Review of Coucous with Pine Nuts

My meals for the week got moved around a bit so we had Couscous with Pine Nuts last night. It was super easy and 5 stars from my honey!

It could be served with so many different main courses and added much color to the plates.


Sorry to start out my Tip-ster post late...this is what a newborn & a 2 year old can do for a girls organization skills.
I learned this from Rachel Ray and used it a couple times before sharing......When you're cutting meat after cooking on a wooden cutting board, brush the cutting board with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a piece of garlic. This keeps the cutting board from sucking flavors out of your meat.
This really works! I've used it three times and can definitely tell the difference from the last time I made the same recipe and didn't use the tip. So give it a try and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Boston Market Take Out
Tuesday: Slow Cooker London Broil, Couscous with Pine Nuts, Corn n Cob (Ellie's choice)
Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Green Salad
Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Mexican Rice
Friday: Left overs
Saturday: Zesty Cranberry Chicken, Broccoli (some veggie for me that's not gas forming for breastfeeding), Pudding for Dessert
Sunday: Porcupines, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes
We'll continue with left overs for lunch. The breakfast burritos that are in the freezer from last week's menu, have been a hit!!! I'm going to work hard this week to stay on top of getting dinner going so we stick to the menu plan. I think the menu from last week was too complicated for a Mamma with a new baby. Yes, I was trying to use what was in the freezer and pantry but menu needs to be easier.
Check out more menus at There are really some great menu plans!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Here's a great kick off recipe for Slow Cooker Sunday! I make this often and the family gives it a high five.....meaning 5 stars!
Zesty Cranberry Slow Cooker Chicken (or Pork)
1/4-1/2 cup Catalina or French Dressing
1 can Cranberries (not jellied)
1 small onion sliced
4-6 Chicken Breasts
Place all ingredients except meat in crock pot and blend. Place meat in crock pot and cover with sauce. Cover & Cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
I've also grilled this chicken. If you'd like to grill, place ingredients in gallon size zip lock bag, smash to blend & allow to marinade in refrigerator for at least an hour. Place on preheated grill. Discard marinade. Grill until done to your taste. Allow meat to set for 15 minutes before slicing.
Either way is fabulous! This makes great leftovers, too!
***Cooking time may vary depending on your crock pot so check meat after 4 hours.
If you have a recipe to share, please post the link to your blog or location of your recipe. I'm sorry, I couldn't get Mr. Linkey to work.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I LOVE BLOG CARNIVALS! Ok, some of you are asking......What in the heck is a blog carnival. It's a weekly gathering on a blog with a pre-selected theme. I think of it as a way of sharing and supporting one another in this doggie dog world.

I've gathered some wonderful ideas, recipes and money saving ideas by participating in these. So, I thought I'd put a couple together for "Hand Me My Apron!" Let's do it!

Here they are...."KITCHEN TIPSTER THURSDAY" & "SLOW COOKER SUNDAY." I know many of you have kitchen time saving ideas, frugal living ideas or household tips. So, why not share them and let us tell you how wonderful you it!

I thought Sundays would be a fun time to share our favorite slow cooker recipes. Picture this, Divas.....If enough of us share our slow cooker recipes on Sundays, you could plan your entire week of meals and not once have to crank on your oven. I think that's a tip for KTT. Sww how this can work.....

I'll start a post each Thursday and Sunday for our carnivals. All you need to do is post your tip and/or recipe on your blog. Than come back to HMMA and add your name with the title of your tip/recipe in parenthesis in Mr. Linky. This way we can check out each others ideas/recipes and blogs. This will also bring more traffic to your gotta love that!

If anyone is handy with making "buttons".....I'm looking for someone to make me a button for each of the carnivals so we can put them in our posts.......OOOOOOOhhhhhhh.......that gives me an idea for a giveaway......I'll give $50 in FREE PREMIER JEWELRY to the talented lady that can put a button together for "Kitchen Tip-ster Thursday" and/or "Slow Cooker Sunday." Of course, there will be a giveaway for each button. Please include my blog title in one of the lower corners. So, you could win both. Just post a comment here that you're interested in participating and a link so I can go check out the button you've created. Giveaway ends Thursday, June 25th at midnight. I can't wait to see what you come up'll be able to pick you're free jewelry from our entire line.....Ohhhhhhh......Awwwwwww!

Oriental Coleslaw Salad

I'm working on the menu for my upcoming Women's Networking Event and am leaning towards a menu that doesn't require turning on the oven. When you have 30 women coming to the need to do everything possible to keep it cool. :o)

This has always been a favorite of mine.

Oriental Coleslaw Salad

1 - 16oz package coleslaw, or equivalent homemade
1 bunch green onions
sliced1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 package Oriental flavor Ramen noodles, broken up, toasted (optional)

1/2 cup canola oil
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 packet of seasoning from Ramen noodles

Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk well to dissolve sugar. In a large salad bowl, combine the coleslaw, green onions, almonds, and ramen noodles. Drizzle dressing over and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Already fell off the Menu Planning Wagon...'s only Wednesday and I already fell off of the Menu Planning" Wagon. :o) Today was just so darn hectic and we didn't even leave the house. My little man had a hard day and Mamma was dealing with a sinus headache. So, guess where we headed....Sonic with my coupon for buy one burger get one free. At least I had a coupon.

Also, wanted to let you know that my family didn't care for the Slow Cooker Teriyaki Ribs. It's very unusual for my husband to ask me to not make something again. He was so sweet about it too. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best.....he said he couldn't even give them a 1. They were salty and the ribs had an odd texture. But the fruit salad was gone.....I got home from Bunko thinking I'd have a bowl before my night shift with my little man. No luck, the bowl was licked clean. I'll get the recipe and share it with my friends in blogland. It's easy and yummy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Well, posted on Tuesday. :o) Last week's menu went fairly well, except had to mix up a couple days. I did learn that I can give myself another day for leftovers and that I need to lean on my crock pot while my little man is so small. It's just too hard to manage grilling dinner with a newborn with colic and a 2 year old.
Well, here we go....
Monday: Our new favorite way to have chicken! Slow Cooker Costa Vida Chicken , Cilantro Lime Rice, Fresh Tortillas
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Ribs, Fruit Salad
Wednesday: Southwestern Quiche, Fiesta Green Salad
Thursday: Balsamic Marinated London Broil, Rice, Grilled Corn on Cob
Friday: Homemade Pizza Night (New Family Tradition), Green Salad
Saturday: Father's Day Dinner!!! Crock Pot Orange-Herbed Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Spinach Salad, Asparagus
Sunday: Taking a picnic to Daddy's office to surprise him since he's on call.....still planning menu. For sure, the chocolate chip cookies from last week's menu
Leftovers for dinner since Daddy is working.
***Left overs for lunches

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Last week was our first week to join the fun and I loved it as did my pocketbook. I was able to stay focused, on budget and have fun too in the middle of a house that's total chaos at the moment.

Monday: Breakfast Burritos & Cantelope
Homemade Popsciles

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Cilantro Chicken, Brown Rice, Broccoli for family & Corn for me (no broccoli with breastfeeding)
****** making some banana bread just cause I'm craving it. :o) I think I'll make some into muffins to freeze.

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Ribs, Fruit Salad, Corn on Cob

Thursday: Zesty Catalina Grilled Chicken Breast, Potato Salad, Sliced Tomatoes

Friday: Baseball Game/Leftovers for me since I'll be home with the baby.

Saturday: Leftovers for lunch
Slow Cooker Costa Vida Chicken , Cilantro Lime Rice, Fresh Tortillas

Sunday: Leftovers for Lunch
Spaghetti, Green Salad, Garlic Bread

Extras for week:

1. Breakfast Burritos for freezer

2. Healthy Nut Blueberry Muffins for pantry & freezer

3. Chewy & Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies: these just sound so yummy!

4. Cinnamon Bun Cake: take to a friend who has been such a support system!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I've looked everywhere for a breakfast cake of some sort and was so excited to find this "goodie!" She's got some great easy recipes!

“Mom is Great” Breakfast Cake

1 cup butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups whole rolled oats

¾ cup honey

2 eggs

1 t. sea salt

1 t. baking soda

1 t. vanilla1 cup raisins, chocolate chips or other dried fruit

Stir together butter, buttermilk, flour and oats in a glass bowl. Cover with a cloth and allow the grains to soak on your counter overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Stir in honey, eggs, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Fold in raisins, chocolate chips or dried fruit. Pour into a buttered 9×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

We had a cake like this at a bed n breakfast years ago and loved it. So, I'm pumped to whip one of these out.

**** Make in jelly jars and fluff up the top for a nice touch to a romantic picnic with your honey or to give as gifts. I'm even liking the idea of muffins for quick grab breakfast and for freezing.

Check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday on Thanks, Lisa for a fun challenge!


***We made this a the family gave it 4 stars out of 5. I made it into muffins so my husband could take some to work. We'll keep this in the rotation for sure!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My First Blog Award!

I'm so stinken excited! Do I need to write a speech and by a new dress.....ooooohhhh, how about some new shoes? Reality check, Stacey......this is not the cooking grammies! But you could buy yourself a new kitchen gadget or new apron. Have I told you Divas out in blogger land how much I love aprons?! :o)

Thanks. Sarah for the nomination! Check her "I Blame My Mother"'s so cute!

Here are the New 15 Blogs that I've discovered.

1. check out "tempt my tummy tuesday" You'll find some great recipes!

2. I want to go and have breakfast at her house!

8. super cute hair styles if you have little princesses

9. cute blog with great Disney tips

10. She has some fantastic recipes!

11. This blog just looks YUMMY!

12. I didn't find one recipe that didn't look great!



I'm so excited about this! Praying this will help ease my stress, decrease spending and return dinner time to the enjoyable family time that it used to be......Woot Woot!

Monday: Tuna Melts, Spinach Salad & Jello with Mandarin Oranges (per Ellie's request) *** Making breakfast burritos to keep in freezer Hoping this will make mornings less stressful.

Tuesday: Southwestern Chicken (Crock pot), Tortillas, Mexican Rice & Beans, Homemade pudding pops for dessert

Wednesday: Cranberry Catalina Pork Lion, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Sliced Tomatoes, Sugar free Jello with dollop of Fat Free Cool Whip

Thursday: Leftovers, Homemade Applesauce Popsicles

Friday: Mini Meatloaf (Make extra to freeze), Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Green Salad, Strawberries & blueberries with dollop of Fat Free Cool Whip

*** I know this is an extra corn day this week, but my 19 year old & 2 year old love corn. If they want corn 5 days a week, they can have it.....less stress for Mamma. :o)

Saturday: Left overs for lunch

Dinner: Beef Taco Ring with fixings, Green Salad, Banana Cream Supreme Frozen Pie (old recipe redone to lighten up the calories....yummy)

Sunday: Pineapple Cilantro Chicken (Crock Pot), Fiesta Salad with honey lime dressing, Chocolate Macroon Pizza for dessert

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Cool Tips I found....

Now that I'm on a mission to keep several do-ahead-meals in the freeer, I've been looking for tips to make even this process easier. And, don't forget better use my freezer space.

Look what I found and they work! I'm so excited and feel so "June Cleaver-ish!"

Tip #1.: When I make make-ahead things like these, I like to line the pan with foil, leaving enough excess foil sticking out that I can wrap it over and around the entire casserole/bake/whatever. I stick it in the freezer overnight and then take the entire cassrole, wrapped in foil, right out of the dish and then stick it in a Ziploc and write what it is on the outside.

I made a couple using this technique and Wala.....(is that a word but it sounds magician-ish)

Tip #2: You can pre-assemble casseroles like this in a 5 qt ice cream bucket. Start by lining the bucket with Saran wrap, and then put together a casserole in it. Next, fold the Saran down over the casserole… and then do it again by placing another lining of Saran Wrap in there so you can make another casserole in the bucket that sits right on top of the last one… and then if there is still room, do a third one!

In the end, you’ll have three casseroles all ready to go, stacked one on top of the other, individually wrapped and in an air-tight ice cream bucket. Why do this? Well… the inside of the ice cream bucket is the same size as the inside of a standard round crock pot! Just take one out of the bucket, unwrap it stick it in the crockpot on low in the morning, and have supper ready that night!

Here's a recipe I found using this technique.....I'm going to try it this weekend so will let you know.

Ice Cream Bucket Lasagna

I cook a large package of hamburger (apx 5 lbs), drain. Place it back in the pan I cooked it in, *(don't dirty another pan) and add tomato sauce and spices as you like it.

Then in another large bowl, mix two large containers of cottage cheese, four eggs, and salt and pepper. A third bowl has a large quantity of shredded mozzarella.

Finally, I open two packages of lasagna noodles, either no-bake or regular, doesn't matter. I prefer the regular, they are thicker..the no bake kinda disappear in my lasagna because they are so thin.

Place all the ingredient bowls and pans in a row on the counter. Then I take 6 (one gallon) ice cream buckets or similar container.

Layer as follows: small amount of Sauce Noodles Sauce (it is important that all of the uncooked noodles are covered in sauce) cottage cheese noodles sauce cottage cheese noodles sauce mozzarella cheese to cover top (we love this quite thick) That is it!

You end up with six lasagnas, and only 3 dirty pans. Freeze. Once solid, slip from the ice cream bucket, and place in gallon ziplock bags. Now they go back in the freezer, taking up much less space.

I use the ice cream bucket because it makes it the exact correct size and shape for my 5 quart crockpot. You may find another container that works better for you. When its lasagna eating day, just pop it in the crockpot on LOW, and let her go all day...come home, dinner is ready!

**Does that sound easy or what? I think I'll experiment a bit with the ingredients. Maybe use ground turkey or a combo and jarred spaghetti sauce. What do you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Asian Chicken Pasta Salad


olive oil
whole wheat angel hair pasta
2 cloves garlic
2-3 cups cubed chicken breast (2 large breasts)
2 tbls. sesame seeds (toasted tastes best)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I use Kinkoman's low sodium soy sauce.)
2 tbls. sesame oil
2 cucumbers
2 carrots
3 green onions
a couple of handfuls of bean sprouts
chopped peanuts

Boil water and cook pasta according to instructions on box.Peel and slice the cucumbers. Remove ends from the bean sprouts. Peel the carrots, then use the peeler to shred the carrots into pieces. Chop peanuts. Spray pan with olive oil and saute two cloves of minced garlic in the oil. (I use my garlic that I've minced ahead of time & stored in the refrigerator)

Add the cubed chicken and 2 tbls. sesame seeds. Stir fry until chicken is browned and cooked through.Add 2 tbls. sesame oil & 1/2 cup soy sauce to chicken and simmer.Add the veggies and mix well. Let simmer so veggies can soak up the sauce and until they reach your desired tenderness. Add the drained pasta noodles and mix well. Let simmer for a few additional minutes. Top each serving with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts.

Left overs are great served the following day as a cold salad.

I'll take pictures of the prep steps when we make it this week. You know.....taking pictures of my meals is a new behavior. :o) Be honest....10 years ago, would you have ever thought you'd be photographing your meals and posting them along with your recipes on something called the Internet.

Cleaning out the pantry.....

Today is the day! I'm cleaning out the pantry and refigerator with my Mom's help and using what's in there for my "Monday Meal Planning." And, pantry is full so shouldn't be too hard.

So, I'll get back to you this evening with what we come up with. This is going to be a challenge since we're trying to keep things on the healthy side. I mean, come on.....a girl has to get her body back sometime in this lifetime. :o) I can't blame my weight issues on having a baby the rest of my life. Someone may nominate me for a Dr. Phil Show.....Ouch!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Incredible Homemade Salad Dressing

This dressing is so "Yummy!" We use it on every type of salad you can think up, marinade for fish, chicken or pork and just drizzled over veggies, grilled asparagus.....the list is open to your heart's desire. Try it, you'll love it. I promise!
Dijon Italian Dressing
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice - fresh if possible
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 large cloves of garlic - crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

How to make this dressing for all occasions. Place all of the ingredients into a bottle that you can pop a lid onto and shake well - I used a large empty water bottle but now have the a new handy Pampered Chef dressing container. Shake up all of the ingredients and pour into a into a pretty glass bowl to serve. Before drizzling over salads or meats give the dressing a little stir with a spoon and cover when you store in the refrigerator.
Here's another.....
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 packets of Splenda, Sweet n Low or sugar (sweeten to your taste)
Place all of the ingredients into a bottle that you can pop a lid onto and shake well. Again, I used to use a large empty water bottle but now use my new Pampered Chef dressing container. Shake up all of the ingredients and pour into a pretty glass bowl to serve. Stir or shake dressing before serving, drizzling over meats or salads. Store in the refrigerator. This one is also so good!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Welcome to my Cooking Blog!

I thought I'd use this blog to help get better at planning my family's weekly menu, saving money on grocery shopping and sharing recipes with you. After 50 plus days of bed rest, I'm set to have my little man on Monday via c-section. I'm so excited but also have a thousand things running thru my mind......So let's start with our menu planning!

My apron is finally going to get dirty! I'll even post recipes that my little Ellie can get her apron dirty!

Our meal for Sunday, the night before my c-section is going to be so good! I mean, after's going to have to sustain me until my c section which is scheduled at 2pm on Monday. You know what that means.....nothing by mouth after midnight on Sunday....Ouch! So, you guessed it....we're having "comfort food!"

Crock Pot Garlic Chicken
1 large broiler/fryer whole chicken (as big as your crock will fit)
-thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley-salt-fresh ground pepper
-40 cloves UNPEELED garlic
-2 stalks celery, washed and cut into 3 inch pieces

Place the celery slices on the bottom of the crock. Season the chicken in and out with salt, pepper, and generously with the herbs. Place on top of the celery. Place the cloves all around and on top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.Remove chicken and celery to serving platter. Remove garlic to small bowl.

GRAVY: Optional
-1/4 cup cream
-2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch
-salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Skim the fat off the liquid in the crockpot. Turn to high. Add the cream. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water until smooth and add to liquid. Stir, cover and heat until thickened. You can pour some on the chicken and put the rest in a gravy boat.

Crockpot Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes

3 lbs red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream cheese with chives and onions (from an 8-ounce tub)
1/4-1/2 cup milk

Halve or quarter potatoes as necessary to make similar size pieces. Place in a 4 to 6 quart crock pot. Add garlic, oil, salt and water; mix well to coat all potato pieces. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours or until potato pieces are tender.With a fork or potato masher, mash potatoes and garlic. Stir in cream cheese until well blended. Stir in enough milk for soft serving consistency.Serve immediately, or cover and hold in slow cooker on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.Save any leftovers and reheat in the microwave the next day, adding milk if needed. Serves 4-6

Grilled Asparagus with Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper

This is one of Ellie's favorite veggies. Go's mine too! We wash and pop the asparagus. Spread them out on a cookie sheet covered in foil or a broiler pan. Drizzle with Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste. Roast on 350 degrees until reach the tenderness that you enjoy. If you like, you can squeeze some fresh lemon over just before serving. We like with and without lemon.

And, of course we add some good crusty french bread! After the Garlic Chicken is done, you can squish some of the fresh garlic on the bread. Can we say.....YUMMY!