Saturday, November 24, 2012

We Are Expecting #4!

Yes, we sure are! After 4 back to back chemical pregnancies, we were feeling pretty let down. It's hard to go through something like that. I certainly was feeling like something was terribly wrong with me. I went for tests, and everything came up clear. My doctor did every type of test he could. He advised me to wean my then 16 month old Acorn, because he suspected my hormones were out of balance because of it, so I did. Luckily, it did not go too bad. Finally, I was supposed to go through some more intensive tests tracking a complete cycle, and we were supposed to avoid getting pregnant. But lo and behold, here comes baby bean #4, totally unexpected, but very welcome!

I was terrified at first because I was thinking this might end up as another chemical pregnancy, but not so. So glad that this baby is here to stay! Wish us a happy and healthy 9 months! Baby bean #4 is due in July, 2013!

Healthy Baked Potato Strips

This is simple to make and good for you! Serve as a side to any dish you want! It also makes a great healthy snack! Serves 6.

6 large red potatoes, cut into strips
1/4 cup olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.

Spray a couple cookie sheets with nonstick spray. Lay out the potatoes on them and drizzle with the olive oil. Add the salt, pepper and paprika as you wish and light coat potatoes with the spices and oil.

Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes till crisp.

And serve to your crowd! Tastes great! So much better than frying. About 8 points per serving.

Authentic Buffalo Wings

This undoubtedly one of my husband's favorites! And mine too. Super easy to make and exactly how they make it in New York! Serves 4.

4 pound bag of chicken wings (more if you wish)
1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 stick butter
Celery, sliced (on the side, as much as you wish)
Ranch or Blue Cheese to dip

Preheat oven to 425F.

Line a couple large cookie sheets with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Lay the chicken wings on it, about 1/2 inch apart. Pop in the oven for about an hour. Check if the skin is browned, and if not, leave for an extra few minutes.

Melt the butter and add the Frank's Red Hot Sauce. There can be no substitutions! It has got to be Frank's Red Hot! Mix well.

When wings are done, pour the butter-hot sauce mixture over the chicken and toss. Make sure to coat chicken very well!

Delicious! Great authentic Buffalo taste! Serve with the celery and dip on the side. About 14 points a serving, so go easy (if you can!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spaghetti with Browned Butter a'la Spaghetti Factory

This is my take of the famous Spaghetti Factory dish! I loved it so much I just had to figure out how to do it at home. So I did! And tastes fabulous! It is worth a try! Serves 6.

16 oz spaghetti, prepared according to box directions
1 stick butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans mushrooms, drained
4 bacon strips, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt, more or less to taste
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used mozzarella and parmesan)

Prepare spaghetti according to box directions and drain. Set aside.

In a small saucepan on high heat, melt butter. When it bubbles, use a wire whisk to stir and turn heat to medium low. Butter should bubble just a little and turn a darker amber color. Stir with whisk occasionally.

Spray a pan with nonstick spray and saute the bacon for about 3-4 minutes, till a little bit crisp. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms and saute for a couple minutes.

Bacon, garlic and mushrooms frying in the bacon's grease!

Add the browned butter and garlic salt, and mix together well. Lastly, add the spaghetti and toss everything
together, making sure to coat all the noodles with the butter sauce. Top with the shredded cheese.

Very tasty and filling. I love love love it! About 11 points per serving. Hope you enjoy it!

Served here with some home made garlic bread!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mama's Childhood Chili Mac

My kids love this! Actually, Coolio gave me an idea, but this is my spin on a childhood favorite. Nice and filling, kids (and adults!) will love it. Serves 6.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
8 oz elbow macaroni
1 can tomato paste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 cup shredded cheese, your choice (I used mozzarella)

Prepare elbow macaroni according to package. Drain and set aside.

Spray a pot with nonstick spray and brown the ground beef over high heat. Add the onion, minced garlic, chili powder and sugar. Saute and mix together well. Sugar will carmelize a bit. Add the kidney beans and stir. Add tomato paste and mushroom soup, and make sure to incorporate everything together well. Let simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the prepared elbow macaroni and coat everything with the sauce.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and pour the chili mac in. Bake in a preheaed 350F oven for about 15 minutes. Take it out and cover the top with the shredded cheese and put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, to melt the cheese.

Fresh out of the oven!

About 12 points per serving! We like to serve this with some garlic bread! Try it for your family at dinnertime!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Pecan!

Couple months late, but Happy Birthday Pecan! You are such a big girl now and I can't believe you are 3! Such a loving, gentle soul you are, and we couldn't be more proud! We love you, Pecan kid!

Pecan at 2 days old
Pecan at her 3rd Birthday Party

Family Update

We are all doing pretty good. My husband has had a change in career - from working as a Dish Network satellite installer into plumbing. So far he likes it and is doing really well. He has done that before, up in Seattle, before the economy crashed and now he is working towards his Journeyman license. He gets the weekends off, which is great, and we go to the local Unitarian Universalist Church in Oklahoma City. We love it there. Kids get to play with other kids and attend Sunday School, and there is a nice feeling of community. We have got to seek out other like-minded people after all! And it is no secret we are a very science-based, tolerant, secular (i.e. humanist - gasp! - ATHEIST) family.

In other news (Hah!), I have kept the weight off for a full year! Which is great. I do love that I can wear anything I want (still a size 6!) and am thinking of joining a gym opening soon nearby. So that is my other accomplishment.

The kids are doing fantastic. Getting so big! It is so awesome to see their personalities developing and so fun to watch them interact with each other and other people in general. It is a learning experience for us as parents too! It's amazing how your entire view on life changes once you have children. It is true - a baby changes everything. We are thinking of adding baby #4 around next year. In reality we have no set number really. We will decide when the time is right when we are done - but now is not that time. Whether you have 1 child or 12 children, it is a personal decision. You have to be able to keep up with them though! Not easy. I will have to admit my 3 girls can be quite a handful. But we wouldn't change a thing. Still cannot imagine life without them and our life prior to having them pales in comparison.

Meanwhile, here are some recent pics!

Myself sitting down with a napping Acorn at the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion
Peanut thrilled to meet Charlie the Dog

Acorn with her patented Camera Smile at the Oklahoma State Fair
Mommy with her three little girls
Dada having a man-lunch
Waiting for the kids at our church playground
Bouncing around!
Pecan and Peanut - they are always mistaken for twins!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crockpot Soy-Lemon Salmon

A great easy way to cook salmon! And of course, salmon is my favorite fish. Cooking in the crockpot makes the salmon so tender and flakey. Melts in your mouth! And it slow cooking really makes the flavors meld together really well.  Serves 8.

2 pounds salmon
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp paprika

Mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, dill weed and paprika.

Place the salmon in a square of tin foil, and spoon mixed sauce over it, spreading it over the flesh. Make a "packet" by folding on two sides and crimping the 2 ends.

 Place the foiled salmon in the dry crockpot. Stack them up neatly.

Cook for about 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low.

Very easy and delicious! About 3 points per serving! Yummy and guilt-free! Serve with the sides of your choice.

Served here with Garlic Fried Rice and Butter Fried Corn

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin bread! Here is my version of pumpkin bread, and I'll tell you, my family loves it! Delicious, moist and just awesome! Makes 2 loaves. Serves 20.

1 15 oz can pumpkin
4 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can condensed milk
1.5 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
4 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, then add the pumpkin, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and condensed milk and mix. Add then the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture in thirds, mixing well. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to get the bits off the sides and incorporate it with the rest of the batter.

Spray 2 9 X 5 loaf pans with nonstick spray and divide batter evenly between them. Stick it in the oven for about 55 minutes, checking to see if it is done by poking it with a fork. If it comes out clean, it is done. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then run a spatula around the edges of the bread to loosen, place bread on a wire rack to cool.

Only 7 points per slice! If you substitute applesauce for the oil, it will be 6 points per slice. Good as is, or you can add some cream cheese frosting or my caramel glaze. Love it!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken

This is easy to prepare and doesn't require a ton of ingredients. And the family loves it! So, a win-win all around! I like to serve it with fresh baked bread. It's a delicious combination. Serves 6.

1.5 pounds chicken breasts, sliced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1 cup peas
1 cup carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 packet Italian Dressing mix
1/2 cup water with 3 tbsps flour or cornstarch dissolved

Spray the crock with nonstick spray.

Mix and cream of cream of chicken soup and cream cheese together in the crock. Add the peas, carrots and celery. Give it a little stir. Add the chicken and Italian Dressing mix, and incorporate everything well, making sure the spices and soup mixture covers everything. Cook on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.

Serve it with rice, noodles, potatoes or bread. I personally prefer bread. Only 8 points per serving! Buon Appetito!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, or simply, Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

This is totally one of my favorite dishes! Obviously it is Italian, and a very popular way to eat spaghetti in Italy. Very simple dish, and wonderful to serve with some fresh, crusty bread! Serves 6.

1 pound spaghetti noodles
1/2 tbsp salt
1 cup olive oil
3 cloves whole garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp minced garlic
2 whole dried red peppers
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp parsley
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Prepare spaghetti according to box instructions, but add the salt to the water. Drain and set aside.

Pour the olive oil into a pan, and add the garlic on high heat. When it starts bubbling, turn down heat to low-medium and let it simmer. Do not let garlic get browned too fast, you want the garlic to slowly infuse the olive oil with flavor. When garlic is lightly toasted, turn heat off, and add the prepared spaghetti. Add the red peppers, black pepper, parsley and parmesan, and toss together, incorporating the flavors.

Serve and enjoy! I sure enjoyed it! About 12 points per serving. It is so so so awesome! I like to dip my bread into the oil, it just tastes so good!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crockpot Jerk Chicken with Cheese Broccoli Rice

Of course this is an easy meal that you can just throw together in minutes and forget about for a few hours till it's time for dinner. And it is yummy, the flavors contrast, yet complement each other well. Kids love it! 'Nuff said! Serves 6.

1.5 pounds chicken breasts
2.5 cups long grain rice
1 can cheese broccoli soup
2/3 cup evaporated milk + 2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cup regular milk
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne red pepper
1 tsp tumeric or ginger powder

Spray the crock with nonstick spray.

Pour the rice in the crock, and add the soup and milk. Mix well together.

Mix the brown sugar, allspice, onion powder, cayenne red pepper and tumeric together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the chicken. Rub in well to coat evenly. Lay chicken on top of the rice.

Replace the crock cover and cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 4 hours.

The house will smell awesome, and dinner will be REALLY awesome! Serve with a side of vegetables of your choice. About 12 points per serving.

Here served with Fried Green Beans.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Go-To Easy Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

When I really, REALLY don't have much time, this is my go-to meal. It never fails! It's SUPER easy, and you can go run errands or tend to other things, and you will come home to a great meal. Serves 6.

16 oz spaghetti
1 bag frozen cooked meatballs, any style (I used Italian)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 4-oz can mushrooms, drained
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sugar

Spray crock with nonstick spray.

Mix together the spaghetti sauce, onion, garlic, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper flakes and sugar in the crock. Add the frozen meatballs (no need to thaw!) and make sure the meatballs are covered with the sauce. Set crockpot on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

Prepare pasta according to box directions when it's almost time to eat. And enjoy! Top with some grated cheese if you wish. I like to serve this with garlic bread. About 13 points per serving.

My Husband's plate - he has some buttered garlic rolls!

Super Easy Crockpot Roast Beef

This is so easy. You throw them together in the crock and walk away for a few hours. And it is so delicious. As a busy mom, and at this point in my life, I like to do simple yet flavorful meals because i like to make the most of my time. And this really fits the bill! Serves 6.

2 pound beef roast, any cut
1 packet onion dip mix
1 packet italian dressing mix
1 can beef broth

Spray crock with nonstick spray.

Lay the roast in the crock fat side up. Sprinkle the onion dip and italian dressing mix over both sides of the roast. Pour the beef broth around the sides of the roast. Turn on the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, high for 6 hours. When done, keep the broth. It is Au Jus, and makes an awesome dip/sauce!

That is totally it! I like to serve it with freshly baked french bread. I love to dip the sandwich in the broth. Fantastic! You can serve it with the sides of your choice though. About 4 points per serving.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

This is a quick meal you can whip up for the family. It's nutritious, wholesome, and my kids ate all their veggies! Serves 6.

12 oz lean beef, any cut, sliced (I just used regular chuck)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground ginger
1 bag frozen stir fry mixed vegetables

Heat the sesame and vegetable oil. Cook the onion and garlic for a couple minutes, and add the beef. Saute for about 5 minutes, adding the sesame seeds, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and red pepper flakes. Throw in your bag of mixed veggies, and saute for another 5 minutes or so, till all is done, and veggies don't look wilted. There will be a little liquid in the pan still, and that is fine.

Serve as a topping over white rice. Simple and yummy! My husband says I should cook this more often. About 6 points per serving.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crockpot Smothered Chicken and Rice

As you know, I have been using the crockpot nearly everyday due to the blazing Oklahoma summer. I am really happy that The Rival Company marketed the Crock Pot and now it's making the lives of busy moms like me easier. This meal is simple to throw together and tastes awesome. Perfect! Serves 6.

1.5 pounds chicken breasts
2 cups uncooked rice
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp parsely
2 cans mushrooms, not drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Spray crock with nonstick spray.

Pour the uncooked rice on the bottom of the crockpot. Add the mushrooms, including the liquid. Add the water. Mix together.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture and dust with the black pepper. Put onions on top and pour the cream of chicken soup over everything. Top with the parsley and parmesan cheese. Cook on low for 6 hours, high for 4 hours.

Just done!

About 10 points per serving! Hearty and really hits the spot! Dig in!

Served with Steamed Broccoli

Simple Crockpot Steak

A cinch to prepare and cooks itself - what's there not to like? Even my husband - who is not much into steak, likes it made this way. That's fine with me, it's takes barely 5 minutes to put together in a crockpot and leave it to cook for a few hours. And the crockpot has a knack for making any cut of meat you cook in it tender and moist, so you don't have to use the really expensive cuts. Serves 4.

1.5 pounds sliced beef steak of your choice (I just used chuck)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 cans mushrooms, drained
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced, your choice color

Spray the crock with nonstick spray.

Rub the steaks with the minced garlic and black pepper. Lay in the bottom of the crock. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the steaks, and cover steaks with the onion, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cover with lid and cook low for 6 hours, on high for 4 hours.

Seriously, that is it! Enjoy it with any side of your choice. It tastes great! 6
points per serving.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crockpot Ranch Chicken Dinner

As you know, I have been using my crockpot pretty often lately because it has been so hot. I decided that we were going to have chicken tonight, and here is what I came up with. It does taste great, easy to make, and cooks itself. Serves 6.

1.5 pounds chicken breasts
6 red potatoes, chopped
8 oz frozen mixed veggies
1 can cream of celery soup + 1/2 can water
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Spray crock with nonstick spray.

Put the cream of celery soup in a bowl and add a half a can of water. Add the ranch dressing mix and stir well to blend. Set aside.

Put potatoes on the bottom of the crock. Pile the mixed veggies on top of the potatoes. Arrange chicken on top and sprinkle with black pepper, both sides. Pour the celery soup mixture over the chicken to cover well.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.

Right when done

Only 9 points per serving! Simple, nutritious and tastes awesome! Sure to be a family go-to meal!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Crockpot Southwestern Pork Chops and Rice

I decided to make this when I was wanting to serve pork chops, but without baking or frying them. It is just too hot nowadays to bother using the oven or stove top! This is an all-in-one meal and is easy to make. Delicious too! Serves 6.

1.5 pounds pock chops (I like to use thin cut boneless)
1 can red beans, drained
2  cups rice
1 can diced tomatoes with fire roasted chiles (I used Tex-Mex blend)
1/2 cup water
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced (any color)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder

Spray crock with nonstick spray.

Mix together the red beans, rice and tomatoes in bottom of the crock. Add water and stir. Layer the onion and bell pepper on top of the mixture.

Mix the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl and sprinkle over both sides of the pork chops, rubbing it in to coat evenly. Arrange pork chops over the onion and bell pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for 8 hours on low, 6 hours on high.

Only 7 points per serving! Great tasting and good for you! Plus so easy to prepare! Big plus for busy mamas.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Honey Barbecue Chicken Wings in the Crockpot

WE LOVE WINGS, PERIOD! This recipe saves on time, and is sweet, spicy and tangy. You just throw it in the oven after it's done for just a few minutes to have a little bit of crispness to it, but it will be absolutely tender and fall-off-the-bone good! Serves 6.

1 family size pack chicken wings
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)
3 tbsps honey
1 tbsp chili powder

Spray crock with nonstick spay.

Put the onion, garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, ginger powder, hot sauce and honey into the crock and mix well. Throw in your chicken wings, and sprinkle chili powder on them. Mix everything very well, making sure the wings are coated in the sauce and the chili powder.

Cook on low for 8 hours and high for 6 hours. If you want some crispiness to the skin, line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with nonstick spray and bake in a preheated 425F oven for 5 minutes each side.

Serve! Great as an entree or even a snack! Awesome for parties! 8 points per serving!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Crockpot Chili Mac

You can tell I've been really busy. I've been using my crockpot so often! Well, I love chili mac and it's one of my favorite foods. So I decided to make it in a crockpot, busy mom that I am. Super yummy!!! Serves 6.

1 pound pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 onions, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less)
1 packet chili powder mix
1 cup sugar
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
Parmesan cheese to taste

Prepare pasta according to box directions. Set aside.

Spray a pan with nonstick spray and saute 1 onion and the garlic for a couple minutes. Add the beef and brown. Add half of the chili mix packet, the red pepper flakes and half of the sugar. Brown for about 5 more minutes, letting everything incorporate and mixing well. Put the beef in the crock when done.

Pour in all the tomatoes, the rest of the sugar and chili packet. Mix together well. Cook for 6 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

Serve on top of the pasta and, if you so desire, top with some of the reserved chopped onions and some Parmesan cheese. Super good! I totally love this, really. And it is only 10 points a serving. Really!

I like to serve it with Garlic Bread on the side!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki

Pretty good Chicken Teriyaki, if you'll ask me. Easy to make, and fuss-free to serve. Serve over plain white rice and some steamed veggies on the side. Serves 6.

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsps sesame oil
1/2 cup water with 2 tbsps corn starch dissolved

Spray your crock with nonstick spray. 

Lay the chicken in the crock. Throw in 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, the black pepper and the red pepper flakes. Mix well. Add the sesame seeds, and mix everything together.

In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil and remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar. Make sure sugar is dissolved. Pour over the chicken in the crock. Cook for 6 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

When done, pour in the dissolved corn starch and stir around the chicken to thicken the sauce a bit. Try to loosen up the chicken a bit if it has stuck together some, as it sometimes happens in crockpots. Replace lid and let sit for 10 minutes to set.

Easy and delicious! Mommies can always appreciate a meal that requires not a lot of prep time, and the crockpot literally makes the food cook itself. that is why I love it so much! 5 points per serving! Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Homestyle Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This is so good and simple. It will knock your socks off! You can use your favorite brand of Barbecue sauce or use my family version. A nice meal to round out a busy day. Serves 6.

1.5 to 2 pounds lean pork loin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 onions, sliced

For my Barbecue Sauce:

1 small can tomato paste + 1 can water
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne red pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps liquid smoke
1 cup strained pork drippings from crockpot

Spray crock with nonstick spray. Cover bottom of crock with 1 of the sliced onions.

Mix together the brown sugar, black pepper and paprika. Rub all over the pork loin, making sure to coat evenly. Now you lay your coated pork loin on the onions in the crock and cover the top with the other onion. Cover and set to cook for 6-7 hours low and 4 hours high.

When done, strain onions from the pork drippings and return to the crock. Place cooked pork loin on a plate and, with 2 forks, pull pork to shred. So that's why it's called pulled pork!

If you decide to use my Barbecue sauce recipe, just put the tomato paste and the can of water in a saucepan  and heat till no lumps, stirring it. Add the mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne red pepper, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Stir well to make sure everything is incorporated. Now lastly, add the strained pork drippings from the crockpot, stir in, bring to a milk boil and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Return the pork into the crock with the onions in it, and pour your barbecue sauce in over the pork. Mix everything together well, cover and cook on high for another hour.

Yum yum yum! I like to serve this with coleslaw and pickles on the side, gherkins in particular. Complements the taste very well! We had it with plain white bread with it too, instead of buns, and that is OK, that's what we had in the cupboard. Be bad and serve some Diet Sprite or 7-Up with it too! But that is just my own taste. Do your own thing! About 9 points per sandwich. Not bad at all! Serve it up!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken

Of course I had time and practicality on my mind when I threw this together. This is a twist on the old standby, Brown Sugar Chicken. It is delicious and I promise your kids will like it's savory sweet taste. Serves 6.

1 pound chicken breasts, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water with 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed in

Spray crock with nonstick spray. 

Lay the chicken, onions and garlic on the bottom. Dump in the brown sugar and mix together well. Add in the black pepper, red pepper flakes and ginger powder. Mix well, making sure everything is coated well. Lastly, add the soy sauce and vinegar, mix, and put lid on. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. When done, add the water and cornstarch mixture, stir well, and replace lid to let sit and thicken for about 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! I personally serve with rice and a side of steamed veggies. About 5 points per serving.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

I made this tonight and it came out pretty well. I have to say, if you have small children, take it easy on the Red Pepper Flakes, or serve it on the side. But it is good, filling and nutritious! And easy to make, of course. Serves 6.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water with 2 tbsp conrstarch dissolved into it
3 cups broccoli, chopped
3 cups carrots, chopped

In a deep frying pan or wok, heat up the vegetable and sesame oil together, and throw in your garlic and onion. Fry that up for a minute or two, and add your chicken. At this point, I like to add my spices. Add the red pepper flakes, ginger powder, parsley, salt and allspice. Cook till chicken is an opaque white and make sure to mix the spices well into everything. Add the broccoli and carrots, and pour in your soy sauce. Stir fry till everything is incorporated. Cover, set heat on medium and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve over rice. It's fast, delicious and only 5 points per serving! Enjoy it now!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Finally Got To Oklahoma

Yes folks, we are here, we made it down in one piece. It took us about 4 days to drive down here - no easy feat with 3 kids under 5! LOL! We got to see a lot of nice scenery though. Our first day we set out and drove from Washington to Billings, Montana, and we spent the night there.

Montana Scenery

Billings, MT street scene

On Day 2, we set out to go to Denver, Colorado. We cut through Wyoming to get there. I must say, even though Wyoming doesn't have a lot of towns or people, I like it there. I like the scenery and people seemed friendly. 

Wyoming Scenery

Beautiful Wyoming Skies

When we got to Denver, I had the good fortune to meet one of my friends from Facebook, Donna. She is such a warm and wonderful person! Her little girl is so cute! She has a lovely little family. I am so happy to have met you Donna! 

Donna and I with our babies

We originally planned to drive straight to Oklahoma City from there,  but it suddenly seemed so overwhelming (13 hours!) so we decided to split it up over 2 days. We spent the night in Salina, Kansas.

Our Family at a Salina, KS Ihop

And we made it to Oklahoma City on the 4th day. Awesome! We are doing pretty good, settled in fairly well. It is HOT down here, but I can see the sun, and that is all good to me. Kids are doing well, and my husband S. is doing great at his new job. Jobs are plentiful here, it's awesome! All in all, we like it down here, and are grateful we got to move. Yep! So that's my update on our family for now! Cheerio!