POSTS WITH TAG: dinner

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    There are certain things I regularly use my Crock-Pot for: slow-cooked beef, chicken soup, pork loin, and stew. Those are all classic slow-cooker fare, but you know what I'm finding out? My Crock-Pot can do much more -- SO much more.

    I love my slow cooker. It's convenient and easy to use, and any busy mom will sing its praises as an old-school yet totally awesome must-have appliance. But my slow-cooker skills have been limited -- until now! I have recently discovered that there are so many other concoctions that can be created in my humble Crock-Pot.

    Check out these 6 cool things you probably didn't know you could make in your Crock-Pot!

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    Can you believe that it's St. Patrick's Day this Monday? March is truly flying by, and who knew it'd be time to whip out the green outfits and beer so soon? You're already set with some typical St. Patrick's Day recipes, like Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and Shamrock Shakes. But since the temps still have yet to warm up in most parts of the U.S., why not indulge in one last ultimate comfort food -- traditional Irish shepherd's pie.

    This Irish shepherd's pie recipe from Food.com is super straightforward and versatile. You pretty much cook all the ingredients in a pot, top it off with some mashed potatoes, and brush the potatoes with egg and Parmesan cheese -- and you're done! Hearty, delicious, versatile, filled with beef or lamb, this will surely get you into the Irish spirit in no time. The popular dish, also called cottage pie, originated in the UK and Ireland, so feel free to honor its origin and indulge a little this holiday!

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    We eat a whole lot of chicken in our family. There are several reasons why: Chicken is versatile, it’s affordable, and my daughter will actually eat it! Yes, all good, nay, great reasons. But here is my favorite thing about chicken: We can buy one chicken and create three meals from it.

    First, I should mention that our family is small -- there are just three of us. So this whole one chicken = three meals thing only works for families consisting of three or four members. If you have a large brood, you’ll need to use two or more chickens.Here's how to create three vastly different meals with just one chicken.

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    Sometimes you plan a meal that you later realize -- like, seconds before you're about to arrive home from work or running errands to actually cook it -- may not excite every member of the family. You brace yourself for the moans and groans and think all the while, I worked hard all day and then slaved over a hot stove to make a healthy dinner that everyone hates. Great -- pass the wine, please!

    This Crock-Pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe will create the absolute opposite scenario. You just set it to go in the morning and, nine hours later, you get to sit down and relax with family over a delicious, hearty, healthy, and no-fuss meal that will leave everyone smiling. And if you choose to enjoy a glass of wine, it will be a celebratory one.

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    Every day around lunchtime, I am slapped in the face with a huge pang of food envy. While my family does get delicious dinners, my midday meals pretty much suck. I’m a decent cook, and my daughter even claims that I’m the best chef in the whole wide world, but during my busy workday, lunch becomes a necessity rather than a meal to savor. This is when the food jealousy creeps in.

    While scanning through my friends' Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds, I am left salivating after seeing photos of the amazing, beautiful food they eat for lunch. I should add that I have many a food blogger in my inner circle, so they're pros at making incredible meals and sharing the results online. So there I am. Staring at my own, lame lunch --which 9 times out of 10 is quinoa, hummus, lettuce, and egg. Yes, it may be healthy, but it ain’t pretty. And it's almost always the same.

    Thank heaven for the hysterically funny new "Sad Food" trend!

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    I had never heard of albondigas, or Mexican meatball soup, until I met my husband. This was a staple in his childhood home with his Latina mother making this soothing soup for her four children often. Whenever we go down to San Diego to visit, the first thing she asks when we arrive is, "Do you guys want some albondigas?" even before we exchanges hugs or hellos.

    Throughout the years I have worked on mastering my own version of albondigas, which I make whenever one of us is feeling a bit under the weather or just if the mood strikes. It really does make us feel better if we’re sick and makes us happy even when we're not. I've taken liberties with the recipe I learned from my stepmother: I added in the tomatoes, got rid of the mushrooms, and threw in more spice. It's to the point now that my husband prefers mine to hers. Just don't tell her that -- promise?

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    This isn't a public service message or a way to share five fantastic recipes with you. No, this is a reminder to myself...I must, must, MUST bookmark these recipes right now!

    I make these five dishes all the time, but I always end up having to do a Google search for the recipes beforehand. They're meals my family loves -- even my uber-picky 8-year-old -- and I enjoy making. Yes, I totally swear by ALL of them.

    Check out the 5 recipes you need to have in your stash:

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    If you're anything like me, you can fall into a food rut. You know, when you wind up eating the same thing time and time again? It's not the food's fault, but day in and day out, eating the foods -- even ones we love -- can start to feel like a really boring routine. It's not our fault either. We lead busy lives, and sometimes it's easier to just go ahead and pick the fast, easy, well-known option than it is to spend even five minutes doing something to spice up your food-life.

    But it doesn't have to be that way! Our once-favorite foods can be something we look forward to once again, and all it takes is just a little bit of imagination. We're here to help! You don't need to scour the web looking endlessly for new ways to turn stuff like oatmeal or macaroni and cheese into novelties -- because we've done the heavy lifting for you! 

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    There's nothing better for the soul, especially in the wintertime, than a good old-fashioned Crock-Pot chicken dinner. Think about it: you're stuck at work longer than usual, the sun has gone down early, and the air contains a wicked chill. Your evening commute is long and cold. The last thing you want to do is walk through your door and have to prepare dinner for four. Slow cooker meals, like this amazing chicken and dumplings recipe, can be prepared well in advance and are ready to feed your family when you're ready to eat. This recipe takes just 10 minutes of prep time, cooks in 6 hours, and feeds 8 hungry folks. Perfection in one pot!

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    Inspired by an Asian recipe, Hudson Valley based Chef Ryan McClintock brought this green bean dish to the Italian side with a fresh herbaceous handmade aioli. Aioli is basically the best mayonnaise you've ever had -- with a twist. Pair the warm green beans with salt cured radishes for a bitter and sharp combination. Once the aioli is added, this makes a great vegetable dish or starter.  

    You can taste Ryan's dishes at the highly regarded farm to table restaurant Global Palate in West Park, NY, where he is Sous Chef. Here is the recipe for these delicious warm blistered green beans and salt cured radishes with a cool aioli you'll want to put on everything. 

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