“For me, the magic of Hawaii comes from the stillness, the sea, the stars.” ~ Joanne Harris

Ugh, another cold, cold dreary day.

It is time for you to leave, Old Man Winter. You have overstayed your welcome.

On days like these, I can’t help but think about nice, sunny, warm days at the beach and today my mind is on this particular beach.

Hanauma Bay in Honolulu.

What a fabulous day this was…….

DSC04007_2So in honor of this day in my memory we are having Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken.

If only it could take me back!

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

(adapted from Chef-in-Training)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained

Mix all ingredients except pineapple chunks and cook in crock pot on low for 6 hours.  Add the pineapple chunks in for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Remove chicken, shred and return to pot.

Serve over rice.

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Aloha!

-abp

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“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Ahh, chicken noodle soup.

A classic.

I must admit – I have never craved or really wanted chicken noodle soup.

I’m not sure I have even had it when I was sick.

I mean, I’ve had Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, but nothing beyond that.

So what drew me to this recipe? I’m not sure.

Maybe it was the ease of it.

But I’m sure glad something did because now I am a huge fan and now I have a soup to take someone when they are under the weather.

I hope you find it as easy and enjoyable as I did.

Chicken Noodle Soup

(adapted from Yummy Mummy Club)

  • 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped or sliced carrots
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks of fresh rosemary
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger (¼ inch thick)
  • 1 box chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Crazy Jane Seasoning Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Zoe’s seasoning (you could use an Italian or Greek blend seasoning)
  • 2-3 cups egg noodles

Place celery, carrots, onions, rosemary and ginger in bottom of crockpot. Top with seasoning. Pour in broth and wine and stir to mix.

Place chicken on top and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Remove Chicken, shred and return to crock pot.

Add in noodles and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with hot cornbread. 🙂

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium cooking onion, peeled and sliced (in large pieces so picky eaters can easily pick them out)
2 slices ginger (approx. 1/4 inch thick each), peeled
2-3 stocks fresh rosemary
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used a few more because the club-sized package was on sale)
1 container low sodium chicken broth (approx: 900mL—if not using wine add additional broth)
1 cup white wine (Optional but highly recommended)
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cups egg noodles

– See more at: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/maija-moments-canned-soup-mom/20121119/crockpot-chicken-noodle-soup#sthash.VYgYXNS9.dpuf

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium cooking onion, peeled and sliced (in large pieces so picky eaters can easily pick them out)
2 slices ginger (approx. 1/4 inch thick each), peeled
2-3 stocks fresh rosemary
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used a few more because the club-sized package was on sale)
1 container low sodium chicken broth (approx: 900mL—if not using wine add additional broth)
1 cup white wine (Optional but highly recommended)
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cups egg noodles

– See more at: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/maija-moments-canned-soup-mom/20121119/crockpot-chicken-noodle-soup#sthash.VYgYXNS9.dpuf

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I have two friends that I do not get to see as much as I used to so we have tried to get together for breakfast once a month so we could catch up.  We would always meet at a restaurant but since Elizabeth has come along we have found it easier to meet as each others homes.

We first did a wonderful Christmas breakfast at one friend’s house so this time I thought I would have them to mine.

Although, we had lunch because there was no way that I would have me, Elizabeth and food ready in time for breakfast!

No lady’s luncheon would be complete without a good fluffy fruit salad. The salad of choice that day was Cherry Dream.

Cherry Dream Salad

(adapted from From Glitter to Gumdrops)

1 can Cherry pie filling (24 oz)
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 can of Crushed Pineapple, well drained
2/3 bag Mini Marshmallows
1 cup Chopped Pecans
16-24oz Cool Whip (according to how fluffy you want it)

Combine all the ingredients except for pie filling and cool whip.
Stir in pie filling, then fold in Whip cream. Chill for at least 4 hours.

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“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” ~ Mark Twain

The grand finale of my Italian Valentine’s Week was a huge success!!

My husband said it was probably one of the best meals he has ever had.

It was good (if I do say so myself 🙂 )

It’s probably one of the most traditional Italian meals that also happens to be my husband’s favorite.

He loves Meatballs.  He gets spaghetti with meatballs, cheese bread with meatballs, calzones with meatballs and pizza with meatballs.

So it makes perfect sense to……

Make meatballs.

Traditional Meatballs

(adapted from Paula Deen)

  • 1½ pounds ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground hot Italian sausage
  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350˚

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack over baking sheet, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine ground chuck, sausage, panko, cheese, garlic, parsley, basil, and salt. Add beaten eggs, stirring gently to combine.

Shape into 2½-inch balls. Place on prepared rack, and bake for 30 minutes.

Makes around 24 meatballs. I froze half to pull out for an easy meal later.

Add to your favorite homemade or jarred spaghetti sauce.

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-abp

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.” ~ Bil Keane

Here is day 2 of my Sweetheart’s Italian food inspired Valentine’s Day Week.
This one is so simple, I actually feel bad saying “it’s part of a special week menu” – but not too bad. 😉

Had it not been so simple he may have had only 2 special meals instead of 3 because Friday, I’m going all out!

Well, all out for my standards.
Anywho, here’s the scoop on the simplest meal ever.

Hug-Your-Hubby
Crockpot Italian Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 red potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 bag small carrots
  • 16 oz Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Add all ingredients to your crockpot, vegetables on the bottom. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove chicken to a bowl and shred. Remove vegetables to separate bowl. Take juice from crockpot and pour over the shredded chicken.

Add garlic bread and it’s perfect!

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-abp

“A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.” ~ Rupert Brooke

I love Valentine’s Day – the love, the candy, the colors.  It’s just a fun but low key holiday. A time that you can be cheesy in love with your significant other or other family members.

My husband’s favorite type of food is Italian, so in honor of my sweetheart this Valentine’s Day week, I am making three Italian dinners. The first one being a very simple dish that on a plate doesn’t look so simple.

Would be a great 1st dinner you cook for a new love! 🙂

Sweetheart Tomato and Basil Chicken

(adapted from Menu Musings of an American Modern Mom)

  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Dry Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (halved and quartered)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (I used the jarred kind to save time)
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter
  • ¾ cup basil – divided (cut into ribbons)
  • Parmesan Cheese

Start water for fettuccine and heat up olive oil in large pan on medium/high heat.

Season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.

Brown chicken for 4-5 minutes on both sides.

Add in tomatoes, garlic, ½ cup basil and butter. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and keep warm until fettuccine is ready.

Serve chicken over pasta with sauce and top with remaining basil and Parmesan cheese.

Love on a plate!

Sweetheart Tomato and Basil Chicken | Poore Amy-abp

“I was a sloppy kid, wanted to be just wild.” ~Etta James

Since I only made one appetizer for the Super Bowl, I had to make a meal to go with it.

I wanted to stick with the “Super Bowl” themed food but I didn’t feel like making wings and it’s just to cold out to grill burgers so I decided to make homemade Sloppy Joes.

These are so much better than the canned kind!  It’s so good, I could eat it by itself with a spoon.  I’m trying to come up with another way to use it besides in between two buns.

It’s super easy to make and can also be doubled for a crowd. I once did that and took to a tailgate party.

(I actually halved this because there was only 3 of us)

Homemade Sloppy Joes

(adapted from Chef In Training)

  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 10 hamburger buns

Brown meat and onions, drain.

Add tomato sauce and stir until meat is coated. Mix in remaining ingredients (minus buns).

Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened.

Serve on toasted, buttered buns with a couple pickles.

Homemade Sloppy Joes |Poore Amy-abp

“The Super Bowl is Americana at its most kitsch and fun.” ~ Sting

I must admit – I’m not a huge pro football fan but I do like the Super Bowl and yes, it’s because of the commercials. I also usually like the excuse to have people over and/or make yummy appetizers because appetizers are my fav!

Also – I love Peyton Manning. So, this year I will be pulling for the Broncos.

No big party this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a yummy appetizer and this year’s appetizer will be a little thing called Cajun Crack.

Cajun Crack

  • 2 cans of corn, drained
  • 1 can of rotel, drained (mild)
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoon Tony’s Seasoning
  • Fritos

Drain corn and Rotel. Combine all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Serve with Fritos.

phontoThe original recipe called to serve it chilled but you cook also cook it in a baking dish at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

And to be honest – I think next time that’s what I would do but if I kept it cold, I would use green onions instead of red onions.

Also, in the cold version, I might add chopped green pepper. Basically, this is a good base but it needs to be dressed up to your taste. 🙂

-abp

“We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt.” ~ Walter Scott

Well, whadayaknow.  It snowed!!!

Once my husband was home safe and sound – it was wonderful!!! A glorious, perfect fluffy, white snow that didn’t melt in 2 hours. Such a rare, rare occurrence.

Unfortunately, that snow brought a lot of heartache for many people an hour or so away. My heart goes out to those people and families who were stranded or separated from one another.

Since we were snowed in, I’m glad I had the items on hand to make the a new crock pot recipe I had been wanting to try.

And no, it did not need any milk or bread. 🙂

Mississippi Chuck Roast

(adapted from A Perfectly Lovely Ordinary Day)

  • 1 chuck roast
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 package of dry ranch dressing
  • 1 package of dry au jus gravy mix
  • 5 pepperocini peppers (in a jar) – more if they are small, I used 8-9
  • 1 teaspoon pepperocini pepper juice

Place roast in crock pot.

Cover with ranch dressing, then gravy mix.

Place stick of butter on top of roast, along with the peppers.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred with 2 forks in the crock pot. Serve with a slotted spoon to drain excess gravy.

This was beyond delicious! My husband said I need never make a different type roast again!

mississippi

-abp