Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

As you know, if you have been reading my blog awhile, I believe healthier eating is achieved at home without relying on processed, packaged or fast foods.  I also believe it is cheaper in the long run to cook than to eat out frequently.  That is why I post quick, easy recipes in an effort to inspire those of you who really don’t like to cook or who may not have much cooking experience.  Remember, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up the kitchen don’t have to be done by one person all the time.  Even children can and should help out and certainly men and women should be able to prepare meals.

Where do I find the recipes that I use?  Some I created but most I’ve collected from a variety of sources.  Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living are two of my favorite magazine sources for recipes.  They both feature light or healthy sections on cooking.  Taste of Home is another magazine devoted to recipes and cooking tips.  My favorite website is allrecipes.com.  That is my go to source whenever I’m looking for something different.  There are plenty of other good websites and magazines to check out.

Did you know that a crockpot isn’t just for cheese dip?  A crockpot or slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to prepare a meal.  If you don’t have one, I recommend you buy one.  My husband gave me a new one for Christmas (my family likes to give gifts that keep on giving) because my old one died in November.  It is a Hamilton Beach, 6 quart, programable slow cooker and I love it.  It has more options than my old one such as a warm setting and is super easy to use and clean.  I have two recipes to share, one I created and one that is so easy ANYONE could make it.

Cherried Chicken
2 1/2 to 3 lbs skinless chicken, legs or breasts
1 tsp. herb pepper seasoning like lemon pepper, (can be left out)
1 15 oz. can pitted dark sweet cherries, drained
1 12 oz. bottle chili sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray and place chicken in bottom.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Mix other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over chicken.  Cook on low 5 to 6 hours or high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
I put this on the other morning before the kids left for school.  It took 15 minutes.  I did cook it longer, probably 7 hours and it was fine.  I served it over rice with green beans on the side.  Five ingredients – it doesn’t get much easier!


Slow Cooker Minute Steaks with Tomatoes and Carrots
4 to 6 minute steaks or cube steaks
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
Mix flour and seasonings in a shallow bowl or pie plate.  Dredge minute steaks in flour mixture and brown in 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Transfer steaks to a slow cooker lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
1 onion sliced thin
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 tsp. basil
Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. salt
Add sliced onion to pan and brown in remaining oil and drippings.  While onion cooks, slice carrots and sprinkle over meat in slow cooker.  Spread can of tomatoes evenly over carrots and meat.  Add onions when browned and sprinkle with spices.  Cook 6 to 7 hours on low heat or 4 hours on high heat.  Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.
This is a recipe I created and one of my family’s favorites.  Talk about comfort food!  The meat is inexpensive and just falls apart.

Think how nice it would be to walk into your house after a day at work and smell your dinner, ready to eat!  I hope you will be inspired to try a slow cooker.  With everything in one pot, clean up is a snap too.  Happy cooking and have a good weekend.

Upadated on January 14, 2010

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