How to Cook No-Soak Red Beans
in a Pressure Cooker
Want red beans without the hassle of soaking them? Cook them in an electric pressure cooker. It’s easy to do, no soaking required, and it only takes an hour to cook them. [Read more…]
Want red beans without the hassle of soaking them? Cook them in an electric pressure cooker. It’s easy to do, no soaking required, and it only takes an hour to cook them. [Read more…]
The best kind of cooking on Easter weekend is with a slow cooker because there is very little food preparation to do. A slow-cooked ham is so easy. Buying a ham works well for two people because it goes a long way. You can make many meals out of a large ham.
On this Saturday before Easter, I am making breakfast with eggs, ham that I bought on sale at the grocery store this week, and Thomas Nooks and Crannies English muffins. These muffins are light, 100 calorie, multigrain, eight grams of fiber, less than 1 g sugar, 170 mg sodium, and 0 g saturated fat.
The ham I purchased is 7.72 pounds, a lot of ham for two people. However, some of this ham will be frozen for later. Part of it is being cooked in a slow cooker today with asparagus, lunch (and maybe dinner, too) for two, my husband and me.
What I like about this particular ham, other than that I just love the taste, is the price. It was on sale for $.88 a pound. I only paid $6.79. A big ham for two. A humdinger of a ham. It’s enough to make several meals for us and saves a lot of money on meat. It comes in handy to purchase meat when on sale.
I did splurge, however, on eggs. The farmers’ market had fresh organic eggs, not the least expensive for sure. Spending $6 or $7 (I saw eggs for sale at both of these prices there) on eggs definitely is expensive when you are trying to stick close to a budget. Nevertheless, I purchased the eggs because they are fresher than what is found at the grocery stores. Or are they?
Are farmers’ market eggs really that much better than what you find in the supermarkets? And are farmers’ market eggs worth paying $6 or $7 a dozen in 2017 when you can find them at a dollar store for less than two bucks? It was worth it to me, at least that day. Actually, I prefer organic food over chemically-sprayed farm and garden veggies and fruits. They are simply better for us.
Speaking of food prices, do you follow pattycakespantry.com? I just love the new feature Pattycakes has added to her blog. She now shows the cost of each recipe ingredient, a wonderful convenience for budget-conscious home chefs.
Pattycakes and I teamed up April 2016 for 30 days of slow cooker meals (kitchenhospitality.com) and 30 days of bean recipes (Pattycakespantry.com). We decided to do this again for this month, April 2017. Pattycakes is doing 30 days of canned meals, and I’m doing the meals for two.
The plan was to announce it by the first of the month. An unexpected dilemma, however, hindered me from accomplishing that task – technical computer and Internet difficulties. Finally, I figured out what the problem was and fixed it.
Kitchenhospitality.com is featuring meals for two during this month. If you have missed the previous fourteen days of recipes, be sure to look at what has already been posted this month. One day was skipped (due to that crazy WiFi/Internet/Computer problem) that I will make up by posting two recipes one day this month.
Posts on this blog sometimes include affiliate links to items or services that I like or recommend. If you decide to purchase any of those items or services, I will receive a small commission. Though at no additional cost to you, I sincerely appreciate your support by purchasing any of these items or services.
Today’s meals, as previously mentioned, include ham. Beginning with breakfast, here are the menu plans:
In the following recipe, I’ve used a particular seasoning that my trucker husband purchases occasionally on one of his routes. It’s called Santa Fe Seasons Six Seasonings, and I love it. This seasoning is a blend of various herbs and spices. You may use whichever herb and spice seasonings you have on hand. Santa Fe Seasons also carries amazing salsas.
Lemon honey ham and asparagus meal for two cooked in a slow cooker
Cut 16 slices of the ham and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Dissolve/melt two tablespoons of lemon (or other flavor) honey in 1/2 cup hot water.
Pour honey water into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Cut off the hard ends of the asparagus.
Tear a sheet of foil (if it's thin, double it) big enough to shape into a bowl to place into the slow cooker.
Cover the slow cooker with its lid, plug it in, turn the dial to high, and cook four 3-1/2 hours.
If you like asparagus and have never cooked it in a slow cooker, you have to try this. It is so tender. This ham and veggie slow cooker meal is one of the easiest ones to make and perfect for Easter weekend – not a lot of meal prep or cooking required.
Thank you for visiting kitchenhospitality.com. I’d love to have you come back again to enjoy my southern flair of recipes.
Have a wonderful Easter weekend!
Frustrated with being overweight? I can understand. It seems like you’ve done everything, tried diet after diet, and you still don’t lose weight. If anything, you gain. And the older you get, the harder it is to lose the weight.
When I was a teenager, my wise dad told me, “Honey, you’ll have to watch your weight for the rest of your life.” At the time, I didn’t fully understand what that bit of wisdom fully entailed. Now, in my fifties, I get it.
In my twenties, I exercised in aerobic classes, dieted, and got the weight off when I worked at it. The thirties were pretty much the same except that I replaced aerobics with walking for fitness. Even in my forties, I kept trying to get fit. It became a little more difficult to keep the weight off, especially when I sat at a computer all the time. I continued to struggle throughout the twenties, thirties, forties and, now, fifties – and still am watching my weight!
So, yes, I know how you feel. It seems like you’re eating okay. At least, you don’t think you’re overeating. Then you start measuring your food.
Does it make that much a difference if you don’t measure your food? Yes!
Years ago, while on Weight Watchers, I started measuring my food. I lost weight. I stopped measuring what I ate and gained weight back.
Do sweet or salty snacks tempt you the most? Whether sugary or savory, moderation and eating proper nutrition will help you reach your desired weight.
Like to eat a little something sweet after dinner, like one or two cookies? A cup of ice cream? You might feel that those little nighttime snacks are not hurting you. It’s not like you’re gorging yourself with two or three servings or anything. Right?
Every slice of bread, cookie, ice cream serving, and added carb and extra calorie can affect weight control. Carefully monitor what and how much you are eating every day. If you don’t, what seems like not overeating to you may, in reality, be way more than you realize.
When I started using Beachbody’s 21-Day Fix program, amazing changes began happening. Healthy nutrients combined with workouts showed me that getting fit over 50 is doable.
If you are over 50 (or not) and want to get fit in 2017, you can do it! Fitness is reachable when you include a daily workout plan along with monitoring food intake. Accountability helps, too.
Start your own 2017 fitness journey. You’ve got the whole year ahead of you. You can do this.
Looking for an easy kind of meat to cook in the slow cooker? Try pork chops. Just thaw them out the night before, and put them in the slow cooker the next morning to cook on low all day.
Pork chops occasionally go on sale for 99 cents per pound at this one grocery store I shop at. I’ll buy a few packages and freeze them. They are good pan fried, grilled, baked, broiled, and cooked in the slow cooker.
One of the pork chop recipes I’ve tried in my Rival Crock-Pot is a quick way to cook in the slow cooker. I first brown the chops then put them into the Crock-Pot. However, when you’re working an eight-hour day, you need an all-day recipe.
A basic recipe for a pork chop meal, such as the one below, in the slow cooker requires no browning beforehand. [Read more…]
How do you make garlic potatoes? If you haven’t used those cute little red, yellow, and purple potatoes, you should put that on your list of foods to try. Mini potatoes go great in stews. I can’t remember if my mother ever made stews with the little potatoes, but I like them. She always had potatoes in her stews and pot roasts, though. In fact, when I was in my teens, she often put regular and sweet potatoes in with a chuck roast.
Speaking of stews, I have a funny memory of my oldest niece and nephew right after a holiday. Mother, my sisters-in-law, the two little ones, and I went on a shopping trip one day. On the way back, my niece, Michelle, (barely old enough to talk) said, “Bian (Brian), you like stew?”
I think Brian was unsure what he was supposed to say and was noncommittal.
“I don’t like stew!” Michelle said.
We must have all been hungry. If I remember correctly, my niece wanted to eat and her mom told her we would eat when we got back home, that her Nana had fixed stew.There was plenty of food after the holiday, so Michelle probably didn’t have to eat the stew.
Stew seemed to always be a Sunday meal at my family’s house and a typical southern meal. Daddy was the preacher. If you know anything about what it’s like for preachers’ families on Sundays, well, you’re the last one to leave the church. Mother didn’t bring us snacks to eat, either. We had to wait ’til we got home to eat the stew (or whatever she prepared for us).
Often, the saints (or parishioners, if you prefer) would invite us over for Sunday dinner. In my earlier years, the church Daddy pastored had several farmers. Boy howdy (that’s a common East Texas term), those farmers’ wives could cook up a storm with fresh everything – vegetables from the garden, chickens from the chicken houses, bacon from the pigs, and steak from the cows. Come to think of it, I don’t recall having steaks back then. Our farmers must have been a bit poor back in those days. Or maybe they all knew that preachers were supposed to have chicken – ’cause I do remember LOTS of chicken.
I loved fried chicken – still do. Maybe the farmers did serve steak to my parents. I could have been too little to have wanted any steak. I will have to ask my brothers about this. It’s funny how, after all of these years, I’ve never even given this a thought.
One thing I do recall is that I loved going to the farms of the people in our church. A lot of times I stayed with them when my parents were out of town. It was fun going inside the chicken houses to see the cute little chicks. I just didn’t like it when they all swarmed around my feet.
Another memory of being on one of the farms I used to stay at with my friends was going to the barbed wire fence to watch the goats. I got too close to the barbed wire, and my arm was cut. I was stuck and couldn’t move. Ouch! My friends’ mother (the family had 8 or 9 kids) came out to un-barb me. I still have the scar today.
One of the other farms I enjoyed visiting had rolling hills and cattle. The farmer and his wife had two granddaughters (we’re still friends after all this time). Their grandfather had made an outside kitchen playhouse with real old pots and pans and benches. It was the most fun place, and I loved going there. The grandmother, Sister Addie, made pretty coconut cakes, covered with beautiful white coconut icing. I can just see it now – sitting pretty in the middle of the table while we were waiting for the Sunday meal to finish cooking. All I could think of was eating the pretty white cake – forget the rest of the food.
Memories. Sweet food memories. It brings tears to my eyes while I stop and reminisce. Honestly, I didn’t mean for this blog post to take this direction, but it did. It’s one of those trigger memories when you’ve lost your mother and your dad (Daddy died five months ago), and you feel sad that they’re no longer with you. Then you think of the happy times, like just now when my granddaughter who is learning to walk just made it over to where I’m typing and managed to bang these characters out with her little hand: “, 2q2`2w21q2wq1321.” I couldn’t erase it for anythng. It was the first time she’s ever got the chance to get that close to my computer. Happy moments.
Sweet food memories continue. Little Grand and I made some tonight while she and I hung out awhile. She ate some baby food but wanted my cereal and was not having it any other way. I don’t eat cereal often but felt like having some (Yes, I gave her a few bites. It was Cheerios.) Fun times.
On my recent visit to see my daughter and her family, I was trying to come up with desserts that aren’t loaded with sugar. My friend over at PattyCakesPantry.com suggested apples and cinnamon cooked on the stove. I thought I’d give them a try in the slow cooker.
Now I know a lot of you who work all day are interested in all-day meals cooked in the slow cooker. I can totally understand and will be publishing more recipes for you to cook six hours or more. However, there are some dessert recipes that are easy and pretty quick to make in a slow-cooking appliance. These are great to make during dinner or on the weekends when you do your grocery shopping.
Apple pie is not necessarily my Number One pie on the list to make, but I do like apples. I like to eat an apple all by itself, dipped in caramel sauce, and with peanut butter on it (a habit I learned from my mother – hey, it’s got protein!). However, I hadn’t cooked apples in cinnamon on the stove.
I figured that apples should be fairly easy to make in the slow cooker. They were amazing! For someone like me who doesn’t really care for apple pie, I was impressed. One thing I forgot, though, is my friend had said since the apples are sweet, you don’t need to add sugar. I added the sugar without thinking. Habit. A sweet habit. A habit that tastes good. It was good. So good that I can’t stop blogging about it.
When my daughter walked in the kitchen after I had made the cinnamon apples, I asked her if she wanted to try them. Like me, I discovered she doesn’t care for apple pie either – except the ones from McDonald’s. Like Mother, like daughter. Train them up in the way you want them to go. Right? LOL!
What made the apples really delicious was the ice cream. Oh, yeah! Blue Bell at that. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. They don’t have any in the state you live in? Next time you go to Texas, be sure to try it. You won’t forget it. You’ll go back home to eat the plain ol’ vanilla you always had before and wish you were back in Texas with the Blue Bell.
Okay, here’s the recipe – if you haven’t yet figured it out:
Apples in the Slow COoker
Pork chops are good however they’re cooked – at least, I think so. I have tried them pan fried, grilled, baked, and slow-cooked. My friend’s mom (I refer to her as Abuela), wasn’t used to cooking in the slow cooker for a long time. But when she caught on to how easy it was, she started cooking everything in it. So I asked what Abuela’s favorite slow-cooker meal is. The answer – pork chops!
Mini Organic Carrot with Pork Chops
One of the best pork chops I’ve ever had is when some friends in Wisconsin grilled them outside on their grill. They were the biggest chops I’d seen – and SO very good. Thick pork chops with that smoked flavor. YUM!
As much as I like grilled meat, I enjoy cooking in a slow cooker. In my early years of marriage, I used to cook more in the slow cooker. I don’t know why I stopped using it because now that I cook in it often again, I can’t imagine not utilizing it and not having to worry about it all day. Abuela discovered the convenience of preparing meals in a slow cooking appliance and loves it.
I think the hardest part about this type of cooking is for moms with babies and toddlers that demand their attention and time. You do have to prepare the food to put into the slow cooker. So far, there’s no robot food preparer that presses the buttons on food processors, cuts and chops vegetables, or adds desired seasonings. Such a kitchen appliance would be a priority in the kitchens of young mothers.
It’s already April 2, and I’ve challenged myself to post 30 slow cooker recipes on kitchenhospitality.com. Sound crazy to you? It does to me, too. I’ll tell you why. It’s crazy…
But the challenge is on. This month I’ll post recipes for meals and desserts. They will include cooking times for 8-10 hours on low all day, others set for high and low, and desserts mostly for 2-3 hours. Don’t be surprised if I post the flops as well because who knows – you may have tried the same recipe that flopped but you perfected it and can share the ideal fix.
I read one blogger’s viewpoint about getting out the slow cooker. She has limited space and keeps her in the basement. That would be a chore to have to go downstairs to get the crockpot and bring it up every time you want to use it. Furthermore, you’d have to have a plan. That particular blogger plans her meals about like I do – whatever sounds good at the time. That’s okay but not so much if you’re planning a crockpot meal. You have to PLAN the meal ahead of time because it takes hours to cook. It’s easy but not quick. However, the nice thing about it is that if you are super busy or you work all day, you can put the food in early in the morning and not worry about it until it’s done 8-10 hours later. Then it’s ready to eat.
The generation of the 21st century is in a hurry, always on the go, impatient if drive-through food isn’t quick enough, and on and on and on. That’s scary. I mean, what will it be like in the next generation if things don’t slow down a bit? That’s another blog post, and I won’t go there now.
For now, we’re talking about S-L-O-W cooking in a crockpot/slow cooker. My friend told me tonight that years ago, she gave her mother a slow cooker. Her mother didn’t know how to use it, so she gave it back to her daughter. A long time later, my friend’s parents moved in with her. Finally, she showed her mom how to use the crockpot. Now, her mother cooks meals all the time in it. Isn’t it funny how we get stuck in a rut of doing things the same way because it’s familiar to us?
I’d love it if you’d join me for this month’s slow-cooking journey. It’s going to be an interesting time. Get in on the fun of it with me. Share your crockpot tips, offer advice, or let me in on a funny slow-cooker story.
Be on the lookout today for my crockpot cobbler dessert.
St. Patrick’s Day is the birthday of a very special Harlequin Macaw named Muggsy. Happy 32nd Birthday, Muggsy!
Muggsy travels in a big rig with his owner, Larry whom my husband Greg met at a truck stop in Texas. Greg mentioned to Larry that I’m a blogger and asked if I could call him, and he agreed. Fascinated about this beautiful bird my husband met, I contacted Larry and learned about the amazing Muggsy.
I had read about macaws and already had a list of questions of things I was curious about, including these:
“Larry, does Muggsy scream at you every morning to wake you up?
“No, he says, “Daddy, I love you. Big potty.”
“Do you use cast iron cookware in your truck? I read that one overheating accident can take out a whole feathered family. Does the same go for a Harlequin Macaw?”
“No Teflon at all. Stainless steel or cast iron.”
“I can tell, Larry, that you are a caring and devoted person because a Harlequin Macaw needs two to three hours a day for human interaction, mental stimulation, and exercise.”
Larry has worked with Muggsy for years and has taught him phrases, two of which are “Grapes, please,” and “Corn, please.”
Muggsy eats fresh vegetables, and Larry makes homemade (at home and in the big rig) meals for him. Larry has a full-size refrigerator and a microwave in the truck. He sees that Muggsy gets healthy meals.
The bottom part of macaws’ beaks are hollow inside. They lap water, eat the skin of nothing, and like to eat bone marrow. Every day Muggsy gets an ear of corn, a four-egg omelet, and fresh vegetables. He likes sweets (eats an oreo cookie a day).
Curious what the weekly menu of a macaw is? Check out Muggsy’s favorite foods:
“Will Muggsy receive birthday treats?” I asked Larry.
“He always gets a hard candy and a cupcake with sprinkles on top.”
Link Parties Today: Full Plate Thursday
Did you get your free pancakes at IHOP today? I did. Couldn’t resist. Of course, you figured that out if you’ve been reading my blog. I LOVE pancakes. Lately, I’ve been on a blueberry kick, too. Blueberries and pancakes go together well. So it’s no wonder that when I met my blogging friend at IHOP for the Short Stack, I added the blueberry syrup. [Read more…]