Slow Cooker French Dips

This is one of those rare times that I offer you a classic, meat-focused recipe…so get excited!

I happened to be craving a good French dip sammy a few weeks ago, and so I set out to find a nice slow cooker recipe that would make flavorful and tender meat with a tasty dipping sauce.

The slow cooker is perfect in this case since it’s a set it and forget it type of situation that results in really tasty meat and broth. You can almost drink this au jus, it’s so good!

We enjoyed eating off of this recipe for many days, creating delicious sandwiches, or you could even throw it on a crisp salad. We added some greens to our sandwiches with some baby arugula.

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Vegan Chili (That is My New Favorite)

Ok, you might be thinking after last week’s post and this post that I’m going vegan.

Well…I’m not. I think that’s great if you want to be vegan, but I’m sticking with my yogurt and cheese.

But, I do like the idea of eating a more plant-based diet.

Believe it or not, this recipe rivals my favorite chili recipe. Of course, it’s different. The meat is replaced with butternut squash and lentils. But, it’s SO good.

The lentils give it the perfect texture, and the butternut squash is a little sweet and plays well off of the savory, smokey spices.

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Slow Cooker Recipes to Make This Season

slow cooker recipes

My coworker was recently telling me that she is about to get her first slow cooker. I loved seeing her excitement, and then she asked what type of slow cooker recipes were on my blog. So, I created this post is my answer to that age-old question: What should I make in my slow cooker?

It really is amazing how a slow cooker can transform your cooking. You throw a range of ingredients in it, plug it in and then come home 6-9 hours later and the house smells amazing and you have a home-cooked meal. I’m all for quick cooking recipes, but there is nothing like letting flavors develop over hours.

Without further ado, here are my best slow cooker recipes:

Deconstructed Lazy Lasagna

I have made this more times than I can recall since discovering it a few years ago. You just throw all of the lasagna or baked pasta ingredients (marinara, pasta noodles, cottage cheese, frozen spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan), let it cook together for a few hours and dinner is served! This is great leftover, too.

Chicken Tikka Masala

It’s no surprise that this dish is one of your, my wonderful readers’, favorites. It just takes a little bit of sauteing before you throw it in the slow cooker, then a little cream at the end, and you have a homemade Indian meal.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This is a seriously creamy and comforting soup for your slow cooker. It gives you an excuse to buy some wild rice, and it would be an amazing weeknight meal to come home to!

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Falafel-Style Chickpea Fritters

chickpea fritters

I’ve got another vegetarian wonder of a meal for you today.

Even if you’re not vegetarian, you’ve got to give some love to chickpeas. They are full of protein, they go great with spices, and they can be eaten whole, smashed or pureed.

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean food and trying several different things, then you will love these Chickpea Fritters.

chickpea fritters

We served ours with the yogurt sauce included in the recipe, a cucumber salad, tzatziki, hummus and pita bread. Go ahead and make it a feast! That’s one thing that I love about Greek and Mediterranean food is that it encourages family-style eating and lots of sampling and trying.

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5 Amazing Mac & Cheese Recipes

Since the weather is finally getting colder where we are, I’m in full comfort food planning mode.

This has led me to realize that I have quite the collection of macaroni and cheese recipes on the blog. Whatever you call it (mac, mac and cheese, macaroni, macaroni and cheese), you can bet these recipes will be just the thing from traditional to creative.

Without further ado, here are 5 amazing Mac & Cheese recipes:

Classic Mac & Cheese

macaroni and cheese

This recipe is just a classic with lots of cheese, seasoned breadcrumbs and pasta cooked perfectly to hold its shape. Also, it feeds a ton of people! It’s custardy, savory and so comforting.

Mac & Cheese Tot Casserole

mac and cheese tot casserole

This is something a little different for mac and cheese lovers, and you’re going to just love it. There’s broccoli mixed in with the pasta and cheese sauce, and tater tots are crisped on top. It’s like a marriage between a classic casserole and mac and cheese.

Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese

If you’re a spinach artichoke lover like me, then you will find this mac and cheese to be your ideal meal on a cool fall or winter night. It allows you to play around with pasta shapes and fun cheeses.

Bacon Brussels Mac & Cheese

Here’s another creative take on our favorite side, and it’s got bacon and Brussels sprouts to add lots of flavor. It’s smokey, still got lots of tasty fall veg, and will fill you up for sure!

Truffle Mac & Cheese

I make this mac and cheese almost every  year for my husband’s birthday, and it’s an Ina Garten wonder! It will cost you a little more than usual with the truffle butter and mushrooms, but it lends a wonderfully earthy flavor and also makes a lot of mac!

Fall Fave Recipes

Finally, finally, finally, it is below 90 degrees and the cold, crisp air is coming through.

Everyone is going apple picking, and we’re all stocking up on well, stock, and butter and everything you need to make some amazing soups, casseroles and baked goods.

It’s fall, y’all!

And I’m raring to make some amazing fall recipes. Some from my blog that I’ve made before and some from others that I’ve always hoped to make!

So, here’s my list of current and hopefully future fall faves:

Chili

We all know that chili is a fall/winter staple. And I’ve made some super tasty chilis myself, from white chicken to classic to vegetarian in a skillet. I’ve also seen recipes for chili with cornbread topping which intrigues me greatly.

Chicken & Dumplings

I have dreamed of making chicken and dumplings for quite awhile, and it seems like this season might be a great time to do it. It’s one of those southern dishes that I’ve only had at potlucks or heard about people making, so it would be fun to make at home sometime soon!

Beef Stew

A lot of my fall recipes include meat, but I guess we don’t cook it too much so that’s OK. I’m still a fan of #meatlessmonday, though! I’ve also never made a beef stew, and it sounds like just the thing to fill with chunks of tender carrots and potatoes, and eat while watching a British mystery show during a good rain.

Shepherd’s Pie

I keep running across tasty-looking lamb recipes, like shepherd’s pie. I love mashed potatoes and casseroles, so I might have to make this classic for the first time.

What are you planning on making this fall?

Food Adventures: Homemade Dumplings

homemade dumplings

I would highly recommend creating a food adventure for you or your family.

Whether it’s having a homemade pizza night, ordering a cuisine of take-out that you’ve never had before, or making your favorite food from scratch, it’s good to shake things up sometimes.

It’s always fun to explore new tastes and stretch your boundaries as a home cook.

homemade dumplings

My husband and I did this recently when we decided to make homemade Chinese dumplings, everything from scratch. It also helped a lot that Saveur led the way with the recipe instructions and encouragement.

Although it took some elbow grease, I made successful dumpling dough, and it wasn’t that hard. I also got the chance to make some amazing scallion pancakes. This was especially impressive for someone who is usually horrible at making doughs.

homemade dumplings

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Simple Saturday: Baked Gnocchi

baked gnocchi

Remember the old days of going to pick out a frozen meal as a kid. We didn’t do this often, but on occasion, we would get to choose from chicken nuggets or meatloaf and revel in our little meal that popped out of the oven (or microwave) ready to eat, complete with a dessert.

It’s quite odd when you think about it, but a good memory nonetheless.

I feel like this Baked Gnocchi recipe is kind of like the frozen meal for adults.

Hear me out- it’s not so-so tasting or full of preservatives. It’s super easy to make, only takes a bit of time in the oven and only has like 4 ingredients!

This pasta is for when you’re feeling a little lazy but still want a meal that is comforting and filling.

baked gnocchi

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Heat your oven to 425 F and use 1 tbs. olive oil to oil a cast iron skillet or other small baking pan.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook 1 lb. gnocchi for 3-4 minutes, until they are floating. Remove them from the pot, shake off water and add to oiled pan.
  3. Add 1/4 lb. fontina cheese cubed to the gnocchi and top with 1 cup of marinara sauce. Do not mix.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Serve topped with fresh torn basil.

Cookout Staple Mac & Cheese

macaroni and cheese

You know that feeling when you find a recipe that is so good you know you’ll be making it over and over again over the years?

It’s a good feeling, and I definitely had it the first time I made this Mac & Cheese recipe. I got it from a friend and was amazed by the simplicity, the amount of cheese and the custardy, delicious outcome.

There’s nothing fancy about this macaroni and cheese, but when you use good ingredients (Kerrygold butter, a nice sharp cheddar, crispy panko) the final dish will surely impress. It’s as simple as cooking pasta, making a roux, grating a bunch of cheese and combining it all, topped with buttered breadcrumbs.

macaroni and cheese

Also, this recipe could feed an army! I’ve made it for a few large gatherings, and we’ve still had leftovers.

If you’re a cheese or mac and cheese lover, then you must try this easy variation!

macaroni-and-cheese-recipe-card

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge and save.

The Best Grilled Pork Tenderloin

grilled pork tenderloin

Summer isn’t over just yet.

In fact, I just ate a too-big slice of sweet watermelon with seeds on my back porch, which should tell you that it’s in full swing. When you see a big, delicious watermelon at the farm stand, you buy it and do everything you can to fit into your fridge…even if you have to eat too-big slices.

Speaking of other summer classics, grilled meats!

grilled pork tenderloin

In the past, I have lauded the tastes of grilled vegetables, but you’ll be glad to know that I’ve got a new grilled meat to share today. And the quality really blew my mind!

This recipe created one of the most tender and juicy pork dishes, which we sliced and threw on bread with garlic basil aioli for a tasty sandwich. Cheers to Bon Appetit for the recipe.

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