Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My New Day Cleveland Video with the recipe for Tortellini Soup!

What a rush! Those (almost!) 7 minutes go by so, so fast! LOL.  But today was fun, fun, fun and I am so thrilled I have been blessed with this opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of people.  I have decided that I could truly get used to this life (grin).

This video was made for me by New Day Cleveland website. Thank you!

And here is the recipe for my delicious Tortellini Soup from the show.  You will love it, I promise!

Tortellini Soup

3 cups beef stock (chicken or vegetable may be substituted, but the beef gives a nice rich flavor)
3 cups water
1 ear corn, kernals cut off and “corn milk” scrapped*
1 medium zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

*Quick tip to Easily cut corn off the cobb- A bundt pan is the best bowl for this job! It has a handy hole to hold the corn steady and then the bowl for all the kernels to fall into. Gotta love dual purpose items!

Turn your bundt pan right side up, place the cleaned corn cob upright with the tip of corn resting in the hole of the pan. Slowly slide the knife down the sides of the corn, cutting off a section at a time. Once all the corn is removed, turn your knife around so the flat side is facing the cob.

Repeat the process, scraping down on the cob collecting all the sweet corn milk in the bowl. This is special stuff, you definitely don’t want to just throw it away! It is sweet, juicy and will give a great added flavor to the soup.

Directions for the soup:
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and sauté onion and zucchini until tender and beginning to caramelize. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add tortellini’s and simmer 7-8 minutes or until they are fully cooked and floating to the top. Serve with nice crusty butter bread.

The original link to this recipe is here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Four Times a Charm!

Yay!!! New Day Cleveland tomorrow!! 

Your support is wonderfully encouraging, so if you are local and would like, tune in at 10:00am to Fox 8! I will be sharing my own recipe of Tortellini Soup- perfect for this crazy cold weather we have been having! Goodness gracious, it is suposed to be 13 degrees tomorrow (it was only 50 degrees two days ago~  geez, crazy Cleveland weather!)

If you aren't local but still would like to see little me, I will be posting the YouTube video later in the day. Thank you so much and wish me luck!

Preview of my yummy Tortellini Soup!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Creamy Salsa Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Hi friends!  Here is another great crock pot recipe to add to your weekly rotation.  It is awesomely delicious and, just what makes crock pot recipes so popular, it comes together in under 10 minutes.  It will make your kids crazy happy to eat dinner and if you serve it at a party, I can guarantee it a huge hit.   What I love most about it is how versatile it is.   We love it tossed in a salad with rice for homemade burrito bowls, wrap the chicken in tortillas for a delicious taco, or when served alongside tortilla chips it  makes a great dip for parties.

When I was making Creamy Salsa Chicken this last time I found an awesome product, Greek Cream Cheese. It is 1/2 the fat of regular cream cheese, 2x the protein and full of all those wonderful live active cultures.  I gave it a whirl and loved it!  I hope it wasn't a fluke finding it in the store because it was so great.  Definitely right up our alley.  I'm not being paid to promote this stuff- i just love it and wanted to share!  Using the greek cream cheese even made this a healthy dish, total bonus.  But everything in moderation is really the key, right?!

On a side note, guess who is invited to be on television again! New Day Cleveland invited me to share my recipe for Tortellini Soup on January 22nd at 10:00am on channel Fox 8! What a cool way to start my new year :)  Time to go dress shopping!

Creamy Salsa Chicken in the Slow Cooker

3-lbs boneless skinless Chicken (either breasts or thighs is fine)
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) jar chunky salsa 
1 medium onion chopped
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese 

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and top with the drained corn, black beans and chopped onions.  Pour the salsa on top.  Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6.  One hour before it is finished cooking, carefully pull the chicken out of the slow cooker and shred.  Put the chicken back into the slow cooker and gently stir to combine.  Place the block of cream cheese on top of the mixture and replace the lid.  After 30 minutes stir the cream cheese into the chicken mixture until fully combined.   

This recipe is so versatile! It is delicious served over rice, wrapped in a tortilla, topped onto a salad or even as a dip with chips.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hot Pepper Jelly Pork Shoulder in the Crock Pot

Happy New Year my sweet friends!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season filled with friends and family, traditions kept and new memories made. I know I did!  This year was all about our boys, and taking a little break from blogging was a nice way to decompress and keep my mind focused on the true meaning of the season.  But now that it is all over I am SO excited to get back into it all!  I know I missed you- and I sure hope you missed me!  

Being it is January and the New Year is upon us, I thought it fitting to share a recipe for pork that we have been going wild over lately!  It is supposed to be good luck to eat pork on New Years day, but I think all of January is good enough too ((wink, wink)).   Right now you can also usually find the pork shoulder (also labeled pork butt) marked down after the big holiday making it the perfect time to stock up.  Our grocery store had them buy one get one free!  I LOVE when that happens!  Being an already budget-friendly cut of meat, this is a huge savings.  

This recipe takes Hot Pepper Jelly, which is a bit sweet but also packs a nice bite from the hot peppers, some brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a good squeeze of Dijon mustard making a sauce which tenderizes and flavors the meat so, so, so amazing. We are seriously addicted to this recipe and I know you will be too!  

**I've been asked on my facebook page if this is a spicy dish.  It actually isn't hot at all. You get all the flavor of the hot peppers, but none of the heat. You may get a zip here and there depending on the heat of the jelly you use. But I wouldn't call it hot. Both of my boys can eat it and love it. **

Hot Pepper Jelly Pork Shoulder in the Crock Pot 
1 (3-5lb) pork shoulder (also labeled as the butt)
1 large onion, chopped
1 Cup hot pepper jelly
1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Spray inside of crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the chopped onion in the bottom of the crock pot.  Rinse the pork shoulder, pat dry and put into the crock pot on top of the onions.  Season WELL with salt and pepper- don't be afraid of the salt and pepper folks!  Whisk the jelly, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and Dijon mustard together and pour over pork.  Do not be tempted to add any water or liquid to the crock pot. It isn't necessary because the jelly melts down and the pork creates its own juice while cooking.

Cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10. Around the last hour or so of cooking time, you want to check your meat by taking the lid of the crock pot off and giving the pork a pull with a fork.  It should be fall-apart tender.  If it isn't, let it cook until it is!  It is well worth the wait.  When it is at fall-apart stage you can carefully remove it from the crock pot, and using two forks, pull the meat apart and then add it back to the pot for an additional 30 minutes to absorb more of the juices.  Lately I have been just pulling it gently apart into chunks while inside the pot instead of shredding it outside so we can have larger pieces.  But both are fine- do to your preference!

Serve alongside rice, or mashed potatoes with lots of juice on the side to pour on top.  You can also stuff into buns or mini rolls for sliders- kids love this!  And the left overs we always use in soft taco shells for carnitas. With so many options, this is sure to be a hit in your home!


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