Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yumm Yumm Chicken

Chicken was one of the first things my family ever taught me how to cook. It is inexpensive and you can do so many different things with it. In all my years of cooking and experimenting I have always wanted to make delicious rotisserie chicken without having to go out and buy a rotisserie. I owned one at one time but it still wasn't the same and it was a pain to clean.  I have tried and tried for years to make something as tender and tasty with so many fails...until now! The flavors are amazing. It is slow roasted on 250 for hours so the aroma in your house will have you drooling for hours! Make a bunch of the spice mix for use on other meats..it is amazing!!! This can also be made in the crock pot!!

Yumm Yumm Chicken (Slow Roasted tastes like Rotisserie chicken)

1-2 recipe Yumm Yumm chicken spice *recipe and link below
1 onion quartered
2 bulbs garlic
2 (4 lb) whole chickens (yes you wanna make 2)
1 Tbs olive oil

In a small bowl combine all your spices and mix well. Remove and discard your giblets. Rinse and dry both of your chickens inside and out with paper towels.  Rub each chicken inside and out with the spice mixture and the oil. Place half the onion and 1 garlic bulb in each cavity of both birds. Place the chickens each in a resealable bag and place them in the fridge for 6 hrs to overnight (the longer it sits in the spices the better it is).
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
Place the chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for about 4 hrs (internal temp of 160 F). Let chickens stand for about 10 minutes before carving.

This can also be made in a crock pot!!! 
Just cook 1 bird on low for 4-5 hours!!! 

* yumm yumm chicken spice

4 Tbs. sea salt
8 tsp. paprika
8 tsp. onion powder
3 Tbs. granulated garlic or garlic powder
4 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbs. creole seasoning
1 Tbs. black pepper

Mix all together and enjoy!!
Enjoy Ya'll

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Healthy Pulled Pork

Recently I have changed my eating habits and cutting out a lot things out of my diet including pork. Now I am a southern girl and I love pork but it is just way too unhealthy, well at least most cuts are. Unfortunately I am also on a budget and pork is one of the cheapest meats there is. So last week I do as I always do every Thursday. I pull up all the local store weekly ads on my computer, write down the best deals I see on meats and I come up with a menu and ideas on how to experiment. One of our local stores had Pork loin tips or pork tenderloins on sale buy one pkg. get 3 free. So of course I see free and the ideas begin in my head. I have used pork loin roast before usually one from Sam's Club that is already marinated in a one dish meal I create where I place the roast in a roasting pan, surround it with quartered red potatoes and top the potatoes with either baby carrots or fresh baby green beans (season with lemon pepper, garlic and basil. Use some chicken stock in the bottom of the pan and some fresh lemon juice. Bake at 375 until veggies are tender) However I have never bought the tenderloin or tips so I start researching different recipes and ideas online and I tried a few. One was mustard/panko crusted which wasn't bad and the other was in the slow cooker with a bulb of garlic minced and 1 cup of BBQ sauce which was not our favorite it just made me wish I has made pulled pork. The only problem with trying to use such a lean cut of meat that has been described as being just as lean as chicken breast, for pulled pork is there isn't any fat. Now that I'm getting healthy this is a good thing however I have always used a fattier piece of pork for pulled pork so I wasn't sure how this was going to work but I was going to try. This recipe that I came up with was AMAZING and to be honest it reminded me of the same recipe that I always made but I left feeling less guilty for pigging out on it! And even better that it is a crock pot recipe!!!

Healthy Pulled Pork

2.5 lbs pork tenderloin
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1-2 cups BBQ sauce (I used sonny's sweet BBQ sauce)

Place pork in slow cooker. Top with everything but the BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hrs. Remove pork from slow cooker onto a place and with 2 forks shred the meat. In the slow cooker should only be a little juice no more than 1/4-1/2 cup otherwise remove the juice reserving about 1/4 cup of the juice. Place the meat back into the slow cooker adding the 1/4 cup of juice and the BBQ sauce. Start with 1 cup of the sauce and taste if it needs more add. Cook for 1 more hr on high checking half way through to see if you need more BBQ sauce. Serve on buns or without for an even healthier dinner!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

I woke up this morning and outside it was storming. Even though it is August and I live in Florida, stormy days makes me want to stay in bed and have a cuddle under the covers/comfort food day. I looked through my normal file on my computer with all of my recipes, went through my cook books and I kept going back to the pages listed with beef soups and beef stews. I am not looking to have the same thing that we always have had I want something different.
I came across Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon and I have always wanted to try it but I don't have the time or the funds to pull that off so off I went in search of a less expensive version when I came across a slow cooked version using basic inexpensive ingredients that was super easy and even better this way the crock pot can do most of the work for me. However to me it looked a little bland and lacking in the heartiness that I so desire on a day like today so I tweaked it as I went and of course I did what I always recommend...taste taste taste!!
Starts off with 2 pounds of cut up beef. Recipe called for round steak however I had a london broil that I cut up into large bite sized pieces, seasoned with sea salt and browned in olive oil on the stove. While that was browning I cut up some veggies. The recipe called for 2 cups frozen baby carrots, 1 cup frozen onion and 6 oz canned whole mushrooms. However I prefer fresh for recipes such as this. I cut up 3 large carrot sticks into very large bites, 1 small sweet onion into bite sized pieces and used 8 ox of whole baby bella mushrooms cut in half. As well as 6 cloves of garlic (recipe only called for 2). I placed the veggies in the crock pot along with 2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup, 2 cups of burgundy wine along with 2 tbs of corn starch(you can avoid the corn starch of you dredge the meat in flour before browning). The one thing that the recipe did not have was potatoes, they are not needed but I wanted them so I quartered 4 medium red potatoes. As for seasoning it only called for 1 tsp of thyme, ok I definitely needs more than that! I added 2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper for a little heat, 1 Tbs of worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp of oregano and sea salt to taste.
Simmer on low for 6-8 hours and don't forget to taste taste taste!! The smell is amazing and the taste keeps getting better and better as it cooks! Enjoy Ya'll!!

Beef Bourguignon

2 pounds of cut up beef (london broil is what I used)
3 large carrot sticks into very large bites
1 small sweet onion cut into bite sized pieces
8 ox of whole baby bella mushrooms cut in half
4 medium red potatoes quartered
6 cloves of garlic minced
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup
2 cups of burgundy wine
2 tbs of corn starch*
2 tsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
1 Tbs of worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of oregano
sea salt to taste
1 tbs olive oil
* avoid corn starch if you dredge the meat through flour before brown

Take oil in a saute pan at med/high. Once hot add beef and brown on all sides. While meat is browning place all of the other ingredients in a large crock pot and mix well. Once beef in brown add to the crock pot. Stir until mixed. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste Taste Taste!!

Thanks Ya'll!!

Hi Y'all

I have thought long and hard about creating a blog about food. I always have so much to say about the subject. Frankly my husband thinks I am obsessed or addicted so I will start by saying...Hi my name is Nikki and I'm addicted to food and nutrition and am proud of it. It makes me happy to see the look on others faces as they smell , taste and savor my creations especially my children.
I have noticed more and more over the years that I tend to be the go to person for my friends and my kids for tips, ideas and recipes so why not create a blog maybe I can help others and I welcome comments if there are those with even better ideas because even though this is my passion I still have much to learn and much to explore!
I will dedicate myself to coming here at least twice a week if not more (probably a lot more) with recipes that I have found and ideas on how to make it tastier if it needs to be as well as my own creations. As I said this is my passion and I just want to share with others!