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Cranberry crockpot turkey meatballs

Looking for an easy way to feed a crowd this holiday? This delicious recipe makes for a fantastic appetizer or a tasty twist on your classic meatball sandwich. Turkey meatballs swimming in a sea of cranberry chili sauce is the new must-make recipe of the season. These meatballs are tangy, sweet, and oh-so-addictive! Guests can pick them with toothpicks or plate them for a fancier affair. And the best part? You — you fabulously smart and savvy holiday host — just dump three ingredients into the crock pot, walk away, and about two hours later, you have a hot and hearty snack everyone will love. Now that’s a happy holiday. Also try this Warm brie with cranberry jalapeño jam recipe.  Note: I use turkey meatballs since a lot of people shy away from red meat. Plus, the turkey and cranberry combo is obviously a classic. But feel free to use whatever kind…

10 bad kitchen habits you need to break now

We all make mistakes in the kitchen — especially when we’re just starting out. But great cooks learn to be great by learning from their mistakes. Whether you’re a seasoned professional chef or a 20-something try-hard, if you’ve picked up any of these bad habits in the kitchen ditch them right now! Your cooking is suffering and you might not even know it. 1. Your knives are always dull When you’re using a dull knife, you actually increase your risk of getting injured. A sharp knife easily slices through anything, but a dull blade needs some force. This means it’s more likely to slip out of your hand and cut you — possibly seriously. If you don’t know how to properly sharpen a knife, no worries. You can get it done by a professional relatively cheaply. Once sharp, remember to store them with their blades protected in knife guards. Never…

You should never cook frozen chicken in a crock pot, USDA says

Crock-pots are all about convenience. You throw in some ingredients, go about your business, and whip out a delicious, hot meal a few hours later. No one takes the time to prep ingredients a whole day before for a crock-pot. That’s why it was so disconcerting to learn that taking chicken directly from the freezer and plopping it in the popular countertop appliance is a big no-no. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website, slow cookers, as a whole, are safe. But in a section called “Slow Cookers and Food Safety,” the department elaborates and says that you should, “Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it in a slow cooker.” Unfortunately, microwaving it last minute isn’t even an option! Man, these guys are tough. The reasons are based on bacteria. The USDA explains that because your slow cooker is, well, slow to reach any cooking temperature…

Easy, sweet and tangy Crock Pot honey mustard chicken

Sweet and tangy flavors are so on trend this year. Everywhere you look, popular chefs and major food companies are coming out with incredible new items  inspired by the combo: Think Sriracha honey or sweet chipotle. This honey mustard chicken recipe is right on the mark. It’s a delicious combination of sweet honey and tangy mustard, with just a touch of heat. Choose either boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, but whatever you choose, it’s probably going to fall apart in the Crock-Pot — it’s just that moist. Serve with rice, pasta, on a sandwich, or with steamed veggies if you’re all about the low carb life. This chicken and this sauce will taste great no matter how you eat it. Actually this sauce was so fantastic with shrimp, I needed something else to put it on! Try one when you have time to set a Crock-Pot, and the other when…

Crock pot stuffing saves time on Thanksgiving Day

Between the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and about a dozen other side dishes, something has to give. After all, you only have one set of hands and one oven. If you’re looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more manageable this year, look no further. Crock pot stuffing is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that is easy, delicious and decadent. I know some people like to cook stuffing in the bird, but in our family, that just wouldn’t be enough. We LOVE stuffing, and need lots for leftovers, so we always prepare an extra baked dish of them. The stuffing that cooks inside of the bird is good, but I’ve always loved baked or crock pot kind because it has more texture and some crunch you just cant get cooking inside the bird. This recipe is so easy to make, but the best part is that it won’t take up precious time in…

Slow cooker cinnamon roll oatmeal

This month has been crazy. I’d probably be eating cold cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I didn’t have some help once in a while. I’ve been putting some serious milage on my slow cooker! This cinnamon roll oatmeal is the fourth batch of slow cooker oats I’ve made this month, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. If you’re a fan of cinnamon rolls — and I mean, who isn’t?! — you’re going to love this healthier take on everyone’s favorite decadent dessert. Of course, the cream cheese drizzle makes this not-so-diet-friendly, but you can either skip it, or use it lightly, just for a bit of flavor and fun. Even without the drizzle, you’ll still enjoy the cinnamon roll taste. Oh! And bonus! Your whole house will be filled with the delicious smell of cinnamon. And if you’ve never added eggs to your slow cooker oatmeal before,…

Crock pot apple cinnamon oatmeal

Is there anything better than waking up to a hot breakfast on a cold fall morning? Sometimes we need an extra boost to drag us out of that warm bed. Next time the weather forecast calls for gloomy, grey showers, set this recipe in your crock pot the night before. You’ll look forward to gobbling up this super filling, healthy, hearty fall breakfast. It’s perfect as-is, but you can dress it up with all sorts of toppings. It’s easy to make, and you’ll be satisfied for hours. If you’re on a diet, leave out the brown sugar and it will still taste great. However, at just 1/2 tbsp per serving, you might be able to find it in your diet to enjoy this touch of sweetness. Crock pot apple cinnamon oatmeal Serves 4-5 Ingredients  1 cup steel cut oats (no substitutions) 4 cups water 1 large Honeycrisp apple, chopped 1…

Cooking and canning your own crockpot applesauce

October is National Apple Month — but we don’t need an official title to tell us that. Apples are everywhere. Grocery stores, local shops, farmers markets. I’ve seen whole bushels for sale for just $6. They’re probably piling up in your fridge drawer by this point, and you may be wondering what to do with all of  them. Crockpot applesauce is your answer. A variety of apples works best when making applesauce. Granny Smiths are great, but mixing them with Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, Cortland, Yellow Delicious or pretty much any apple that is firm and full of flavor will make the best sauce. And what’s better still? You can make your applesauce and can it now, and be stocked for the rest of the year. You’ll eliminate loads of sugar from your diet along with whatever other scary preservatives go into store-bought applesauces. The whole process only takes an afternoon and your house will smell…

Easy slow cooker chicken tikka masala

Before we know it, colder temperatures will descend upon us. First chilly, windy fall. Then snow, ice, and slush. You can hardly wait, right? Well, if there is one thing to look forward to as the weather cools, it’s warm, delicious slow cooker recipes — the kind that give you the perfect excuse to cozy up inside on the couch and finish up your Netflix binge. Slow cookers are ideal because they magically turn ingredients from nothing into a delicious, flavorful meal. Plus you get credit for cooking, and reap all of the rewards, when you’ve really been lazy all day. This is a simple recipe that benefits from a long, slow simmer, so once you dump you ingredients into the pot, let cook and go about your day. Chicken, or paneer, tikka masala is probably one of my favorite foods on earth right now. I can’t get enough! But…

Saucy Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

I pretty much love anything if it’s covered in peanut sauce. The first time I tried Thai food, I couldn’t get over how delicious everything was — thanks in no small part to the salty sauce and crushed peanuts covering much of it. I went home and immediately tried to recreate the recipes. Soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, thai chili paste, chili flakes, tahini… the sauce recipes I was finding online required so many specialized ingredients. It was daunting. There had to be a better way. A Thai blogger laughed at my struggles I had posted online, and told me that the easiest way to pull off something close to the traditional Thai flavor was Hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and Sriracha. Genius! (Seriously, try this at home with a splash of water. It will by your new favorite dipping sauce.) Since then, I use the sauce for everything from toast to…