Chilled Chicken Salad

Just chop the refrigerated chicken, 1 string cheese and avocado slice.

Apple is a tasty, sweet crunch to add too!

I just carefully toss it together (so avocado stays as cubes) and sprinkle cashews on top.

This is my kind of lunch! No fuss, no ovens or microwaves. Just delicious, fresh chopped ingredients.

Crock-Pot-Mini Beef Stew

I love my mini crock pot. It's great for serving fondues and dips and meals for 3-4 people. With just my boyfriend and I, it cooks just the right amount for each of us and still plenty of left overs for lunch the next day. I find it tricky to measure and have the right amounts of everything though. Most recipes are for larger crock pots that serve 6 or more. I find that cutting a recipe in half can still be too much for my size. Just under half is about right. Luckily, crock pot recipes are fairly forgiving.
I made this amazing beef stew with such simple and inexpensive ingredients. The recipe came from an Eating Well slow cooker magazine.

Potato, Celery, Carrot, Onion, Garlic (not in the original recipe), and beef

Add the seasoning with a little flour and the beef broth and stir.

Then add the chopped ingredients.

Let sit for about 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

And that's all there is to it! Just some chopping and then you can let dinner cook itself while you get on with your day!!
Have a great Day!!

Veggie Packed Alfredo

Alfredo is one of my all-time favorite things to eat. Sadly, I find at most restaurants, I am sorely disappointed with what they call "Alfredo". It is so easy to make and tastes delicious when made with the "right" ingredients. This is definitely not a low calorie sauce recipe. I like to make it loaded with veggies and with very little pasta.

This recipe is great because you can use more or less of anything with your own preference.
You need: heavy cream, butter, garlic, parmesan cheese, vegetables

To get started:
In a sauce pan, on very low heat, add the heavy cream. I use about 1/4 cup to make 2-3 servings.
Then slice chunks of butter and add to the pan. Whisk the butter into the liquid as it melts.
*Most recipes will call for equal parts butter and cream but I like just a little less butter than cream.

After the butter has completely melted and the sauce beings to thicken from being over the heat a little while, I add a generous amount of shredded or shaved parmesan cheese and a dash garlic powder or fresh minced garlic. Continuously whisk the sauce. Once the cheese is melted in, you are ready to serve.

WARNING: If you heat or cool the sauce too rapidly the sauce will "break", meaning the butter and cream will separate causing an oily sauce. This will happen if you try to microwave your of the down sides of alfredo sauce. Keep your heat on low and let time heat the sauce and you shouldn't run into this problem.

To prepare the veggies:
I wash, chop and place them in a shallow (microwave safe) container. Fill it with water, about half way up the vegetables. You will need a lid, but don't seal it completely. Allow a small opening in the lid for steam to release while cooking. I pop them in the microwave on low for a couple minutes. They will continue to cook as they cool. Once they are to your desired tenderness (I like mine to still have a little crunch) you just throw them in the sauce pan with the alfredo.

My favorite veggies to use are : zucchini, carrots, broccoli, asparagus
Favorite noodles: fettuccine, bow-tie, shells
Also try with: chicken or shrimp

Easy, Inexpensive, Baked Chicken Wings 

Save that hard earned dough and have a night in. My sister and I made these yummy chicken wings at home with some very simple ingredients.

1 package of frozen chicken wings

Spicy Hot Wings
-Frank's Hot Sauce

Teriyaki Wings
-Soy Sauce

We bought some frozen wings from the store for just a few bucks. So much cheaper than going out to the neighborhood wing joint where I would easily spend $30-40. We Baked the wings for about half an hr and in the mean time made the sauces. The teriyaki sauce we mixed in a dish and put aside to rub on half the wings we baked. The hot sauce we did on the stove to melt the butter and heat it up. Super fast and easy. Nothing to it!!

Once the wings were out of the oven we threw them in a bowl to add the sauces.

You can't complete this meal without a good old fashioned veggie tray and ranch.

Rosemary Pretzels and Cheese

I'm not much of a cook but I wanted to expand my horizons. Thanks to the internet, I found some basic recipes to peak my interest in the kitchen. Today, I decided to go more advanced (well for me) and try out this amazing sounding recipe.

It was more work than I expected but well worth it. The recipe calls for boiling the pretzels and covering them in egg before baking them. I had no idea soft pretzels were made that way! I thought you just threw them in the oven. Working with yeast was new for me too. That was interesting to see it activate and double the size of the dough in about an hour. The fresh rosemary I used was from our garden. Superb!

Quick Tips:
-When you leave the dough to rise, place it on a baking sheet or in a dish
-After you kneaded and rolled the dough, cut it like a pizza pie to easily make 8 equal pieces
-Whisk the egg and use a cooking brush to evenly coat the pretzels

Try out this Recipe for yourself!

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