Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

Do you like chicken? We sure do. It’s our main meat most days of the week. Do you love stuffing (or ‘dressing’ if you’re feelin fancy)? We definitely love that. Are you looking for an easy crockpot dinner? This one only requires four ingredients. FOUR! It’s super simple to throw together, so there’s no need to feel overwhelmed or under the gun about getting a hot, healthy meal on the table, even on your busiest of days. Pair it with some steamed veggies, or a salad, and you’re in business.

I know, I know. I usually enjoy making these types of things from scratch or at least froofing the box version. And while this isn’t straight from a box, and even though there’s plenty of room for it, there’s minimal froofage. Some days I just need some help with that quick and easy option, and for those days I count on a great crockpot recipe like this one. With one kid down for the count for day two with a headache and fever, and one recovering from the terrifying, traumatizing event of losing his first tooth, I’ve already got this cooking in the crockpot. This is a perfect meal for everyone to enjoy on a rainy Winter day, and it was a breeze to quickly get going so I have more time to get done what I really want to be doing today. Taking care of the sons.I’ll take my serving with a side of sick boy snuggles, please!

Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

 Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box chicken flavored stuffing mix (6oz)
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup water

Directions

1. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot.
2. Pour stuffing mix over chicken.
3. In a medium size bowl combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream and water; mix well.
4. Pour on top pf stuffing mix.
5. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours (check it at 3 hours).
6. Fluff and serve.

Hot Ham & Cheese Sliders

These sliders. If you’ve seen them floating around the web, but haven’t given them a try yet, now’s the time to get to it. They really are that good. After my first bite, I could’ve kicked my own self for dragging my feet for so long.

Ooey, gooey finger-lickin’ good. Yes, that’s exactly what these sandwiches are. Prepare for the deliciousness. I think we can all agree that when cheese is involved with any meat, it’s pretty much a wonderful thing. Ham and cheese may be a beloved classic, and most definitely a wonderful thing, but add in the poppy seed mustard butter onion sauce thing and it’s umm, wow! The sauce is what really knocks this one out of the park.

 Hot Ham & Cheese Sliders

So they’re yummy, and super simple to assemble, two things that don’t always go hand-in-hand in the kitchen. Doesn’t that just make them perfect for even your busiest days or nights?

The sons’ and the hubs drool over these things now, even the leftovers (if there are any the next day, which is rare). Are you thinking it sounds great, but bummed because you don’t have tiny any pretty petite buns on hand? If you’ve got some kind of larger bun, you’re in luck. I’ve made these on kaiser rolls, dinner rolls, and once even on hamburger buns with the same drool-worthy results.

Game day, brunch, a regular party, dinner, even a hot lunch. Whatever the occasion these bad boys will be the stars of the show.

Don’t want any pressure? Great. The sandwiches can be made up to a day in advance. Just don’t fix and sauce ’em until you’re ready to heat and serve. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with mush. And I haven’t met a ‘mush’ yet that I actually liked.

Hot Ham & Cheese Sliders

Hot Ham & Swiss Cheese Sliders

24 Hawaiian rolls or slider buns
24 pieces of ham, regular or honey flavored
24 slices of Swiss cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise

Poppy Seed Mustard Sauce:
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1½ tbsp yellow mustard
½ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp minced onion
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions 

1. Spread the mayo onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese inside of each roll. Close the rolls and place them close together into a large baking dish, or onto a heavy cookie sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until evenly combined. Pour the sauce as evenly as possible overtop all of the sandwiches. If you don’t want to use all of the sauce that’s ok. Just make sure to use enough to cover the tops of the rolls. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly browned and crisped. Serve warm.

Egg Roll Bowl

Today is Thursday, and you deserve a nice pat on the back, my friends. For you have traversed the steep mountain known as Wednesday and are now sliding downhill to the wonderful world of this weekend. For your patience and fortitude, I present to you, the latest and greatest from the Sons’ kitchen. Hold on to your plates! With seasoned pork, caramelized cabbage and carrots– this yummy Egg Roll Bowl is everything you love in your favorite Asian appetizer, without all the work and none of the grease.

Egg Roll Bowl 3 Read more

Garlic Ginger Green Beans

The holidays may have ended for 2014, but it won’t be long at all (seems like in the blink of an eye) that they will be here again. Trying to round out your meal plan? Well, with these Garlic Ginger Green Beans, you’ve got a bright, fresh side dish that is sure to be gobbled up. Don’t expect any leftovers. These will get devoured, I promise. Plus, these are a nice green bean option for anyone that’s trying to watch what they eat, or anyone who appreciates change, and don’t want to indulge in the more traditional, and heavier, green bean casserole. I know that for me, as the primary cook in our household, it’s so nice to have a few, less stressful recipes in the works during those busy times, and let me tell you it doesn’t get much easier than these green beans! Well, unless you give this recipe to someone else for them to make and just bring it to dinner (that would be really quick and easy for you). The beans get a quick blanching and, after they’ve stopped cooking, a stir in a hot pan with some sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and some rice vinegar for good measure. It’s like a green bean stir-fry guys!! Who wouldn’t like that as a side at your next big meal?

And for any sticklers who claim there’s a strict holiday recipe schedule? Like you have to have green bean casserole at the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas meal? Remember your history. America is a melting pot after all, and what better way to celebrate that diversity than at the symbolic table where we originally all first came together?!

Garlic Ginger Green Beans

Garlic Ginger Green Beans

1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp fresh, minced ginger
2 tsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
⅛ tsp salt
1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

1. Cook the beans in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until beans are just tender.
2. Drain beans in a strainer and then run under cold water cold water to stop the cooking process
3. While beans are boiling, in a small bowl, mix together all of the other ingredients except for the sesame seeds.
4. Transfer the beans to a pot or bowl and pour the sauce over cooked beans and stir until everything is nicely coated.
5. Serve with sprinkled sesame seeds over top.

Our Top 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2014

Another year’s come and gone, and want to say thank you to each and everyone of you guys for supporting this little hobby of mine. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and getting to know you all. It’s always fun to look back on the previous year and take stock. I’ve always enjoyed seeing which recipes turned out to be keepers for the family and fan favorites, and which ones were more blah or meh. It’s even more fun to watch and see what you guys like, and come back for seconds on. Because of that, I decided I’d take a look back and then list 4 Sons TOP TEN recipes from 2014. Boy, did you guys pick some good ones!!

The top 10 recipes of 2014

And, because they’re what make my world go round, and the # 1 reason I’m in the kitchen so often, an updated picture of all 4 Sons. In one place. At one time. Getting ALONG. I’m not holding my breathe though, it was probably just a Christmas miracle. 😉

Christmas 2014

So, without further adieu …

Our Top 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2014

Counting down to #1:

10. Mexican Chicken Spaghetti : Spice up your regular spaghetti by giving it an easy, creamy, cheesy Mexican twist. This version is a 4 Sons’ fan & family hit.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

9. Hamburger Steak with Onions & Gravy : Also known as Salisbury Steak, this easy, classic skillet dish is one of our favorite ways to ‘dress up’ a ground beef patty. Your ground beef has never looked better than smothered in onions and gravy!

4 Sons 'R' Us: Hamburger Steaks with onions & gravy

8. Sauteed Garlic Teriyaki Green Beans : While Grandma’s beans, you know the ones that cooked forever, with diced onions and a ham bone thrown in are still a family favorite, you’re gonna want to add at least one more recipe to your green bean repertoire. These beans are great, and so’s the Asian inspired flavor, AND they’re a nice change-up from the classic.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Garlic Teriyaki Green Beans

7. Copy-Cat Arby’s Beef & Cheddar : Pony Up! Well, Arby’s Pony Sauce up, anyway. What if we told you that you could dine on an Arby’s Roast Beef ‘n Cheddar Classic at home? Serve this sandwich with a side of curly fries and get your fast food fix any day all while cutting your costs and your calories.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Copy-Cat Arby's Beef N Cheddar

6. Fast & Easy Refrigerator Pickles :   Love the taste and that perfect briny crunch of a homemade pickle? Never in your wildest dream considered making your own because of the whole process involved? Let’s introduce your to refrigerator pickles. Refrigerator, that’s the key, and that screams quick and easy. There’s no need for steamers, special sterilized jars, or vacuum-tight lids. Plus, unlike store-bought pickles, these scrumptious homemade pickles are low in sodium. Quick! Make your own salty, crunchy kosher dill pickles in this simple salt and vinegar brine.

Easy Fridge Pickles

5. Mexican Rice : This Mexican Rice recipe makes an awesome pilaf style rice complete with that characteristic reddish/orange color, and perfectly flavored with onion, garlic, and spices. Notice I don’t claim this recipe is ‘authentic’? It probably isn’t, but it is damn good. It makes a perfect side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican or Tex Mex style entrees. We’ve actually found we like it so much better than the rice usually served when we dine out. No more dumping sour cream, queso, or salsa on my rice and trying to give it a flavor boost.

Mexican Rice

4. Stuffed French Bread : This giant twist on your average sub-sandwich is great. A quick & easy, ready-in-under-30-minutes meal, that’s every inch of sandwich perfection. Crisp on the outside, hearty and tender on the inside! And we’ve even included recipes for two different versions– regular stuffed french bread, or try the Swiss mushroom one!

4 Sons 'R' Us: Stuffed French Bread

3. Crockpot Pizza Dip : Easy dips, especially those that can be made ahead of time in the crockpot, are the best. This crockpot pizza dip? Well it’s the best of the best. Serve this recipe during game time, at parties or on a cold night and you’re guaranteed to have some very satisfied customers.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Crockpot Pizza Dip

2. Breakfast Enchiladas : We love all things breakfast, and these enchiladas are one of our favorites to enjoy for just about any meal. Who said breakfast foods are only for the breakfast meal?! They’re totally easy, and pretty darn cheap to make, but they’re so tasty and they’ll fill your family up at whichever meal you serve them be it breakfast, brunch, dinner, or (what the heck) even lunch.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Breakfast Enchiladas

1. Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo : The first thing I thought when I tried these ‘fritters’ was how much they tasted like the zucchini version of potato latkes (potato pancakes). This recipe is easy and they taste crazy good, especially with the addition of the chili lime dipping sauce. It was so popular here that the hubs made them twice in one day and there were none left. None!

4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters

After taking a look back, it sure was a satisfying year. And 2015– you’ve got some pretty big shoes (or would that be oven mitts?) to fill. Here’s to hoping that you’re up to the challenge!

Cucumber Grape Salad with a Light Strawberry, Poppy Seed Dressing

Do you ever just need to eat something refreshing? Where each bite is a vibrant explosion of fresh flavor for your tastebuds? Every now and then I start to crave just that. Especially during the annual post-holiday over-eating guilt trip. But, I’m not always that great with the whole self-control thing in between meals, and I’ve never been able to sacrifice taste for fewer calories. Luckily, little beauties like this recipe exist so that I don’t have to.

Whether you’re looking for a yummy snack, or a healthy dessert, this is sure to do the trick.

Cucumber Grape Salad and a Light Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

 Cucumber Salad with grapes and a Light Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

recipe adapted from Oh, Sweet Basil

2 cups grapes, we prefer black but red or green should work also
2 cups baby cucumbers, sliced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

For the Dressing

1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup strawberry flavored Greek yogurt
1-2 tsp poppy seeds
salt to taste

Directions

1. In small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Season with salt to taste. We used a scant pinch.
2. In another, larger bowl, toss the cucumbers, grapes and tomatoes with a few drizzles of the dressing until every thing is well coated but not so much so that everything’s swimming in the dressing. Chill or serve immediately. If you’re making this for a crowd, it can be made up to a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.