Barbecue Sausage Flatbread Pizza

A pillowy soft flatbread pizza is topped with tender crockpot cooked sausage, melted mozzarella cheese, barbecue sauce, thinly sliced red onions, and sprinkled with cilantro. This Barbecue Sausage Flatbread Pizza is quick and easy to assemble, but full of a perfect medley of seamlessly blended flavors. It’s the pizza you never knew you were missing, but you’ll be hooked at first bite all the same.

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Chili Cheese Dog Chili

A hearty meal that cooks right in your crockpot, this Chili Cheese Dog Chili takes a classic chili and stirs in the much beloved ball park hot dog flavors right in. Every bite tastes just like the iconic hot dog making it a meal that has the whole family counting down the hours until supper time.

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Mushroom & Swiss Loaded Potato Soup

How many times have to been out to eat perusing the menu and wondering what the soup of the day was? While I may wonder, I often don’t even bother to ask. Other times, I’ll decide to go a bit rogue and inquire. I’m usually disappointed, not because of the quality of the joint or what they’re offering, but because we cook so often I find I’m not willing to pay money for something I regularly make myself. However, there was one day where this little voice just kept whispering in my ear that I must ask after the days’ special. I am so glad I did, because it may never have occurred to me to makeover one of my favorite soup’s from my childhood with one of my favorite adult flavor combinations. And that is how I stumbled upon this soup. Now I’m as likely to make a pot of my favorite potato soup on a cold day as I am sto stir in some Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms.

Mushroom & Swiss Potato Soup

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Salted Caramel Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Does anybody else remember where they were and what they were doing in the Blizzard of ’96? I was 9 and in 5th grade. We’d just barely returned to school from Winter Break, and a snow storm hit most of the East Coast (arguably one of the top 3 worst in a century), dropping 8-10 inches of snow on Central Va in less than one day, followed by several inches of sleet, before finishing with another 8-10 inches of snow over the next two days. Everything shut down. A few days later, another system dropped another 6 inches on us. I thought it was great. It was magical. Snow as far as the eye could see. I remember walking with my parents and all of our neighbors to the Elementary School in our neighborhood where we spent every day and most of the evenings sledding down the hills behind it. It was the first, and last time, the snow was so thick that it was safe to ice skate on the lake we lived on. I remember walking up to the neighborhood convenience store with my Dad pulling one of our sleds behind us, to re stock on bread and batteries. School was out for almost another two weeks, before life began to return to normal. 

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Crockpot Honey Buffalo Meatballs

It’s that time of year again. The time when all the men in my household lose their damn minds every weekend, and several weeknight’s too, yelling at the TV so loudly our neighbors probably think someone’s in serious trouble. There’s fist bumps, and you better watch out or you just might get sandwiched in between two semi-grown men in the midst of a full-force chest bump. My traditional decor has been over run with black & yellow, and sit down dinners have taken a hiatus to full on living room, TV trays & folding tables and picnic on a blanket dinner, tailgate parties. Yes, it’s football play-off season. And no game, however intense, however exciting or disappointing, is ever complete without some of Mom’s meatballs. The sauces may change, but our love for the this party app. does not. And this year, I decided to spice things up a bit with a Honey Buffalo version.

 Crockpot Honey Buffalo Meatballs

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Crockpot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

It’s the first day of the New Year, and along with 2016 the Winter weather seems to have finally arrived as well. And we couldn’t be happier. Bring it on. We’ve got our hats, coats, and gloves out, and weeks worth of hearty, soothes the soul recipes. And nothing warms you up better than a piping hot bowl of fresh, homemade soup.

And there’s nothing quite as warm and cozy as this copy cat version of Olive Garden’s famous Zuppa Toscana.

 Crockpot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

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Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

I was so productive last weekend. I packed away all the shorts and t shirts and swapped them out for everybody’s jeans and sweaters. It was a cool 50 degrees all weekend and we were cozy and oh-so happy. And damn if I didn’t pat myself on the back for checking that giant task of our seasonal to-do list. Aaaaand then this weeek rolled around bringing us 70 degrees and you’d have thought I was trying to torture my boys.

My bad.

Any who, it may not seem like Winter is coming from the weather, despite what our wardrobe (and the local weatherman) says, but I can tell– especially as we shift from using the grill, and move firmly into oven and crockpot territory.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

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Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches

I try to follow the news and stay abreast of current events, and there’s currently articles circulating everywhere on the web over the recent results of a scientific study that found cheese (yes, you read that right, plain old cheese) to be as addictive as hard drugs. Basically, cheese is crack.

This explains so much.

Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches 2

And it makes me feel much better about posting a recipe with the word ‘crack’ in the title.

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Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

As the household ‘chef’, or primary cooker of main meals, you’d usually think you have a general idea of everyone’s palates and tastes and going on that info alone, you’d think you’d have a pretty good idea of what recipes will be a hit or a miss. But even with all that information handy, most pork chop recipes have always been more of a miss than a hit for me in the dinner dept. There’s never been anything particular to lay the finger in, just more of nothing being a show-stopper. And apparently that’s the bar I’ve set. So far they guys have only gone ga-ga for them a few ways, breaded, fried, and topped with caramelized onions,  herbed and soaking in mushroom gravy, or my crispy, baked Italian ranch chops. But especially with the hubs, I am so glad that I hadn’t given up! After all, the hubs IS my picky eater.

While smothered may not typically be something I’d enjoy hearing, when it comes to these pork chops, it is essential. Slow cooked, all day long, in their rich, onion-based gravy they’re fall-apart tender and every bite is dee-vine. Topped with a generous bit of crisp, crumbled bacon and parsley? Ohhhhh, yes. We serve them over a bed of mashed potatoes so we can truly appreciate every single bite of gravy.

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

5 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 tsp brown sugar, divided
4 garlic coves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
2 bay leaves
6 pork chops, quality cuts
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

1. In a large skillet or sauce pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp.
2. Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to soak up the excess grease, leaving bacon fat in pan.
3. Discard all but about 2 tbsp of the remaining bacon fat and add in the onions, 2 tsp of the brown sugar, garlic, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring often until the onions have softened and have begun to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
4. Add in 1 cup of the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck on browned bits. You want those!
5. Place the mixture in crock pot and add on the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth.
6. Add in the remaining 2 tsp brown sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine
7. Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper and add them into the crock pot, pushing them down into the juices.
8. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours. When there’s only an hour or so left, stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to the gravy.
9. Place pork chops on a serving plate and cover with foil.
10. Remove the bay leaves from the gravy and transfer the ‘gravy’ to a bowl to ‘rest’ for 5 minutes. Scrape off as much fat from the surface as possible.
11. Stir in the vinegar and add any additional salt and pepper, if needed.
12. Serve the finished pork chops over a bed of mashed potatoes, or even cooked rice. Ladle a generous helping of onion gravy over the top of the pork chops and top with bacon and parsley before serving.