Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Spareribs

We are getting very close to the end of March and we still have a ridiculous amount of snow on the ground. It is actually snowing as I sit here writing this blog.  Us up here in the North East are itching to get outside, I have already started planning what I want to grow in my garden this year. I also have a Beef Tri Tip steak that I REALLY want to cook out on the grill.  Unfortunately the weather is NOT cooperating at all and even though I have done it before cooking outside in the “winter” is not fun.
IMG_5016It’s funny how people including myself have certain meals they eat at certain times during the years. Colder months people want soups and stews, warmer months they want burgers and pastas. I do use my grill quite a bit in the summer. Some people put their slow cookers aka crockpots away in the summer. I do not, I will use it whenever I need a little break from the stove/oven/grill. It makes great pulled pork anytime and in the dog days of summer it is a great way to have a nice dinner ready for you when you get home. Bonus you don’t have to overheat the house because you don’t need to turn on the stove or oven.

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I pulled out an old recipe that my sister shared with me before I had kids, maybe even before I was married and had my own home.  Yeah it’s that old but it is pretty darn delicious and super easy. You might even have most everything on hand.  It comes together in less than 10 minutes. Cooks all day while you are at work, or out enjoying the day and voila dinner is served.
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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Spareribs

1 large can of crushed pineapple
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup Vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Boneless spare ribs or whatever your favorite ones are
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Place the ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker, in a small bowl combine all the other ingredients and then pour over the ribs. Cook on low all day. When you get home you can make some mashed potatoes, egg noodles or polenta.
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Have to share that I spent 10 minutes or less making the ribs and then decided to make polenta for the first time in my life, which took me a good 30+ minute to make.  I even laughed at myself while I was doing it.

Crockpot Chicken Chili

The holiday season is upon us; which is quite apparent if you have ventured into pretty much ANY store. Just this last weekend there was Christmas music playing at my local craft store while I was picking up stuff for my Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Let the games begin!
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And just because you have a huge list of things to get done on the weekends doesn’t mean you can’t take a few simple ingredients; that you might already have on hand; throw it all in your slow cooker and have a warm satisfying meal at the end of the day. And probably a lunch during the week.

img_4700The last few weekends I have been spending a few hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the coming weeks lunch and or dinner. Make a roast for Sunday dinner and then a soup/stew for the following week. It’s like a win win. You are already chopping veggies, making a mess; or at least that is in my case. I swear I use pretty much every pot, pan and cutting board I own when I get going.
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Ingredients
Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans of beans – great northern, navy pea beans, black beans Or any combination
1 can hominy
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can Rotel
1 can cream of chicken soup
Chicken broth

Directions
Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker
saute onions and garlic till they are soft
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Top with beans
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In a medium bowl combine taco seasoning, chilis, Rotel, soup and broth. Pour over beans
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Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
Before serving shred chicken to your liking.
Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and chives or green onions.