Monday, April 11, 2011

Orange Glazed Corn Beef

Ok, first I have to admit that I tried two crock pot recipes in the past week before this one and I won't even attempt to share them with you.  They were not that good!  But this one!! O-M-G! SO good.

Remember - alter the quantities to fit your needs - I was cooking for 3 adults and 1 kid

NOTE: Does require transfer to a baking dish and baking after cooking in crock pot

4 large red potatoes - cut into chunks or quartered
2 garlic cloves - chopped or minced
2 handfuls of baby carrots
1/4 onion - sliced    (I am not a huge onion fan so I tend to always use less)
1 corned beef brisket with spice packet
1 1/2 cups water
5 tablespoons frozen orange concentrate
5 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 to 4 ounces Orange juice

ground pepper
Kitchen Stories Ultimate Steak Blend
Garlic powder
ground mustard

1. Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic cloves in slow cooker -- always PAM the slow cooker first.

2. Cut brisket in half, place over vegetables.  Add the water and contents of spice packet --- NOTE: I put the spice packet contents directly on the meat itself and made sure the water did not wash it off - you can add the water first to avoid this.  Add Ultimate Steak Blend, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and ground mustard -- use as you see fit.

3.  Add 3 tablespoons of the frozen orange concentrate, honey, dijon mustard (best to use most directly on the meat, leaving it to cook into the meat), and the orange juice.

4. Cook on low until meat and vegetables are tender.  I cooked this for about 3 or 4 hours and every so often would turn the vegetable up and around to keep them from getting too soggy.

5.  Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer meat and vegetables to a baking dish. 

6. Create a glaze in a small bowl.  Combine remaining 2 tablespoons and honey, stir until a thick glaze is created.  If you want to add more to yield more of a glaze - go for it!  Add some of the crock pot juices once honey and concentrate are blended.  Pour over meat and vegetable.

7. Bake uncovered, at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, basting with crock pot juices occasionally.

I served this with fresh fruit.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Slow Cook Italian Chicken

I love this dish, and have made several versions of it.  It is a hearty, filling meal.  Wonderful for those cold evenings or when you are in serious need of comfort food that is not super high in calories.

You will need a slow cooker for this one.

  boneless, skinless chicken (you could substitute with turkey)
  28oz can of crushed or stewed tomatoes (I used Contadina)
  Rice -- I use boil a bag   (or pasta if you prefer)
  1 chicken bouillan cube

      garlic powder
      minced onion
      chili powder
      ground mustard
      salt and pepper
      Kitchen Stories Ultimate Steak Blend
Rachel Ray's Balsamic Drizzle

I always put a layer of spices down on the crock pot first.  Use as much of each to your preference - feel free to alter spices to your taste buds/needs as well.

Place chicken down and top with a light layer of spices.  Pour crushed tomatoes on chicken - I felt 3/4's of the 28oz can was more then plenty, but I was only cooking 3 pieces of chicken.  You may need the entire can if you are cooking more then 3 pieces of meat.

Top generously with spices.   Take boillioun cube and grate it on top (you can use granules if you have those).  I would use about a 1/4 of the cube and at most 1/2 of a cube.

Drizzle the Rachel Ray's Balsamic on top, go lightly.  Turn on either low (if you have more then 2 hours before desired eating time) or high.  Let cook away.  Check it later, when it is about done.  If need be, add more spices to your taste.

Serve on top of rice or pasta.  I paired it with a sourdough garlic bread that I made from Wegman's bakery sourdough.

To Get You Started

If you are interested in getting the recipes as close as possible, or interested in using the same spices - here are the ones you will need to get in advance.

First up --   Kitchen Stories Ultimate Steak Blend

I pretty much use this on everything! Its so good.  Only issue for some is that the only place I believe it is available is on Etsy.  If you are not familiar with Etsy - it is an online shopping site for handmade items. This spice blend is handmade by Kitchen Stories.  To purchase on Etsy, you will need to create an account and also have a paypal account.  Be careful, the site is addicting!   And the handmade items on this site (for the majority) is amazing, unique, and great quality.

I love this spice so much, I gave it as christmas gifts to the guys in my family and order it on a regular basis.

Second -- Rachel Ray's Balsamic Drizzle Balsamic Reduction

OMG, this is AMAZING - least for those that love balsamic.  It is so good on tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

I use this in a lot of my cooking as well.  It is thicker and softer then a vinegar. And adds a nice little pop to a dish.


The name is Kristin for those that don't know me.  Though it surprises my family, I love to cook.  Okay, it is so much more involved then that!  I loathe cooking a boring, regular meal.  Cooking up a piece of meat on the grill, in the oven, or in a pan with throwing some quick sides with it is like nails on a chalkboard.  I want something more involved, something with actual flavors.

Which is ironic, considering I am one of the pickiest eaters out there.  And I must admit now, it is very unlikely you will find anything related to seafood, deer, lamb, tofu, sushi, spicy foods, and peppers.  But the good news is - you can alter any of the recipes to suit your tastes - change out the type of meat, add peppers, add spice.  This is to get you started and open the doors on being creative and changing it up from the drab, boring meals you are use to.

You will find a lot of slow cooker recipes - its my all time favorite kitchen gadget!  Easy and so yummy.

And one thing you will notice, I never measure out spices.  I feel you should use spices as you are comfortable with.  Remember for slow cookers - more is better - if too little is in there it will not be noticeable at all and the result will be bland.

Hope you enjoy and most of all Experiment with me!

If you have recipes, I would love to give them a try!  Email them to: