Crock Pot Blackened Chipotle Country Ribs

No one ever said life should or would be easy. But sometimes it does seem harder than it should be. Like most of ours weekends, during the spring sports season, we are swamped. This past weekend we had five games (actually a light schedule), regular yard work, plus 3 yards of dirt, and two rose bushes.www.dadwhats4dinner.com

That should be enough for one weekend, but we decided to throw in a swarming attack of flying ants Saturday night, a twisted ankle and sunburn (while doing said yard work on Sunday), and the topper, a broken garage door Sunday night.20150504_111808

So this morning I had plenty of phone calls to make. I also needed to make a dish for teachers appreciation luncheon at school, plus we have away games every night this week,

To add a little more craziness, my mother (who lives with us) started six weeks of radiation treatment today, for breast cancer. Even though I sound like I’m complaining, I’m not. Life is good and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well maybe without the swarm of ants and busted garage door.

I’m glad I had this easy crock pot dish ready to go. Oh well, I hope you enjoy this great pork recipe during your busy week. Try not to sprain your ankle in the process..

I served the country ribs on top of easy cheese grits. Click here for the recipewww.dadwhats4dinner.com

Enjoy!

Check out this post and many other great recipes on Fiesta Friday link party

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Crock Pot Tips and Tricks

I love my slow cooker. I usually use it twice a week. I plan on posting a new crock pot recipe each week. If you have a favorite recipe you would like converted to be cooked in the crock pot, let me know and I will give it a shot.

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Here are some great crock pot tips from crock-pot.com

How do I prevent meat from drying out?

  • To prevent poultry from drying out, use chicken thighs—they have more fat and won’t dry out as quickly, Cook thighs for about six hours and breasts for a maximum of five hours on low heat. Beef, depending on the cut, is much more forgiving. For better results, use stewing beef, short ribs, or brisket as opposed to a rib steak or a sirloin.

How much liquid should I use?

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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Here is a very simple, 5 ingredient, pork carnitas recipe for your crock pot. Prepare all ingredients in the morning, before you leave for work. (10 minutes) When you get home, shred the pork and keep warm in the crock pot with the sauce. until you are ready to eat. My kids love this, especially on practice nights.

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Carnitas, literally “little meats,” is a dish of Mexican cuisine originating from the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three or four hours and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then typically served with choppedcoriander leaves (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans (frijoles refritos). Wikipedia.com

This recipe is can be used for many types of dishes  This will also be great for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday.

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I love my slow cooker. I usually use it twice a week. I plan on posting a new crock pot recipe each week. If you have a favorite recipe you would like converted to be cooked in the crock pot, let me know and I will give it a shot.

Continue reading Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Crock Pot Pork Philly Cheese Steak

www.dadwhats4dinner.comHere is a simple, 7 ingredient crock pot recipe, for your busy weeknight dinner. If your family is like ours, you are in the middle of spring sports. For us this means games or practice at least six nights a week. Sometimes seven. Spring sports also means cancelled practices and games because we might as well be in the monsoon season here in Ohio. This makes it difficult to plan a good meal and we are typically eating at different times.

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My kids “love them” a cheese steak sandwich. They are easy to make and I usually serve with a fruit or salad. I like trying new versions of cheese-steaks: chicken, steak or pork, depends on what I have in the freezer or what is on sale at Kroger’s.

This version uses low fat pork roast cooked in the crock pot until it falls off apart. It has plenty of flavor. After five hours, shred pork, return to crock pot and keep on warm. Everyone can eat on their own schedule.

One of the biggest complaints about crock pot cooking is that meat tends to dry out. My crock pot has two functions which allows you to stop the cooking and keeps meat from drying out. It has a temperature prob and timer that automatically switches to warm after a certain amount of time or temperature is reached. I need to get a WiFi crock pot which could be controlled by and app on my phone. There is a version on the market sold by Crock-Pot brand called WeMO, but I’m not sure how well it works. I will need to do more research. (Tip: Another trick is to place your meat in the crock pot frozen. This works best with chicken breasts or pork chops. Just make sure the food is cooked to the proper temperature before you serve)

This recipe uses Kirkland pork sirloin tip roast sold at Costco.

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I love these because of the flavor and the size is perfect for a family. It is very versatile in recipes, especially for the crock pot. I have included a recipe for homemade dry onion soup mix, but Lipton store-bought mix will also work fine.

I hope enjoy this easy weekday meal. Please sign up for my weekly recipes, emailed directly to you, at www.dadwhats4dinner.com

Enjoy!

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Guinness Irish Stew

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In honor of St Patrick’s Day and the fact that winter seems to finally be leaving, I made my version of Irish or Guinness Stew. This is a traditional stew except for the addition of sweet potatoes. It is a subtle change, adds a little sweetness to the dish and a few more vitamins. If you want to serve this on St Patrick’s Day you could use the crock pot version at the end of this blog.

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Italian Cube Steak

Italian Cube Steak

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I love easy cheap meals. I do the majority of the grocery shopping in our house and I am always looking for sales on meat and seafood. When I find good prices I stock the freezer. Then I will figure out what to do with purchases at a later date. A few weeks back cube steak was on sale at Kroger’s. Cube steak is a very inexpensive cut of meat, if cooked correctly it makes a great family meal.

From the About Food website “The term Cube Steak is used to refer to a cut of meat that has been run through a mechanical tenderizer called a meat cuber or swissing machine. Traditionally, cube steak is taken from the beef round primal cut, which is well exercised and quite tough, or from the shoulder center, which comes from the beef chuck. Cube steak can be braised, sautéed or pan-fried. It can even be baked in a casserole.”

But with this cut of meat sometimes I get stuck making the same old dish. Usually chicken fried steak with gravy. I like this dish but I wanted to make something new and lower fat.

You have most of the ingredients, for this dish, in your pantry. Browning the beef and prepping your vegetables is the only work needed.

This dish could also be made in the crock pot. Simply brown meat, toss the rest of the ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and cook on low for 6 hours. That’s it.

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Crock Pot Buffalo BBQ Chicken Sliders with Ranch Slaw

There are many versions of Buffalo Chicken Sliders on the internet. My version is made in the crock pot using bone-in chicken breasts, Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce and Honey Barbecue Sauce. I add the barbecue sauce because when I make wings my kids like a mix of buffalo and barbecue, instead of the heat of straight buffalo.

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My recipe is a little sweet with just the right amount of heat. If you want to spice it up, just splash more hot sauce on your individual sliders. This recipe would be perfect for a cold Saturday watching March Madness basketball with friends. The ranch slaw adds a nice tang to the slider. Easy to make and kid friendly.

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Beef Daube Cajun Style

Beef Daube Cajun Style,     Dadwhats4dinner.com
Beef Daube Cajun Style, Dadwhats4dinner.com

In honor of New Orleans, Mardi Gras and french influence’s on their local cuisine, I wanted to share my recipe for Beef Daube Cajun Style.

Beef Daube Cajun Style    dadwhats4dinner.com
Beef Daube Cajun Style Dadwhats4dinner.com

I made this dish yesterday to have for dinner tonight. It is better if served the next day but can be served immediately. I also made fresh Quick Ciabatta Bread which goes great with this hardy dish. It is very cold and snowy today and a warm hearty dish will hit the spot.

Quick Ciabatta Bread,  dadwhats4dinner.com
Quick Ciabatta Bread, Dadwhats4dinner.com

I spiced up the traditional Beef Daube by adding Cajun blackened seasoning. I use all natural Cajun’s Choice brand. This adds just enough kick to add a New Orleans flare.

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Crockpot BBQ Chicken

If your family is like ours the weekdays are extremely busy. Our kids play soccer, baseball, gymnastics and our oldest referees. Needless to say providing a good healthy meal during the week is a challenge.

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Earlier this week I wanted something different to cook in the crock pot. Often Tyson chicken is on sale at the local Kroger and so I will stock the freezer. I decided to use two packs of drumsticks and one package of thighs for this dish. Any combination of chicken pieces will work. The great part of this recipe is you can put the chicken in the crock pot frozen. This is a great tip for any chicken crock pot dish.  You might need to defrost the chicken a few minutes in the microwave. This will allow you to remove the chicken from its packaging and remove the skin.

This is a very inexpensive meal that makes a large quantity of shredded BBQ.

Throw it all in and walk away.

Serve with a green salad and mac n cheese for the kids.

Enjoy!

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