Simple but Delicious Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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This is a simple slow cooker pot roast recipe. You know me! When it comes to cooking most of the time I love a quick recipe so that I can get on with my evening or day.

  • About a 3lb beef roast (or your choice)
  • 2 cups of beef or chicken broth. That’s correct. You can use chicken broth as a sub!
  • Seasonings can be as simple as salt and pepper or your choice of seasonings. Just remember to over season your roast a bit because you’ll sear it and then it has to go into liquid so you’ll lose a little seasoning. My seasonings were: Weber’s steak and Chop (heavily) and then Garlic Salt, Black pepper, crushed Basil leaves (lightly)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or whatever oil you use)
  • 1 small onion or onion flakes (my daughter hates onions 😢) You can chop half or all…up to you or skip it
  • 1 can of cream of celery or mushroom
  • Celery flakes (optional)

1. Season your roast. I pierce my roast with a fork or if you have a meat cleaver use that as it is the proper tool. But, I like using a fork because I can pierce deep. You don’t have to do this at all.

2. In a large skillet add the olive oil and turn to medium high. Once it’s hot place the pot roast in and sear each side really good. About 4 minutes each side Remove pan and let the roast sit as you prepare the slow cooker.

2. Add 2 cups of broth, onions or a cap full of onion flakes (about half a teaspoon & they will become soft), sprinkle basil and pepper into the mix and turn slow cooker to high (5-6 hours) or low (8-10 hours).

3. Add roast. Take a spoon and put some of the broth on top. Let it cook for the time above but see next step!

4. One or two hours before your roast is done, mix one can of cream of mushroom/celery with half a cup of water. I added celery seeds. About half a teaspoon. Mix well and pour into the broth. Mix in. Take a spoon and pour some of that mix in the slow cooker on top of your roast. Let it finish cooking.

4. You’re done!

I like to make this when I have leftover vegetables from another meal I can add as sides or if I don’t have potatoes, cartots, celery. Also, I may simply want roast with mash potatoes or rice. Either way this is simple! And as my mom would say, “Add something green (a green vegetable) to your plate!”

 

Isn’t she a beauty?! But more importantly it’s DELICIOUS!

~Nikki

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Vegas: Arrival, Luxor, Sight Seeing, Food

I have been silent for a while because I have been busy crocheting holiday orders AND I finally got a chance to go back to Vegas. A trip we use to take every year before Rheumatoid Disease came back. Right, who knew it could come out of remission. I sure didn’t! This trip was expanded beyond my brother and I to more family members. The same crew we went to Orange Beach with.

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The bonus for me was on the night we were looking to party and let our hair down was a night that Lil’ John was scheduled to come to Hakkasan as the guest DJ. Well, I have been trying to catch him there for a long time, but it was never when we planned to go. This was a bonus! We did a shorter visit than usual because my brother wanted to be cheap and fly Allegiant. They do not have many flight time options like Delta or Southwest. We usually stay 4 days and 3 nights PLUS we arrive in the middle of the day instead of in the middle of the night.

But, the bonus was going with a group of family that had never flown before and had never been to Vegas. We had soooooo much fun and the night we partied was EPIC! But it all started at the airport where we had drinks, met a guy that was a promoter who actually worked at the night club we were going to, and we wore our custom made shirts. We stepped off the plane, put our bags down, and hung out into the wee hours of the morning. This photo below is one of my cousins and as you can see we love to take pictures. Our shirts were made by a good friend of mines Key’s Krafts. I am from Memphis and we call it the M-Town.

The next morning we did some exploring and also on Sunday.

 

Oh, the Hotel we stayed in was the Luxor. I have seen it numerous times and been there before. It’s connected to the place we stayed on our very first trip to Vegas which is Excalibur. They have since added what are called the towers and this is where we got the best deal and great rooms! However, the King room I booked was not available when I arrived. I was given a Queen double bed room and a comp for a buffet meal. I had the option to move to the King room the next morning, but after thinking about it I stayed on the ground floor. I have had some great views from higher floors, but when I looked out of my window that morning I liked what I saw. There was a little rock and shrub garden and you could see the hieroglyphics. I liked looking at the Sphinx. I also saw a hummingbird that morning! And I considered how much I like to shop in Vegas and bringing all of those bags to the first floor was convenient!

These are a few photos of the Luxor.

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It obviously has the Egyptian theme nailed. Customer service was perfect and staff was friendly. There were plenty of places to eat inside of the hotel and because it’s connected and very close to four other hotels, finding food was not a problem. The buffet at the Luxor is really good and worth the money. Also, with two Starbucks and plenty of other options in the food court you could not go wrong.

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The food from Excalibur’s Steakhouse was PERFECTION. Everyone in the group savored their meals and handcrafted cocktails. I had the Roasted Pineapple Martini and Salmon with Asparagus (Asparagus cooked right!).

Well, this is all for today. I will post another blog tomorrow or Monday on Vegas: Vegas Nightlife, Fashion, Rheumatoid Disease & Fibromyalgia. (The aftermath).

~Nikki

Smokey Row Coffee Co. Oskaloosa

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We pull into Oskaloosa, Iowa late night on a drive from Memphis, TN and suddenly I perk up as we cruise down Market Street. What’s that? A coffee house? I will be back in the morning!

We were only in Iowa overnight as I rode with my brother to pick up my nephew from William Penn. We stayed at my second family’s house which is a home away from home. I went to “my” room and once I was underneath “my quilt” I was fast asleep. After getting ready the next morning I headed to this coffee house. It is huge with plenty of room, coffee, and uniqueness. I was overwhelmed and I am sure everyone knew I was a tourist as I snapped pictures of everything. The service was fast and as friendly as one could be on a Saturday morning. The hustle hand yet to bustle but, all of that changed as it neared 9:30 a.m.

Caramel flavored coffee was my choice and what a delicious blend! The caramel was subtle and not overpowering. I like to be able to taste my coffee and flavor at the same time. Each table in the shop is different, nostalgic and coffee related. I thought that was so cute!

And the menu…Breakfast all day, Lunch, Dessert, Kids Menu, Dinner…you name it! It was better than a Starbucks (No shade! I still love you Starbucks). It wasn’t carbon copy and I love the sunlight coming through the huge windows and so many places to go within. A parlor-ish feel for a coffee place is really different. I like different. A book vault? Upstairs? A stage for lets say…a live local band? Yes. All of that and more.

Fancy that. I purchased a mint green mug and a sconce. I eyed a big hunk of tiramisu but, decided next time and by next time I mean fall. I hope to be able to linger a bit longer with laptop in tow and just enough space for lunch and a milkshake. I am sure I can walk those calories off in the square.

~Nikki

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Sautéed Collard Greens? Cajun or No?

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Yes. Sautéed collard greens. Is it easy to do? Yes, it is. Is there more than one way to do it? Of course. Here is my spin.

  • One bag of chopped and pre washed greens (Does not have to be collards & as you can see mines were on sale). They can also be fresh greens but, you will have to wash (several times to remove dirt/sand/etc.) and chop them.
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken stock/broth or water (in my opinion the broth/stock adds flavor)
  • Butter
  • Louisiana Cajun Seasoning (If you are not up for spice just use salt and pepper)
  • White pepper (optional)
  • Spice Supreme Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Onions (frozen or fresh but I used frozen chopped onions) 1/2 cup (optional)

The bag is 16 oz and I chose to use 8 oz of greens which was enough for two people. You can use the entire bag. I froze the other half. Soak the greens in hot water from the faucet for 10 minutes. Remove and pat dry.

In a medium skillet, add one tbsp. of butter and one tbsp. of olive oil. (If you are doing the entire bag you will need a large skillet but you can use the same amount of butter and oil it is up to you. You can also use only butter or only oil). Heat butter and oil on medium, medium-high (I put mines on 6). Add onions (you can use onion powder or flakes instead). When onions are translucent add your greens and 1/2 cup of chicken broth (1 cup if you are cooking the entire bag). YOU CAN USE WATER but, to me the broth or stock adds flavor. Add the seasonings I have listed for Cajun (Cajun seasoning, white pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic salt) or if you don’t want Cajun just salt, pepper, or garlic salt will do. How much? Add to your liking (I sprinkle evenly as possible across and stir in for each seasoing except the crushed pepper flakes!). NOTE: You only need about 8-10 flakes of the red crushed pepper. It is powerful! ALSO: I stir occasionally and definitely keep and eye on it to if the broth evaporates too soon you will need to add more.

It takes about 8-10 minutes (or until broth nearly evaporates) to sauté for a firm leaf but, if you want it a little more tender keep going and add more water or broth. Just test to see if it’s okay for you.

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~Nikki

 

RA Blog: What’s For Dinner?

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One of my favorite, simple, and easy things to make for dinner is pizza. We all know cooking with RD (RA) or any other autoimmune disorder can be tough and almost impossible. We want it to be quick, easy, and as healthy as possible. You want it now as well if you have had a prednisone dose (most of us are extremely hungry because of this steroid for pain)!

Well, this may or may not be healthy depending on what you put on it and what type of crust you use. In the one above it’s a veggie pizza. You can buy veggies already chopped or chop your own. You can look in the fridge and just throw whatever veggies you have on the pizza. Think outside the box and take a chance with veggies like carrots and cauliflower. You can buy any type of crust you like or even make your own with cauliflower. I used a flatbread crust for mines. You can choose your sauce and add cheese. The one below is a buffalo chicken pizza topped with bacon. Pizza nights for us are usually on the weekend or it can be whenever you are just not feeling up to cooking a big meal. Add a salad and enjoy.

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When making the buffalo chicken pizza, I bake a boneless chicken breast (season it with Tony’s seasoning), cut it into pieces (slices or chunks, most of the time my daughter does this because of my hands), and let it soak in a buffalo sauce. Any buffalo sauce will do. I let it soak for about 10 minutes and then I toss them onto the pizza. Baking times are usually on your crust package. Once it’s done, I top it with bacon (optional of course) immediately so it can stick to the cheese as much as possible ( I cook the bacon while I am baking the chicken).

~Nikki

Nikki’s Summer Rosé Sangria

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It was a dark and stormy summer night, literally when my friends arrived for a Rosé Wine Tasting at my home. It was raining cats and dogs, but they showed up and the last guests left a little after 1 a.m. The Rosé Sangria was a hit, the Rosés required an acquired taste which is nothing new in the world of wine. I cared more about the vibe and company. So, I decided to share the recipe for my made up on the spot Summer Rosé Sangria. I improvised and used what I had.

1 bottle of moscato rosé

1 bottle of Ocean Spray Sangria mix

1 1/2 cup of brandy

1 1/2 cup of Barefoot Merlot (any merlot)

2 cups of Simply Lemonade

2 tablespoons of triple sec

2 tablespoons of raspberry liquor

16 dark cherries (you can pit if you want but I did not)

16 raspberries

16 strawberries (8, they were halved into 16)

Add all of the liquids in a gallon container, stir and then add the fruit. Let it sit overnight or you can drink right away. I like for it to sit overnight anytime I make a sangria. The alcohol and the fruit marinate and intensifies the flavor. I think this one is great for all summer long. I will making it at cookouts and to take with me to share with friends at summer concerts in the park.

Here are a few more pictures from the wine tasting. Next up is Reds this fall/winter.

~Nikki

Weekend Confetti! Memphis Farmers Market Opening Day Pt 2

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My next stop was at Wilson Gardens. As you can see they are our neighbors from Arkansas. I am trying the pumpkin squash and was given simple directions on how to roast it. I was happy to find butter lettuce and fresh spinach. I’ve already made an omelet and tonight I will saute some along with the lasagna we are having. We had a garden salad my daughter made last night. This is what I like about the market. Many times you end up learning new recipes or trying different vegetables.

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Lydia’s Healthy Edibles is a GLUTEN FREE company. Many people are choosing gluten free products. Some because of health reasons and some because of “healthier” options. I have an illness and I do notice a spike in my inflammation when I eat some of my favorite desserts. I also have friends that MUST have gluten free products. I could not wait to share this with them because often it is difficult for them to find. I saw blueberry muffin mix, carrot cake muffin mix, lemon! My next go round at the market I will certainly purchase one or two of the mixes. I was adhering to my budget as one knows at a market you can lose it! (Okay, maybe just me!) They have granola ( I want that too!) and other products. To learn more check them out on: Facebook or on instagram @lhedibles

Next up is deliciousness that almost was gone before we made it home! Las Delicias Corn Chips and the amazing guacamole!!!!! I cannot wait to purchase these again. I had to share with family and thank goodness because I may have eaten more than my share!

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~Nikki