as GOLD as it gets

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crockpot french dip sandwiches

I’ve always loved dipping my food. French fries and ketchup, cheesy fondue, pizza in ranch….omg the list goes on and on. I just really like combining things, unless its sweet + savory, then count me out. So maybe that’s why I like french dip sandwiches. I haven’t had them that many times so I can’t tell you if this is the holy grail way to make them. But this is an easy weeknight meal (notice a trend here?) that’s both satisfying and dippable.
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creamy tomato parmesan soup

I love tomato soup – especially with grilled cheese. I was really excited to try this recipe for Skinny Tomato Basil Soup from 365 Day of Slow Cooking. This is a really rich and creamy tomato soup, you will definitely not believe that it is a skinny version. It’s full of other veggies and was described by my husband as tasting like ravioli. It does sort of taste like pasta is lurking in it – its just that rich.

creamy tomato parmesan soup | as GOLD as it gets

It has zucchini, carrots and celery in it as well as the star of the show – tomatoes. I simply chopped the veggies and put them in the crock pot to cook because it was just too much work to finely dice. It took my crock pot about 4 hours on low to cook the veggies through and I just used a hand blender/emulsifier to blend it together and it worked just fine. I followed the recipe otherwise pretty exact. I didn’t have any basil on hand so I just used oregano, sprinkled with a small amount of garlic salt and garnished with more parmesan and cilantro.

We paired this with grilled cheese for an easy dinner!


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crock pot minestrone soup

I tried this soup last week and it turned out well. Not my favorite soup but probably because I could have feed an military base full of men with this soup, there is so much of it.

A few tips about this soup:

1) Be careful to not overfill your crockpot. I own a big (6 quarts I believe) crock pot and it was FULL. I cooked on high for just over 4 hours and the vegetables had just gotten cooked through. I think its similar to overloading your dryer, when the heat can’t travel easily its going to take longer to get you desired outcome. So you might want to reduce the amount of overall amount that you make – I think I  could have even cut it in half.

2) The recipe calls for a lot of italian seasoning but I put in salt, garlic salt and pepper. I really try not to boggle things down with salt and pepper but I thought this really needed it. It tasted a little too bland for my liking. For probably 5.5 quarts of soup the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of salt…. I definitely added that and plenty more.

3) Make sure that your veggies are fully cooked BEFORE putting in the pasta. The pasta took about 12 minutes or so to cook through but if you put it in too early it will cook too long and disintegrate.

minestrone soup

Overall its gotten really good reviews in our house! When making it there’s just a few things to look out for to make sure you get the minestrone soup you want.

 


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crockpot chicken taquitos

There is no question as to my favorite food: mexican all. the. way. Unfortunately the east coast sucks at mexican food. In college there wasn’t even a mexican restaurant in Boston! Sure a few “tex-mex” style restaurants but not reaaaal mexican food. If you’ve ever had an authentic mexican food experience you’ll know what I mean.

crockpot chicken taquitos
rolling taquitos
prepping olive oil

Although these are definitely not authentic taquitos with a fried crunchy shell, they are pretty dang good. I opted for whole grain tortillas to be a little heathier. A few things to note about using whole grain tortillas in this recipe or others: they don’t have a lot of taste and they can tear extremely easily. To avoid the taste issue I spiced up the insides and added garlic salt and pepper into the olive oil I spread over the tortillas before I put them in the oven. To combat and prevent tearing, I microwave the tortillas for 10 seconds before working with them. You can stack several in at once but I gently separate them before microwaving. This really allows them to be a much more flexible and workable.

crockpot chicken taquitos recipe card