Whimsy Crock Pot Week-Day 7

We made it through an entire week of Crock Pot cooking!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes.  Try one, try them all.  Send me a comment and let me know what you thought of them.

Here’s a recap of this past week:

Day 1-Pulled Pork

Day 2-Baked Potatoes

Day 3-Chicken Tetrazzini

Day 4-Taco Soup

Day 5-To-Die-For Roast

Day 6-Chicken Fajitas

And now for Day 7’s delight.  I found this recipe on the LiveStrong.com website.  That website is full of so many useful tips on cooking, healthy living and even green cleaning.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of all it has to offer.

This recipe is only 200 calories per serving, so no guilt…unless you eat the whole batch.

Crock Pot Brownies

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup trans fat-free margarine or butter substitute (I didn’t have this, so I used regular butter.  I’m sure it added a few more calories, but it worked just fine.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (may substitute dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Spray the Crock Pot with cooking spray, coating it thoroughly. Line the bottom of the Crock Pot with parchment paper, then spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl and blend well.
  3. Combine evaporated milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.  Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if desired.
  4. Pour mixture into your Crock Pot, cover and cook on the low setting for 2 to 3 hours.  Check the brownies after 2 hours by inserting a toothpick into the center.  If toothpick comes out clean, turn off the Crock Pot and allow brownies to cool for 15 minutes.
What I found about taking on this week-long challenge is that I LOVE my slow cooker even more than I did before!  My kitchen stayed cooler, and clean-up was so easy!  Try it for a week and let me know what worked for you and what didn’t.

Have a fantastic holiday!  And please take a quick second to like my page on Facebook.  Thanks!


mmmmm…fondue

First and foremost, I am NOT a lover of chocolate.  Crazy, right?!  I would much prefer a salty bag of popcorn over a piece of chocolate cake any day.  I like chocolate, but sweets just aren’t my thing.

After saying that, I may have to rethink my view on all things chocolate, because I have found THE BEST CHOCOLATE EVER!  It’s from a brand new company called Velata, and they make chocolate fun through FONDUE!

Velata is a direct selling company that opened May 1st, 2012, under the Scentsy family umbrella (find out more about Scentsy here).  It is the same concept as Scentsy, but you use the special warmer to warm chocolate fondue.

Each fondue warmer uses a silicone dish to hold the chocolate.  The fondue is warmed with a 25-watt light  bulb, so there is absolutely no flame or smoke to worry about.  And no scorching, whatsoever!  Use the dimmer switch at first on high to melt your chocolate, then turn it to low to keep it warm.

The chocolate comes in 4 delicious flavors: Milk, Caramel Milk, Dark and White.  The Caramel Milk is my favorite!  The warmers come in many colors and shapes too!

Once you’re finished with the chocolate (if you haven’t licked the dish clean already), you can remove the silicone dish, wrap it up and keep it in the fridge for a later date.  So easy!!

I got my warmer in the mail last Monday, & my hubby has wanted to fondue every night since!  It’s really that good.  The fun part is trying to come up with different dippers.  So far, we’ve dipped apples, cookies, grapes, pineapple, chips, pretzels, marshmallows, graham crackers and popcorn.  Everything I’ve tried has been delicious!

I took my Velata to a party this past weekend, and there was nothing left in the dish to clean up.  It was a hit!!

So check out Velata and all the cute warmers here:  chicfondue.velata.us

Trust this salty-snack-lovin’-housewife…this chocolate fondue stuff is fun and delicious!!


My Nemesis: Saran Wrap

I am plastic wrap impaired.

Each time I use plastic wrap, a battle ensues in my brain that sounds something like this…”Please, work for me today!”  “Why do you want to stick to only yourself?”  “Why is it so difficult to get a tight seal?”  “Am I doing something wrong?!”  “Do other people have a hard time with this?”  “AGHH!  I give up!  I’ll use the foil.”  Then I take the piece I painstakingly managed to cut it from the roll (after a few cuts to my fingers), spend 10 minutes unsticking it from itself, and eventually end up wadding it up in a ball and throwing it away.  It never fails…this happens every.single.time.

I see beautifully wrapped dishes at pot-luck dinners; their seals are tight and it’s actually sticking to the bowl.  How do they do that?!  So, I have been researching this dilemma, and have found a few tips.

  • Saran wrap is best used for sandwiches, cut produce (i.e. cut watermelon, apples, etc…), and any food that doesn’t need a bowl.  Think bread, cookies, fruits and veggies, not that left over soup.  Tupperware is better for those.
  • It prefers to stick to glass and itself.  So, I guess if your bowl is plastic or metal, you’ll have to wrap the entire bowl like a present…
  • Wrap your container first to create a tight seal before tearing the plastic from the roll. (This one takes practice…food service kitchens do this.  Set the dish on the counter, unroll a large portion of wrap, wrap dish tightly, then cut from the roll.)
  • Wrap an open container of ice cream before returning it to the freezer, to prevent those yucky ice crystals.
  • Use it as a shelf liner.  Love this one!  Cover the shelves in your fridge for an easy clean-up later.  (I recommend cleaning the fridge first…I know, I know, no fun.)
  • Store your roll in the freezer to prevent it from sticking to itself.
  • Just ditch the wrap all together and opt for shower caps!

I suppose I will keep the roll in my drawer, but will use it for things other than the occasional food storage.  Help me out on this one!  Leave me a comment about how you manage to beautifully wrap everything with this evil stuff!!  I’ve heard good reviews about Glad’s Press and Seal, and may try it, but I will probably always consider plastic wrap to be the spawn of Satan.