Slow Cooker Chicken Cheesesteaks

Alot has been going on around here lately. A newborn baby, obviously. But also, a new house. We’ve been busy packing up our lives here for the past month, and we’re headed “down the county” for settlement this morning.

We’re taking the family back to where we started, Chincoteague Island. It’s a great house (that’s not cut up all funny as many old Eastern Shore homes are), with plenty of room for this growing family. A huge kitchen with three times the cabinet and counter space I currently have here. It was Jon’s best friend’s house growing up, in fact – Jon even drove a few nails into it when Ron (said best friend’s father) was building it. So, needless to say – we’re already feeling an emotional attachment to the place before we even move in.

Naturally, I also have many emotional attachments to this house. I brought all my babies home to this house, Christmases, Halloweens, first days of school, birthday parties, and neighborhood cookouts. I pretty much learned to cook (for real reals) in this house. Jon taught himself how to brew in this house. So many great memories here! I’ll miss our neighbors, fireflies (they don’t have fireflies on Chincoteague Island – the amount of salt in the air, maybe?) my lush backyard teeming with flowers from bulbs that were planted 50 years before we moved here, my fig trees, and my kitchen that we revamped. But, we’ll have a new version of those things in our new home, except the fireflies – and I’m excited about that.

house

Needless to say, dinner preparation has kind of fallen by the wayside the past couple weeks with everything getting packed up and whatnot. That’s where a slow cooker can come in handy! Now, I know most folks don’t associate a slow cooker with the summer months. But, it’s very versatile for preparing delicious meals year-round. And, it won’t heat up the house the way an oven does!

This takes just a few minutes to throw together, and the results at dinnertime are absolutely delicious. I seasoned chicken breasts (next time I’ll try boneless thighs in the mix as well) and seared them off, then sauteed some peppers and onions. Threw it all in the slow cooker with a bit of chicken broth and let it cook all day. At dinner time, I just shredded the chicken and threw it on some sub rolls, added some provelone cheese and toasted them in the oven for a few minutes.

They were delicious, satisfying, and super duper easy. The leftover filling was k-i-l-l-e-r in a quesadilla the next day for lunch. I know we’ll be making this one again very soon!

I know I’ve been slack on posts lately, but just bear with me. The slackage will probably continue through next week, until we get internet arranged in the new house, and my studio set up. Until then, later Pocomoke – it’s been real! Thanks for giving me such a great spot to call home and raise this little family of ours for 7 years!

Source: Adapted from Food Family & Finds via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Have you guys been taking advantage of all the glorious blueberries that are in season right now? I need to make some time for a trip up to our local pick-your-own-blueberry place soon. We’ve also got our Chincoteague Blueberry Festival coming up in the next couple weeks. We always make a “girls trip” of it with my best friend and her daughter.

It’s not very big in terms of most folks idea of a festival, but there’s always lots of unique vendors and great blueberry-centric things to try. Not to mention a blueberry vendor from New Jersey that sells them by the box. I usually buy one and freeze half of the berries, and then we brew a blueberry beer with the other half. Good stuff!

So, this coffee cake. Tender, moist cake is studded with juicy fresh blueberries and chunks of cream cheese throughout, then topped with a delicious crumble topping that is the signature of any good coffee cake. I’d imagine it would also be wonderful with raspberries or strawberries as well. Perfect for any breakfast or brunch get together – as well as a sweet treat for after dinner. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home

Caribbean Pork Tenderloin

I’m always looking for new ideas for pork tenderloins. They are quick and easy to cook, lean, and adapt very well to any flavor profiles you throw at them. I thought this fun twist using flavors inspired by the Caribbean Islands would be perfect for the summertime, and I was right!

A few months ago, during my last “stock-up” trip to Trader Joe’s, I picked up a couple of jars of their Mango-Ginger Chutney to keep in the pantry. I used a jar or that as a base for my glaze – then added fresh lime juice and zest, brown sugar, and a splash of rum to add some extra flavor and flair.

An extra punch of flavor also comes from the use of Jerk seasoning, which is used to season the pork before grilling. During the last few minutes on the grill, the tenderloins are brushed with the glaze then sliced and served with some alongside as well.

The flavors are fresh and wonderful, yet super simple and perfect for a weeknight meal. Another one for the recipe box, for sure!

Source: adapted from Grill Grrrl

Tri-Color ColeslawColeslaw is one of those things that is a “must-have” for a summer cookout buffet. Not only is it a great light and refreshing side dish, but it’s also a great addition to things – like barbecue sandwiches, burgers, or even tacos.

This recipe couldn’t be any more simple. I toss shredded red and green cabbage and carrots with a tangy dressing that comes together as quickly as it takes to combine everything. Let it sit for an hour to let the flavors mingle and you’ve got yourself a great slaw worthy of any summertime soiree.

It’s also a great base to add different flavor profiles. Sometimes I like to add a little chopped cilantro and chipotle, or sesame oil, peanuts, chopped cilantro and a bit of fish sauce for a Thai twist. The possibilities are endless, but this easy recipe is definitely the place to start!