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Monday, October 28, 2013

Crock Pot Cajun Boiled Peanuts

Back a couple of months ago, I decided to surprise Mr. L with a new recipe of one of his most favorite foods -- boiled peanuts.  Since we've lived in Hawaii, he hasn't eaten any because the southern kind is not readily available here (although I have heard there are some boiled peanuts available at a few places, namely Alicia's Market, but we've yet to try them out).  I felt bad that he'd gone so long without any boiled deliciousness, so when I stumbled across this pin from Tammilee Tips, I knew I had to give it a whirl.



Ingredients
  • 1 lb raw peanuts in shell
  • 1 3 oz package dry crab boil (I used Zatarain's brand)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 8-10 cups of water

Directions

Put the raw peanuts in the Crock Pot and cover with at least 8 cups of water (you may have to add in more over the cooking period to make sure the peanuts stay covered).


Add the salt, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes and stir it all together.



Place the dry crab boil bag on top of the peanuts.


Cover and cook on low for 12-24 hours (we prefer about 24 hours so the flavor is nice and strong).


If your peanuts disappear in less than a day like this first batch did, feel free to reuse the seasoned water in the crock pot to make another batch.  Just make sure to add little more salt if it needs it, more water (I think I did at least 2 cups more), and take out the crab boil bag so it doesn't fall apart, leaving you with the contents scattered throughout your pot (not very appetizing when they stick all over the peanuts).  I also add a little bit more of each of the seasonings for good measure.


We've made about four batches of boiled peanuts since, and Mr. L always says they taste exactly like home, if not better.  A friend who just happens to be from the Peanut Capital of the World also agrees that they are excellent, so I know for sure this recipe is guaranteed to hit it out of the ball park every time!

Are you a fan of boiled peanuts?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Photo-a-Day OIC - Week 4


Looks like we're almost through with October -- one more half week to go!  Here's week 4's collection of pictures:

Day 20 - Spread the Spark

Recipe on the dinner rotation this week from SparkRecipes

Day 21 - Snack

Delicious leftover pulled pork grilled cheese from Tin Hut BBQ!

Day 22 - Sunrise/Morning

Coffee from a souvenir mug from Maui Ocean Center = a good morning

Day 23 - Love

<3 my camera!

Day 24 - Home

My favorite piece of decor in the house, and still a favorite DIY project!

Day 25 - Pleasure

Delicious macarons (two are Halloween flavored!) from Cake Works Hawaii!

Day 26 - Sunset

Our last sunset on Maui...it was a stunner!

Feel like participating in this photo challenge?  Join me over on Instagram, and don't forget to tag your photos with #fallfavorites and #sparkpeople!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five for Friday

1.  Thank you for the change you're working on.  I truly appreciate it.  <3

2.  I also appreciate you helping me with errands this week!

3.  It's so cute how Liam snuggles up to you as often as he does.  I think I'm being replaced!

4.  Thank you for my game!!  You rock!

5.  I'm excited for Eat the Street, yay!  :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Coffee or Tea?

Even before we moved into our new house a few weeks ago, I had already begun brainstorming where exactly all of our things were going to be set up.  I knew that we would be putting a little coffee bar area somewhere near the kitchen, but I wasn't sure exactly where.  Originally I wanted to put it next to the pantry, but it turns out our cart was a little too wide to fit comfortably.  I rolled it over to the dining room for a second, and wouldn't you know it, I immediately found it's new home -- tucked into the back of the dining room.


I really love the space that we have, especially in this area.  We were even able to purchase a new bookcase to hold our (many) coffee mugs and now everything fits wonderfully.  (Seriously, I don't even know how we got so many coffee mugs!)  We were even able to move our tea maker over next to our Keurig to free up a little more counter space, which was great.


Over the course of a few days, I noticed the wall space above the coffee cart looked a little bare, so I decided to make something to throw up above it and give it a little character.  The end result was this 8x10 coffee/tea chalk printable:




And I must say, I really loved how it looks!  But I didn't stop there -- why would I?!  I went and created two more printables -- one for coffee and one for sweet tea this time!


And honestly...I'm a little stumped at this point.  I'm not sure if I should leave the first printable hanging solo or throw up the last two together.  Have any suggestions?!  Leave them in the comments if you do!  :)

So while I sit and ponder over it for the next few days or weeks, I'm going to offer up all three printables as high resolution images to all of you for free!  Just click on the link below, choose which file you want to print in the folder, print it out on some photo paper, and place them in some pretty frames for an instant dose of coffee or tea whimsy!
So which do you ultimately prefer -- coffee or tea?  :)


Photo-a-Day OIC - Week 3


I can't believe week three is already behind us!  Here are all of my pictures below:

Day 14 - Harvest

Not your typical fall harvest, but I love me some grapes!  :)

Day 13 - Fall Sports


College football season is our FAVORITE time of year.  We love it so much!

Day 15 - Selfie



Day 16 - Apples



Day 17 - Smile

Crooked Schnauzer smiles = love.

Day 18 - Workout Shoes

Yes, I am totally cheating since I already took this picture earlier in the month!  Oops!

Day 19 - Refrigerator

Nice, full fridge!

Feel like participating in this photo challenge?  Join me over on Instagram, and don't forget to tag your photos with #fallfavorites and #sparkpeople!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five for Friday

1.  I really appreciate all of your compliments.  <3

2.  Thank you for helping me bathe the mutts!

3.  I'm glad we're expanding our culinary horizons!  Haha.

4.  Dreaming about the future is always fun with you!

5.  I'm ready to open that restaurant when you are!  ;)

ily <3

Monday, October 14, 2013

Creamy Chicken Brain Dip

For Halloween this year, I knew that I was going to whip up at least one or two various "gross" dishes for the big day.  I just needed a little inspiration first!  I'd seen the infamous meatloaf hand last year, and the thought of using a mold intrigued me, so I went ahead and ordered a couple from Amazon (specifically these two, and FYI, I also saw brain molds on sale at Target recently!).  I didn't think I'd tackle the meatloaf hand (I'll probably use that mold for a dessert instead), but I knew the brain would make a great dip.  I just needed to find the right recipe first!

As I was flipping through a book of family recipes my mother had given me for Christmas, I came upon the recipe for one of my absolute FAVORITE dips, Creamy Chicken Dip.  I'm telling you -- I'm crazy about this dip.  I don't even like some of the things in it -- I despise mayo and I'm not a celery fan -- but I absolutely eat.it.up when it's in this fantastically delicious dip form.  I knew it was going to be the perfect recipe for my idea, especially after I realized gelatin was an ingredient, so I set out to make it happen!



Ingredients
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 onion, chopped (I diced mine more finely so there aren't onion chunks in the dip)
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 1 5 oz can chicken chunks, drained (I used about 2/3 - 3/4 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken)

Directions

In a small pot, heat up the chicken soup.  


In a bowl, combine the gelatin and water and then stir it into the heated soup.


Blend the mayo, cream cheese, onion, and celery into the soup mixture.  Add chicken and continue mixing.


Place in desired serving bowl (or in this case, your mold of choice).  Refrigerate overnight or at least 6-8 hours.

It would also probably be wise to spray a little bit of Pam into your mold to help it slide out more easily.  I had a tad bit of difficulty getting my dip out of the mold, but after I loosened the sides with a butter knife it did end up sliding out relatively intact.  (I also recently learned that you can dip the mold in some hot water to loosen it up.  I'm definitely trying that next time!)


Serve with your choice of crackers or corn chips and be prepared to gross some people out!  :)


Do you like making "gross" dishes for Halloween?  What's your favorite one?


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Photo-a-Day OIC - Week 2


It's the end of week two of the Photo-a-Day October Instagram Challenge!  Check out my pics below:



Day 6 - Your View Today


You've got to love it when you have a gorgeous view of the island of Lanai staring at you!

Day 7 - Health

Stunning mountain views are definitely good for your health!

Day 8 - How You Sweat

Strapping on my running shoes and hitting the pavement has been a favorite workout of mine recently.

Day 9 - Pantry

Sorry for the disorganization, yikes!

Day 10 - Drink

Ice makers = heaven.  And Roll Tide!

Day 11 - Pumpkins

Target felt pumpkin coasters are adorable.

Day 12 - Feeds Your Soul

These guys make me too happy.

Feel like participating in this photo challenge?  Join me over on Instagram, and don't forget to tag your photos with #fallfavorites and #sparkpeople!