Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Red Wine Balsamic Gravy

I know I have mentioned that I have been trying harder to utilize my slow cooker. Sometimes it is difficult since it is just the two of us. But there is something so wonderful about having your home filled all day with the wonderful scent of good food cooking, I just have to do it, even is Kevin complains about how much food I am making! And yes my dear friends he likes to do that a LOT!

I have struggled so much with trying to come up with a good pot roast recipe, whether it is in the oven OR the slow cooker. No matter what they seem to come out a bit dry. Trust me I have tried everything...covering the roast completely with liquid, or oven roasting bags, the one thing that seemed to help was wrapping the entire thing in foil if I bake in the oven, but that was still borderline for me.

So I decided to try something completely different. First of all I made a gravy because, well I just love gravy! But the most significant change I made was, instead of cooking the roast on low for 8 hours I cooked it on high for 4. WOW it made all the difference in the world! Tender veggies AND meat. Oh I was such a happy little slow cooker eerrrr well cook. 

The big test was Kevin, he has been pretty critical of my past roast attempts. Oh I would get the "It tastes good babe" but the was always a pause and then "but it is a little dry" UGH. The only thing that would have been better was if my son had been here to try it as well. He has gotten so frustrated with dry pot roast that he flat out refuses to even eat it. I really wanted to show him that Mom can do it! Oh well, now that I know it is possible I will be making this again real soon!!

Mashed Potatoes with Peas

I wanted to come up with something other than the same ol' mashed potato side dish for my Pork Chops with Mushrooms, Shallots, and White Wine Gravy. I had already done Creamy Mashed Purple Potatoes, which we loved, and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, my personal favorite! I even decided to give my favorite a twist and try some Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower. Which, even as a non-cauliflower person, I found very good. 

Pork Chops with Mushrooms, Shallots, and White Wine Gravy

One of the meals I can remember my Mother making for me when I was a child was pork chops with mushroom gravy. Her version consisted of thin overcooked (sorry Mom) pork chops with the bland canned mushroom gravy. She would throw in a can of sliced mushrooms as well. Of course it was served with mashed potatoes with tons of butter too. Just not the healthiest thing on the planet. Yet it brings back some great memories from my childhood.

Kevin is a pork chop fanatic, but he wants a nice thick chop, which can be very hard to find. He was so happy when he found a package of these babies at Costco. I think it had 9 pork chops, so we split them out into 3 chops per bag and vacuum sealed them for the freezer. I immediately set my mind to the task of coming up with some fabulous ways to make them. Of course the first thing that popped into my mind was the pork chops and mushroom gravy, but I needed to update it and give it a healthier twist.

I knew, of course I would use fresh mushrooms, but just how much should I use....hmmmm a LOT!! Then I wondered what other flavors I wanted to add. I went with shallots instead of onions because, well I just like the flavor of shallots. Especially when I decided I wanted to use my secret weapon. Ppfftttt who am I kidding? It is no secret I like to cook with wine. But I knew that shallots and white wine go together so well, at least in my mouth they do!

I was so happy when this hit the plate. It smelled amazing and all of those chunky mushrooms, yummmmm!  Kevin loved it and has requested it again soon! I hope your family loves it just as much. I used 3 pork chops but trust me there is plenty of sauce for 4!

"Healthified" Taco Dip #SRC

For this month's Secret Recipe Club I was assigned the blog Making Miracles. I was immediately taken with Beka's story. It takes a very special person to be a surrogate and she is one of those amazing people! Also though, she has some pretty fabulous food to check out! I went to her recipe index and seriously had a very hard time deciding what to make. I even drug Kevin into the decision, although he told me whatever I picked would be fine. I thought about making her Best Steak Marinade in Existence first. I mean Kevin loves a good steak and I have been working on him trying his steaks with other spices/flavors besides just salt, pepper, and garlic powder. But, I am going to be honest here, I put my cooking for this post off until the last weekend. Between some major eye issues I had and it being our anniversary month, things just got away from me. You need to marinade your steaks for a couple of days with her recipe so I couldn't do it, but you can bet I will be soon!!

We always watch the NASCAR races, and I have talked about making some munchies for us to snack on while we root on our guys, but up until now I just haven't done it. So I made a beeline for her appetizer section. I was very torn between this Taco Dip or the Baked Potato Skins. They both sounded fabulous! But you know me, if I can have anything with Mexican flavors I am hot on it!! 

Once I got down to the planning phase I decided I wanted to make it a little heartier than the original since it was going to do a kind of double duty as an appetizer and a light meal. So I added some smashed black beans and ground turkey seasoned with my Homemade Taco Seasoning. I also omitted the cream cheese and sour cream. Beka mentioned in her post that the cream cheese mixture was very rich, plus I thought it would be a fun challenge to "healthify" something that you would expect to be bad for you. 

It came out wonderful. I have been subbing non-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream for quite some time now, and I can say as a former sour cream addict, I can not tell the difference. Plus I love that you save so many calories and gain protein in the switch. I mean a cup of sour cream clocks in at a whopping 445 calories, while non-fat Greek yogurt is about 130 calories. WOW right? 

Manic Monday Party #34

Welcome to Manic Monday #34

Let's do a little flash back of last weeks party.....

The recipe with the most clicks was

The Health Benefits of Drinking Black Tea 

Some of the ones that caught my eye were.....

Blackberry Lemon Coffee Cake from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Peanut Butter and M&M Cookies from Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts 

Hhhmmm I must have had a sweet tooth last week!

If you were featured today please don't forget to grab a Featured Button below.

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I love to promote my fellow bloggers and work hard at doing so I want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for all of us!

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My daughter moved back from California a few months ago. Ever since she got back she has been wanting to make this dip for me. She seriously went on and on about it. Every time I went to the store she would ask me if I would pick up the ingredients for her to make it.But since she lives about 20 minutes away and doesn't drive yet, I told her I wasn't going to buy the ingredients until I knew for sure she would be here to make it. Also I didn't want her to make it late in the evening because we would have dinner to eat. WOW I so sound like a Mom right now don't I?

Well with the issues I have been having with my eye, and my inability to drive, her brother stepped up to chauffeur Mom around so she could run her errands and my daughter tagged along  to keep us company. One of the places I needed to go was the grocery store so there was her opportunity. Middle of the day, Mom's buying groceries, she was a happy camper. She knew what she needed off the top of her head, so grabbed everything and away we went. 

Once we got home she took over my kitchen, shooing me away anytime I came near. I had flashback to her sitting on the floor at 3 years old trying to tie her shoes. After some frustrated grunts I would ask her if she needed help and she would sternly tell me, "I do it myself Mommy" so cute, but I needed to plan on leaving at least 30 minutes before we needed to so she had her time to "do it herself"!

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Rolls

I love shrimp. Heck, I love seafood period! So when I saw shrimp on sale at the store I grabbed a couple bags and set my mind to plan a couple nice "Summer" type dishes. Should I grill them? Should I make a salad (which I will be doing so keep an eye out for that post!)? Oh, I have it, Kevin loves sandwiches so lets do that. I wasn't sure how he would feel about the shrimp OR the pesto. He has been kind of iffy on pesto but come around much more since I started making my own.

He kind of hung over my shoulder while I was making them, and I was wondering if I was going to get any complaints, but he is used to me subbing Greek yogurt for everything now and as soon as he saw my homemade pesto he actually seemed excited. Who knew?

I have to say that I am in love with these sandwiches! They are creamy, crunchy, and sweet. Now I am hooked and craving all kinds of seafood! I am sad that Kevin isn't working where he was last year because some of the customers used to bring him fresh crab they had just caught. That was what I made my Crab Salad Sammies, and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with. I guess I will just have to throw a crab pot out there and see what happens right?

Spicy Chili Mac and Cheese

Yes my friends, yet another Mac and Cheese recipe for you. I swear I should start a section of my blog just for Mac and Cheese. I can't help it though, it is one of my favorite comfort foods so if I can find new ways to enjoy it you can bet I will do it!

I refuse to take all of the blame for this one though. One of the dishes I used to make for my kids when they were growing up was a chili mac and cheese and they loved it. They would actually request it for their "special" birthday meal! Now, remember, I didn't really cook back in those days. I mean I cooked, but I didn't "cook". I lived out of cans and boxes. So their "special" meal boiled down to a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese mixed with a can of Hormel chili. They loved it, it was easy, nuff said!

Once I started down this road of trying to make our favorite dishes a bit more healthy this was probably the one they complained about the most. I have said in the past that Rachael Ray was one of my inspirations when I began cooking. She didn't intimidate me and she made meals that you didn't have to be a trained chef to prepare. My first blog was called Bobbi Renee and Rachael Ray (ala Julie and Julia) but I was afraid of copyright issues so I closed that one and began Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen. Anyway, whenever I would tell the kids I was making this dish they would beg me not to "Rachael Ray" it, which was code for changing it up. 

Manic Monday Party #33

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? You know I love any excuse to have Mexican food!! 

We had a wonderful party last week, our biggest ever! Cram packed with tons and tons of wonderful offerings!! Here are the features.....

KFC Mashed Potato Bowl from Comfy Cuisine

BLT Burger Salad from Hungry Little Girl

Chipotle Lime Chicken from Who Needs a Cape

Cinco de Mayo Round Up from Modern Christian Homemaker

Great stuff!!! Now let's get to partyin'!! I am so excited to see what you bring!

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Leave up to 3 of your favorite posts

I love to promote my fellow bloggers and work hard at doing so I want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for all of us!

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Comments have been closed for this post thanks to spammers (Gee thanks guys!), but please connect with me on FacebookTwitter, or Google+.

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce for Cinco de Mayo #SundaySupper

Oh happy day!! It is Cinco de Mayo woohooooo! 

For those of you that just recently started reading my blog I will fill you in here. I am a Mexican food addict! 

I mean seriously, it is bad, I need a 12 step program or something. 

The thing, well thingsss that make it worse are 

1) my boyfriend does not like Mexican food! Yes I know, I have wondered what is wrong with him for a long time now. 
2) There are probably 5 Mexican restaurants in my tiny little town. 

Why does that make it worse? Because none of them have reallllly good food. I mean it is good enough when I am really jonesing for a Mexican fix. But for the most part it is more of a tease, giving me just a bit of what I want but not going all the way. 

Rosemary and Garlic Pork Loin

I was at the store the other day and saw they had their pork loin roasts on sale, buy 1 get 1 free, YAY!!! I love pork loin and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I have made this recipe several times, but never posted it. Partially because I could never seem to get a good picture of the roast, and partially because when I first started blogging I thought is was silly to post simple recipes. For some reason I thought people were looking for these intricate dishes, not simple, quick and easy ones. Go figure, I know I am not a huge fan of dishes that take a lot of time and effort, AND dishes, but I thought you all were. Since then many of you, OK most of you, have let me know that simple dishes for quick and easy weekday meals is what you really want to see. So I give you this one. Simple, quick, and so delicious!!!

Ranch Veggie Pizza

I fell in love with this appetizer at a Super Bowl game last year. I had a few of the other items on the table, and one piece of this pizza. I nibbled through the other items first, you know the typical dips and such that there are at these kinds of parties, but when I hit this pizza I perked up. Wow the veggies, the ranch flavor, the crust, it all went together so well and was like nothing I had ever had at a football party before. I didn't feel like I was being swallowed in grease, or mayonnaise, or cheese. Not that those things are completely bad, but when you pile 6 of those kinds of things on a plate you start to feel a bit bloated and blah.