Crockpot Honey Garlic Hens {+Life Post Residency}

I finished my pediatric dental residency three months ago and life is feeling rather surreal. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t been a student and boy does it feel strange. By strange, I really mean freaking amazing!! How the hell did I make it through dental school and residency?   I still  remember applying to dental school and truly convincing myself that I would never get it in.  Sometimes I worry I’ll wake up and it’ll all be dream…

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Coresident Love 

I started life in the real world, aka my first big girl job,  a few days after my last day of residency.  Talk about jumping right in.  As a result, my summer flew by! Time flies when you’re having fun. Hah! Thankfully husband and I were able to take a mini vacation at the end of August.  We did a three day cruise to the Bahamas and back.  Although it was quick, it was much needed and I am thankful we got the opportunity to go.  Not so sure I would do a cruise again, but it was so nice being able to escape life for a few days.  I tried to convince husband that we should move to the Bahamas and I could open a practice there.   I obvi did not win this argument since I’m currently sitting on my ouch in Ohio.

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In the midst of a crazy summer work schedule, I made these Honey Garlic Cornish Hens in the crockpot and they turned out delicious.  This is a recipe that I will be making again.   You can substitute the Cornish hens for chicken drumsticks, thighs, or breasts.  I served these next to some roasted yellow squash and a salad.   Try this when you’re looking for a quick, flavorful crockpot recipe!

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Ingredients: 

 

  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for spice)

Instructions:

1.Place cornish game hens in crockpot.

2.Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour over hens in crockpot.

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3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

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Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche {+Asian Food Fest}

I cannot believe that I have less than 6 weeks left of residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Eeee! I feel like it was just yesterday that we moved to Cincinnati for this journey and now it’s almost over. Earlier this month I took my pediatric dental board exam and have been in the process of finalizing the details for my job.  Once I am done with residency we will be staying in Cincinnati and I will be working at a couple of pediatric dental offices in the area, I cannot wait!

Husband and I are pretty excited about staying in the area; we will be calling Cincinnati home for the time being.  One of my favorite things about the area is all of the festivals.  With the weather finally warming up, festival season has begun. Wohoo! Last weekend we went to the Asian Food Festival downtown and we ate our way through it.   Do not judge. All that food, got in our bellies and everything was delicious.

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Le’s Pho:  Pho & Crab Rangoon
Revolution:  Kimchi Poutine & Thai Wings

For dessert we waited in a forever long line for some mediocre bubble tea & a basil mango Street Pop that was on point.  Overall Asian Food Fest was a success!

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Moving on to todays recipe! Husband was out of town one night so I decided to try a recipe I knew he wouldn’t be too excited about. I’ve been itching to try this sweet potato crusted spinach and feta quiche recipe and it turned out fantastic! The sweetness of the potato and the salty feta were a perfect balance to one another. Also! It reheated really nicely the next day at work.  Give this recipe a try, it will not disappoint.

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1, 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 large eggs and 2 large egg whites
  • 1.5 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel and thinly slice sweet potatoes.  Spray pie dish with cooking spray and layer the dish with sweet potato slices.  Lightly season with salt and pepper; spray again with cooking spray and bake in oven for 20 minutes.

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2. To prepare the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Sauté spinach for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow spinach to cool.   Place sautéed spinach mixture over sweet potato crust.

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3. Combine milk, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and eggs in a bowl.  Pour egg mixture over spinach and top with feta crumbles.  Bake in oven for 35 minutes.

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Golden Crispy Pork Chops {+A Crazy 2 Months}

Holy cow, how is February almost over?! I feel like life has been a whirlwind over the past two months.  This is the first weekend since Christmas that we have NO plans and it feels amazing.  Between guests in town, work commitments, and traveling for various events – husband and I are feeling a little worn out.

We spent the morning brunching at a local spot, Sleepy Bee Cafe (highly recommended!) and then took the pups on a long walk.  I cannot believe this weather, it is 65 degrees in February! I know that this is just a tease, but I’ll take it! I think everyone is feeling a little sleepy with full bellies and tired legs.

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I’m sharing this not-so-healthy but delicious recipe with you today. I usually bake Pork Chops in the oven, but I decided to switch it up for a little much needed comfort meal. These crispy pork chops turned out great and didn’t take long to make.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients: 

  • 4 boneless Pork Chops  (1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup Italian flavored breadcrumb OR panko
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Instructions: 

1.Whisk eggs, salt and pepper in a deep dish plate.  Mix together bread crumb and flour in a separate deep dish plate.

2.Start by dipping the chops completely in the egg mixture.

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3.Coat pork chops in breadcrumb-flour mixture and pat to adhere breadcrumb to pork chops.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Place pork chops in skillet and cook for approximately 6 -7 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Once fully cooked, transfer to a plate.  Serve with desired sides.

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Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

The Perfect Sugar Cookies {+A Very Merry Christmas}

Merry Christmas friends!  I hope that everyone spent the day with loved ones.   My mom and dad are in town for the week visiting from Jersey.   Unfortunately, they both have terrible colds <insert emoji wearing facemask>.  We are making the best of it and they are getting plenty of r&r.

Check out this great shirt my mom stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago at TJ Max.  I have been sporting it all day.   I wonder if I can wear this all year long.  Hmmm…

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This year for Christmas we each bought one gift per person and it was perfect!  My parents got me a gift card for Stitch Fix, eeeee!! Have any of you ever used Stitch Fix?  I am so freaking excited.  My first delivery is to arrive on January 5th and I cannot wait.  I also got a new laptop from Husband and it is perfection.  Love love love.   My old laptop was dying and this could not have come at a better time since I will start studying for my pediatric dental board exam soon, whomp whomp. I am truly thankful for this holiday season.

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I have a fantastic sugar cookie recipe to share with you.  Last weekend my friend Kait and I made these and they turned out fantastic.  I like this recipe for several reasons:
1. The dough does not require a long chill time.
2. They don’t expand and flatten in the oven.
3.  They hold their shape.
4.  The recipe is simple.

This will absolutely be my new go to sugar cookie recipe! Enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions: 

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla extract, mix until combined.

2.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

3. Chill dough for about 20-30 minutes.

4. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.   Use flour on table and rolling pin to help eliminate stickiness of dough.

5. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet.

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6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

7. Decorate as desired!  We decorated ours with a simple buttercream frosting and sprinkles.   They even tasted great without icing.

8. Store in an airtight container. One batch makes about 30-40cookies.

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Current Obsessions Wednesday {#2}

Happy hump day friends! Who’s ready for the weekend?   Lets be honest, I have been ready for the weekend since Monday morning rolled around.  I swear I am a child.  The closer Christmas gets, the more trouble I have focusing at work.  All day I make sure I ask every single child what they want for Christmas and I get some of the best answers.  Today a little boy answered, “A colorful rock.  Because I love colors and I love rocks.”  Duh.  I freaking love Christmas.  Favorite holiday, hands down, period, the end.

Well, a few weeks ago I started Current Obsessions Wednesday. Here are few things that I am loving.  I hope that this will inspire you try something new! Enjoy.

Plenti Plentiful Greek Yogurt

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Dare I say this, I am not a yogurt lover.  I have tried over and over again to enjoy yogurt but there’s something about the sour milk taste that usually grosses me out.  I have recently discovered Yoplaits plentiful greek yogurt and it is awesome!  This yogurt is pre-mixed with whole grain oats, flax seed, and pumpkin seed.  I’ve been adding sliced banana to it for breakfast and it is on point.

Boom Chicka Pop

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The name and packaging alone got my attention.  I bought this giant bag from SAMs club last month and I have been hooked! It’s a great low cal snack (35 cal per cup, what?!) and I like that it is lightly sweetened.

Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea

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We love getting fresh tea leaves from Teavana, but I am yet to find a calming night time tea that I love from there.  I do enjoy a mug of this Sweet Dreams tea, which is a blend of chamomile and mint.  I’m not sure if my dreams are sweeter after a mug of this, but I definitely feel more relaxed.

No. 1 Vanilla Spice Chardonnay Candle

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I love burning candles, especially around this time of year.  I picked this candle up on a random Home Goods run.  That store gets me in trouble sometimes, okay most times. Does anyone else have this problem?  Regardless, this was a great last minute purchase! I love the scent of this candle–it has a little spice and a little sweetness to it.

 

 

What are you currently obsessed with?

 

Crockpot Bourbon Chicken {+Quality Girl Time}

I spent the afternoon/early evening with some friends from work.  My face hurts and my side aches from laughing so hard! Today I was reminded of the importance of having quality time with girlfriends.   Since moving to Cincinnati I feel like I have not found a solid group of girlfriends.  Why is it so much harder to find close friends as an adult?! These ladies are pretty fantastic and every time we get together outside of work it’s a great time! We literally laughed so hard til we cried… or snorted. FullSizeRender 3

We spent the afternoon drinking wine and baking some delicious lemon cupcakes for a work event tomorrow.  After multiple bottles of wine we found ourselves watching/ dancing/singing to music videos.  Have you seen the new Gwen Stefani music video?  #weird.   I am now curled up on the couch in pjs watching the Michigan State vs Iowa football game with Husband.

Tonight I am sharing a recipe for Crockpot Bourbon Chicken.  I have made this several times and it is always a big hit, not to mention so easy! If you have followed my blog, you know that I LOVE crockpot recipes. I rely on crockpot recipes to help me get through extra busy weeks.

This recipe called for 1/4 cup of bourbon.  I used Bulleit bourbon because that’s what we had, but feel free to use any kind you have on hand! You really can taste the bourbon flavor in this recipe.

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Add this recipe to your menu this week on a day when you know you will get home late.  Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ⅓ cup apple cider (*or apple juice)
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions: 

1. Mix all sauce ingredients, except for chicken and cornstarch,  in a small bowl.

2. Place chicken in slow cooker, pour sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3 hours.

3. Remove chicken and chop into bite sized pieces. Strain liquid and place over medium high heat in a small pot. Combine 3 tablespoons water with 3 tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk into boiling sauce along with 1 clove minced garlic. Stir until thickened.

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4. Pour over chicken pieces in the slow cooker and stir. Serve over rice.

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Recipe adjusted from Spending with Pennies
Check out some of my other crockpot chicken recipes:

Apple Fritter Cake {+ Friendsgiving}

Another friendsgiving has come and gone.  During the five years we lived in Columbus we hosted a Friendsgiving at our house annually and it was one of my favorite gatherings to host.  By the end of the night I remember always feeling that my heart was full with happiness and my belly was full with delicious food.  This year the feeling was no different.  Tonight we were fortunate enough to attend Friendsgiving at our friend Kait’s house (Thanks Kait!).  I’m not going to lie, it’s been a few hours sine we ate and it still kind of hurts to breathe #worthit.  It was potluck style and we had some fantastic dishes.  I brought green beans with garlic roasted almonds and an Oreo cheesecake for dessert.  Stay tuned for those recipes!

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In honor of Thanksgiving being just a few days away, I am sharing a great recipe for Apple Fritter Cake. This sweet cake with a cup of hot coffee will make the perfect Thanksgiving day breakfast treat, trust me on this one.  Not to mention the old-fashioned creme glaze that is so good you’ll be spooning it out of the bowl and in to your mouth.   Make this for your family and friends, it will be a huge hit!

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Ingredients for the cake: 

  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or reg milk)
  • 2 apples peeled and chopped, mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for the old-fashioned crème glaze: 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons milk (adjust depending on desired thickness)

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an 8×8  pan and spray with non-stick spray (or use a 9×5-inch loaf pan).

2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.

3. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.

5. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.

6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.

7. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

8 Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

10. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.

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11. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.

12. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed.

13. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

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Here are some other great Thanksgiving desserts for you to check out: