Scalloped Potatoes and Ham {Slow-Cooker}

Colorado never ceases to amaze me.  It’s May and we’re still getting snow.  Well, we got inches of snow last weekend, but still… SNOW!  In MAY!  What happened to Spring?

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Oh well, before you know it the sun comes out and melts everything away.  Plus, snow is an excuse for me to dust off the ol’ crock pot and make something that is warm and makes the entire house smell like awesome.

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Like these scalloped potatoes for example.  Oh my yum.  These are hot, cheesy, and the perfect amount of salty from the ham.  Just… drool-worthy.  I burnt the roof of my mouth because I couldn’t wait to get this into my mouth.

Totally worth it.

Snow and scalloped potatoes… who needs Spring?  Okay I do.  But for now, I have these flowers.
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Scalloped Potatoes and Ham {Slow-Cooker}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yields: 6-8 servings

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham {Slow-Cooker}

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (NOT extra-sharp cheddar)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups diced thick-cut ham, cooked

Directions

  1. Fold a sheet of parchment paper into a 3-inch strip and place inside perimeter of slow-cooker insert. Lightly spray parchment paper with cooking spray. This will prevent the potatoes around the edge of the cooker from burning. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons cream in a large bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until the edges of potatoes are translucent, 6-8n minutes, shaking bowl (without moving plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.
  2. Whisk broth and cornstarch in large liquid measuring cup until smooth. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth mixture, remaining cream, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, add cheeses, whisking until smooth. Add ham and combine.
  3. Pour half of sauce into slow-cooker insert. Arrange potatoes in even layer over sauce and pour remaining sauce over potatoes. Cover and cook on low until potatoes are tender, 5-6 hours. Let cool 20 minutes. Remove parchment and serve.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/scalloped-potatoes-and-ham-slow-cooker/

Chasing the Cheese

As M. Scott Peck said, “Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

After long and careful consideration, I have decided to pack up my things and head back home to Wisconsin to spend time with family.  I fear that I do not have very much time left to see and help my grandparents, so this is that time.

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It took me a long time to come to this conclusion.  There are many reasons why I love Colorado – the job opportunities, the sunny, mild winters, the gorgeous mountains and the lifestyle.  I will miss all of these things, but I will miss my friends, who are like family, even more.

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These crazy kids extended a hand and made me feel like I was one of the gang.  We had some wild nights at company softball games and chill days at BBQs in the park.  We’ve hiked for miles and stumbled out of bars. These are the type of friends you will have for a lifetime.  You guys are absolutely the hardest part about leaving.

A special thank you for making my last day/weekend at my job something I will never forget.  The weekend was chock full of celebratory drinks and stories with co-workers, an amazing seafoodfest (lobster tails, blue crab, gulf shrimp, clams, crayfish, etc.) hosted by one of the kindest, coolest, and most generous couples we know, 6-inches of snow, and we even kick started American Craft Beer Week at some of north Denver’s breweries.

May 2015 Weekend It was a weekend fit for a queen.  I’d love to do it all over again, but alas, I’m now tasked with packing, planning, and taking steps to get started with this new chapter of my life.  T-minus 19 days!

Wow, thinking about that gives me total anxiety… time to get busy!

 

Make your own photo collages for free by visiting http://www.picmonkey.com/

Bacon and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich with Sunny Side Up Egg

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I love Sundays.  It’s a day to sleep in.  It’s a day to wrap up all of the laundry that has piled into the hamper throughout the week.  And it’s a day to make brunch.

This sandwich is a frequent go-to in our household.  I love the combination of salty, crispy thick-cut bacon with creamy, cool avocado.  Slap a runny egg on top of anything and I am in brunch heaven.

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For the bacon part of this sandwich I did something a little different – I made a bacon weave.  I cut my strips of bacon in half and made a 3×3 weave.  It’s super simple and guarantees that every inch of your bread is covered by bacon. #winning

And don’t forget, brunch isn’t really brunch if you don’t have a mimosa or a bloody mary, so cheers to Sunday!

Bacon and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich with Sunny Side Up Egg

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Serving Size: 2 open face sandwiches

Bacon and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich with Sunny Side Up Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 package of thick-cut bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-2 avocados
  • Toasted bread (your choice, we used whole wheat today)

Directions

  1. Prepare a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Cut 12 strips of bacon in half. Place 3 half slices of bacon on the parchment paper and weave in 3 more pieces, like a basket.
  2. Pop the pan into a cold oven and set it to bake at 375 degrees. Set your timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn your jelly roll pan around in your oven. Set your timer for another 5-10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. Remove from the oven and drain bacon on a paper towel.
  3. As the bacon drains, cook your eggs. Take a few tablespoons of the bacon grease and place it in a medium pan. Heat the pan to medium heat and crack the eggs into it. Cover with a large lid and wait about three minute, or until the whites of the eggs are cooked but the yolks are still runny.
  4. Make your sandwich: place the toasted bread on a plate, cover with slices of cool avocado, add your bacon weave and top with a hot egg. Serve with your favorite hot sauce. Enjoy!
http://foodiemcbooty.com/bacon-and-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-with-sunny-side-up-egg/

These Crazy Cravings of Mine

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Sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy… There are moments in my life when all I can think about is food.  My job, my bills, my personal hygiene do not matter.  I know that doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you who know me, but these moments are different.  These are times where nothing else matters except my urge to satisfy my cravings.  It’s like an overwhelming appetite for one particular thing that I can’t shake.  I turn into an absolute CRAVE MONSTER!

Sometimes I crave chocolate.  Sometimes I crave carbs.  Other times I crave nothing but crunchy textures – which is probably weird but it happens often.  These days I have a strong hankering for anything with cheese in it (not the powdered cheese, the real stuff!)

It’s weird that sometimes when I do give in and try to satisfy my cravings with a slice of chocolate cake or macaroni and cheese, my craving does not go away immediately.  You would think that since I satisfied whatever urge it is I had, that it would vanish as soon as I ate whatever it is I had been craving.  But that is not always the case.  Does this happen to you too?

What foods do you crave most often?

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