Simple Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork & Potatoes

This is one of my fave go to meals.

 

It appeases my hubby’s love a good meat and potatoes meal after a long day at work and I love it because pork is lean and pretty healthy, Noah adores the carrots and it makes for killer left overs all week.

 

Not to mention I make this in the morning while my coffee is brewing and it is all done and in the pot before my first cup is ready – whats not to love about that?

 

Teriyaki Pork with Potatoes & Carrots 

 

Ingredients:

 

1 teriyaki marinated pork loin (we get ours from Kroger)

 

3 – 4 lbs bag of golden potatoes (honestly I just shove as many as I can in the crock pot)

 

½ (or more) of a bag of baby carrots

 

½ cup OJ or fresh squeeze orange juice

 

Place the pork in the bottom of the crock pot add in the OJ (make sure to get out all the marinade from the bag, use a little water to get it all)

Throw in the desired amount of baby carrots (they are a big hit in this house so we use a lot!)

carrots

Clean and quarter your potatoes and throw them in

golden_quartered_potatoes_crock_pot_recipe_easy_healthy_family_text

Turn on low (for 7-9 hours or until pork is 165 degrees and potatoes are tender) or high for 4-6 hours (again make sure everything is nice and ready!). If it gets too dry too soon you can add small amounts of water or broth to keep it moist. I toss the potatoes around occasionally – but you don’t have to…especially if you don’t cram a million in the pot like I do….my guys like potatoes.  

 

We salt and pepper after it comes out to limit how much salt we add in it over all.

pork_potatoes_carrots_healthy_quick_easy_slow_cooker_crock_pot_family_meal_dinner

 

We serve it up with a loaf of our favorite sourdough bread from Panera…seriously, even though I worked there for years and Kevin still does there is nothing better than a loaf of Panera sourdough bread (lets be real, I could eat a loaf with a bottle of wine for dinner and be happy – but that isn’t very family friendly). I make sure Kevin buys one before he heads home on these crock pot nights.

 

While this dinner is amazing on the first night, the next day it makes for a great wrap in a tortilla or on a bun…or on more sourdough bread!

 

Noah isn’t crazy about meat yet and he really digs into this dish and for a grazing toddler who seems to live on air – nothing makes a mama happier!

 

And for a tired and hungry husband to give it the I’ll take thirds and fourths, I need a pair of Joey Tribbiani eating pants seal of approval that makes me feel a little bit better about him getting home to a crazy messy, loud house!

everyone needs a pair of eating pants.

everyone needs a pair of eating pants.

Now excuse me while I go dig out two pairs of “eating pants” and dig in!

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Bengals Muffins.

In honor of the first Bengals game (the family team fave) I made as Kevin calls them, Bengals muffins. 

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They are orange and black and are pretty much a Sunday staple in our house.

It is honestly the easiest recipe EVER.

Bengals Muffins (aka Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins) 

yeilds 12 muffins 

1 box pumpkin bread mix

1 8 oz can pumpkin 

1 egg (you can skip the egg and they still turn out great, but I prefer the texture with the egg)

3/4 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 13-15 mins (or until done in the middle)

Cool and enjoy.

We also make this as a bread and sometimes I skip the chocolate chips and make a strussel topping and make a pumpkin coffee cake for weekend mornings. 

Plus these are really cute for Halloween and Thanksgiving! 

They make a great quick and easy fall snack that isn’t loaded with sugar or fat. Noah loves them. Kevin love them. I love them. They are a Teall staple! 

the best thing i ever ate.

This weekend thanks to the unofficial start to summer brought on by Memorial Day we were sitting on a bunch of strawberries.

You know summer is here when strawberries are a buck a pint at the farmers market!

We ate them on everything and anything.

Tonight down to our last two pints I wanted to try something new.

While at the grocery store I spotted rhubarb in all it’s pretty pink glory.

While I thought it was so summery and cute with it’s bright pink color Kevin was convinced it was pink celery and made his feelings known that if I were to add that ‘stuff’ to the strawberries they would be ruined.

Challenge accepted (and won!).

I thought about making a pie or cobbler but decided on a crisp. In my opinion a crisp is not only the easiest and cheapest out of the three but the yummiest.

I whipped up a basic crisp recipe along with the rhubarb and strawberry filling before dinner and let it cook while we ate.

This ended up being the absolute best thing I have ever ate or made (and the easiest!).

Here is the recipe that will ruin all future desserts for you:

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pints sliced strawberries
  • 4 long stalks of diced rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 5 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
  4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.

Kevin and I had to check on it throughout dinner to make sure it wasn’t burning (since this was the first time baking it) and each time we opened the oven the house smelled like fresh strawberry jam. Just an added benefit from this amazing dessert.

We served it warm with vanilla ice cream.

It was good….

Like don’t talk to me while I eat this, don’t judge how many servings I eat, finish the entire thing, eat until you think you might die good.

This recipe has made me (and Kevin) a rhubarb lover.

Trust me.

It is so good that the next time I see family I will be bringing this in tow…it is like love in a baking dish.

If I could eat one thing forever it would be this.

If you do anything this summer you should make this dessert.

piece of cake…cake.

Being a mom of a very rambunctious 9 month old I don’t ever have extra time on my hands to whip up an amazing dinner and dessert.

Let alone a healthy, cheap dinner and dessert combo.

So normally I focus on the dinner and we end up snacking on fruit or granola for dessert.

But recently I came across a recipe for a dessert that comes in at less than a quarter per a serving , less than 200 calories and you can make it in under  5 minutes with zero mess.

How could I resist that?

I found the idea on Pinterest.

They are called mug cakes, it is literally a cup cake!

You can find all different variations on the actual recipe whether you want to make it from scratch or a cake mix you have on hand (like I did!).

They are easy, cheap, yummy and diet friendly!

The best mug cake recipe I have come up with is:

Take one mug and mix in:

½ cup devils food chocolate box cake mix

1/3 cup cooled coffee

Zap in the microwave for  90 seconds, top with light whipped cream, raspberries or drizzle with nutella and enjoy!

You can pretty much use the ½ dry to 1/3 liquid ratio for any cake combo.

I made a lemon one with cake mix and lemon sparkling water and it worked great!

The cakes come out with a milder, lighter flavor than the regular versions, but still satisfy your sweet tooth!

The actual cake comes in at about 120 calories with 14 grams of sugar which is almost identical to a Skinny Cow Ice Cream sandwich.

I can’t wait to whip these up when Noah is older! It would be easy to add in any ingredient and let him put his own spin on dessert!

No mess, no fuss cake? Don’t mind if I do!

 

 

 

food love.

Kevin and I are foodies.

The bad kind. The food network watching lusting kind.

But recently we have been trying to eat healthier and cheaper.

Which is ok until an episode of Cupcake Wars comes on or The Best Thing I Ever ate. Then it is a straight up battle of the wills and we have to try to talk each other away from the fantasy sugar high and back to the land of stevia and whole grains.

But this weekend we ran into two new products we love. They have made eating healthy sort of awesome.

First up: Chobani Honey-nana greek yogut.

We tried to jump on the greek yogurt train a while ago. I bought a vanilla greek yogurt and prepared to be blown away with the first taste because of all the greek yogurt hype. Instead I pulled a “Oh! Yuck! This taste like crap! It tastes like sour, sour cream with sugar in it!! Kevin taste this!” Which he then reluctantly did and had the same reaction and the $3 vanilla greek yogurt went and found a home in the trash.

But this weekend while at Trader Joe’s I tried a sample of honey greek yogurt and my mind was blown. But it is super expensive and not calorie, fat or sugar watching friendly so it was a no go.

But at our regular grocery store we found a four pack of 100 calorie Chobani honey-nana greek yogurts for the price of one yogurt at Trader Joe’s. Score!

I have had it for breakfast almost all week and once I froze it and had it for dessert.

This yogurt = heaven in your mouth.

Healthy, happy food number two is something we had never heard of.

While at the store we had to figure out lunch so we wondered up and down the aisles until we came across a new display where they were making these amazing fresh puff like creations.

They are about the size of a small tortilla and are light as air. They are made from whole grains and brown rice but taste nothing like it.

They are called Kim’s Magic Pop’s (you can find them at DLM locally).

Each one is only 15 calories and they come in 5 different flavors, our favorites are the cinnamon and the original.

We bought a pack and ate it with some homemade hummus for lunch and we were addicted.

We had the cinnamon ones for dessert with a little nutella. Ah-maz-ing.

We also have made healthy tostadas using the pop’s instead of tortillas.

So even though eating healthy will never be as satisfying as eating anything and everything we want these two things have made it a lot easier….and even enjoyable!

 

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local love.

I love a good farmers market. Who doesn’t? It  makes eating healthy not only taste better but seem better. Eating the diet of a omnivore seems cool when displayed in nifty wicker baskets donning etsy-esque chalkboard signs reading “picked fresh this morning”. Regular apple in grocery store = boring. Apple at farmers market = natures candy.

So imagine my organic fruit and veggie happiness overload when the market down the street was holding a wait for it…..A FARMERS MARKET! Woot woot!

Kevin was off work so he got to partake in all the organic glory of the farmers market. It was amazing, I skipped from stand to stand filling up our bag as I went along. I am sure Kevin was just as thrilled as I was, but just playing it cool as an organic cucumber (pun very intended) and keeping his fresh produce excitement on the inside.

He did win mega wife points when he bought a bouquet of sunflowers for me at one of the stands and said they were from Noah. Heart = melted.

I couldn’t imagine a better family outing for us right now. Noah is all about colors and touching anything and everything right now. The farmers market was the perfect place for that. His favorite find of the day, a tomato half his size.

Noah's pick for the day

After I finished buying way too much produce, we headed home and I started in on our pile of farmers market goodness.

Here’s what we made out of what we bought:

Homemade lemonade iced tea, tomato & spinach salad, steal cut oats with maple sugar, spicy sweet potato fries, tomato and green chili salsa, vegetarian chili, vegatable soup, honey granola, popcorn with olive oil and sea salt, tomato sauce and of course a ton of fruits to snack on al natural.

Pretty good for just 15 bucks and an afternoon of fun with the fam!

 

Inducing heartburn.

So with the looming induction, Kevin and I were given the green light to try to naturally induce at our doctors appointment. No sooner had we hit the car did I have google up and running on my phone with “how to induce labor naturally”.

I am not sure my mind was ready for all of the methods that some mom to be‘s were willing to try. I narrowed down our choices by sticking to more reputable sites.

After reading about 20 list it looked like we had a few good contenders. Walking, spicy food, Chinese food and pineapple.

That day Kevin and I went to lunch at PF Chang’s. We ordered their spiciest menu options. I figured spicy Chinese food, we are taking out two birds with one stone! I nervously bit into each item expecting horrifying heat. I don’t know if I have some sort of super human spicy tolerance but it wasn’t doing it. So out of desperation I took my bowl of chili rice and added straight chili paste and oil to it and ate it. Kevin wanting to do his part and at least attempt to be able to empathize with me took a big bite of it. With tears in his eyes he said, “I am glad you are carrying Noah, I couldn’t eat another bite of that if my life depended on it.” I ate the entire bowl of rice and downed about 5 glasses of water and followed it by 4 tums and hoped that would do the trick but no such luck.

That night still hoping to give Noah a nudge we went to BW3’s and ordered a variety of their hottest wings. I think I ate more ranch and sour cream than chicken with that meal. I would quickly eat three wings and then eat a potato wedge with about 3 tablespoons of sour cream on it to attempt to sooth my mouth.

We waited to see if it would kick start my contractions but still no dice. Just a very upset mouth and stomach.

The next day I ate an entire pineapple. This might not seem like a big deal but after the first bite I knew I was in trouble. My body was pretty angry with me from the day before still. My lips burned, my mouth stung and my stomach felt like it was on fire and I just ate a bite of the most acidic fruit in the world.

But I ate it all. It did take two rounds but I finished the entire pineapple.

Still no luck.

So we are still trying walking. At 39 weeks walking is a form of torture. Walking right now feels like I have just drank 3 big gulps, have to pee like nobodies business and am forced to bounce on a trampoline. Every step bounces Noah’s head on my bladder. The walk consist of Kevin holding my hand while I crush his and me saying ,“oh my God I have to pee, I have to pee right now and we are (insert how many blocks) away from home, I am going to die!” Then I get home and oh wait, false alarm I didn’t have to pee. Hilarious.

Last night after our walk, I was making dinner. Plain white rice and chicken, about as non offensive as you can get and Kevin saw the hot sauce on the counter. His eyes darted to the rice and chicken and in a panic asked “why is the hot sauce down?” I told him I ate it on the pineapple that morning (don‘t worry I am not that crazy, I didn‘t). He said that was fine with him as long as it didn’t touch dinner.

The only thing Kevin and I have successfully induced is heartburn and a slight phobia of hot sauce.

All in all I am pretty sure inducing labor outside of going to the hospital and being induced is impossible. So instead of trying to force Noah out between now and Wednesday I am going to relax, eat food that doesn’t fight back and attempt to enjoy these next couple of days if he doesn’t decide to show up until Wednesday (or Thursday because I said I was going to have a Cinco De Mayo baby!).

(I am pretty sure that I just said I was planning on relaxing….if that doesn’t jinx me into labor I don’t know what will!)

The final count down.

Three weeks ago when they told me I was at 1.5 centimeters, I wasn’t sure what to think. Dilated? Me? Already?

My braxton hicks had gotten a lot worse and more frequent but nothing that left me thinking I was dilated. I was pretty excited. 1.5 down only 8.5 to go!

My next appointment we found out I was at 3 centimeters. I made the doctor repeat herself after telling us the first time. She laughed and repeated herself. She also calmed my fears that I was meer seconds away from going into full on active labor after reading my deer in head lights face…well, sort of. She explained I could be at 3 centimeters for 3 seconds or 3 weeks. She said normally, especially with your first you don’t stay at 3 for long. I made extra care in hopping off the table to make sure I did not, you know drop Noah out right then and there. At that point we were still a little too early to deliver and I was having obviously productive contractions. Noah was ready to go but we had to put on the brakes so my doctor recommended that I start my leave and try to rest as much as possible to carry him for another week.

On the chart they showed us in birthing class there were 4 different faces to explain labor and the levels of pain, 0 -1 is the happy face, 2 to 3 centimeters is the sort of uncomfortable but still happy face. The next face 4-5 is the oh my God-get him out of me-angry face… the go time face.

Over the next couple of days I eventually stopped walking around on egg shells that at any moment I was going to go from pregnancy bliss to go time.

Then yesterday I had my 39 week appointment. The exam went as usual and then after telling me I was still at 3 centimeters my doctor asked, so would you like to be induced tomorrow at 5am?

Um, say what?

My mind went blank. I knew I should have a million questions but I couldn’t get a single one out. Luckily Kevin (super husband/dad) swooped in. Kevin asked the doctor if it was her or her daughter pregnant what would she recommend. She paused and smiled and said she would wait a week until next Wednesday, his due date and induce if he had not come by then. I felt a lot better after he ran down his list of what was best for Noah, me, what inducing meant, if we were favorable to be induced, etc…he really did read the baby books.

After the appointment I talked with both of our moms and they put me even more at ease. Both of them have gone through pregnancies that have been induced and explained it is nothing to be afraid of but what is the harm in seeing if he pops out in the next couple of days?

In order for Noah to get a move on – I have gotten my move on. I have been waddling around trying to get gravity on my side or jump start my contractions. Kevin and one of his managers at work have a running joke on who wants to walk Dominique, that maybe while he is at work he should hire someone to walk me. Luckily Kevin and my mom have been on board with the whole brisk waddle that leaves me panting while they slowly stroll beside me. If I could do high knees around the block or jog I would. I am pretty sure that just waddling around right now is the equivalent to running a marathon at a sprints pace.

So now I am off to eat a trough of spicy food, do some jumping jacks and waddle around some more.

So that is where we are at. Maybe baby any day, definitely baby on May 4th. Either way this week I will be a mommy and our little guy will be here!

My name is Dominique & I am a sleep eater.

I never thought that I would hit the stage in pregnancy where trips to the fridge would out number the trips to the bathroom. This trimester is taking a lot of fuel to get through and I have been happily munching my way through it, well for the most part.

Pregnant women are always portrayed on television at two o’clock in the morning in front of an open fridge hammering away at leftovers and eating peanut butter out of the jar with their finger like they just won a battle on Survivor and had been starved living off of rations of rice, sand and banana leaves for the past month. I hadn’t had any crazy midnight cravings and Kevin hadn’t been sent on any midnight store runs. I thought I was pretty lucky, then the third trimester belly monster got me.

I already am a sleepwalker, well eater. This has caused me, Kevin and when I lived at home my family a lot of trouble. My entire life, since I could crawl I have been going places in my sleep and usually for food. The problem is I am like a sleep walking ninja so I am at the will of my sleepwalking psyche. I normally move stealthily through out the house to my gluttonous goal, devour it and then retreat back to sleep unknowing of my fourth meal until the morning. I am not a sleep cleaner. I usually leave little wrappers, food out on the counter or a trail of my midnight feast.

Unfortunately this habit has gotten the best of others and me throughout the years. Like the time I drank nail polish remover because I thought it was water in a bottle and my mom had to spend the night trying to explain my sleep drinking fiasco to the poison control operator who was convinced this was a cry for help. Or the time Kevin woke up covered in chocolate icing because utensils and sleep eating don’t mix and I apparently ate a good sized serving of left over birthday cake and left a good sized portion of it on my hand and crawled back into bed frosting my husband in his sleep.

Luckily pregnancy makes deep sleep nearly impossible and my sleep eating days had taken a 7 ½ month break. But those nights are gone, the third trimester has awoken the sleep-eating beast and she is back in action. There is just one big problem. Third trimester sleep eater meet third trimester heartburn. When I sleep eat I don’t eat normally. For example, my mom once caught me eating mint grasshopper cookies with (as in one on top of the other) nacho cheese Doritos (tasty, right?). These midnight munchies have now brought on another nightly episode, a 2 am husband mad dash for the tums.
A couple of nights ago my sleeping self was victim to a bag full of chocolate donuts, orange juice and spaghetti. Now I didn’t do anything crazy like mix them in to some sort of soup that you would see on Chopped (like that combo isn’t crazy enough) but once they mixed in my tummy they really didn’t agree. The two o’clock in the morning dash for tums turned into a flash back of the first trimester nightly night-sickness dash for the toilet.

In hopes of taming the sleep eating beast Kevin prepared a much blander, healthier, midnight snack of peanut butter crackers and left them on the dresser. He also made me switch sides on the bed and moved the dresser making a maze making so I would have to crawl over him in my sleep to get out of our room. Eight months pregnant, I am pretty sure even my ninja sleep walking skills would be challenged to maneuver over him.

This morning round one goes to Kevin. The dresser wasn’t flung with pregnancy strength across the room, Kevin and the pugs weren’t crushed in any attempt to get out of bed, I apparently took the bait of the peanut butter crackers since only crumbs remained and there wasn’t a two o’clock in the morning retaliatory strike run to the bathroom or for the tums.

So far so good. Now lets just hope night two goes just as well and lets all cross our fingers for Kevin that he isn’t crushed tonight or that he finds out what it is like to wake a pregnant sleepwalker!

Maybe I will make him a midnight rescue kit to throw at me in case he wakes the hormonal sleepwalker of doritos and mint cookies?

 

*For any media inquiries please email DominiqueTeall@yahoo.com

Eat. Sleep. Pee.

Too much information maybe. Too much peeing defiantly.
I knew I was pregnant when my behaviors resembled more of a zombie than of a lady, the phrase “must sleep now” I am sure was grunted/demanded more than once. In fact it was after one of my after work naps with Kevin that I woke up and said “I am pretty sure I am sleeping for two,” that we first thought our try for a baby was a success. At that point I had been officially pregnant for about a week but it felt like I had been running a marathon for a straight week. Sleep would be great if it wasn’t for the 6am bright and early wake up call my body throws at me daily or the fact that every 30 minutes I have to stumble my way to the bathroom.
Which brings us to peeing. This action is what defines my life right now. It pretty much goes like this, if I am not peeing I am thinking about peeing. It would be ok if I didn’t have the thirst of someone crossing the sierra desert in the middle of summer. Just a word to the wise – do not drink a 32oz glass of water right before entering the maze we call IKEA. Bad idea. What normally is a leisurely stroll through my heaven on earth turned into a brisk walk/run to the TWO restrooms in the ENITRE store while trying to absorb the IKEA experience as fast as possible. There is a restroom in the middle and one at the end which in turn concluded my trip at IKEA unless we wanted to start the maze all over again . Kevin was thrilled, he said it was the first time he didn’t mind going to IKEA. I, on the other hand ended up with a basket full of random IKEA treasure and a mental must go back for as soon as possible list thinking that was the worst IKEA trip ever! Don’t think just because I was doing the “pee dance” through IKEA that I didn’t buy anything, that would be absurd. After our hike through IKEA I was tired and hungry and defiantly not for IKEA’s cafeteria style Swedish meatballs, in fact the smell of them was another incentive to leave as soon as we did.
That brings us to lunch. Kevin and I are foodies. We love the food network, we love to cook and we LOVE to eat. So when we saw a Cincinnati diner on the food network featured for Kevin’s favorite (when I mean favorite I mean he could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner) food Cincinnati style chili spaghetti we knew we had to go. The entire way there all I could think about was cheese, noodles, chili, and when we got there all I could eat was a bite of cheese, noodles and chili. My mind and stomach have had some sort of miscommunication lately when my brain and stomach tell me EAT RIGHT NOW AND DON’T STOP it really means have a saltine cracker…maybe only half. This has been the story of my first trimester. I can eat a couple of bites and then I am full. I make sure the baby is getting what it needs and making sure those couple of bites are only the best for our growing baby and I drink almost a half gallon of milk a day but there is defiantly no eating for two here.
So here I and the little one go ready to start another day full of our three favorite activates and the life that happens in between.