5 Things Friday (Spring Recipes, Slow Cooker Reviews & More!)

smoothiesI have to admit: this week has turned out great for me! After a way-too-hectic last week, I’ve thankfully had time to recharge my batteries and get back to the things I love to do (and eat) on a regular basis. Plus: two pretty big accomplishments!

First of all, I’ve started making morning smoothies again. I’ve realized that I just don’t have time in the morning for a proper breakfast and so getting back to making smoothies, like my Pink Power Breakfast Smoothie, has been amazing.

The other accomplishment is that after months of talking about it, I’ve finally rejoined the gym and started going on a regular basis. It’s been harder than I realized, but going in the mornings and committing to just 20 minutes a day has been achievable. Not easy, of course, but definitely getting better–and I’m so proud of myself for it!

So what else has been going on this week? Well, I’ve reviewed some slow cookers, read a really great book, explored some Spring recipes and got inspired to cook a very special dinner later tonight. Check out my 5 Things Friday!
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Slow Cooker Ranchero Bean & Turkey Soup with Kale

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I don’t know about you, but I am totally one of those people that freezes turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving and tries to figure out what to do with them later in the year. When it came to using up the rest of what I had, I couldn’t think of anything better than a slow cooker soup. Here’s the truth: I am a bit addicted to my slow cooker. And I personally don’t think that’s an addiction that’s going to die down any time soon.

You remember my slow cooker turkey broth, right? Well, when I moved apartments a few weeks ago, I brought it all with me but now I have to figure out what to actually do with it. To be honest, I came up with this recipe pretty randomly. I had the turkey broth, the leftover turkey and then I saw the Ranchero beans in the store and couldn’t help myself. The topping on the cherry? Kale, obviously. Because that’s how I roll. Continue reading

Slow Cooker 101: 5 Things You Need To Know

slow cookerWell, first, Happy New Year!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I have a confession to make. Although I spent all of yesterday cooking healthy meals (roasted veggies, various salads, a few breakfast smoothies that I can’t wait to share with you all), I have a serious CRUSH on my slow cooker.

But I have another admission: I actually haven’t used this handy little device lately! When I first got it, I was making soups and stews all the time. I even made a Latin-spiced apple butter that was, well, pretty much the best thing ever. For some reason, though, 2013 wasn’t my year of the slow cooker. In fact, other than the slow cooker sofrito turkey broth, I just didn’t use it–and now that makes me kind of sad.

Now it’s a new year and I’m ready to get back to it. In fact, for all of you slow cooker lovers and novices out there, I’ve written all I know about WHY this appliance is a must for your kitchens, too. Take a look! Continue reading

Slow Cooker Sofrito Turkey Broth from Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Please tell me you’ve saved your turkey bones from Thanksgiving. Seriously. Please pretty please tell me you haven’t thrown them away yet.

I know my pleading may be a little odd, but trust me when I say you’re going to want to make this latest recipe of mine. You see, I made the turkey for Thanksgiving this year and decided, after planning to but ultimately never getting to it last year, making a slow cooker turkey broth out of the leftover turkey bones. And of course, I just had to add some Latin-inspired spice to it, which is why I cooked it with the makings of the traditional Cuban sofrito: onion, bell pepper and garlic. Continue reading

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