Crockpot Appetizer Recipes That Deserve A Second Look – How To Create New Classics

Perhaps you’ve been gathering your favorite crockpot appetizer recipes in preparation for the holiday season. Or maybe you like to entertain year round. Either way, you know your guests love to nibble on tasty treats as they mingle and visit, so you want to be prepared. Even when planning a big sit-down meal, your dinner … Continue reading “Crockpot Appetizer Recipes That Deserve A Second Look – How To Create New Classics”

Perhaps you’ve been gathering your favorite crockpot appetizer
recipes in preparation for the holiday season. Or maybe you like to
entertain year round. Either way, you know your guests love to nibble
on tasty treats as they mingle and visit, so you want to be prepared.
Crockpot

Even
when planning a big sit-down meal, your dinner guests will always make
room for a few bites before dinner. The trick to serving good appetizers
is serving an attractive and delicious variety. This may be easier said
than done when you have become so accustomed to making certain
appetizers year after year.

When you entertain guests, you make
everything special. Shouldn’t your appetizers be special, too? Go ahead
and put your crockpot to work as you improve on your classic appetizers
like cheese dips, cocktail wienies, meatballs, and even simple dishes of
assorted nuts. Let’s take a look at how to make your old favorites a
bit more special:

Cheese Dip – You can certainly make a simple
little cheese dip that would be delicious, but, don’t you want to make a
dip that your guests will remember, and talk about, and ask you for the
recipe? How about an Artichoke and Cheese dip? By adding some chopped
artichoke hearts to your favorite cheese dip you’ve perked this
appetizer up enough to make it memorable.

You can also add
flavorful ingredients like Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce,
mustard, and red pepper flakes to really kick this cheese dip up a few
notches. Cook in your crockpot on low for about 2 hours, and keep warm
to serve with your crackers, chips, or bread.

Cocktail Sausages –
Think way beyond those little wienies and serve up an easy, but fancy,
batch of sweet and tangy Apple Sausage Appetizers instead. Use any
combination of ingredients such as brown sugar, honey, balsamic vinegar,
and Dijon mustard, then instead of adding Vienna Sausages, cut up some
good apple smoked sausage, some tart apples like Granny Smith, and some
sweet onion and add that to the crockpot.

If your guests were
expecting the standard cocktail wienie appetizer, they’ll be pleasantly
surprised when they bite into this sweet and spicy treat. Combine the
ingredients in your crockpot, set it on low heat, and let cook for about
2 hours. Check to make sure the apples and onions are just cooked
through but not turning to mush, then serve warm.

Meatball Bites –
Those little meatballs swimming around in barbecue sauce are tasty, but
are they special enough for your holiday event? Go ahead and make your
mini meatballs out of your favorite recipe, but when it comes to the
sauce, it’s time to do something special. Beer is the ingredient that
kicks this appetizer recipe up a couple pegs. This Tangy Meatball
Appetizer will have your guests wondering what makes the sauce so yummy.
Start by making your favorite meatball recipe, form the mini meatballs,
then brown them in a heavy skillet with cooking oil. Once they’re
brown, put them in your crock pot.

Mix together in a separate bowl
a combination of ingredients starting with beer. Add any or all of the
following ingredients to the beer – spicy tomato juice, mustard,
horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, hot sauce, red pepper
flakes, or anything that sounds good to you. Pour this sauce over the
meatballs in the crockpot, turn the heat to low, and let it cook for
about 2 hours or a little more until you’re sure the meatballs are
cooked thoroughly. You won’t find these meatballs on just any buffet!

Nutty
Snacks – I always think some pretty bowls of assorted nuts placed on
tables around the room is a nice touch. But, instead of just dumping
some mixed nuts in a bowl, why not cook up a batch to surprise your
holiday guests? Because pecans are often associated with sweet snacks
and desserts, these Cajun Style Pecans will be quite the surprise,
indeed!

Choose the spices that you would normally associate with a
good Cajun dish. You’ll probably want ground onion and garlic, of
course, and cayenne pepper, chili powder, oregano, basil, and thyme. Mix
these together, then add to some melted butter and pecans in your
crockpot. Cover your crockpot and turn it to high for about 10 minutes,
then uncover and turn to low. Continue cooking on low, uncovered, for
about 2 hours. Stir the contents a few times to keep the pecans coated
and toasting evenly. After they’re done cooking, just cool the pecans by
spreading them on a baking sheet, rack, or paper towels.

We all
have our favorite appetizers that have become a tradition over the
years. We can still enjoy these same appetizers, but don’t they deserve a
little updating? And don’t your guests deserve a little special treat
this year? Surprise your guests by tweaking your old crockpot appetizers
and maybe you’ll start some brand new traditions!

Quick and Easy Beef Stew Recipes for the Crockpot

With the cold weather facing us, I know you’re thinking of what
new, easy meals you can prepare for your family! And if you’re like most
of us, time is of the essence!
I come from Boston, and beef stew
was always a cold weather mainstay in our home growing up. The problem,
however, was that it never came out the same way twice! Even with a
standard handed-down-for-generations recipe, my mother could never get
it to come out right consistently.
Crockpot

Years later I had the same
recipe, and encountered the same problem. I could never figure out what
was going wrong, but loving beef stew the way I did, I was bound and
determined to find solutions to being able to whip up a delectable stew
that was perfect every time I made it.

The major issue was always
the broth and its seasonings. I figured if I could replace the typical
“water, flour and fat drippings” with something that was totally
fail-safe, I’d be good to go! So that’s exactly what I did!
Try these two recipes for yourself and I guarantee you won’t be fussing and fuming with homemade broth again!

NOTE:
When purchasing stew beef over the years I have noticed that different
stores have a few different ways of packaging the meat. Some of the
stores prefer selling the cubes in huge chunks that will need to be cut
up when you get home, and other stores already have cut the cubes into
the appropriate size for simply placing into the crock pot immediately
without any further prep work needed.

Also be careful of how you
treat the fat content. In order for any meat to really taste good, you
need fat. Don’t go crazy cutting off all the fat… let it be! Cut off
any grizzle you see, but leave the fat.

Beef Stew with Mushrooms
· 2 – 3 pounds of stew beef. (Don’t buy the lean beef… you do need a bit of fat just for the flavor)
· 1 family size can of condensed mushroom soup (I’ve even used store brands and they are quite acceptable)
· Add to slow cooker. Cook for four hours on low. If possible, stir it a few times.

I
typically don’t add anything else because my family loves this served
over mashed potatoes with a side of either a salad or vegetables, but
you can adjust any additional ingredients to suit your family’s
preferences.

Tomato Based Beef Stew
· 2 – 3 pounds of stew beef. (Don’t buy the lean beef… you do need a bit of fat just for the flavor)
· 1 family size can of condensed tomato soup (Again, I’ve even used store brands and they are quite acceptable)
· 1 envelope of instant onion soup
· ½ cup water
· Add to slow cooker. Cook for four hours on low. If possible, stir it a few times.
· About
½ hour before it’s done, add a few cans of vegetables. I add peas,
carrots, string beans and a can of sliced potatoes. You can add whatever
you like best.

Permanent Weight Loss For Fat Or Obese People – Eat Vegan For Effective Healthy Weight Control

You’ve been dieting for years and years! Do you want to DIE or LIVE? Dieting is die-ing.
Eating live food is living. Live food is not dead animal or animal
products. It is vegetables, fruits, nuts and the products produced with
them.
Weight Loss

The more you turn on the news, the more you will hear about
our horrible food supply and why it is killing us. A new movie, better
than Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” was just released to tell you why
it’s not your fault you are fat and overweight. “Food, Inc.” tells us
the Agri-business in American has taken us for a ride. An expensive
death defying ride! What do you do? How do you stop the roller coaster
ups and downs of gaining and losing weight?

We’ve all been on it
and it’s not a pretty picture. In this and many articles to follow, I
will teach you how to lose weight and the right way. I’m going to be
honest, frank and straightforward. If you are reading this article you
likely are at minimum 10 pounds overweight and statistically between 20
and 50 pounds overweight. Don’t rationalize and say no, I’m not fat. No,
I’m not obese. You are. Accept that and you are on the path to success.
So what do you do?

You need to do the following and the sooner the better:

  • Learn what a vegetarian lifestyle is. End the Standard American Diet (SAD)
  • Understand the health benefits of being a true vegetarian
  • Get your cholesterol checked. Go vegan and it will drop; your vim, vigor and stamina skyrocket
  • Know that recipes for a vegan are endless, delicious and most importantly, healthy
  • Act to become vegetarian, and within weeks, the pounds will fly off easily and naturally

I know you have questions about being a vegetarian and learning this life saving lifestyle. The most frequently asked are:

  1. Will I be missing vitamins and minerals? No, in fact you will get
    more than you have ever gotten before. The reason you will feel so good
    so soon is because you are getting more nutrients, vitamins and enzymes
    in their natural form than you have ever gotten. Your precious body will
    reward you with vibrant health.
  2. What exactly do I eat? Any and all the vegetables and fruits you
    can. You can never overdose on these health promoting foods. You are not
    limited to fixed quantity. This is an amazing lifestyle.
  3. Will I get tired of salads? Never. The salads and variety of mixtures are only as good as your own imagination.
  4. Do I become a “vegan” overnight or gradually. It’s up to you to
    decide. Personality will play a key role. Make a plan and identify how
    you will transition. You will be grateful you did!
  5. How do I get enough protein as a vegetarian? Would you believe
    some legumes such as beans have more protein than eggs and without the
    fat!
  6. What about my family and vegetarian diets for children and young
    adults? Your children are your most precious gift. You want to teach
    them how to eat right and when you are convinced it’s right, you will
    teach them as well.
  7. Why is the SAD food I am eating killing me? What is in it that is
    so bad? There are many books out there about why the SAD is killing us.
    The additives and supplements in them are actually more harmful that
    helpful. Believe what the agri-business tells you and you now understand
    why you are in the condition you are in!

Being Vegetarian promises that you won’t be overweight for long and more
importantly you will be healthy, energetic and able to enjoy life the
rest of your life.

Forget about all the food experts and especially the false
information by those that claim they know what you should do to lose
weight. All the diets that are out there don’t work and are just that
“D-I-E ts” that will kill you. I have nearly 60 years experience in
health and fitness and have tried them all. What you need is a lifestyle
change.

Learn How to Lose Belly Fat With Simple, Effective Exercises

“Losing the weight.” So many of us have that as a goal. We write
it down as a New Year’s resolution, we mutter it as we swim laps, we
frown and turn away from beloved treats muttering, “No, sorry, I’m
dieting.”
We look in the mirror at our spreading waistlines and
wish with all our hearts we knew how to lose belly fat. We try diets,
we try pills, we try exercises to lose belly fat…and as often as not
we fail.
Lose Belly Fat

There are many reasons we fail, not all of them
understood even now. But failure to lose weight is not your fault. The
main sources of information we use do not tell us how to lose belly fat:
they tell us how to yo-yo diet. It’s true! Science indicates that the
major forms of dieting may allow you to lose weight for a short period
of time, but that you are then likely to regain the weight and
more…leading to a new diet, a new attempt.

And so many methods
are just false: take spot exercises to lose belly fat and only belly
fat, as though you could point to your body and suggest “burn only
calories from here”! Weight loss does not work that way. Never has,
never will.

The only way to lose weight — the only way to learn
how to lose belly fat — is to use information that allows you to turn
your body into a calorie burning machine. If you can convince your body
to burn calories faster than you take them in, burn them day and night,
burn them as though they were there to waste (which they are — that is
why you are on a diet!) then and only then can you hope to lose that
weight and keep it off. You need to turn your body into an ally, not an
enemy.

How? Well, there are programs that can help, but you can
start with three simple techniques. While you can’t spot exercise (those
articles about specific exercises to lose belly fat, or hip fat, or fat
from your thighs do not work), you can exercise to burn all fat.

One
basic rule of weight loss is that muscle tissue burns fat faster than
the rest of your body: the more muscle you develop the faster the fat
leaves. Therefore you need to exercise to increase muscle mass as well
as improve cardio measurements. Cardio exercise is not intended to
create new muscle, nor to burn calories wastefully. It is efficient and
makes the most conservative use of your muscles, not the least.
Therefore body building exercise combined with cardio allows you to
maximize your results.

Spot exercises do not lose belly fat.
However appropriate spot exercises can provide a firm base and allow you
to carry the fat you have more elegantly, while building still more
muscle. However the old sit-up crunches are not as useful as modern
abdominal circuits, including kneeling leg-lifts and wall-braced push
ups, which strengthen both the back and the belly muscles.

Last,
you can commit to daily motion…not just to build muscle, but to use
and maintain the muscle you have built. Remember, muscle tissue burns
fat faster than non-muscle tissue. You aren’t going to be able to burn
calories efficiently if you are not growing and maintaining solid
muscle.

These techniques, combined with a stable regimen based on
knowledge of metabolism’s laws, can help you achieve your goals. Not to
learn “how to burn belly fat,” but how to turn your body into a
calorie-engine racing along at high speeds, burning that fat for you.

How to Lose Belly Fat For the New Year

The most popular New Year’s Resolution is to lose belly fat.
Unfortunately, 97% of resolution makers will fail within a few short
months. Most people just don’t have a plan for how to achieve their
goal. They do the same routine day after day, week after week, month
after month even when they fail to get results from it.
If you
really want to lose belly fat this year you need to forget everything
you may have read or heard about how to lose fat and try some real
effective strategies that are proven to work.
Here are just 5 of the most effective strategies for losing belly fat:
Lose Belly Fat

5 Strategies For Burning Belly Fat
STOP: doing isolated abdominal exercises
Performing
traditional isolated abdominal exercises are the least effective way to
burn belly fat. It amazes me every time I see herds of people
desperately trying to tighten and tone their abs by doing crunches, leg
raises, machine torso twists, side crunches and the many other
ineffective ab exercises.
And, month after month they still have the same soft, flabby stomach fat. That’s because traditional abs exercises do NOT:

  • significantly boost your metabolism
  • burn many calories
  • burn fat from your stomach or waistline

START: eating 5-6 smaller meals rich in proteinIf
you have been led to believe in the “eat less and exercise more” mantra
that is so popular with weight loss enthusiasts trying to burn stomach
fat, I have some sobering news for you. You will never effectively burn
abdominal fat if you are not eating enough. It doesn’t matter how hard
or how much you exercise either. In fact, more exercise will only burn
precious lean muscle not fat.
So, in the end you may end up
looking a bit smaller overall, but you will still have the same soft
spots and trouble areas as before. Just because you may not have much of
an appetite does not mean your body is burning belly fat.

It’s
the exact opposite. You don’t have an appetite because your metabolism
is slow and your body is holding onto calories by storing them as fat.
And guess where most of that fat is stored? That’s right…all around
your stomach covering your abs in a big layer of fat.
Try this
instead: If you are eating 3 or fewer meals per day on average your
metabolism is stuck and you will not lose stomach fat. Divide your
typical daily food intake into 5-6 meals instead. Think of it this way.
Imagine putting all of the food you typically consume each day on a
table. Now, divide all the food up into 5-6 meals. These meals are much
smaller which will:

  • allow you to eat more frequently
  • boost your metabolism
  • allow your more efficient metabolism to burn calories rather than store them as fat
  • elevate your energy level
  • not make you feel full and lethargic after eating

This
is a huge key to getting your body to shift toward using more fatty
acids for energy which helps result in abdominal fat loss.

STOP: doing too much cardio
If
you perform cardio 5 or more days per week in your “fat burning zone”
because you have been led to believe that this is the most effective way
to lose belly fat, then you are what I call a “cardioholic”.
Doing
this much cardio while neglecting other more important components never
results in losing stomach fat. It does help you burn muscle, water and
glycogen (carbohydrates that have been broken down and stored for energy
use) while holding onto stomach fat.
Your diet and exercise
program must be spot on to burn belly fat. It doesn’t matter how much
cardio you do. If your diet is poor or lacking in calories or the
precise nutrient ratios you just won’t burn abdominal fat, period.

Lose stomach fat by doing this:
Instead of doing cardio day in and day out, try performing 2-3 days of
strength training. This does not mean to do crunches, thigh machines and
other exercises without breaking a sweat.

Crank up the intensity a
bit, just don’t overdo it. Forget doing sets of 15, 20 or 30+ reps.
Take it up a notch and try a heavier set for 10 repetitions and feel the
difference. Don’t be afraid of lifting a bit heavier. You will not get
“bulky” muscles no matter what you may have heard. That is a myth.

START: strength training
When it comes to losing abdominal fat cardio is not the most effective way to do it.
The key that almost everyone misses or does completely wrong is strength training.
Strength
training is what triggers fat loss not cardio. Cardio should only be
used as an adjunct to your strength training program and not the other
way around. Look at all the cardioholics at your gym. Have any of them
significantly gotten a leaner, tightly toned body with well-defined
muscular definition doing all that cardio? No way.
Try this to burn belly fat:

  • perform strength training 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days
  • crank up the intensity without going overboard
  • make sure you are eating enough nutritious foods to promote recovery from training
  • use cardio 3 times per week on off days to help burn additional calories and fat

Key Point: You may not want to look like a bodybuilder or fitness model, but I want you to think about this.Bodybuilders
and fitness models are some of the leanest people you will ever see.
They consistently achieve single-digit body fat levels when preparing
for competition.

Do you really think any of them resort to crash diets and neglect strength training to get into contest shape?
They
know that crash diets and neglecting strength training will only
prevent them from getting their leanest. They know the secret to getting
really lean is by consuming a diet rich in nutrients and performing
strength training to maintain muscle since muscle burns fat.