Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Roast Beef Sandwiches

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I cannot believe that I have not posted this recipe before. It is a wonderful, full-flavored slow cooker recipe that everyone in my family devours. And it is super easy. I serve it on big hoagie rolls with melted provolone cheese. There is a bit of a kick to it, but the boys  do not seem to mind. Especially with the melted cheese.
*****NOTE- you do not have to use the beer. I use it only if I have some in the house, and the meat still tastes great.

Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Roast Beef

1 boneless beef roast (3-4 lbs)
1 jar (12 oz) pepperoncini
1 can beef broth
1 can beer
1 package (1 oz) Italian dressing mix (dry)
hoagie rolls
provolone cheese

Place roast in the slow cooker. Drain the peppers and remove and discard the stems . 
Add peppers, broth, beer, and dressing mix to the slow cooker. Do not stir. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on Low .Take the meat out and shred. Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and mix well. Serve on hoagies with provolone cheese.

Chicken Marsala

This chicken dish is a great, classic marsala recipe that my family loves. It is one of the only recipes with mushrooms as an ingredient that my kids will eat. It is very easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Pair it with mashed potatoes and roasted green beans and you have a complete meal!

Chicken Marsala


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 small chicken breasts, pounded thin and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

  • Directions
    1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until browned,  2-3 minutes per side . Set aside.
    2. Add the butter and mushrooms . Saute until browned on both sides, about 7-8 minutes.
    3. Add the shallot and saute for 1 minute 
    4. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
    5. Add the marsala, deglaze the pan, add the chicken broth and lemon juice, bring to a boil and let simmer until reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes.
    6. Season with salt and pepper, mix in the butter and return the chicken to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    7. Sprinkle with parsley

    Dark Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

    Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    I have really been getting my moneys worth of use out of my ice cream maker. A few years ago I purchased a Cuisinart ice cream maker and , like always when I purchase a new kitchen appliance , I had grandiose plans for homemade ice cream all summer long. Well, after a few uses I put it in the closet and forgot about it. This spring I was cleaning out said closet of small appliances  like a panini maker, an ebelskiver pan ( really, Liz!)  and a cake pop maker ( seriously, box never even opened) and I just could not bear to part with the ice cream maker.I really didn't want to get rid of it, so I plopped it on the kitchen counter, put the cylinder in the freezer to freeze up and the rest is history. We have had lots of homemade ice cream already this summer and have plans to make much ,much more. I made this dark chocolate cherry ice cream with a bit of the fresh cherries we picked last weekend and it is my favorite so far!  I used mini dark chocolate chips and they were perfect.

    Dark Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream


    2 c sweet cherries, pitted  and rough chopped, divided
    3/4 c whole milk
    1 3/4 c heavy cream ( or half and half)
    1/2 c sugar
    pinch of salt
    1/2 c mini dark chocolate chips


    1. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 c cherries, milk, cream, sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. 
    2. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. You will have small bits of cherry , which is what you want. 
    3. Place bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill .
    4. Freeze according to the directions on your ice cream maker.
    5. Fold in the remaining cherries and the chocolate chips.
    6. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Freeze overnight.

    Cherry Butter

    I am about to bombard my blog with recipes using fresh cherries. Sorry, not sorry! My bestie and I wrangled up our husbands and kids this weekend and headed to our local orchard and picked an insane amount of cherries. It was so fun and hopefully we will do it again next year. I swear I didn't think we picked so many, but when I got home and had to pit 18 lbs of cherries, then yeah, we picked so many dang cherries. But I had a folder full of recipes for them, so I have spent the last few days knee deep in cherries. I made cherry pie filling , cherry crisp, cherry cheesecake popsicles, dark chocolate cherry ice cream ( recipes to follow ) and this cherry butter. I have never made cherry butter before, and after tasting the final product I am so glad I did. It is basically apple butter, but with cherries. Slow cooked cherries with sugar and spices ! This recipe made 4 small jars full. I highly recommend trying this recipe. Smooth, velvety cherry butter to slather on biscuits, or over ice cream or spooned into oatmeal. So many possibilities.


    6 cups sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
    1.5 - 2 c sugar
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 (scant) ground allspice
    1 lemon, zested and juiced

    1. In a large saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and lemon juice and zest . Mix well and bring the cherries to a simmer.
    2. Stir the cherries and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it slowly reduce, while stirring every 5 minutes or so. It will need to  cook for about an hour to thicken up.
    3. Take the saucepan off of the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the fruit to a smooth consistency. 
    4. Ladle the butter into prepared jam jars. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
    5.If you do not want to can  , just keep the jars refrigerated and eat within 3 to 4 weeks.

    Juanita's Baked Chicken Leg Quarters with Red Pepper Vinegar Sauce

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

    I spend my quiet time, usually at night when my husband and sons are sleeping, developing recipes. Most of the time they are of foods I remember growing up on in NC. This one I created based on my Grandma Juanita's  bbq chicken. I have never tasted anything like it except when we would gather at her house in the summer. She made it a bit different than I do, using a huge pot and lots of chicken . I think there may have been broiling involved. I adapted the recipe from what I remember it tasting like. Trial and error. I ended up using chicken leg quarters . They are inexpensive and I have a house of hungry boys who can eat. No exaggeration when I say they are eating me out of house and home. This recipe I used 4 chicken leg quarters. the sauce can be doubled or tripled depending on how much you need. The sauce has a vinegar tang with a bit of heat from the crushed red pepper. I added extra pepper for my husband and I . We like hot. I also kept the skin on the chicken and roasted it. I prefer it that way. It cooks up crispy and when the sauce is poured over it, the flavor is incredible. I serve the chicken with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

    Juanita's Baked Chicken Leg Quarters with Red Pepper Vinegar Sauce

    4 chicken leg quarters
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 c melted butter
    1/4 c white distilled vinegar
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes ( or more if you like it hot)

    1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 glass dish.
    2. Place the chicken quarters in the dish. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
    3. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, vinegar and red pepper. Using a brush, brush the chicken with the sauce. an even layer will do. Reserve the rest of the sauce.
    4. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, basting once after 20 minutes. 
    5. When the chicken is done, pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve .

    Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    As  you have probably figured out by now, we grill often in the warmer months. It is so easy to marinate chicken, beef or seafood during the afternoon and grill it after  a  long day. This a simple marinade that  uses ingredients that I usually have on hand. I used large chicken tenders for this recipe (12 count) and it worked perfect. I have used chicken thighs and shrimp before and it has been wonderful with both. I have also left out the tequila (once) when there was none here, and it still turned out so yummy. Why not make a few extra pieces of chicken to toss on a salad or add to brown rice and black beans for a tasty lunch the next day.

    Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or tenders)
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons green onions, minced
    1 garlic cloves, minced
    4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1/2 cup tequila
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 teaspoons cumin
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large zipper bag. Shake to combine. Add chicken, turn to coat well. Refrigerate and marinate for about 3 hours.
    Heat grill to medium high. Remove chicken and discard remaining marinade. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear.


    One of the joys of summer to me is the fresh produce. I am always making quick salads for our lunches and snacks throughout the week. This panzanella, or bread salad, is a favorite of mine. The vinaigrette is so simple, but so full of flavor. And it is a great way to use up leftover bread!



    1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
    1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
    1 garlic clove, minced
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 c sourdough bread, diced
    1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
    1/2 small red onion, diced
    2 oz shaved parmesan cheese
    1/4 c chopped fresh basil


    In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red Wine vinegar, minced garlic and salt and pepper. Set aside.
    In a serving bowl, Toss together the remaining ingredients. Whisk the vinaigrette again and pour it over the salad.Gently mix all together and let it sit 10 to 15 minutes to let the bread absorb the vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh basil.

    Rustic Peach Tart

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    This rustic peach tart is so easy to make. It is a perfect summer dessert when you use fresh peaches. You can make your own pie crust, but I cheat and use a premade one. If you do not have heavy cream, I would use an egg wash and not regular milk. It will seep into the dough and make it soggy.


    9" pie crust
    5 peaches,  sliced
    1 T lemon juice
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/4 c light brown sugar
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    2 T cornstarch
    2 T heavy cream
    2 T coarse sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment and roll out the pie crust. Set aside  in the refrigerator to stay cold while you make he filling.
    2. In a large bowl, toss together peaches, lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cornstarch. Mix well.
    3. Take the sheet pan out of the refrigerator and pile the peaches and juices into the middle.
    4. Fold and pleat the crust over the peaches.
    5. Brush the crust with the cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
    6. Bake 40-45 minutes or until peaches are tender and the crust is golden.

    Mexican Stuffed Shells

    This is one of those recipes that take a short amount of time to make, yet it has the flavors that most everyone enjoys. Especially kids. Think taco pasta cups. The thing I love about this particular recipe is that I can make the individual toppings that make both kids and parents happy. Usually my kids load their shells with lots of cheese and sour cream. But I always dice a red onion and let it sit in lime juice for about 15 minutes, chop up a small bunch of cilantro and avocado for the adults. I served these shells with a cumin spiced black bean and corn salad, which I added to my shells before adding the sour cream. Super yummy meal to make on a weeknight.

    Mexican Stuffed Shells

    1 box jumbo pasta shells
    1-2 T butter
    1.5 lbs lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
    2T taco seasoning ( I use Penzey's)
    3 oz  cream cheese ( I use reduced fat)
    1 c salsa
    1 c shredded cheddar cheese
    1 c shredded hot pepper jack cheese
    1.5 cups tortilla chips, crushed ( I use tortilla strips)

    Preheat oven to 350*. Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions.Drain shells, gently toss in butter and set aside.

    In a large skillet, brown the meat, turkey  or chicken. Season with the 2T taco seasoning. Stir in the cream cheese until well blended. Let the meat mixture simmer on low for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Fill each shell with meat mixture and set in a lightly greased casserole dish. (9 x 13 ). Spoon the salsa over the shells and top with the cheese and tortilla chips. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and the meat is warmed through. Serve with sour cream, onions, lettuce;or any other taco toppings you prefer.

    Root Beer Float Popsicles

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    One of the most requested foods at our house in the summertime is homemade popsicles. The boys love them and I try to make them at least every other day so they can enjoy them .  I have made these root beer float pops for years and they are always a hit. Especially with my youngest. They are his favorite flavor. You can use any brand root beer for these. I usually just grab a store brand one when I am out shopping. Super easy to put together. Just two ingredients and you are done. All you have to do is wait for them to freeze. If you guys have any favorite popsicles recipes, please send them my way! I am always looking for new ones to try out!

    Root Beer Float Popsicles 
    makes 6

    3 cups root beer
    1 cup sweetened condensed milk

    In a large bowl, combine the root beer and the sweetened condensed milk. ( I use a whisk to make sure it is combined well)
    Let it sit for a few minutes to let the foam recede.
    Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks and freeze.


    Fresh Peach Cobbler

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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    I get excited when the first peaches start arriving in markets in the summer. I love fresh peaches. I usually end up buying so many that we get burnt out on peach related dishes pretty quick. Which is fine, because it just makes us think of fresh peaches until the next year. I can a few quarts of peach pie filling , so we still have peach pie in the cooler months. (Which is awesome when I want a desert on a snowy night) . The first thing I usually make when I get my hands on peaches is a cobbler. Plain, simple peach summer goodness. Topped with vanilla ice cream, and you have an impressive, flavorful ending to  a meal.The sweetness comes from the peaches and a bit of sugar and cinnamon added to those before baking. The batter bubbles up and bakes over the sweet , juicy peaches to perfection! So head on out to your local farmers market and grab yourself fresh peaches. You can thank me later! :)

    Fresh Peach Cobbler
    3 cups fresh peaches, peeled , pitted and sliced
    1/2 c sugar ( more or less depending on the sweetness of the peaches)
    1 tsp cornstarch
    1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp fresh lemon zest
    1 c Bisquick
    1 c almond milk
    1/2 c butter, melted
    2 T brown sugar , packed
    2 tsp cinnamon sugar (optional)
    1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2.In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, sugar, cornstarch,nutmeg ,cinnamon and lemon zest. Mix well to incorporate the sugar and spices.
    3.In a separate bowl, mix together the Bisquick,almond milk, butter and brown sugar.
    4. Pour the Bisquick mixture into a 9x9 baking dish.
    5. Pour the peach mixture over the batter. Do not stir.
    6. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (optional)
    7. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, or until bubbly and the batter is cooked through.
    8. Serve warm with a side of ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

    Carne Asada Marinade

    One of our favorite foods to eat on busy nights is tacos. We make a lot of ground beef, chicken, fish and shrimp tacos. My favorite are carne asada tacos. This marinade gives the meat a garlic citrus note that is so flavorful. You will want to plan ahead for this recipe. The meat has to marinate for 48 hours. To make the carne asada, just take the met out of the marinade and grill to your desired doneness. We like ours  medium. Then you slice it very thinly and chop the strips into tiny pieces. The best taco meat! Serve on warm corn tortillas with cilantro and onion .

    Carne Asada Marinade

    1/4 c olive oil
    1 c malt vinegar
    1/3 c lime juice
    1/3 c orange juice
    1 c water
    2 T minced garlic
    1 T ground black pepper
    1 T salt
    1 T cumin
    1 T chili powder
    1 T oregano
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 orange, sliced
    1 onion, sliced into half moons
    1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
    5-6 lb skirt steak

    Combine all ingredients except the skirt steak in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
    Place the skirt steak in a shallow glass dish. Pour marinade over the meat and cover. Marinate for 48 hours in the refrigerator. Grill meat, slice, chop and serve.

    Fig Balsamic Glazed Steak Kabobs

    Thursday, June 8, 2017

    I am a huge fan of quick, flavorful,  uncomplicated cooking. When the weather gets warmer , I tend to grill almost every night. It is so easy to marinate meat, add a few veggies and maybe a starch, and grill outside. These kabobs are so good. I have been making them on regular rotation for a few years now, just switching up the veggies depending on what I have. Tonight it was just vidalia onions and red peppers, but normally I would have a zucchini or yellow squash to add to the skewers.
    The glaze is super easy to put together and the fig and balsamic marriage is spot on. I tend to gravitate towards jellies to make my glazes. They always give me the consistency I want for a glaze. This one caramelizes the meat and there is a sweet contrast to the tangy balsamic.


    1 lb boneless sirloin steak, 3/4" to 1" thick
    1 onion, cut into 12 pieces
    1 large red pepper, cut into 12 pieces
    1/2 c fig preserves *see note
    2 T balsamic vinegar
    1 T olive oil
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper

    * some fig preserves will have chunks of fig . Make sure you chop the figs into small pieces for the glaze.

    1. Soak bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes  and pre heat your grill.
    2. Cut the sirloin into @16 pieces
    3.Using the skewers, alternately thread the beef, red pepper and onion onto skewers. Set aside.
    4.In a bowl, combine the fig preserves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 for dipping.
    5.Brush the kabobs with the fig sauce.
    6. On a preheated grill. grill the kabobs 8-10 minutes, or until desired doneness, turning and basting with the fig balsamic sauce every 2-3 minutes.
    7. Serve with reserved sauce for dipping.

    Strawberry Pie

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    One of my favorite late spring activities is strawberry picking. We take the boys every year and pick enough strawberries to feed a small army. We eat them right out of the fridge, and I make jam, strawberry coulis, muffins, shortcake and our favorite, strawberry pie. I have to say, this is one of my favorite desserts to make . The glossy strawberries and their gorgeous red hue ! Perfection!  This recipe so easy to make. I make the crust with graham cracker crumbs , but you can definitely use a store bought crust. It makes this recipe even easier. Top the pie with whipped cream and  a bit of shaved chocolate and you have a beautiful, tasty dessert to serve to friends and family.

    Strawberry Pie

    1 9" pie crust or make your own
    1 cup water
    1 cup sugar
    3 T cornstarch
    1/4 cup strawberry gelatin (Jell-O)
    1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled

    1.Prebake pie crust and set aside to cool to room temperature .
    2. In a saucepan over medium high heat, stir together water, sugar, cornstarch and the gelatin. Bring to a gentle boil while whisking constantly,
    3. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat  and allow the glaze to cool . as it cools, it will set and thicken a bit.
    4. Add your strawberries to the pie crust.
    5. Stir the glaze well and gently pour it over the strawberries, coating all of the berries, and in between them as well.
    6. Chill the pie in the refrigerator or a few hours. serve with whipped cream .

    Grilled Cheerwine BBQ Pork Chops

    These grilled pork chops are so good. Cheerwine is used for the bbq sauce and it creates a nice sauce with a hint of cherry flavor. For those of you not familiar with Cheerwine, it is a cherry soda made in Salisbury, NC. It is very popular and it is beginning to make its way to states  other than NC. I can find it here in WV/VA stores. I have also been known to bring a few 12 packs home with me from NC when I go home to visit my family. If you cannot find Cheerwine, you can use a cherry coke or pepsi, but the flavor will not be the exact same as using Cheerwine.
    This recipe uses a flavorful rub , then the chops are grilled and the bbq sauce is brushed on the meat near the end of grilling. The pork chops come out perfect.You can use any kind of pork chop. I use thick bone in chops. But use what you have. Just adjust the grill time accordingly if you have thin chops. You don't want to over cook them .
     Make sure you save some of the bbq sauce for dipping at the table. I had a bit left over from dinner and I made a bbq ranch dressing with the leftover sauce for grilled chicken salad for lunch the next day. I just mixed in the bbq sauce one tablespoon at a time into homemade ranch dressing until I got the bbq flavor I wanted. I used about 3 T sauce to 1 cup dressing.

    Grilled Cheerwine BBQ Pork Chops

    BBQ Sauce:
    1 T butter
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1 c ketchup
    1 c Cheerwine
    3 T worchestershire sauce
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp dry mustard
    2 T white distilled vinegar

    1. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and cook in the butter, stirring , for about 45 seconds. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour.

    Pork :
    6- 8  bone in  pork chops, about 1 1/2 thick
    1 T thyme
    1 T oregano
    1 T paprika
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper

    1. Mix all of the rub ingredients together well.Coat the pork , on both sides, with the rub using your fingers to get the rub all over the meat. Place the pork in a large ziploc bag and marinate for 4 hours.

    1.Preheat grill to medium heat. When grill has been heated, place the pork on the grates and grill 6 o 8 minutes.
    2.Turn he pork and grill on the other side  until the meat is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
    3.Using 1 cup of sauce ( reserve the rest for serving)  brush the pork with the sauce. Grill for about 2 minutes, then turn the pork and brush the other sides with the sauce and cook another 2 minutes.
    4.Remove the pork from he grill and tent it with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to le the meat rest.
    5.Serve with reserved bbq sauce.

    I am sharing this recipe over at
    Weekend Potluck