Is everyone obsessed with squash right now or is it just me?

I feel like every post I’ve put up this month has been squash.

I have 5 varieties in my pantry right now. And as soon as I cook one, I run to the store to replace it. Just in case I have an emergency and need a sweet dumpling squash right now.

I can’t get enough.

Click for the full recipe

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmithfieldCares #CollectiveBias

Slow Cooker Pork and Butternut Squash Stew - a bowl of comfort! Quickly brown the pork and then toss everything in the slow cooker!

Okay guys, real talk.

I broke the driver’s side window of my car.

“How’d you manage that one, Amanda?”

Well, it’s a Wrangler so the windows unzip and the zipper broke.

Okay, fine, I broke both zippers. Which is okay most of the time since I normally have at least the back windows off anyway. But y’all, it’s cold in the mornings and at night in central Texas now. I was shivering on my way back from Austin last week.

An hour and a half at 75 MPH with the window down at 10 pm?

It was cold.

Click for the full recipe

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This Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken Farfalle is one of my family’s all-time favorite meals. I haven’t made it in years because my husband was deployed and then he was Paleo but now that bulk season is in full effect, this is back in the rotation.

I actually blogged about it years ago but the picture is pretty awful and I feel like it didn’t come across as tasty as it really is.

It’s really simple – the chicken is cooked in the slow cooker all day and then it’s shredded and tossed with bacon, heavy cream, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. I know you’re going to look at it and go “Whooooaaaa! A cup of heavy cream?!” but I have cut this recipe down so much. The original – which I got from a lady on a pregnancy board almost 8 years ago! I’ve been making it that long! – called for a whole stick of butter and an entire pound of bacon. And I won’t lie, doing it that way is pretty amazing. But I managed to cut it down to what you see below and my family didn’t notice a difference.

Make it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Bars
Two years ago: Graham Crackers
Four years ago: Italian Bread

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken Farfalle

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (12 oz) Lawry's mesquite marinade with lime juice
1 pound farfalle pasta
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 - 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Put chicken in slow cooker and cover with marinade. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumbled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, pour the sauce over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.
http://fakeginger.com/slow-cooker-garlic-chicken-farfalle/

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Last month I found this fun new blogging club to join: Secret Recipe Club. Each month our lovely organizer, Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin sends us a top secret email with the name of a blog and then it’s our job to go through that blog and pick a recipe that we want to recreate. I’m pretty excited to be participating this month and I hope to continue on with the group!

This month, my top secret email told me to head over to Never Enough Thyme and I knew immediately that it was a perfect match. She’s a southern girl like me and her recipes really reflect that. I set my heart on making Lana’s boiled peanuts but I never found any raw peanuts! Anyone know where to get them?! So I went with my second choice: slow cooked oatmeal.

I’ve had a bag of steel cut oats in my pantry for who knows how long. I won them (along with about 20 tons of other oat products) in a photography contest awhile back and just never got around to opening them since they take so long to cook on the stove. This was the perfect solution.

I have a weird relationship with my crockpot – I like to be able to check on it throughout the day, which kind of defeats the purpose of the crockpot, right? But anyway, I worried that the oats would run out of water and start burning or there would be too much water, etc, etc, etc. but everything worked out perfectly!

One warning: the raisins kind of melt into the oatmeal during cooking and creates and very strong raisin syrup. If you aren’t that into raisins, you might want to hold off adding them until after the oats are cooked.

If you want to join us for next month’s Secret Recipe Club, go here and fill out the form.

Slow Cooked Oatmeal

Ingredients

cooking spray
2 cups steel cut oats
6 cups water
dash of salt
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup pecans or walnuts chopped

Instructions

  1. Spray the inside of the crockpot with the cooking spray. Add all ingredients and stir. Turn on the crockpot to its lowest setting. Cover and leave it overnight.
  2. The next morning, give it a quick stir and then top with whatever you want. Cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, nuts, dried fruit, and granola are all great ideas!
http://fakeginger.com/secret-recipe-club-slow-cooked-oatmeal/

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If you follow me on Twitter, this is probably old news to you but I thought I would share on the good ol’ blog too. My husband recently came home after being gone since January. I didn’t tell you guys because I’m paranoid cautious, but don’t feel bad because I didn’t even tell my Facebook friends. But like I said: old news. The best thing about having him home is that I have a reason to cook things besides pasta and eggs! I’m taking full advantage of that and kicked off this week with something I’ve been wanting to try forever. The French dip!

So this sandwich, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before, is just beef that’s slow cooked in a flavorful broth (or jus, if you’re fancy) and then put on crusty bread with cheese. Then you get the dip the entire sandwich in the broth that you cooked the beef in!

Fantastic does not describe how good these are! We had these for an early dinner and then a few hours later when my husband went to workout, I snuck into the kitchen to have another. Then when he came home, I caught him in the kitchen having another one! This is a definite keeper and I see myself making it frequently once winter hits.

French Dip

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion
1 10-ounce can beef broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 pound chuck roast
salt
pepper
6-8 sandwich rolls, split
6-8 slices of provolone or Swiss cheese

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion into ~1/4-inch rounds. Keeping the rounds intact, place them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic to the slow cooker. Salt and pepper both sides of the roast and place on top of the onions. Cook on low 6-7 hours until beef is fall-apart tender.
  2. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Remove the onions and set aside. Use a spoon (or fancy instrument if you have one) to remove the fat from the broth. Return the roast, juice, and onions to the slow cooker for up to an hour before serving.
  3. Heat the broiler. Place the split sandwich rolls on a lined baking sheet and toast for 1 minute or just until the bread begins to brown. Remove the tops from the pan. Scoop the beef onto the bottom of the rolls and top with cheese. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted. Top with sandwich halves and serve with small bowls of jus.
http://fakeginger.com/french-dip/

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