Easy Appetizer – Slow Cooker Glazed Bacon Wrapped Sausage Bites

Easy Appetizer – Slow Cooker Glazed Bacon Wrapped Sausage Bites

My daughter made this recipe – from  Merry About Town & loved it. Well…now she has moved in with me (it’s a “village for Lily” thing) and made it for all of “us”. Everyone loves it. What’s not to love about pork on pork?
i 💓 🐷 🐖 ️ ✓
🐽 ️
Another reason to love it…it’s EASY, it’s easy and it’s easy  Did I say it’s easy? ️ 😆

3 large links of pre-cooked sausage such as Kielbasa or Mennonite sausage (~1 1/2 pounds)
Raw Sliced bacon (~1/2 pack)
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp grainy mustard


Cut sausage into rounds about 1 inch thick.
Cut bacon slices in half both ways so that you get 4 long thin pieces.
Wrap each piece of sausage with one of the 1/4 bacon pieces, secure with a toothpick and place in a regular size crockpot.
Continue until all your sausage is wrapped and in the crockpot.
Add brown sugar and mustard to the crockpot.
Gently stir so the sausage is covered with brown sugar and mustard (it will not be over all of it but you don’t want one big clump of sugar at the top).
Cover and cook on low for 6- 8 hours or on hight for 4 hours.
Pour in to a dish to serve or serve straight from the crockpot.

.”our” personally preferred bacon for this recipe 😀







Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

– from Bon Appétit

Real alfredo should never (never!) include cream; the silky sauce is the result of an emulsion between the grated cheese, melted butter, and starchy pasta water. This is part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes.


12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
Kosher salt
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.

Recipe by Carla Lalli Music
Photograph by Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott

Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month


Dealing with youth dental emergencies

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and with spring sports just around the corner, so are some dental emergencies. Dr Dean Stratman from 24 Hour Dental Care stopped by to tell us about preventing these injuries, and how to treat them if they do happen.

via Dealing with youth dental emergencies — Fox 59

♡ and here…it’s time for braces!









It’s not just hair 😉 it’s LOVE & that includes everything from nourishing the mind, body & soul. AND all that goes with that; from helping with homework, inside work… to “outside” work, and that certainly includes dental health. Not just for self-esteem & beauty, but also for their health that will affect them the rest of their lives; pain-free & ability-to-chew-food-well living.  😀






How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

– courtesy of the hathi cooks

NOTE – THERE ARE SOOO MANY VERSIONS with slight variations, but BASIC SPICES ARE OBVIOUS & add your favorites. I’ve perfected my own method (w/coffee filter, spices, tea & a stapler) 😉

Just sayin ♡

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

November 28, 2011

Chai has always been an integral part of our daily lives as well as our get togethers with friends and family.  At family reunions, my father had the honorary title of “chai master” and mine was “junior chai master.”  We used to joke about how when we were all sick of being doctors, we would retire and open up a small cafe called “Good Chai” and stock it with the best chai in the world and some mighty delicious snacks.  That way we could continue the tradition of people coming to our house and sipping mug after mug of chai and letting their problems melt away in the delicious warmth of this wonderful drink.


The Basics of Chai

Chai is a ubiquitous drink in India.  It is made across the country and is drunk both at home and at tiny tea stalls on road sides everywhere.  Interestingly, this beverage that so many people associate with India was actually not consumed until the time of the British Raj.  India grew a large amount of tea in areas such as Assam and Darjeeling, however the majority of Indians consumed coffee.  The British East India Company became concerned as they realized they were losing a vast source of income to the Chinese, who had a virtual monopoly on tea sales.  Thus, the East India Company began promoting tea to Indians.  At first, the Indians were skeptical, and did not want to abandon their strongly flavored coffee.  But eventually someone added strongly flavored spices to a sweet and milky tea and masala chai took off!  The chai is sweet and spicy with a subtle burn at the back of the throat.  It is, in a word, wonderful.

The Tea Leaves

The tea used in chai is very crucial to the final flavor of the tea.  Many people assume that they have to use the best quality tea available and use whole leaf Darjeeling or Assam tea, and end up with chai that does not taste quite right.  The tea for masala chai is a variety known as “mamri” or “little grain” tea.  It is cheap and strong and holds its own against the strong spices in the chai.  I recommend making a trip to an Indian grocery store to buy brands such as Lipton Yellow Label TeaJivraj No. 9, or Taj Mahal Tea.  If you do not have an Indian store nearby, buy Lipton or some other similarly cheap and strong black tea bags from the grocery store.  This tea will probably become your “chai only” tea, as it is not necessarily the best to drink plain, but is absolutely wonderful with milk, spices, and sugar.

The Masala


Much like the recipe for garam masala, this recipe also comes from my paternal great-great grandmother and has been passed down through the generations, giving all of us some pretty incredible chai.  While I am obviously biased I really do believe our masala is what makes our chai so special.  The chai masala is a delicious blend of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper.  All of the spices add a delicious warmth to the chai, and the black pepper and ginger add a subtle heat as well.   We have a specific ratio that we follow to make the spice blend, but feel free to adjust it as you deem fit.  If you’d like less burn, decrease the black pepper, if you love cardamom, bump that up.  The recipe is a great guideline, but feel free to change it as the seasons and your mood change!

Warning–Nerdy science note:  The flavors that make spices taste delicious are all aromatic compounds.  Aromatic compounds are made of molecules that contain a structure known as a benzene ring, meaning they dissolve best in alcohols or fats.  You may have notices this when making drinks, that adding a twist of lemon to a martini adds significantly more flavor in a shorter amount of time than adding a twist of flavor to a glass of water.  Similarly, if you make this chai with a non-fat milk, you won’t extract as many flavors from the spices as if you make it with a milk that has some fat.  So do your spices a flavor, and don’t make this with skim milk.  Nerdy science note done.

Making the Chai

There are many ways to make chai.  Some start by boiling ingredients sequentially, and others have strict rules about only stirring the chai 3 times in clockwise circles.  The way that my family makes chai is relatively straightforward.  We dump all the ingredients in the pot and let it come to a slow boil until it turns a beautiful, rich color.  We use loose leaf tea, so it is necessary to strain the tea once it is fully cooked (having a spouted pot will really help decrease spills).  Strain the tea, sit back, and enjoy.


How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 5 minutes Yield: 1 eight oz serving of chai, makes about 3 cups of masala

Delicious, authentic chai, passed down from my great-great grandmother. Spicy and sweet and absolutely wonderful!

You’ll Need…

  • For the chai:
  • 1/2 cup milk (not skim milk, see nerdy science note above)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 tsp. sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • 1 tsp. loose tea leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chai masala depending on your spice preference, see recipe below
  • For the chai masala:
  • **Please see additional notes below before proceeding regarding the total amount to make as well as the amount of black pepper**
  • 160 g. whole black peppercorn (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 cup + 7 Tbsp)
  • 125 g. whole dried ginger or ginger powder(Volume: 1 cup + 8 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. cinnamon sticks (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. whole cardamom seeds (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. whole cloves (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. nutmeg (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)


  1. For the chai:
  2. Pour all ingredients into a (preferably spouted) saucepan. Place over medium heat. Allow to heat until small bubbles appear around the perimeter of the milk. Stir the chai, scraping the bottom to avoid scalding the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir well. Bring to a boil once again, turn off the heat and stir well. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Strain carefully into a cup, and serve.
  3. For the chai masala:
  4. If you are using whole spices, weigh out the appropriate amount, place in spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Mix all the spices together, store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry part of your kitchen. Do not expose to too much sunlight.

Additional Notes

The recipe was passed down in grams, I’ve tried to convert it into conventional measurements, but please be aware that the conventional measurements are of the finely ground not the whole spices. Please note, you will get best results if you weigh the spices, it’s most accurate. 

The masala recipe makes a LOT of masala. Feel free to make 1/5 of the recipe, that’s the easiest number to divide if you have an accurate scale. 

Some have said that the recipe is a bit spicy for them. For those of you who are finding the recipe a bit too spicy, feel free to decrease the black pepper. Perhaps start by cutting the amount in half (80g) and then making a cup, if you can think you can tolerate more black pepper start adding in 10 additional grams of black pepper until you get to your perfect spice level!




– from the Queen Creek Olive Mill


1 Arizona navel orange

1 Arizona pink grapefruit

Fresh Mozzarella

Queen Creek Olive Mill Fig Balsamic Reduction

Queen Creek Olive Mill Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh basil leaves

Sea salt


This is a perfect recipe for the Arizona citrus season. Use your fresh, seasonal oranges and grapefruits for a healthy and delicious antipasti salad.

Peel orange and grapefruit, slice against the sections. Slice fresh Mozzarella. Arrange on plate by alternating orange and Mozzarella then grapefruit and Mozzarella slices. Drizzle with Fig Balsamic Reduction and finish with Robust EVOO. Garnish with basil leaves and sprinkle with salt.


Products Used:
Fig Balsamic Reduction, Robust EVOO



Fresh Mountain figs are reduced then added to our barrel aged balsamic. Whether drizzled lovingly on red ripe heirloom tomatoes, marinating a fine filet mignon, or served over fresh berries and ice cream, this versatile reduction syrup is sure to make any meal delightful!

Ingredients: Balsamic vinegar, Grape must, Organic fig puree
Sizes: 250ml
Gluten Free, Vegan, Contains naturally occurring sulfites, Arizona Made with Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy

Another awesome recommendation :




Their tapenade is a unique combination of flavor. Savory, yet subtly sweet! We simmer the freshest sweet red onions and figs in Italian balsamic vinegar with a touch of port to create this unique recipe.

Ingredients: Red onions, Water, Raisins, Figs, Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, Salt, Lemon juice, & Spices.
Sizes: 9oz
Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher, Made in the USA








Speaking of #figs and #balsamic. ..





Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar


Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

Photo courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated

– adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

*I was intrigued, tried it, LOVED it. I do believe in using the best quality ingredients you can get. Once you try the right (the good stuff) balsamic…it’s game over. DELICIOUS!  BTW, my enamel cast iron skillet/pot/casserole worked excellent! AND now that I made it, I know I will again but not be afraid 😀 Now I’ll have a better grasp of how high to have the heat, amounts of ingredients, etc..


Why This Recipe Works
Italian sausage with grapes is a great example of the affinity that pork and fruit flavors have for one another. We wanted to pay homage to this simple Italian dish and highlight the attributes that make it so appealing. Taking inspiration from a potsticker cooking method, we use a combination of sautéing and steaming to produce sausages that are nicely browned but moist and juicy. Building the sauce in the same skillet, we cook down seedless red grapes and thinly sliced onion until caramelized to create a sweet but complex sauce. White wine, in addition to balsamic vinegar, lends the dish acidity and complements the grapes. Oregano and pepper contribute earthiness and a touch of spice, while a finish of fresh mint adds brightness.
*NOTE FROM THE TEST KITCHEN Our favorite supermarket balsamic vinegar is Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Serve this dish with crusty bread and salad for a heartier meal.


1 tbs vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
1 lb seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise (3 cups)
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
¼ cup water
¼ tsp pepper
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbs chopped fresh mint


* 1. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange sausages in pan and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, about 5 minutes. Tilt skillet and carefully remove excess fat with paper towel.




Distribute grapes and onion over and around sausages.





Photo courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated


Add water and immediately cover. Cook, turning sausages once, until they register between 160 and 165 degrees and onions and grapes have softened, about 10 minutes.




* 2. Transfer sausages to paper towel–lined plate and tent with aluminum foil. Return skillet to medium-high heat and stir pepper and salt into grape-onion mixture. Spread grape-onion mixture in even layer in skillet and cook without stirring until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is well browned and grapes are soft but still retain their shape, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium, stir in wine and oregano, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until wine is reduced by half, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar.



* 3. Arrange sausages on serving platter and spoon grape-onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with mint and serve.



The Right Way to Cook Sausage


Moderate heat develops flavorful browning without burning. Then, adding a little water to the pan and covering it gently steams the sausages so they cook up juicy.

The point of this recipe is to cook sausage so that it is done (160°-165°), with good color and FLAVOR, but not burst/split open. And it worked…was great!

















Chewy Molasses Cookies



– from The Spiffy Cookie 

These cookies are addicting. How are they so thin and yet remain so chewy? And the flavor is perfection for the holidays. Make them and watch them disappear like magic!

It’s true! I used butter because I ran out of shortening and they still came out chewy…thin, but just as good. Sure, I’ll go back to old school Brer Rabbit, but it’s nice to know; just don’t bake as long.


I wasn’t planning photos lol, I was simply not wanting to throw out a big bowl of molasses cookie dough because I didn’t have shortening!



-from The Spiffy Cookie

Makes 9 dozen


1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling if desired

2 eggs

2/3 cup dark molasses

4 cups sifted flour

4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice


  1. In a large bowl, cream sugar into butter. Add eggs and mix. Add molasses and blend.
  2. Sift flour, soda, salt, and spices together in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and mix. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookies sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
  4. Roll into balls the size of marbles (they will spread a lot). Roll into granulated sugar, if desired. Place 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes or until dark brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Cookies freeze well.


♡ teens attempt at being artsy over Christmassy




Reasons Why I’m Still Single #435

Reasons Why I’m Still Single


Reasons Why I’m Still Single…

When you wake up in the middle of the night, sharing your bed with a box of Domino’s Cinna-Stix, you can’t help but judge yourself at least a little&#…

Source: Reasons Why I’m Still Single #435

Although, just for the record, I don’t do Domino’s ;  the very bad experiences could be Arizona locally. Just Sayin’


Honey Balsamic Lamb Chops for Two

Honey Balsamic Lamb Chops for Two


– via untitled

the bake aholic mama


Honey Balsamic Lamb Chops for Two

Several years ago, I bought a lamb wrack for my husband’s birthday. I had no idea what the hell to do with it, so I took out out sharpest knife and started cutting each chop off the wrack, and attempting to cut off the fat, to expose the bone. It was a grueling process and yielded the ugliest little lamb chops I have ever seen.

But they tasted amazing.

Today, I am smart enough to buy them cut and trimmed… so all I need to do is cook them and then serve. I love these little chops because they are quick to cook and always impress my guests.

This recipe is scaled down to feed two, however feel free to double or triple the recipe if you are feeding crowd. They are quick to make, and the perfect meal for a romantic date, or a holiday dinner party.

Honey Balsamic Lamb Chops for Two 

4 lamb chops
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground sea salt
2 tbs light olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs grainy mustard (or omit honey and use 2 tbs honey mustard)
1 glove of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary


Pat lamb chops dry with a paper towel.

Salt and pepper both sides of the chops.

In a small bowl, whisk, vinegar, mustard, garlic together.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan on high with your rosemary sprigs, and place each chop down, sear both sides.

Pour vinegar mixture, into the pan and reduce heat to low.

Heat the chops, turning once or twice evenly coating them in the vinegar. Once the vinegar mixture has thickened, the chops should appear sticky.

Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with additional rosemary (optional)

Thank Bakeaholic Mama…DELICIOUSNESS !






Wait! I that’s a Lama 😉


A blacknose lamb 😉