Cider-Braised Chicken, Brussels Sprouts and Apples

Cider-Braised Chicken, Brussels Sprouts and Apples

This fantastic one-pan dinner is ideal for a Sunday supper or casual fall get-together with friends; the sauce is delicious, so serve with bread or mashed potatoes to soak up every delicious bite.


  • slices bacon, chopped
  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 1/2 pounds total)
  • medium tart red apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 12 – ounce bottle hard cider
  • tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved if large (2 cups)


  1. In a very large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan, reserving drippings in skillet. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook 10 minutes or until browned, turning once; remove from skillet. Add apples to the skillet and cook 4 minutes or until browned on both sides; remove from skillet. Drain and discard drippings from skillet.
  2. Add cider, thyme, mustard, and salt to skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add apples and cook, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes more or until chicken is done (at least 175 degrees F).
  3. To serve, divide chicken thighs, Brussels sprouts, and apples among shallow bowls or plates. Spoon cider mixture over top. Sprinkle each serving with bacon.

Nutrition Facts

(Cider-Braised Chicken, Brussels Sprouts and Apples)

Servings Per Recipe 4, sodium (mg) 840, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 1, cal. (kcal) 860, Folate (µg) 35, pro. (g) 52, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1, Potassium (mg) 804, iron (mg) 3, Monounsaturated fat (g) 25, vit. A (IU) 614, carb. (g) 23, calcium (mg) 49, sat. fat (g) 17, chol. (mg) 295, sugar (g) 13, Niacin (mg) 12, fiber (g) 4, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, Thiamin (mg) 0, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 12, vit. C (mg) 44, Fat, total (g) 59

Cider-Braised Chicken, Brussels Sprouts and Apples
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DIY Infused Water The Perfect Way to Stay Hydrated

DIY Infused Water The Perfect Way to Stay Hydrated

infused waterInfused Water, sounds fancy right?  I know it sounds like some expensive water found only at spas and trendy cafés.  But seriously it’s not!

Infused water is simply put plain old water flavored with fruit, veggies, herbs, or a combination of the three.  It’s also so easy to make at home, all you need is water, your flavoring, and a container.

We’ve been making and serving infused water at many of our events for years.  They’re so pretty to look at and adds a flavor twist to water.  Now when I say flavor I don’t mean your water will taste like the fruit or veggie you infused it with, it’s more of a hint of flavor, just enough to give it that special refreshing yum!

Recently I had a condition called Rhabdomyolysis, a rare syndrome that basically causes muscles to breakdown and release their contents into the blood stream.  Though rare it can be very serious and in my case required a four day hospital stay.

There are several things which can cause Rhabdomyolysis, in my case it was the statin medication I was prescribed for my cholesterol.  There are also several signs that cause doctors to suspect the syndrome.  In my case my muscles were weak, I was dehydrated, and I had a potassium deficiency.  Blood tests confirmed that I did indeed have Rhabdomyolysis.

Although there are a variety of causes and symptoms there is one general treatment for the syndrome and that’s hydration to flush the myglobin (chemical released when muscles breakdown) out of the blood stream and kidneys.  Of course more severe cases may need other treatment measures.  But in my case IV fluids for 4 days and a few potassium pills were all I needed to flush my system and get my blood tests back to normal.  I was sent home with strict instructions to stay hydrated, meaning drink lots and lots of liquid, specially water.

infused waterThis is where infused water comes in.  Don’t get me wrong I drink lots of water, in fact I fill up my 40 oz. hydroflask with ice water 3-4 times a day.  But sometimes I’m looking for a bit of a change and infused water really hits the spot.

I’ve made cantalope, watermelon, and pineapple infused water, as well as citrus infused water.  I also like to use mint, it’s very refreshing.  I’ve been toying with different possible combinations, they do seem endless.  But here’s the basics for making your own infused water.


1 cup of sliced fruit, vegetables, or fresh herbs

1 quart water – you can use tap or bottled water.  I prefer Aqua Panna or San Pellegrino Sparkling water if I want a bit of fizz.


Place cut fruit in a pitcher or drink dispenser

Add one quart of water

Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours

Strain fruit out of water

Serve infused water garnished with fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs if desired

Infused water will be drinkable for 2 days if stored in the fridge.  Toss out any left overs after 2 days.

infused waterWhen we serve infused water at an event or party I usually strain the old fruit out then place the water in a pretty glass drink dispenser.  I garnish it by floating fresh fruit in the water.  This adds flavor and makes it look pretty too!

Here are more suggestions for homemade infused water:


Citrus – Lemon, Lime, Orange

Lemon Mint

Cucumber Mint



Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries

Pineapple Orange

Do you have a favorite infused water recipe?  Please share it with us!




Mushroom Shelf-life: How to Tell When Mushrooms Go Bad

Mushroom Shelf-life: How to Tell When Mushrooms Go Bad

Source: Deposit Photos

Mushrooms are delicious, nutritious, and versatile veggies people love to have around and toss in a myriad of dishes for surprising taste and texture. The only problem with mushrooms is that you have to use them while they are still fresh. Spoiled mushrooms may lead to health problems or ruin your perfect recipes. Today, we will focus on the telltale signs of mushrooms gone bad and offer you some quick tips on how to make the best out of your beloved fungi.

Understanding Mushroom Shelf-life
In our case, we will talk mostly about mushroom’s shelf life in the fridge, as we hope nobody keeps mushrooms lying around in the kitchen. If you want to find out how long do mushrooms last and tips for increasing their shelf life at home check out the linked article about the topic.

As for mushrooms’ longevity, here are some things you should consider:

  • Not all vegetables come with an expiry date on the label; therefore, you need to assume they are fresh in the store and calculate their shelf life in the fridge starting from that point on. Fresh and healthy mushrooms look neat, have no wrinkles or dark spots, and are not squishy when you hold them;
  • Once you brought the ‘shrooms home, put them in the fridge, but do not forget about them!
    Here are some guidelines on how long you can keep the mushrooms safe until you get to cook them:
  • Fresh whole mushrooms (fridge): 7 to 10 days; some experts claim that you can keep mushrooms for up to two weeks, but we recommend that you do not pass the 10-days threshold;
  • Freshly sliced mushrooms (fridge): up to 7 days; since they have their inside exposed, it is better to cook them as soon as you get the chance;
  • Roasted mushrooms: up to 10 days in the fridge, but up to a few weeks in the freezer;Frozen mushrooms (freezer): check the label for expiration date.

How to Tell if Mushrooms Went Bad

It would be a real shame to buy mushrooms and forget about them in the fridge. Being one of the few veggies that contain vitamin D and packing a potent punch of minerals and protein, mushrooms can provide us with tremendous nutritional value and can turn any recipe into a work of art. For this reason, you should cook them while they are still fresh. However, if you do not know how to assess their freshness, here are the main signs that your fungi have joined the dark side:

  • You can remember when you bought them and realize you are past the 10-days deadline; you can still cook them,but you should be careful.
  • The heads are slimy: touch the mushroom heads and see if they got a muddy, sticky surface; while they are not a health danger at this point, it is good practice to toss them; if you want to salvage them somehow, peel them off thoroughly, wash them with care, and fry them at high temperatures;
  • They have wrinkles: look at the ‘shrooms and search for lines; some mushrooms do not get a slimy cover but dry up and become wrinkly. Do not consume them if they look shriveled and give you a bad feeling; if there’s too much month at the end of your money, you can eat them if you hydrate them in some water and cook them at high temperatures, but otherwise you should better not;
  • They went to the dark side or are training to become Sith lords: dark colored mushrooms are a big no-no; dark spots and dark surfaces are a sign they are not safe to eat anymore;
  • They have a funky odor: mushrooms smell like mushrooms, but if you open the bag or the container and have to turn your head away– you should toss them.

How to Keep Your Mushrooms Safe and Fresh Until You Cook Them
One of the best advantages of cooking with mushrooms is that they need little to no preparation: a thorough wash and you can turn them into anything you want. Moreover, a mushroom-based dish – such as the Mushroom & cheese stuffed chicken breasts in a creamy sauce–looks and feels fancy, like you have worked half a day in the kitchen to make art. So, having mushrooms nearby is always a good idea. But how do we keep them in the best conditions? Here are some tips:

  • Keep them in a paper bag in a clean and disinfected fridge; they need some fresh air, a safe environment, and a container that does not retain moistureor allow mold to grow;
  • If you want to store them in plastic bags, line the bags with paper towels to remove excess moisture;
  • Keep them in their original sealed wrap, but no longer than two weeks – supermarket containers are plastic and prolonged plastic storage can lead to moldy spoiling;
  • Freeze them in parchment paper and store them in airtight or vacuumed bags/containers; the best way to freeze mushrooms is to cook them first and seal them in airtight containers or bags – whichever has less air inside.

Enjoy your mushrooms and keep them fresh for as long as you can as these delicious ingredients can turn any recipe into a gourmet work of art!

Round Up of Star Wars Inspired Cocktails, Mocktails, and More

Round Up of Star Wars Inspired Cocktails, Mocktails, and More

star wars inspired cocktailsBy now many of us have already seen the newest Disney Star Wars movie.  You know Solo: A Star Wars Story.  And we’ve been bombarded with Solo merchandise from Solo Movie cups at Denny’s to action figures at the toy stores.  As expected the latest installment of the Star Wars saga has renewed the movie’s popularity.  We’re watching Star Wars movie marathons and hosting Star Wars themed parties.  Last week I posted a list of Star Wars inspired recipes, so it’s only fair that I post a list of Star Wars inspired cocktails, mocktails, and other drinks.  Believe there is no shortage of these drink ideas!

I’ve decided to divide my roundup of Star Wars inspired cocktails, mocktails, and other drinks into non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.  But if one of the alcoholic cocktails catch your fancy but you want to serve it at a kid’s birthday party, just make it a virgin.  You know leave out the booze!  Or you can spike the kiddie version and serve it at an adult party.  However the force inspires you I’m sure your Star Wars inspired cocktails will make you the host or hostess with the mostest this summer!

Whip some up for your kid’s Star Wars birthday party and you’ll rock!  You’re sure to be the parent of the year, or maybe the summer anyway.

star wars inspired cocktails

Han Solo Churro Cocoa

Since the movie is all about Solo I’ll start with My Crafy Life’s Han Solo Churro Cocoa.

I know it’s a bit hot for cocoa, but the kids will love if for breakfast anyway.  Serve it the morning after a summer sleepover.

Click here for recipe!


star wars inspired cocktailsBB-8 Punch

Whip up this BB-8 Punch by The Joy of Boys.  It’s a refreshing party of any Star Wars themed event.

Click here for recipe![[spacer height=”-20px”]




star wars inspired cocktailsYoda Float

Now here’s cool Star Wars drink from Sugar and Soul.

Click here for the recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]






star wars inspired cocktailsFrosty Bantha Milk

Oooh blue milk!  Awesome!  This is perfect for your next Star Wars movie marathon!

Get the recipe from Baking Mischief![spacer height=”-20px”]






star wars inspired cocktailsRebel Alliance Chocolate Covered Strawberry Float

Wow!  The name’s a mouthful, but it paints a yummy picture!

Here’s the recipe from Nerdy Mama!




star wars inspired cocktailsKylo Ren Party Drink


Now this looks yummy in a sinister sort of way.  The kids and adults will love Midget Momma’s  recipe!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]








Now let’s move on to the fun party drinks, alcoholic cocktails!

star wars inspired cocktailsKylo Ren Cocktail

Here’s the adult version of the Kylo Ren drink.

Get the recipe from Redhead Baby Mama![spacer height=”-20px”]







star wars inspired cocktailsFloating Yoda Cocktail

Kahlua, milk, and mint ice cream, what’s not to love?

After a couple of these you’ll be floating with Yoda!

Here’s the recipe from Homemade Hooplah! 

[spacer height=”-20px”]





star wars inspired cocktailsChewbacca Cocktail

This spice whiskey based cocktail by Midget Momma is sure to grow hair on your chest just like its namesake Chewbacca the very hairy Wookie!


Click here for the recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]






star wars inspired cocktails

The Dark Side Martini

It’s actually a Black Widow Martini by Eclectic Recipes, but it works if you’re planning on setting up a Star Wars Cantina!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]



star wars inspired cocktailsThe Darth Maultini

Check out this martini by The More You Nerd Podcast!

Click here for the recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]




star wars inspired cocktailsThe Han Solo

This list wouldn’t be complete without a drink named for the hero of the lastest Star Wars movie.

Coffee liquer, Irish Cream, and Vodka, this drink packs a punch!

Click here for recipe!




star wars inspired cocktailsJyn & Juice

Here’s a Rogue One Cocktail with pineapple and orange juices.  Yummy!

Get the recipe from Whiskey and Sunshine!


Planning a Star Wars themed event?  Let Savvy Nana Crafts design the perfect party stationary and decor for your event!












BBQ Sauce Ingredients: Quick n’ Easy Recipe

BBQ Sauce Ingredients: Quick n’ Easy Recipe

Father’s Day is right around the corner. And it’s also the beginning of summer, the perfect time to sit back relax and enjoy a barbecue. Food is the way to every dad’s heart, so why not treat him with Personal Creations’ homemade barbecue recipes? These four delicious recipes are fit for every dad’s taste buds. The smoked honey barbecue sauce is perfect for a dad who enjoys a little sweetness, and the fire and zing sauce is ideal for the dad who likes a little spice. This is a great homemade gift for dad that the whole family can enjoy!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipes

Tropical Punch Float

Tropical Punch Float

a3403c054aa5eac17d35ca917aaebdecLast week I discovered Seafood City, a supermarket chain specializing in Filipino and Asian goods,  in my area.  They have markets in California and Hawaii, and are soon to open one in Chicago.

They had opened not far from my house a few years ago.  I don’t know why it took me this long to go there, but I’m glad I finally did!

I love markets, specially ethnic ones; and I loved Seafood City! I love to wander the aisles looking at different foods and ingredients they offer.
I spent a couple of hours wandering Seafood City’s aisles and checking out the concessions lining the inside perimeter.  There were a couple of bakeries, including Red Ribbon, my favorite Filipino bakeshop, a couple of fast food outlets, Jollibee and Grill City, and an ice cream shop featuring Magnolia brand ice cream.  Yummy!  [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]





I grabbed lunch at Grill City.  I couldn’t resist their Filipino barbecue and banana que!

I know I digress, but I’m so excited about my new “find” I just had to share!

Lunch was delish, but I couldn’t finish it.  Turned out my eyes were bigger than my stomach.  So I packed it up and took it home for later.  Packing up a doggie bag is so easy, they leave an industrial sized roll of plastic wrap on the counter so you can help yourself!

So I wrapped up my banana que and enjoyed it later, way later, before wandering the aisles with my shopping cart.

The aisles were filled with many childhood favorites as well as some interesting new food.  Before long my cart was filled with all sorts of goodies; familiar ingredients like egg roll wrappers, tofu, and bean sprouts (I’d turn them into lumpia later); and some tasty looking new items such as chocolate banana wafers.

My favorite new find was this can of Del Monte Four Seasons drink.  I could see all sorts of possibilities!

A pineapple, mango, and guava juice punch, how wrong can you go?  My mind went thru different concoctions I could mix up with this tropical punch; daiquiris, margaritas, spritzes, and more!  I couldn’t wait to get home and try some!

Before I headed home I grabbed some Magnolia mango flavored ice cream, it could come in handy; if not I could just eat it with my banana que!

At home I got busy!  I opted to make a non-alcoholic float that everyone could enjoy, even the 22 month old twin grandkids.  Best of all I had the 3 ingredients I would need:  Four Seasons punch, ginger ale, and mango ice cream.
This is what I came up with, it was awesome!  This Tropical Punch Float is the perfect summer beverage and it’s so simple you really don’t even need a recipe!  (But I’ll include in below, just in case!)

I know you may not be able to find this Del Monte Four Seasons juice, it was the first time I’d seen it, but you can substitute any type of tropical punch or juice such as mango, pineapple, guava, or a similar mixture.

If you don’t find Magnolia Ice Cream you can use Hagen Daz Mango Sorbet.  It takes just as good and a bit lighter than using ice cream.  I’m pretty sure most grocery stores stock Hagen Daz Sorbets.  But if you can’t find mango a pineapple sorbet will work too!

Here’s the recipe!  It will go great with your Labor Day barbecue or just as a treat during the last few days of summer.




Del Monte Four Seasons Juice or mango, pineapple, guava juice/punch

Ginger Ale

Mango ice cream or sorbet



Fill glass 1/3 full with juice

Add ginger ale to about 1″ from rim

Add a scoop of ice cream or sorbet

Pop in a straw and serve immediately.

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Tropical Punch Float
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Tropical Punch Float
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  1. Fill glass 1/3 full with juice
  2. Add ginger ale to about 1" from rim
  3. Add a scoop of ice cream or sorbet
  4. Pop in a straw and serve immediately.
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