Italian slow cooker porkchops

I love pork chops. I typically prepare them in the oven, breaded and baked with some applesauce – but I’ve been craving a change. My mother always made them in a skillet with brown onion gravy and some stuffing (which I’ve always loved), but after a long day of teaching (and then hitting up the gym) this takes too much effort. I’m exhausted by the time I get home. I needed a no-fuss solution to my pork chop problem. I’ve been looking for a good way to prepare them in the crockpot to save me some time – and I think I’ve finally figured it out.

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Apricot squares

It was one of those days where I wanted to do some baking, but I ran out of eggs (as well as good ideas). It was also too cold to go to the grocery store.

I found some jars of apricot filling in the pantry. Mind you – I did not buy this. It isn’t something I usually bake with. I’m fairly certain that my husband bought it by mistake. I don’t hate apricot though, so I figured I’d better use it.

Any fruit filling works pretty well with a plain cake mix. It provides flavor and moisture, and also helps to bind the ingredients together. But I still needed to add at least 2 eggs. The fruit alone doesn’t do the same good job at binding as eggs do. So I had to improvise by making some kind of egg substitute.

Thank goodness for Google. I found out that if you combine water, vegetable oil, and baking powder in a specific ratio, it forms the consistency of a runny egg – helping to bind any baked good together. It was a worth a shot, and I’m glad I tried it – because in the end result, you couldn’t even tell there was no egg. This will make vegan baking a cinch from now on 😉

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Easy-as-pie lemon squares

In this house, we love lemon.

It’s easily one of our favorite things.

I know it isn’t a traditional holiday flavor, but our collection of baked goods on Christmas isn’t complete without [at least] one lemony dessert. And this one is very quick to make, especially if you are pressed for time.

I first found the recipe for 2-ingredient lemon bars online years ago… and I couldn’t believe how simple they were. It was just mixing a box of angel food cake mix and a can of lemon pie filling. (Easy-as-pie. Get it? I’m hilarious.)

Even though the bars were good, they were not even close to being lemony enough for my taste. With the addition of some extract and zest, they finally met my standards. Cut into small squares and dusted with powdered sugar, they’re simply perfect.

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Peppermint dark chocolate oreo truffles

OK, so these technically aren’t a baked good, but they’re damn good.

Chocolate + peppermint is an EPIC Christmas dessert combination… and if you throw Oreos into the mix, it becomes even more magical.

I first made Oreo truffles around 10 years ago, and have since tweaked the recipe. I have used 4 different Oreo flavors (regular, peppermint, golden, and peanut butter) and so far this is my absolute favorite variation. If you’re one of those people who hates mint chocolate, you can always use a different combination of Oreo, chocolate, and extract.

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Pumpkin cranberry oatmeal squares

Ah, December… It’s OFFICIALLY Christmas time (in my mind, at least!)

And Christmas time = baked goods.

From decadent breakfasts to Christmas cookies… December has it all.

*sings* It’s the most yummiest time… of the year 😉

Today’s recipe was inspired by my love of Nature Valley’s soft-baked oatmeal squares. I love eating these as I run out the door on my way to work. In my variation, there is no added fat or eggs. All of the moisture and chewiness comes from the use of canned pumpkin and dried fruit. And the best part of this recipe is the ease of it – it’s only 4 ingredients!

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A double feature – Pumpkin “pie” fudge loaf AND Pumpkin spice walnut muffins

If you like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and healthy desserts – these are for you.

The first recipe is for a very moist and fudgey pumpkin bread. It has a consistency similar to pumpkin pie, with a bit of a cakey texture. It’s absolutely delicious while managing to also be low in sugar, dairy free, and egg free. Toast some up at breakfast or serve it with a dollop of cool whip at dessert – either way, you win.

The second recipe is for the EASIEST pumpkin spice muffins you could ever make. It’s literally 3 ingredients, including the walnuts I added (which are completely optional by the way).

This Basic B knows what’s up.

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3 Ingredient Ribs

Whenever my husband gets the groceries to help me out, he always buys things that were not on the shopping list (usually some random fruit, meat product, or Entenmann’s cake).

Last week, he brought home pork bi country style ribs.

I’m a big fan of ribs – I could eat them every day. But I’ve never made them before.

For my first time, they came out awesome.

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