Family

Crowd Pleaser Cookbook Inspiration

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The Crowd Pleaser

Are you ready to fix a meal that everyone will DEVOUR and be coming back for more? Well look no further as this chapter, The Crowd Pleaser, in our new book, It’s Our Crockin’ Life, has many delicious recipes or as we like to call them…..Our FAVES! And you want an added bonus?! These meals feed more than a few!!

In creating the different chapters throughout our new book, I was able to take a walk down memory lane. You see, for our family, get togethers always consist of FOOD….. a lot of food! (We always said my Nanee could feed an army!)

Whether we are getting together for a birthday celebration, an actual holiday, or just getting together to eat (which we like….ok, LOVE to do often) there is always plenty of food, food, and more FOOD! We love all kinds of food, but I am southern and I was raised on southern food. If my Nanee were here today and asked me what I wanted her to fix, it would be fried venison backstrap and homemade biscuits and gravy…..THAT’S JUST HOW SOUTHERN I AM Y’ALL!

When your favorite food is made, it just makes you feel all  comforting inside. Makes you feel loved and cared about! That’s how my Nanee made me feel every time I visited her and Pop.

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Gracie girl and her cousin, Cross, all cuddled up drinking their hot tea!

My mom can whip up our favorite meals too!I can always expect my absolute favorite chocolate cake for my birthday, which I finished up in no time this year and didn’t share much….shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone!

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My mom and I in the kitchen after our Christmas Eve program at church-2014!

And now that I am a wife and mother, I LOVE doing the same for my little family!

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Take my hubby, Kris, for instance….the man LOVES, LOVES, LOVES, the French Dip Sandwiches in our book, Slow Cookin’ Companion. Pair them with mac & corn and you have not only just made his day, but his week too! Love this man with all I have!

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My sweet Gager boy loves him some homemade chicken pot pie. I’ve never seen a kid eat so much food. I love seeing his precious smile when he smells the aroma and says, you made CHICKEN POT PIE!!!! Thanks mom! He is a basketball playing fool! We surprised him with Spurs tickets and you would have thought he won the lottery!

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Oh and my Gracie girl can put away anything sweet of course, but when I fix her pork chops, she just rants and raves about that “chicken”, LOL! Speaking of chicken, she loves Chicken in a Hurry toooooo! How I can forget that one I do not know, as she says we eatin’ that chicken on the bone?! I love it when Gracie looks through the cookbook to find something for me to make!

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I don’t know if y’all have a ritual or not when it comes to cooking and food, but my family sure does. You cannot have meatloaf without mac & cheese and green beans! Hamburgers, baked beans, and mac & cheese or macaroni & tomato. Campfire stew will NOT be eaten without each saltine cracker buttered and individually placed in the bowl to be broken in half and then gobbled up. Taco Stew has to be accompanied by shredded cheese, sour cream, fritos, and guacamole, and in making casseroles they have to be accompanied with a big, huge, fresh green salad loaded with lots of veggies! YUMMY!

Don’t forget to checkout our new cookbook, It’s Our Crockin’ Life, hitting shelves August 2015 for all brand new delicious recipes!

French Dip Sandwiches
Chicken in a Hurry

Happy Crockin’ Y’all,

Nicole

 

 

All-Dayer Cookbook Inspiration

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Y’all, we are beyond excited for you to get your copy of It’s Our Crockin’ Life! At first glance you will see a fresh take on our first book, with all new recipes, the same beautiful food shots for each recipe, a binding that allows the book to lay flat on the counter, and TONS of new crockin’ dishes to try (over 170!). You will notice some differences in the layout and this is one of our favorite new features of the new book- instead of appetizers through desserts, we have organized this book into chapters of lifestyle. It’s Our Crockin’ Life and we want to show you how we are crockin’ our way through all of the different phases, stages, bumps, turns, and celebrations along the way. Throughout the next few weeks we are going to be giving you a little taste of how you can use each of the chapters in our NEW book. Happy Crockin’ Yall!

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The All-Dayer

Out of the house all day, but still want to have a yummy meal ready and waiting? Who doesn’t want that?! Whether you are working hard or playing hard this chapter will help you have a yummy dinner waiting that is cooked to perfection!

Most of the time I am looking for a recipe that can cook alllll day, it is because we are going to be crazy busy with school activities, ball games, and just the normal hustle and bustle of life! Sometimes you have to stop and just soak up the little moments and that means no time to be cooped up in the kitchen!

Here’s what the fun side of ALL DAYER looks like to me… at least until school starts ;) A day at the farm! We do not live in the same town where the family’s farm is, so we start and end our day with a pretty little 30 minute drive.

A little crochet in the truck on the way…Let’s just say I am not the most fun passenger in the car- so I like to have something to keep me busy and calm my nerves! And I end up with a couple pretty dishcloths for my kitchen too- can’t beat that!

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First thing’s first. The reason we come…They know where the food is at, haha! We love checking in on all the new little bittys we have running around. Not many things are cuter than a newborn calf… and you should hear the names the kids come up with!

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The kids are really a big help, but today we just let the boys do the work.

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And we took pictures :)

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They love it out on the farm, they can run and play and be in their own little world. It is peaceful, and quiet, and somehow they can find fun in anything! What am I talking about “they” love it?  I feel the same! Unplugged, uninterrupted time. Gotta love it! Pretty beautiful place to be, too! Forget fancy… we are soaking up the country life :)

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Who Knew a Snowman Candy Dish Had So Much Meaning?!

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This little dude came out every year, around Christmas time in my mom and dad’s house growing up and still does. A mixture of Christmas colored plain and peanut MnM’s is the ONLY kind of candy that goes in this dish!

It’s funny what we remember as kids. I can remember decorating the tree, well cutting it down first. Forever my dad had a tree farm and we literally went right out to the back pasture and cut down our own Christmas tree. We would then bring it in and start decorating. We always had the Christmas Disney album playing while decorating the tree. Alvin and the Chipmunks song “Christmas Don’t Be Late” was my absolute favorite song on the album. Sometimes decorating would lead to dancing around the living room to all the Christmas tunes, and my dad would have to reign us in and get our focus on decorating again. We always decorated our stair bannisters and then would move to the kitchen to put out all the knick knacks. This is when it happened!!! The snowman would make his way out of the box, mom would clean him up good, and then the drying took FOREVER!!!!! and then finally the scrumptious MnM’s would fill his body from head to toe!!! At this moment is when we, as a family, were ready for Christmas (or let me just say, that was my thinking as a child)! As my parents have grown older, sometimes all my mom and dad’s decorations don’t make it out every year, but this snowman definitely makes his way to the kitchen counter and he is always full of MnM’s.

 

My first Christmas to decorate in my own home (which was in college), I ran out to find me a glass candy dish snow man and I found this guy pictured below. He has made his way out of the box every year at Christmas time. As I pulled him out this year, while the kiddos were at school, they came home and immediately noticed our little snowman and were just as excited as I was when my mom pulled ours out. Although he isn’t as cute as my mom’s, he brings me such a sense of home, wonderful memories, and great JOY!
Merry Christmas,
Nicole

Halloween Costume Situation, Marwitz Style

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So I am a bit obsessive when it comes to dressing my kiddos. I like for them to have “style”, lol! Both of my kiddos came home in outfits with bonnets. Old fashion, timeless outfits. Blue gingham for Spence and pink with lace for Miss Stella. When Spencer was little I put him in little newsboy hats and fedoras, and he rocked them. With Stella it has always been about mixing prints (leopard is a MUST), ruffles meet preppy, and BIG BOWS are her signature look. They have pretty much allowed it with little to no resistance.

At around 4 years old, Spencer started wanting to wear “cool clothes” as in elastic waist everything. Having a daddy that is a coach doesn’t help matters much in his desire to wear all things “sporty”. I could feel my little style baby slipping away. Stella on the other hand has embraced fashion with a fierce desire to leave her stamp on the world. I allow her to make some style choices in her wardrobe and she actually can mix and match quite well.

I feel like this year’s Halloween costume choices are a wake up call for me when it comes to facing the fact that my kiddos are growing into their own, and I think I am handling it quite well, lol! You see, I enjoy coordinating my kids clothing in the day to day, so you can imagine what ideas run through my mind for coordinating costumes. The first halloween Stella was born she was almost 6 months old and I made her the cutest little black kitty cat costume and big brother (a little over 2 at the time) was her fire fighter to the rescue.

The next halloween we went with the CUTEST (and my craftiest, I might add) duo. I made them costumes to be a cowboy (he was 3) and a little indian girl (she was 18 months). These costumes might forever be my most favorite for all time.

Last year (Spencer was 4 and Stella was 2) I knew things were about to start unravelling so I held on as tight as I could to squeeze in one more year of the matchy matchy. With his love of super heroes I convinced Spencer to go as Clark Kent Superman and we made Stella a Super Woman costume. You will notice a pattern in all 3 of Stella’s costumes… we love a tutu.

As I received oohs and ahhhs of admiration each year, I tucked them away for the rainy day I knew would come. The day when they would have their own ideas on their halloween costumes. The time is now. I have strolled down memory lane soaking up their cuteness in previous years costumes, but I look at their costumes this year and I can’t help but smile! I smile because they know what they like, they have their own ideas, and they are PROUD of their choices. I love to see them happy more than almost anything, and I know we won’t soon forget the year of Raphael (or Raphaeyel as spencer says it) and The Unicorn Rider ;)