For my Asian dressing 4-1-1 I used fresh ginger. I love ginger and how it really gives a nice kick to recipes and dishes. I am not sure how most people peel it, but I learned this trick in a cooking class during my Master's program and it is really easy.





So this was my first homemade video for my blog. My apologies for the poor quality although I am excited to post a homemade video.

Note: I hope the video works, the first time I tried it I must have done it wrong. Fingers crossed!
toasted sesame ginger salad dressing

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I needed wanted a salad dressing with an Asian flavoring to it. Not one to follow recipes, I gathered the ingredients I wanted to use and began experimenting. I came up with this fantastic tasting dressing that is super simple to make and remember. But before I share the recipe, here is a reason why making your own dressing is best.

Here are the ingredients on a bottle of sesame dressing you can buy at the store:
Soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame seeds, contains less than 2% of spice, garlic, caramel color, citric acid, garlic juice, xanthan gum, phosphoric acid, natural flavor, propylene glycol alginate, polysorbate 60, vinegar, salt, vitamin e
I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup whenever possible. So here is my homemade Asian dressing. You'll see why I named it 4-1-1 as well. 

Ingredients
4 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy or tamari sauce
1 Tbsp grated ginger (I use a Microplane Zester
1 Tbsp raw honey

I put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk (you really don't need 3 whisks, but are these not the prettiest!) them.

It is that simple. And because it is a 4-to-1 ratio, it is really easy to remember.

I have done a series of homemade dressings and sauces, where you can find all of them listed with links.


Simple slow cooker chicken recipe



This slow cooker recipe is courtesy of my mom. When she told me how to do it, I did not believe her. But since mom knows best I did it exactly how she told me and it turned out fantastic.

And yes, it really has only 2 components. 






Why 2 components?

There really are only 2 things you need for this chicken - a whole chicken and spices. I could say 2 ingredients, but one component (the spices) could be made up of several ingredients. I am really trying to use the term ingredients to talk about individual items. Like my 10 ingredients or less real food board.

So on to the simple recipe.

Ingredients
1 whole chicken
~ 2-3 Tbsp. spices - you could use a spice packet as well, but it is really easy to throw together some spices from scratch

In case you are wondering, no you don't need any liquid. I promise.

Directions
1. Rub spice mix over entire chicken.
2. Place chicken in the slow cooker - breast side down*.
3. Cook for 6-8 hours on high.

*You don't have to do breast side down, but it really is so much better. The breast tends to be the driest part of the chicken. By cooking the chicken upside down, the breast gets cooked in the juices and does not dry out. I have even roasted chickens in the oven upside down for this same reason.

When trying to eat more real food, whole foods, it is common to decrease the number of ingredients you eat and go for less processed foods. So seeing something that has only 3 ingredients seems like it might fit into that category.  For those of you on Pinterest you may have seen recipes like this posted.

3 Ingredient 3 Musketeers

3 Ingredient Butterfinger

It's stated that they are made with only three ingredients. Let's look at the butterfinger recipe.







1 Lb candy corn
16 oz jar of creamy peanut butter #1's favorite brand
16 oz package chocolate candy coating

Seems simple and I am sure they taste fantastic. But these are no where near 3 ingredients. Let me write the recipe a different way.

1 Lb candy corn - sugar, corn syrup, confectioners glaze, artificial flavors, salt, artificial colors, egg whites, honey, glycerin, mineral oil, carnauba wax
16 oz jar of creamy peanut butter - roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt (depending on the brand - I chose Skippy Natural)
16 oz package chocolate candy coating - Sugar (Sugar, Corn Starch), Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Nonfat Dry Milk, Milk Powder, Cocoa, Soya Lecithin (An Emulsifier), Artificial and Natural Flavors.

I count 25 ingredients between the three components. Maybe that is how it should be named, 3 component butterfinger.






So far we have four piggy banks in our house. I really like piggies.

The small silver one was the first one I got while dating #1. The large pink one was the second one I got from #1. He brought it back from a trip. The flowered one is actually my baby's from my sister for Christmas. Finally the white angel piggy is from my SIL and family also for Christmas.

The pink piggy is nice and large and can hold a ton of change. So I designated that as the loose change piggy. I realized that I didn't really need another loose change piggy, because it would take quite a long time to fill up pinky. I needed Angel piggy to have a purpose.

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