Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slow Cookers to the Rescue

In the next couple months, I'll be needing meals that:

  • are easy to prepare
  • contain simple, non-perishable ingredients
  • don't require much supervision to cook
  • make enough for leftovers
  • are tasty
  • are inexpensive

To my rescue, came http://www.365daysofcrockpot.com.

Below are four slow cooker chicken recipes from that wonderful, wonderful website. If you are a busy, frugal, frazzled cook, I highly recommend checking out this website.
(All four of these recipes can also be found at http://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/search/label/Chicken%20dishes)


Karen Petersen's Slow Cooker Oriental Chicken (taken from Jenn Jergensen's recipe)

5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I would use thighs because breasts become too dry in the slow cooker, thighs stay moist and juicy)
Sauce:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca (there is no chance for sauce to reduce naturally in the slow cooker so using tapioca really helps. If you don't have tapioca I would use cornstarch at the end or maybe dredge the chicken in flour before adding it to the slow cooker)
1/4 cup water (optional) (no water since food become runny in the slow cooker)

1. Mix the butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, tapioca and Dijon mustard together in a bowl.
2. Place chicken thighs in bottom of slow cooker.
3. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
4. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours (chicken should only ever be cook on LOW and most of the time only for 4-6 hours, it's kind of temperamental).
5. Serve chicken and sauce over rice.



Sweet Salsa Chicken

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup salsa
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup diced onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp water

1. Combine tomato paste, diced onion, garlic and water in small microwave safe bowl. Cook in microwave for 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute. Onions should be soft. Transfer to the slow cooker.
2. Place chicken, salsa, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, tapioca and Worcestershire in slow cooker. Stir gently to combine.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Break up chicken with a fork into large pieces.
4. Cover and cook for an additional hour to really coat the individual pieces in the sauce.
5. Serve alone or shred and serve wrapped up in tortillas.


Nacho Cheese Soup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (frozen is fine)

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup salsa

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 tsp lime juice

2 garlic cloves

1 (10 3/4 oz) can Campbells


Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup

1/2 cup chopped red pepper (optional)

1 tsp cumin

1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles


1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, or as much as desired

1 cup frozen corn

1 (14 oz) can black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained (optional)

Salt and pepper

Tortilla chips, grated cheese, and sour cream

1. Place chicken, broth, salsa, tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, soup, red pepper, cumin and green chilies in slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

3. Add in cilantro, corn and beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in more cumin to taste, if needed.

4. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes.

5. Serve with chips, cheese and sour cream



Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

Serves 4

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1/4 cup flour
1 (20 oz) can pineapple rings, juice reserved
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 green bell pepper, diced (optional)

1. Dredge the chicken thighs in the flour and place in the slow cooker.
2. Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic powder, tapioca and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the chicken.
3. Top the chicken and sauce with the pineapple rings.
4. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Add in the green pepper and cook for another 30 minutes on HIGH (without lid).
5. Serve over rice.

Gourmet B’s opinion: I personally would top this with coconut flakes, chow mein noodles, green onions, and diced tomatoes (like Hawaiian haystacks, but with extra flavor)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dying to Try these Recipes

I just discovered annies-eats.net, and I am in love. Here are some sample recipes to get you salivating (and these are just from the appetizer section...there is much, much more):

Baked Brie en Croute with Apple Compote
http://annies-eats.net/2010/10/06/baked-brie-en-croute-with-apple-compote/


Strawberry Bruschetta
http://annies-eats.net/2011/06/13/strawberry-bruschetta/


Creamy Chicken Taquitos
http://annies-eats.net/2011/04/27/creamy-chicken-taquitos/


Mini Crab Cakes
http://annies-eats.net/2010/12/28/mini-crab-cakes/

Jalapeno Popper Dip
http://annies-eats.net/2010/10/21/jalapeno-popper-dip/

Monday, June 6, 2011

Help Someone in Need

I was asked to share this letter. It was written by author Cheri Chesley. Please read the letter and give if you can.



My friend, Rebecca White, is 35 years old and has breast cancer. She got her diagnosis May 11th. She had a mastectomy May 13th. Three days later, she went back to the doctor to have the bandages removed. She confessed, almost in a whisper, that she just wasn't ready to see under the bandages.

Rebecca is an amazing, strong person. She's so skilled in all those craft-type things that leave me with glue on my fingers and glitter in my hair. She has a happy marriage and three great kids age 10 and under. Rebecca could be me. She could be your sister, your friend, your mother. She could be you. You can meet her and get to know her on her blog, http://allaboutthewhites.blogspot.com/

In general terms, we know cancer can strike anyone at any time. It's not an old person's disease anymore. It strikes children, mothers; in short, anyone. Soon Rebecca will start her chemotherapy. We're all optimistic for a positive outcome, but cancer surgeries and treatments do not come cheaply. Since she won't let me shave my head, I've decided to show my support for Rebecca in other ways.

This is more than taking her meals and taking her kids to and from church; I've done that. Anyone can do that, and they do. We have a supportive ward out here. But I wanted to take it a step further.

I'm donating all my book sales income through August 31st to help Rebecca and her family pay their medical expenses. This is something they need, and in order to make it the most effective I need all the help I can get. And this is why I'm appealing to everyone I can. My book sales don't just mean the royalties from selling print copies of The Peasant Queen (which, incidentally, is on LDS Living's Summer Reading List), but also all income from my two e-books--The Wild Queen and my short story, Ghost Bride.

It's so easy. All you have to do is purchase depending on your interests and ability to help. The Wild Queen and Ghost Bride can be found at http://www.smashwords.com/, which not only offers the e-books for every e-reader including simply your home computer, but also offers the highest revenues.

Printed copies of The Peasant Queen can be found, or ordered, at your local bookstores. You can also find it online at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Peasant-Queen-Cheri-Chesley/dp/159955416X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306344382&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Peasant-Queen/Cheri-Chesley/e/9781599554167/?itm=2&USRI=the+peasant+queen+by+cheri+chesley

And Borders: http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?type=0&catalogId=10001&simple=1&defaultSearchView=List&keyword=the+peasant+queen+by+cheri+chesley&LogData=[search%3A+14%2Cparse%3A+89]&searchData={productId%3Anull%2Csku%3Anull%2Ctype%3A0%2Csort%3Anull%2CcurrPage%3A1%2CresultsPerPage%3A25%2CsimpleSearch%3Atrue%2Cnavigation%3A0%2CmoreValue%3Anull%2CcoverView%3Afalse%2Curl%3Arpp%3D25%26view%3D2%26all_search%3Dthe%2Bpeasant%2Bqueen%2Bby%2Bcheri%2Bchesley%26type%3D0%26nav%3D0%26simple%3Dtrue%2Cterms%3A{all_search%3Dthe+peasant+queen+by+cheri+chesley}}&storeId=13551&sku=159955416X&ddkey=http:SearchResults

Amazon and Barnes and Noble also offer each book for the Kindle or Nook, respectively.

Thank you in advance for your help, and happy reading!

Blog post: http://cherichesley.blogspot.com/2011/05/easiest-way-to-give.html