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Monthly Archives: September 2012

And then there was one

Two is too many for me….so, I’m just going to be doing everything on my other blog Chasing Simplicity

I hope you join me there!


Slow Cooker Chicken Parm

Do you know what this is? An empty crockpot…aka, the sign of a successfully slow cooked dinner in my house!

This wasn’t in my plan or anything for dinner, but since I go to the market on Thursday afternoons our ingredient list was running pretty slim. The only meat I had in the house was chicken anyway, so that was an easy choice. Chicken Parm was really the only option for a slow cooked meal based on my cupboard. I served this meal with Near East Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Quinoa and sautéed green beans….I didn’t even have noodles in my house! The quinoa was hiding on a shelf up high, too, it was a lucky find! I know, I need to plan a little better, I’ve really been slacking in the planning meals area…just going to the market and buying staples and a generic hodgepodge of ingredients that we usually use.


I got this recipe from Chef in Training who got it from Siggy Spice.

It isn’t difficult and I like that the recipe called to add the cheese before adding the sauce, I had never tried this before and for the first time EVER my slow cooker cheese wasn’t crispy on top with a recipe like this. That’s one for the toolkit!

I did not use bread crumbs, I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour, 22-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) and added additional spices (garlic powder, onion powder, basil, and oregano). I also put a very thin layer of sauce on top of the layer of olive oil in the crockpot. I don’t like the way chicken tastes when it cooks that long directly on the slow cooker dish, that’s just me though. My husband and kids also added a lot more shredded mozzarella to the dish when it was finished…they’re very cheesy people 🙂

So…without further delay here is the recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parm
by Siggy Spice

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs *(I used gluten free all purpose flour mixed with a pinch of garlic salt, onion salt, oregano, and basil)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t kosher salt
1 TBSP olive oil
1 egg, beaten
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
favorite jarred marinara sauce

Spread the 1 TBSP of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot. *(I also put a very small amount of marinara sauce on the bottom as well)
Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl.
Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the Parmesan cheese in another separate dish.
Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings.
Place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crockpot.
Layer 2-3 slices or 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you like.
Cover chicken and cheese with entire jar of marinara sauce.
Close lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3.
Serve with your favorite pasta or whatever side you’d like.

Stuff your face!

Turkey Meatballs with Spicy-Sweet Dipping Sauce

That’s a spicy meatball…not really, it’s actually just a very plain turkey meatball, but the sauce…the dipping sauce, now that…that is spicy!

Spicy and sweet and it calls you back for more, so much more!

This is a great appetizer kind of dish. My husband makes this a lot during football season…the rest of us eat a lot of this during football season 🙂

It’s easy!

Make your favorite meatballs, we prefer turkey meatballs with this sauce. Our turkey meatballs are extraordinarily plain, but they are fantastic.

Turkey Meatballs

1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F and put a very light coat of olive oil on the bottom of a roasting pan or pyrex baking dish.
2. Add salt and pepper to 2 lbs of 93/7 ground turkey in a bowl. Mix it up with your hands.
3. Shape the meat into the size meatballs you prefer, we like medium size.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes. My husband turns them over 15 minutes into it. I don’t. They turn out fine either way.
5. Take them out and let them settle…then stuff your face.

Dipping Sauce

1. Blend one can of chilis in adobo sauce with the amount of honey you’d like. I prefer 2 parts honey to 1 part adobo. My husband prefers equal parts.
2. Put in little side bowls, or one big bowl…eat with your meatballs.

Go root for your favorite team…GO TEAM!

Too easy!

** Here is my disclaimer. I have no idea where my husband found this recipe or if he just whipped it up. He reads recipes in magazines and searches online for recipes. He takes parts of some recipes and mixes them with others. He is a very good cook. The inventive kind, I can read and follow directions with success. He has the ability to think of new recipes. I’m not really like that. If I knew where he got this I’d certainly give credit where credit is due.

Food Waste – A potato, some turkey….and almost a whole meal!

This week we lost a potato to mold, some deli turkey and sadly almost an entire meal. I have no picture of the gross slow cooker meal.

The meal came from a blog that I’ve used tons of times and have never had a single failure with. It was sad, really. I won’t ditch the site, but I definitely will not make this again. It was an Asian style chicken dish and required a lot of soy sauce. But there was a lot of honey as well, I thought it would balance it out….I was wrong. Everyone tried it, no one ate more than a bite.

It was not very good at all. The soy sauce was just way to salty for us. It was a slow cooker meal, and it tasted burnt as well.

It pained me to toss so much chicken. Not so much because of the cost, although that is annoying…I can think of much better things to do with the money instead of wasting it on something I put in the garbage can. But the more I think of why it really bothers me to toss meat the more it hits me that the real reason is because a living thing had to die for us to eat it. Now, I’m not going to get all crazy or anything, but it’s something to think about. I mean, I wouldn’t just go take out an animal for the heck of it, and I don’t care that the animals are bred for this either…I still wouldn’t take them out for the heck of it.

So, sorry Mr. Turkey and Mr. Chicken….

Overnight Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

I’ve never had much success with slow cooking overnight. The supposed-to-be breakfasts burn, and if thy aren’t visibly burnt they taste like they are. I follow all of the instructions for the recipes and there is no sign of slow cooking sabotage by my family of cold cereal lovers….but regardless, I am always disappointed when this happens. But, I don’t give up hope…good thing, because I found a winner!

This sweet potato recipe by Ms. Simplicity worked like a charm overnight. I followed the recipe and then just turned it on at 10 p.m. on my way to bed. At 6 a.m. this was a perfect breakfast on the back porch with the cool fall breeze blowing.

I did throw back a couple pieces of bacon with this, great balance of salty and sweet.

Applesauce Pancakes

It has been about 40 degrees outside in the morning this week with a soft breeze. It’s lovely. Fall is my favorite season. It being Waffle-ish Wednesday and all I decided to make some pancakes, with a fall flavor. Applesauce Pancakes by Mr. Breakfast! They have to be good, right….the man is named Mr. Breakfast!

Any applesauce will do, I used some I made and canned last fall. Spiced Chunky Applesauce from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. You can find some recipes from the book online, but if you like to can, or want to learn how to can, it is an excellent addition to your culinary library. Spiced and chunky comes from added seasonings (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) and bigger pieces of apples.

These pancakes are delicious and we didn’t even add syrup or any toppings to them.

Definitely be conscious of the heat when cooking them, and pay close attention to make sure that they don’t burn. I make pancakes on a cast iron griddle piece that goes directly on the stove top. I have found that making these pancakes on medium works out better, they are delicate and will require longer cooking time, but your tummy will thank you.

Now here is the pitfall with breakfast in my house. My kids are picky eaters. Sometimes I feel like they are punishing themselves with their pickiness. I made breakfast before they woke up, fully aware of their finicky tastes. All of them were more than halfway through their breakfast with nothing but compliments. Then came the question — “Mom, what’s in these?” Before I could answer my 6 year old noticed the jar of open applesauce……and shrieked….”grooooooossssssss, applesauce!” 3 of the 4 little eaters pushed their plates away and wouldn’t take another bite. This doesn’t make any sense! They loved them just two seconds before. Anyway….if you enjoy applesauce and pancakes, I would definitely make this dish!

Applesauce Pancakes by Mr. Breakfast

(4 servings)
1 and 1/4 cups applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg – lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon butter – melted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, stir together milk, egg and butter.

Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir.

Add applesauce and vanilla and stir.

Heat a griddle or large frying pan to medium-high heat with a light coating of butter or vegetable oil.

Dollop batter in 1/4 cup amounts to make pancakes.

When batter begins to bubbles and the edges start to brown, flip and cook until the other side is golden brown.

Serve with butter and maple syrup, or go apple-crazy and serve with applesauce on top.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

This recipe is definitely one I had to keep telling myself “don’t knock it ’til you try it” and I’m so glad that I did try it! My family really enjoyed it as well. This meal is definitely in our cool weather, comfort food rotation.

5 Dollar Dinners is a great website for yummy and frugal meals. (I linked directly to this recipe) So, definitely browse around her collection of tasty supper options!

I used homemade enchilada sauce adapted from food network’s recipe, I just switched the all purpose flour out with cornstarch.

The recipe for the enchilada sauce is below.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour (**I used 1 Tbs of cornstarch instead)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings. Serve atop your favorite enchiladas.

The Recipe Girl has another fantastic enchilada recipe as well using ground beef and zucchini.

Do you have another favorite recipe you’d like to share for enchiladas?