Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

I’m always looking for a tasty slow cooker recipe.  The slow cooker is such a time saver during the week or on the weekend – after a little bit of prep time, set it and get on with your life.  Then, when it’s dinner time, your kitchen will smell wonderful and dinner is ready!  It’s just hard to find recipes that TASTE good, but this one does!  This chicken chili is great over rice.  Feel free to add extra hot sauce to your bowl if this is not spicy enough for you.

buffalo-chicken-chili

Recipe adapted from Katie Lee on Food Network.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 4 hours

Serves: 8 people

Ingredients:

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
One 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce (or 1/4 cup butter and a scant 1/8 cup hot sauce)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, minced (optional)
1 medium yellow onion, diced

Directions:

In a slow cooker pot, combine the chicken broth, beans, chiles, wing sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, celery, bay leaf, shredded chicken, jalapeno and onion and mix. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Serve over white rice with desired toppings: celery leaves, blue cheese, Cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and/or cilantro; cornbread on the side.

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This is a tasty oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that’s simple to make.  It’s a nice combination of crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty.  If you prefer not to use the vegetable shortening, you can substitute with coconut oil.  Also, instead of bittersweet chocolate, you can use any chocolate you prefer (I use bittersweet or dark chocolate).  Enjoy!

Salted Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate

Recipe from Real Simple Magazine.

Salted Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoons flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

large egg

teaspoon pure vanilla extract

ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375° F with the rack in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat the butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until lightly and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined (do not over mix). Stir in the chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Storage suggestion: Keep the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

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I know I can’t complain about all of the rain we’ve been getting in California, but this weather is gloomy and it puts me in the mood to bake!  I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade granola and when I read that the amazing restaurant Eleven Madison Park (NYC) hands it out to their patrons as a thank you, I thought that was such a nice touch … and I knew it had to be good!  A quick trip to the bulk section at Whole Foods supplied me with all of my healthy ingredients.  This granola is delicious — healthy, salty, sweet, crunchy, nutty, and well, addictive.  So good on top of plain yogurt (and maybe vanilla ice cream) or on its own!  This would make a nice gift in a mason jar too.

Granola

Recipe from Eleven Madison Park, published in the NYT Magazine

 

Eleven Madison Park Granola

Makes: 6 cups

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/3 cup pumpkinseeds
1 tablespoon salt
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup dried sour cherries

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.

2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

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This recipe uses raw corn and zucchini, which I wasn’t brave enough to try!  I boiled my corn on the cob for 9 or 10 minutes and then removed the kernels … and I blanched the zucchini for a quick minute.  I also made the vinaigrette (olive oil and lemon) in a separate small bowl and added it into the salad (I didn’t use it all).  I would definitely double this recipe as it only serves 2.  This would be great for lunch or a BBQ dinner while fresh corn is still available.

Quinoa with Zucchini, Corn, Parsley & Basil

Recipe from blog Gourmette NYC.

Quinoa with Zucchini, Corn, Parsley, and Basil

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 ear of corn, kernels removed
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced (use a mandoline for best results)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup minced basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, corn, zucchini, parsley, and basil. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and toss, adding more olive oil and lemon juice if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.

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A trip to the farmer’s market might inspire you to bake this simple summer dessert.  The night before we went berry picking, I happened to watch an episode of “Pioneer Woman” on The Food Network and I was drawn to Ree’s simple, down-home country style of cooking (and life!)  She seems so cheery and at peace, despite jugging quite a lot.  Anyway, this dessert looked so simple to pull together that I just had to try it.  We came home from berry picking with pounds of boysenberries, so I used them instead of blackberries (I’m sure juicy blueberries would taste great too).  This couldn’t have been easier, the kitchen smelled so good, and served warm, this cobbler was crispy on the top, a little cake-y in the middle, and the warm fruit melts in your mouth.  Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this was an awesome summer treat.  Enjoy!

Blackberry Cobbler

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman show.

Blackberry Cobbler

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1/2 stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries
Whipped cream and/or ice cream, for serving

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted butter.

Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. When 10 minutes of the cooking time remains, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Top with whipped cream or ice cream … or both!

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My neighbor Jess was telling me about a smoothie that she made everyday for a year.  I figured if she did that, it had to be good.  But once she starting telling me the ingredients, I wasn’t so sure about the peanut butter.  Peanut butter in a drink?  But trust me.  It’s delicious.  I’ve now been making this smoothie for a regular afternoon snack and my boys can’t get enough of it.  Enjoy!

Crazy good spinach smoothie

Recipe from my neighbor Jess

Ingredients:

1 cup milk, almond milk, or coconut milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter

3 handfuls of fresh spinach (pre-washed)

1 banana, sliced

1  1/2 handfuls of ice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree, adding ice at the very end.

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