Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘weekend’

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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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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I love making pancakes for my family on the weekend, but have you ever noticed how much sugar is in a lot of the store-bought pancake mixes?  My friend Sarah told me about this super healthy pancake mix.  She has lots of little mouths to feed, so she makes a big batch of this dry mix ahead of time.  You’ll have to shop for some specialty ingredients at Whole Foods or a specialty store, but you’ll be glad you did.  I will be making this again and again for my family – my boys love it!  The pancakes are healthy, so you will need to top with a dab of butter, real Vermont maple syrup or molasses, and fresh fruit.  Note: the recipe makes a big batch of mix, which is great for storing in a container for future use.Goldie's Whole Grain Pancake Mix Recipe slightly adapted from “Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents

Goldie’s Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Makes 6 cups dry mix.

“This basic pancake mix comes from Goldie Caughlan, nutrition educator at Puget Consumers Co-op in Seattle.  There are many types of whole grain flours besides wheat that can be used to make baked goods.  This recipe utilizes a combination of several.  One perk of this mix is that it works equally well for waffles.”

Ingredients:

2 cups barley flour

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup blue cornmeal

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and store in air tight container.

Buttermilk Banana Pancakes

Recipe slightly adapted from “Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents

Makes ten 5-inch pancakes.

Ingredients:

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups Goldie’s Whole Grain Pancake Mix

1 cup buttermilk (can substitute with plain yogurt and a bit of water)

1/2 cup water

1 ripe banana, cut into thin slices

Vegetable Oil for griddle

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, water, and pancake mix.  Mix thoroughly with a whisk.  Add egg and banana to batter and gently fold in.  Heat griddle to medium high and coat surface with small amount of oil.  Pour enough batter onto griddle to form a 5-inch pancake.  When pancake has cooked on the bottom (tiny bubbles form on the top), flip with a spatula and cook the other side.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.  Keep cooled pancakes in a warm oven until ready to serve.

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I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s always a hit (even with the kids)!  If you love artichokes (um, yeah!) and olives (yeah!), and you’re looking for something new to do with chicken (please!), then try this meal.  I serve it with crusty bread (rustic sourdough loaf) which is great for soaking up any excess liquid.  I hope you love this!

 

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives

Slightly adapted from Epicurious | February 2013; originally from The Longetivy Kitchen by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson

 

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Total Time: about an hour

Ingredients

  • 8 organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 11/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
  • 8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 2/3 cup whole pitted green olives, such as Picholine or Manzanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro

Preparation

Pat the chicken dry and season salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, add back the chicken thighs, and cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Check largest chicken thigh with a digital thermometer to make sure it is cooked through to at least 170 degrees in the center.  Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you will likely want to add another squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Garnish with the mint or cilantro.

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I love a tasty wheat berry salad any time of year.  Wheat berries are so healthy (filled with fiber, protein and iron) and they have a wonderful chewy texture and a nutty, earthy flavor.  This is my favorite recipe that I’ve tried so far – it’s salty, sweet, nutty and chewy.  Since this recipe yields about 3 cups, I sometimes double it since it’s great leftover for lunch or dinner (or bites in between).  It’s best served warm or at room temperature.   Note: I make a vinaigrette with my leftover basil dressing — I just add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.

Wheat Berry Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts and Basil

Recipe from the blog Whipped.

Wheat Berry Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Basil
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1 cup soft wheat berries, rinsed
3 cups water
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
1 cup loosely packed basil plus 5 additional large leaves chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3  cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine the wheat berries, water and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy, about an hour or so. The berries should stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Chewy but firm. Drain and season to taste with more salt.

To make the dressing, put olive oil and 1 cup clean, loosely packed basil leaves in a blender with a pinch of salt. Drizzle desired amount over wheat berries and stir to coat.  You can also substitute a store bought pesto mixed with extra olive oil to make it runny enough to use as a dressing.

Toast pine nuts in a pan or oven (I use a toaster oven) until light brown.  Toss pine nuts, crumbled feta and ribbons of basil into the salad.

HINT: Stack basil leaves on top of each other.  Roll them up the long way to create a “cigarette” shape.  Slice it very thin (1/8 inch).  You will have nice ribbons of basil for garnish or salads.

 

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I had been in search of the perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe for a while, so was so excited when my mother-in-law Patsy  told me about this one that she found.  It’s straightforward but is a little time consuming, so I would call this a “weekend” or “special occasion” soup – not one I’d whip up all the time during the week.  It’s a hit with kids and always fun for people to add their own toppings.  This is the perfect soup to keep you warm during the cold winter months.  Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

Recipe slightly adapted from the one on food site Chow.com, which was adapted from the Neiman Marcus Cookbook.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Total cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 8-12 people

“There are a lot of ingredients in this soup, but each one plays a part in its big flavor. To make it, first soften vegetables including onion, carrot, and bell pepper in a pot, then add dry spices to bring out their flavors. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and tortillas, then let the mixture simmer until everything melds and the tortillas disintegrate to make a thick and hearty soup. Finally, throw in shredded chicken and garnish with fried tortilla strips, or if you want to skip frying the strips, just use regular crushed-up tortilla chips.

For a thicker soup, use 10 corn tortillas rather than 8.”

INGREDIENTS

For the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium celery stalk, medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you want a spicy soup!)
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 8 to 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the tortilla strips:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To finish:

  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 16 ounces) (Note: I use chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken to save time!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or more if you want a richer soup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnishes:

  • Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Sour cream
INSTRUCTIONS
For the soup:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, water, tomatoes, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add the tortillas, and stir to combine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tortillas have disintegrated and the soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the tortilla strips.

For the tortilla strips:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (about 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer), about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stack the tortillas on a cutting board. Cut the stack in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.
  3. When the oil is ready, add a handful of the tortilla strips and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips; set aside.

To finish:

  1. When the soup is ready, add the chicken and cream and stir to combine. Simmer until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Serve the soup topped with the tortilla strips, passing any desired garnishes on the side.
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