January 26, 2012

crock pot dinners

i would love to cook dinner in my crock pot more often. however, i distrust a lot of recipes i find because i guess i just don't always believe that only three ingredients are all you need for a scrumptious main dish. what are your favorite crock pot dinner recipes? i'd really love to have some trusted recipes to try. thanks!

January 23, 2012

1 chicken, 5 ways, 7 days

last sunday i roasted a chicken and we used it all week for various meals. i thought i'd share what i did.

day 1: roasted chicken with roasted root vegetables

i had a 4lb chicken, doused in harry and david's turkey rub, that i roasted @ 375 for a little over an hour and a half in my roasting pan. while it was cooling and i was making gravy from the drippings, i made cooked my roasted root vegetables. save the gravy for a meal later in the week.

day 2 and 3: chicken soft tacos

i took some of the breast meat that wasn't covered with turkey rub and marinated it in a little bit of olive oil, lime juice, garlic salt and cumin. then i quickly sauteed it and added all of our favorite soft taco toppings and voila! i served it with chips and my corn and bean salsa.

day 4: chinese noodles

this is something i grew up eating and i'm probably the only one who likes it, but my kids didn't seem to mind it, so it'll go on the list of possible future dinners. warm your favorite chicken stock. add fresh soba noodles (quickly cooked however you'd like--boiled, sauteed), shredded chicken, chunked boiled egg, green onions and soy sauce. i served it with some egg rolls i had made previously and frozen.

day 5: chef salad

some of my favorite add-ins are boiled egg, kidney beans, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, olives, sunflower seeds and croutons.

day 6 & 7: chicken and dumplings

i have never had, nor made this before so i had nothing to compare this to, but the whole family enjoyed it, so for right now, it's good enough for me. i got it from the better homes and gardens cook book and since the chicken was already cooked, i saved steps by using that and the gravy i had reserved from day 1. i served this over the roasted root vegetables we had on day 1 as well and it proved to be a good use of leftovers.


2 - 2 1/2 lbs meaty chicken pieces
3 C water
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 t dried basil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t dried marjoram
1/4 t pepper
1 bay leaf
1 C sliced celery
1 C sliced carrots
1/2 C sliced mushrooms
1 C flour
1 T snipped fresh parsley
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t dried oregano
1 beaten egg
1/4 C milk
2 T vegetable oil


1. skin chicken and rinse. in a large pot combine chicken, 3 C water, onion, basil, 1/2 t salt, marjoram, pepper and bay leaf. bring to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes. add celery, carrots and mushrooms. return to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. discard bay leaf.

2. for dumplings, in a mixing bowl combine the 1 C flour, parsley, baking powder, the 1/4 t salt, and oregano. in another bowl combine the egg, milk and oil; add to flour mixture. stir with a fork til just moistened. drop batter onto the hot chicken and not onto the broth. return to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the dumplings comes out clean. transfer chicken and dumplings and vegetables to a serving platter, keep warm.

3. make gravy with remaining broth.

January 11, 2012

health nut blueberry muffins

a fun way to use some of the blueberries we picked this summer and a perfect after school snack. i got it from allrecipes.com. i didn't have oat bran so i substituted wheat bran and i didn't have a banana so i substituted about 1/3 C applesauce. they took 20 minutes in my oven.

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, or line with paper muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, oat bran, quick-cooking oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir in the blueberries and walnuts. In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed banana, buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix just until blended. Spoon into muffin cups, filling all the way to the top.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched.