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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Creamy Gravy and Vegetables

Inspired by my friends Dan and Scott of Platter Talk, I decided to make some slow cooker Chicken Thighs with Creamy Gravy and Vegetables. The fact that it is Summer and it is hot is good enough reason to pull out your Slow Cooker, a.k.a. Crock Pot so you are not heating up the house with the oven on.
My way of doing this dish though is that I do like to get the skin brown. So a quick searing for a few minutes in a skillet before transferring everything to the slow cooker is the only extra thing you have to do with regard to cooking the dish in the beginning. I use a blend of butter and regular olive oil because I like the flavor and the fact the olive oil helps with the smoking point of the butter.
To make this easy on yourself, brown the chicken the night before, cool it down properly and refrigerate and pull it out the next morning and toss everything together in the pot, set it to low and let it simmer away while you are at work.
The alternative is buy skinless thighs or cut the skin away yourself and nix the browning process all together.
  • 4-6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • 1/2 package frozen baby peas
  • 1/2 package frozen pearl onions
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 4 large carrots - peeled and sliced on the diagonal in 2 inch lengths
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic or jar garlic is fine
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  1. Wash your chicken under cold water. Dry thoroughly on paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl combine the granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Season both sides of the chicken thighs.
  3. In a skillet over medium to medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. When the butter starts to bubble add in the thighs skin side down. Brown the skin for about 3-4 minutes. Lift out of the pan and set on a waiting plate.
  4. Add the soup, the chicken broth and half and half to the crock pot and stir well.
  5. Then add in the dried thyme and minced garlic and mix well. Add in the chicken thighs and the carrots and stir.
  6. Cover. Set the temperature to low and simmer for 4-8 hours.
  7. When you come home, toss in the peas and cook for about 5 minutes more.
Serve over broad egg noodles for a complete meal.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quick and Easy: French Vanilla Cookies

I love easy dessert recipes. And starting off with a cake mix makes these cookies fast and easy if you need a dessert to come together quickly.
  • 1 box French Vanilla Cake Mix ( I used Betty Crocker®)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 stick melted butter
  1. In a microwave melt the butter or use a sauce pan on top of the stove. Let it cool down a bit.
  2. In a large bowl add the cake mix, 2 eggs, vanilla and sugar and cooled down butter. Use a hand held mixer or wooden spoon and mix until incorporated well.
  3. Use a scoop and place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. I used a 1 1/2" scoop.
  4. In a preheated 350° oven bake for about 10-15 minutes until the center comes out clean when inserted with a toothpick.
While the dough was on a tray but husband said, but they are not chocolate. God forbid I don't make chocolate! So my mind raced and I thought, well at the end when they come out of the oven I'll use the chocolate fudge sauce and sprinkle some over them hoping to satisfy the chocolate craving.

Well I wish I could say I invited some children in the kitchen to decorate the cookies with the fudge sauce, but no it was all me. I never professed to have certain baking skills and talents and these show that fact - however they are delicious and so inexpensive. There ended up to be 22 cookies for $3.30 total cost. So get in the kitchen with the kids and make a batch of cookies from a cake mix. You can swap out the cake mix for any flavor you like.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cavatelli with Sage Parmesan Sauce

I did a guest post on Dishin with Didi's blog. Here is the link to get the full recipe:

Hello everyone. My name is Patty Anderson and I am owner of a food blog titled, "Cooking on a Budget". Didi and I met on social media (Facebook) this past Winter season. We instantly connected and formed a wonderful friendship on line.
Most recently Didi has recommitted herself to spending more time cooking and blogging her own recipes and decided it was time to have a little make over on her blog. With that in mind she also thought that it would be great to have an occasional guest blogger come over with a recipe. How delighted am I that she chose me? I was thrilled, excited and it felt really, really good to be asked.
The recipe I chose to make and showcase here on Didi's blog represents the whole idea behind my blog which is to feed your family well and still maintain a decent food budget. This is a simple and inexpensive recipe that you could actually eat as a meal for lunch or dinner. It's delicious and filling. It would also make a lovely side dish to any poultry recipe. It would go absolutely wonderful alongside my Panko Crusted Chicken Cutlets for instance. I have fresh sage growing in the garden so that basically was my inspiration for this delicious and tasty pasta recipe.

This dish comes together so quickly and is not expensive at all. If you had to purchase a small amount of fresh sage the total cost for the dish is about $4.72, feeding four people. My cost was around $3.43. If you want to substitute dried sage for fresh sage, use 1 teaspoon of the dried sage.