I can’t believe it took me so long to blog this ginger honey chicken dish, because it was SO GOOD. While winter is in its last gasps I encourage everyone to make and enjoy this super-easy slow cooker recipe. As with all the best slow cooker situations, it’s quick to prep, makes your house smell delicious, and seems like you put waaaay more work into it than you actually did. Score, score, and score.
Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey ChickenRead More›
Some of my friends and I are in a Bachelor fantasy league. Feel free to make fun of me, I don’t care. It’s awesome and a legit excuse to drink a questionable about of wine on a weeknight. It’s kind of like fantasy football, but we “draft” the hot messes from each season of the Bachelor franchise and then hate-watch and track whose players earn the most points (from achievements like “revealing a sob story,” “secretly has a kid,” “hot tub bonus make out” etc.).
We take turns hosting – whoever is on weekly host duty is also in charge of dinner. I hosted the premiere last week and needed to make a big batch of healthy food – and this southwest spiced chicken was perfect. I was able to prep everything the night before, throw the chicken in the slow cooker before work the morning of, and when I came home dinner was basically done.
Now that is worth some major bonus “hot tub make out” points. (If by “hot tub” we mean “slow cooker” and “make out” we mean “cooking.”)
Southwest Spiced Slow Cooker ChickenRead More›
Mexican beer and fall-themed food. The perfect complement? Well, that’s what were determined to find out when Negra Modelo sent us a “pairing kit” to put it to the test. When presented with the opportunity to taste test, my answer is almost always yes. Negra Modelo sent us a box full of spices from The Spice House, two tulip glasses, a wooden cutting board, and a $50 Visa gift card to purchase the goods. Challenge accepted. Think of it as the at-home version of Chopped. Being seasonal food fans (mainly fall), we began planning a menu of fall foods that would highlight the spices (follow The Spice House recommendations) and pair well with a Vienna (dark) lager. Yes – a European beer style from Mexico. Here’s the menu:
- Aged Cabot Cheese with apples, fig jam, balsamic glaze, and crostini
- Spiced roasted brussels sprouts
- Sweet potato puree with nutmeg and cinnamon
- Ribeye steak with Quebec beef spice
- Cornish Hen with bicentennial seasoning
- Pork with bavarian style seasoning
We had a friend over and made a beer pairing tasting menu. Negra Modelo was served with the appetizer, followed by a taste of each protein with the sides. The beer and food was judged based on the flavor of each, whether the spices complemented the food, and if the beer paired well with each “course.” On to the tasting notes:
Negra Modelo (ABV: 5.4%)
Appearance: Dark caramel with a red hue
Aroma: Sweet scents with subtle scents of toast
Taste: Sweet malts give caramel flavor, biscuit flavor with light herbal and earthy tastes
Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp with lingering sweetness
Overall: A pleasant surprise, Negra Modelo provides more character than expected. While it is an InBev beer, I can forgive that if the brew offers some flavor. For a lager from Mexico, it offers the basic profile of a lager with extra sweetness of caramel and a toasty flavor as well. Tastes like it would pair well with fall foods. So here we go!Read More›
As I recently mentioned, I got me a crock pot! I’ve been trying to embrace my new slow cooker lifestyle by ummm, Pinterest-ing a lot of recipes to get an idea of good technique (such as the meat-searing tip in my recipe below!). I’ve also been trying not to be such a hot mess in the kitchen – usually I’m holding my phone to look at recipes, photos, etc. while simultaneously chopping and sautéing and almost dropping it into the sink. Horrible. So I have to give a shout out to the silly-named Monkey Kit, which holds up the iPad so I can cook hands-free like a normal person. They sent me a sample model and it has truly been a game changer, two thumbs up. Between this and the crock pot I really am becoming a human adult, I guess.
SO! This is the next meal I’ve perfected with my new slow cooker. For this recipe you could totally use red or yellow curry paste if you prefer it over green. Red curry paste is actually my favorite, but green is what I had on hand and it worked well with the vegetables I used and my pumpkin seed garnish. As with most dishes, you can feel free to swap out the vegetables with whatever your favorites are… just keep in mind cooking time. Softer vegetables you can just add in at the end of the day, about a half hour before you plan on serving. Harder vegetables with a longer cook time can be added in the beginning at the same time as the chicken. Got it? Great.
Homemade Green Coconut Curry Chicken (in the crockpot!)
I finally gave in and got a crock pot this past weekend. (I say “finally” because I feel like slow cookers are really experiencing a renaissance in my generation, thanks to Pinterest and other domestic-y sites – I’m one of the last 20-something girls I know who didn’t have one.) It was perfect timing because for the first time since, oh, March, Austin was cold (aka, in the low 70s) and wet. Pair that gloomy, stay-inside weather with a weekend full of football, and you’ve got yourself an ideal slow cooker combo situation.
This recipe is just something I threw together on Sunday morning, and it turned out so well. The bonus: unlike a lot of football snacks, it’s completely healthy. Take about 10-20 minutes to prep this in the late morning or early afternoon, leave it on high for 4-5 hours, and you’ll have a hot, spicy meal just in time for the evening game.
If you don’t have a Crock Pot or other slow cooker, guess what? You’re in luck. You can achieve the same results by cooking low and slow in a stockpot on the stove. Just make sure you’ve cooked your chicken breast most of the way through and add ingredients from there.
Note – this recipe uses hatch chiles, grown in New Mexico, which are really popular in the southwest this time of year. If you don’t have them in your neck of the woods you can feel free to use whatever chile pepper you prefer. Canned chipotles are always a favorite of mine, and they’re easy to find in practically any grocery store.
Southwest Hatch Chicken Chili
Somehow, the Sicilian fiance and I have found ways to replace pasta with grains and vegetables–mainly spaghetti squash. Sometimes the recipes turn out great, other times the become a bit of a sloppy mess. When I tried chicken carbonara with spaghetti squash, it turned out delicious, almost as if you could not taste a difference. They key is to use it in dishes where spaghetti is not the main emphasis of the dish. Here, the spaghetti squash absorbed the flavor of the Carbonara and provided a bit of a crunch to contrast the texture of the chicken and peas.
The key to a good chicken carbonara is the sauce. If the sauce is creamy, full of garlic, and extra cheesy, you really can’t go wrong with the rest of it. OH, and some tasty pancetta mixed together with peas, chicken, and the spaghetti squash. This is also a carbonara recipe that requires no cream, so it is healthy of course. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven–roasted is the best way to do it. While it’s roasting, the rest of the mixture is given time to cook and simmer. Then, all you have to do is mix the spaghetti squash in with the combination, let it simmer, and enjoy!
“Faux-ghetti” Chicken CarbonaraRead More›