SlowCook (sorta) Chicken Stew

Was feeling VERY lazy Sunday after our Early morning walk with the pup and didn’t feel like cooking dinner at all! I looked in the cupboard and to my great surprise we had a ClubHouse brand Slow Cookers Beef Stew seasoning package… I don’t buy stuff like this ever because I just spice my food according to my own tastes, but this package appealed to my Sunday lazyness, so I grabbed it and went from there. I didn’t know if I would ever feel like using something prepackaged like that again so I took that as a sign that lazy stew was meant to be for that night 😛 . I ended up adding a whole bunch of others spices (as I suggest you do as well) because I didn’t think what came in the package was cutting it.  I also needed to add some cornstarch mixed with a little water to thicken it up a little, as I like my stews to be quite thick!

So first off I didn’t have any stewing beef so I used Chicken instead. This is a great healthier alternative and it tasked great too! I cooked it on high in my huge slow cooker for about 3 1/3 hours and just couldn’t wait any longer as it SMELLED SO GOOD!!! So, it was kind of Slow Cooked. Feel free to reduce temp. and cook for longer if you plan on putting it on before work to enjoy for dinner that evening! I fed this to Chris’ brother and girlfriend last night (who are staying at our place for a few days) and they loved it even 3 days after it was made, which to me is a sign of an awesome recipe! if you want leave out the prepackaged ingredients and double up on the spices listed below and add chicken or vegetable broth instead of water.

Sorta SlowCooked Lazy Sunday Chicken Stew

Feeds 6. Great as leftovers!!!

  • 2 Chicken Breasts cut into 1 inch or so cubes
  • 3 carrots coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 medium onions coarsely diced
  • 2-3 medium potatoes coarsely diced
  • 1/2 fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 package ClubHouse Slow Cooker Beef stew
  • 2 cups water
  • Oregano, Basil, Salt and Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder, Rosemary to taste
  • Flour or cornstarch to thicken
  1. Put the first 5 ingredients into your slow cooker. Mix ClubHouse package with water and other spices if using. Pour mixture over Chicken and Veggies.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Add peas during last 30 mins.
  4. If not thick enjoy for your tastes, add flour or cornstarch to water and then mix into hot stew. Stir well (cornstarch has TWICE the thickening capacity of flour so be careful!)
  5. Enjoy immediately or keep refrigerated 5-7 days.
Lazy Sunday SlowCooker Chicken Stew

Lazy Sunday SlowCooker Chicken Stew

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Chicken Noodle Soup

I absolutely LOVE soup. I could eat soup everyday if given the choice. With that being said – Chris likes soup. I’m sure he would prefer to eat it less often, but when it tastes THIS good AND he doesn’t have to do anything in the kitchen, he never complains!

Chicken noodle soup is a great way to use leftover chicken! We had a delicious rosemary garlic rub “beer can chicken” last week, but instead of beer we used apple juice! I couldn’t tell the difference at all so I am going to try different juices” beer can chicken” style and see what happens! The leftovers from that meal provided the perfect amount of delicious seasoned chicken for a hearty chicken soup that Chris and I have come to love! This is another recipe where I am quite liberal with my ingredients, I don’t measure, just eye it and see how things turn out.

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

  • tablespoon or so of butter
  • 1 or 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • seasoned chicken, chopped [the leftovers from a 4-5 pound chicken or 2 chicken breasts]
  • a few hand fulls of egg noodles
  • basil, oregano, salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a large over medium heat melt butter. Add celery and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add broths, chicken, carrots, noodles and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for at least 20 minutes! The longer you let it simmer, the better it will taste but it will be ready to serve after 20!

I used my wavy slicer to cut the veggies for this soup to make it look extra fancy [for chicken noodle soup] and Chris really liked that touch. It had been sitting in the drawer, still in the packaging, so I thought I would put it to use finally and I really have to say that veggies are EVEN MORE delicious when cut with the wavy slicer 😛 You should probably go out and buy one right now 😉

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing with a twist!

We recently had a friend over for the night before she was off to Germany [LUCKY ;)] and we spent a little time in the kitchen cooking up a storm 🙂

I decided I would like to make a Caesar Salad and instantly started gathering different recipes for the dressing!

Much to my surprise many of the recipes called for ANCHOVIES [yuck!] or ANCHOVY paste, which I’m just not down with, and neither was Chris. I did a little research and the original Caesar Salad by Chef Cardini Caesar http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/CaesarSalad/index.htm apparently had no anchovies in it, just Worcestershire Sauce [made from fermented anchovies, vinegar etc.] which gave it that distinctive taste.

A lot of recipes also either called for raw egg, or coddled egg [an egg which has been cooked in it’s shell in boiling water for only 45 seconds and then removed] http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/CoddledEgg.htm.

I finally found a suitable looking recipe that called for neither Anchovies or Raw [or nearly raw] Egg and it turned out great! We modified it quite a bit and used a honey Dijon mustard instead of regular Dijon, as well as less garlic and it turned out wonderfully! Tangy and delicious and a little bit different than most I’ve tasted, and even better the next day [and day after ;)]


Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

Homemade Caesar Dressing with a twist!

Homemade Caesar Dressing with a twist!

2 garlic cloves

3/4 – 1 cup Mayonnaise

1+ tsp honey Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp English Mustard (the dry powder)

2 1/2 – 3 tbs red wine vinegar

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 – 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

All of these ingredients are to taste, so have some fun with it!!!

  1. Combine and process all above ingredients in food processor until thoroughly blended.

  2. Then add to the mixture in a thin stream 1/4 cup light olive oil, while continuing to process.  Process until mixture is emulsified.

  3. Toss [Chopped & Washed] Romaine Lettuce with delicious mixture and serve with a lemon slice.  You can also top your salad with cooked Bacon, Cooked Seasoned Chicken, Croutons, Tomatoes, Onions or whatever else you like! ENJOY!

Stores for about two weeks in the fridge!

Caesar Salad and Sangria

Caesar Salad and Sangria

Close up of the delicious Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad with our homemade Dressing

Close up of the delicious Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad with our homemade Dressing

Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta Recipe

Baked, Fresh Basil, Pesto, Chicken Pasta Recipe

Baked Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Arugula [hehe]

You will need a Basil Pesto for this recipe so I have provided one below. Or you can pick some up at your local supermarket.

Pesto Recipe

1 cups fresh basil leaves, stemmed [Keep a bunch of different herbs in the freezer for easy access]

1 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed [We keep a bag of spinach in the freezer for this reason alone]

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Olive oil

1 Tbsp Dried Basil

3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts [I picked up a small amount of Pine Nuts at Bulk Barn and they were $4!!! Walnuts will do just fine, but if you want that truly authentic flavour, treat yourself to the Pine Nuts]

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor or magic bullet and whip until well chopped.

  2. Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.

  3. Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container.

  4. Process basil pesto it forms a thick smooth paste.

  5. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well.

  6. Serve with pasta or alternate. Like chicken! OR BOTH.

Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator up to one week, or freeze for a few months.


Baked Pesto Chicken Pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c pesto

2 plum or roma, or some grape tomatoes

Shredded cheese to taste, we used Asiago and it was SO! good, Mozzarella works too!

As much or little past as you would like

  1. Preheat oven to 400.

  2. Put pesto and chicken in bowl. Toss until chicken is covered.

  3. Place in baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes on middle rack.

  4. Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake another 3-5 minutes.

  5. Serve with angel hair pasta [or whatever pasta you have on hand, or prefer] tossed with a small amount of the same pesto.

  6. Serve with a simple salad such as Spinach, Spring Mix, or Arugula. [We chose Arugula and topped with tomatoes, red & green peppers, onions and poppy seeds, with the DELICIOUS Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette that I mentioned in a previous post! https://chefashley.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/a-day-in-the-strawberry-patch-and-strawberry-spinach-salad-recipe/ That dressing kept for over two weeks in the fridge, and we both melted when we tasted it again!!!]

Yummy pesto Chicken pasta dinner <3

Yummy pesto Chicken pasta dinner ❤


I love spending time in the kitchen, that’s a given. But what I love even more than creating solo, is creating in the kitchen with CHRASH. [Chris&Ash]

That’s right ladies, he’s CUTE AND he cooks. In fact, CHRISTOPHER is totally responsible for igniting my flame for all thing culinary.

It was back in his bachelor pad kitchen some two years ago that he first made me a delicious pumpkin soup and I was hooked on spices and herbs.

Now, more than two years later, we have moved into our own little castle [in which we both reign] and have continued to create, copious counts of cool cuisine. [Oh yah baby, alliteration, *swoon*]

We both LOVE sitting down for a meal together and we have a big, beautiful new “adult” dining room table to enjoy our meals on now. [Our round table seems so juvenile by comparison, but still so nice covered in plants & frames].

I usually take cooking most meals upon myself because I genuinely enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen [and Chris is a MESSSSSSSSY cook], but two nights ago we turned out this DELICIOUS Fresh Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta and salad together in less than 35 minutes. A BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS meal, a perfect combination to Christen our new table ❤ …

Trevor in Toronto 222

This meal was very easy to make and absolutely delicious when paired with a simple salad, we chose arugula [hehehe, that word makes me laugh every time].

We only used one chicken breast, but paired with the pasta and salad this meal filled up our tummies and I still had a little left on my plate!

Hope you ENJOY it as much as we did!!!

Heavenly Strawberry, Pineapple & Chicken Kabobs with a Lemony, Pineapple Marinade Recipe

With the recent heat and humidity I have been on the prowl for some recipes that would incorporate both a refreshing aspect, as well as some substance to fill up my hardworking boyfriend’s tummy ❤

And with a giant basket of strawberries and a pineapple on the verge of going bad, I did not have to search very far!

I found this recipe online using www.allrecipes.com. As soon as I read the combination of some of my favorite ingredients, I knew I just had to try it. It’s not all year that fresh, local strawberries are available, so I have been trying to incorporate them into as many meals as possible while I can!

Chris's kabob cooking pic

Chris's kabob cooking pic

This recipe is SUPER easy and can be made from ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards and fridge. It’s also a very pretty, colorful kabob which is fun to make…which might entice some lazy kids, OR significant others into the kitchen to help! They would be wonderful for a summer dinner party, or just a change from your standard kabob 🙂

First things first…

I usually only ever cook for Christopher and I, so I adapt most of the recipes I use to accommodate two servings! Just double up on ingredients if you have to feed more people!

Refreshing Strawberry, Pineapple, Chicken Kabobs with Lemony, Pineapple marinade.

Kabob prep!

Kabob prep!

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

I pulled out 6 skewers [before I started marinating the chicken] and soaked them in water. After doing some research I read some conflicting views on how necessary it is to soak skewers prior to use. Some websites said to soak skewers for 20-30 minutes before use, others suggested an hour, while others insisted that soaking the skewers before use was completely unnecessary. I don’t have a lot kabobing experience, so I just went ahead and soaked my skewers and everything turned out PERFECTLY! If you are really concerened about soaking your skewers in advance, and fail to do so, another method is to cover the exposed portion with tinfoil so it doesn’t burn.

1/3 Cup Lemon Juice [I used as much fresh squeezed Lemon as I had and topped if off with a bottle of Lemon Juice]

2/3 A can of Pineapple Chunks, Juice Reserved [I cut up some fresh Pineapple and just used the canned pineapple juice]

1/3 Cup Pineapple Juice Reserved

3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Large Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast, Fat removed, Cubed

1/4 – 1/3 Cup melted Butter

2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

15-20 or so smaller strawberries [around the same size as the chicken chunks

  1. In a shallow glass bowl combine Lemon Juice, Pineapple Juice, Salt, Pepper and half the Cinnamon. Mix together. Add Cubed Chicken and marinate for one hour or longer. [I’ve found that a GREAT way to marinate meat is to dump your ingredients straight into a freezer bag and mix together. Add your cubed chicken, seal bag and massage the marinade into your meat. Clean up is a breeze and it is way more convenient to have a sealed bag in the fridge than a shallow bowl containing liquids!]

  2. Preheat your grill to medium. [If you are using a George Foreman I would increase the temp between med-high so that you’re chicken cooks a little quicker!]

  3. In a small bowl combine the melted butter, remaining cinnamon, Brown Sugar and Nutmeg until sugar dissolves.

  4. Very lightly oil grate.

  5. With metal, or your wooden soaked skewers, arrange Pineapple, Chicken and Strawberries on each stick [approximately 4 to 6 pieces each].Brush kabobs with butter mixture and place on grill. Make sure to turn them so Chicken is cooked on all sides and strawberries are sizzling, approximately 8-10 minutes.

These were the tastiest kabobs I’ve ever tried and have totally inspired me to try other dessert kabobs, as well as vegetarian kabobs…Mmmm grilled veggies ❤

They were fun to make and I even lured Christopher into the kitchen to arrange his own skewers. It was a cute activity to do together [which I am all about] and we even ended up making dessert and taking pictures together. Cuteness. I totally miss that, but I know what it takes to get him into the kitchen…CREATIVE NEW DISHES!!! And there is definitely an endless supply of new ideas jammed up into my noggin’ ready to burst out ❤