Wine and Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken

Oh hey! Long time no chat (other than the very quick Finley Photo Dump post from yesterday). I didn’t plan on taking such a long break from posting, but it happened. I’ve had ideas for posts floating around in my brain for the last few weeks, but actually writing them out has been pushed aside. I swear “Blog post” has been on my daily to-do list for a while now. This is one I’m super excited to share because I think it may be useful to some of you!

Last month’s Wine and Recipe was a winner. Some may even say “Winner winner chicken dinner!” Ha! Such a bad joke but so appropriate. Mel hosted, and as a working and pregnant mama (her daughter is 19 months and she’s due in March), time is precious. Plus, using a Crock Pot is so dang easy!

I have to admit, I wasn’t overly psyched for this Wine and Recipe initially. I was worried all the dishes would be too similar. Was I wrong! The food was amazing, and I’ve already made four of the recipes. Brody has also been a fan, which has been a welcome surprise. He’s not a huge fan of the Crock Pot (texture issue and the infamous Crock Pot smell). But, he’s gobbled all of these up with a smile on his face. So without further ado, the recipes!

Crock Pot Thai Chicken
This was my contribution, and according to Mel’s husband (who sampled all of the dishes), mine took first place for the night. Considering there are THREE ingredients, one of them being the chicken, I’d say that’s pretty awesome. There are more ingredients if you make the rice…which I highly recommend you do. Instead of TJ’s peanut vinegarette, I used a peanut dipping sauce by Bankok. Love this dish! The link above brings you to Iowa Girl Eats, the creator of this yummy concoction.

Enchilada Crock Pot Chicken
This one is also way easy and has a short list of ingredients. We ate this chicken deliciousness, courtesy of Nicole, on sliced baguette rounds and tortilla chips. When I made it a week after W&R, I also ended up eating it in a whole wheat wrap. There’s a container of it in my freezer, and I’m hoping it thaws well for a future quick appetizer.

Ingredients:
-2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
-10 oz. can red enchilada sauce
-2 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
-4 cups Monetary jack cheese

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken
Everyone loves buffalo sauce, right? Another easy-peasy recipe for you. Thanks, Amber!

Ingredients:
-3 lb. bag frozen chicken breasts
-1 packet ranch dip powder
-1 bottle of Frank’s hot sauce

Place frozen chicken, ranch powder, and Frank’s hot sauce in the Crock Pot and cook on low for 10 hours. Shred chicken and serve with crumbled bleu cheese, chopped celery, and lettuce leaves.

Crock Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Kathy likes bacon. How can you go wrong with bacon? This is a heavy dish, but in a good way – definite comfort food. Unlike the buffalo chicken recipe, this is not one you’d make in the summer. This is a winter dish all the way. I made it for Brody and I the week after W&R, and we both agreed it’d be nice with some peas mixed in at the end for some vegetables and pops of sweetness.

Ingredients:
-3 cloves of garlic
-1 package of ranch dressing mix
-1 10.75 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
-1 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
-1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1/2 cup of bacon
-3 cups of pasta

Spray inside of Crock Pot. Cook and chop bacon. Add chicken breasts. Mix together garlic, ranch dressing mix, cream of chicken soup, Greek yogurt, and bacon in a small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken. Cook on high for 3.5 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When chicken is done, cook pasta and mix into chicken.

Spicy Ginger Chicken
Laura has this recipe in her regular rotation, and with three boys, she’s got lots of mouths to feed and keep happy. We love ginger in our house, so I knew I’d be making this one. It was a great, healthy, and surprisingly light dish.

Ingredients:
-2.5-3 lbs. drumsticks and/or boneless, skinless thighs
-2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
-2 tbs. quick cooking tapioca
-1 tbs. grated fresh ginger
-1 tbs. fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tsp. packed brown sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Place chicken in Crock Pot. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice from one can. In a medium bowl, combines tomatoes and reserved juice, tapioca, ginger, cilantro/parsley, garlic, brown sugar, salt and crushed red pepper. Pour suave over chicken and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-3.5 hours. Serve chicken over couscous or rice.

Chicken Risotto
I know what you’re thinking: Busy moms don’t have time for risotto! You’re right. We don’t. This faux risotto won’t fool anyone, but it’s still a great meal. Thanks for sharing this one Emily!

Ingredients:
-1 1/4 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
-1/2 cup finely chopped onion
-1/2 cup shredded carrot
-1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
-2 cups of water
-2 cups uncooked instant white rice
-2 tbs. butter (which Emily actually didn’t include)
-1 10.75 oz. can of cream of chicken soup
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mix chicken, onion, carrot, garlic and water in Crock Pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Stir in rice and butter. Increase heat to high, cover, and cook for 5 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in soup and cheese. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

I have a few more to share, but I think I’ll do a part two post to share those. It’s almost 9pm, and I need to dream feed the little lady before I turn in for the night. I really hope you try one, two, or all of these amazing chicken recipes! We have another Wine and Recipe next week already, and the theme is pizza. I’m so excited! I like food way too much.

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Clean Teeth and Grassland Walls

Growing up, my dentist’s last name was Moeller (pronounced molar) – hilarious, right? He was destined to clean and fix people’s teeth. Dr. Moeller was graced by my presence two times a year, thanks to a diligent mother, and the importance of my oral care continues now. Despite needing eight cavities at age seven and HATING the bubblegum flavored fluoride, I looked forward to seeing Dr. Moeller.

I still look forward to visiting the dentist, especially because I like my hygienist, Diane, so much. Funny story: I randomly started walking with this lady with a yellow lab at the dog park. We chatted, and our conversation led to our professions. When she said she was a hygienist at my dentist’s office, I made the connection; she had been my hygienist there before! Small world. She is a sweet lady who talks through the entire appointment but doesn’t make you feel like you need to contribute by awkwardly saying something with your mouth open.

My dentist office is in an old, Victorian house that greets you with pretty flowers. Maybe this puts nervous patients at ease? Or maybe my dentist has a green thumb?

*****
For my first day of Spring Break 2012, I was very productive.
7:30am: dog park
8:30am: school work, grading
10:00am: vacuum first floor
10:30am: shower, hair, makeup
11:00am: eat lunch
12:00am: dentist
1:30pm: Sherwin Williams
2:30pm: paint hallway
4:00pm: run three miles, BodyPump class
6:30pm: make dinner
7:30pm: eat dinner
8:00pm: sit on couch with Brody, blog, and watch The Voice

One aspect (of many) that Brody and I both take advantage of over my breaks is trying new recipes for dinner. I turned yet again to Jenna from Eat Live Run for a quick, simple meal and stumbled on 30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken. I realized I had everything but chicken and lemons. Believe it or not, I went into the store for three things (chicken, lemons, and root beer for pulled pork), and didn’t get anything else! Are you proud? I am.

I followed the recipe but may have pounded my breasts out (sounds a little wrong) a little more than Jenna did, as mine cooked in twenty minutes, not thirty. They had a unique but delicious flavor, but if I made them again, I would use less lemon zest. Cheesy broccoli noodles (from a package) and roasted green beans (with Garlic Gold) accompanied the meat.

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Brody and I slept on the paint colors, and after looking at each of them in different light at different points of the day, we agreed on the Grassland. I am very happy with how it looks so far, so if any of you (Bridget?) are thinking about painting, I highly recommend getting the samples. I will post pictures of how it looks tomorrow.

Have a nice, relaxing Tuesday night.

Questions:
Do you like, put up with, or hate the dentist? Painting?