Friday, April 22, 2011

Cafe Rio Crockpot Chicken

During soccer season, I am lucky to get time to cook one meal a week at home, so I use the crockpot and things I can prepare ahead of time often. 365 Days of Slow Cooking is an excellent source for all things crockpot--everything from candles to chicken to cobblers. I made this in its original amounts so we could have leftovers throughout the week. Very simple and we both enjoyed it! I served on tortillas with veggies on the side.

                                                          Cafe Rio Crockpot Chicken

5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used leq quarters)

8 oz zesty Italian dressing (I used light)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced

Mix Italian dressing, chili powder, cumin, and garlic in a bowl. Place chicken on bottom of a greased slow cooker. Pour mixture in bowl over the top of chicken. Cook on HIGH 5-6 hours. Shred chicken with a fork and reserve juice to pour over chicken when serving. Makes 15 servings.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Much to my husband's dismay, when I go grocery shopping, I only go down the cracker/cookie aisle about 1/20 of the time. I just think it's more fun to make my own cookies and we just don't keep crackers in the house.
I was craving something salty and crunchy and remembered these "crack"ers that I saw on Kath Eats. You can make them whatever flavor you want and they are extremely easy to make. Next time I make them, I'll be sure to have a batch of hummus, guacamole, or salsa ready to go because they are the perfect size and structure for dipping!
You've probably figured out why they're called "crack"ers--they're addictive!

from Kath Eats
(the original recipe has measurements in weight, but my food scale is at school, so I had to convert to volume. I know it's not the same and if you have a scale at home, use it! These are approximate volume conversions)
makes about 50 crackers

96 grams (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
96 grams (3/4 cup) all purpose flour
96 grams (about 2/5 cup) warm water
38 grams (about 2/3 cup) shredded cheese (I used finely shredded Parmesan)
10 grams (2 1/2 tsp) olive oil
4 g (2/3 tsp) kosher salt
1 g (1/3 tsp) instant yeast
toppings (I used rosemary, sea salt, and Parmesan)

Combine dry ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. Mix in water and olive oil and combine. Dough will be stiff. Be sure all ingredients are worked together.
Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours for more bready flavor. 10 minutes before working with dough, preheat oven to 400 F.
Roll dough (use a bit of flour if you need to) into as thin of a rectangle as you can get it. I rolled it on my Silpat so I could just transfer the Silpat to my baking sheet after rolling. Top them however you want.
Run the rolling pin lightly over the surface to get the toppings into the cracker.
Prick surface with fork to allow steam to escape.
Score crackers with pizza cutter---cut almost all the way through but not quite. Transfer to sprayed baking sheet or just put the Silpat on the baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 23-28 minutes. (If baking on Silpat, it will take a couple of extra minutes)
Don't pull the crackers when they start to get a little light brown. Let them stay (but don't burn them). Test for doneness by pushing on the cracker--it should feel a little dense and have a tiny bit of give.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stephanie's Perfect Party Cookies

I was just recently saying how exciting it is to be able to come up with your own original recipe and that I think it's fun to try out other's original recipes. Ironically, the latest two I have tried are both from girls named Stephanie! First it was Hawaiian chicken, which we loved, and now these perfect party cookies. These are great! You'll have to sample the dough while they're chilling just to see their progress... :) (no Gram, that's not actually a requirement, don't worry!!) I thought the cake batter flavor was more pronounced once the cookies were cooled. I love their fun color! I baked a few and kept the rest in the freezer for a rainy day (which really means they'll be gone by the end of the week!). I am thinking about making a bar cookie out of the remaining dough, which I think would be really great with this dough. Great work, Stephanie!

Perfect Party Cookies
(click words to go to original recipe)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cheddar Apple Bacon Sandwich

I know I've said this before, but I often find myself eating the same breakfast and lunch every weekday. I make five servings of something on Sundays and just reheat all week and it works for me. Already know the calorie count and it's a no-brainer because I don't have to bring lunch with me every day (just bring it all on Monday and store it in my fridge at work).
Three times this week I wound up eating the same thing for dinner too, so I ate the exact same breakfast, lunch, and snack three times this week. Sounds boring, but everything was so good that I just wanted to have it again! This sandwich is not much of a recipe, and I didn't take a photo/think I would share it the first two times because it's just a sandwich, but decided if I've had it three times in a week I better have some record of it for me to refer to later when I'm looking for ideas. This combination is delicious!!

Cheddar Apple Bacon Sandwich

1.5 pieces center cut bacon, cut in half
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut in thin slices
1/2 fuji or gala apple (my favorite varieties for things like this), cut in thin slices
2 pieces whole wheat bread
honey dijon mustard to taste

Cook bacon. Drain off drippings (leave enough just to grease bottom of pan if cooking in pan). Arrange bacon, cheese and apple slices on bread pieces. Cook in pan and press down to flatten sandwich. Cook on both sides for about four minutes. Spread with honey dijon mustard.
OR--if you have a sweet panini press like I do (thanks Jason and Amber!) make it on that!