A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops! July 30, 2010

Filed under: dessert — frappqueen @ 11:15 am
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Oh man, these ice pops take some time to prepare (well, you have to wait for stuff to cool and set up, so it takes a few hours of waiting, but not too much time of actual WORK), but holy moly, they are worth every second of it! The last time I made them, Mike and I ate all 10 in about three days! We couldn’t help ourselves! They are so full of flavor and deliciousness, you can not control yourself! Besides, they came out of the June 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine, and are made with real fruit, so seriously, how bad can they be for you? right?! …right???

Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops

Watermelon layer:
1/4  cup  sugar
1/4  cup  water
1/4  cup  coarsely chopped fresh mint
2  cups  packed (1/2-inch) cubed seeded watermelon
1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice

Lemon layer:
6  tablespoons  sugar
1/2  cup  water
2/3  cup  fresh lemon juice
1/3  cup  fresh orange juice
1/4  teaspoon  orange extract

Method:

To prepare watermelon layer, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook 30 seconds, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in mint; cover and let stand 30 minutes. IMPORTANT: Do not mis-read this as let stand 30 SECONDS as I did the first time…that results in still delicious pops, but a total waste of the mint that you spent all morning hunting down!

Strain through a sieve into a bowl. (I just picked out the mint, how many friggin sieves do these people think I own?!)

Place watermelon in a blender; process until smooth. Strain puree through a sieve into bowl with mint syrup; press with back of a spoon to extract juice. Discard solids. Stir in lime juice; cover and chill 1 hour.

Pour about 2 1/2 tablespoons watermelon mixture into each of 8 ice pop molds. Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until almost set. Arrange 1 wooden stick into mixture, being careful not to push through to bottom of mold. Return to freezer. Freeze 1 hour or until frozen.

To prepare lemon layer, combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook 30 seconds, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour into a bowl; stir in lemon juice, orange juice, and extract. Cool 15 minutes; cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Remove molds from freezer. Pour about 3 tablespoons lemon mixture over frozen watermelon mixture in each mold. Freeze 2 hours or until completely frozen.

Note: If you have those really cool popsicle sets from like the 80’s where the sticks are part of the lid and you don’t think you can add the sticks and then take them out to make layers, I say no worries…just swirl both bowls together and pour them in! You will just have some nice watermelony/lemon pops instead of a layer of each flavor!

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Zucchini Bread! July 29, 2010

Filed under: baking,breads,eat your vegetables — frappqueen @ 8:16 am
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Man, who knew blogging could be so difficult?! I had taken a few pictures with my awful point and shoot camera last week, and when, in my sleepy pregnant haze, I went to insert the memory card into my computer, I MISSED and put it in the cd spot instead! It has been trapped there for the past week, but finally, with the help of tiny tweezers and a screwdriver, my husband has rescued the memory card! yay!

Now you can see my delicious recipe for zucchini bread. It is really easy to make, particularly if you have a food processor with a shredding blade. It is also super delicious and filling. Yum!

This recipe actually comes from good ol’ Paula Deen on the foodnetwork.com website. It has great restraint for Paula, I don’t think it has any butter in it, though there is definitely some oil!

Zucchini Bread

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini**
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

**to grate the zucchini, you can totally break your back and fingers and use one of those hand held grater things, but I always scrub my knuckles on them. I just chop my zucchini up into like 4 wedges, add the grating attachment to my food processor, and plop the zucchini in there! Done in seconds!

 

Chicken Tortellini Salad July 17, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta — frappqueen @ 6:07 am
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Well I’ve finally run out of photos from pre “losing the battery charger for the good camera” and am now up to the terrible point and shoot that makes all food look yellow or green! So you must forgive me for the terrible photo and let me assure you this dish is SOOOO good! Especially for a really friggin’ hot summer, such as the one we are currently in the midst of!

I found this recipe after doing a google search for “summer pasta salads”. Mike and I love a good pasta salad, and since this is the hottest summer in all time, I am making quite a lot of them! I particularly like this one as it has a lot of meat to it…as in substance not like, 8 kinds of animal product, so it is very satisfying even in a small portion.

It is from a really fabulous food blog called “The Frantic Home Cook” , who got it from another site called “Rookie Cookie” and you should totally go look at all the yummy stuff they make!

Anyway, here is the recipe!

Chicken Tortellini Salad with Pesto Vinagrette

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded and picked free of bones and skin (about 4 cups of chicken)
1 9 oz package Buitoni fresh cheese tortellini
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 8 oz package white mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
A few handfuls fresh baby spinach
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup  prepared pesto
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine, chicken, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine pesto and white wine vinegar. Whisk in olive oil, until a thin consistency is achieved.

Add the tortellini to the chicken mixture. Stir well to combine. Add pesto vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Then please cross your fingers that somewhere in this house is the charger for my fancy nikon camera so I can stop using my ashton kutcher camera and making food unappetizing!!



 

Panzanella and Sausage Salad July 10, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,meat — frappqueen @ 6:43 am
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Here is a great one from my Rachel Ray magazine! I LOVE all forms of Panzanella salad, which is basically italian bread salad. It usually has toasted hunks of bread, a yummy dressing, tomatoes, peppers and other summertime veggies. This one adds sausage to it, making it a really hardy meal but still great to make on a sweltering summer day!

Panzanella and Sausage Salad

Four 3/4-inch-thick slices italian bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
4 italian sausage links(about 1 pound)

*I added one yellow pepper, chopped up, as I LOVE peppers in my panzanella salad!

Method:

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Brush the bread slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and garlic; season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Meanwhile, arrange the bread on the grill and toast on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and top with half of the cheese; cover and grill for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into cubes and add to the tomato mixture. Stir in the basil.

Pierce the sausages with a fork, arrange on the grill, cover and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Thickly slice the sausages and add to the bread salad. Divide among 4 plates and top with the remaining cheese.

 

little tiny egg souffles! July 9, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,eggs — frappqueen @ 12:58 pm
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These were really good and a nice breakfast on the weekend, though you can totally do breakfast for dinner and eat them then, too! Its more of a method than a recipe as I don’t think I even measured anything, but I’ll do my best to guide you on the right path!

Egg souffles

eggs (number depending on who you are cooking for, I think I used about 3)

milk (add about a half a cup per two eggs)

salt and pepper

stuff to put in (I used chopped up ham, cheddar cheese and scallions but you can add whatever makes you happy in your eggs!)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray PAM into muffin tins and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, salt, pepper and milk and whisk until a tad foamy. Chop up your other ingredients and stick an even amount of them of each muffin tin section. This way you can ensure even distribution when you add the eggs. Pour the egg mixture in each tin over the chopped up stuff. Top with extra cheese if you like. Pop in the oven and bake, about 15 minutes or until the eggs are set and no longer jiggly. I super cooked mine cuz runny eggs and pregnant ladies sadly do not mix!

Use a knife to loosen the edges of each cup and pop out the souffles. Eat and enjoy!!

 

Weight Watchers Lasagna with Meat Sauce July 5, 2010

Filed under: meat,pasta,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:51 am
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This recipe is SO good and apparently only 6 points according to the “Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook”, which is where I got this recipe. It is also pretty easy to make as Mike made this one for us one night a few months ago when I was super queasy and sleepy. Now its a tad too hot to be making lasagna, but hey, its still worth knowing this one exists. File it away to cook when its a nice chilly fall evening!

Lasagna with Meat Sauce

9 lasagna noodles

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 pound lean ground beef (10% or less fat) *you could use ground turkey too, but the flavor is better with beef

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 (15 oz) containers refrigerated marinara sauce

1 1/2 c. fat free ricotta cheese

1/2 c. shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1/4 c. grated pecorino romano cheese

Method:

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse noodles, set aside (OR: use the super amazing NO COOK noodles, which is what we did!)

In a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, cook the fennel seeds, shaking the pan and stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Watch them carefully, these guys burn fast! Pound the seeds between two clean kitchen towels or in a plastic bag with a mallet until finely crushed. Don’t worry if you suck at this, it still tastes good no matter what condition you get them in!

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat. Add the beef, onion, bell pepper and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally until all the juices evaporate and the beef browns, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sauce and fennel, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened and the flavors blend, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread 1/4 of the meat sauce. Top with 3 of the noodles, 1/2 c. of the ricotta. Repeat the layering twice ending  with the sauce (NOTE: if you use the no bake noodles, they need sauce to cook. So, you must put a layer of sauce on each layer of noodles, THEN add the cheese…it still works out that you have enough sauce so don’t worry. Just put a tad less in the bottom of the dish to start)

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the mozzarella and romano. Bake until heated through and the cheese are lightly browned, about 20 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If you can restrain yourself from eating some garlic bread with it,  you’re decently healthy here!!

 

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Zippy Chunky Salad July 2, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,poultry — frappqueen @ 12:32 pm
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Wow! Long time no post!! I’ve been a lazy lazy sack of lazy, but am going to make it my summertime mission to update more frequently. I certainly have a ton of recipes to share, so I’ll do my best to keep up! I still can’t find the charger to my good camera though, so eventually you will be seeing ugly photos of food until I finally discover where the charger has been hiding!

Anyway, this recipe is SO good and SO easy! I made it with the dill fries I recently posted and it was super yummy and light. The salad dressing is really good too, so go ahead and make it, it will take you like 5 minutes!

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Zippy Chunky Salad

(from Rachel Ray’s 365: No Repeats)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tbs olive oil

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tbs dried oregano

4 garlic cloves, chopped

salt and pepper

1 seedless cucumber, cut into half moon shapes

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

10 radishes, thinly sliced (I couldn’t find ’em so I didn’t use ’em!)

2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped

1/2 c. plain yogurt

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1/2 c. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Method:

In a shallow dish, combine the chicken with the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, 3/4 of the garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and marinate about 5 minutes.

In a salad bowl, combine the cucumbers, pepper, onions, radishes, and romaine lettuce. To make the zippy dressing in a bowl combine the yogurt, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together.

Preheat a grill or grill pan while you are making the salad. When it’s ready, transfer the marinated chicken to the grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes.

If you are serving with the garlic fries, make them now! If not, you are ready to eat your delicious chicken and salad! Yum! Just typing this out has made me decide to cook it again next week! Thanks a lot, food blog!