A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette August 31, 2010

Filed under: side dishes — frappqueen @ 7:43 am
Tags: , ,

This one is reallyl good, and it is made with orzo, which is kind of like tiny pasta in the shape of rice. It is super delicious! Mike and I liked it because it was really easy to make and had a nice greek kind of pasta salad feel. It’s excellent on a hot summer day, or as a side to maybe a nice marinated chicken or lamb dish.

I ate half of it before I realized I hadn’t photographed it yet, whoops!

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette*

1 c. uncooked orzo (rice shaped pasta)

2 c. bagged prewashed baby spinach, chopped

1/2 c. chopped, drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes, halved

3 tbsp chopped red onion (I used half an onion)

3 tbsp chopped pitted kalamata olives (I think I cheated and used a can of olive rings)

1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained

1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled and divided


Cook the orzo according to the package directions, drain. Rinse with cold water. Combine with the spinach and next five ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Drain artichokes, but RESERVE the marinade. Coarsely chop the artichokes and add them, as well as the marinade and 1/2 c. of the feta cheese to the orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Top with remaining feta cheese.

*from Cooking Light

Note: If you HATE artichokes, you might get a similar result if you just mix a bit of greek salad dressing into the orzo mixture. Artichokes are good though, and their marinade is awesome! Give em a try!


Nutella Molten Lava Cakes August 22, 2010

Filed under: baking,dessert — frappqueen @ 6:13 pm

Just looking at that picture makes you want to give it a try, doesn’t it? Well, if that isn’t enough encouragement, guess what? They were really easy to make and not at all scary! A few weeks ago Jen came over and we watched the first airing of Masterchef…remember how we auditioned and never got any further than that? Well, we had a party to watch what we didn’t get  to be on. Jen made amazing beef wellington (to be blogged next time) and I made these for dessert! Mike got to benefit from the party by eating everything and putting the dishes in the dishwasher!

I got this one through a google search, and the blogger who wrote it I think made up the recipe, which is pretty impressive. I could never really be on any of these shows for that reason…I can improvise like, a tad, but not enough that if you just told me to make something I could do it. But anyway, here is the recipe and then my own notes on what I had to do to make it work for me!

Chocolate Nutella Molten Lava Cake (courtesy of bellalimento.com)

6 oz of bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I used Ghiardelli)
4 tbsp of Nutella
6 tbsp of Flour
11 tbsp of Unsalted Butter (I used salted cuz its what I had)
3 whole eggs + 3 additional egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar + 2 add. tbsp
1/4 cup of chopped Hazelnuts ( I toasted mine for a few minutes on a tray in the toaster oven–delicious!)


Place your butter & chocolate chips into a double boiler & allow to melt completely over the steaming water.  (I don’t really know if a double boiler is an actual thing, but I just put on a big pot with some almost boiling water and then put a glass bowl fitted over it, added the chocolate and stirred–worked like a charm!) Stir frequently. WHILE the chocolate butter is melting. Place the eggs & sugar into the bowl of your mixer. With the whisk attachment mix on medium-high speed until they become light & thick (about 8-9 mins). When light & thick add the flour & mix together. SLOWLY & GRADUALLY pour the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture. Mixing on low until well combined & develops a glossy sheen (about 5-6 mins).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. WHILE the mixture is finishing it’s final mixing (turning glossy) GENEROUSLY spray 4 small ramekins with cooking spray. If your ramekins are for some reason insanely small, like mine, you might need more than four.  Just sayin’.  When the batter is finished it’s time to assemble:

Place your sprayed ramekins onto a cooking tray. Ladle batter HALFWAY up the side of each ramekin. Then, spoon 1 tbsp of Nutella into each ramekin. Finish ladling remainder of batter into each ramekin (do not overfill). Bake ramekins for 1o-14 mins until outside is solid and top appears to be soft (but NOT jiggly)

WHILE cakes are cooking, chop your walnuts and spread on a small tray that fits in your toaster oven or regular oven. Bake at 300 degrees for like 3 mins. WATCH THEM OR THEY WILL BURN AND BE NASTY.  When nuts look a tad brown, they are ready to take out of the toaster/oven. When cakes are ready CAREFULLY remove them from oven, place a plate on top of each one and quickly invert it. With a kitchen towel remove the ramekin, cake should fall right out.  Loosen all around with a knife if they don’t come out easily. Garnish with nuts. Serve immediately and wash down with a big glass of milk. It’s the only way. Really.


Buttermilk Waffles a la The Joy of Cooking! August 14, 2010

Filed under: breakfast — frappqueen @ 4:51 pm

OH MAN  YOU MUST MAKE THESE WAFFLES! Do not let the list of ingredients intimidate you as there are more than four. Do not fear that it seems like a lot of butter. Do not worry about finding buttermilk to make this recipe with. Just gather your ingredients, put fun music on, brew some coffee and enjoy making these awesome waffles!!

I found this recipe via a super cool blog which I found somehow but forget now! Maybe I googled waffles? I have no idea. At any rate, I’m not even going to bother posting the recipe myself as this person does it awesomely, including super helpful footnotes! I hope they don’t mind my linking to them…but here it is!


I just used plain old low fat Aunt Jemima’s with my waffles and they were still amazing. Mike was super surprised when he woke up to coffee and fresh waffles! That’s what happens when you’ve got a baby kicking you like crazy at 6am on a Sunday!

One hint I can give you is in regards to buttermilk: I know using the real deal is always best, but who actually stocks and keeps buttermilk on hand most of the time? If you wake up and want to make these on a whim and don’t want to run to the store in your jammies, what can you do? Do what I do! Keep on hand Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend! Its a powder that you just add water to, and voila! You’ve got decent buttermilk for baking. It is certainly not as good as the real thing, but it is nice to have for a buttermilk emergency! You can usually find it with the baking supplies, kind of near the condensed milk and stuff of that nature.

Now go out there and make some waffles!


Shells with grilled chicken and mozzarella August 9, 2010

Filed under: pasta,poultry — frappqueen @ 8:47 am
Tags: , ,

Here is an easy and good one for a hot summer day, such as today! I got this recipe from the Martha Stewart website, in a desperate search for something new to eat that didn’t involve the oven! This one is great, and even better the second day when everything cools and the flavors meld. Eat it slightly warmed though, even on the second day. Try it!

Shells with Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
8 ounces medium pasta shells
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (I used regular mozzarella, cuz I’m pregnant and not supposed to eat fresh, boo!)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons butter


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Meanwhile, heat grill pan on stove. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and cut into thin strips, halving if long.
Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, Parmesan, and butter. Toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a sauce that coats shells (you may not need all the water). Serve with more Parmesan.


BBQ Chicken Burgers with Honey Slaw August 1, 2010

Filed under: burgers — frappqueen @ 9:17 am

A fabulous entry from Rachel Ray. I must confess I can’t for the life of me remember which cookbook I have this in, but you can easily find the recipe on the foodnetwork website. I basically followed the recipe but I did change a few things, so here is the recipe as I made it.

BBQ Chicken Burgers with Slaw, adapted from Rachel Ray:

1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1 small red onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoons grill seasoning
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons honey, eyeball it
1 lemon, juiced
3 rounded tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 cups shredded cabbage mix
Salt and pepper
4 rolls of your choice, split


n a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add chopped onions, garlic and tomato paste and sweat them for 5 minutes to soften and sweeten. Sprinkle in sugar and remove from heat. Cool in a bowl, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste mixture and Worcestershire to bowl and combine. Add chicken to the bowl then grill seasoning and combine the burgers well to evenly distribute the flavors and form 4 patties. Wash up.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties 6 minutes on each side.

Combine the honey, lemon juice, and remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add relish, cabbage mix and sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Toss the slaw to coat and reserve.

Toast your buns in the toaster so they are a little bit, you know…toasty.

Serve burgers on bun bottoms topped with slaw and bun tops.

These burgers are really good and come together really fast. I Think the slaw is what makes them extra delicious, so don’t go without it!