A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Ravioli with Peas and Prosciutto April 18, 2011

Filed under: pasta,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 10:37 am
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This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, and it is really simple and delicious! I added a few things to make it tastier, mainly a bit of white wine to add some zip to the sauce, which is very mild and light. Using light cream instead of heavy cream in the sauce also helps make it a bit lighter if you are on weight watchers for forever, like Mike likes to be!

Ravioli with Pea Prosciutto Sauce

ravioli, cooked according to package directions (save 1 c. pasta water before draining)

4 oz chopped prosciutto

2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 c white wine

a few glugs of chicken broth

1/4 c. light cream or heavy cream

1 c. blanched frozen peas

some chopped parsley and fresh grated romano, to taste


Boil ravioli according to directions on package. With two minutes to go, add the frozen peas and cook til the pasta is done, reserve one cup of cooking liquid and drain the pasta and peas.

Cook prosciutto in a skillet with the olive oil until crisp. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook another minute or two. Deglaze pan with the wine and add the chicken broth after a minute or two of cooking the wine. Next ladle in the pasta water and cook until reduced on very low heat, about 4 minutes. Add the cream and simmer another 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens up. If it isn’t thick enough, add a touch more cream. Toss the sauce with the ravioli and peas, and top with the parsley and cheese.

You will want to eat this twice in one week, which is what Mike and I did!!


Pork Ragu April 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:08 pm

Since you know I love that Rachel Ray, here’s one from her newest show…I forget, its something like “A Week in a Day”…where she thinks people should cook everything on Sunday and eat it all week. Well, I certainly don’t have 8 hours to devote to cooking on a Sunday, but I do like the idea of stretching foods to meet more than one meal. This pork ragu is awesome, and uses leftover pork for her Pork Tacos, which I did make, but didn’t photograph because I guess I was too busy eating them? Who knows! Either way, definitely make these two one week, they are both decently easy, and super delicious!

Pork Ragu

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine, or medium bodied red
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 pound to 1 pound cooked shredded pork shoulder
Pinch ground cloves
2/3 cup milk
1 pound pappardelle pasta, cooked to al dente or 1 cup quick cooking polenta, cooked to package directions (I can never find this pasta: I used fettuccine!)
A handful finely chopped parsley leaves
Shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping or for more tang use grated Pecorino Romano


Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, then add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Stir in the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the vegetables until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute, then add the wine and cook for another minute. Stir in the stock and bring sauce to a simmer. Add the pork and season with a pinch of ground cloves. When the sauce returns to a simmer add the milk and reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce mellow while you bring the water to boil for the pasta or polenta. Sauce may be made ahead and reheated over medium-low heat. Add a splash of stock or water to thin the sauce, if necessary. Serve the sauce tossed with pasta ribbons or atop creamy bowls of polenta and garnish with lots of cheese and parsley.


Be back in 6-8 weeks! November 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 10:17 am

Hi Guys! Well, I’ve been quiet for a bit now and I’ll most likely continue with the trend for now.

On November 18th, 2010 at 7:40 pm my beautiful daughter, Katherine Elizabeth was born! Babies are awesome, but they tend to take up all of your time, meaning there is zero time for cooking and zero time for blogging (although currently last night was a miracle and I got like 4 hours of sleep and she is now napping whilst I drink coffee….which means probably later there will be fussing for hours, but we’ll see!) so this blog will have to go on hold for a bit. I promise as soon as life begins to calm down and Kate starts to form a routine, I’ll be back with lots of food and recipes for you! Have a fantastic holiday season, maybe I can at least bake some cookies at some point…we’ll see!

So there she is, my little turkey!! Better go finish this coffee, who knows how much more time I have?!


Black Forest Reubens November 11, 2010

Filed under: sandwiches — frappqueen @ 8:56 am

Another one from my Rachel Ray Express Lane Cookbook, this was quick to make and really quite tasty. Mike and I love regular reubens and this one was really good with the ham and mustardy twist! Also, it actually does only take a few minutes to make, which is rare for any meal!

I should have photographed the inside of this sandwich so you could see all the ooey gooey layers, but uh, I was hungry and scarfed it down instead! So whatever, on to the recipe!

Black Forest Reubens

slices of pumpernickel bread (enough for however many you are feeding)

4 tablespoons butter, softened

3 rounded tablespoons dill pickle relish

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 rounded tablespoon capers, chopped

4 rounded tablespoons spicey brown mustard

slices of swiss cheese (enough so that there is 2 per sandwich)

1/2 pound of deli corned beef (or more if more sandwiches!)

1/2 pound of deli black forest ham (same as above)

1 jar of cooked red cabbage or sauerkraut (we used sauerkraut cuz we had it home)

pickles and chips for sides


Spread one side of each slice of bread with the butter. In a small bowl, combine the relish, shallot, capers and mustard. Build the sandwiches with buttered sides facing OUT:

slather liberal amounts of mustard mixture on bottom slices of bread, top with a slice of swiss, a few slices of corned beef, a few slices of ham, a small mound of cabbage or kraut, another slice of cheese and top with other slice of bread.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Toast the reubens for 5 minutes on each side or until the cheese melts and bread is toasty. Cut in half and serve with pickles and chips. YUM!


Chicken with Champagne Risotto and Asparagus September 24, 2010

Filed under: poultry,side dishes,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 7:25 pm
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This one was really very delicious! The champagne in the risotto was a nice kick, though to be honest, I didn’t taste too much of a difference from using wine when it comes down to it. So, if you have champagne at home, by all means, use it. But if you don’t, I don’t really think you need to go run out and buy some to make this recipe either! White wine is great too.

Oh, one more thing. This came from the Rachel Ray magazine website I think, and the original called for a lemon cream sauce to put over the chicken. Well, I don’t know if it is because I tried to be health conscious and used fat free half and half instead or what, but the sauce was watery and NASTY. We didn’t use it, and the recipe was still great! So, I left it out in my directions below. If you are intrigued by the sauce, look it up on the website!

Chicken with Champagne Risotto and Asparagus

3 cups chicken broth
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
Salt and pepper
1 split champagne or sparkling wine
poultry seasoning (about a tablespoon or so)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/8 pound sliced pancetta, chopped
1 small bunch asparagus, cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3 to 4 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped and chopped

lemon juice (optional)


In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over low heat. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the champagne and boil to evaporate slightly, about 2 minutes.

Stir a couple of ladlefuls of warm chicken broth into the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates. Add more broth, a few ladlefuls at a time, reserving 1/2 cup. Cook until creamy, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board (reserving the skillet); add the reserved 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan juices in the skillet and stir. Stir this liquid into the risotto as it cooks.

In the nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and shallot and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.

To serve, stir the cheese and thyme into the risotto and spoon generous portions onto plates. Slice the chicken breasts on an angle and fan out over the risotto. Pour the lemon juice over the asparagus and toss; spoon around the risotto.


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


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!!


Bacon and Butternut Squash Pasta Bake May 23, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:53 am
Tags: ,

This recipe is delicious year round, though particularly yummy in the fall. Of course, I obviously made it recently because, well, I had a craving for it! When squash is in season, you can use fresh, but if it’s not, frozen butternut squash works just as well. They sell it pre-chopped in bite size pieces, so it’s ready to go. Just be careful roasting it, if you overdo it, they tend to get mushy which doesn’t look pretty but it still tastes good.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, and can be made pretty easily. I just take the lazy ladies’ way out sometimes and bake the bacon if I’m not in the mood to scrub the stove later. It is mostly just tossing everything together once you roast the squash. Give it a try, it’s a nice twist on plain old mac and cheese!

Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta (from Cooking Light)

3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  dried rosemary
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3  cups  (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
Cooking spray
6  sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1  cup  thinly sliced shallots
8  ounces  uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.

Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan over the top, it is delightful!