A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Garlic Dill Fries!! June 12, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,side dishes — frappqueen @ 7:35 pm

These are SO good and So simple, we ate them three times in one week! Using store-bought frozen fries, it seriously takes only the time to heat the fries in the oven to enjoy this awesome side dish. Great with chicken or steak, or even as a snack! Give ’em a try!

Garlic Dill Fries

frozen thin cut french fries (however much you want to make)

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons of FRESH dill, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper


Cook fries in the oven as per instructions on the bag. Meanwhile, get the butter going!

Mix the remaining ingredients into a bowl and then microwave til the butter melts, about 30 seconds.

When the fries are crispy, remove from the oven and put in large bowl. Add the melted butter mixture and toss to coat the fries.

Serve them just as they are, crispy and covered in garlic dill butter. YUM!


coffee encrusted steak with mashed sweet potatoes April 12, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,meat — frappqueen @ 8:28 pm
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Sorry I’ve been missing for so long! I recently spent about four days in the wilderness with my sixth graders as a chaperone and I didn’t do so much cooking when I got home as I was too busy napping! Anyway, I’m back, with lots of great food to share.

Coffee encrusted steak is SO good and super easy! It is basically two ingredients for the steak, and another three or so for the potatoes. The whole recipe takes hardly any prep or time. Perfect for a busy weeknight. I got it from the rachel ray website and its definitely a keeper.

I have made this a few times but this last time, I er, overcooked the steak as I was too busy tending to my farmville farm to realize it was done! That’s truly sad, and the reason why the steak looks a tad grey. Sorry! Mike still liked it but I thought it was way too dry for me. Next time I will not farm while cooking, I promise!

Coffee Encrusted Steak

steak of your choice

equal parts of ground coffee and steak seasoning (about 2 tbsp of each)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the coffee and steak seasoning. Rub all over the top and bottom of the steak. Preheat some olive oil in a nonstick, oven-safe pan. Sear the steak for about 8 minutes on each side.  Pop into the oven and cook, covered with foil for another ten minutes or so. Use a thermometer to be sure it is the correct temperature for your liking. I usually undercook the steak and we have to stick it back in, but not today! Today I overcooked it! Oh well!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal sized cubes

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 tbsp chives (fresh is best)

2 tbsp. butter

Boil the sweet potatoes in water for about 20 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain. Add the remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher. Add more butter and buttermilk if the potatoes are too chunky for your liking. Serve with the steak. It’s so good!


Garlicky Roast Chicken with Chive Smashed Potatoes March 6, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,poultry — frappqueen @ 10:22 am
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you can eat the skin on this, just this once!

Last Sunday I was super craving roast chicken. I got a little 4 and a half pound guy for a decent price and lo and behold! He fit in my rotisserie perfectly! After looking around for a recipe I’d like, I actually found a great one from Ask Aida for chive smashed potatoes, but none of the chicken ones were exactly what I was hoping for. So, I made mine up! And it was really good. I made a garlic butter which I slathered all over the bird and under the skin. The result was the crispiest, most flavorful bird ever! The skin was so good I just stood over it like a vulture eating it all as Mike looked on in disgust! The garlicky butter even made its way into the meat itself and as a result, I didn’t even bother to serve it with a gravy! Give this a try, it takes like 10 minutes to prep and if you have a rotisserie you can just set it and forget it, but if you don’t you can just roast it in the oven and it will be just as wonderful.

Garcliky Roast Chicken

a whole chicken, sized the way you want it to be!

about a half a stick of butter

salt and pepper

6 cloves of garlic: smash all of them but leave 3 intact with the skin on, the other 3 should be minced finely

1 tsp minced rosemary (fresh if you’ve got it)

1 tsp dried thyme

1 1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning (you can use less but I love this stuff! I use the one with that fat guy wearing a hat? I think its called “Magic Poultry Seasoning”

one lemon, sliced in half


Rinse chicken and remove all the little bags of giblets and stuff. Pat dry. Season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper. Aida says that seasoning the inside is really the most important, so don’t leave it out! Set bird aside to relax a bit before his sun tan! In a small bowl add the butter, thyme and rosemary, the minced garlic, poultry seasoning and some salt and pepper. Pop it into the microwave for like 10 to 15 seconds. You want the butter to be SOFT but NOT MELTED. Mix the ingredients together by mushing it all around with your hand. Proceed to the bird; loosen the skin around the breast by uh, shoving your hand in there! Then lather on the herb butter, put dollops of it in between the skin and the breast and try to make it evenly distributed. Take the remaining butter and lather it all over the top of the bird. Wash your hands thoroughly and add the remaining garlic right into the cavity of the bird. Add the lemon wedges inside the bird and if you used fresh rosemary, you can stuff a sprig of that into the cavity as well.

Roast the bird the way you like to until it reaches 160 degrees. Let it rest for 10 minutes before digging in, though a little skin picking is surely acceptable!

Chive Smashed Potatoes

*This recipe is from Aida on the Food Network

1 pound of small potatoes, either baby yukon or baby red (I had leftovers of both so I used both)

kosher salt (or regular table salt if you don’t have it)

fresh chives, chopped (or use freeze dried like I did!)

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil


Clean the potatoes but leave the skins on. Add to a large pot and cover with water. Bring the potatoes to a boil and salt the water slightly. Cover and let cook on low flame for 20 minutes or until a fork pierces the skin easily. Drain the potatoes and add them back to the pot. Turn on the flame again and add the oil and butter and shimmy the pot around until it is all melted and the potatoes are coated in the oil/butter mixture. Take a ladle or potato masher and lightly smash each potato individually, so that they are kind of squished flat but not becoming mashed potatoes. Let the potatoes cook about 5 or 10 mins on each side until they are browned and crispy. If they fall apart, who cares?! Add a sprinkle of salt and the chives and cook another minute or two, flipping potatoes to coat. Remove from heat and dig in; these guys are delicious!

Asparagus is optional!


Beef Tenderloin a La Larsen February 14, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,meat,side dishes,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:12 pm
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Happy Valentine’s Day! Now, don’t get upset here, I personally have  hated and always will hate this stupid holiday. Just another way stores want to sell you stuff and force you to be nice to people or make you feel terrible if you are valentine-less. I think that just isn’t right. If you love someone you should be telling them every day! However, I suppose that 4 (almost!) years of marriage has softened me in my old age and in the past few years I have slowly allowed Mike to celebrate the day just a little bit. This year he got me really pretty flowers, awesome Pjs, and best of all: He cleaned the house! Hooray! In return, I got him two video games and made delicious dinner! This is a super fancy but super easy recipe from our friend Jen. She has made it for lots of fancy holidays, and generally does it with a whole giant beef tenderloin, which is apparently the part of the cow that  filet minion comes from. When I asked my butcher (I dont really have a butcher personally, but I ventured into a meat store the other day so I guess he’s mine now!) he gave me three individual filets, so I guess it depends on who slices your meat. Either way, it just involves a bit of prep work and an instant read thermometer to get it right.

how romantic!

As you can see, I did make surf and turf for myself! Mike hates fish of any kind, but I figured it was a good chance to treat myself tonight, so I got a super score sale on lobster tail at the grocery store: 5 bucks!! Considering the fish store wanted 23 bucks for a frozen one, this made me quite pleased with my thriftiness. The total menu was this: Rosemary beef tenderloin, lobster tail with chive butter sauce, roasted asparagus and roasted oniony potatoes! The entire meal pretty much just roasts in the oven for 20 minutes, it can’t be simpler!

Anyway, on to the recipes!! Get a pen, you’re gonna want notes on these guys!

Garlic and Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

1/2 c. soy sauce

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 v. balsamic OR red wine vinegar (I used balsamic, I think Jen usually does the red wine)

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 tspns dried rosemary

1 5 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed (or enough for who you’re feeding…for the two of us I got three steaks, it was too much food!)

1 tbsp  pepper


Combine the first five ingredients in a heavy duty zip top bag. Add beef. Seal and chill at least 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove beef from marinade, discarding bag and extra marinade. Place in a roasting pan or shallow dish. Sprinkle evenly with pepper and let stand 30 minutes.

Bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned (I did mine for 10 as I had less meat). Lower temperature to 375. Bake 20 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Use a thermometer to check temperature, 160 is perfect for  medium meat. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. YUM.

Buttery Chive Lobster Tail

4 tbs butter

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp chives

lobster tail, butterflied (cut the shell vertically and scoop the meat out so it sort of rests on top)


Melt all ingredients in a small pot. Reserve 1/4 of the mixture for dipping. Preheat a grill pan and spray with cooking spray. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the tail meat. Place tail meat side down into the hot pan. Cover with a lid and let cook, about 6 minutes. Flip lobster over and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes or so, until the tail is bright red and the meat is no longer translucent. Remove from heat and enjoy, dipping into the remaining butter sauce. SO GOOD!

Roasted Potatoes

1/2 lb baby red potatoes, cleaned and quartered with skins on

1-2 tsp olive oil

1 packet Lipton onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 450 (If you are making it with the tenderloin, you can put it in at 500 with the meat and just make sure you stir it up when you lower the oven to 375)

mix ingredients together and pour into a shallow baking dish. Roast for about 20 minutes to a half hour, until the potatoes are crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Roasted Asparagus

At the same temperature as above, place asparagus, trimmed of the ends in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Give the pan a shake to coat the asparagus evenly. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending how hot the oven is. Give a shake when you check on the asparagus to keep it cooking evenly. When the veggies are toasty looking and bright green, they are ready to eat! Remove and cover with foil til the remaining foods catch up with the cooking!

I over roasted mine (whoops!) but really, they still taste awesome, they just look a tad shrivelly.

Once you’re done eating, top it off with a McDonald’s hot fudge sundae and some Buffy watching in your Pjs. Perfect date all around!!