Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
We've been using our crockpot quite a bit lately. We've also discovered the wonderful boneless skinless chicken thighs from one of our favorite grocery stores (or go-see store as our toddler calls them). The benefit of cooking the thighs in the crockpot is they dry out less and are more flavorful than the traditional chicken breasts. Cooking Light's crockpot recipes have become a go-to source. I did not expect this recipe to be as good as it was. Even the toddler ate some of it!
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Servings
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Instructions
  1. Combine 1/2 cup water and flour in your favorite crockpot, stirring with a whisk. (Note: You can also use corn starch, which we will do next time.)
  2. Stir in stock and next 8 ingredients (through mushrooms).
  3. Add chicken thighs to the stock mixture; submerge in liquid.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 7 1/2 hours (ours cooked about 9).
  5. Remove chicken.
  6. Leave whole or chop if using boneless skinless. If using bone-in, wait for them to cool, then remove bones.
  7. Add oil and pasta to slow cooker sauce; cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until pasta is done to your liking. (It took a little longer than 15 minutes for us.)
  8. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  9. Divide pasta mixture and top evenly with chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
I didn't expect the capers to add so much to the dish. It was the right amount of salt and sweet from the tomatoes. The pasta cooked perfectly. Next time, I will use the corn starch and reduce the amount of liquid a little for the initial cooking phase. If we need more to cook the pasta, I'll add more at that time. All in all a good, flavorful dish that is perfect for a weeknight.

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

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Butternut Squash Soup
We love love love love love this perfectly fall soup (even the toddler!)
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people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat squash in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast squash in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes.
  2. Peel the squash and set aside.
  3. In a soup pot, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil until simmering over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot, onion and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot and onions have softened and are starting to turn golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently. DON'T LET THE GARLIC BURN.
  4. Add the reserved butternut squash, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few shakes of ground black pepper, plus half the butter.
  5. Pour in the broth and using your favorite stick blender, blend until smooth. Add the butter and blend again.

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Quick Yellow Shrimp Curry

Easy Yellow Shrimp Curry Sometimes I really want a good curry, but I don’t have time to toast the spices or wait for it to come together. This super simple curry from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen is even quicker with our favorite Penzey’s Curry spice blend. Plus the best part is you can add any vegetables you have. I’ve used carrots, zucchini, broccoli and peppers with just as delicious results.

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Quick Yellow Shrimp Curry
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Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan, sautee the onions over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they become transparent.
  2. Add the spices and garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
  3. Add the shrimp and lemon juice. Stir to coat in with the spices, then pour in the coconut milk.
  4. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Mix in the chopped parsley just before serving. Serve with rice, couscous or quinoa

My opinion:
This takes less than 15 minutes, 20 if your vegetables aren’t already chopped. It’s simple, delicious and extremely delicious. I only wish there was a little more leftover for lunch the next day, there never is enough!

*If you don’t have the Penzey’s Curry spice mix, the original recipe called for: 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon coriander and optional 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.

p.s. even our toddler loves this dish!
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Weeknight Spicy Chicken Soup

Spicy Chicken Soup

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Weeknight Spicy Chicken Soup
As the weather cools, we start eating more and more soups. I would never have tried this without the urging of J. It doesn't sound delicious.  Plus when he told me it was a Bon Appétit recipe, I thought it would be way too complicated and complex. Turns out, it's super simple and  does taste delicious. It's definitely a new favorite. We've used leftover turkey and rotisserie chicken and both have been wonderful. The recipe says it serves four, but it can stretched to serve more, or cooked down longer to serve less.
Course Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pick meat from chicken, shred, and place in a small bowl (you should have about 4 cups); discard skin and bones.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 8–10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add shredded chicken, broth and cayenne and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn heat to low.
  7. Add spinach and divide soup among bowls.
  8. Top with scallions and serve lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
That's it, really. It takes a total of between 15 and 20 minutes to prep everything and about 40 minutes to cook per the recipe.  This recipe is easy enough to be a weeknight dinner. If you let it cook down longer or reheat it for lunch the next day, the flavors intensify and meld together even more. If I am planning to eat it the next day, I leave the spinach out and add it in right before eating.  I adore this dish!

Best Gazpacho

Gazpacho
I know I said this was the best gazpacho recipe and I promise I still really like that one. This one is a teensy bit better and reminds me of a bowl of gazpacho from a restaurant in my hometown that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s the perfect HOT summer dinner. We found this gem hidden in a Mexican cookbook that we bought years ago:
Perfect Mexican
Now the serving suggestions include:
Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 3.00.04 PMBut truthfully, we don’t bother because the model didn’t include the garnishes and it’s just as good.

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Best Gazpacho
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Servings
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My opinion:
Some people keep this extra chilly by serving an ice cube at the bottom.
Best Gazpacho
Instead of crusty bread (because I’m still limited in my wheat and gluten intake) we served it with corn quesadillas! Delicious!
Enjoy!
Corn Quesadillas

p.s. Summer 2016 update: even our toddler loves this gazpacho, which she calls “sauca!” She’s been practicing using a spoon on her own and if we keep this a bit on the chunkier side, she’s 90 percent successful!