Monday, April 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

Holy indoor lighting, Batman!

Chicken and wild rice in any form reminds my of my childhood comfort food. Because of that, I have a few recipes that are very similar (like Old School Chicken and Rice )but I still keep all them in my cookbook!

When I put the chicken into the slow cooker in the morning, I cooked the rice in the microwave and stashed it in the frig, so it was all ready to combined at dinnertime. I also threw in some leftover white rice hiding in the back of the my frig, and it was incorporated nicely.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
recipe adapted from Southern Plate

4 chicken breasts (Can use fewer, can use bone-in or boneless)
1 10.75 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup onion, chopped
1 6 oz box long grain and wild rice with Seasonings

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle chopped onion over top. Top with cream soup. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Cook rice according to package directions. Before serving, stir rice in. Serve hot.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

What could be bad about taking chicken and coating it in crackers and cheese? Not much in our book!

Instead of grating the cheese, I shredded it, which was a mistake on my part. Grated cheese would have been spread throughout the coating better.

These were OK...not fantastic, but not horrible. The leftovers dissappeared pretty quickly, but I don't know if I would make them again. Breading the chicken seemed to take more time than I had that day, but it was still a yummy dinner.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed in food processor
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.  Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs.
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.
Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.

Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Applesauce Cookies

I find all my cookbooks at the library. After randomly picking up The Amish Cook, I had such a good time reading it, that I had to go through the book one more time to look for recipes that I wanted to try.

This recipe was an easy one to make, as it had no weird ingredients. None of the recipes in this cookbook had any hard-to-find or trendy ingredients, but that pretty much says it all about the Amish!

The cookies were really good straight out the oven, but the remaining cookies didn't fair so well in our humid weather. They were still a hit in our house!

Applesauce Cookies
recipe adapted from The Amish Cook

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup applesauce
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I left them out because I didn't have any!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the egg and combine. Add the applesauce, oatmeal, raisins, nuts and chocolate chips. Add the reserved dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Drop by teaspoonfuls, spaced apart, onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes until the top and edges are slightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops

To say that my cooking methods have evolved since I've had kids is putting it nicely. Before kiddos, I would have frowned upon using this many convenience foods - a dry mix AND a can of condensed soup? Unbelievable.

And now, today, this is where I am. I will take the shortcut. And that's OK. It allows me to leave swimming lessons at 5:10, drive 20 minutes home and still be eating by 5:45, all the while avoiding the stealthy call of McDonalds. Plus, the prep time to put this dinner together can happen at 9 am when I am still somewhat caffeinated, and only take 5 to 10 minutes. That sounds like a winner to me.

I used bone-in pork chops, because that's what I found on sale. I browned them in a skillet before putting them into the slow cooker, but I don't think that's necessary. I added one can-ful of water, and I think next time I'll only add a half a can or less. The "gravy" was a little runny.

Serve with mashed potatoes, and pour of little of the "gravy" on top. Good stuff. I think that's about all my four year old ate for dinner was the mashed potatoes and gravy...and he even asked for seconds!

This was such a slam dunk dinner that I was shocked. My husband took dinner leftovers for lunch to work the next day...and he very rarely likes to reheat things at work. That alone is a huge compliment.

Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops
recipe adapted from Living Laughing and Loving

approx 2 pounds pork chops (bone-in or boneless)
1 oz dry ranch seasoning dry mix packet
1 (10.75 oz) can Cream of Chicken plus 1 can water

Combine all three ingredients in the crockpot and mix well.   Cook on low for 4-6 hours.