Monday, September 30, 2013

the widowed chef's recipe box

I have been cooking up some mean dishes the past two nights... ones so delish that I didn't think it would be right to keep them from the world. So here goes...

So usually I have some recipe idea appear in my head. I have a couple of ingredients that I want to feature and I need to think up a way to highlight them without too much prep time. I love casseroles for two reasons... you mash up everything in one pan/pot and then there is only one pan/pot to clean. As a widow cooking for one now, I also have very special criteria that I keep in mind including; ability to reheat and be delicious, ability to not get sick of after multiple meals, and the ability to not make me think of the depressing though of cooking for one. I always google around for recipes once I have an idea in my head. Then I meld all of the recipes until I find something that doesn't require me to buy five new spices and doesn't require too much prep time. So here was my recipe from tonight... super yummy and I can't wait to eat it for the rest of the week!

Crockpot Balsamic Vinegar Chicken

1. Coat crockpot with olive oil and put in some minced garlic.

2. Cut up chicken into manageable sized pieces

3. Season chicken with garlic powder, kosher salt, ground pepper, and Lipton onion soup mix

4. Place chicken in crockpot and drizzle 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

5. About an hour later check on chicken to see cooking status (perhaps turn chicken bits over) then add artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and basil/oregano from the garden

6. Let cook for about three hours but depends on the chicken chunk size and be sure to spoon the sauce mix around a few times

7. When ready boil whatever rice/noodle/quinoa that you prefer (wheat angel hair is my preferred choice at the moment) and open your fav bottle of wine

8. Smoother your fav carb/grain with the chicken deliciousness and top with your fav cheese

9. Enjoy

As I wrote this I realized how hard it is to write a recipe especially when you cook like me which includes a lot of eyeballin it! Just feel it out... thats how you get to be good both on and off your mat! But below are a few tips...

  • Although sometimes its nice to just leave the crock pot and go... it's best to watch chicken so it doesn't burn and get dried out!
  • I used Lipton onion soup mix because that's all I had... any sort of onion flavoring would do.
  • Invest in a gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar... it can change the dish! 
  • Anything from your own garden is a 100x better!
  • I used organic free ranged chicken.
  • Wash everything a million times after dealing with chicken chunks. 
  • I don't have a fancy crockpot... I registered for one but Matt made me return it after he reminded me I had a crockpot that his Dad bought us at a garage sale that I rarely used. Then the movers smooshed one side in. But it still works fine, I use it all the time now, and I love it! 
Hope this inspires you or provides you with a delightful meal one night!

Here were my inspirations for more exact measurements:


the widowed chef

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