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Tomato-Herb Chicken

19 Jan

Source: PhotoXpress


It should be no secret that my favorite kitchen tool is the slow-cooker. Is there a Crock-Pot Anonymous, because I may need a 12 step program here.

This is a yummy twist on all the flavors of tomato-based vegetable soup and basic baked chicken. It’s an ideal dish for one of those cold, wintry days were just have no time to slave over the stove. (Again, I really do love the slow cooker.)

Things You’ll Need:

1 32 oz can of tomato sauce
4 large potatoes
5 large carrots
4 medium onions
Garlic salt
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 to 5)

Step One:

Cut all of the vegetables into large chunks, about an inch and a half wide.

Step Two:

Layer the veggies in the bottom of the crock pot. Cover with tomato sauce. Turn the crock pot on and allow the veggies to cook on low for about two hours.

Step Three:

Make a mixture of parsley, oregano and basil in a wide bowl. Add 2 pinches of garlic salt to the bowl.

Step Four:

Put a piece of chicken in the bowl and coat with the herb blend. Repeat with the additional pieces of chicken.

Step Five:

Layer the chicken on top of the veggies (which have been cooking for about 2 hours). Ladel some tomato sauce on to the chicken. Allow the mixture to cook for about 3 hours on low.


Look Ma, Pot Roast

10 Jan


So, for someone who wants to become a better home cook. I have STRUGGLED with overcoming this fear of meat. I’m not a vegetarian, but I rarely eat beef as I just really do not like the flavor all that much. Plus, things that remind they were animals kind of gross me out. Needless to say, I have not cooked many a good beef dish in my day.

At the store last week, I found this lovely looking pot roast on sale, so I decided to take a stab at it. (pun intended) Unfortunately, my rechargeable batteries decided to die a horrible death, so I didn’t get pictures.

This dish is EASY! It’s also tasty and best of all, gave me yet another reason to break out my favorite kitchen tool, the crock pot!

Things You’ll Need:

2 to 3 pound beef roast
4 large carrots
3 medium onions
4 medium potatos
Chicago grill seasoning
Steak marinade
Garlic powder
Mushroom gravy

Step 1: Prep the meat by shaking chicago grill seasoning over all sides.
Step 2: Rub steak marinade over the top and bottom of the meat
Step 3. Cut all the vegetables into large chunks
Step 4: Layer the vegetables into the bottom of the crock pot. Shake parsley, oregano and garlic powder over the veggies to taste.
Step 5: Place the meat on top of the veggies in the crock pot.
Step 6: Cook the entire mixture on low for about 6 hours.
Step 7: Just before serving, heat gravy in a saucepan on the stove. Serve in gravy boat alongside the meat and vegetables.

Baked Apples with Blackberry Sauce

3 Dec

It’s been awhile since I have posted a recipe centric post, and I have to admit, I have kind of missed them. I mean I love my creative inspiration, book reviews and Christmas cheer posts, but the recipes were what I originially started this blog about.

So, I am pretty familiar with making baked apples with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and  melted butter. It’s a fairly traditional method. However, last night I had 7 to 8 small apples that needed to be used up. I knew I did not have any brown sugar or cinnamon on hand, but I was craving baked apples.

So, I came up with the idea of making an untraditional sauce for them.

Things You’ll Need:

7 to 8 small apples (or 4 to 5 larger ones)
1 cup of corn syrup (or make simple syrup*)
6 tablespoons of blackberry preserves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 stick of melted butter

Begin by cutting up all the apples into small chunks and preheating the oven to 350 degrees.


Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix together the other ingredients in a large bowl and slowly stir in the butter. You may need to use the back side of the spoon to mash up the blackberry preserves. Pour sauce over the apples.

Next, back the apples and sauce for about 40 minutes, until the apples begin to turn slightly brown. ENJOY!

What’s your favorite baked fruit recipe?

Black Bean Spectacular

14 Oct

I came home from dropping my wife and my brother off at work today and I was starving. We were out of sandwich stuff, out of eggs and I wasn’t in the mood for cereal. So, I did one of my typical scavenger missions around my kitchen. I uncovered…

1 can of black beans…

some balsamic vinegar…

1/2 bag of frozen corn…

and some chips.

What in the world was I going to do with this?

For a tasty snack I whipped my version of black bean salsa, which I am now renaming “black bean spectacular.”

1.  Set the corn in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, remove from heat, drain and allow it to cool a bit while mixing the other ingredients.

2. Open and drain the can of black beans. Dump into a bowl or plastic container.

3. Add slightly warm corn to the top of the black beans.

4. Add 3 to 4 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

5. Add several shakes of dried parsley, red pepper flakes and garlic salt

6. Mix well and taste. Add more  balsamic if necessary.

Its good all on its own, but definitely a treat when scooped up with some tortilla chips. Yum!

all photos: PhotoXpress

Peanut Chicken

22 Aug

Back from my weekend trip, my body was definitely feeling the effects of bad food. Maybe that’s why I loaded up on the fresh fruit and salad fixings this week. I certainly think so. Still, as always there was some lean protein to be found in my fridge. I actually took pictures of this recipe, but my brother’s computer seems to hate my SD card. Go figure. I really can’t wait to have my little netbook back.

Peanut Chicken


Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this recipe makes five easily)
1/4 tbs. of chili lime paste
2 tbs of low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbs of low-sodium teryaki sauce
4 tbs of natural or reduced fat peanut butter

1. Combine the soy sauce, teryaki sauce, chili lime paste and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.
2. Stir vigorously until all of the ingredients have been combined to the consistency of paste.
3. Rub the paste-like marinade over all sides of the chicken breast (yes, this is a “get your hands messy” recipe)
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Do you ever go a bit Asian in the kitchen?

Brownies for A Cause

13 Aug

Tonight I am having dinner with the lovely Becky and I hate to show up to dinner parties empty handed. I wanted to do a twist on traditional boxed brownies, but you know me by now…almost nothing is really from scratch around here. I came up with this simple twist for easy, coffee-infused brownies.

Take one box of your favorite brownie mix and prepare according to the directions. Add 2 tbsp of instant coffee, 2 tbsp of powdered flavored coffee mix (I used vanilla latte) and 2 generous squirts of vanilla extract. Bake according to the directions on the box and enjoy!

Instant Coffee

Gives Brownies

Latte Power

P.S. My wife, friend and I are walking in Philadelphia’s 4th Annual Mutt Strut on Saturday, October 30th.  Please help me spread the word. Link to my donation page at

Balsamic Chicken leftovers?

11 Aug

Okay, so if you are anything like me, there are probably some leftovers from that yummy Balsamic Chicken.  Today I discovered a simple, sandwich recipe to use up the leftovers.

Place ranch salad dressing on two pieces of whole wheat bread.

Add some sliced tomato and some lettuce

Slice the chicken thin and add it to the sammie.

There you have it: a quick and easy left over lunch.

A good bread really makes this wonderful.