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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Crock-Pot Enchilada Chicken

I haven't really been cooking much - and not cooking much or cooking anything new means no new blog posts... till yesterday.

I was working from home and decided that in the blinding heat we're enjoying here in Boston, that I didn't want to cook dinner but I did want a tasty meal. Ah ha! Enter crock-pot. You can plug it in and let it chug all day - without giving off too much heat. So I investigated the cabinets and came up with a healthy and tasty treat - Enchilada chicken. Easy to make, easy to cook and very very tasty.

Crock-pot Enchilada Chicken
Makes 3-4 servings

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can stewed tomatos
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce (or make your own)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mexican chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin (or a little more if you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Add the chicken into the crock-pot, then add the spices listed.
  2. Next pour in the stewed tomatos and the beans and the enchilada sauce.
  3. Mix it all together, pop the top on and let it sit on low for 8 hours. 
  4. Do not open. 
  5. In the last hour of cooking, pop the top off of the mixture and turn it up to high. This will help to evaporate out the extra liquid and thicken the sauce without having to add flour. 
  6. Either use in enchiladas - or we poured this mixture over rice. Very tasty. 
  7. We topped them with a little low fat cheese and a little sour cream.
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (eggless)

Our new pooch
Oh man, it's been awhile since my last post. I haven't really been cooking that much new stuff recently... been focused a little bit more on other big life changes. We adopted a dog! With that big change - I'm sure you will see some homemade doggie treats in an upcoming blog post or two - if you have a good recipe, feel free to send it my way! Would love to test it out.

With that said, I had bought some bananas that I didn't end up eating and decided it was time to tackle the banana bread again... dun dun DUN! As always, I never have any eggs in my house - no one eats them so why buy them! It also means that I'm always cooking without eggs or making some neat substitues. This recipe is delicious. No jokes. It is good. It is fantastic. It turned a non-banana bread eater into a banana bread lover.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (eggless with oatmeal)
1 loaf


  • 3 ripe bananas - medium size
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup of white AP flour
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Chocolate chips - as many as you want, I used around 1/4 of a 12oz bag


  1. Preheat your oven to 400degreesF
  2. Plop your bananas into a bowl and mash them up really well. 
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and mixed it all together.
  4. Grease your loaf pan with a little cooking spray - I also usually line the pan with tin foil and spray that too, it makes it easier to get the loaf out of the pan. 
  5. Turn down the heat on the oven to 350degreesF
  6. Pour in the mix and bake for 50 minutes. The mix will NOT fill up the pan, BUT the bread will rise a little so don't worry! 
  7. After around 45 to 50 min, do the toothpick test - if it comes out clean take out the loaf and let it rest for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. 
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baked Plantains

Quick and easy snack - I spotted them at the foodstore and had a sudden craving. We had some leftover guacamole in the fridge and ya know what tastes good with guac? Plantains. Yum. Super duper easy. You can either make these suckers with yellow or darker plantains - one thing to note, the darker the rind or peel, the sweeter the fruit is.

Baked Plantains
Makes enough for 2 people to snack

2 plantains - medium size
Salt (I prefer sea salt)
Cooking spray
Dipping sauce of choice

  • Preheat your oven to 325degrees
  • Peel the plantains and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces
  • On your cookie sheet, lay down a piece of parchment paper or cooking spray
  • Pop your plantains onto the sheet, and spray them lightly with cooking spray
  • Sprinkle the salt on top
  • Pop the tray into the oven for 10 minutes
  • After 10 minutes, grab the try out of the oven and grab a wooden spoon, cover the spoon with either a piece of parchment paper or spray is a little bit so the plantains don't stick.
  • Smash each plantain piece so it turns into more of a chip
  • Pop these back into the oven - 10 to 20 minutes depending on how crispy you like your chips
  • Let them cool and enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Muffin's Take 2 (Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond)

Hi! It's been awhile. I'm sure you've been busy, I certainly have. Haven't really whipped up anything new recently (or anything tasty enough to post... heh...) BUT I was inspired last night to take a second stab at muffins. Found a great recipe on Cooking Light for some chocolate chip chocolate muffins and on my first attempt, I made a funny mistake - I forgot to add the cocoa powder... whoops! They look tasty though? The recipe is located here.
Sooooo I really wanted to chocolate ones but ran out of ingredients from the first batch and had to improvise. These suckers aren't as healthy for you but are really tasty so I guess that balances it out (right?)

One little tip - I ran out of muffin liners so parchment paper works super well, it's not as pretty but in a pinch it worked.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I always use this stuff. Love it!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter - melted
  • 2/3 cup warm water (add a bit more if too dry)
  • 1 container of plain greek yogurt (5.3 oz or 6 oz one would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • sprinkle of sugar (optional)
  • Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400degrees F.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar together so it's well incorporated.
  3. Add in butter, water, yogurt, almond extract, egg and mix together until there are no dry bits. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Try not to over mix.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips with a few mixes. Prep your muffin tin with the muffin liners, and spray with cooking spray to ensure its easy to get the muffin out.
  5. Pour in your mixture evenly between the tins and top with a few extra chocolate chips and a sprinkle of sugar.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes and check with a toothpick to ensure it's not wet in the middle. If so, pop them back in for another few minutes until the toothpick comes out dry.
  7. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eggless Apple Oatmeal Muffins and Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffins

Happy New Year Folks! I know I haven't blogged that much over the past few weeks but honestly, I didn't really do that much cooking (or least cook anything noteworthy or new.) Now that we're back in the swing of a normal schedule, I got the baking itch last night and attempted a few recipes for muffins. I'm on the hunt for a tasty and not-too-bad-for-you morning muffin. These two are a good start - Eggless Apple Oatmeal Muffins and Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffins.
The Apple muffins aren't the prettiest muffins in the world but they do do the trick and fill you up! Like my "Batter Finger" scraper in the background! Hee hee.

These recipes are eggless since I was bringing them to work and someone in my office doesn't eat eggs, BUT you can sub in eggs! I'll note in the ingredients where you can swap in an egg if you prefer.
Sweet muffin cups eh? Pirate Flags!
Adapted from Kathy Can Cook's Chai-Spiced Muffins
Makes 20 - 24 muffins (you can half the recipe as well - I was bringing them to work so I made double)

3 medium sized apples (I usually bake with Cortlands but I used Fuji in this and they tasted fine), skinned and chopped into 1/4 inch sized bites
2 cups flour - whole wheat is preferable
1 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
2/3 cup oil - canola or vegetable
1 tsp corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup water (or 1 egg)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon honey (add more if you like it sweeter)
1/4 sugar and a little on the side to sprinkle on the top
2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup milk (add a little more if it's too dry)

Preheat your oven to 350degrees
Prep your muffin tin with muffin cups - I used a medium sized tin which makes the allotted amount
Chop your apples!
In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (oil, milk, honey, vanilla, cornstarch mixture) and mix in the spices, baking soda, sugar, oats and flour. The consistency should be more thick than you normally make muffins with - these babies don't rise much.
Add in the apples. As the original recipe states - the dough should be mostly apples! - I had to use my hands to get an even mixture.
Plop the dough into the muffin cups - about 2/3rds of the way up in the cup. Sprinkle a little sugar on the top of each muffin for a little sweetness in the first bite :-)
Bake for around 20 minutes - check to see if they are done by using a toothpick down the middle of one of the muffins and if it comes out clean they are done!
Let them cool for about 5 minutes before serving. They are also very tasty cool - and in the morning.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman Muffins, Infinite Ways Recipe
Makes 12 medium sized muffins

6 tablespoons butter - softened
2 cups flour - whole wheat
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water (or 2 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
Cooking spray for the muffin tin
1/3 of a 12oz bag of chocolate chips (I wouldn't over do it otherwise it will mess with the consistency of the muffin)

Preheat oven to 400degrees
Prep your muffin tin - but putting in the muffin cups and I also sprayed them to ensure the muffin comes out of the cup. Nobody likes a sticky muffin :-)
Cream the sugar and butter together
Add in the vanilla and mix again
Add in the baking powder and salt
In a separate bowl, mix together the milk and cornstarch/water together. (If you're using eggs, feel free to add them directly into the bowl with the butter and sugar.) Mix into butter and sugar bowl. DO NOT OVER MIX! Once you add the cornstarch mixture, there will be a little foaming, mix this a bit but the foaming (I think) added to the fluffyness of the muffin so you don't want to loose that.
Add in the flour and mix maybe 12 times so it's incorporated but do not over mix.
Add in the chocolate chips so they are incorporated as well - maybe 4 mixes.
Fill the cups evenly and top with a little sprinkle of sugar to give a little extra sweetness!
Baked for 20-25 minutes - check around 20 minutes with a toothpick down the middle of one of the muffins, if it comes out clean they are done!
Let them cool for around 5 minutes before indulging.

YAY! Happy Eating!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crock Pot Roast Beef and Homemade Bread

Ah Sunday, what a fantastic day to spend in the kitchen. Probably one of my most favorite things to do is hop into the kitchen, crank up the Patriot's game, throw-on my Pancake! apron and cook up a storm! This past Sunday was even better though... we are a two football team household, Matt is a die-hard Brown's fan and I, as previously mentioned love the Patriots. The Brown's weren't playing Sunday which free's Matt up! Yay! Which also means he decided to take on the crock pot. Oh and I'm so glad he did! The man know's how to cook-up a mean piece of beef.  It's a very easy recipe that you could do with any piece of beef. We happened to snag a nice looking piece about 2-3lbs at the food store that morning. Fantastic. Unfortunately, we where too hungry before I snagged a photo of the final meat but I'm sure you can imagine how tasty it looked.

Easy Crock Pot Roast Beef
2-3lbs would feed about 4 ppl, it does shrink a bit while it cooks

Big hunk of meat - we used a 2lb piece of roast beef
1 cup (or at least 1/2 inch covering the bottom of pot) of soy sauce. (I have a large crock pot so we added a bit more sauce to ensure the bottom was covered.)
1 tsp salt and pepper covering both sides of meat
1 tsp of garlic salt
1 tsp of grilling spices
1 tablespoon flour (For gravy)

  1. Turn your crock pot on high
  2. Salt and pepper each side of the meat
  3. Plop the meat into the crock pot
  4. Add in the soy sauce - ensure that it covers the bottom of the pot, and about 1/2 inch up the side of the meat
  5. Sprinkle in the garlic salt and grilling spices on top of the meat
  6. Cover and DON'T TOUCH IT for at least 4 hours
  7. Feel free to open and check starting at around 4.5 hours and cook until done. It should turn gray. 
  8. After it's done, pull the meat out and set it aside to rest. If you cut into it right away, you'll let all the juices out. Letting it rest lets the juices soak into the meat.
  9. Add the flour to the juices left in the crock pot. Mix to make a nice rich gravy. Add more or less flour depending on how thick you want your gravy.
While he tackled the beef, I decided that it was finally time to take on some homemade bread. I haven't perfected my recipe yet - but I'll share a few photos with you of my first pass. If you have an easy to make bread recipe, I'd love to check it out!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mexican Crock Pot Chicken

I'm a novice crock-potter. I've had more failures than successes with this sucker but I'm determined to figure out how to make it work for me. I am a expert at making chicken soup so I thought, how different can that be from using a crock pot. GENIUS MOMENT! We've come to find in our house that we both really love pulled chicken... pulled chicken, crock pot, soup BINGO. This recipe is inspired by recipe I found in my new favorite cookbook, The Southern Living Cook Book. No, I'm not making any money off of promoting this sucker, I just have found it to be a great resource for inspirations for new recipes and easy recipes. Check it out and I'd love to know what you think.

Also, I'll make one last request of you fine reader - with my novice status of crock potting, I'd love to see your recipes and test them out! Please comment on this post and share a recipe or link to your blog with a recipe. Thank you!

ANYWAYS... on to the recipe for my Mexican Crock Pot Chicken

Mexican Crock Pot Chicken
(this is about 4 servings worth, add more chicken and the servings increased, there is certianly room for it in the broth.)

(This recipe is for 4 servings approx, adjust meat and liquid for more servings)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can petite cut tomatoes - drain the juice
  • 1-2 tsp of sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 can pinto beans - with juice
  • 20 oz of chicken stock (if you add more chicken breast, add more stock - just make sure the chicken is covered)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 chicken sausage - spicey
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peppers
  1. Plug in your crock pot and turn it on to High. I have a 6 quart cooker as an FYI for the amount of liquid. The amounts listed above are suggestive - just make sure you have enough liquid to cover the chicken breasts and the sausage. 
  2. Add your beans to the bottom of the pot and then add the garlic. 
  3. Plop the chicken on top and mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the peppers and corn. 
  4. Cover the pot and let it cook for 4 hours. 
  5. Add the veggies and cook for an hour.
  6. Pull out the chicken and pull it apart with a fork so it's shredded. I added it back into the pot and turned it down to warm.
  7. You're ready to eat! Serve on top of some rice and maybe top with a little cheese.