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Friday, April 15, 2011

Crock Pot Barbecued Chicken

To go along with yesterday's mashed potatoes, I made some crock pot barbecued chicken.   Now, if you keep the same stuff on hand I do... it's gonna be pretty easy. If not, you may need to make a couple substitutes. But I can help you out there.

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, frozen (bone in is ok too, you'll just have to remove the bones later, which you can save for broth)
1/2 batch of homemade ketchup (or about a 1 1/2 cups of ketchup-- I prefer the no high fructose corn syrup kind)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic (or one garlic clove smushed)


Put all ingredients except for chicken into crock pot.  Swirl around with a fork.  Add in the chicken thighs, still frozen, on top.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you are there while it's cooking, go in about halfway through and swirl the chicken around to be sure it's coated well.  To serve, shred with two forks.  Eat plain, or with bread.
I served with mashed potatoes and slaw. The baby had gluten-free bread, the hubby had sandwich bread.  All pronounced the chicken deelishness and licked excess sauce from fingers lest it be wasted!

An Exciting New Home

I am in the process of moving this blog so I can do more, better, and exciting things with it!!

It is under contstruction currently, but you may feel free to check it out at

Thanks for reading! :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

It can be done.. and without boiling them first!!

My husband is off on Wednesdays and so is working on finishing laying the tile in the kitchen floor.  Which means most likely I will not be able to walk in there come dinner time.

So I decided it needs to be an all crock pot kinda night.  So I'm making barbeque chicken, slaw, and mashed potatoes.  The slaw I prepped ahead of time.  The chicken, I threw in at 7 am.

But on to the main point-- mashed potatoes!

This is both a recipe and a how-to, as you can use this technique and flavor the potatoes however you like. For example, you could use milk & butter instead of the dressing.


5 potatoes
3 1/2 cups ranch dressing

Scrub your potatoes, chop into small-ish cubes about 1 inch in size, and throw them into a crock pot.  Put enough water in to about half cover the potatoes, and turn it on low for 4 hours.

 After 4 hours, strain out the water and return potatoes to pot.  Pour ranch dressing into crock pot, and keep it on low for another 2 or 3 hours.  Mash in pot and serve.  I used my pestle to do the mashing  and the potatoes were so soft it only took about 30 seconds.

Now how easy was that?  If I may be so bold as to offer a hint... Use a programmable crockpot so if  you forget about the taters after the first 4 hours... they won't burn.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Can't Get Into the Kitchen!!!

So I haven't made a post in a few days, not for lack of wanting to. In fact, I'm itching to cook. I don't think I realized prior to this week how much cooking allows me to express my creativity and relieve some stress.

But I have issues.  We have been in this house for about a year and a half, and it's always had some issues. One of the biggest is that part of the kitchen floor started to sink shortly after we moved in.  It was a small spot, about 4 inches in diameter, so I sat the garbage can on top of it and forgot about it.

Then it GREW. and GREW SOME MORE. And then I started worrying that it swallow one of my children.  It was this lumpy, shaky, unsteady, bit of UGLY linoleum that was making me more paranoid by the day.  And eventually, after enough complaining, I managed to convince my husband to tile the floor. 

So what's my problem?  He's working full time in the meantime and meanwhile my kitchen is torn to h-e-double hockey sticks and back.  I have backboard in some places, tile in others, linoleum in others.. I can't risk spilling on the floor.  I can't really do dishes and risk dripping water on the backer board.  My kitchen is a WRECK.  I have tools where the salt should be, the Brita dispenser on the dining room table, the compost had to be passed out a window........

But I know it will be beautiful.  And tonight, whilst the kids are gone and cooking gluten-free wasn't a must, I managed to sneak in and make a quick meal-- spinach and lentil stuffed ravioli and brownies.

And I feel better.  But that weird episode of cupcake wars I watched the other night is really making me want to see what I can create with gluten-free flour mixes.. so I am hoping he'll be done by the end of the weekend.

And I am also hoping I'll be done with the bathroom.  Until then, all I can say is that you can make ravioli out of gyoza wrappers.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A to Z Meme

A to Z Meme

A. Age: 35
B. Bed size: Queen. And while I'm thankful to have a bed, it's really much too small when the kids decide to join us.
C. Chore you dislike: Laundry. All 14 loads a week. I hate each and every one of them.
D. Dogs: One we love, one we don't love quite so much. Grancy has literally saved my child's life so she is my DOGGIE HERO.
E.  Essential start to your day: Coffee
F. Favorite color: Purple
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5′ 5"
I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano. But I can only play Girl Scout songs and Christmas carols. With one hand.,
J. Job title: Eldercare Advisor with A Place for Mom
K. Kids: 8 year old daughter, 2 year old son (Where did the time go?)
L. Live: in my hometown
M. Mom’s name: Gloria
N. Nicknames: JennT, JT
O. Overnight hospital stays: Childbirth only. If I have another one, though, I really want a home birth.
P. Pet peeves: Litterers, people who are rude to servers/cashiers/cab drivers, poor tippers, people who pretend to be stupid but really aren't, the cartoon Calliou.
Q. Quote from a movie: “After all, tomorrow is another day!"
“Fry like bacon you Freshman bitches!"
"Chunk!" "Sloth!"
"Death by stereo"
R. Righty or Lefty: Righty.
S. Siblings: Zero-- I'm a lonely only. (So is my husband)
T. Time you wake up: Usually around 5:45
U. Underwear: None of your business.
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Radishes.
W. What makes you run late: My oldest child.
X. X-rays you’ve had: Lung/Chest x-rays.. over and over again
Y. Yummy food you make: A different thing every day
Z. Zoo Animal Favorites: Gorillas and other primates
If you want to play along, just copy away and put it on your blog…let me know you did it so I can come by and read your answers!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rice Pudding

Now, this picture doesn't look like much, I know, but it is one of the most delicious breakfasts I have ever put in my mouth. Randomly, I was inspired to make this because someone on twitter said they were having rice toast, which really doesn't have anything to do with rice pudding.

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used homemade)
1/2 cup milk (I used goat)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
zest from half an orange
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. coconut oil
honey, for garnish


Dump the rice into a small saucepan, and add milk and yogurt.  Turn the heat on low, and let simmer.  Beat your egg, add, and stir.  Add cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Zest an orange in, and add the coconut oil.  Stir until everything is well blended. Let simmer 10-15 minutes or until nice and toasty warm.  Pour into a bowl and top with a tsp (or more, to taste) of local wild honey. 

Makes 2 bowls of heavenly goodness. Oh, and gives you a great way to use leftovers, meaning you are saving money. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gluten Free Chicken 'N Dumplings

If my mama is reading this, she's gonna have a heart attack.  'Cause I spent my whole childhood loathing chicken 'n dumplings.  But she taught my kids to like them, and then we went gluten-free, and we've all had tummy troubles... it just seemed like the thing to do..

So Mom-- sit down, I am voluntarily making, and will be eating chicken 'n dumplings. Do you wanna come over and take a picture?

Now I'm sure that this recipe could be easily adapted for the crockpot so that it's not so time consuming, but I wasn't organized enough this morning to make that happen.

So this has been a 7 hour or so recipe.  (With cheating as I'll describe below.)

Hopefully if you want to make this, you'll have a freezer full of chicken broth  like I do. Otherwise, that's an extra step that can't really be shortcutted.

Soup Ingredients:
2 gallons homemade chicken broth
3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup milk (I used raw goat's milk)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chopped bay leaves
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 cup frozen spinach

This is where I cheated! I used Gluten-Free Cooking School's recipe that I found here for drop biscuits.

Take out a big 'ol stock pot, and place the frozen chunks of chicken broth in. Turn the heat on low, and forget about it for 30 minutes or so until it has time to turn once again to liquid.

Add the carrot, celery, thyme, and chicken thighs.  Keep the heat on low, and cook for hours, or until the chicken just about falls off the bones.  Once you get to that point, start making your biscuit dough.  When your dough is made, turn the oven on 350.  Remove chicken from soup and shred.  Keep bones and skin to make more chicken stock!  Return the chicken to the pan, and add the remaining spices, spinach, and milk.  Stir gently and then bring to a boil.  Taste and make sure you like the seasonings, adjusting if necessary.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop up a bit of the biscuit dough and drop it into the pan.  I started out using full scoops and then realized my dumplings were gi-normous, so I switched to half scoops towards the end.

 You may have to gently stir a bit to make sure they are all able to float to the top.  Then take the whole pot and put in the oven. I cooked it for 35 minutes, but you may actually want to cook a little longer. I just couldn't wait anymore.. the suspense was killing me.

And now I am for certain... I DO LIKE CHICKEN N DUMPLINGS!!!

Serve in a bowl and get ready for a nap after.