ADP’s Crockpot Saffron Rice Chicken

I’m always looking for easy crockpot things, because toddlers are tornadoes and never stop moving until they pass out from sheer exhaustion and spite.

This is a fantastic recipe from an Internet friend. It turned out awesome and the leftovers were so good!

ADP’s Crockpot Saffron Rice Chicken

– chicken thighs (4-6, bone-in or boneless)
– saffron rice (I used Mahatma brand Yellow Rice)
– can of cream of chicken soup
– soup can of chicken broth or stock
– 3 or 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
– 1t each of garam masala, turmeric, and coriander
– frozen peas (optional)

Dump everything in the crockpot except the peas (if using). Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken and rice are cooked through. Fifteen minutes before serving, add the peas.

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Toddler Muffins (and I have a toddler now)

HI HELLO. Yes, I keep disappearing, but Baby Something has become Toddler Something and hoo boy, he’s a handful.

Did you know that toddlers either eat as much as a teenager or as little as a bird? And there’s no in-between? Toddler Something usually eats us out of house and home. I have no idea where the food goes because he’s super little. His bones? It’s a mystery.

These toddler muffins are great because you can put in whatever you have on hand and they still turn out. Toddler Something likes the spinach banana combo, so that’s what I usually do. He’ll eat two of these for every meal if I let him.

Toddler Muffins

1/2C molasses (or sugar, honey, etc.)
1/2C butter (or coconut oil)
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4.5oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained (and chopped, if you want)
1C flour
1t cinnamon
1/2t salt
1t baking soda
1/4C brewers yeast (optional)
1/2C currants, raisins, or cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Cream molasses and butter together. Add eggs, bananas, and spinach. Sift in flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda (and brewers yeast and/or fruit, if using). Scoop into a greased muffin tin (this makes 12 muffins almost exactly).
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Other fruit/veggie ideas:
Pureed butternut squash
Applesauce
Mashed strawberries
Mashed sweet potato

Five Months (and Crockpot Steel-cut Oats)

I disappeared again! On Monday, Baby Something will be five months old. It was a busy, tiring, wonderful summer full of drool, pee, baby smiles, and eating things with one hand. 

I was never a breakfast person; I’d eat something around 10am, but early morning food was never appealing. Let me tell you, breastfeeding steals all of your food and puts it into your boobs or something. GIVE ME ALL THE MORNING FOOD. 

Oats are supposed to be good for milk production, and at the very least they’re filling and easy to zazz up so you don’t get bored. These crockpot oats reheat nicely throughout the week so you can quickly shove nutrition in your mouth and resume kissing that baby’s sweet toes. 

Crockpot Steel-cut Oats

  • 1.25C uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 1C canned coconut milk
  • 3C water
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Dash of vanilla extract 
  • Dash of salt 

Combine in a crockpot. Cook on low. The bigger the crock the less time it needs to cook. Mine were done in 4.5 hours in my giant crockpot, but they can take up to 9 hours. You can put these on to cook overnight but make sure your crockpot is the right size first!

I serve these with more coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, almonds, chia seeds, and honey. 

Exhausted Love

I disappeared for a while again because I had a baby! He’s freaking adorable and perfect and sweet. 

I’ll write up my birth story sometime soon, but here are my initial thoughts:

I have never been more tired, frustrated, proud, happy, and bursting with anxiety-ridden love in my entire life. It’s an exhausted love; I’m pushing through because I love the stuffing out of him. When I was pregnant  I hated when people would say, “Until you meet him, you don’t get it,” because shut up, I get it, but no I did not

He’s me + the love of my life + genetic magic which = something much greater. He was tried for and wanted and he is loved. And I am tired. 

Week 13: Citrus Chicken

This is the first recipe I haven’t automatically tweaked in a long time. It’s so beautifully simple, so insanely good, and so easy that I actually prepared it as written. The recipes in the New York Times rarely fail; this is worth making again and again. 

All hail Mark Bittman, for he deserves every delicious bite of credit. I served this with roasted beets, which became extra good when they mingled with the citrus butter sauce. 

Citrus Chicken

From the New York Times 

  • 2T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2T butter
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 limes
  • 1T sugar

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add olive oil and butter to the skillet and swirl it around.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put flour on a plate. When the butter foam subsides in the pan, dredge the chicken in flour, shaking to remove the excess.

Add the breasts to the skillet and cook, turning once, until the chicken is browned on both sides and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. (Chicken should be constantly sizzling but not burning.) Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Cut the orange in half. Section one of the halves as you would a grapefruit, removing any seeds. Juice the remaining orange half and one lime.

With the heat still on medium-high, add the orange juice, lime juice and sugar to the skillet and let it bubble, stirring, until it is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Add the orange sections to the skillet and turn heat to low, stirring, until mixture is slightly thickened.

Return the chicken to the skillet, turn it in the sauce, then serve, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the remaining lime into wedges for garnish.

Week 12: Chicken & Black Bean Soup 

Yep, Week 11 doesn’t exist because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. 

This soup is AWESOME. It’s like burrito soup, which does not sound great, but trust me. 

Chicken & Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea

  • 1.5C chopped vegetables (I used carrots and onions, but you could really use whatever)
  • 1T minced garlic 
  • 3 (15oz.) cans black beans (don’t drain or rinse)
  • 1 little can Hatch chiles
  • 1 (15oz.) can diced tomatoes 
  • 2C chicken stock 
  • 2 packets of taco sauce (from that Baggie of sauces you keep in the fridge)
  • Two big handfuls of frozen corn
  • 4 chicken thighs (mine went in frozen)
  • 1T taco seasoning 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Cheese, sour cream, chopped avocado, and/or hot sauce to top

Plop everything but the toppings into the crockpot. Mix. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low. Halfway through cooking time, carefully remove chicken from crockpot and dice. Use an immersion blender to mostly smooth out soup. Add chicken back in, cover, and continue cooking. 

Week 10: Chicken & Rice Soup 

So I’m modifying my resolution, guys. Two new recipes a week while I’m five weeks away from giving birth is not feasible. Who knew? I’m an idiot. 

Last week I made this soup when it was crappy out, which was great, and then had it as leftovers for two days when it was 70° out, which was also great, but very warm. 

Chicken & Rice Soup 

Adapted from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea

  • 2C blended vegetables (I used broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower–just whizz them up in your food processor with a little water until they’re a purée)
  • 4 chicken thighs (mine were frozen)
  • 8C chicken broth
  • 1C water
  • 1C raw brown rice 
  • 1t herbs of your choice (I used oregano and an Italian blend)
  • Half a package of frozen spinach 
  • Salt and pepper 

Dump everything in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. This is surprisingly good and, like most soup, is better the next day. 

Week 9: Crockpot Chili & ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My baby shower was this weekend so last week was kind of bonkers. But last week I made really good crockpot chili that lasted for a few meals! The original recipe called for chicken but we’re pretty sick of chicken so ground beef it was. It was delicious. 

Crockpot Chili 

Adapted from Skinnytaste

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, not drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes w/chilies (aka Rotel)
  • 4 oz can chopped green chili peppers
  • 1 batch taco seasoning
  • 1T cumin
  • 1T chili powder
  • 1lb. ground beef
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Shredded cheese 
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce

Put everything through salt and pepper in the crockpot. I put the beef in raw; it didn’t get greasy at all. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with avocados, etc. 

Happy 4th birthday, Gainfully Something!

I started this blog four years ago. My first entry ended with my original tag line: Unemployed and Annoyed. Those adjectives were very fitting at the time. (I’m still frequently annoyed.)

My tag line has changed since then. Now it’s Life Worth Living. I was very purposeful when I switched over. I’d realized that I was being unnecessarily negative, which, yes, is another frequent state of being for me. I needed to look at my situation from a different angle. 

I’m still unemployed, technically, and as I’ve said, I’m still annoyed. But I’m a very fortunate person and due to my circumstances, I have the option of being a housewife and a stay-at-home mom. My life is worth living, and I’m not just waiting around for something better to come along anymore. I’m Carpe-ing the shit out of this Diem. 

When I started this project, I was 26, I had a cute boyfriend, and I was still desperately trying to get a library job. Aside from my awesome boyfriend I was pretty bummed about my life. Now I’m 30, I have a cute husband, I’m having our first child in 6 weeks (holy shit), and I’m good with where I am. I still have aspirations of working for Planned Parenthood someday, maybe when our brood enters high school, but for now:

Carpe the Shit Out of This Diem.