Month: January 2016

Week 4: Coq au Vin & Bean and Sausage Stew

It was a week of cooking success! Both of these recipes were total winners that get better the next day as leftovers. 

Coq au Vin

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

  • 6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 6-8 chicken thighs (I used boneless and skinless and put them in frozen)
  • 8oz. sliced mushrooms 
  • 3 carrots, chopped 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 parsnip, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1t salt 
  • 1/2t black pepper 
  • 1/2C chicken broth 
  • 1.5C red wine (I used Cabernet and my husband drank the rest. Choose wine you want to drink.)
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Put bacon in crockpot. Place chicken and veggies on top. Add rest of ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve with rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. 

Bean and Sausage Stew

Adapted from mycupisfull.com

Note: I chopped the vegetables and sausage the night before and stowed it in the fridge. This cut down on day-of prep time considerably. 

  • 15oz. kidney beans, drained
  • 15oz. black beans, drained
  • 29oz. petite diced tomatoes
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 russet potato, diced 
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 4 sausages, sliced (I used chorizo)
  • 1C water
  • 1t Worcestershire sauce

Put all this in the crockpot. 

  • 1T black pepper
  • 2t salt
  • 2t chili powder
  • 1t garlic powder
  • ½t cayenne 

Mix all this together and sprinkle into crockpot. Mix. Cook on low 8-10 hours. This is awesome with cheese on top. 

Week 3: Chicken Burrito Bowls and Laziness

I cooked on Tuesday last week and it lasted us… well, I’m having it for lunch tomorrow. Some recipes are like that. This is one of them. It’s a recipe I posted last summer, but I tweaked it a little and now it’s even better.  

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Adapted from myself

For chicken filling

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I put mine in the crockpot frozen)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1T olive oil 
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced 
  • 2 Anaheim chiles, seeded and diced (wear gloves!)
  • 1T taco seasoning (I use this recipe)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1C frozen corn

For burrito bowl

  • Hot cooked rice
  • Shredded Mexican cheese 
  • Chopped avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce

Place the chicken breast in the crockpot. Dump in the black beans (with liquid) and tomatoes. Heat olive oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Sauté red pepper until slightly soft and add to crockpot. Add Anaheim chiles to pan and cook until they have a bit of color. Add to crockpot. 

Sprinkle taco seasoning, salt, and pepper over everything in crockpot and kind of poke it with a spoon so it gets mixed into the peppers, tomatoes, and beans. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, add frozen corn and cover again. 

Shred chicken with two forks and serve over rice with burrito fixings. 

Week 2: Chicken Lazone, U.S. Senate Bean Soup 

Comfort food, ahoy! This week was all about feeling comfy and cozy. I’m almost in my third trimester and I need all the comfy I can get. 

On a side note, today Mr. Something and I have been married for two years! I’m not cooking tonight; the modern second anniversary gift is china, so we’re getting Chinese food. 

Chicken Lazone 

Adapted from Plain Chicken

  • 1/2t salt
  • 1 1/2t chili powder
  • 1 1/2t onion powder
  • 2t garlic powder
  • 1/4t cayenne pepper
  • 2 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/4C butter, divided
  • 2C heavy cream

Combine salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Combine with chicken in a bowl and mix. 

In a large pan, melt 2T butter over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken tenders until done, about 8 minutes. 

Pour the cream and remaining butter into the skillet. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Serve chicken and sauce over angel hair pasta. 

Verdict: HOLY CRAP. Eat this. Add mushrooms. 

U.S. Senate Bean Soup

Adapted from senate.gov

  • 1lb dried navy beans
  • four quarts cold water
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1T butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sort through beans. Place in pot, add 2 quarts water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Put beans, ham hock, and 2 quarts water into medium pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce to medium low, and simmer until bean skins are tender, about 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, melt butter and sauté onion, 3-5 minutes. 

Reduce bean heat to low and add onions. Cook 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Retrieve ham hock, let cool, and chop up meat. Discard bone and fat. Return meat to pot. Use an immersion blender (or a potato masher) to squish up some of the beans. Add salt and pepper. 

Verdict: This was honestly 10,000 times better the next day. Next time I think I’ll make it in advance. 

Week 1: Mediterranean Chicken & Sloppy Joes

2016 is off to a delicious start. I’ve made some tasty things and have many more meals already planned. I have six cookbooks out of the library right now. I have a problem. 

For my first week of new recipes, I decided to make two crockpot creations, both from Stephanie O’Dea’s book, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow

Mediterranean Chicken

Adapted from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow

  • 4 frozen chicken breasts
  • 16oz. frozen artichoke hearts (that was a bag and a third for me)
  • 1C green olives, sliced in half
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes 
  • Crumbled feta

Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Plop artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes over them. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve with rice and sprinkle with feta. 

Verdict: I added the feta when we had leftovers and it was perfect. This is delicious. 

Sloppy Joes

From Make It Fast, Cook It Slow

  • 1lb. lean ground beef 
  • 1 recipe Sloppy Joe Mix
  • 1 (6oz.) can tomato paste 
  • 1C warm water

Sloppy Joe Mix

  • 1T dried onion flakes
  • 1T paprika
  • 2T brown sugar 
  • 1t cumin
  • 1t salt
  • 1t cornstarch
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  • 1/4t dry mustard
  • 1/4t celery seed 
  • 1/4t black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve on buns. 

Verdict: I cooked this a little too long (closer to 7.5 hours) but it was still great. Next time I plan to double the recipe. 

New Project, Old Project

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2016 treats us well and that we treat each other well. 

Let’s quickly review 2015, because it’s the thing to do:

In January of last year, I taught myself how to use my sewing machine. It was frustrating and tear-inducing and it sucked. I did it. 

A lot of my sewing project sucked. I spent a lot of time ripping stitches, swearing so loudly that I woke the dog. I completely ruined at least three things to the point where I never want to see that fabric again. I made myself bleed a bunch. I have scars from my iron. 

But I’m stupidly happy with how both my project and my year turned out. Little Something arrives in April, my cats have never been snugglier, our dog is an adorable idiot, and Mr. Something got a promotion. 

So. 2016. 

In 2016 I’ll continue to sew something new every month. I’ll also make two new (to me) recipes a week, with at least one being a crockpot recipe. At the end of the year, I’ll compile our favorites into The Something Family Cookbook.  

Sound good? I can think of infinite ways this could go sideways. It’s going to be great.