Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for....one more thing to keep me distracted (plus a recipe)

Do we need another thing to keep us distracted?  No.  We have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, numerous blogs, DVR, Pandora...many, many more.  But, we can add just one more thing.....PicMonkey!  I am sure I am the last one on this bandwagon but it is amazing.  You might have heard that Picnik is shutting down, I only used Picnik sporadically so it's not that big of a deal to me.  Once I saw PicMonkey though....I was immediately hooked.  As a Blackberry user, I do not have handy dandy Instagram to make all of my fuddy duddy photog work look fab.  PicMonkey does though, well....something like it.  Totally free and wonderfully easy to use.  Go, my friend and edit some pictures.  Make your family look even cooler than they already are.

Told you....very retro and cool....and we look much more colorful than in person.  (Note to self: create a self editor to give myself the glow I get when cross processed.  Tanning bed...never an option.)

Yesterday I looked in the fridge for inspiration for dinner.  None found.  Luckily, I had a few chicken breasts and thighs in the freezer and bonus! they were already seasoned with salt and pepper.  I concocted a chicken dinner somewhere in between Chicken Cacciatore and Chicken Parmesan (minus the parm) and threw it in the slow cooker to stay out of my way all day while making the house smell great.

I will now give you my nowhere near precise recipe and we shall call it Italian Chicken. General enough?  PS: I used all dry seasoning because that's what I had on hand.  I also did not use even one measuring spoon or cup.  I used my hands.  To measure, just cup your palm and you have a good, healthy tablespoon (or so).  I also rub the seasonings in between my hands as I put them in the slow cooker so they can "open up".   If you watch Rachael Ray, you are familiar with this "handy" method. Hee hee.

  • Chicken ; seasoned with salt and pepper ( I used around 6 breast tenders and 3 thighs) -you could use a package of chicken breasts by themselves but the dark meat was really great cooking all day and the tenders were so much easier to serve.
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes with the juice (use any kind you like, seasoned or original)
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (something with loads of flavor)
  • 1 bell pepper ( I used orange) diced
  • 1/2 or 1/3 of an onion, diced
  • salt/pepper (to your taste)
  • basil (about a cupped palm full)
  • oregano (cupped palm full)
  • garlic powder (1/2 palm)
  • minced garlic (3 tsp.) or just use a baby spoon like I do and scoop how ever much you like
  • onion powder (sprinkle)
  • parsley (palm full)
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray (you will thank yourself later)

Put the diced onion and bell pepper at the bottom of the slow cooker and spread out to cover the bottom. (not densely, just where the chicken can sit on top)
put the chicken on top, try not to layer right on top of each other, give them some breathing room.

Pour diced tomatoes on top.

Add all of the seasonings and any more you want to toss in.

Pour the pasta sauce on top.

Turn that bad boy on and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-7. 

When done, just stir it up a bit before serving, breaking up the chicken a bit as you go but leaving big chunks for serving. We used a ladle for all the good juices. 

I served this with twirly pasta but you could use either brown rice or any other noodle your family likes.
R and I also decided to make some garlic butter biscuits because we didn't have any garlic bread and I despise the grocery store.  We just melted some butter along with garlic powder and parsley and brushed it on to the uncooked biscuits.  Popped them in the oven and 10 minutes later we had hot, fresh garlic butter biscuits. Yum.

There you have it, an easy weeknight dinner that you probably have most of in your pantry or freezer.  Enjoy.

Another A to Z blogging post......

1 comment:

  1. Stopping in from the A to Z Challenge to say hello. That looks like a might tasty dish. I'm going to try this this week. Thanks!


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