Crockpot Honey Garlic Hens {+Life Post Residency}

I finished my pediatric dental residency three months ago and life is feeling rather surreal. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t been a student and boy does it feel strange. By strange, I really mean freaking amazing!! How the hell did I make it through dental school and residency?   I still  remember applying to dental school and truly convincing myself that I would never get it in.  Sometimes I worry I’ll wake up and it’ll all be dream…

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Coresident Love 

I started life in the real world, aka my first big girl job,  a few days after my last day of residency.  Talk about jumping right in.  As a result, my summer flew by! Time flies when you’re having fun. Hah! Thankfully husband and I were able to take a mini vacation at the end of August.  We did a three day cruise to the Bahamas and back.  Although it was quick, it was much needed and I am thankful we got the opportunity to go.  Not so sure I would do a cruise again, but it was so nice being able to escape life for a few days.  I tried to convince husband that we should move to the Bahamas and I could open a practice there.   I obvi did not win this argument since I’m currently sitting on my ouch in Ohio.

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In the midst of a crazy summer work schedule, I made these Honey Garlic Cornish Hens in the crockpot and they turned out delicious.  This is a recipe that I will be making again.   You can substitute the Cornish hens for chicken drumsticks, thighs, or breasts.  I served these next to some roasted yellow squash and a salad.   Try this when you’re looking for a quick, flavorful crockpot recipe!

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Ingredients: 

 

  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for spice)

Instructions:

1.Place cornish game hens in crockpot.

2.Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour over hens in crockpot.

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3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

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The Perfect Sugar Cookies {+A Very Merry Christmas}

Merry Christmas friends!  I hope that everyone spent the day with loved ones.   My mom and dad are in town for the week visiting from Jersey.   Unfortunately, they both have terrible colds <insert emoji wearing facemask>.  We are making the best of it and they are getting plenty of r&r.

Check out this great shirt my mom stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago at TJ Max.  I have been sporting it all day.   I wonder if I can wear this all year long.  Hmmm…

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This year for Christmas we each bought one gift per person and it was perfect!  My parents got me a gift card for Stitch Fix, eeeee!! Have any of you ever used Stitch Fix?  I am so freaking excited.  My first delivery is to arrive on January 5th and I cannot wait.  I also got a new laptop from Husband and it is perfection.  Love love love.   My old laptop was dying and this could not have come at a better time since I will start studying for my pediatric dental board exam soon, whomp whomp. I am truly thankful for this holiday season.

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I have a fantastic sugar cookie recipe to share with you.  Last weekend my friend Kait and I made these and they turned out fantastic.  I like this recipe for several reasons:
1. The dough does not require a long chill time.
2. They don’t expand and flatten in the oven.
3.  They hold their shape.
4.  The recipe is simple.

This will absolutely be my new go to sugar cookie recipe! Enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions: 

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla extract, mix until combined.

2.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

3. Chill dough for about 20-30 minutes.

4. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.   Use flour on table and rolling pin to help eliminate stickiness of dough.

5. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet.

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6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

7. Decorate as desired!  We decorated ours with a simple buttercream frosting and sprinkles.   They even tasted great without icing.

8. Store in an airtight container. One batch makes about 30-40cookies.

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Crockpot Bourbon Chicken {+Quality Girl Time}

I spent the afternoon/early evening with some friends from work.  My face hurts and my side aches from laughing so hard! Today I was reminded of the importance of having quality time with girlfriends.   Since moving to Cincinnati I feel like I have not found a solid group of girlfriends.  Why is it so much harder to find close friends as an adult?! These ladies are pretty fantastic and every time we get together outside of work it’s a great time! We literally laughed so hard til we cried… or snorted. FullSizeRender 3

We spent the afternoon drinking wine and baking some delicious lemon cupcakes for a work event tomorrow.  After multiple bottles of wine we found ourselves watching/ dancing/singing to music videos.  Have you seen the new Gwen Stefani music video?  #weird.   I am now curled up on the couch in pjs watching the Michigan State vs Iowa football game with Husband.

Tonight I am sharing a recipe for Crockpot Bourbon Chicken.  I have made this several times and it is always a big hit, not to mention so easy! If you have followed my blog, you know that I LOVE crockpot recipes. I rely on crockpot recipes to help me get through extra busy weeks.

This recipe called for 1/4 cup of bourbon.  I used Bulleit bourbon because that’s what we had, but feel free to use any kind you have on hand! You really can taste the bourbon flavor in this recipe.

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Add this recipe to your menu this week on a day when you know you will get home late.  Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ⅓ cup apple cider (*or apple juice)
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions: 

1. Mix all sauce ingredients, except for chicken and cornstarch,  in a small bowl.

2. Place chicken in slow cooker, pour sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3 hours.

3. Remove chicken and chop into bite sized pieces. Strain liquid and place over medium high heat in a small pot. Combine 3 tablespoons water with 3 tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk into boiling sauce along with 1 clove minced garlic. Stir until thickened.

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4. Pour over chicken pieces in the slow cooker and stir. Serve over rice.

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Recipe adjusted from Spending with Pennies
Check out some of my other crockpot chicken recipes:

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Dental school continues to take over my life… the good news is, I graduate in approximately 287 days, 14 hours and 15 minutes. But, I mean, who’s counting?  Last week I took part 2 of my national board exam.  2500 dollars and 3 days of testing later, lets just say it sucked.  The light at the end of the tunnel is dim, but it’s there.

In between the craziness of  school I’ve managed to squeeze in some great times with friends and family. Summertime is my favorite time of year. It’s the season of weddings, cookouts, festivals, pool days and all things warm and fuzzy…  I am sad to realize that it is already over half way over.  Where has the time gone?

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So speaking of summer, I think this is an awesome light summer recipe.  I am so excited to share this recipe because it is so simple and so delicious.  I love that this recipe used greek yogurt as an alternative to mayo, which is in traditional chicken salads.  I’m also pretty much obsessed with anything with Franks Red Hot in it, I think it temporarily satisfies my craving for chicken wings.  And by temporarily I mean for like 5 minutes.  I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/2 cup  crumbled blue cheese ( I hate blue cheese… so I skipped this and a splash or ranch dressing instead!)

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper.

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2. Stir in chicken, celery, cilantro, and blue cheese.

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3. Refrigerate until serving.  I served mine in pita pockets.  Delicious.

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Recipe has been modified from: The Novice Chef 

Other recipes I’ve made with Franks Red Hot:

Nutella Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Thanks to Pinterest, I discovered this list of  18 snacks you can cook in a mug, check it out!  This is a dangerous, dangerous thing I have discovered and I wanted to share it with all of you.  You’re welcome.

Husband and I were both craving something chocolatey after dinner tonight, so I decided to whip up the Nutella cake.  Holy deliciousness! I can’t believe how easy it was to throw together and how good it turned out after just a minute and a half in the microwave.  I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to try these other treats out.

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions:  

1. Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth.

2. Microwave on high for 1½– 2 minutes. (Topped ours with whipped cream!)

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Crockpot Beer Chicken

Greetings from Antarctica, I mean Ohio.  It is freaking freezing cold outside! I can’t even stand being outside for 2 minutes with the dogs, my insides start shivering, seriously. Unfortunately, this has resulted in crazy puppies with cabin fever.  Dear God,  Please please let summer come sooner.

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Crazy puppy eyes!

Crazy puppy eyes!

On a brighter note, it’s Restaurant Week here in Columbus! Woohoo!  This opportunity comes along 2 times every year and it is awesome! If you are from Columbus and have never participated, then this is your chance! Husband and I have used this as an opportunity to try out new restaurants in the area that we normally wouldn’t go to. I think this time around we are thinking of trying 101 Beer Kitchen or Giorgio’s. Yum!

Moving on to this awesome chicken recipe, it is so simple and so delicious!  I especially love it because it’s a quick crockpot recipe that allows you to use what you have, you can’t go wrong here! Don’t be nervous to add/take away spices based on what you already have.

Enjoy! 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds chicken (This time i used drumsticks, but I have also used boneless, skinless chicken breast)
  • 1 bottle or can of your favorite beer (I used some of Husbands home brew beer)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

 

Instructions: 

1. Place all ingredients in the crock pot, and cook on high for 4-5 hrs, or low for 6-8 hrs.

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For the curious minds: 143 calories; 3g fat; 1.5g carbohydrates; 23g protein; 0g fiber

Original Recipe from Laa Loosh 

 

Crockpot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Sometimes when I look back on these crazy weeks that we have I wonder how we really got through them.  Last week over a three day span, I totaled 10 hours of sleep… that’s not healthy.  But nonetheless, we manage to survive each and every time.  (Stay strong Wolfpack!)  I am thankful that this upcoming week isn’t looking too bad.

One night last week we had these delicious shredded chicken caeasar sandwiches for dinner.  They turned out extra tasty and were so simple to make.  It can’t get much easier than this.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite Caesar dressing
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 4-6 regular sized hamburger buns

 

Instructions: 

1. Place chicken in a crockpot with 1.5-2 cups of chicken stock, cover and cook on low heat for ~6 hours.

2. Remove chicken from crockpot and place on cutting board.  Pull chicken in to shreds.

3. Drain excess chicken stock from crockpot and place chicken back in the crockpot.  Add dressing, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir well. Cover and cook on high heat for 30 minutes or until mixture is hot.

4. Spoon mixture in to each bun.   Top with extra shredded Parmesan cheese and lettuce, serve.