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 

 

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Middle Eastern Beef Goulash

Last nights initial dinner plan was a homemade chicken noodle soup… and then the sun was shinning and it was close to 50 degrees outside.  During a normal February day in Ohio it would be gloomy, snowy, and freezing outside, aka soup weather.  Not so much the case for today (which I am so okay with!). Chicken noodle soup, will just have to wait.

Instead, I was really in the mood for some home cooked Arabic food.  This is the middle eastern version of goulash, and its so so yummy.  It can be made with ground beef or with a feta cheese blend.  This is one of grandma’s recipes, it was my first time making it and she will be pleased to know that it turned out delicious!

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package defrosted philo dough (usually found in frozen food section)
  • 1 cup butter (or margarine) melted

Instructions: 

1.  Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Heat oil in pan.  Add onion.  Once onions are golden yellow, add ground beef.  Cook ground beef until completely browned, drain any excess fat.  Season ground beef with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Melt 1 cup of butter.  Brush 13 x 9 baking dish liberally with butter.  Cut philo dough to fit baking dish (I had to cut mine in half).  Begin layering philo dough one sheet at a time.  Between every 3-4 layers, brush liberally with butter. Continue until 1/2 way through phil dough sheets.

 

4.  Once half way through philo dough sheets, add cooked ground beef evenly. Continue layering philo dough sheets, still adding butter between every 3-4 sheets.  Once last sheet has been placed, section with knife into sizes that you’d like to serve.  Place final layer of butter.

5.  Bake in oven, uncovered for 45 minutes.  For first 20 minutes place on low rack, during remaining time place in middle rack of oven.

 

Cheddar Broccoli and Chicken Soup

It has been a pretty chaotic couple of weeks here.  Not to mention this fantastic (insert sarcasm here) weekend I’m having, where I’m memorizing 150+ drug names that I will never use as a dentist! 🙂  I love to learn, I love to learn, I love to learn. (I have to repeat this to myself regularly).

And let me just take a moment and discuss this crazy Ohio weather.  This winter has been so strange.  Rain, snow and sunshine all in one day?  Make up your mind!! It’s just freaking my body out a little.  Any one else experiencing the same thing?

Now that I’m done whining, it’s time to talk about this amazing soup recipe! This recipe was inspired by a friend of mine (Thanks, Steph!) and it turned out delicious.  Way way better than Panera Breads Broccoli Cheddar soup, seriously. If you love a traditional broccoli cheddar soup, then you will love this recipe! I added the chicken for some protein and it was perfect.

Enjoy! 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups reduced fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped, lightly steamed broccoli
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast

 

Instructions: 

1. Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes.

2. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt margarine then add flour, salt and pepper. Cook together, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then whisk in warmed milk.  Stir and heat together on medium heat until soup starts to thicken, about 5-8 minutes.

3. Add warmed chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and stir until completely melted. Stir in seamed broccoli and chicken. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

4. Serve immediately in bowls or bread bowls.

 

 

 

Recipe modified from: Mels Kitchen Cafe

 

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This is a recipe I’ve been itching to make for awhile now and I’m so glad I did! I love stuffed peppers and I thought that turning it in to a soup was such a fun twist on an original stuffed pepper recipe. Not to mention it’s freezing cold here in Ohio and this warmed us right up!

This is a great recipe because I feel like you can make it your own… (Vegetarians – skip the meat; Low carb – skip the rice)! Everyone gave this recipe two thumbs up! Thanks Maryna, Mary, and Husband for being my guinea pigs on this one 🙂

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram (this is a spice that you can find at your local grocery store!)
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Instructions: 

1. In a large pot, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt .Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low.

2. Add chopped red and green peppers, onions and garlic.Cook for about 5 minutes on low heat.

3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

4. Serve soup bowl and top with desired amount of cooked rice.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

This was a last minute kind-of impromptu meal! The weather here has been crazy…one day its 70 and less than 24 hours later the high is in the 40’s.  It’s really been freaking my body out! Hot-cold, hot-cold, hot-cold! Make up your mind! I mean I don’t want to complain, because quite honestly I’m not a big fan of cold weather, but I just want it to stay one way or another… preferably towards the 70 degree end if at all possible!

Anyways, My original dinner plan for the evening was to make a chicken casserole that I had made awhile back, but all I really wanted was a hearty soup… I spent some serious quality time in class (oops!) searching for recipes, I finally the perfect recipe.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous making this one.I mean at first it seemed fine, start by cooking the chicken and cutting it in to small pieces, chop and sauté the vegetables you’d like to add, so far so good…and then came the serious part. Make the roux.  What the heck’s a roux you ask? I had no idea either (that shows you how new I am to this whole cooking thing!) Well, i did the research and it’s used to thicken sauces and soups… here’s an article from allrecipes.com that explains how to make a roux.  You’ll be happy to know that I rouxed (not sure if this is really  word, but now it is!) away and the soup turned out delicious! Now whether or not I rouxed properly is an entirely different issue 🙂

Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (or white!)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
(Because this recipe was so last minute, I didn’t have too many vegetable options, but the original recipe called for broccoli as well and I bet that would’ve been delicious in here!)
Instructions: 
1. Prepare rice and chicken if not already using leftovers:
One cup dry, rice prepared with 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken stock adds depth of flavor. Follow package directions for cooking time. Saute chicken seasoned with salt and pepper in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat just until golden. Remove from heat and shred or chop into small pieces. Set aside.
2. Saute vegetables:
Heat a small amount of oil to medium and saute carrot, celery and onion just until tender. Add garlic. Saute one minute more and remove from heat. Set aside.
3. Make the roux.
In the same pan the vegetables were sautéed in, add oil and flour. Over medium heat, scrape cooked bits of vegetables (and chicken) from pan and incorporate into roux. Cook the roux until golden.  Depending not the type of flour you use the roux may be lighter (white flour) or darker (wheat flour).
4. Make the broth.
Add chicken stock a half cup at a time to roux and stir continuously until roux is incorporated into stock. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbling. Add sour cream and incorporate.
5. Add all the important stuff. 
Add shredded chicken, 1 cup of rice, and sauteed vegetable mixture in to broth. Simmer until desired thickness, 20-30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to desired taste.