Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Stoup

My friend Ashley shared a slow cooker recipe with me a couple weeks ago.  I decided to try it since I needed something simple to make after my travels.  Of course I had to tweak it since I didn't have all the ingredients and just made do with what I had.  I think next time I'll follow the recipe and try to get all the ingredients because it sounds delicious.  What I ended up making turned out to be a chicken stoup, a mix of a soup and stew.  I served it over plain white rice and topped with cheddar cheese and sliced green onions.  I added in a side salad to balance the meal.  You could eat it as is.  I would also be happy serving this over egg noodles too.  Scroll to the bottom for Ashley's original recipe, thanks Ash!

Slow Cooker Chicken Stoup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can chicken gravy
2 ½ cups chicken broth
½ cup corn, frozen
½ cup peas and carrots, frozen
1 potato, diced
½ cup milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. 

Before serving, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Place shredded chicken back into slow cooker.

Serve over white rice and top with shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions.


Here is Ashley's original recipe that she sent to me:

Two chopped chicken breasts (we put them in whole and shredded them at
the end and dumped it back in)
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
2.5 cups of chicken broth
1.5 cup of corn
2 jalapeno peppers sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced
1.5cups of potatoes
1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic
1 onion chopped
1 tsp cumin

Top with crispy asian noodles and cheddar cheese.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Simple Linguine and Clam Sauce

Sorry, I haven't had to cook in so long!  I have been out of town for over a week.  First I went to a bachelorette party and we had a great weekend in Ocean City and Dewey Beach.  It was so great seeing some of my college friends.  It was like living in my sorority house again :)  Next I was in Phoenix for a week to host a training event for work.  I had a good time even though it was 110 degrees!  Also, I went to a Diamondback game against the Mets; the baseball stadium is enclosed and air conditioned in Phoenix!  That is genius, it definitely made the game more enjoyable!  I will have to write another post about all the places I went out to eat at, they have some great restaurants in downtown Phoenix.  When I got home, I had to attend a wedding of a family friend the next night.  It has been crazy this month!  So now that I am finally home and settled, I had nothing in my fridge to eat so I had to figure out something from the pantry.  I had all the ingredients to make this simple linguine and clam sauce.  It was delicious and the best thing to make after a long trip.  

Here is a picture of the view from my seats along the 3rd base line inside Chase Field, the "indoor" baseball stadium in Phoenix.  Pretty cool right?

Now on to the food...

Simple Linguine and Clam Sauce
½ pound linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white wine (I used Chardonnay.)
1 can minced clams, drained and juice reserved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
mozzarella or parmesan cheese (optional topping)


Cook linguine according to package directions.  Drain well.   Place cooked linguine back into pot.

In a small pan, over medium heat, add oil, butter, wine, clam juice, garlic, and parsley.   Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add clams and pepper.  (I didn’t add salt since the clam juice is salty.)

Pour clam sauce over pasta and toss to mix.

Top with shredded mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese.

Serves 2 to 4.

My dogs already really missed me and I felt really bad leaving Ellie when she was sick too.  But she is now all better and following me around still.  Here is Buddy waiting in the hallway/kitchen, yup my suitcase is still in the hallway.

Here is Ellie waiting patiently in the dining room while I cook.  She can keep on eye on me when I'm in the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chocoholic Cupcakes

I have never made these cupcakes before but it really is a chocoholic cupcake.  I used a devil's food cake mix, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips!  What I love is that I finally tried coconut oil and its awesome.  It gives a slight coconut flavor and the cupcakes are so moist.  I just replaced the same amount of coconut oil instead of vegetable oil (check the box of your cake mix).  These cupcakes are light, fluffy and chocolatey.  The chocolate cream cheese frosting turned out pretty good, I somewhat experimented with this frosting.  I added in a little vanilla extract and kahlua coffee liqueur :)  Kahlua really does bring out the chocolate flavor!  Overall I think these chocolate cupcakes will be a success at work tomorrow for a coworker's birthday.  I think he'll be surprised!  I of course did a taste test and the chocolate cream cheese frosting with the chocoholic cupcakes were amazing.  I think I need to leave one for my dog walker tomorrow too since she has been so great with Ellie being sick this week.  You need to make these cupcakes, for someone's birthday or just because!

Chocoholic Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box devil’s food cake mix
½ cup coconut oil
1 ¼ cup water
3 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions for Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a stand mixer, add in all ingredients but chocolate chips.  Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly between muffin cups about ¼ cup batter.

Bake for 18 minutes.

Let cupcakes cool in pans, about 5 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks.

Let cool completely before frosting.

For Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
¼ cup butter, softened at room temperature
½ cup cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 teaspoon kahlua coffee liqueur (optional)
mini chocolate chips (optional topping)


Beat cream cheese, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and kahlua until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time making sure to incorporate it fully before you add the next ½ cup.  Makes enough for 24 cupcakes.

Note:  I topped the frosted cupcakes with mini chocolate chips!  I used a frosting bag with a piping tip to frost the cupcakes.  I place the frosting bag in a tall glass to make it easier to fill.  Sorry, excuse the dog treat jar in the background though they make great doggie cake decorations :)

Perfection!  I would store these in the fridge and take out beforehand to serve at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Taste testing here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roasted Summer Squash Pasta

This is another simple summer time recipe.  Summer squash is all over the farmers' markets and I love to roast my veggies.  I used my toaster oven to roast the squash.  This roasted summer squash pasta dish is great served warm, at room temperature, or cold.  I love how the mozzarella melts when you eat it warm though.  The basil gives a great fresh taste.  I've already had this dish for dinner last night and the leftovers for lunch today.  Enjoy!  

P.S.  I have a sick doggie (Ellie) this week so I probably won't have as much time to cook.  Poor Ellie is on medicine and a special food diet for a few days.  Also I have some upcoming trips so I'll be out of town for fun and for work soon!  Happy Summer!

Roasted Summer Squash Pasta

½ pound rotini pasta (about half a box)
1 yellow squash (straight or crookneck)
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
basil leaves, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.

Slice squash into thin half circles.   

Line a baking sheet with foil.   Place squash on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat evenly.

Roast squash for about 20 to 25 minutes.  Turn squash slices halfway through roasting.

In a large bowl, add squash to pasta.   Stir in sliced mozzarella.   Top with fresh basil leaves.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.   

Serve warm or cold.