Easy Peasy Crock Pot Chicken

I don’t know about you, but with this weather I’m really not inspired to do any heavy duty cooking. I want a simple meal I can throw together so I can get back to curling up on the couch. And because of my “curling up” habits, I haven’t been to the store recently. Well as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I scavenged my cabinets for items that seemingly go together, threw these five ingredients in a crock pot and let it sit on low for 7 hours. Minimal effort for a delicious meal. Not to mention it made my house smell like I had been slaving over a hot stove all day – bonus!

  • 1 pack of cubed chicken
  • 7 oz. of Italian dressing
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 mini potatoes scrubbed & cut in half or wedges
  • 1/2 bag of mini carrots

I layered the ingredients in the way they’re listed, because I thought “the chicken should be on the bottom to cook!” But honestly, it really doesn’t matter how it’s all thrown in. Do it however you want, go crazy!

Crock pot chicken

Happy Eating, XO.

Sweet Potato Fries

My husband is a big fan of fries and he’s not giving them up any time soon. So, I decided to make him a slightly healthier version – baked sweet potato fries. They only took about 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook, and they were well worth it. We paired them with this salmon recipe and it was a perfectly easy dinner to throw together. And who doesn’t like perfectly easy?

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (enough to give them a very light covering)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp each salt, pepper, and paprika
  • Agave nectar (or honey)

Heat the oven to 450. Clean, peel, and cut (long ways) the potatoes. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika and toss in the potatoes. Once they have a light covering, move them to a baking sheet and lightly drizzle the agave nectar. (Feel free to leave this out if you don’t want them too sweet. But as I’m sure you’ve learned by now, my sweet tooth is insatiable so bring on the agave!)

Bake them for about 20 minutes. Some of the small fries will be done before the big ones so keep an eye on them closer to the end.

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Happy Eating, XO.

Roasted Potatoes

Barefoot Contessa, or as some of us know her as, Ina Garten is known for simple and casual entertaining. Recently watching her show, I realized she cooks a lot like me. Or shall I say I cook a lot like her (After all she is the famous one, not me). Anyway, she likes roasting. May it be asparagus, zucchini or potatoes, she is a fan and so am I! So here are her roasted potatoes with my own twist!

  • 2 pounds small red or white potatoes
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil (typical Barefoot Contessa, “good”).
  • 1  teaspoon salt (kosher if you are Ina, as for the rest of us whatever is in your shaker is fine. I used sea salt because I adore the stuff).
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (she says this because its coarser than normal black pepper, but either works)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  teaspoon onion powder (my addition & so yum!) My other suggestion is to shave some parm cheese over when serving, but I am trying to cut calories and since this is already a carby/starchy side, I restrained.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (this is important, I tried to cook with my dessert at 350 degrees and the potatoes didn’t cook as fast or get that crisped up edge so even if you have to take shifts with the oven make sure you do it at the 400 degrees, raw potatoes need a high temp). Cut the potatoes in half or quarters  (the smaller the pieces the quicker they cook) and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 min to 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning. (For a change I wasn’t lazy and actually did this, I like mine evenly cooked so I made sure to swing open the oven half way through & toss).

Remove the potatoes from the oven, toss with parsley & onion powder, and serve hot. This serves 4 people. The original recipe is actually for 8 people, but I cut it down to serve with the Fig, Mustard & Pear Champagne Glazed Chicken.

Happy Eating, XO.

Thanksgivukkah Latkes, Oy!

As we’ve all heard, this year we get a totally new holiday – Thanksgivukkah! Marrying in to a Jewish family, I’ve had my fair share of matzo ball soup, lox with cream cheese bagels and gefilte fish. So this year I thought I’d give the double duty holiday a go and create a traditional Jewish side dish to enjoy along side the turkey. No long spiel here, just a simple nod to the two part holiday!

  • 5 peeled potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying (canola is recommended)

Place all of the peeled potatoes and onions in a food processor (sorry, I know not everyone has a food processor but I promise if you get one it will be sooo worth your while. Christmas is right around the corner!). Pulse until smooth. Drain mixture well and pour mixture into a large bowl. Add beaten eggs, salt, pepper, and enough flour so that the mixture holds together.

Pour about an inch of oil into a large, deep frying pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and carefully drop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil. Flatten the pancake slightly so the center will cook. Fry for several minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and you’re ready to nosh!

Mazel Tov!