10/21/13
IMG_8607

crockpot chicken noodle and kale soup

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  We had a pretty relaxed one up at the lake house.  Lots of beautiful sunshine.  This little guy loved running around in it.  Rocks in hand, of course.

IMG_4259

For October the weather has been beautiful.  Not typical, but I’ll take it!  This week I’m making a couple meals in the crockpot so that I can prep them in the morning, and have extra time for KCW in the afternoons.

Today I’m sharing a comforting, simple and delicous chicken noodle soup we enjoyed a couple weeks ago.  It makes a lot of soup, so you’ll have leftovers for a couple days.  The recipe is adapted from crockpot chicken and dumplings.  The dumplings are left out, noodles are added in, and kale too.  Mmmmm kale.

Give it a try!  Maybe it’ll be your family’s new favorite chicken noodle soup. :)

IMG_8607

Crockpot Chicken Noodle and Kale Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 – 10 stems kale, leaves removed from the rib and chopped
  • 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper
  • 46 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
  • 8 oz wide whole wheat egg noodles

Directions

  1. In the bottom of your crockpot, layer onions, carrots, celery, garlic and kale. Season chicken with salt and pepper then lay them on top.  Pour chicken stock into the crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. After 6 -8 hours, turn the crockpot heat onto high. Using forks or kitchen tongs, lightly shred the chicken breasts.  This should be easy since they have cooked so long.  Stir in the noodles, put the lid on and allow the noodles to cook and soften for about 30 minutes.

Hunter went crazy for the kale in here.  Every time he ate a piece he’d yell ‘kale, kale!’.  Pretty great thing to be excited about. :)

Do you have a family favorite chicken noodle soup recipe? 

Heather

05/14/13
IMG_6214

crockpot berry cobbler

One of my favorite things to watch is Hunter play and interact with his daddy.  He sure loves him.  One more recent thing that just makes my heart smile is seeing this.

IMG_6328

Jacob will sit down on the ground with a book, and Hunter walks on over and sits down right next to him or on his lap.  He’s snuggled up close soaking in the book, and just being super sweet with his daddy.

IMG_6332

Love these two.

IMG_6337

When Jacob gets home from work, he tries to get as much play time in with Hunter.  This usually frees me up to get dinner started or just have some Heather time.  But on those days I plan ahead and start dinner in the crockpot I don’t have to be in the kitchen, I can sit on the couch right next to them and just watch.

While today’s recipe isn’t a crockpot dinner recipe, it is made in the crockpot, but for an after dinner treat of berry cobbler!

IMG_6214

I’m not going to lie, pictures of the cobbler cooking in the crockpot are not flattering to this dish.  I’ll show you.  Once it is done:

IMG_6213

Once you have taken most of the cobbler out:

IMG_6219

Good thing I’m basing this recipe on taste, not looks!  It was delicious, especially serves over nice cold vanilla ice cream.

I got to thinking about why you would use a crockpot for this recipe.  The prep time takes just as long as oven made cobbler and it takes longer to cook.  Well, it was a hot day when I made it, and not having to turn the oven on was glorious.  Summertime dessert making in the crockpot is the way to go.

Crockpot Berry Cobbler

adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup natural cane sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2.5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed (or any berry)
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed (or any berry
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Combine the egg, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thick). Spread batter evenly into a 5-qt. slow cooker coated with oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the salt and remaining flour and sugar; add berries and toss to coat. Spread over batter.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into cobbler comes out clean. Serve with ice cream if desired.

I may have skipped ahead in my 50 crockpot recipe list to share, but I’ll get back on track with the next one!  This one was pretty tasty and I just had to share. :)

Have you ever cooked dessert in a crockpot?  If so, what did you make?   Do you love watching a dad with his kiddo?

workoutwednesdayTomorrow I’m sharing PLANK workouts.  If you have one you want me to include, please email it to me (heather.englund@comcast.net) along with the link for where to find it.  Thanks!

Heather

05/1/13
IMG_5515

crockpot beef and broccoli

The sunshine is out, the air is crisp and all I want to do is go outside and rip out some blackberry vines!  Who am I? A girl with a plan.   On days like this the last thing I want to do is spent time slaving away in the kitchen on dinner.  I want something quick, simple, and delicious.  Okay, I want that most of the time, but some days I’m fine and enjoy spending more time in the kitchen than others.

IMG_5517

This is when the crockpot comes in handy.  Even on warm days, crockpots are life savers.  You don’t always have to make a soup in the old crocker.  You can make a typical meal that would be cooked on the stove in a pan – like this beef and broccoli – but with much less hands on time.

IMG_5515

The one ingredients I wasn’t too stoked on was the beef consomme.  I tried to find a recipe for how to make it at home, but found nothing that looked quick to make.  Quick and simple was needed since I didn’t have too much time that morning.

IMG_5516

Anyways… I highly recommend this dish.  Jacob and I gobbled it up.  Serve with some rice or your favorite grain and lots and lots of broccoli.  The more the better.

IMG_5513

Crockpot Beef and Broccoli

from Chef in Training

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup beef consomme
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)
  • Hot cooked rice

Directions

  1. Place beef in crock pot.
  2. In a small bowl, combine consomme, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and garlic.  Pour over beef.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  4. In a cup, stir cornstarch and water until smooth.  Add to crock pot.  Stir well to combine.
  5. Blanch broccoli florets and add to the crock pot.  Stir to combine.
  6. Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes on HIGH or until thickened.
  7. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Yesterday I began trying to take Hunter’s 11 month picture…

IMG_6080

It has officially turned into a challenging task!  Today is a new day, and we’ll get that perfect picture.  Or at least, a less blurry. :)

Do you tend to spend more or less time in the kitchen with nicer weather?  Or does it not make a difference?  Anyone have a recipe for beef consomme?

Heather