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Crockpot Cashew Chicken

I have a love-hate relationship with crockpot recipes.  They seem so convenient, and the idea of coming home to a fully cooked meal sounds great, but nine times out of ten there’s more work than I realize going into them.  Aside from the cutting and chopping, usually you have to brown the meat, then there’s the cooking times.  If you work full-time it’s difficult to do a crockpot meal that cooks for less than 9 hours (unless you have a crockpot with a timer, fancy pants).   For this reason, I do my crockpot recipes on the weekend.  This recipe that I found on Pinterest came from Key Ingredient.

Cashew Chicken

  • 2 lbs Chicken, cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cashews

Coat chicken in flour and brown in the oil.  Put chicken in crockpot, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the cashews and pour over the chicken.  Cook for 3-4 hours on low, stir in cashews and serve.

If you don’t have rice wine vinegar you can sub apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.  I also like to put more cashews in than the recipe calls for.

Served over rice with some grilled veggies as a side.

Served over rice with some grilled veggies as a side.

I love this recipe!  It’s a crowd pleaser, total comfort food and great when reheated.  There isn’t a lot to it, not a ton of prep work, other than browning the chicken.  This one is in my regular rotation.

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Kielbasa Pasta

This recipe I found on Pinterest I made originally when my Dad was visiting.   I wanted to make something “dude friendly” with ingredients I had on hand.  And yes, I tend to have kielbasa on hand (insert joke here), don’t judge me, it’s a super food*.

The original recipe  is from Budget Bytes, they call it Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta. I don’t know why they call it “creamy,” as there isn’t a cream sauce, just some cheese sprinkled on top.  It would make more sense to call it Cheesy Spinach and Sausage Pasta.  Semantics.  I used kielbasa instead of sausage and doubled the amount used (because one can never have enough kielbasa in their life). I also used pepper jack cheese to spice things up a bit more.  It was gooood.  The men were pleased, I was pleased.  I just made this again for dinner last night.  For your viewing pleasure…

Kielbasa Pasta, nature's super food.

Kielbasa Pasta, nature’s super food.

*Kielbasa is totally not a super food, I made that up.

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Rhubarb Bars

When we first moved into our home it was the beginning of Winter, so Spring was pretty exciting because we had never seen the yard in full bloom and we had no idea what we had, flora wise.  One of the first things to arrive was rhubarb, and I will readily admit I had NO idea what it was when it started growing.  Look at it, it’s like a rotten tomato, can you blame my confusion?

Weeding is not really my forte.

Weeding is not really my forte.

At any rate, I had a ton of rhubarb, and I had never cooked with rhubarb before, so I searched on Pinterest and found this pinned recipe from Lara Ferroni’s blog: Rhubarb Bars.  I chose this recipe because look how gorgeous:

The recipe was a lot of work, it’s actually a two part recipe (one for the curd and another for the bars) and it didn’t come out nearly as beautiful as the pictures on the website (Lara Ferroni is a food photographer, so it would be hard to compete).  I admit I cheated some and added food coloring to the curd.  If you enjoy the art of cooking, you’ll like making these.  If you’re cooking just to get to the final product, maaaybe skip this one.

Sorry for the lack of pics of my final product, I made them before the blog.  There was a lot of work involved, and I ended up with a lot of curd (which I really didn’t know what to do with, honestly, what do you do with curd). The bars were delicious, and pretty impressive.  This is a great recipe if you have time (and rhubarb) on your hands. I would consider it a success!

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Pinterest, I can’t quit you.

Like many “hip” things, I was totally late to the Pinterest party, I’m not an early adopter of anything (if it wasn’t for my work providing a cell phone I would still have a flip phone).  I’m also pretty sure Pinterest isn’t “hip,” nor is the use of the word “hip.”  Mind you, I have raised the roof within the past year, I’m not exactly cutting edge or “with it.”  Excuse my excessive use of quotation marks, I swear I don’t do the air quotation marks when I talk.  Get off my lawn.

I digress.  I have spent countless hours, that otherwise would have been spent watching tv, pinning.  Actually I pin while I watch tv, so that’s not correct, I’m a multi-tasker, I get things done (Americorps style – certain people will get that reference).

Pinterest has brought me many delicious recipes that are in my rotation, as well as some total bombs.  Don’t trust people when they say the recipe is “the most amazing, husband pleasing recipe EVARRR,” it never is, and you shouldn’t base your recipe choices by what’s going to please your man the most.  In my experience, if it has bacon wrapped in meat, wrapped in bacon, it will please your man.  The equation is that simple.

I will be posting my favorite (and least favorite recipes) up in here, so keep coming back to see what I’ve done next!