Monthly Archives: October 2013

My, Oh My, It’s Pie, Pie, Pie!

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“I don’t like pie,” said no one ever. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but one of the many reasons pie is so awesome is that it comes in many forms, satisfying the palette of even the pickiest of eaters.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a sweet type of pie, however, there are few things in life that can compare to a savory, meaty pie.  My mom’s meat pie recipe was such a success in this house that I just have to share it – but I couldn’t share only one pie recipe…

With fall in full swing (woohoo!), my kitchen has quickly become pie headquarters, where both savory and sweet pie recipes have been baked and enjoyed. Hence, I thought why not dedicate an entire blog post to pie? And don’t let the numbers fool you – three baked pies are greater than 3.14 (please, please, get my math joke).

Since coming into this world, my nickname has been — and will forever be — Pumpkin Pie. You can credit my impressive infant body weight for the name.  If I hear “pumpkin pie” in a public place, I immediately turn around expecting to see some close family member or friend. Despite my hatred for pumpkin pie as a kid (blame the nickname!), my adult pallet can’t get enough of the stuff – especially when there is a streusel/crisp topping involved. Yum. So there is pie number two.

Pie number three is actually somewhat crust-less and is what I call a deep-dish apple pie. Instead of crust, you pour a sweet batter over the apples that are smothered in sugar and cinnamon. It’s like a big snicker doodle cookie with apples in the middle. It’s a quick and easy pie to make that has traditional apple pie flavor, but with a sugary/buttery twist.

And lastly, I figured with all this pie talk, the least I could do was throw in a homemade pie crust recipe. It’s an extremely easy recipe that even the most inexperienced baker can perfect. The dough can be used within 30 minutes (after it’s cooled), or it can be frozen and used at a later time. Just don’t nibble on too much of the dough or you may not have enough for your pie.

Meat Pie/French Canadian Tourtiere

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Ingredients:

*Note that the following recipe makes one 9-inch meat pie, but it’s extremely easy to double the recipe and make two pies (meat pie tastes just as good a few days later – just warm the pie back up in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes).

-2 pie crusts (a homemade pie crust recipe is mentioned below, but just know you can use store bought crusts – I have before and they turn out just as tasty)

-1 lb. of ground meat of your choice (I used a mixture of ground bison and ground beef, but ground pork, turkey, and veal can also be used)

-2 cloves of garlic, minced

-1 small to medium onion, chopped

-1 medium potato, peeled and grated (I grated the potato in a food processor; if you don’t have a food processor, chop the potatoes as finely as possible)

-1/8 tsp clove

-1/8 tsp cinnamon

-1/8 tsp ginger

-1/8 tsp parsley

-1/8 tsp sage

-1/8 tsp + an extra pinch thyme

-4 tbsp milk (for coating the pie crust)

-Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

-Place all the ingredients except the pie crusts and the milk in a large pot. Pour in enough water that the contents are just barely submerged. Adjust your stovetop burner to low to medium heat.

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-Put the pot on the burner, and break up the ground meat and stir the contents.

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-Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes. Do NOT lift the lid during cooking time. The picture below is what my meat looked like when done.

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-While the meat simmers, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place one of the pie crusts in a pie dish and set aside.

-After the contents have simmered for 30 minutes, strain and RESERVE the liquid. (I strained the meat mixture over a large bowl). Set the liquid aside.

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-Place and spread the meat mixture over the bottom pie crust in the pie dish.

-Pour the liquid over the meat. You want to level the liquid with the top of the ground meat.

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-Cover the pie with the second piecrust.

-Brush the top crust with milk.

-Prick the top crust with a fork for venting (at least five times)

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-Bake on the bottom rack of your oven at 450 degrees for ten minutes.

-After ten minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and cook the pie for another 20 minutes.

-Let the pie sit for a half hour or so prior to serving because you want the meat  and crust to continue absorbing the liquid (If you don’t wait a half hour, your pie will be mushy).

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Pumpkin Pie Crisp

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Streusel/Crisp Topping Ingredients:

-1/2 cup all-purpose flour

-1/3 cup sugar

-2 tbsp brown sugar

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp pumpkin spice

-4 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces.

Streusel/Crisp Topping Directions:

-In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.

-With a fork or a pastry blender, blend the ingredients until the contents are well incorporated and the butter is evenly distributed. There should be pea-sized sugary, butter balls. You may have a few chunks, but that’s okay.

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-See the pie filling directions for the topping instructions.

Pie Filling Ingredients:

-1 pie crust (if you want to do the braided crust, I recommend the amount equal to two pie crusts)

-3/4 cup granulated sugar

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

-2 large eggs, beaten

-1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree

-1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk (I used fat free, but the typical recipe uses regular evaporated milk)

Pie Filling Directions:

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

-Place the piecrust in the pie dish and set aside.

-In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.

-In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs.

-In the large bowl with the eggs, stir in the pumpkin puree and sugar and spices mixture until well incorporated.

-Slowly stir in the evaporated milk (If you’re using non-fat evaporated milk, I recommend letting the pie filling set in the refrigerator for a half hour.).

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-Pour the pumpkin mixture into the piecrust.

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-Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

-After the 15 minutes has elapsed, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes (times vary depending on oven).

-Remove the pie and let sit for about five minutes, but keep the oven on!

-Carefully, sprinkle the streusel topping over the pie until you have your desired amount.

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-Put the pumpkin pie crisp back in the oven and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes (again, times will vary. If the pie looks like it’s burning, trust your judgment and take it out).

-Let the pie cool for at least an hour and a half before serving. Enjoy!

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Deep Dish Apple Pie

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Ingredients:

-6-8 medium apples, peeled, sliced, and halved

-3.5 tsp cinnamon (this is for the sugar/cinnamon mixture that will sprinkle the apples. If you prefer more cinnamon, go ahead and adjust the spice to your preference)

-1 cup sugar + 4 tbsp sugar to mix with the cinnamon

-1 cup flour

-1.5 sticks of butter (margarine can be substituted), melted

-1 egg

Directions:

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

-Fill a 9 inch pie dish (mine is actually 9.5) with about half of the peeled, sliced apples. You can also use an 8×9 inch square baking dish.

-Combine the cinnamon and 4 tbsp sugar and sprinkle half of the mixture over the apples.

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-Pile on the rest of the apples until just about overflowing. You may have some leftover apple pieces.

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-Sprinkle the remainder of the sugar and cinnamon until the apples are completely covered.

-In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, beaten egg, 1 cup of flour, and 1 cup of sugar. Mix together quickly until well incorporated.

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-Immediately pour the buttery/sugar/floury mixture over the apples. Pour as carefully and evenly as possible over the apples. Try to completely cover the apples with the batter. The batter does NOT spread with a spatula very well, so pouring correctly is critical (it’s not rocket science, though).

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-Bake for 30-40 or until the crust starts to brown.

-Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. You can serve this pie warm or cool. Enjoy!

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Homemade Pie Crust

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Pie Crust Ingredients:

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*Makes two 9” pie crusts

-2.5 cups all-purpose flour

-1 tablespoon sugar (optional if you’re making a crust for a savory pie)

-1 teaspoon kosher salt

-1 cup/2 sticks of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

-6-8 tbsp ice cold water (you may use less, just depends on how the dough works itself)

Pie Crust Directions

-In a large, cold bowl, (I filled my with ice water ten minutes prior to using, but you can always refrigerate the bowl in advance) mix together the flour, salt, and sugar.

-Add in the butter pieces.

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-With a fork or a pastry blender, cut into the flour and butter until the mixture forms into a variety size of crumbs.

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-Pour in the 2 tbsp of water and quickly fold into the dough (I used a baking spoon). Pour in another 2 tbsp of water and repeat folding the water into the dough.

-Continue adding water, a tbsp at a time, and folding it into the dough until the contents stick together and are moist enough that it looks like dough instead of a heap of flour crumbs. The picture below is what my dough looked like when ready.

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-With your hands, work the dough and separate it into two equal parts.

-Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a half hour to cool.

-After a half hour, take a rolling pin and roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bake accordingly with your pie recipe’s directions.

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-To create a braided dough perimeter, roll out some of the pie dough in a long and thin shape. With a knife, cut out three pieces of dough in equal length and proceed to carefully braid the dough. You won’t have enough to do one long braid, so repeat the directions 2 to 3 more times, or until your pie dish perimeter is complete!

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Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Coleslaw

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Fall in the South is different. I don’t mean this in any negative way – there is just something peculiar about late October’s temperatures in the mid to high 70s. And where the heck is the fall foliage?

Pumpkin spice and pumpkin flavored everything are still shoved in your face, like in any other city in the United States – particularly at Starbucks. And here in the South, you will still find pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, etc. awkwardly displayed at your local supermarket as if there is a reward for the most elaborate contrived indoor harvest scene.

While it may feel like August (in the Northeast) outside, I’ve turned our apartment into autumn. It first started with the obligatory fall decorations, candles, and baked goods, but recently I’ve been craving and subsequently cooking warm, hearty meals in the slow-cooker (most likely because we’ve been blasting our air conditioner so I can wear slippers and flannel shirts). Last week, we decided to make slow-cooker pulled pork sandwiches with homemade coleslaw, and they were amazing. I got the warmness from the pork, yet the cool coleslaw was a perfect topping – especially since it was 75 degrees outside.

The pulled pork sandwiches were the perfect balance of warm, fresh, and savory ingredients. The pork came out flawlessly tender, and with the fresh coleslaw as a topping, the sandwiches’ flavor was both delectable and dynamic. We had a bunch of leftovers and the sandwiches proved to be a great game-day feast, as well. If you can spare an extra ten to fifteen minutes in the morning, the slow-cooked pulled pork could be ready by your dinnertime. If you’re not a morning person, this is a great meal to cook and enjoy on the weekend.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw

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Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

-1 5lbs pork shoulder (standard size)

-1/4 cup of brown sugar

-1 tbsp chili powder

-1 tsp red pepper flakes

-3 dashes of cayenne pepper

-1 tsp onion powder

-1.5 tbsp kosher salt

-1/2 tsp black pepper

-1 onion, sliced

-1 tbsp course ground mustard (I used Grey Poupon)

-1/2 cup of ketchup

-1.5 cups apple cider vinegar

-Add water as needed to submerge the pork shoulder (do so after you have added in the rest of the ingredients)

-Buns for you sandwiches

Directions:

-Place the sliced onions on the bottom of the slow-cooker as evenly distributed as possible.

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-In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, also known as the rub.

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-In a pitcher or large bowl, combine the liquid ingredients (mustard, ketchup and apple cider vinegar).

-Pour into the slow-cooker about 2 tbsp worth of the dry rub ingredients. Next, pour in about ¼ cup of the liquid ingredients.

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-Place the pork shoulder in the slow-cooker.

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-Take the remainder of the dry rub and rub (yes, actually rub) on top and sides of pork shoulder until well covered.

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-Pour the remainder of the liquid ingredients into the slow-cooker. CAREFUL, make sure you pour down the side of the pot because you DO NOT want to wash off the dry rub from the pork.

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-Add in water as needed until the pork shoulder is just submerged. Again, make sure you pour the water down the SIDE of the slow cooker.

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-Cover and let cook for at least 8 hours. If you can cook longer, I suggest the ten hour setting because it leaves the meat that much more tender.

-Refrain from lifting the top of the lid. You do not need to stir the contents; just let the slow-cooker do its job.

-When finished cooking, shred the pork with two forks. Remove the bone (this is extremely easy). It can be done in the slow-cooker, or if you prefer, you can transfer the pork shoulder to a large bowl. If you shred the pork in a separate bowl, make sure you place the meat back into the liquid.

-When the shredding is done and the pork is back in the slow-cooker, strain off half of the liquid.

Make sure to strain off some of the liquid before placing on the sandwich bun -- You don't want a soaked sandwich!

Make sure to strain off some of the liquid before placing on the sandwich bun — You don’t want a soaked sandwich!

-Also, before serving, strain as much liquid as possible from the meat so your sandwich doesn’t turn out soggy. I used a strainer and a slotted spoon to most efficiently remove excess liquid.

Coleslaw

Ingredients:

*The dressing yields quite a bit, so think about adjusting the ingredients if you don’t want the coleslaw generously dressed.

-4.5 cups of cabbage, shredded

-3 cups of red cabbage, shredded

-1.5 cups of carrots, chopped or shredded

-1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt

-1 cup of mayonnaise (if you want, you can use all mayo or all Greek yogurt — up to you and your taste buds)

-2.5 tsp apple cider vinegar

-2 tsp of sugar

-1/2 to 1 tsp of celery seed

-1/4 tsp of salt

Directions:

-Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and salt in a large bowl. Mix together until well incorporated and then cover with a towel and set aside.

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-To chop and shred the cabbage, remove the cabbage core. In essence, a triangle shape should be cut out from the bottom of each cabbage. Cut the cabbage into fourths.

-Slice the cabbage at its finest point and continue to thinly slice until you have enough. Lightly chop once you’ve sliced off the desired amount of cabbage so the pieces aren’t too long. Place in a large bowl

-Cut the red cabbage the same exact way and mix it in with the green cabbage.

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-Chop or shred your carrots and add them to the bowl.

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-Pour your desired amount of the yogurt/mayo dressing over the cabbage salad and stir/mix until well incorporated. I used about 1 ¼ cups of the dressing and had some left over.

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-To assemble the sandwich, take your desired amount of pork and place it on the bottom bun (remember to strain some of the liquid). Next, add on your desired amount of coleslaw. Top with the bun and enjoy!

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Soups Du Jour

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There is nothing like a bout with the flu that leaves me wanting – and even crying for – my mom. I am quite possibly the biggest baby when it comes to being sick and the only thing that makes me feel like all will be okay is my mommy. Blame her, not me – she was the best nurse a girl could ask for.

On sick days when I was young, my mom would set me up in the living room with a tray of chicken noodle soup, saltines, ginger ale, and Little House on the Prairie (the only show on TV during the day in the 90s and early 2000s that wasn’t a soap opera). You could definitely say I enjoyed staying home sick when I was a child.

Fast forward some 20 years and the perks to being sick are not what I remembered (nor is Little House on the Prairie). After spending the weekend with a terrible case of the flu, Monday rolled in and I finally had an appetite. While I was ready to eat a cow, I took my mom’s advice to take it easy, so I decided to make my homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s an extremely easy soup to make and it tastes like home. The soup is satisfying, yet it’s light and nutritious (just watch how much salt you put in). This is a chicken noodle soup for both the soul and stomach.

When the topic of Tuesday’s dinner came up, I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I wanted something heartier than chicken noodle soup. Thus, I decided to throw together a roasted red pepper and roasted tomato soup and it was souper! Even if you’re not familiar with roasting peppers and tomatoes, you will find that this soup isn’t too difficult to perfect — It’s a fun challenge. It takes a bit of time, but it is well worth the wait. The soup has a mature and rich flavor where you can smell and taste the roasted ingredients. In addition, it’s a beautiful soup that will surely impress. I highly recommend a great loaf of bread to accompany the roasted red pepper and roasted tomato soup.

Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Tomato Soup

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Ingredients:

-3 cups of chicken stock (you can use up to 5 cups of chicken stock, but I like mixing chicken stock with chicken broth)

-2 cups of chicken broth (If you want a thicker soup, add less broth)

-3 red peppers (or 1.5 lbs of red peppers)

-6 Roma tomatoes (or approximately one lb of tomatoes)

-1 large onion, chopped

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for sautéing) and a little extra for coating the Roma tomatoes

-2 pinches dry parsley

-2 pinches dry oregano

-2 pinches dry thyme

-2-3 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped

-Salt and pepper to taste

-2 tbsp tomato paste

-1/4 cup of fat-free half and half

-2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded

-1 gallon size Ziploc bag

Directions:

-To roast the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set a rack in the middle of the oven.

-Cut off a thin slice off the stem side of the Roma tomatoes and then cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half.

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-Place the tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir the contents until mixed together.

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-Cover a baking sheet with foil, and if you can, place a wrack over the baking sheet/foil (this way it’s just an easier clean up and the rack makes sure the tomatoes don’t stick). Place the tomatoes skin side down and sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over them.

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-Place on the center rack in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. REMINDER: ovens vary as do the sizes of Roma tomatoes so just make sure to keep an eye on the tomatoes. You don’t want to char tomatoes (like you will with the red peppers), but a little browning is good. The picture below is what my tomatoes looked like when finished roasting.

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-While the tomatoes are roasting, in a large pot, sauté the garlic, onions, and one pinch each of thyme, oregano, and parsley on low to medium heat for about five minutes or until the onions appear translucent. Once cooked, keep the burner on very low to keep the contents warm.

-Once the tomatoes are roasted, using either a spatula or tongs, transfer them into a blender. Add the onion, garlic, and herbs and blend for about 30 seconds until there is a smooth consistency as pictured below.

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-Place the contents back in the pot and cover. Make sure the burner is off.

-To roast the peppers, put the oven on broil (high is what I recommend).

Thinly cut off both sides of the pepper.

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-Slice through one side of the pepper skin and continue to cut around the core and membranes of the pepper until you can pull the core out. Cut the peppers in half. One of my peppers ended up breaking into three pieces while I was extracting the seeds and core – not a big deal as long as the pepper can lie flat on a cooking sheet.

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-Cover a baking sheet with foil and place the peppers skin side up. With the palm of your hand, push down on each pepper until each one is as flat as possible. The pepper will tear a bit on the edges, but that’s fine.

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-Broil for about 15 – 20 minutes. Remember, ovens vary so your time may be different. Make sure the peppers look charred at some spots. The skins will not peel off properly if the pepper isn’t cooked enough.

-While the peppers roast, chop the basil.

-Once roasted, remove the peppers and immediately place in the Ziploc bag and seal it close (this helps with the removal of the pepper skins). Let the peppers steam for about fifteen minutes. Remove the peppers and peel the skins off: start at one of the ends and scrape with your fingers until a thin film-like layer of skin comes off. The skin is very thin, so try not to mash the pepper as you peel (If you’re having a hard time peeling the skin off, you can try using a knife to help).

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Skinless Roasted Red Peppers

Skinless Roasted Red Peppers

-Place the peppers and basil in the blender and add about ¼ cup of chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Add in the roasted tomato mixture and two cups of chicken stock and blend until well incorporated and smooth. Pour the roasted red pepper and tomato mix back into the pot and put the heat on medium.

-Add in the remainder of the broth, another pinch each of thyme, oregano, and parlsey, and salt and pepper to taste and stir.

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-Next, stir in the Parmesan cheese and half and half until well incorporated.

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-Cover the pot and let the contents simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat. Stir ever so often (I probably ended up stirring every five minutes, but I’m compulsive).

-Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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Ingredients:

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-3 cups of chicken stock + 6 cups of chicken broth (Again, I like to combine these two, but just make sure you have around 9 fluid cups of some type of broth)

-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

-1 chicken breast

-1 medium white onion, chopped

-3 green onions, sliced (optional)

-1 cup of celery, sliced

-2/3 cup of carrots, chopped

-1 cup spinach, loosely chopped (optional)

-1 cup of dry noodles of your choice (I used rotini)

-2 tbsp extra olive oil for sautéing

-Salt and pepper to taste

-Pinch of parsley for garnish

Directions:

-In a large pot, sauté the garlic and onion with salt and pepper to taste for about five minutes on medium heat or until the onions appear translucent.

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-Pour in the chicken stock and broth and add a pinch of salt. Let the contents come to a boil.

-Once the broth is boiling, put in the carrots, green onions, celery, and spinach. Let cook for about a minute.

-Next, drop in the chicken breast (note: I’m poaching the chicken breast).

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-Cover the pot and cook for ten minutes on medium heat (you don’t want a full boil, but you want more than just a simmer). Stir occasionally.

-After ten minutes, flip the chicken breast over and cook for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

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-Take the chicken breast out and place in a bowl.

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-Pour in the cup of noodles and make sure they cook for the desired time in the soup. My noodles took about eight minutes. If you prefer, you can always cook your noodles separately and add them in at the end.

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-While the noodles start to cook, shred the chicken with two forks. I also cut the chicken, but if you prefer bigger chunks, just shred the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and pour back into the pot.

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-Once the noodles have cooked, lower the heat to low and let the soup simmer with the top on between five and ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

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-Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

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Taco Tuesday Or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

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I live with and cook for a guy who is the antithesis of a picky eater. It’s quite convenient, I must admit. While he will eat just about anything, his favorite type of cuisine is Mexican. I personally feel that favoring one type of cuisine over the other is like picking a favorite ice cream flavor: it just can’t be done. With that said, Mexican food is undeniably one of my favorites.

When we lived in DC, I kid you not, we ate Mexican food at least twice a week – three times a week if you count Chipotle (which you should). We haven’t found a Mexican restaurant we’re head over heels with here in Charlotte, so we’ve been doing a lot of Mexican style cooking at home, while also keeping up our weekly dates at Chipotle (And no, this is not a plug for Chipotle).

A couple months back, we started incorporating Taco Tuesday into our weekly menu. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made as couple. We have a slow cooker, so I decided it was time to take a stab at some of the slow cooked chicken taco recipes I’ve seen over the years.

The chicken tacos were such a success that I’ve made them once a week for the past month. In addition to being super easy and low fat, the tacos are exceptionally tasty with a bit of a spicy kick – but it’s a spice you can control (both ways) by adjusting the ingredients. While the chicken breasts are 98% fat free, you would have no idea that the meat is so lean. Plus, you don’t need to eat 20 of them to feel satisfied and full (I usually eat two and the boyfriend eats around three).

The slow cooked chicken tacos may take time, but they are well worth the wait. Trust me, the one I cook for said these chicken tacos are as good as any he has ordered in a restaurant. And just remember, tacos are in the eye of the beholder: there is no right or wrong way to top, eat, and enjoy a taco – just as long as you enjoy it.

Slow Cooker Low-Fat Chicken Tacos

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Chicken Tacos Ingredients:

*The allotted amount mentioned makes a decent amount of meat. If you’re not feeding a small army, you can always cut the ingredients below in half.

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-1 pack or approximately 1.5 lbs of boneless/skinless 98% fat free chicken breasts

-1 pack of taco seasoning  (if you want your tacos spicy, choose the “hot” vs. “mild” taco seasoning, or be awesome and make your own. Also note, if you want your tacos really hot, add it some red pepper flakes)

-1/2 can of green chilies

-1 small white onion, chopped

-1 16 oz. jar of your favorite salsa (if you want to make your tacos spicy, I suggest adding a medium to hot salsa instead of mild)

-1 can of enchilada sauce (I used a red sauce)

-1/3 cup of low-fat sour cream

Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos Directions:

-Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker/Crockpot.

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-Pour in the onions, green chilies, salsa, enchilada sauce, and taco seasoning. Stir well until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

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-Once the above ingredients are mixed together, pour in the sour cream and stir until completely blended.

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-Set the slow cooker on the desired setting – I recommend 6 hours because it’s easier to shred the chicken, but I’ve done the 4-hour setting in the past and the chicken still tasted amazing.

-If you can, stir the contents ever so often. If you’re not home to stir, it really doesn’t matter – the chicken will come out just as tasty.

-With one hour left in the cooking time, remove the chicken breasts and place them in a large bowl. With two forks, shred the chicken. Place the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker, stir the contents, and cook for one more hour.

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*When serving the chicken, be aware of the liquid. I recommend using tongs or even straining some of the liquid from the chicken – you don’t want to end up with a soggy taco.

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Taco Toppings Ingredients:

*One of the reasons tacos are so amazing is that they are very easy to personalize. The following ingredients are my favorites for taco toppings, but go with your taste buds and add whatever you want. Also note that the following ingredients are to be allotted for two tacos.

-2 corn tortillas (these are usually the lowest calorie option)

-Approximately 1/2 cup of shredded chicken (for two tacos)

-1/2 tbsp shredded 2% Mexican blend cheese

-4 tbsp homemade guacamole (2 tbsp for each taco)

-1-2 tbsp of shredded lettuce

-1-2 tbsp fresh cilantro

-1/4 cup red onion, sliced thinly

-1-2 tbsp light sour cream

Dressing Your Tacos Directions:

-This really doesn’t need explaining – just place the toppings in your desired order. I recommend putting the cheese down first because it creates a bit of a liner so you don’t soak your tortilla. If you want your sour cream to look really fancy, I suggest going to Wal-Mart and buying a $1 plastic condiment squeeze bottle.

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-Lastly, eat up and enjoy!