Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

I love ribs so, when I saw the post from Jonna at Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake I  saved this recipe.  I went grocery shopping  on Monday for the week and they had only one  package of pork ribs.  There were barely four pieces in it, so I had to come up with another meal on the go.

Craig always says that he prefers the chicken thighs over breast because it doesn’t dry out as much.  I have to agree.  So I head back to the chicken section and grab two packs of the boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

At this point I totally forgot to get the rest of the ingredients I had on my list because I figured I’d make them another way.  But today I took the chicken out, grabbed the slow cooker and decided to make do with what I had on hand,

This is what I used:

2  packs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 pieces total)

1  cup ketchup

2 cups Light Brown Sugar

1 tbs ginger

1 tbs nutmeg

2 cups of pears in sauce

3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic cloves

Here’s what I did:

I cut as much of the fat off of the chicken as I could and placed it in the slow cooker.

In a medium sized bowl I added all of the ingredients and mixed well.  I poured it over the chicken, covered with foil and put the lid on.  My slow cooker has four different settings and I put mine on 6 hours to cook.  I ended up putting it on warm about 4 hours later.  On Jonna’s site she had said to get the sauce to thicken she took the foil off and let some of the steam out from removing the lid a bit.

I think that I may have used too much of the pear juice which is why mine didn’t quite thicken up.  The pear mixed with the home made sauce really gave it the smokey, sweet flavor.  The chicken feel right apart.

I sliced some potatoes up, boiled them in water and drained.  I added some butter and flour to the pan, added some chicken stock and put the potatoes back in the pot and added some chunks of Velveeta cheese and mixed until melted.  Great addition to this dinner.

I do hope to try this with the ribs at some point.

The kids were not a fan of this chicken.  I think it had more to do with the look of it than the flavor.  They didn’t like the pears mixed in with it.  I, on the other hand, loved this.  Great flavor with chicken that just fell apart!

Curious to see if the kids would eat this if I had used the ribs and the pineapple instead of the pear!

Hoping my guy likes it as much as I did! (He better since he asked for the dark chicken)!

Have a great rest of the week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

 

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Thin Mint Truffles

We’ve all heard the saying:  “All things are good in moderation”, right?  Well I love, love, love candy.  Not so much cake and cookies and pies, but candy.  One of my favorites are truffles.  I never, ever thought of making them.  I thought that it would be too difficult to do.  But when I came across this recipe, I knew I could do this.  I also knew that there would be no “moderation” on my part when these were done.

I’ve learned over time to control my eating habits.  I’ve learned to cut sugar out and eat low fat foods.  But there are times when I do indulge in some candy.  I may buy a rather large box of Gobstoppers and eat the entire thing in one sitting.  Or I may buy a bag (a large bag) of M&Ms and eat the entire thing, again, in one sitting.  I love going to the MOA and hitting the candy store to buy jawbreakers.  And my buddy, Jodi would definitely agree with me on that.  (If hit the All About Kids Page, you’ll see how many she actually bought this past Friday night).

Okay, okay, back to the truffles.  These were easy to make.  They tasted amazing.  Amazing.  Amazing.   Sorry..

The only complaint I have (this all my area of fault – was trying to cover the rolled thin mints in the melted chocolate).  I need to find a video to watch on that.  The site that I found these on look beautiful.  The directions say to roll the thin mint balls in the melted chocolate, but when I did that my finger prints were all over it!  So I did my best to make them look pretty, but honestly, I just wanted to eat them.

I will definitely be making these or something like these again.

Thin Mint Truffles

makes 24

1 9oz box Girl Scout Thin Mints {Or Keebler’s Grasshopper Cookies!}

4 oz fat free cream cheese, slightly softened

8 oz Guittard’s green mint chips (I couldn’t find these so I got a 8oz bag of white chocolate chips, put a bit of Mint Extract in it and added some green food coloring

8oz white chocolate chips or white chocolate bark

In a food processor, pulse the Thin Mints a few times, and them blend them down until they are just crumbs. It might be easier to do this in two batches. Next, mix in the cream cheese and crumbs together in a bowl until well incorporated. Roll the mixture into 1 inch size balls, and place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 30 minutes, so the balls are easier to dip in the chocolate and do not fall apart.  Caleb helped me with this so some of the 1 inch balls are a bit bigger!!

Once the truffles have been in the fridge for a while, melt the green mint chips in a double broiler or a microwave safe bowl. I opted for the microwave.

Roll half of the truffles in the green mint chocolate, and place them back on the wax paper. Melt the white chocolate and roll the remaining truffles. Once they have dried a little, place the remaining white chocolate in a small zip lock bag and cut a tiny bit of one corner off the bag. Start small at first, then if you need, make the hole a little larger. Drizzle the white chocolate over the green truffles. Do the same with the mint chocolate over the white truffles.  Place the baking sheet back in the fridge so that the chocolate can set.

I was really excited about making these.  I was really excited that I got to eat these!  If you’re a truffle fan as I am, then make these!  And if you get a better way to roll them in the chocolate without trouble, please share with me.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Cookin’ Cowgirl

MOA Day

This will be our first blog post together for Jodi, Sammie, Brookie, Caleb and me. Today we met at the MOA (for those of you that don’t know what MOA is – Mall of America). We frequent this place almost on a weekly basis, just usually not together. Since we started the “All About Kids” page, I thought we should take a bunch of pictures and share our fun day with you guys.

The first stop we made was one of THE most important one of the night. Duh, the Candy store! We made our way to Northwoods Candy Emporium and found tons of fun for us to enjoy.

These are the best jawbreakers! Yep, Jodi bought them all. She says they’re not all for her, but I’m not sure I agree!

Those are the biggest jawbreakers we’ve seen. I got one for Jodi last year and she ate it all!

Even little Sammie was happy to see so much candy…more, more, more.

Since the kids were hungry and it’s not right to feed them bags of candy for dinner, we made our way to the food court. Caleb got pizza, Brookie got McDonalds and Jodi and I settled for tacos and burritos.

Sammie got to play while the big people finished their food.

But finally he said, come on let’s go… And by the look on his face, we knew he meant business…

We walked and stopped. And walked and stopped. Took pictures and more.

Walking the food off we just ate, we wandered our way towards Archivers. Dangerous for a person like me to be allowed to even enter – craft stores are so fun to go in to, but expensive when you walk out. I needed some stickers for a Baptism card for Sammie and since we were traveling by we decided to make our way to the store. I was in DIY heaven and so were the kids. Stickers, paper, cards, buttons, boxes and the Cricut cartridges galore! Quite proud of myself for only buying the cross stickers and two packs of cards, I left the store with money still in my pocket! (I just realized there is an Archivers within walking distance from our house – that could be REALLY bad).

I saw these cool pictures I could make for each of the kids…

While using our Cricut Expression….

Time to go, we have to leave…

While walking down the trail we see below the Girl Scouts store. First, we made our way to Nordstroms lounge for a quick Sammie break and headed down to the cookie store.

On to the cookie store please…Yes, even Sammie wants those cookies!!!

Jodi needed to stop at the Lego store to get her sister some little gifts. I knew this could go bad fast if I didn’t take control before we entered the store. I gave my speech one last time….”No one is getting anything and please don’t ask or touch.” We found the build it yourself little island and put the kids to work (Caleb was just glad he could touch – he wanted to ask, but didn’t. I was quite proud I didn’t have to leave with a screaming kid in tow).

They each had to make a little girl for Jamie!! Sammie kept himself busy with his little friend, Moose.

On our way out we had to stop to say hi to Woody!!

And the dinosaurs too, of course.

One more stop we had to make before calling it a night. What better way to end the day than having a cup of ice cream. Though Sammie’s too young to enjoy, the kids stood by and showed him what, he too, could have one day!

We sat on the bench and rested our feet, while the kids showed Jodi their gymnastics skills. Because I’m such a proud Nana, I had them doing their cartwheels and backbends right in the middle of the walkway for all to see!

We had a good time. Well, since I’m writing this, Jodi will have to agree! She loves hanging out with the kids and me! And we love seeing her and Sammie too! We got tons of candy, good food, had a good walk and ended the night with a cold ice cream treat.

Have a great weekend. Always take time to spend it with your friends. Those are the ones that are there for you the most.

Patricia, Jodi, Brookie, Caleb and Sammie

Chili Cups

 

Chili Cups

Winter is finally here in Minnesota.  We got some snow this week.  And when you have cold and snow, what’s better than great comfort food?  Chili is one of the best comfort foods for me.  I’ve made chili a few different ways.  Almost the same as my home made spaghetti, but when I found this recipe on Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake the salsa struck me as something that would really add the best flavor to the best comfort food.

I made some moderations to the recipe and used fresh garlic over the garlic salt.  I added about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and instead of an entire jar of regular salsa, I used a 1/2 a jar of salsa verde and along with the regular kind.  Then what’s even better with chili is the butter biscuits that go along with it.  So I combined them both together and came up with the Chili Cups.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa – I used 1/2 jar regular salsa and 1/2 jar salsa verde’
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can of buttermilk biscuits

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground turkey, garlic, the onion and  and saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. No grease to drain with the turkey meat.
  2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Press 1 biscuit onto bottom and up side of each of two muffin cups.  I baked the biscuits for a few minutes then took the pan out of the oven and molded the dough better to the sides of each cup.  I poured in some spoonfuls of chili and baked until the dough was browned.

I made the extra biscuits to eat the remaining chili with.  I sprayed the top of them with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled some garlic salt over the top.

I put some shredded cheddar cheese on top of the chili with a bit of sour cream to top it off.  This is the best chili.  I wish I could take credit for it!  My hat goes off to Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake.

Best Chili

I am so glad I have left overs for tomorrow.  I’ll eat this for lunch so I don’t have to share!!

Left Overs

Have a great weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Introducing Samuel

About three and a half months ago my husband and I welcomed our first child, our son Samuel. He is such a happy little guy, we are so blessed to have him in our lives! As a new and first time mom I could go on and on for days about every little thing that’s happened since he arrived. I’ll try to keep this short; I don’t really have time to post every detail, but I do want to tell you a little bit about him.

People say he looks like me, though I can tell you the dimple in his chin comes straight from his dad. He’s happiest in the morning when he first gets up, but even when he’s fussy, he’s not so bad. My mom says he’s a much easier baby than I was! He mostly sleeps through the night – Thank Goodness!

This isn’t to say it’s all been easy. There have been plenty of times I was sure I’d ruined him already. He only slept in his bouncy chair for a while, I was sure he’d never sleep in a bassinet or crib. He had to be bottle fed in the hospital, I thought we’d never get the hang of breastfeeding. These things and lots of other smaller issues did eventually get resolved. I’m lucky to have a very supportive husband and we also have great family and friends to help.

Sam loves bathtime, and also the time just before the bath when he’s down to nothing but a diaper. He talks (coos) a lot and lately has taken up growling like a little pirate -Arrr! He seems to grow and learn more every day. He’s getting stronger too. I put him down on the lower end of his crib, and by morning not only has he pushed himself to the top but he’s turned himself sideways too!

I’ll stop going on and posting pictures for now. I have taken hundreds of pictures already and am not slowing down! I want to remember and be able to look back at every little grin. I’ll share more as Sam continues to grow and change.

– Sam’s Mom (Jodi)

New Look Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

 

This is the third  night I’ve made a new meal that we haven’t had before!  And this is the third night that I haven’t gotten any complaints from the family.  I have even gotten the “this is pretty good” from a certain picky person!  Yay me!

I wasn’t sure if this could be considered a meal or a side dish.  I consulted with my other “Girl” and she said it depended on how much ham was in the dish.  Since it had a pound of cut up ham I decided that it was going to be our main course served with some green beans.  This went over well.

I know it says “New Look” in the title (which means a healthier version) but it honestly didn’t seem like it with the ingredient I was using.  But here is the information I got from Kraft’s site:

MAKEOVER – HOW WE DID IT

By preparing this tasty casserole with BREAKSTONE’S FREE or KNUDSEN Fat Free Sour Cream and 2% Milk VELVEETA instead of the full-fat products, you’ll save 40 calories, 6.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat per serving.

I didn’t use that brand of sour cream, but I did use the fat free/lite.  I did use the Velveeta instead of full fat cheese.  I’m amazed at how much fat gram were saved.  The calories aren’t the important part to monitor for me, as yo know, but the fat intake.   So if I can save that way, it’s good for me.

what you need

4-1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 9), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 container (16 oz.) BREAKSTONE’S FREE or KNUDSEN Fat Free Sour Cream

3/4 lb. (12 oz.) 2% Milk VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 lb. (1/2 of 1-lb. pkg.) OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham, chopped

4 green onions, sliced – I left out the onions due to family dislikes –  I would have liked it!

1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

make it

HEAT oven to 350°F.

COOK potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan 10 to 12 min. or just until potatoes are tender; drain. Remove 3/4 of the potatoes; place in large bowl. Add sour cream; mash until smooth. Stir in VELVEETA, ham and onions. Gently stir in remaining potato slices.

SPOON into 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with Parmesan.

BAKE 30 min. or until heated through.

This was another hit!  The cheesy potatoes were so good and did well as a main dish!  The ham filled us up perfectly!

I told my other half that the last few meals have been healthier versions and I know he can’t tell the difference.  He just asked when he could have rice again for dinner!

Have a great rest of the week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Smarter Fettucinne Alfredo

 

I love pasta.  I love to make it and I love to eat it.  I searched around the Kraft Foods website to find this one again and it was another hit for us.

I’m not sure why I struggle each week to find meals for us to eat, but I do.  I think I say this at least once a week.  It takes me near an hour to figure out what to have time and again.  But I’ve come across some pretty good ones that Kraft has redone and made into “smart” cooking and made something that is a bit higher in fat/calories and still have it taste amazing.  The Shepherd’s Pie was one and now this one.  I added some chicken to give it a bit more to it.  I felt like leaving it with the sauce and pasta, we may still be hungry!

Here’s what you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks

1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked

1-1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 tsp. flour

1/3 cup PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese –  I used fat free

3 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

And how to prepare:

COOK pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

MEANWHILE, cook the chicken chunks in a frying pan until cooked through.  Mix broth and flour together with whisk until well blended. Add reduced-fat cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, nutmeg and pepper; cook 2 min. or until mixture comes to boil and thickens, stirring constantly.

DRAIN pasta; return to pan. Add sauce; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley.

kraft kitchens tips

SUBSTITUTE

Prepare using whole wheat fettuccine.

FLAVOR BOOST

Garlic lovers can add 1/8 tsp. garlic powder.

MAKEOVER – HOW WE DID IT

We replaced the butter and milk used in the traditional recipe with chicken broth, flour and PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese. In addition, we decreased the amount of Parmesan cheese. These changes will save you 310 calories and 21 grams of fat per serving when compared to that of the traditional recipe.

Look at the calories and fat saved from changing this up just a bit.  After adding the cream cheese the sauce did get a bit thick.  I may add a bit more chicken broth next time.

I have left overs for lunch tomorrow!!

Have a good week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Kraft Foods