Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thank goodness for Crockpots!

This past week has been a busy one! Had breakfast twice with friends and lunch twice with friends. We managed to play water volleyball three times this past week. Also included were shopping, knitting with friends, and three meetings all at the same time - I chose to go to "Women Who Kill" which was presented by some Sisters in Crime members, sponsored by King County Libraries. The three presenting authors discussed character development, how much of themselves appeared in their protagonists, and did they kill off people they don't like or do they develop them as murderers. It was very enjoyable. And yesterday was lovely outside, so I spent two hours at a nursery buying and potting some plants: strawberries, sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme, chives, peppermint, chocolate mint, and catnip. And fuchsias. Great start for the summer. Next time, I'm going to get several lettuces and salad greens - they also looked great. I also spent some time doing baking experiments - I'll share those results in a future blog.

With all of that, thank goodness for Crockpots. Here are two recipes I made this week - enough for dinners and leftovers as well.

Curried Chicken
Makes 6  (1 1/2 cup) servings


1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 - 2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, large pieces of fat removed and discarded
2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup OR 1 cup heavy cream

  1. In a 5 quart Crockpot, combine onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and all spices with chicken broth; mix well
  2. Add chicken and mix well to coat all pieces of chicken
  3. Cook covered on LOW for 6 - 9 hours
  4. Add cream of chicken soup or cream, cover, and cook another 30 minutes
Serve with steamed rice or pasta; also delicious with potatoes.

Makes 8 (1 1/2 cup) servings

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 (15 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) small kidney beans, drained
1 (4 1/2 ounce) can chopped or diced green chilies
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. In a frying pan, saute hamburger, onion, and garlic until hamburger is no longer pink. Drain well and place cooked meat, onion, and garlic in a 5 quart Crockpot
  2. Add tomato sauce, beans, chilies, and spices and mix well
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 - 9 hours
Note: If you wish, you can use different beans or combinations of beans, such as pinto beans, great northern beans, large kidney beans, and black beans

Corn bread and a crisp green salad are excellent accompaniments. You can also serve this with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, or even a chunky salsa. Tortilla chips or corn chips make a nice crunchy addition to the meal.

If you have some leftovers, but not quite enough for the number of servings you want, cook some egg noodles, drain, and add to heated leftover chili. The egg noodles cool down the chili heat.

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