I don’t know about where you are but it is super hot, humid and rainy in Michigan. Hot and humid enough that you don’t want to use the oven. Rainy enough that you can’t grill and your herb garden is exploding…in fact, I think my oregano plant may have eaten one of the neighborhood children.
So that’s when I turn to one of the greatest inventions of mankind: pizza delivery. Just kidding, I really mean the slowcooker. And I know that we often think of the slowcooker as a winter-meal-generator and mostly useful for heavy comfort food, but really, you get out of it what you put into it.
Literally. What goes into the slowcooker comes out of the slowcooker, only better and more moist. (I wrote “moister” there the first time, I did.) And it can be light and summery, and use up all those fresh herbs you’ve got in your yard….or the ones you found in the produce section of the grocery store. This dish packs a lot of bright, delicious flavor for what ends up being very little effort on your part. Chicken, pancetta, rosemary (though you could substitute thyme or fresh oregano). It takes about 10 minutes to put together—all you have to do is slice a few things and layer them in your slow cooker. Less time to cook, more time to fight off the mosquitos.
- 4 split chicken breasts (or about 3lbs)
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and whole
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2oz pancetta,diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 large sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (or 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine)
- Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Rub the chicken with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on top of the onions. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, pancetta, rosemary and lemon juice.
- Cook for 8 hours on low heat.
© Have Fork, Will Eat
I am super excited about this post! Today I get to introduce you to Chad Williams, who is an awesome, amazing and hilarious person. Starting today, he’s going to start sharing a little bit of that awesomeness with all of us.
Chad is a fellow Evernote Ambassador (Fitness) and runs his own online fitness coaching company: AnthroPhysique. Fitness and health are his life and his goal is to help people create the body they were born to have. He takes advantage of Evernote and other technology to offer his online fitness coaching services to clients around the world.[divider top=”0″]
Chad Williams, AnthroPhysique
Thank you! I’m am very excited to be a part of this blog! Food and cooking are obviously a huge part of my life and my clients lives, and I believe this website is a great resource for new ideas and inspiration. I hope I can help by giving tips, advice, and nutritional information to the readers.
There’s a great joke in an even greater movie, a classic work by an utterly influential artiste. Anyway, in the joke, this guy is talking to a girl he likes at a party and he lists off all these fantastic foreign foods that are sitting on the buffet, including dates. And he offers her a plate and says, “Would you like a date?” “Sure,” she replies, reaching for it. He pulls the plate away. “How about next Thursday” Hahahahahah. That, my dear friends, is the genius work of Mel Brooks in his cinematic masterpiece Robin Hood:Men in Tights.
That joke is what I’m always reminded of when I think about dates, the fruit. If you’ve never had a date, they are these delicious little elongated fruits that come from a tree called a date palm, indigenous to the Middle East. You can usually find them dried, sometimes pitted and bagged in the grocery store. They are delicious in savory and sweet dishes and are often the base for various healthy snackbars, like Lärabars or Youbars. In fact, those very bars are the inspiration for these little snackables. Continue reading
This may come as a shock to some of you, but sometimes I really just don’t want to cook. Some nights it’s like, “You know, I just want someone to bring me delicious, reasonably healthy food and serve it to me.” That never really happens though. Generally when those nights come around, we end up ordering pizza, which ends up being reasonably tasty but not at all healthy, often takes longer than I want it to and then Josh and I have this discussion about what’s better, Jet’s or Cottage Inn (Cottage Inn) and don’t even get me started on the sadness that befalls us when we realize we’ve run out of our beloved chili pepper flakes to sprinkle over said pizza. I mean, there’s teeth gnashing and wailing and crying…it’s terrible.
Days where it’s just me for dinner can be even worse. I won’t order dinner out just for me. Often I take the opportunity to experiment and make something that I know Josh won’t really like to eat but as stated above, sometimes I don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen doing this or that. Now, partially to combat cooking malaise like this, we bought a chest freezer last weekend so that we could buy frozen dinners and pull them out when necessary (well, the freezer is partially to store frozen dinners and partially to store large amounts of pork shoulder for when I feel like some slow cookin’). This is slightly odd for me, because I don’t often eat packaged dinners, with the notable exception of occasional box of Kraft Mac & Cheese (it’s the best powdered cheese-product you can buy and you know it). It got worse when, after purchasing the freezer and a few bulk packages of Lean Cuisine steamer dinners (thanks CostCo), I got home, ready to crack open and try out a meal of Orange Chicken and realized…we don’t have a microwave. Continue reading
That headline’s a reference to Spaceballs, by the way, if you didn’t recognize it. And if you didn’t recognize it, shame on you. Your penance shall be sitting down immediately and watching this national treasure of a film—while you’re waiting for this jam to cook down, that is.
So I’ll be up front here. I am not a domestic goddess of any sort. I’m barely a domestic imp. I don’t sew–I can, but I don’t and I don’t have any desire to. I clean but not nearly as much as I should. I don’t really decorate. My gardening skills and interests are minimal. I don’t can. (That sentence looks so wrong, by the way.) I don’t bake my own bread. And I know those things seem kind of odd, seeing as how I do cook a great deal and I’ll even make my own candy, chocolate, oreos and now I’m working on Snickers bars. But I dunno. Canning doesn’t really appeal to me and seems like quite a bit of work for an end result that’s not chocolate. But I do like jam, and I like it minimally processed (as I prefer all foods to be, except Taco Bell, which gets an exception because it’s not really food anyway). I don’t like jelly though. I guess you could say that I’m not ready for this jelly. (No? No good? Well they can’t all be winners). But I do love jam, especially stirred into some plain Greek yogurt with some chocolate chips and walnuts—that’s a winning breakfast right there, my friends. Raspberry jam is awesome. But strawberry jam is awesomer still. Because I love strawberries so, so much. It’s my second favorite flavor next to chocolate, and right before “barbecue.” And it’s June! Fresh strawberries abound cheaply. Take advantage of it. Continue reading
Oh yeah, you read that right.
Our farm share started up again–finallly! One of the best days of my year is the day that I can start picking up our produce box from Needle Lane Farms. This year has the added bonus of us being able to pick up our box at the Depot Town Farmer’s Market in Ypsi on Saturdays, which I love, being that I love a 1 minute drive or 10 minute walk from Depot Town. Love. It. Also, I appreciate local organizations giving local love to Ypsi.
So yeah, last Saturday was a banner day. Not only had we just come back from our trip to Alaska, but I was all geared up to make my own food and the arrival of the farm share was the culinary equivalent of choirs of angels heralding the dawn. Well, close anyway. I was prepared for the usual late spring suspects: the garlic scapes, the radishes, the lettuces, the rainbow colored Swiss chard. But once again, Needle Lane blew me away and introduced me to something I had never even considered being a possibility:
stinging nettles. Continue reading
The children of the corn give this two thumbs up
It’s officially summer here. It’s sunny, it’s 80 degrees at 11am in the morning, my farm share is starting next week (!) and my husband can barely stand to go outside. Yep, officially summer.
Every summer I seem to have a meal that I make on a regular basis, far more than anything else. When I was 15, it was grilled chicken and rice. Like every day of summer vacation. Last year, it was hamburgers. I seem to be coming into my groove when making burgers now. It may sound weird, but ground beef brisket is the way to go, mixed in with a bit of ground pork if you’re of a mind, topped with a good flavorful cheese and onions that have been diced and cooked in butter with some dried herbs, and some guacamole. But this year, this year my summer is apparently going to be embodied by simple evening meals of some good old grilled beef hot dogs and sausages. Simple, quick, tasty, easy…perfect for hot weather, heavy on the sodium but light on my wallet. But sometimes I feel the need to kick things up a notch and instead of slaving over an elaborate main dish, I instead serve the sausages simple and grilled (with some onions and peppers, of course) and pair them up with an awesome side dish instead. Enter the corn. Continue reading
You know, I could wax on at length about this dinner and how it was all inspired by this recipe find of spinach artichoke hummus from Gimme Some Oven. I could tell you how I needed an end-of-the-week pick-me-up, healthy yet tasty, and how the mention of pork chops at work (which happens a lot more than you’d think) made me think I could combine my love of pork with my love of spinach, artichokes and hummus and sure it would be weird but it would also be awesome. I could tell you how easy this meal was to pull together, even though I had absolutely no idea what to do with the potatoes even as they were cooking; I just knew that I wanted them. I could tell you how fantastic thick center-cut pork chops are and how they’re even better stuffed with wedges of Cordobes sheep’s milk cheese, or how good potatoes are with meat drippings poured over them, or how surprisingly well spinach-artichoke-hummus can be smothered over said porkchops, cheese and potatoes.
I could do all of those things. But I will let the pictures speak for themselves: Continue reading
uh yes please
I picked out glasses yesterday afternoon. Prescription sunglasses, to be precise. I can’t really tell you what they look like though. I’m not even really sure. That’s the problem with having to try on glasses when you don’t wear contacts and are otherwise mostly blind. But hey, in about 3-4 weeks when they come in, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised! Or horrified. We’ll see. Ha. We’ll see. Get it? Yeah.
So after that, I walked down to Kerrytown and waited for Josh to pick me up. It’s after five at this point. Then we have to go get the dog because yes, my dog goes to doggy daycare once a week so he can run around and socialize like the wild beast that he is. Of course, to get him, we have to drive through all the construction down on Main Street by Stadium and then once we’ve got him, we have to stop at the bank. And then drive through rush-hour traffic through town because there’s no way we’re hitting I-94 at this hour and by the time we get home, settled, mail on the table, shoes off the feet, bathroom break taken care of, dog fed, etc, etc, etc, we’re looking at almost 7pm and time to make dinner and I’m starving. I also have a lot of freelance work to do—videos to edit, DVDs to burn, that sort of thing–and don’t want to be on my feet all night cooking. And then there’s that nagging little voice that says, “Screw cooking; order a pizza from Aubree’s. With breadsticks. Don’t forget my breadsticks.” Continue reading
It hasn’t even been a full week in our new house yet and already we’ve spent more than a little bit updating things–the cable, the washer and most notably, the oven.
I have a new oven.
Do you know what that’s like? It’s like Papa having a brand new bag, that’s what it’s like.
It’s beautiful—all shiny and black and stainless steal. The oven at our old apartment was a trustworthy thing; while I am not a fan of electric stovetops, the oven got hot quickly and stayed that way. When we moved into the house on Saturday, we knew the stove (gas) worked but that the oven didn’t. So despite my fear-of-change-driven emotional need for brownies, I had to sit and wait until a new stove was ordered and delivered. But I could still use the stove, and I did. It was a bit odd changing over to a gas range from an electric one—things heat up so fast! Lovely.
The new oven (I haven’t named it yet, but I might–any suggestions?) was delivered yesterday. Josh decided he was going to hook it up himself. This required a trip to the hardware store to get a connector-thingy. Me, I was all twinge-y with excitement, holding the flashlight while Josh fiddled around behind the stove (which was very shiny—did I mention it was shiny? I like shiny things). I had it all planned out—first I was going to make a chicken tomato sauté with chicken breasts I had acquired from the store that very afternoon for this very purpose, as well as some plump round cherry tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Then I was going to make a super-quick side dish of tricolor couscous and steamed spinach. And then there’d be cookies. Chocolate chip, of course, with maybe some oatmeal and I could nearly taste the chewy delici—
“It’s not going to work,” said Josh.
Well of course it’s going to work, I thought, oatmeal and chocolate go great together. Continue reading
I found a recipe in Cooking Light for Strawberry Jam Crumb Cake. It just sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it? It looks pretty good too. I have the week off and you know I can’t go more than a few hours without getting bored and baking something. My immediate thought was to make cookies, and then brownies, and then I thought that maybe I should try and wean myself just a little bit off my dependence on the black gold that is chocolate and try something new. And I’ve never made a crumb cake before (as least, I don’t think so, and if I ever did, I guess it was so terrible that I blocked it out) so I figured, why not?
Of course, I didn’t have any strawberry jam because what fun is baking if you actually have all the ingredients you need? I did have apricot preserves, though, since I’d needed it for my spicy apricot chicken. Works for me. Continue reading
Oh, and I guess it can be healthy too. Can be.
Anyway, I was inspired by this chicken wing recipe and decided to play around with a sweet-and-spicy chicken recipe myself. The store I stopped at this morning didn’t seem to have sriracha sauce specifically, so I went with the chili paste, which I’m sure I’ll be using pretty often because it smells great.
And let’s face it–we can all use a light meal now and again. Especially in these heady days between Christmas, Christmas, more Christmas and New Year’s. So this dish, bundled up with some fresh guacamole and a delicate side of lemony green beans (blanch green beans in boiling salted water, then drop into ice water, then pan-fry in a sauce of a tablespoon of butter, a half tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper and herbs) was a welcome breath of delicious, moist, tender air. I know what you’re thinking: moist is a creepy word. Yeah, it is.
But the chicken will make you forget all that. The chicken is here to help. Continue reading
Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back.
It was an odd weekend, really, this past weekend. There was very little cooking and no baking. Indeed, a pall of sadness hung over our apartment. Poor Josh had to have all four wisdom teeth removed at once and…well, let’s just say, he’s seen better weekends. And while I was reasonably healthy myself and not even a fraction as miserable as Josh, I tried not to cook too much because I felt sort of like a meanie making delicious food when he was subsisting on soft oatmeal and light Gatorade.
But today, as Josh slowly makes his way back to health and normalcy, I am slowly making my way back into the kitchen. I baked a super easy cake recipe I found on AllRecipes.com, which yes, I did choose because it didn’t require butter and lazy girl that I am, I didn’t feel like trekking to the store to get more. What’s even more shocking about that is the fact I was nearly out of butter to begin with. But no matter! I experimented and the cake looks good but as of the time of this writing, I have not tried it yet.. Continue reading
I got a notice that POM Wonderful was having a recipe contest and I thought, “Self, we’ve never entered a recipe contest before. We should give it a shot.” Self said, “We’ll never win.” And I replied, “Way to be defeatist, Self. The point is that it’s an excuse to be creative.” Self: “Since when do we need an excuse?” Me: “Since you started screwing with my chi.” Self: “Oh okay.” So we shook on it. Mentally.
So now that Self and I were in agreement (which happens much less often than you might imagine), I started thinking about various winter meals we could make with pomegranate. I considered roasting a chicken basted with a pomegranate compound butter. Iactually did that one, too. It wasn’t bad. But it didn’t make me go, “Mmmmmmmmmmmm” with my head tilted back and my mouth wide open slouched in a chair like Homer Simpson. I also thought about stuffing a pork tenderloin with spinach and goat cheese and cooking it in a pomegranate glaze. Haven’t done that yet…but probably will, because thinking about it now has me drooling a little bit, I’ll admit it. Continue reading
The first time I had a pasta carbonara was at a cooking class at Hollanders in Kerrytown. I’ve long been interested in the whole “bacon and egg pasta” idea, but only in philosophy, because after all…I don’t eat breakfast. I know, I know, just one more of my weird culinary idiosyncrasies. Still, I wanted to try making carbonara on my own, particularly seeing how easy it was to do. I wanted something a bit lighter and healthier tonight though (something about eating crushed lentil soup from Pita Kabob Grill makes me crave healthy things…at least until someone offers me something chocolate). So I opted to throw together a healthier vegetarian version of the dish. Continue reading
Chocolate is truly the food of the gods. You can eat it plain or with nuts, in cookies and cakes, drizzled over scones, and melted with whipped cream on top. You can also rub it on your skin, for various reasons (hey, whatever you do as a consenting adult in your own time is none of my business), and one of those reasons might be skin exfoliating.
It’s no secret that I happen to love the benefits that good food gives you from the inside and the outside. I mean, this blog even has a whole page of foodie skin care tips utilizing home made concoctions of various foodstuffs. Well here is one more: a chocolate body scrub.
When I found this recipe on Betty Confidential, I was pretty excited (I mean, it’s chocolate!) and I also thought it would be nice to make some up as gifts for the rapidly approaching holiday season (they are playing Christmas music already, did you know that?!). It was also an interesting recipe because it called for an ingredient that I knew about but never had much cause to actually experiment with: chocolate nibs. These little bites are the center of the cacao bean and the epitome of chocolate; the outer shell is removed and the nibs are roasted. Continue reading
I came across this blog post for the Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon Pepper Chicken and… all right, I’ll admit it: I drooled a little bit. But whatever. Who wouldn’t? Click on the link and I dare you not to.
So I figured…yeah that’ll do for an end of the weekend dinner. Only, of course, I more or less just did my own riff on it and because I haven’t had them in awhile, I figured I’d substitute a good couple of porkchops in place of the chicken. So this is more or less what I did. If you want to try your own version, I highly suggest visiting the link up there and trying it out for yourself. Continue reading
Since I was on my own tonight while Josh was out at a super exciting computer society meeting, I figured I’d make myself a very easy one pot Asian-inspired dish that Josh actually loves but never wants: peanut chicken stirfry.
Consider this less of a recipe, more of a guideline. Actually, consider everything I write a guideline. In fact, consider everything I don’t write a guideline too. Just in case.
Anyway, I love this dish because it’s fast and delicious and only really requires one pot. And you can swap all sorts of things in and out. Basically what it is is a pasta dish with vegetables and meat and a creamy peanut butter sauce. Let me tell you, it might sound odd, but if there’s one way to get your kids (and yourself) to eat vegetables, it’s to smother them in peanut butter. Trust me. Continue reading
This what I had for lunch today. The squid ink pasta came from my mom. It’s an egg pasta that’s been dyed a deep black color with squid ink, which also gives it a salty, kind of oily taste as well. The great thing is that it cooks in 3 minutes. For Halloween, I will probably make a “spooky” pasta with a nice bright orange pumpkin sauce, but today I just wanted a very simple, very light lunch, so this is what I made. Note: this makes a light pasta dish for one; to make it more hearty, add in any of the following: 1 c. chopped broccoli, 3/4 c. shelled edamame, 4 ounces of cooked shredded chicken and/or 1 small zucchini chopped.
However, as it is, this is a very simple 5 ingredient recipe, not including the salt and pepper. Continue reading
Farmer Lauren had a chicken, e-i-e-i-oooo, and with this chicken she made a sammich, e-i-e-i-ooo, with an apple slice here and an avocado there, here a spice and there a slice, eveywhere it’s nice nice, Farmer Lauren had a chicken avocado paniniiiiiiiii.
This is one of those recipeless recipes. Pretty much you can insert just about anything you think sounds tasty. Like the rest of my life, I didn’t have a plan…I just went with what I had. Continue reading