Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

from SkinnyTaste.com

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso my favorite!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping

 

  1. Quick method: Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. When the timer beeps, remove lid and keep the crock pot on HIGH one hour to help it thicken.
  2. Better method but requires more prep:  Heat a large skillet over medium-high, lightly spray with oil and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. To the skillet, spray with a little more oil and add onions and peppers. Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.
  3. Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
  4. Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini and Sausage

Thanks to the folks from Lid Pocket® for sending me a free holder. All opinions are my own.


It’s been a while since I’ve used my slow cooker, but this week is going to be hectic, so I knew planning slow cooker meals was the best thing to do.  It also gave me a chance to use the Lid Pocket® I received a few months ago.

This thing is cool.  It gives you a safe place to keep your slow cooker lid while you stir, check, and serve your food.  You don’t have to push stuff out of the way on your counter or find something to lay the lid on.

The low-down:

  • Hands-Free solution when seasoning, stirring or serving
  • Built-in Drip Catcher collects condensation
  • Keeps your counter top free and clean
  • Stores inside the crock
  • Fits 3-Quart and up – round to oval slow cookers
  • Fits the majority of slow cookers

Here’s what I cooked last night. The Lid Pocket kept the mess from the sauce off of the counter…it was a huge help!


 

Adapted from KeyIngredient.com

Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini and Sausage | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 1 bag (19 oz.) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 cans(14.5 oz each) Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-fat chicken broth
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Brown the sausage in a skillet on the stove top until cooked and crumbled. Drain.
  2. Add the sausage and remaining ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook, on LOW for 5 hours, stirring twice during cooking.

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

from Iowa Girl Eats

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (half used for garnish)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped OR 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 cups shredded or grated cauliflower (1/2 large head)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 3-4 dashes hot sauce (or more or less)
  • 2-1/2 cups (12oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (half used for garnish)
  • 2 green onions, chopped (optional)
  1. Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup chicken broth in a small bowl then set aside.
  2. Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate then remove all but 1 Tablespoon drippings from the pot. Add chopped onion (if using,) celery, and garlic to the pot then season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and onion powder (if using) to the pot then stir to combine. Add water then place a lid on top and steam cauliflower until tender, stirring a couple times, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and milk then turn up heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly whisk in flour/chicken broth mixture while stirring, then turn down heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until chowder has thickened. Turn off heat then stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese until smooth, then stir in half the cooked bacon. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce if necessary. Serve topped with remaining shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and green onions, if desired.

Use a food processor’s chopping and grating blades to make prepping veggies and cheese a breeze!

Ultimate Crab Dip

from Coconut & Lime

It’s summertime, which means the devouring of tons of seafood in our house.  Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, I can’t imagine my life without seafood being a part of it.  I made this for the 4th of July and have been craving it since. I think another batch will be whipped up at Warncke Haus this week.

Ultimate Crab Dip | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 16 oz blue crab claw meat
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 shallot, minced
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the cheddar cheese until they are evenly distributed. Or, if you are like me and you hate mincing yet don’t want any chunky shallot bits in the final dip or want make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated, place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the cheddar and crab in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Then stir in the crab.
  2. Spread into a 8×8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese in an even layer. For bonus points, shake a bit of Old Bay on top of the cheese.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Casa Olé Green Sauce

 

Casa Olé Green Sauce | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 4 Hass avocados
  • 1 16 ounce container sour cream
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 4 ounce can green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  1. In a food processor combine cream cheese, avocados, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and sour cream, process until smooth.
  2. Add in the Rotel tomatoes, and green chilies in, and pulse several times to finish the sauce.
  3. Serve with chips.

Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

Thank you to Staci Burt at  St. Martin’s Press  for sponsoring this review and sending me a preview copy of the book. And thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible. All opinions are 100% my own and I try to only work with brands that I know you’ll love.

 

From St. Martin’s Press:

The Glass Kitchen  by Linda Francis Lee is a novel about three Texas belles who move to New York City to open a restaurant all the while discovering the basic principles about family, true love, and ultimately food.

Echoing Shakespeare’s The TempestThe Glass Kitchen follows Portia Cuthcart as she flees Texas in a storm of controversy and is washed up on the island of Manhattan with no job and no money. But what she does have are her grandmother’s magical cookbooks that have been passed down through generations of women. Portia is a talented cook born with the “knowing” – an amazing ability to know what to serve on what occasions and predict events that have not yet occurred. Even though she has suppressed this feat for years, Portia must decide whether or not to use it again when she meets her widowed neighbor, Gabriel Kane, who has his hands full with two daughters on the cusp of womanhood and a family full of secrets, rivalries, and betrayals. With the help of her sisters and an unlikely hero, will Portia be able to claim what she wants deep down inside?

Divided into a six-course meal and filled with numerous mouth-watering recipes and meal plans, The Glass Kitchen is sure to tickle your taste buds and delight your senses. Linda Francis Lee will have you hooked from cover-to-cover.


I adored this book.  I read it in less than a week, which is record time for this busy mom and full-time state employee.  I was up late last night reading the last 100 or so pages, because I couldn’t put it down.

I love all genres of novels, but any that relate to food always make it to the top of my list.  Add in some spice and romance, and I’m there.

Of course, being a Texas girl, I loved that the story centered around Texas culture and food.  It felt like parts of it could have been right out of my own life.

The recipes Lee includes in the back of the book are also amazing.  I love that I’ll be able to make the meals in the book.

This will be a perfect summer read.  I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again soon.

German Potato Casserole

Recipe adapted from kraftrecipes.com

German Potato Casserole | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 1 can  (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1-1/2 cups  sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp.  white vinegar
  • 1 pkg.  (32 oz.) frozen Southern-style hash browns, thawed
  • 1 pkg.  (8 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices  cooked bacon, crumbled, divided
  • green onions, sliced, divided
  • 2 cups  French fried onions
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix soup, sour cream and vinegar in large bowl until blended. Add hash browns, cheese, half the bacon and 1/2 cup green onions; mix lightly.
  3. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Bake 50 min. or until heated through, topping with French fried onions after 20 min. Sprinkle with remaining bacon and green onions

Kitchen Towel-Obsessed

Only second to my obsession with collecting cookbooks is my obsession with kitchen towels.

I use them all the time. I go through 3 or 4 every time I cook a large meal.  I refuse to use paper towels unless I have to.  I have one towel on my person, one used for wiping down the counters, and extras…just in case.

I’m also very girly and love pretty, cute things.  They brighten up my kitchen.  They make me smile.  They take me back to the trips where I purchased them.  They are my souvenirs from long-ago vacations.

I think it’s time for a new batch for the summer:

Recipe Dishtowel – $9.95

May, 2014: In Pictures

May 2014 | Sarafina's Kitchen

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