Posted in Dumping Dinner, Main Dish, Slow Cooking

Dumping Dinner: Butter Chicken


Here’s your Dumping Dinner for this week. Butter chicken or murgh makhani is an Indian dish of chicken in a mildly spiced curry sauce. It actually came to be in the 1950s because of leftovers. See story here. A few more than normal ingredients but only minimal chopping. It is delicious. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani

[No butter. Just yumminess.]

  • 4-6 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Marsala*
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Dump in one-gallon freezer. Seal and freeze.

To cook: 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. When finished, remove meat slice or shread. Serve with sauce.

Meal Maker—Serve with brown rice and your choice of veggies. Garlic naan, Indian flatbread is a must. Yum!

*Garam Marsala is a blend of ground spices common in India, Pakistan, and other South Asia Cuisines. You can find it in the spice section of most grocery store or online. The following is a quick recipe that will do the trick.

Garam Marsala

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been cooking up in your kitchen. I would love to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Easy Recipes for Busy Days, Matters of the Heart, Warm the Soul

Dumping Dinner: Chicken and Rice Soup

thepartysinthekitchen.me

I received this text this morning from my daughter, Charity—

Hey, Mom, we all got sick last night and were wondering if you could go to the store for us.

When my daughter says all, she is talking about a lot of people. You see, she has six children, age 10 and under. The flu at her house is serious business especially when she has it, too. So, I did what any mama/grandma would do. I brought her requested items of chicken soup, saltine crackers, and ginger ale to her front door, peeked in, hugged the one non-sick child, and said a quick prayer for their recovery on my way back to my car. Oh, man, it’s gonna be a long day over there.

I wish I had been more prepared. It would have been much more comforting to have some homemade chicken soup to take, but I didn’t have what I needed so I bought the canned instead. Now that I’m back home, I have come up with a Chicken and Rice Soup that can quickly be cooked up on the stove-top or in the crockpot. I have included directions for freezing as well. That way, when you or someone you love comes down sick, in a very short time you can have some comfort simmering away.


Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8.5 ounce pouch shelf-stable rice or rice-mixture of your choice or 1 ½ cooked rice.

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except rice into a 6-quart crock pot then cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken breasts are cooked through. If using stove-top, simmer everything except rice until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Stir back into soup along with rice.
  3. Serve.
  4. Enjoy!

For freezing:

Dump all ingredients except chicken broth and rice into 1 gallon freezer bag, close, label and freeze. To cook follow directions above adding 2 hours to your cooking time.

Extra:

This soup can be easily transformed into what you crave or adjusted to what you have in your pantry. Experiment and let me know how it turns out.

 

 

 

Posted in BBQ, Easy Cooking, Yumminess

Summer Ease

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.

Sam Keen


 

Now that summer is in full swing, most of us have an opportunity to enjoy picnics, BBQs, and al fresco dinners.  These days it can be as simple or as fancy as you like, but the real focus of any event are the people we will share with. For that reason, ease is important to me. Less time in the kitchen means more time with friends and family. One of our family favorites for the grill is Hawaiian BBQ Chicken. This dish has an easy prep with a very delicious outcome. Pair it with grilled veggies, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, and fresh fruit, and you will have a beautiful table.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken boneless skinless thighs or breasts, cut into serving size
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  1. Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a resealable plastic bag or glass dish with lid.
  2. Add chicken pieces and marinade for up to 24 hours.
  3. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.
  4. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink.
  • Alternative method of cooking: bake in a 375-degree oven until done. Time will depend on the thickness of your chicken pieces.

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Grilled Veggies

  • One or a combination of vegetables, washed and sliced into uniform pieces. I especially carrots as do most of the grandkids. I also use zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus. You can use most any summertime produce. Peppers, onions mushrooms and tomatoes are also good choices.
  • Herbs, fresh or dry. Use something to compliment your main dish. Don’t forget garlic.
  • Olive oil. Any cooking oil you have will work.
  • Salt and pepper.
  1. Notice I don’t really give amounts. I just fill up my grill pan or basket with veggies (Vegetables shrink as they are cooked. You’ll want to make more than you think you need.), drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat, sprinkle on the seasonings and give it a stir. (I apologize in advance to those who want amounts and times.)
  2. Place pan/basket on grill and cook until desired doneness. This can also be done in an oven set to 375 degrees. I actually like the oven method best and it can be done ahead of time if you like.
  • Tip: Some veggies cook faster than others. Asparagus is very quick. Maybe just five to ten minutes. Squash, perhaps twenty minutes and carrots-thirty.  Try to choose ones that have a compatible cooking time.
  • And just one more thing—Leftover roasted vegetables are great additions to pasta salads, sandwiches, pizzas, or even omelets.

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Before I give you the recipe, I must give you a disclaimer. I have never been to Hawaii. Nope. But I have eaten at a few Hawaiian BBQ places. Most serve a scoop of steamed white rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. I have made up my own version which I have tweaked even further to lighten it up a bit. Even with the tweaking, it is going to be heavy on the calories. There are just some things that you have to splurge on a bit. The rest of the meal is light so we can afford to.

  • ½ pound elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice (Substitute 2% milk, if preferred plus a tablespoon of honey, brown sugar or other sweetener.)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Optional mix-ins—imitation crab, frozen peas, pineapple tidbits, or ham. Some people add cilantro. It really depends on your preference. We have always used the imitation crab and peas, but I’m up for trying something new in the future. Maybe, even a little Spam. It is Hawaiian after all.
  1. In large bowl, mix together cooked macaroni, shredded carrot and chopper scallion plus any mix-ins you desire.
  2. In separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients to create the dressing.
  3. Pour dressing over macaroni mixture and chill.DSC_0227.JPG

 


These recipes are featured in July 2016 issue of  Broken But Priceless: The Magazine, where I am currently writing for the food section called The Corner Bistro.


 

Posted in The Party's in the Kitchen

Big Box to the Rescue!

watermelonThere are times in life when the stress rises. This week is one of those times. All of our year end events are taking place, one is a party for a group of ladies who faithfully serve in leadership ministry. Being that girl who is comfortable around the kitchen, I am responsible for putting the food together. Usually, I am excited for the opportunity to cook something special but this week it’s not the only event that is drawing on my energies.

So, it’s Big Box to the rescue! I was able to put a menu together for fifty that would require a minimal work in my kitchen. In fact, the advance prep only took about an hour. I chose rotisserie chicken that is already boned to make into Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches. We will also enjoy Deviled Eggs, two different pre-made vegetable salads, watermelon and assorted cookies. Easy Peasy. And I believe everyone will be satisfied not so much because of the food, but that they spent time laughing and enjoying each others company.

It’s easy to impress me. I don’t need a fancy party to be happy.
Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m content.
~Maria Sharapova

This is my daughter’s recipe. Enjoy!

Genny’s Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I like to serve this simple recipe on crescents. I get the mini crescents from Winco. They make the perfect little finger sandwiches.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, baked and diced
4 green onions, chopped
2/3 cup cashews (the cashew pieces are fine)
1 cup mayo (light mayo is fine)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients and serve as a sandwich.

A variation can also be made by using pecans. Equally delicious.

Posted in Involving the Heart

Home Peace Home

There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.

Jane Austen

There are times when it is just nice to have a day at home.  In our busy world, there are so many great things to do and places to go. And with my sanguine personality, I want to be part of every gathering, every excursion, every activity.  I never want to be left out.  My motto has always been, “Never miss an opportunity for fun”. Yet, there are still times I really enjoy being at home doing homey things.

Making a home cozy is what I dreamed of when I considered what grown-up life would look like. Of course, the reality is always a bit different than expected. But when given the chance, I like to create an environment that I would enjoy sharing with others. One that brings a sense of well-being, beauty and peacefulness. To me, there is actually an element of romance in it all.

Today in my “romantic” endeavors,  I am putting some future dinners in the freezer.  Our local markets all have meat on sale this week so I stocked up.  I divided it out into meal sized portions and added some different marinades to each.  I have created tastes of Italy, Mexico and Greece. There are also some pork chops that will wait for their seasoning until the time of cooking. This will make the days, I must spend out and about having fun, easier and more interesting at dinnertime.  And I won’t be ‘driving through’ when there is something delicious that can easily come from my own kitchen.

This is the recipe for the Mexican Grilled Chicken and is now one of my new favorites.  I have used it on chicken breasts for tacos and salad.  Everyone has enjoyed it–a lot.  I did make some changes to the original.  Instead of Chipotle chili powder, I used 1 teaspoon regular. I also used smoked paprika in place of the plain.

Mexican Grilled Chicken

  • 8 chicken thighs or 4 breasts
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Juice of 1 lime or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 handful cilantro, rough chopped
  1. Put all marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and liquefy.
  2. Put marinade in a gallon-size zip lock bag and add chicken pieces. Turn a few times to distribute marinade.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours I leave it for about 10 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill. Discard marinade.
  5. Grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Enjoy!

If you enjoy reading this blog, please check out another blog I write.  Girlonadventure.com Girl on Adventure is a collection of lessons God is showing me as I move through life.  I hope you enjoy it.