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Monday, June 9, 2014

Recipe Review from 6/2/14

The lilacs, apples, honeysuckle, early iris, and lily of the valley are all in full bloom right now and the lilacs smell divine.  The mosquitoes are also in full force right now, which is less than divine.  In fact, they are downright awful.  No sitting out on the porch for us unless there is a gale force wind to blow them away.  I'm going to have more seriously consider some mosquito netting for the porch.

We also experienced a pipe blow-out under the sink early last last week - a lovely 1" hole in the bottom of a very corroded "U" pipe.  The Husband was moving laundry around and exclaimed loudly when water started coming down from above when I drained the kitchen sink.  Which...explained why we couldn't find the leak in the washer we thought we had.  Sink has been leaky for a while but we never put two and two together. 

Ah, the joys of plumbing.  Thanks to Dad for his help!

Lastly, we did our first hike of the year!  There was concern we wouldn't get out at all because it was pouring rain when we got up, but as the morning progressed we realized we had an afternoon opportunity.  Phone calls were made, bags were packed, lunches assembled and we were out the door.  We hiked the Superior Hiking Trail from the Fox Farm Rd (E) to the Sucker River (or, Fox Farm Rd to Fox Farm Rd)  GREAT hike!  5 miles through hardwood forest, some recently clearcut areas that have now been planted (talk about some amazing views!) and rolling terrain.  Mosquitoes were awful, but the hike was fantastic.

The Meal Plan:
Sun - leftovers; Slow Cooked Tex Mex Chicken Stew
Mon - (yoga/Northland K-9 Fundraiser)  leftovers
Tues - Salsa Turkey Burgers   Mom's leftover pork and noodle dish
Wed - leftovers
Thurs (yoga) grilled polish and potato packets   leftovers
Fri - leftovers

Lunches - Barley, Black Bean and Corn wraps, chips, fruit, luna bars, nut cups

Slow Cooked Tex Mex Chicken Stew  (modified; Slow Cooker Revolution by ATK)  gluten free
This lasted longer than I had anticipated or planned in part because it makes a bunch (will freeze nicely) and in part because we added some brown rice when serving.  There was something about the dish that asked for the addition of the rice, and since I had a box of quick cooking brown rice packets, easy enough!  Yum.

This was very good - the flavors are bright, definitely southwest-ish, but not too spicy.  I did add some cumin (because I can't do a Tex-Mex and not add cumin), and cut back the chili powder a bit (because Penzey's can be a bit potent).  And, as with most of the recipes from Slow Cooker Revolution, I saute on the stove rather than microwave (don't own one) - ironically, I've actually been consistent in this step.  It hasn't been as time consuming as I thought it would be.

This made 5 meals for us - remember I added rice just before serving! 

2 onions, minced (I use one)
2 jalapeno chiles, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder (I used ~1/2 tbsp Penzey's brand chili powder)
1 tsp cumin
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup Minute tapioca
1 tbsp light brown sugar
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
2 cups frozen corn
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
(1) minced canned chipolte chile in adobo sauce (NOT the whole can - just one chili and maybe a bit of sauce; freeze the rest in 1 tbsp piles or 1 chili per pile, and save for next recipe)

1) Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Saute onions, jalapeno, garlic, tomato paste, and chili powder (and cumin) until onions are softened.  Add to slow cooker.

2) Stir broth, tomatoes, tapioca, and sugar into slow cooker.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker.  Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours on low.

3) Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite sized pieces (it just falls apart).  Let stew settle for 5 minutes and skim fat from surface using large spoon (easier said than done, so I skipped).

4)  Stir in corn and beans, cover and cook on high about 10 minutes.  Add back in chicken and chipolte chile and let sit until heated through.  About 5 minutes.  (Really? Let's not make this overly complicated.  I just plopped everything in and let warm for about 30 min more, maybe a bit longer.)

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