Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Uncategorized


I’m always on the lookout for slow cooker recipes – there’s nothing quite so satisfying as throwing a bunch of stuff into a Crockpot, turning it on in the morning, and then coming home in the afternoon to a house that smells great and a hot delicious meal ready to serve. I found this recipe while browsing Recipezaar, and decided to pretty much make it as is. The final dish was delicious, and I served with a package of cooked rice sticks for a very “pad thai” like flavor. It was a tiny bit on the bland side, so I jazzed it up with a little Sriracha.

I’m submitting this dish to this week’s Slow Cooking Thursday event.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken
recipe courtesy Betty Crocker

8 chicken thighs, skin removed (2 pounds)
3/4 cup salsa (any variety)
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place chicken in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except peanuts and cilantro; pour over chicken.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from cooker, using slotted spoon; place on serving platter.

3. Remove sauce from slow cooker; skim fat from sauce. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

Note: This recipe was tested in slow cookers with heating elements in the side and bottom of the cooker, not in cookers that stand only on a heated base. For slow cookers with just a heated base, follow the manufacturer’s directions for layering ingredients and choosing a temperature.
(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)

Serves 4. Per Serving: Calories 390 (Calories from Fat 215 ); Total Fat 24 g (Saturated Fat 6 g); Cholesterol 90 mg; Sodium 510 mg; Total Carbohydrate 8 g (Dietary Fiber 3 g); Protein 38 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2 %; Vitamin C 10 %; Calcium 6 %; Iron 18 % Exchanges: 2 Vegetable; 4 Medium-Fat Meat

Simple Apple Squares

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Recipes, Uncategorized

I like to bake with seasonal ingredients – in late spring and early summer, you’ll see a lot of berry dishes. In late summer, a lot of stone fruit. Autumn, to me, is all about apples and pears and winter squash. Mostly apples.

From the way this recipe looked on Jill’s blog, I expected the final product to be moist, but still be something you can eat with your hands – wow, this recipe was WAY moister than I expected it to be. Great flavor, but didn’t hold together for love or money. It would be great as the base for a sundae. It kind of reminds me of the country apple cake I used to make.

I’m submitting this to Joelen as part of her Tasty Tools – Bakeware event.

Apple Squares

Simple Apple Squares
recipe from Simple Daily Recipes

3 large apples, peeled and diced
1 c. pecans, roughly chopped
2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs or 1/2 c. healthy egg substitute
3/4 c. canola oil or natural applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF degrees.

Prep the apples and pecans, set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt together. Make a well, pour in eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir by hand. The batter becomes very thick. Fold in the apples and pecans until well mixed. Pour into a well greased pan. There’s enough batter to fill one 9 x 13 inch pan.

Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to completely before removing from pan.

Mrouziya (Honey Spiced Lamb)

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Ethnic, Food Blogging Event, Recipes, Uncategorized


Unlike a lot of folks in Columbus (who are still without electric and have lost entire freezers worth of food), I still have a very full freezer (I would have been so up a creek without a paddle if my electric had gone out). I’ve been trying to plan meals around the stuff in my freezer and pantries. Let me tell you, I’m counting my blessings and seeing the windstorm as a wakeup call – eat out of my stores at all cost, because I have just too much stuff that’s completely perishable in the case of power loss (plus, I’d like to make ice cream – it would help if I actually had enough room in my freezer to do so!)

This lamb shoulder came from the lamb Paul and my mother butchered at the Meet Your Meat workshop we did at 2Silos back in June. Pieces of cut up lamb quarter have been in the freezer since then, and this was the first cut we used. Yummy, even though we butchered the butchering a bit, so to speak. Ras el hanout is one of my favorite spice blends, and it works wonderfully in this dish – it’s both spicy and sweet at the same time. Not spicy in a hot kind of way, either. Just a nice combination that really stood out. I wasn’t crazy about the boxed Armenian rice we served with it, next time around, I’ll make some lentil rice or couscous from scratch to accompany it. I’m submitting this as part of the Deep Freeze Summer Challenge 2 blogging event hosted by Mele Cotte.

Ras El Hanout Lamb

Mrouziya (Honey Spiced Lamb)
recipe courtesy Mimi’s Cyber Kitchen

4 lbs. lamb shoulder, cut into large chunks
3 tbsp. ras el hanout
2 to 3 cups water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. smen (aged butter) – or substitute 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. honey
3/4 c. raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
1 c. (5 oz) whole blanched almonds, toasted
Hobz Belboula or other crusty bread for serving

Preheat the oven to 325F. With your hands, thoroughly coat the meat with ras el hanout. Set the meat in a heavy cast-iron pan or an enameled casserole with a heavy lid. Add the water, the oil, smen, and honey. Cover tightly. Bake until the meat falls off the bones, 3 to 4 hours.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to an ovenproof dish and keep warm. Skim the fat from the sauce. Place the casserole over medium-high heat and add the raisins. Cook, stirring, until the sauce attains the consistency of maple syrup, 10 to 12 minutes. Return the meat to the sauce. Stir to coat and heat through.

Transfer meat to a shallow platter and garnish with the toasted almonds. Serve with extra sauce on the side, and warm bread.

I used a store-bought jar of ras el hanout, but if it’s not something that’s readily available in your area, you can also make it from ingredients you probably already have at home. Here’s a recipe for the spice blend, also found at Mimi’s Cyber Kitchen:

Ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)

“There must be as many recipes for ras el hanout as there are spice vendors in Morocco. The name itself, which translates as “top (or head) of the shop,” refers to the best combination of spices the seller can provide. Si Brahim, our spice vendor in Azemmour, incorporates thirty-four spices, dried roots, so-called aphrodisiacs, and other mysterious and unusual items. I prefer to use Naima Lakhmar’s more easily prepared, less elaborate recipe. She toasts all her ras el hanout ingredients before grinding. You can usually find blade mace, dried ginger root, and dried turmeric root in Middle Eastern markets.”

Makes about 1/4 cup

1 teaspoon allspice berries or 1-1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 whole nutmeg or 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
20 threads Spanish saffron
2 teaspoons black peppercorns or 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons blade mace* or ground mace
1 three-inch cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cardamom seeds or 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 two-inch pieced dried ginger or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 two-inch piece dried turmeric or 1 teaspoon ground

If using whole spices, put all the ingredients in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and toast, stirring constantly, until the mixture emits a pleasant aroma, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. (This first step is not necessary if using commercially ground spices.) Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, reduce the ingredients to a fine powder. Sift to remove fibrous elements. Place in a tightly sealed container and store in a cool, dark place, or in the freezer.

*Blade mace, also called mace blades, is the lacy, scarlet aril covering the nutmeg. It turns light brown as it dries. It is better know in its powdered form as ground mace.

Grandma’s Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Uncategorized

After making cabbage rolls last month, I wanted something that would be of a similar flavor, but without all the work. After thumbing through my cookbook collection, I came up with this recipe. I’m submitting it to this week’s Frugal Fridays food blogging event. I used almost all pantry staples, so I don’t have the exact cost breakdown, but I guarantee it was less than $10.

The original recipe, as made, was far too sweet. In this adaptation, I’m using condensed tomato soup instead of tomato sauce, less sugar, and more lemon. I found that there were some tough spots of cabbage, so in the future, I’d either parboil the cabbage somewhat, or discard the veins or cut them into much finer pieces.

Grandma's Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Grandma’s Stuffed Cabbage Soup
adapted from recipe from Clementine’s (North Olmstead, OH)
as found in the book “A Taste of Ohio History” by Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott

2 c. diced onions
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 small head cabbage, diced (make sure you discard tough parts or cut them down into fine dice)
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
4 c. beef broth
4 cans condensed tomato soup
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 c. cooked white rice
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, saute onions and ground beef in oil until meat is browned. Do not drain. Add sugar and cabbage and mix well. Add the next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add rice and simmer 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

French Onion Soup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Uncategorized

This is actually something I made last winter, using onions I got at the Worthington Winter Market – but with the nights getting a bit nippy, and sweet onions starting to show up at the farmer’s markets, this recipe is more timely than ever.

I tend to like my French Onion soup homemade, as most commercial preparations skip the brandy, which I believe truly makes the soup stand out. That, and when you make it yourself you have more control over the process, allowing the onions to caramelize to that perfect point where the sweetness gets released.


Soupe a L’Oignon au Fromage (French Onion Soup)
recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

1/4 cup unsalted butter
6 large onions (about 5 pounds), thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup brandy
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 cups beef broth, homemade or canned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 (1/2-inch thick) slices French bread, toasted
3/4 pound coarsely grated Gruyere

Heat the butter in a soup pot over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 40 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and add the brandy. Return the pot to the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost dry. Sprinkle the onions with the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. While stirring, slowly add the broth. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, with the cover slightly ajar, about 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Arrange a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and preheat.

Arrange 6 ovenproof crocks or deep soup bowls on a baking sheet and ladle the hot soup into them. Arrange 2 slices of toasted bread on top of each soup and sprinkle with the cheese.

Broil the soups until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

In a fashion true to my German roots, I ate my French onion soup paired with a liver cheese (kind of like liverwurst, but square with a ring of fat around it) and swiss sandwich on rye. Definite comfort food for me.


So tell me, what do you folks make when you want a meal that will warm you to the core?

Frugal Fridays: Golumbki and Halushka

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Uncategorized

There are reasons that, in certain cultures, some things are “staples” – this is a staple dish of Eastern European cuisine that not only tastes great, but is super affordable to make. For this week’s Frugal Fridays, I chose to feature one of my favorites.

I think every time Paul’s sister Patti visits us (or we visit them), inevitably we end up making Cabbage Rolls. I think it was originally a Betty Crocker recipe (I found it online at, but is hands down the best version I’ve ever had. The sauce is where it’s at. The last couple of times, when I was in bad health, I couldn’t help much, but this time around I rolled them while she prepped the meat and cabbage leaves. Very, very time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and Halushka

This is a recipe for a single batch (serves 6), we ended up scaling it up to use like 4 heads of cabbage and 7 lbs. of meat, but the recipe below is a much more reasonable quantity. BTW, if you want to scale up, by all means do so – this recipe is great for once a month cooking (OAMC), because it freezes very, very well. It means a little more work rolling, but it sure as heck beats going through the whole process all over again the next time the mood for Golumbki strikes you.

Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
recipe courtesy

1 beaten egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 lb. ground beef or 1/2 lb. ground beef plus 1/2 lb. ground pork (important: as lean as possible!!)
1 c. cooked rice
6 lg. or 12 med. cabbage leaves
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
10 3/4 oz. can condensed tomato soup

In mixing bowl combine egg, milk, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; mix well. Add ground meat and cooked rice; mix thoroughly. Remove center vein of cabbage leaves, keeping each leaf in one piece. Immerse leaves in boiling water until limp. About 3 minutes; drain. Place 1/2 cup meat mixture on each large leaf or 1/4 cup mixture on each medium leaf; fold in sides. Starting at unfolded edge, roll up leaf making sure folded sides are included in roll. Arrange in 12 x 7 1/2 x 2 inch baking dish. Stir together condensed tomato soup, brown sugar and lemon juice; pour sauce mixture over cabbage roll. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hour basting once or twice with sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Paul’s sister likes to serve it with Halushki – I’m not sure of her exact recipe, but it’s closest to this one (except she leaves out onions because her family hates them – if it were me making it, I’d leave them in). A perfect side for Golumbki.

Final price to serve 6? $7.03 Well within budget, and quite a well-rounded meal. If you’re trying to cut down on your fat intake, make some mashed potatoes to go on the side instead – it won’t affect the cost (about the same cost as the halushki) and you’ll save on calories.

Here’s the breakdown:
Head of cabbage = $1 at the farmers market
Egg = .12 (if a dozen eggs are $1.50)
Milk = .13 (a half gallon of milk is $2.15)
Onion = .10 (3 lb. bag is .99)
Worcestershire sauce = normally on hand
Salt = normally on hand
Pepper = normally on hand
1 lb. 90% lean ground beef = $3 (at the farmers market)
1/2 c. rice (to yield 1 cup cooked) = .10 (estimated)
Brown Sugar = normally on hand
Lemon Juice = normally on hand
Aldi tomato soup = .89
Aldi egg noodles = 1.19
Aldi butter = .50 (1 stick where 1 lb is $1.99)

SHF #45: Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Uncategorized

SHF berries logo 200

It seems as if raspberry season is starting to wind down here in Central Ohio. However, a few weeks ago, when raspberries were plentiful, I found myself craving some sort of baked good with raspberries inside. One of my favorite things in the world (pedestrain as it may seem) is Entemann’s Raspberry Cheese Danish – this condenses all the best parts of it (raspberries, cream cheese) into a single muffin.

It made for a delicious breakfast, with a bit of yogurt on the side. I’d make this recipe again. I’m submitting it to this month’s Sugar High Friday: Berries event, created by Jennifer the Domestic Goddess.

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffin

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins
recipe from “Everything But the Entree” by The Junior League of Parkersburg, Inc.

3 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 c. milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberries

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease the muffin tins or line with paper cups. In a small bowl, beat together until smooth the cream cheese with one egg, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla and set aside. In a saucepan, combine the milk, butter, and one tsp vanilla. Stir over medium heat until the butter melts. Cool until warm to the touch, then beat in the remaining two eggs. In large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Add the milk mixture and stir just to blend. Fold in the raspberries. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups. Spoon about 2 tsp cream cheese mixture on top of each muffin. Pull knife through each top to swirl slightly. Bake about 20 minutes or until top springs bake when lightly touched.

Miniature Scotch Eggs

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Recipes, Uncategorized


I’m a big fan of Scotch eggs – there’s just something about taking a hard boiled egg and wrapping it in sausage and bread crumbs and deep frying it that really does it for me. Sometimes, though, they’re so big that the whole thing becomes a giant gut bomb waiting to detonate.

So when Denise of 2Silos gifted me with a box of quail eggs to try, the first thing that came to mind was Scotch Eggs – after all, if it can be done with regular sized eggs, isn’t it possible to make little miniature Scotch Eggs with quail eggs? All the taste without all of the commitment. In short, the answer is yes – the timing for boiling the eggs took some experimentation to pinpoint, but it all came together perfectly. I’m submitting this creation to the Grow Your Own blogging event.

Miniature Scotch Eggs

Miniature Scotch Eggs

12 quail eggs, boiled for 5 minutes and then peeled
1 lb. breakfast sausage
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (use more if needed)

After peeling hard boiled quail eggs, dredge in flour, egg wash, bread crumbs, and then egg wash and bread crumbs a second time. Once all of the eggs have been encased in sausage, put in the fridge for at least an hour for crumb to firm up. Deep fry in hot oil until outside is a dark golden brown and innards are fully cooked, 5-10 minutes. Serve with a nice garlic aioli or remoulade.

Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Fines Herbes

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Recipes, Uncategorized

It’s time again for one of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures – this one with the theme of a Wolfgang Puck/California inspired recipe. I found this recipe on his web site, and decided to make it because it reminded me of my favorite Gordon Ramsay method of scrambling eggs, this one with a few twists added in. The recipe itself too more effort to make than my usual method, and the results, while close, weren’t quite what I was looking for. Tastes great, though, with the addition of Dijon mustard – it added just the right amount of kick.

Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Fines Herbes

Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Fines Herbes
recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck

12 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely chopped fines herbes (chervil, parsley, tarragon, and chives)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced, and drained
1 teaspoon chopped chives

1. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, reserving 2 yolks in a separate bowl. To the large bowl, add the fines herbes, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth.

2. Add to the reserved egg yolks the heavy cream and mustard. Mix well.

3. In a heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, add the whole egg mixture and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until creamy and slightly thickened.

4. Add the yolk mixture and the tomatoes. Remove the pan from the heat while continuing to stir constantly. The heat in the pan will continue to cook the eggs. Perfectly scrambled eggs should be creamy with very soft curds. Sprinkle with the chives and serve immediately.

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Uncategorized

For this edition of Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Gay of A Scientist in the Kitchen, I’ve decided to submit a dish that I made quite a while ago for a cookout. It was so simple to prepare, the flavors melded together beautifully, and it was an absolute hit. This one is definitely going into my rotation.

Sausage Pasta Bake

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
recipe from Everyday Food magazine

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vodka (optional)
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces baby spinach
12 ounces smoked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 ounces fontina cheese, 4 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 2 ounces coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Remove from heat; add vodka, if desired. Return to heat; cook until almost evaporated, 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.

Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes.

Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.