Sunday, July 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Beer Chicken

Photo courtesy Taste of Home

    When life gets busy, whether it be at work or home, I make use of my slow cooker. It doesn't matter the season, because the slow cooker adds very little heat to the kitchen. Since work has been hectic lately and the granddaughter had a birthday, which meant kids and a party, I needed an easy meal. 
    I planned ahead and thawed out a few chicken breasts so that they were ready when I had the time. To save more time, I popped them in slow cooker before I went to bed one night and by the next morning dinner was done, for whatever day I needed it to be done.
    Chicken cooked like this is very moist and the oregano and garlic kick in flavor. The best part is that it's so easy to do. This one is a real time saver with taste.

Slow Cooker Beer Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle or can of your favorite beer
1 t. Kosher salt
1 t. garlic powder
1T. dried oregano
1/2 t. black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. 
Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Asian Marinated Cucumbers

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
     Cucumbers are one of the goodies out of the garden that many don't know what to do with except pickle. I've always liked them soaked in vinegar/sugar water to add some flavor. This recipe takes that same idea but gives it an Asian twist with the use of soy sauce and sesame oil. To add some heat, a touch of red pepper flakes are sprinkled to your liking. One thing to note is that the longer the cucumbers marinate, the spicier they get.

Asian Marinated Cucumbers
1 large cucumber
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 T. green onion tops, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Peal and slice cucumber. Put slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

In larger bowl, mix all other ingredients.

Drain cucumbers and add to dressing mix. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley. 

Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon

Photos courtesy of the Cooking Corner.

    When garden goodies start popping, one of the most plentiful and easiest to cook with is green beans. A new way to use fresh green beans is to wrap them in bacon and pop them in the oven for a little while. The beans cook nicely and don't turn to mush and of course, bacon adds the flavor. These little packets are quite tasty, just be careful to not let the glaze over cook and caramelize. This is a nice little side dish and new twist on a garden classic.

Green Bean Bacon Bundles
1/2 lb. fresh green beans
5-6 slices of thick-cut bacon
2 T. butter
1 T. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
sprinkle of salt
and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Wash green beans and then season with salt and pepper. Bundle together about 5-8 green beans – depending on size of beans and the amount per pound. 

Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around the center of the beans to hold them together. Lay the bundle seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining beans.

In a small saucepan over low heat, add butter, brown sugar and garlic. Stir until melted and combined. Pour over each green bean bundle. 

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more, just until bacon gets crispy.

Makes about 5-6 bundles. Serves 3-4.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day