Archive - March 2015

Last Day of Unemployment

I ended up having a relaxing day yesterday. My afternoon was spent driving around Santa Cruz, and it was perfect. The weather was beautiful and there was so much to see. I can’t wait to go back again!

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(Note the adorable seal-covered rock in the background.)

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Food Processor Experiments

When I started making breakfast the other day and paused to break out the food processor, I decided I wanted to see what else it could do. Turns out, it’s a lot! Here are two very different recipes, which were super easy when using the food processor.

Peach Frozen Yogurt
1 10-oz bag frozen peaches
3 Tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Add ingredients to the food processor. Spin until creamy, about 5 minutes.

DSC_0751 (This is what it will look like after only two minutes. It’s not done yet!)

DSC_0757(The right consistency for serving or freezing.)

2. Serve immediately or place in airtight freezer. 

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Homemade Herb Butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Ice water
Pinch of kosher salt
Herbs, finely chopped (I’m using fresh chives and parsley)

1. Pour heavy cream into food processor and put on high for two to four minutes.
2. The cream will start to separate into buttermilk and curds. Pour off the liquid that has separated.
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3. Add 1/8 cup of ice water, pulse four times. Pour off remaining liquid. Repeat this step again once more. The butter will start to form into a large ball.

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4. Place butter into strainer, gently pressing down to remove any excess liquid.

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5. Place any desired herbs or seasonings into the food processor and finely chop. Add your strained butter to combine.

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6. Serve the butter with anything and everything. Gluten free bread is shown here.

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Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili

I’m going to be running around today and tomorrow getting a lot done before I start my job on Thursday. I found this recipe because I wanted to make something with a home-style feel but easy to assemble in the Crock Pot while I’m out most of the day. I stirred once in the first hour of cooking, then again when I got home and the chicken was ready to be shredded and served.  When Jason took his first bite he looked at me and said, “oh, hell yeah!” I would consider this a success.

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili
(Recipe credit to SimplexFood)
4 chicken breasts, frozen
2 cans Rotel tomatoes, with chilies
2 cans whole corn kernels, not drained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 packages Ranch dressing mix
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1. Place chicken in the crockpot.

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2. Top with tomatoes, corn, beans, dressing mix, and spices. Stir to combine then top with cream cheese.

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3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring a couple times to blend the cheese.

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4. Shred the chicken into large pieces and serve over brown rice with avocado.

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Potato Hashbrowns

It still takes me a little bit of time to remember all of the awesome kitchen tools we received from the bridal shower and wedding. The food processor is one of those tools that I know I could be using more frequently, but just need to get used to. For example, this morning while I was preparing breakfast I started shredding potatoes by hand. I got about a quarter of the way through one when I thought, “the shredding attachment!” This recipe is much easier if you use one but if you have to do it by hand, it will be worth it too.

Potato Hashbrowns
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 russet potatoes, shredded
1 small yellow onion, shredded
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

1. Shred potatoes and onions, keeping separated.
DSC_0618 2. Heat one tablespoon of oil in skillet. Place half of potatoes in cast iron skillet, evenly distributing (NOTE: This is the de-rusted and re-seasoned pan from this post). Place half of onions on top of potatoes. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. If you have a larger skillet and can use full portion of the recipe at once, you may do so.
DSC_0626 3. Let the potatoes crisp on one side then flip them over to allow the other side to cook and crisp. Sprinkle half of seasonings on and mix the potatoes. When the first batch has finished, remove them from the pan and keep warm while you repeat for the second batch.
4. When finished cooking, serve with eggs and chorizo (or sausage, bacon, and/or toast.)