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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sweet and Sour Crock-Pot Chicken

Life has been very crazy lately.  Of course, you know that, as my blogs have been few and far between.  However, something that hasn't changed is my pleasure in pulling meals out of the freezer each day. 

One night this week I reviewed the choices for dinner the next day and chose to cook a whole chicken in the crock-pot.  In spite of the warmish weather, it was going to be a busy day and I knew I'd be grateful to come home to a dinner that was mostly prepared.

I found this recipe in the booklet that came with one of our crock-pots as a wedding gift.   Of course, I've tweaked it and love this version shared below.

Put a cleaned, washed whole chicken in the crock-pot.

In a bowl, mix together the following and pour over the chicken.
1 C orange juice
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp. leaf basil
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 T apple cider vinegar

Sprinkle the chicken with dried parsley.  Turn crock-pot to low and cook for 9 hours.  Pour a 15oz. can of sliced peaches, un-drained, in the crock and continue cooking for about 15 more minutes.  This is a good time to make a side dish of rice.

Remove chicken from crock.  Arrange peaches around the chicken and enjoy!

Freeze the chicken cleaned and washed in a Ziploc bag.  Prepare sauce fresh on the day of cooking.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Italian Shepherd Pie

Hello again, my blog!  While there has been so much activity that has taken over my writing time, I have been extremely grateful for a freezer full of meals to go to each day. 

This afternoon I put an Italian Shepherd Pie in the oven to bake.  So far, it's been eaten by one, but that's 100% of who was home at dinner time today.  However, I had a strong hunch that it would be that way today and made sure to choose a dish that would make good leftovers. 

What is Italian Shepherd Pie?  Start with a pie shell.  Generously cover the bottom with cooked Italian sausage.  Cover that with leftover mashed potatoes.  At this point you can freeze it.  When it's time to bake, defrost and then bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and return to the oven (it can be turned off) for a few minutes to melt.

Spice it up with sautéed bell peppers or onions in the meat or keep it plain and add those on the side.