Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Remember the commercials where people stage an intervention because their loved one has roast-aphobia? Fear of cooking a whole chicken? Yeah. That's me.

Aside from Thanksgiving, I have never ever purchased or cooked a whole bird.

That all changes now, thanks to Stephanie Cooks.

Throwing the chicken into the crockpot yields perfect, tender, juicy, delicious chicken that lasts for-eeeeeeeeeever. I make the chicken in the beginning of the week, and then use the leftovers for at least one, if not two more meals (soup, chicken salad, enchiladas, quesadillas, sandwiches, pasta tosses...). Fantastic! I do this at least twice a month, if not more.

Fellow roast-aphobians, fear no more.

  • Whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings (I used garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash's tomato/basil blend)
Prep the chicken- remove the bag from the inside, thoroughly washing out the cavity and outside of the chicken. Pat dry.

Roll 3 pieces of tin foil into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Place them in a triangle shape on the bottom of the crockpot.

Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the crockpot. Toss the garlic cloves, whole, into the broth.

Place the chicken on top of the tin foil. Rub a small amount of olive oil over the skin (about 1-2 teaspoons).

Season heavily with the seasonings of your choice, gently rubbing them into the skin.

Cook on low 8 hours. The meat will literally fall off the bones.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cheesecake Brownies

I was looking for something easy and delicious to take to a picnic this past weekend and thought that these little Cheesecake Brownies (courtesy of What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen) were perfect. I cheated and used boxed brownies because I was short on time, but they were still fantastic.

  • 1 batch of brownie batter (boxed or homemade) with 1 cup of chocolate chips added
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease two muffin tins (for a total of 24 brownies).

Combine the cream cheese, vanilla, egg, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until well combined.

Fill each well half way with brownie batter. Then add 2-3 tbsp of cheesecake filling to each. Top that with a dollop of brownie batter.

Swirl the brownie batter and cheesecake filling with a toothpick. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Black Bean and Avocado Brownies

I assure you - this is not an April Fool's joke!

Cara's Cravings published this recipe on Valentine's Day, and it took me up until now to actually make it. It looked interesting... and I know it's healthy... but there was just something mental that wouldn't let me try them.

Even after making them, it took me a good day and a half to work up the nerve to take a bite. Although most of the ladies on my cooking message board love these, there was still something holding me back.

But... I did it. I ate one. And they are GOOD!

Don't get me wrong - you won't be confusing these with a Ghiradelli brownie or anything. But they are definitely chocolatey and brownie-like enough that I can see myself making them again. The nutritional info works in their favor as well - each brownie has more than 4g of protein and less than 2 grams of fat. Cha-ching!

They aren't bad at all on their own, and I imagine they would be even yummier with a scoop of ice cream on top.

  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado (60gm)
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder (30gm)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar (75gm)
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper.

Combine black beans, egg substitute, agave syrup, and avocado in food processor. Blend for a few minutes, until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending until fully combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spread into parchment-lined baking dish. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean.

These are best if you let them sit overnight before slicing and enjoying!
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