Monthly Archives: September 2011

Crock Pot Epiffy-what

I’m kind of obsessed with my crock pot. I hoard slow-cooker recipes and collect cookbooks dedicated to the subject. I’m always looking for ways to improve on the already simple method of slow-cooking.

The other day I was flipping through “Make It Fast, Cook It Slow” by Stephanie O’Dea. One of her recipes is Lazy Chicken, which calls for dumping some frozen boneless chicken and pasta sauce into the crock pot and cooking until done, shredding the chicken and serving over cooked pasta.

I’ve made gallons (no; seriously… GALLONS) of pesto over the past six weeks, and it’s all cubed up and sitting in my freezer in Ziploc bags. Since I’m trying to ‘eat what we have’ this month and shop minimally, I had an epiphany (or, as Smee says in “Hook”, ‘an epiffy-what?’).

Slow Cooker Chicken Pesto
4-6 chicken breasts or tenderloins, frozen
3/4 cup to 1 cup pesto, frozen
1/2 lb short pasta, cooked according to directions
1/2 cup pasta cooking water, reserved

Toss chicken and frozen pesto cubes into slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until done. Shred chicken and mix well with pesto.

Cook pasta according to directions, reserving about 1/2 cup of cooking water. Add by the tablespoon to the pesto/chicken mixture if it needs thinned.
Drain pasta. Serve with chicken pesto mixture. Garnish with Parmesan cheese or sliced cherry tomatoes.

You can add frozen vegetables to the cooking water about 4-5 minutes before the pasta finishes cooking (I usually serve broccoli with chicken pesto).

VERDICT: Good! The kids love pesto, and aren’t turned off by green food, so this was a hit. My oldest didn’t care for the consistency of shredded chicken — he prefers to have it sliced — but ate it just the same. Everyone else agreed it’s a definite keeper!

First Day

Today was our first day of preschool. Stella and I dropped the boys at their respective schools and came home. While she put on her necklaces, (an obvious prerequisite for educational ventures) I unloaded the dishwasher and poured myself a second cup of coffee.

We started at 9AM with the Pledge of Allegiance (which she kept calling “Pledge of the Cool Things”), did the date/calendar and weather, then started in on the workboxes. We were finished by 9:55AM. She wanted to keep ‘playing school’, which is a good thing — she obviously enjoys it. I think the fact that she has 100% of my attention for that hour is almost more important to her than successfully matching up the clothespin letters to the letter wheel.

I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the idea that she’s four today. It seems just yesterday I was taking pictures of her smooshy little face when she was barely 24 hours old. How big my little girl is already.