Saturday, April 18, 2009

Welcome to my Cooking Blog!

I thought I'd use this blog to help get better at planning my family's weekly menu, saving money on grocery shopping and sharing recipes with you. After 50 plus days of bed rest, I'm set to have my little man on Monday via c-section. I'm so excited but also have a thousand things running thru my mind......So let's start with our menu planning!

My apron is finally going to get dirty! I'll even post recipes that my little Ellie can get her apron dirty!

Our meal for Sunday, the night before my c-section is going to be so good! I mean, after's going to have to sustain me until my c section which is scheduled at 2pm on Monday. You know what that means.....nothing by mouth after midnight on Sunday....Ouch! So, you guessed it....we're having "comfort food!"

Crock Pot Garlic Chicken
1 large broiler/fryer whole chicken (as big as your crock will fit)
-thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley-salt-fresh ground pepper
-40 cloves UNPEELED garlic
-2 stalks celery, washed and cut into 3 inch pieces

Place the celery slices on the bottom of the crock. Season the chicken in and out with salt, pepper, and generously with the herbs. Place on top of the celery. Place the cloves all around and on top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.Remove chicken and celery to serving platter. Remove garlic to small bowl.

GRAVY: Optional
-1/4 cup cream
-2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch
-salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Skim the fat off the liquid in the crockpot. Turn to high. Add the cream. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water until smooth and add to liquid. Stir, cover and heat until thickened. You can pour some on the chicken and put the rest in a gravy boat.

Crockpot Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes

3 lbs red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream cheese with chives and onions (from an 8-ounce tub)
1/4-1/2 cup milk

Halve or quarter potatoes as necessary to make similar size pieces. Place in a 4 to 6 quart crock pot. Add garlic, oil, salt and water; mix well to coat all potato pieces. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours or until potato pieces are tender.With a fork or potato masher, mash potatoes and garlic. Stir in cream cheese until well blended. Stir in enough milk for soft serving consistency.Serve immediately, or cover and hold in slow cooker on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.Save any leftovers and reheat in the microwave the next day, adding milk if needed. Serves 4-6

Grilled Asparagus with Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper

This is one of Ellie's favorite veggies. Go's mine too! We wash and pop the asparagus. Spread them out on a cookie sheet covered in foil or a broiler pan. Drizzle with Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste. Roast on 350 degrees until reach the tenderness that you enjoy. If you like, you can squeeze some fresh lemon over just before serving. We like with and without lemon.

And, of course we add some good crusty french bread! After the Garlic Chicken is done, you can squish some of the fresh garlic on the bread. Can we say.....YUMMY!