Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs

During my pregnancy the weird thing I'd crave was mustard.  I added it to all of my sandwiches, and had I known about this recipe I probably would have made it multiple times.  Maple + mustard + chicken thighs = winner!  

Thanks to Ellie Krieger for trying to keep it healthy!  I left the chicken skins on because I was pressed for time but I didn't get any complaints.  No fancy French mustard, either, so I just went with a double-dose of dijon.  I was surprised that I got to use my marjoram!



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Combine mustard, garlic, marjoram and maple syrup in a small bowl. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard mixture evenly on top of each chicken thigh, being careful to cover as much of the surface as possible to form a "crust." Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until mustard mixture has formed a crust and is slightly hardened, and juices run clear when the chicken is pierced.

Slow-cooker Mushroom Risotto

Now that I have a baby I've had to be more realistic when planning to cook for large groups of people.  This includes figuring out stove space, oven space, and making sure the meal is balanced (I'm a fan of making people eat vegetables.  If it makes people feel better I'm also a fan of making people eat dessert.)  I've yet to figure out the counter-space conundrum, but hopefully that will change when we move.

This risotto served as a perfect side dish for chicken and squash.  I think one friend ate more risotto than anything else!  I didn't have any wine on me but I think water and chicken broth worked just fine.  I also omitted the cheese at the end because I totally forgot.  I don't think anyone missed it though.

Thank you, Naptime Chef!

Slow-cooker mushroom risotto


1 ½cups uncooked Arborio rice  (I used medium-grain rice)
¼cup olive oil
¼cup white wine
4cups low-sodium chicken broth
1small yellow onion, finely chopped OR 2 teaspoons onion flakes
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
1cup cremini mushrooms, finely sliced
2teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1teaspoon kosher salt
¼teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2/3cups finely grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a small bowl mix together the rice, olive oil, garlic, onion, sage and mushrooms. Then pour it all into the slow-cooker. Pour in the broth and white wine and cook it on high for 2 and ½ hours.

*Tracie's note: I sauteed the onions in olive oil first so they would be softer.  Afterwards I threw the rice in and toasted it, too.  Then I threw everything in the slow cooker.
2. Once the risotto is finished cooking stir in the Parmesan cheese and leave uncovered.
*Tracie's note: After 2 1/2 hours it was probably done but I wasn't ready to serve it yet, so I just stirred it and kept it on low.  There was still plenty of liquid left to keep it moist, but make sure there's enough in yours.  If you want your risotto to have a "bite" then I would turn off the slow cooker and serve at this point.  The risotto I had at the end was sorta mushy, but luckily everyone still liked it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Around the holidays Nestle came out with a chocolate chip mixture of chocolate chips and mint chips.  I bought it because I love chocolate-mint-everything and then proceeded to forget about it.  I was organizing my pantry and found them, and the stars must have aligned cuz I also came upon this recipe from a friend's blog.  It's from Allrecipes.com, but I'll give you the link to her site.  She's very creative!  AND she has great taste in brownies.  I ended up using the bag of chocolate chips/mint chips as part of the recipe and thus made mint brownies.  My sister and I have probably eaten a quarter of the pan already cuz they're refreshingly delicious.

Thanks, Ilene!  

Brownies (recipe at the end of the post)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used my mint/chocolate mixture plus regular semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not overbake! Cool in pan and cut into squares.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is definitely one of my favorite veggies.  I love it fried and now I love it shredded and baked into zucchini bread.  

This recipe had a nice crunchy crust and yielded two loaves- perfect for giving as a gift.  My friends tried to decline the second loaf to take home but they didn't really protest after I wrapped it up for them. 

I made the recipe as written, except I didn't flour the pans cuz I forgot!  No harm done.  I also left out the walnuts because I didn't have any.  I added mini chocolate chips because I love chocolate chips, too.

Thanks again, allrecipes and thanks V Monte, whoever you are!  Your mom is awesome.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chicken Stew

I mainly made this because I wanted something to eat with biscuits!  It's pretty much like the inside of a chicken pot pie.  It was a good way to get a lot of veggies without really thinking about it!

I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breast, omitted the onion (for a guest-otherwise I would have thrown more in there!), and used rosemary and thyme instead of sage (my sage was looking questionable.)  The result was yummy, but I bet it would have been good as written, too.  I made the rosemary buttermilk biscuits from my biscuits and gravy post to accompany the stew.

One last note- I never have any luck thickening things with flour!  I'm partial to a cornstarch slurry.

Another winner from allrecipes.com!  Thanks to Sal.

Potato Chicken Stew

  • 4 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast meat
  • 2/3 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion, sauteed in butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 3 cups cooked, diced red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Combine chicken, mushrooms, onion, carrots and stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in sage, basil, garlic salt, parsley, mixed vegetables, potatoes and celery and cook until heated through. Stir in flour to thicken sauce, then serve.