Sicilian White Wine Chicken

Hey Guys- Keeper here. IMG_8723I’m going to go ahead and take some responsibility of why my Mom hasn’t been able to get to the coffee shop and write. I think I’ve been occupying a little extra of her personal time. I can’t help it though! I wake up every morning in this awesome fort thing with a blanket that smells like my other brothers that I love, but first hint of a roll from Sus and I have to get out!! The day is only so long and I have so much to do! I know she’s up even if she tries to fake it, I’m too smart for her tricks. I try this thing where I put my head in between my paws and look up at her with really big eyes and it gets her every time. What a newbie she is. Then she has to get up and feed me. I do this really funny dance in the morning and turn in circles and fall on my back because I know I’m about to get some salmon and rice!! Gah this life really doesn’t get much better. She makes me sit and wait every time before she feeds me and I don’t know why, but I’ve learned to just do it because for some reason it makes her happy and I get fed faster. Then we go for our walk. I show her all my favorite places and look back just to make sure she’s still there. I usually take her to Fulton’s house. Fulton looks like me and plays how I like to play… unlike my Uncle Boo. Anytime I try to play with Boo he never looks at me so I’m not really sure if he knows I even exist. IMG_8164Fulton on the other paw jumps right on me so I know she sees me.image image I think she might even like me more than just a friend, like my friends Murphy and Raven. Murphy and I love to go to play at this place that kinda looks like my bathtub, but soooo much bigger! Murphy runs super fast when we are there, but sometimes I trick him and run the other way to get ahead of him and then he chases me. It’s so cool.IMG_8650My friend Raven has this thing that I got to go on last weekend and it feels kinda like when we ride in my Mom’s car, but so much more fun. It goes really fast and I get a  huge gush of wind in my face. image image imageSo anyways enough about how awesome my days are living it up in Charleston with all my friends, I’m here to fill y’all in on a recipe my Mom made last week. It was super easy and I got to be her sous chef. IMG_8591 IMG_8594We only used two ingredients: about 3lbs. of skin on/bone in chicken thighs and a jar of Sicilian White Wine sauce. My friends Fallon and Shannon gave the sauce to Sus for her birthday and it smelled like nothing I’d ever come across! If she hadn’t of been looking I definitely woulda eaten it all up. IMG_0001 IMG_0002

Step one is to salt and pepper the chicken thighs and brown them in a skillet with olive oil. IMG_0003Step two is to put them in the bad boy and add the jar of sauce.IMG_0004 IMG_0005 IMG_0006 IMG_0007Then all you do is set the crockpot to 2 hours and cook on high! I’m telling y’all so easy I could even do it! I had to give my final sniff approval….IMG_0008and it passed! My friend freckles came over for dinner. I think she might like me, but geez does she play hard to get. It’s okay though I think I just have to be patient.IMG_0010So here’s the part I don’t understand. I help the whole time in the kitchen. I wait extremely patiently. I sit on my Moms foot the whole time. When she moves I move. I suffer through the heavenly smells of freshly braised chicken for 2 hours. And then. Nothing. Wait I’m sorry, one little bite after all the humans had a full plate! What is this about!??? Ridiculous, but it looked like they all enjoyed it. woof.IMG_0009Hopefully she makes something again soon and I can have more and tell you how I enjoyed it. In the meantime see what I’m up to on Instagram @KeeperOfTheKassel.

Bye everyone!

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Spice Hub my life!

YOs! Whatchu know about some spices up in da kitchen! Recently, a Maryland friend and new Crockhead, started a spice company called Spice Hub and mailed me down some spices to try. I was super excited when I got them in the mail and last night was my first chance to test them out. And Brook…. the spices were awesome and I’m cooking tonight with them again! Brook sent me the seasoning pack combo which retails at $24.99 and comes with: Poultry seasoning, Steak seasoning, Taco seasoning, and vegetable seasoning.

SpicesI packed a bag with my spices, some veggies, and my roommate Palmer’s noodle maker and headed over to Katie and Jay’s house to cook dinner. They have the best open kitchen with plenty of room for…cutting boards, appliances to spread out, and dance moves (I know y’all thought I was going to quote Step Brothers). When I walked in the door Jay already had the tunes kicking so we got to work.

Jay was in charge of preparing the chicken. Katie had bought leg quarters with the skin on- key- skin on!IMG_0001We used Spice Hub Perfect Poultry Seasoning and covered them all up.IMG_0003Jay also added some barque sauce and then transferred them to the grill. In the meanwhile, Katie and I prepared Zucchini Pasta. Y’all. This is a great alternative to using actual pasta and it is very entertaining to make. Make sure to wash your zucchini thoroughly and then place it in between the crank and the blade and begin turning.IMG_0004Before you know it….Pasta!IMG_0005We threw in with the zucchini tomatoes, red onions, avocados, garlic, and feta cheese.IMG_0006Then we added the Spice Hub Vegetable Seasoning.IMG_0009What I really like about these spices is that they keep the spices somewhat whole so you can really see all the different herbs and flavors going into your food. Spice Hub is also all organic with no chemicals, sugar, msg, or fillers of any kind. Always a plus when making a healthy meal. The final step for this Zucchini Pasta is the dressing. I used the famous John Kassel salad dressing. Mix good olive oil, some red wine vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, and then any spices such as basil, oregano, salt, and pepper all in a bowl. Even throw in perhaps some fresh lemon juice. Mix really well all together  and then drizzle over pasta. We ended up having to add some extra olive oil as well to get the perfect consistency. IMG_0011Once we finished making the salad, Jay’s chicken was lingering smells like a combination of Fergie and Jesus into the kitchen so we knew it was time.IMG_0016Look at that skin! The chicken had so much flavor that I eventually just put my fork down and used my hands to experience this thing in full force. The Poultry Seasoning consists of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Ground Red Chili Pepper, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Paprika, Cumin, and Coriander. All of these tastes really came through and created a great piece of grilled chicken.IMG_0017 The pasta I will definitely be making again. I might even consider making it a couple hours before and sticking it in the fridge before serving. I think the longer it marinates in the dressing, the better it will be. AND its all raw veggies with 100% of all the nutrients without tasting like boring raw veggies if you know what I mean.

Katie I think you said it right that this was a great summer time meal. There’s something about grilled chicken in July with a pretty colorful summer salad. While stuffing our faces and making fun of The Bachlorette on TV, Jay all of suddens says, “So those dude’s spices are really good.” It made us laugh and we thank you Brook for sharing them! I have them cooking down a surprise in the crockpot for tonight as we speak. Stay tuned!

Chicken-Crock-Pot-Pie

Hey Crockheads,

Remember a couple months ago when I thought it was a good idea to try the 1 Day Cleanse? Well, the best part of that cleanse was breaking into my fridge circa 8pm, diving fork first into cold Chicken-Crock-Pot-Pie left overs straight from the crock. Words can not explain the satisfaction that came from relieving my starving body from this torture that I inflicted upon myself. Oh and paid money for. Not only did the Chicken-Crock-Pot-Pie revive my body and taste like the best damn thing on this Earth, but It held the same truth the night before when I wasn’t dying. My point being, this recipe is delicious in all situations, famished or not.

IMG_0024

Ingredients
1.80lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion-diced
1 sweet potato-cubed
Poultry seasoning-couple shakes
Salt and pepper- couple shakes
1 bay leaf
1 can of chicken gravy (I used 12oz but would recommend using 18oz)
Chicken stock- splash
Milk-splash
2 celery stocks-diced
1 family sized bag of Green Giant frozen mixed vegetables
Pillsbury Flaky Layers frozen biscuits

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Directions: Place chicken thighs on the bottom of your crockpot.IMG_0003 IMG_0002Add the diced onion, sweet potato, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and the bay leaf.
Pour on top the chicken gravy and add in the splash of chicken stock and milk. Next cover the mixture with the diced celery and set the crockpot for 5-6 hours on low. IMG_0009After the allotted time, remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred it apart with two forks. The thighs will most likely fall from you fork very easily as they will be extremely tender. Place the chicken back in the crockpot and add in the frozen vegetables. Cook for about another hour on low. IMG_0014Finally, 15 minutes prior to serving time bake your Pillsbury biscuits and serve immediately.

IMG_0022I served the Chicken-Crock-Pot-Pie in bowls with the crockpot stuffing sandwiched between two biscuit halves. The biscuits absorbed the delicious chicken juices and vegetables while adding the perfect buttery and crispy contrast. I have always made and eaten Pot Pies in some type of casserole dish from an oven, so I happy to know my crockpot could play this game too. The stuffing turned out just as hearty and the chicken was certainly more tender since it was slow cooked. I’ve realized using boneless skinless chicken thighs you can’t go wrong. My only suggestion would be to use even more chicken gravy than I did, because the creamy the better right?

My guest for this meal were Fallon, Katie Julia, and Danielle. Fallon started off our Crockpotuesday dinner with a spicy sausage dip, or as I have named it, “Fals Fancy Dip.’ The best way to eat this dip is straight out the bad boy as seen below!IMG_0029To finish off dinner, Katie made a ridiculous dairy and gluten free fudge that she served over vanilla bean ice cream. I literally had to close my eyes as I experienced this amazing chocolate dissolve in my mouth.

IMG_0027Looking at the big picture, I guess life is pretty good if you have can have Fal’s Fancy Dip, Chicken-Crock-Pot-Pie, Fudge, Wine, and friends all in the same night.

Oh and Freckles!IMG_0022

Peace out Crocks

 

Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen

Crockheads! Hello and Happy Crockpottuesday day. I haven’t posted recently and I’ll tell ya why, I’ve been in a cooking drought. It all started with Trader Joe’s. My friend and co-worker, Carlos, has been training me at the gym recently (Insert:briefly shows off arm muscles) and after, we’ve been
making treks to Trader Joe’s. I have been taking advantage of the cranberry chicken salad, the mangos, the strawberries, the sliced deli meat, the yogurt with chia seeds, the list could go on. My point being, I haven’t been crocking or really cooking, or dinning out for that matter, but instead indulging in fresh Trader Joe’s produce. Then, last night, dinner happened at Lee Lee’s Kitchen! I called up my crew of Odom, Danielle, and Shannon and we all met uptown at 218 President Street.

restaurant

The menu is remarkably extensive starting with appetizers, soups and salads, and then chicken, seafood, beef, and vegetable dishes with rice as well as noodles. Our waitress went over the menu and explained that the portions are family style and to order plates to share. Right off the bat along with our drinks we put in appetizers of the vegetable spring rolls, Sichuan dumplings, the scallion pancake, and the crab ragoons.

The spring rolls were light and crispy and served with a bright orange plum sauce-Mom you would have really liked these. For the dumplings, the table decided on the spicy version. Recently, I have been working on my spicy palate so I was game. After eating one, I have to say this was probably my favorite appetizer. Danielle said they weren’t even hot, but I’m still going to give myself credit here. I like dumplings because of the soft, delicate pasta that surrounds the meat. The sauce here is also what made this dish, a spicy pepper sauce with peanuts and green onions.

dumpling

Next to come out were the ragoons and the pancake. Ragoons are always a favorite of mine, crispy wontons stuffed with a crab and cream cheese mixture. They were served with homemade sweet and sour sauce, also my favorite. The scallion pancake was served like a quesadilla with a giner-soy dipping sauce. The pancake didn’t have a lot of flavor to me, it tasted like a fried pita with scallions. I made sure to dunk it extra times in the sauce though to make up for it and I was happy.

appss

Then for some reason we decided to all order our own entrée because isn’t that what you do at a Family Style restaurant? I went with a Susu classic and ordered the Cashew Chicken. This is a stir-fried dish served with water chestnuts, carrots, peas, zucchini, and roasted cashew nuts served over white rice. Cha-Cha use to make Stir-Fried Chicken all the time when Jake and I were growing up and this is what it reminded me of- good ole comfort (American) chinese food. Shannon went with the Chicken with Broccoli which was similar to mine, but with different vegetables. Danielle ordered the General Tso’s Chicken which was my next favorite dish. I liked that the chicken was crispy compared to my boiled chicken and it was served in their signature spicy sauce. And for Odom, he ordered their chef’s specialty -Black Pepper Beef served with onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a black pepper sauce.

dinner

The best part about Lee Lee’s, for all that food and a drink each, AND leftovers, it was only $25 a person! I would say that is certainly a deal for downtown Charleston in a competitive food market. My only complaint would be that there was no dessert. I’m not a dessert person, but of course Danielle had to bring it up and then I was already committed to the possibility. Instead the waitress gave us fortune cookies and mine read, “Every man is a volume, you must learn how to read him.” Okay fortune…I had to eat my cookie to wait and read that?? Regardless, Lee Lee’s we shall be back!

group

After dinner Odom and I hopped on our bikes and road back to our houses after a lovely dinner with great company 🙂bike

 

Susu Honey Sesame Chicken

chix 1Crockheads. I think this might be the best crockpot meal yet. Honey Sesame Chicken. So simple even Odom can do it. (Just kidding, Odom just liked it so much he made the recipe the following night for his brother.) I found this recipe from pinterest and tweaked it a bit with the hopes of using it in the South of Broad Living magazine if it turned out okay…well, I’m happy to say you’ll be seeing this one in April.

Ingredients: 
7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 cup Arborio rice (2 cups waters)
Sesame seeds
Green beans

Yields: 3-4 servings

First salt and pepper thoroughly your chicken thighs and place them in the crockpot.raw chix

Next combine in a bowl the onion, garlic, red pepper, soy, honey, olive oil, and ketchup to create your sauce.

ingredients

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the crockpot and set the timer for three hours on low.

in the pot

After cooking for three hours, cook for an additional 30 minutes on high. Then remove the chicken thighs and cut into large bite size pieces.

cut chix

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water and slowly mix into the crockpot. This will help to thicken up the sauce. Let the sauce cook alone for 10 minutes on high and then place the chicken back in, stirring everything together.

Finally, saute the  green beans in a skillet with olive oil and garlic salt. Splash some of the sauce from the crockpot into the skillet and let it cook out. Serve the chicken on top of the cooked arborio rice with the green beans and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

“CHEEEEEESE”

susu 2

My guests for the evening were Catherine, Kelley, and Danielle. Kelley also served with dinner her famous fried okra which you can find on her blog Costal Kelder. And I might as well tell yall and call myself out, I made the exact same meal the next night too for Odom and Kendall. I still had a pound of chicken thighs left in the freezer so why not! Telling yall, you need to make this recipe and please let me know what your think!

Stay Classy Crockheads.

girls 3

Vegetable Stock Pasta

Last week I lived off a recipe I found from Pinterest, with some Susu edits and additions. Who knew to make pasta in vegetable stock!?? Yall must make this recipe- it was delicious, healthy, and easy to cook!

final

Ingredients

  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oz. fettuccine
  • Shake of oregano, parsley, thyme, cracked pepper
  • Splash of EVOO
  • 4 oz. frozen cut spinach
  • 1 cooked boneless/skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • Red wine (for drinking)

ingredientswine

Directions

Place the vegetable stock, onion, garlic, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms in a large pot on the stove.

pot

Break the fettuccine in half and add it to the pot.

pasta

Shake your spices on top and splash your EVOO. Then push the pasta down under the broth so it is fully covered. Place a lid on top of the pot and turn the temperature on high to create a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer (stirring every few minutes so the pasta does not stick) for 10-15 minutes.  After the allotted time the pasta will have soaked up most of the stock and you can add in the frozen spinach. The heat from the pasta will thaw out the spinach.

spinach

Finally, add your shredded chicken to the pot and mix everything together. At this point all of the stock should be soaked up.

chicken

The pasta was extremely flavorful and the stock really enhanced the taste. I can’t believe I’ve always made pasta in water when I could be using savory stock! This pasta would probably feed easily 5-6 people, but because it was just me, it lasted all of last week. And I have to say, the leftovers got even better because the pasta had time to marinade in the stock with the other ingredients.

Suggestion: Don’t be shy with the add-ins, they really complemented the pasta well and I wanted more.

After my week of eating Vegetable Stock Pasta, I headed up to Greenvile to visit my main dawg Katie Nichols. We wagged our tails all over the city and went to many restaurants and bars including The Lazy Goat, Chicoras, Tupelo Honey, Spill the beans, Bohemian, Sip, and The Green Room. We were busy explorers and had a great weekend. And ps, Katie just got a crockpot so stay tuned for her Friday Feature!

katie

Chicken Noodle Soup….SIKE!

quoteAmish Noodles: the KEY to messing up a perfectly good Chicken Noodle Soup recipe that has been cooking for hours on low while you were at work dreaming off dunking a hot toasted buttery grilled cheese into the warm delicious soup. Now, coming to you an excellent chicken pot pie recipe!

final

Ingredients:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 handfuls of carrots
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup peas
3 Tbsp EVOO
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
1 cup water
shake of dried thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper
2 bay leaves
16oz of Amish Egg Noodles
fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of the crockpot. Load on top the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over top then add in chicken broth, cream of chicken, water, spices, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

 

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all in

broth

*Note: Be careful when you invite your friends over for Chicken Noodle Soup.

Discard bay leaves and remove chicken from crockpot. Shred chicken apart with two forks. Add noodles, peas, and parsley to crockpot and increase the temperature to high and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and return the chicken to the crockpot.

 

shred

amish*Note:Freak out when noodles have soaked up all of your broth and you are left with stuffing. Check pasta bag and realize you bought Amish Egg noodles instead of regular egg noodles. Amish egg noodles turn into a thick doughy pasta, similar to a dumpling.

Well, lesson learned and all I have to say is I’m thankful for Danielle, Odom, and Shannon for being very understanding and positive guest. I served them stuffing in a bowl with grilled cheeses…and they were happy. I on the other hand was cursing the Amish pasta. The next night however was much better because I placed biscuits on top of my leftover “soup” and it was the perfect chicken pot pie (or chicken and dumplings if you will) creation.

pie 3Next time you can count on regular egg noodles.

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

PINTEREST. This site really is great for recipes and new ideas. I will say I’ve tried a couple of the non-food creative ideas/activities and they don’t always turn out as planned, but with food there is certainly a little more flexibility. I was at work one day and it was super slow so I was looking on pinterest for recipe ideas and my mouth immediately started to water. Note to self: don’t look at the site on an empty stomach.

Lee Anne’s favorite holiday (for some strange reason which I don’t understand) is Valentine’s day. On February 1st she asked me if it was too soon to start pulling out the heart place mats and candy bowls to put around the house. She is ridiculous, but come Valentine’s Day I decided to go big or go home. I decided to make a pinterest recipe for my lovely little roommate and our 2 friends Odom and Trig and even bought a large banner to hang up that said happy valentine’s day (3x!)–who’s been hit by cupid now!

Ingredients:
Large chicken breast (1 per person)
Pesto
sour cream
mozzarella cheese- shredded
2 eggs
almond bread crumbs
salt/pepper to taste

Now what I did was took my 4 very large chicken breast and beat the hell out of them with a hammer. I wish I was kidding. I called all of my neighbors and no one had a flippin mallet so I wrapped saran wrap over the head of the hammer and pounded down the chicken until it was thin.
(Note: a mallet will most likely work better)
hammer

What you see layered on top of the chicken is pesto, mixed with sour cream, and mozzarella. The recipe calls for a thin layer (1 tablespoon of each ingredient) spread on top of the chicken, leaving a 1 inch free parameter. I recommend being a little more liberal with that layer- load her up!

Once all of my chixs were covered, I rolled them up as best I could and held them in their place with toothpicks. This is where a mallet would have been more helpful because I did not have evenly flat chicken to roll. It was certainly messy, but I finally got the job done.
rolled up chix

Then I dipped each individual chicken into a bowl with a beaten egg and then into a bowl with the almond bread crumbs (very expensive from wholefoods…not so sure if worth it, you can always do regular bread crumbs). Then I put the breaded chicken breast in a greased up casserole dish into a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until the chicken was golden in color.
final chix
I am pretty sure everyone liked the chicken and we were definitely all full after supper…however I was not %100 satisfied. I will make this again because it was potentially amazing, but only once I get my mallet!!

I also made my mom’s dirty rice casserole and then a new scallop potato casserole dish. The potatos were topped with this amazing truffle cheese that my Dad has unfortunately got me hooked on it,  which is not good because  it cost $13!  I kind of made up the recipe though so once I get it down better I will share it with you!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries for dessert!
strawberries

Oh-And to top off a very good Valentine’s Day- the best gift ever!
lattimore
er ah er ah errrrrrrrr- Thanks mama! xo

And thank yall for reading!

Slow Cooker Chix

This meal was brought to me by my awesome new iphone. There is an app called allrecipes and it has a dinner spinner! Cool right?? So you pick the dish type- Main Dish, then pick the ingredients chicken,  then amount of cook time-Slow cooker (Duh). Then you click the spinner button for recipes.  The first one that popped up for me was ‘Easy slow cooker Chicken.’ Ok, I liked those words so I went to town:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup white rice

Load all that in the pot and cook on high for four hours. After cooking pull apart the chicken.

Eliza and Mason ate this with me and I think it was …eh alright. They love food and have big appetites so I’m not sure if they were being nice, were just really hungry, or actually liked it. (Enough times has passed now guys- tell me what you really think) To me it was a lot of mush.

Success? Prob not if I’m not considering making it again.