Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Cooking for Days Ahead - RECIPES!

I always wish I could cook ahead, make several meals to either freeze or put in the fridge to just heat up on the days we are strapped for dinner. I am known for stressing about dinner, so this would make things so much easier on me, and thus everyone. But I rarely have the time or ambition to make more than the meal for that night. Often we eat dinner late because it takes me a long time to find the motivation to cook at all.

Hubby complains that I don't cook all the time, and all I can say is, "Well, you married an American Girl hun. You knew what you were getting into!" But now, this girl is fully embracing her Crock-Pot!

Well, I am proud to say that last week I cooked 3 days meals in one day! Thanks to my Crock-Pot, I was ambitious enough to clean and season chicken enough to throw in there for the next two days. That day, I relied on an updated, clearly fast-cut American style, recipe of Chicken and Noodles. 

It is an "American Busy and Unmotivated Mom" take on an old family recipe of my hubbys family. Their version is made with 'from scratch' noodles, and boiled chicken, with flour or Wondra mixed in to thicken. This version takes about one full day to make! You have to first make the noodles, mixing and then rolling out the dough, then cutting into thin strips, and setting out to dry. The noodles have to sit a while to dry a bit before you can cook them, and it takes quite a while to actually make them. Last time I did try it, it took me all morning (not a late start morning either!) to just make and cut them. Then, chicken has to boil for at least an hour by my estimation, and then you have to let it cool to pull off the meat. Then, you have to cook the noodles, add the chicken, and painstakingly add flour (or Wondra) little by little until the dish is a nice, thick, stew of lovely noodles and moist and tender chicken.  
My Short-Cut Version of Chicken and Noodles
My quick and easy (lazy?) version takes a Rotisserie Chicken, chicken broth, store bought noodles as fat as I can find them, and flour and Wondra(I use Wondra, gives you less lumps!) (sorry no during photos, I was busy making this while prepping the other two so didn't think of snapping photos....) Not quite as rich as the 'made from scratch' version, but still a respectable stew-like dinner. With fresh bread, it is awesome on rainy cool nights.

For the next meal, I decided Chicken Cacciatore would be a hit, with Fettuccini. So easy in the Crock-Pot
The hardest part is cleaning the chicken and cutting up the onions. I used chicken pieces, breast, legs, and thigh, all purchased separately packaged in larger quantities to get a better deal. Add the chicken to the pot with the onions and some canned mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, some garlic and basil and thyme too, and turn on the cooker. All you have to do when you get home from work is heat up water to boil the fettuccine. Easy Peasy.

The next meal was even a little easier. Yes, easier. I know, it's almost too easy. I had prepped the chicken, same pieces as the night before, and put it in a ziplock with some Bar-B-Que sauce. Day of cooking I cut up an onion and sprinkled on top of the chicken in the pot (after adding a bunch more bbq sauce). 

When I got home I cooked up some rice and voila! Dinner was prepared. Perfect for after the long day I had that day. (again, sorry no finished photos, I just served and we ate and it was all gone before I thought of snapping some.)

This week, I have explored some new Crock-Pot recipes, and will share with you after I know they are successful. There is no point to sharing if they aren't good, right? But this is a great, easy start for those of you who haven't used Crock-Pots before, or those of you who like as few ingredients as possible when cooking.

So don't be afraid to plan a few days ahead. You will be so thankful you did. I was. Made my evening so much better, stress free, and able to enjoy my family entirely before and after dinner.

Do you Crock-Pot? I would love to hear your recipes. 
(if you have some with no cream or butter, or red meat , that would be excellent!!!Hubby that can't have dairy and won't eat red meat)
Please tell us your faves in the comments!  

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