crockpot chicken

Home Spa Day

Over the weekend Bella had her first at home bath! Last time she had a bath I took her to a groomer. Mostly because I had no idea how to wash a dog and also, I was lazy. But paying for that on a regular basis was going to add up fast. I bought some nice dog shampoo (with green tea and tea tree oil because she has some dry skin issues) and then Michael and I debated on how to bathe her.

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We tried luring her into the tub with treats and she was having none of that. In the end I just picked her up and put her in the tub. Michael held her collar and leash and I used the detachable shower head to get her wet. She did so well! She didn’t freak out at all! Not like her first time at the groomer. I shampooed her (super quickly) and she actually seemed to enjoy the little mini massage she was getting. I rinsed off the soap and we were done!

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She did a fantastic job sitting still while we dried her off. Her collar got wet so we took it off to dry. She ran around the house looking naked with the collar — Michael commented that it was like a little toddler running around the house naked after a bath. It was so weird to see Bella without it.¬†

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She smelled so good! Like a clean puppy. ūüôā While she was overdo for a bath, there was an other reason for it. Her foster mom Jen was coming over for a visit. She hadn’t seen Bella since we adopted her and I was more than happy to have her come and play with Bella. I knew both her and Bella would be ecstatic.

Bella barked at her once when she first arrived and then realized “OH MY GOSH it’s my other mom!!!!” She was SO FREAKING EXCITED. Words cannot describe just how spazzy Bella was for the first hour or so that Jen was there. It was so cute. Jen also brought a little gift baggy of dog treats, poo bags, and a new squeaky toy.

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It was so good to see Jen! And Bella was so happy to see her, too. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday.

I also decided to make a crockpot dinner just in case Jen wanted to stay for dinner, then we’d have tons of food, but she had to go so oh well–more leftovers! I’ve been stockpiling some crockpot recipes and just haven’t gotten around to actually doing them. This one has been on the top of that list for awhile now. I love chicken teriyaki. It’s a fantastic dish but often times it’s way too sugary. This recipe looked good on paper. Unlike many recipes I saw, it didn’t call for a cup of sugar or 1/2 a cup of honey. That’s just too much!

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I added some frozen vegetable blend to the recipe because I like my chicken teriyaki with veggies. I thought onion and pepper mixture would go nicely. Adding that changed the calorie count for the recipe to 420 calories a serving. That’s still an awesome number for dinner.¬†Here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 314

From: http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/11/slow-cooker-chicken-teriyaki/

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil.
  2. Place chicken breasts into a slow cooker. Add teriyaki mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred the chicken before returning to the pot with the juices. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=42037

I didn’t add the frozen veggies until later. I let the chicken cook for about 2.5 hours, then checked on it and flipped the chicken breasts over and let it cook for another 30 minutes before adding the frozen vegetables (they had thawed out for awhile). The chicken didn’t take quite as long as the recipe said it would. Around the 3 hour mark it was looking pretty cooked. I took the chicken breasts out and shredded them then returned it to the crockpot. ¬†So 3 hours or so is the sweet spot for the recipe. I turned the rice cooker on and let the shredded chicken soak up the sauce.

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I was glad I added the veggies to the dish. It made a difference. The chicken was tender and flavorful. It didn’t really taste like teriyaki though, mostly soy sauce. I think next time I’d experimenting with using less soy sauce to see if there was a difference.

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Despite that, dinner was delicious. I loved it and so did Michael. Will definitely make this recipe again!

Open Sesame

This post is about music, memories and a mighty tasty dinner.

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Sunday afternoon we made our way over to Reed College to see the Portland Baroque Orchestra perform Haydn’s Three Symphonies (Symphony No. 6. Le matin,¬†Symphony No. 7. Le midi,¬†Symphony No. 8. Le soir.). It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the orchestra and I’m so glad I got us tickets! It was a fun performance and the auditorium at Reed College was pretty intimate.

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During the intermission we walked around the campus a little bit. It was a gorgeous hot day and students were laying in the grass hanging out, listening to music and studying with friends. It made me wish I’d gone away to college right after highschool and experienced that adventure. Instead, I went to college part time while working full time throughout my 20’s. I don’t necessarily regret that because I got the experience of living on my own for almost a decade. That kind of¬†independence¬†is important, I think.

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But still, I wistfully watched the students and part of me wished I’d gone to one of the schools I’d been interested in. Of course as a 17 year old student I was looking at colleges AS FAR FROM HOME as humanly possible. ūüôā There was one in Vermont and one in Boston I was in love with, as well as Reed, Evergreen and Grinnell.

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Isn’t Reed a gorgeous campus? It’s especially beautiful in the springtime.

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We went back to the auditorium for the final performance. The director was a vibrant, enthusiastic performer and the rest of the orchestra sounded flawless. It was such a nice, uplifting performance. I was particularly interested in watching the violinists. When I was in elementary school I really wanted to learn how to play the violin or cello. Unfortunately it was the piano for me–since that’s what my parents had. Oh well! Maybe someday I’ll try to learn it.

There wasn’t time to linger at Reed, even though it was a perfect day to do so, because dinner was cooking in the crockpot at home. This recipe is from Skinny Taste. I’ve tried a few of her recipes in the past and usually they are pretty good. I figured you can’t go wrong with chicken and soy sauce.

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I might have added a little more of the¬†sriracha sauce than the recipe called for…but that’s typical of me! I like SPICE! The recipe was super quick to throw together. I halved the recipe to make 4 servings instead of the 8. That way there would be enough for dinner and maybe a lunch or two this week.

Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 2/3 cup

Calories per serving: 185

From: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/crock-pot-sesame-honey-chicken.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+weightwatcherspointsrecipes+%28Gina%27s+Skinny+Recipes%29

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha hot chili sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 medium scallions, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and season with black pepper. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, 1 tbsp water, sesame oil, onion powder and sriracha hot chili sauce. Pour over chicken and cook on LOW 3-4 hours.
  2. Remove chicken, leaving the sauce in the slow cooker. Shred chicken with two forks; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup water; add to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH until slightly thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes; return chicken to the slow cooker and mix well.
  4. Serve chicken and sauce over rice and top with sesame seeds and chopped scallions for garnish.
  5. Enjoy!
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=38249

This is not a good recipe for a week night. It only takes 4 hours to make and that would be hard to do during the week, but it’s perfect for a weekend when you are in and out of the house all day.

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I made brown rice to go with the chicken, which was a good combo. The chicken was probably a lot spicier than the originally recipe was supposed to be but I liked it spicy! I wish there was more of a sesame flavor to it, but the spice and the tomato paste and the soy were the dominant flavors in this dish. I think a little more nutty sesame flavor would be a nice finishing flavor.

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The chicken was a tad on the dry side–maybe because I used boneless, skinless chicken cutlets instead of breasts? Or maybe it needed to be cooked for 3.5 hours instead of 4. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a big deal. The dinner was still delicious and I would make it again!

QUESTION: Are you a fan of classical music? Where did you go to college?