Slow Cooker Chicken Cheesesteaks

Alot has been going on around here lately. A newborn baby, obviously. But also, a new house. We’ve been busy packing up our lives here for the past month, and we’re headed “down the county” for settlement this morning.

We’re taking the family back to where we started, Chincoteague Island. It’s a great house (that’s not cut up all funny as many old Eastern Shore homes are), with plenty of room for this growing family. A huge kitchen with three times the cabinet and counter space I currently have here. It was Jon’s best friend’s house growing up, in fact – Jon even drove a few nails into it when Ron (said best friend’s father) was building it. So, needless to say – we’re already feeling an emotional attachment to the place before we even move in.

Naturally, I also have many emotional attachments to this house. I brought all my babies home to this house, Christmases, Halloweens, first days of school, birthday parties, and neighborhood cookouts. I pretty much learned to cook (for real reals) in this house. Jon taught himself how to brew in this house. So many great memories here! I’ll miss our neighbors, fireflies (they don’t have fireflies on Chincoteague Island – the amount of salt in the air, maybe?) my lush backyard teeming with flowers from bulbs that were planted 50 years before we moved here, my fig trees, and my kitchen that we revamped. But, we’ll have a new version of those things in our new home, except the fireflies – and I’m excited about that.

house

Needless to say, dinner preparation has kind of fallen by the wayside the past couple weeks with everything getting packed up and whatnot. That’s where a slow cooker can come in handy! Now, I know most folks don’t associate a slow cooker with the summer months. But, it’s very versatile for preparing delicious meals year-round. And, it won’t heat up the house the way an oven does!

This takes just a few minutes to throw together, and the results at dinnertime are absolutely delicious. I seasoned chicken breasts (next time I’ll try boneless thighs in the mix as well) and seared them off, then sauteed some peppers and onions. Threw it all in the slow cooker with a bit of chicken broth and let it cook all day. At dinner time, I just shredded the chicken and threw it on some sub rolls, added some provelone cheese and toasted them in the oven for a few minutes.

They were delicious, satisfying, and super duper easy. The leftover filling was k-i-l-l-e-r in a quesadilla the next day for lunch. I know we’ll be making this one again very soon!

I know I’ve been slack on posts lately, but just bear with me. The slackage will probably continue through next week, until we get internet arranged in the new house, and my studio set up. Until then, later Pocomoke – it’s been real! Thanks for giving me such a great spot to call home and raise this little family of ours for 7 years!

Source: Adapted from Food Family & Finds via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Chicken Paillard with Tomato-Olive Salad

I don’t know about where you guys call home, but it’s definitely starting to warm up around here. I try to keep the A/C off as long as I can, have the windows open – we live in an old home that gets great cross-breezes. On those evenings a really light dinner is a welcome change, not to mention one that can be cooked outside on the grill, to not add any more unwanted heat to the house.

This is another recipe that I came across and tried in the second edition of the Sopranos cookbook. I can just envision Carm, Rosalie, and Adriana sitting around gabbing over something at Vesuvios eating something similar to this. It’s doesn’t really get simpler – basically, a grilled seasoned chicken breast that’s served with a quick salad tossed with a vinaigrette on top.

Figure-friendly, yet still tons of flavor and delicious. Fills you up without bogging you down. And, is super quick. All of those things are welcome in the summer months around here!

Chicken Paillards with Tomato-Olive Salad

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or basil, chopped

For the salad:
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and ground black pepper
6 cups salad greens
2 ripe medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup black olives(such as Gaeta or Kalamata), pitted and coarsely chopped

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Place a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound the chicken until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken. Place the pieces in a bowl and toss them with the oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.

In a large salad bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the salad greens, tomatoes, and olives to the bowl on top of the dressing – but do not toss until ready to serve.

Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook for about 7-9 minutes on each side, depending on their size. You want an internal temperature of 165 and the juices should be clear. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes. You could also certainly cook the chicken breasts on a grill pan or skillet inside.

Arrange the chicken on plates. Toss the greens, tomatoes, and olives with the dressing. Place the salad on top of the chicken and serve immediately.

Source: barely adapted from Entertaining with the Sopranos

Blueberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

For me, summer is here officially. There’s nothing that we love more than firing up the grill and enjoying dinner sitting at the picnic table in the backyard. Homemade BBQ sauce is one of those things that some people insist on cooking down for hours upon hours, so if you’re looking for that…keep looking. But if you’re looking for a super quick sauce that takes just a few minutes, that will be the star of any summer cookout or potluck this summer- look no further!

Naturipe had contacted me about participating in the Very Berry Month Of May celebration on their site. A chance to make something with berries? I’m always down for that! I chose blueberries, and ended up using them to create this awesome barbecue sauce. Blueberries are cooked down with a bit of honey and water, then quickly pureed. It’s then combined with basic ingredients to form an absolutely delicious sauce that’s great brushed on pork, chicken, or beef.

I love the purple-tint that the sauce has too – it really screams “BLUEBERRY!”. And it’s definitely there in the flavor as well. A bright fruitiness and change of pace from the traditional barbecue sauces I usually go for.

Naturipe has been kind enough to host a giveaway here at Tide & Thyme. This awesome KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor is up for grabs! Slices, shreds, chops – the perfect size for pureeing a few berries, shredding a block of cheese, or making a batch of homemade baby food! To enter just leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to use fresh, in-season berries. Contest will run through June 1st at 12 PM. I’ll chose a winner using a Random Number Generator thingy.

Food Processor Giveaway

Want a couple of extra entries?:

Like Tide & Thyme on Facebook – leave a separate comment letting us know you did so.
Like Naturipe Farms on Facebook – leave a separate comment letting us know you did so.

Also, make sure to stop by their site and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $500 gift card from Williams-Sonoma. I could think of a bunch of great ways I could put that to use in my kitchen – how about you?

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winner, Entrant #11 – Shanna! Thanks so much for entering, everyone!

naturipegiveaway


Disclaimer: I have been compensated for my time to create a recipe for Naturipe Farms. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Hawaiian Chicken & Coconut Rice

I’ve definitely been in a mood to grill the past few weeks, with all the warm weather we’ve been blessed with. This recipe was one I had bookmarked for a few months before I finally got around to giving it a try. It turned out absolutely delicious, so moist and flavorful!

It’s best when marinated overnight, but if you put it in before you went to work for the day – then grilled it when you got home, I think 8 hours would probably do a pretty good job as well. Some of my favorite ingredients go into the marinade – soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and pineapple juice meld together to create a perfect harmony of flavors for the chicken.

Then, there’s the coconut rice…which, couldn’t be easier. You’re basic recipe for rice, but you substitute 1 cup of coconut milk for 1 cup of the water. The coconut flavor isn’t overwhelming, but just enough to really set off the tropical flavors in the chicken.

We all really loved this one. I went ahead and grilled more chicken than we needed for dinner that night, as I knew the leftovers would be absolutely divine in some chicken salad. Which, they were. Instead of my usual dried cranberries I added a little bit of fresh diced pineapple for a Hawaiian spin. So delish, and perfect for summer!

Source: adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything