Friday, May 16, 2014

Summer Cooking

As I've mentioned before, we're going to be very busy this summer, even busier than our previous two summers together.

Our first summer was 2012.  We both worked and lived at a summer camp.  While I worked full-time during the week, I didn't have to worry about food, because we just ate in the dining hall with everyone else.

Our second summer was 2013.  We had moved in December/January, so we were no longer living at the camp.  I was still driving up there every day during the summer to work full-time, and while I'm sure I would have been welcome to stay for dinner, I wanted to go home and be with my husband instead.  I got home around 5:30 most nights.  Caleb was working 'part-time' at the church (if you don't get the quotation marks, you've never worked in ministry), so he was able to cook most nights, and I'd also occasionally cook.

This summer, I'll be working the same as last year, but Caleb is working a full-time job in addition to the 'part-time' work at church.  I'd like us to be able to eat real meals at reasonable times, so I'm looking for good slow cooker recipes.  Beyond that, I'm even considering some freezer cooking.  I doubt I'll get to the point of grocery shopping only once a month (we like milk and fresh fruits and veggies too much for that), but it would be nice to do most of the cooking in one big push and then just have to go to the store for milk, eggs, and produce.  We'll see.  :)

The biggest obstacle to this is the fact that I'm a picky eater, so right now, we're testing recipes.  Even if I could find 6-10 freezable recipes that I like, that would be enough variety for us.

Here are the ones we've tried so far:

I tried this with one pound of chicken breasts instead of two, just in case we didn't like it.  Um, this chicken was amazing.  We both wished there had been more for leftovers!

I did not try the cream sauce for this chicken, because I'm not big into sauces.  But it tasted amazing!  Perfectly moist, and it also reheats well in the microwave.

This one isn't done in the slow cooker, but it's actually a fairly quick and easy meal to make.  My mom has an amazing recipe for baked chicken that involves these steps: cut chicken pieces, dip in egg and bread crumbs, pan fry chicken, place chicken in bed of sauce, pour sauce over top, sprinkle with cheese, bake.  It's really not hard, but it does take about 30 minutes of prep time for about 30 minutes of baking.  This baked chicken recipe is just as perfect-tasting, but only has these steps: cut chicken pieces, place in bed of olive oil, pour olive oil on top, mix up spices and spread on top, bake.  It bakes for an hour, and there's so little prep time.  And it tastes amazing.  I wanted to eat all of it in one sitting - and I usually only feel that way about things involving chocolate or pie.

I also tried a slow cooker soup with lentils, but it was rather blah, so I won't be making that again.

Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes?

Love and Chicken,
Leah Joy

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