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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sticky Chicken

This is a super easy recipe that gives great results!

First, you need one of these...

For this recipe I like to skin the chicken so the spices stick better. Lets face it....chicken skin in the crockpot isnt going to crisp anyhow. That would take the oven and its TOO hot for the oven.

To skin the chicken just peel the skin back like taking a coat off.. There is a ridge on the breast that wants to cling so use a knife right here

I dont bother to skin the wings - it's too difficult and time consuming.

Empty the bits out of the cavity and wash the skinned chicken. Stuff the empty cavity with whatever you like. I used celery and lemon and garlic.

I put two sticks of celery in the crockpot to "sit" the chicken on so the bottom of the chicken doesnt get soggy and "stewed" in the long hours it will be in the crockpot. Cut your celery to fit your pot so it can lie flat. You want to use the outer ribs of celery because they are more substantial and can take the heat and retain their shape.

lay them outer side up in your crockpot...

next comes the yummy part! Make a rub for the chicken. It can be any spices you like.

Heres mine

Spice Rub:
1 tsp. each: pepper, onion salt, sage
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp regular salt (not shown in picture)

(I used the onion salt since I didnt have any raw onion to stuff in the cavity,otherwise I would use 4 tsp of regular salt.)

swirl the spices together...

sprinkle on chicken (dont forget the drumsticks and wings)

cook on high for 5 or 6 hours (or low for longer if you want) and you will get this. Notice the steam coming off the chicken? Im glad I caught that!

Serve over rice (I add two chicken boullion cubes to my rice while it cooks but its not necessary. If you decide to add boullion - skip the salt)

Pour drippings from pan into a cup and place in fridge for 1/2 hour or more. Skim off the top and place the rest in a saucepan. You will end up with about a cup to put in your sauce pan. Cook over medium high until it reduces to 1/2 cup. Add 2 TBSP of white wine and serve over the sticky chicken and the rice.

I'm adding a cold salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and onion mixed in a vinegar dressing and thats dinner!

I approximated the cost of this dinner (veggies from the garden - so didnt count them) to total about $8.00. If I had a big family to cook for I would have cooked some dried beans while the chicken was crockpotting and added biscuits or cornbread.

As kid, I remember there was never more than one matter how many kids around the table. We just had more side dishes! I still like that way of thinking.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Its Friday!

The work week is over....time to hit the ole watering hole...

where the good stuff flows freely....

Have you heard Joe Nichols song "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off"?

Well heres the chick version...

"Tequila makes my feathers fall off!"


Some are there to watch others...

still others are there to be watched...

"This is my good side..."

"This is my other good me ruffle my feathers, the chicks love it!"

"See? Here comes a pretty red head my way....."

Enjoy your TGIF!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Do You Spell Refreshment?

Nothing like an unexpected summer storm on a 100 degree day...

Grape Salad

I am a photographing freak these days!

It all started when a friend sent me a present in the mail.....


Now maybe she sent it to protect herself from getting queasy while looking at my blurry pictures......but I personally think she sent it because she is just a sweetheart! I mean, my pictures are not that blurry, right? RIGHT??? [chirp......chirp]

Since I got the book I am either

A) nose buried in the book


B) out practicing what I am learning in the book on some unsuspecting child or animal or fence post or in the case of yesterday.....some perfectly innocent grapes!

I had a luncheon to go to and I was supposed to be cooking for it.

Instead I was delving into how to make seamless backgrounds (pg 121)

and using direct indoor lighting (page 124)

I should have taken a picture of my kitchen but I didn't think to do that!

I had paper towels draped over my wine rack and taped to my upper cabinets. Between all that draping and all those lush grapes I felt like Cleopatra in her boudoir!

But it was really just me, Indie, photo freak extraordinaire in her kitchen with ninety seven hundred loose grapes all rollin around....

Why, you can hardly tell those are paper towels at ALL!

Next I shot my "ingredients" for the recipe...

oops! Forgot the sour cream...I would be better off forgetting the grapes than the sour cream, am I right?

I politely asked the cream cheese, vanilla extract and sour cream to hop into a bowl with 1/3 cup of sugar, which they did...

I love it when food does as I ask! So I blended that all up well together. When I read that I was supposed to add 10 cups of grapes to that little bit of mixture in my bowl I thought that had to be didnt look like enough! Or too many grapes maybe....

Turns out it is just the right amount for a creamy balance...

next I topped it with a light sprinkling of brown sugar

and toasted, chopped pecans...

It turns out looking like this but pop it in the fridge over night so the cream can interact with the brown sugar, creating a caramelizing effect.

Over coffee the next morning before the luncheon, I read in my new photography book about outdoor photography.... (page 126) and of course I had to try it!

Wonderful taste...very light and cold and creamy and the grapes hold up really well. The toasted pecans add just the right crunch and the caramelizing concept worked!


8 ounces Cream Cheese (Softened)
8 ounces Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
⅓ cups Granulated Sugar
10 cups Red And/or Green Grapes
½ cups Packed Brown Sugar
½ cups Finely Chopped Nuts (if Desired)

Preparation Instructions
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla well with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Fold in grapes into this mixture. Put into a 9×13 dish. Mix brown sugar and nuts together and sprinkle over grape mixture. Chill.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend On the Farm

It was a kids weekend here!

The grandkids had friends staying over and together they didnt waste a second of exploring and having fun.

We got them to pose - one brief frozen moment...

One second later they were "unfrozen"..

A close up of The Princess

They all decided to jump ship or "bale", so to speak...ha ha ha...

I've got air!

We "drove" a tractor!

The littlest among us drove too...

Next up was the tree fort which became a pirates ship!

I climbed up in the tree fort sans "pirate ship" to innocently take pictures...those mean ole pirates found my basket swing up there (I had tossed it up in the tree fort when I was mowing under the tree because it kept hitting me in the head....)

They got the chain off of the basket swing and "took me prisoner" which meant wrapping it around my legs....

I told them I thought I was supposed to walk the plank or sumthin

The tractors keep baling hay while we watched them from the "pirate ship" in the trees...

Its fun being a Princess and a Pirate up in the trees...

The Princess turned paparazzi took a picture of "Posh" of the Spice girls...

Looks like you got a great "angle" on a story there my little "Princess of paparazzi!

What a fun day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From the Garden

Butternut squash are ready in the garden....the horses didn't get them when they had their garden party!

These are simple and beautiful food full of antioxidants and other goodies.

I forgot to take a picture of my steps but I remembered in time to take a quick pic of the ingredients. There are only four besides the squash. Brown sugar butter, cinnamon and a sprinkle of salt.

First, slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scrap out the pulp and seeds found in the bottom part with a spoon. I have mine on the plate here in the picture - its a lot as you can see! You can roast these just like pumpkin seeds. Just rinse the seeds free of squash, dry them and coat with a little olive oil by tossing in a bowl and spreading on a cookie sheet in a warm (275) oven. After about 12 minutes you will hear them starting to pop. Take them out and lightly salt for a nutritious snack.

But back to the squash...lightly sprinkle salt over the two halves. Follow that with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a pat of butter to each and bake for a little over an hour at 350.


When it is done the butter and sugar will have caramelized a bit and the little bit of butter left inside the deep part can be drizzled over the narrow part. You can do this while baking but I just do it when I take it out.

A perfect side dish with any meal!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Field of Flowers

Some of you may recognize this picture from a few weeks ago of the Littlest Princess and Agent B riding in a field of flowers...problem is those are not flowers they are weeds....and this is not a weed field it is a hay field.

It is a very old hay field and before it was a hay field, it was an equally old corn field.

Apparently this field has problems reinventing itself and staying fresh and new, a problem I can relate to and so I not only identify with this field, I like it just they way it is.

Not very productive but charming in a rustic type of way, sort of like me only I am more rusting than rustic but you get the idea...

For purposes of comparison, this is what a real hay field looks like...

a hayfield who is up with the times and knows that in todays economic climate, if you want to keep your job secure, you must over perform.....

I left thick tire tracks in all its lushness...

Oh wait! What's this? Looks like you have flowers growing in you too, you over performing hay field you!

Since I only see two flowers instead of two million, I am thinking you will be alright for a while....your secret is safe with me.

So back to our field of flowers that is getting mowed down today to kill the weeds (flowers) and to allow the hay to grow and take over (stupid hay) I know, I know...

I am taking sides, but hey! (Yes I intended to say that - I like punning you)

Down goes natural beauty under the relentless mowing power of man. It's kind of like the floral version of "Bambi" isn't it? (sniff)

Soon, only a few are standing....left to tell the tale...

Wait! I have an idea....

I will save you!


Requiem for a flower field.