April 15, 2013

Hearts for our Homes in the Kitchen: The Simple Recipes I love :)

Recipes are a great friend.  They help in times of trouble when preparing for dinner seems too hard. They can also permeate our homes with good smelling fragrances that both capture attention and send good feelings of comfort, and home to our families and friends.  Recipes are great. However some are not so simple, still good to have around, but just like the varying degrees of friendships, they are not always simple.  

I am pretty sure I have stated before that I LOVE SIMPLE! :) yes, you are remembering now... ? 

Simple: I can love only because He loved me first, and only when I remember this can I love the way He calls me to:)

Simple: recipes that "throw and go":) - AKA crockpot recipes 

So, two VERY SIMPLE recipes I love, from the crockpot list of creations. Yes love is a strong word and I am only beginning learning to use it correctly... sometimes failing...  it means "willing to die for", well- some days I may have died without my faithful crockpot partner and a good recipe, so I think I will call it safe to use the word "love" here, are you all good with that? > Thank you.


1. An old favorite - Chicken Tacos
2. A new favorite - Sirloin... in a sweet sherry-soy sauce

Both so simple with great, permeating smells:) mmmmmmmmm.

First up: Chicken Tacos
(I apologize, no picture:( if you would like a visual just google "chicken tacos" that will have to do for your eye inspiration today.)

What You need:

3 or more chicken breasts, depending on the size of your family or the crowd you are feeding. I currently feed a grown man, 2 small boys, myself and a sweet new blessing with just 3 and have leftovers, sometimes.

A jar of salsa, whatever flavor or hotness you like.

Taco Seasoning, you can make some simple homemade or use your favorite blend. If its not pre-measured I would go with about 1/8 of a cup for 3 chicken breasts, really it's up to you and your taste buds.

Your tortillas, we still use plain old flour tortillas here, you can use regular corn, gluten free special, or homemade :)  
(I would love to hear your variations!) 

The fixin's, we like cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream, I am the only one who uses tomato or sour cream, and once in a while I splurge and add avocado- yum!! You can use taco sauce too if you like extra moisture:) 

Are you ready for how simple this is? I don’t think you really are, but I'll go ahead anyhow.

What You do: 

1. Put your chicken breasts in your Crockpot, frozen is even okay:)

2. Sprinkle in your seasoning

3. Dump on the salsa :) If your chicken was thawed you may choose to add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, depending on the thickness of your salsa.  You may end up watery if you choose to do this, but I guess that is better than drying out your meal if you will not be there to keep an eye on it.  I never add water, since the first time my tacos were swimming:) sometimes frozen chicken and sometimes not.  My salsa is somewhere closer to the thick side I would say, and I have not dried them out:) 

4. Turn your crock friend on Low and walk away for 6-8 hours. You can do whatever else you need to do, but promise to sit for just 2 min and thank God for how easy that was > Okay? You owe double thanks if your chicken was frozen, I think anyway.

5. Shred your chicken somewhere after the 6hr mark, simply with two forks. Then let it soak in the juices.

6. Prep your fixin's and serve em up!! Usually with chips and more salsa and black beans or rice;) Fresh fruit is also a favorite "side" with this dish, I usually serve it beforehand, its a good digestion aid, depending on your choice, or afterward as a dessert.

I knew you would love that simplicity! You did, right?

Second- The New Favorite

What you need:

1 Sirloin Tip Roast, I can usually find one for $8 or less that is "natural" and feeds my family (mentioned above) and a friend or two:) plus a lunch for my husband, bonus!

3-4 cups beef broth, I like the better than bullion in a jar, yum yum yum! whatever you like is perfect:)

Salt and pepper

1/3 cups sherry dry or sweet...beef broth is a great sub for the sherry if you don’t have it around;)

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2Tbsp red wine vinegar 

1 Tbsp sugar, you could fool around with the type of sweetener, I am not well practiced in this but it could be a good thing for you:)

2 cloves garlic, fresh minced, I usually use a few scoops of the already minced kind from Costco- questioning the freshness yes but > simple.  

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to add a tiny kick, just a tiny one;) Feel free to keep on shakin' them in if you like heat in your dishes!

What you do:

1. Salt and pepper the roast, rub it in:) 

2. Plop it into the crockpot and add your broth.  It may not cover your roast but no need to fret, just try and turn it in a few hours, and guess what! If you don't get to it- it still tastes great! (If you're using better than bullion you would need to boil your 3-4 cups water and add that with your bullion paste and give it a little whisk.)

3. Turn the crock on low and cook for 8 hrs, I actually cook this through the night, sometimes longer than the 8hrs. Then I can have plenty of time to cool it and slice it up before dinner.  

4. Slice your meat into strips, go with the grain not against or you will end up shredding it, but it will still taste good:) 

5. Create the sauce- turn low to medium heat under your frying pan and throw the remaining ingredients in. Stir it up and cook for a few minutes to thicken it up:) 

6. Toss in your sliced meat and simmer for a few minutes stirring to coat the meat.

7. Serve over rice, over noodles, or next to steamed veggies. Add in a bread or a biscuit and you have a delicious gormet style meal from your simple crockpot friend!

I pray that these two simple recipies can be new friends of yours in the kitchen, friends that help and encourage you to slow down and enjoy each minute of the beauty that God has placed within your home.  Maybe you don't like these, I encourage you to search "crockpot recipes" and remember that a heart for your home can be simple:) 

Share your favorite simple recipes with us? 

Much love because He loved me first,

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