Thursday, June 2, 2011

Random Recipes (including booze!)

I just realized that I never posted the recipe for my deeeeelicious Cream-Cheesy Ranch Crock-Pot Chicken.

I Googled several different combinations of Crock-Pot Chicken and Ranch Dressing. Can't remember what-all I found, but I ended up "adapting" them into one recipe - so I shall call it my own!

Recipe #1 for today:

"QT's Cream-Cheesy Ranch Chicken"
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter [+ / - To Taste]
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup [or cream of chicken-mushroom]
  • 8 ounces softened cream [or neuchatel] cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 & ½ (x 1 ounce) packages of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
  • ½ of a medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic [or 1 whole fresh clove which is waaaaay better!]
  • 1 dash papriks
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano [I used about a whole tsp b/c Rog likes oregano a lot]
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: appx 5 hrs (crock pot) [No clue how long oven-method would take]

  1. Wash and dry chicken breasts and place them evenly in crock pot. Sprinkle with paprika.
  2. Sprinkle pkg. of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix over chicken.
  3. Drizzle chicken breasts with 1 tablespoons melted butter.
  4. Cover and cook on Low for 4-5 hours.

    ***You could skip the crock-pot part and just cook the buttered, paprika’d breasts in the oven ‘til they’re done. The sauce is what really makes this dish!***


  5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan along with chopped onions, minced garlic and sauté slightly (til the onions are limp). Add mushrooms and sauté some more
  6. Add cream of chicken soup, the 8 oz. of cream cheese cubes, 1/2 cup chicken broth, dried Oregano and dried Parsley flakes and half a package of Ranch Dressing [or if you use the oven method, put 1 and ½ packages of Ranch Dressing in at this point because it's probably not on the chicken yet]. Stir on medium heat until smooth.
  7. Add mixture to crock pot, cover again and continue to cook on low for 30 mins to one hour.

    ***Or plop the cooked chicken breasts into the sauce and continue to cook on low for 30 mins to one hour.***

  8. Serve over buttered egg noodles [I used bow-tie pasta] or rice or cheesy scalloped potatoes from a box or whatever. It'd probably look prettier if you sprinkled it with fresh parsley.

I've made this dish twice now. I like the crock-pot method because it keeps the chicken breasts moist 'n tender!

I did notice, the second time around, that the stuff in the crock-pot got more "liquidy" and I probably should have used a turkey baster to schlorp some of the watery/buttery/liquidy stuff out before I dumped the sauce in. It was a little more "soupy" than "saucy" when I made the 2nd batch and - since I shun carbs - I was hesitant to try to thicken it with corn-starch or flour.

I should probably try to calculate the nutritional info for this recipe - but I'm too lazy right now. I'm sure it's quite fattening, but it is fairly low-carb (if you skip the pasta).

Also - the 2nd time around - DH (The Carbo-Maniac) was out of town, so I decided to serve it over sauteed fresh spinach instead of pasta. That was delicious, too!

No pictures, unfortunately (and it won't photograph well after being in the fridge for a couple of days). But it's basically a light creamy glop-covered chicken dish that you'll probably want to garnish with fresh parsley!

...And now Recipe #2...

Awhile back, I was online ordering a bunch of DaVinci Sugar-Free Syrups. I tend to go a little nuts when I make these purchases (and oftentimes end-up tossing out partially-empty bottles a year or so later!). I'm not sure what I was thinking at the time, but I ended up buying a quart of Sugar-Free Watermelon Syrup. Honestly, it *does* sound good - but I couldn't - for the life of me - figure out what I was gonna use it for, once it arrived! So it's been sitting on the shelf for a good 6 months now!

So I went to DaVinci's Site - looking for recipes. Didn't find anything that thrilled me. Then I started Googling "Watermelon Cocktails" - found several recipes that call for the use of "real" watermelon. And several that call for Midori (or other melon liqueurs - loaded with carbs!). I also found some recipes for Watermelon Margaritas - and, well, I'm a bit of a "Purist" in that I think that Margaritas should be *primarily* lime-flavored (which reminds me, I'd better post my Fresca-Rita Recipe, too!)

Anyway, after reading a bunch of recipes, I did some more "adapting" and came up with this:

"QT's Wimpy Sugar-Free Melon-Tini"

  • 1 oz GOOD vodka (I prefer Stoli)
  • 2 oz DaVinci Sugar-Free Watermelon Syrup
  • 4 oz. Club Soda
  • 1/2 oz (+/-) Lime Juice (Real Lime Juice, or from Concentrate. Not that Sicky-Sweet Rose's Lime Juice stuff)
Put in a shaker with ice cubes and shake *lightly* (otherwise the Club Soda will spew all over you!). Strain into a Martini Glass (or hurricane glass or Jelly-Jar - I don't care!) and enjoy! It'd probably look really nice with a couple of watermelon balls floating in it - if you wanted to get all Fancy Schmantzy!

Warning: These "Sweet Drinks" can kinda sneak up on you (hence the generous addition of Club Soda!).

If I had room in the freezer, I'd keep my Stoli in there (love it when it's frozen and syrupy!). But shaking it over ice seems to work - and it's a very refreshing drink!

...And Lastly...

"QT's Sugar-Free Guilt-Free Fresca-Rita"

Fresca-Rita: The Perfect Summertime Libation
(Would that summer would ever arrive!)

Not sure if I ever posted this one before, but here it is:
  • 1 part Tequila Blanco (Just about any brand will do - as long as it's not hooch!)
  • 4-5 parts Fresca
  • 1-2 parts Lime Juice (again, the real stuff)
  • Teaspoon of granulated Splenda
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt or margarita salt
Serve on-the-rocks. If you try to whir Fresca in a blender, you *will* live to regret it (unless you enjoy scrubbing your ceiling). Plus, the "texture" isn't quite right, blended without the sugar.

I don't have exact measurements (I've gotten to where I can eyeball it pretty successfully), but those are the basic ingredients. Want it sweeter? Add more Splenda. Not tart enough? Add more Lime Juice. Basically you can adjust it to your liking - but it's a damn good substitute for the real thing!

I manage to suck these down all summer long............................

I did notice, last time I was at BevMo, that there are now several different "Light" Margarita Mixes on the market now. That's encouraging. I did buy the Margaritaville Brand - but I haven't tried it yet. I suspect that *my* Fresca-Ritas are probably a whole lot better (and I can almost guarantee that they're a heckuva lot cheaper!).

Anyway, that's my Great Contribution to the Blogosphere for today (It's my Birf-day, BTW! So I can enjoy my cocktails guilt-free thankyouverymuch!)

1 comment:

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