happily ever after: Cookin' (UPDATED)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cookin' (UPDATED)

I enjoy cooking. But I don't really like cookbooks. I have lots of them, and I will look through them, and sometimes make something precisely from a cookbook, but for the most part, I make things up. I've been doing it for a long time and my family loves it. I don't really make gross things, and they are pretty sweet about just indulging me, plus they were trained early on by my Sweetie and his Mom (their Granny, my mom-in-law), that they can eat what I make or have some dirt. Seriously, that's what we would tell them, dirt...cracks me up.

Today, take for instance, I wanted to make some sort of chicken and butternut squash thingy that would go into the crockpot. My crockpot sitting on the counter cooking my dinner while I clean the house makes me happy. And having squash during the fall is just WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSE TO DO.

I finally realize how I come to make up pretty good recipes on my own. I first read lots of recipes from other people, whether it be from the internet or my cookbooks. Then in my mind I start making a list and formulating a plan.

Then I go to my kitchen and start throwing that plan into action. What results is probably just a compilation of different recipes that I just read about. Through reading tried & true recipes I get a feel for what foods go good together and what spices and condiments compliment them.

This is what I came up with today:


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slightly thawed so they are really easy to cut, cube them (don't we just LOVE boneless, skinless chicken breasts?)
1 whole butternut squash, peeled and cubed (this was my muscle workout for the day)
1 onion, coarsely chopped

Turn your crockpot on low and spray with non-stick spray, then drizzle the inside with olive oil (I don't know why but it seemed like a good idea and we need some fat in our foods). Then sprinkle the sides and bottom of pot with salt & pepper (again, I'm not sure why, it just made me feel like a chef, and I love it when I feel like a chef).

Place chicken and veggies into crockpot and stir together with hands (because that's what the chefs do on TV). They should be big chunks, slightly bigger than you'd put into your mouth in front of your grandmother.

Next I poured in 1/2 c. dry white wine (I don't even know if my wine was dry, but it sounds good, doesn't it?), 1/2 c. chicken broth, and 1/2 c. water.

Then sprinkle over the top, 1 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage, 1 tsp. thyme and lots more pepper & some salt; also, a spoonful of minced garlic. These measurements are not exact as I really don't use measuring spoons, I just grab with my fingers and start sprinklin' till it feels good in my soul.

Then I add 1 handful of barley (again, I'm not sure why, except that I love barley and I add it to anything I put into the crockpot most of the time; it's fiber, it's good for you, and I like adding 'just one more thing'.)

I stir all this together (yes, with a big wooden spoon this time, otherwise my hands smell like garlic the rest of the day and that just isn't good) and then put the lid on it and let it go for about 6 - 8 hours on low.

I'll have to let you know tomorrow if it's any good. :o)

It was SCRUMPTIOUS! Except that I should have browned the chicken in a little oil in the skillet before putting it into the crockpot. But GREAT flavor!