Friday, September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011

Fall is officially here! Now I can pull out my pumpkin recipes without fear of raising eyebrows. I can buy pumpkins from the patch and process them to freeze for use all winter. I can make pumpkin waffles, cookies, bread, muffins, cakes! Bring on the pumpkins! Of course...I don't have any pumpkin recipes this week...but suffice it say, I will have at least one for you next week! Can you tell - I love pumpkin!

This week we had again one of my favorite recipes I've tried for this blog - Buffalo Chicken Lasagna. If this one even remotely catches your eye, I think you absolutely should try it. First, it is a slow cooker recipe. That alone wins it points because the crock pot is doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to getting dinner on the table the night you serve a meal from it. Second...who doesn't love pasta? And third...I've always said that if I were stranded on a desert island, I would bring peppers - all kinds, all colors. This recipe has sweet peppers, hot sauce made from hot peppers, and we threw in a few jalapenos for good measure.

But, the new recipes that we tried this week that made it to keeper status - another crock pot recipe and a peanut butter frosting recipe. Very different, I know, I know. I had to try the Balsamic Chicken recipe that I came across on Facebook from Crock Pot Girls. And as for the frosting...well, let's just say that one of my best friends introduced me to frosted brownies not too long ago. And this summer one of my sisters-in-law made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. So, of course, why not marry brownies with peanut butter frosting? You be the judge!!!

New Recipes
Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Peanut Butter Frosting

Balsamic Chicken


* 2 T olive oil
* 4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
* 1 thinly sliced onion
* ground black pepper and salt to taste
* 1 tsp each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
* 1/2 tsp thyme
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes


1. Pour the olive oil on bottom of crock pot
2. Place the chicken breasts in the crock, salt and pepper each breast
3. Put sliced onion on top of chicken
4. Mix the dried herbs and sprinkle them over the onions and chicken; toss in the garlic cloves
5. Pour the vinegar over the herbs, and finally top with tomatoes
6. Cook on low for 8 hours or high 4 hours; serve over angel hair pasta

This does smell like vinegar when it first begins to cook, so if you don't like that aroma, perhaps put the dish together and head out for a little while. I love balsamic vinegar and didn't mind the smell, but just thought it fair to warn you. Also, I sprayed my crock pot as I always do, even though the first ingredient into the pot is olive oil.

The chicken is delicious, and it makes a wonderful sauce for over the chicken and pasta. I shredded the chicken and mixed it into the spaghetti and it was great; you can use whatever pasta you have on hand. It is so nice to come across a great and easy recipe that doesn't call for a cream soup, or for an extra step at the end to thicken the sauce before serving. Just follow the directions, and in 4 hours you'll be serving a great meal! I had it for leftovers for lunch a few days later, and it was still fantastic! This recipe has definitely found its way into my keeper file!

Even the kids loved this one!!!

My sister made this on low, and it still turned out great!

Peanut Butter Frosting


* 1 sticks unsalted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 10 oz confectioners’ sugar, sifted
* 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
* Pinch of salt


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy. Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar; continue mixing until well blended.
2. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream/milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional cream/milk until you reach the desired consistency.
3. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.


This will make enough to frost a large pan of brownies, 18-24 cupcakes, or whatever else "needs" peanut butter frosting. I actually only had just under 7 tbsp of butter on hand and used milk, and the recipe worked well!

What else to put this on besides brownies? Perhaps use it as a sandwich filling between two chocolate cookies? Chocolate bundt cake? Spread it on graham crackers? Hmmm....