Leftover Thanksgiving Chicky Tacos

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So Thanksgiving is over, but my mini vacation wasn’t. As much as I could, I tried to plan my meals to match up with what the rest of the family. That way I don’t end up salivating over all their great smelling food, instead I can enjoy my own kosher versions :).

Well anyway, motzei Shabbos was Taco night. As my sister fried up some ground beef and prepared all sorts of yummy toppings for my extended family of 19?20? I kind of lost count. I snagged a couple of taco shells (before anyone else could get to the box), an avocado and checked some fresh romaine lettuce. I pulled my crock pot back out and made myself some SUPER AWESOME tacos…Afterwards my only regret was that I hadn’t snagged more taco shells…

Ingredients:

  • Leftover Thanksgiving poultry, shredded or cut up small
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa- I went with a medium heat level
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Taco Shells
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Tomato? Faux sour cream? Guacamole? Non-dairy cheese? Whatever else you like to put on your tacos…

Directions:

  1. Shred your leftover turkey, chicken, cornish game hens, whatever, in to your crock pot. Add the salsa and mix well. Heat on high heat for about 30-40 minutes, until it has warmed up.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lime on the heated poultry and mix well.
  3. Wash and cut/prepare any taco toppings
  4. Assemble your tacos…

 

Its as easy as that, and let me tell you, this thing was SOOO FLAVORFUL! Good thing I have more left over chicky…I get to have these tacos again tomorrow!

 

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The Little Chicky That Could

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In the past, I’ve made myself all sorts of different foods for Thanksgiving. I’ve done Turkey meatballs, St. Tropez Chicken… basically any kind of poultry I was in the mood for. Since Turkey was never really my favorite, I was never so into preparing something to match up so neatly with what everyone else was eating. This year was different. From the first day in November I was CRAVING a nice roasted piece of turkey… or rather poultry.

I decided then and there, this year would be a basic ‘roasted’ little chiky (as my sister and I call it)… AKA Cornish Game Hen. For me, Cornish Game Hens are one of the few types of poultry sold at my local kosher grocery under the hashgacha I eat. This made getting ahold of the bird… or should I say birds… (they are pretty small so I buy them in 2 packs) pretty easy. If you don’t have Cornish Game Hens, this recipe would go great with a whole regular sized chicken too. This recipe was so easy I was was able to set up my little crock pot and basically forget about it until dinner time.  In the meantime I went on a hike with my extended family, played card games, even learned how to play “Settler’s of Catan…”

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens- Frozen or Defrosted… either way
  • 1/2 bottle of beer- I used Blue Moon
  • Poultry seasoning (I made my own with a bit of salt, paprika, oregano, and rosemary…no real measurements- as my dad would call it, I used the “shitalach method” meaning a bit of this and a bit of that… no idea if we are saying that right…)
  • Prepared roasted vegetables of your choice… I did sweet potato, green beans, and brussel sprouts.

Directions:

  1. Set up your crock pot an place your 2 cornish game hens inside. Add half a beer and try to coat the chickys with the beer.
  2. Rub the chickys with the seasoning mix. *Careful on the salt here… since kosher meat is soaked and salted, it already has salt flavor and doesn’t need much more*
  3. Turn your crock pot on high for about 4-6 hours until the cornish game hens are cooked through. At this point you can turn off your crock pot if its still too early for your meal. Just be sure to turn it back on a good 1-2 hours before you want to eat so everything will be nice and hot.
  4. About 1-2 hours before you are going to eat, add your prepared roasted vegetables. I roasted them in my oven at home and brought them in a ziplock that I could add to the chicken. I did it this way because I really wanted each of the vegetables to maintain their individual tastes and textures. By cooking them before and only adding them toward the end, my crock pot meal didn’t become another form of cholent… not that there is anything wrong with cholent… 🙂

 

Check out my little cornish game chickys all cooked and ready for some veggies!unnamed-2.jpg

Now if you end up with leftovers… let me tell you, my Leftover Thanksgiving Chicky Tacos were OUTSTANDING in my very humble opinion.

 

 

 

Aunt Jill’s Cinnamon Rolls in the CROCK POT!!!

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My aunt Jill has a knack for finding great easy recipes. This cinnamon roll recipe totally won our hearts a few years back and I’ve been super obsessed with them ever since. This year, when researching recipes for Thanksgiving, I came across a cookbook of all sorts of crazy things you can make in a crock pot. It turns out, you can make cinnamon rolls in a crock pot! Who knew! And let me tell you, these things are awesome! They are also going to be the perfect home cooked breakfast over my mini Thanksgiving vacation 🙂

So you can use your favorite cinnamon roll recipe and throw it in your crock pot (lined with parchment paper), or you can join my family and try out my Aunt Jill’s cinnamon rolls 🙂

This recipe includes 2 tips & tricks… 1) I’m making the dry mix before I go and packing it in a ziplock bag, that way when I’m ready to make them, all I have to do is add the wet ingredients and roll them out, which brings me to … 2) Don’t have a rolling pin? Use some parchment paper & a wine bottle to roll it out just as thin as you like!

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And now for the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 4 TBSP earth balance
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (to add at the end if you like your cinnamon rolls gooey)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Drop of almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt & baking soda. Add the oil and almond milk and mix until a dough forms.
  • Roll out the dough to make it as long and thin as possible without ripping (about 1/4-1/2 inch).
  • Spread the earth balance evenly across the dough
  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle all over the the dough.
  • Roll the dough up long ways so you end up with a long snake, then slice in 1 1/2 inch slices.
  • Line your crock pot with parchment paper and place the cinnamon rolls on top. Cook on the high setting for about an hour and a half. You will likely see steam cover the inner lid of your crock pot. This happens more as the cinnamon buns are almost done. Just use a paper towel to wipe the lid periodically.
  • When the cinnamon rolls are done, you can either mix powdered sugar with a drop of almond milk to make a frosting to drizzle on top, or you can pour some almond milk on top all the rolls to make them nice and gooey, or you can do both!

*If you’d rather go the traditional cooking route, you can also bake these in your oven at 400*F for 15-20 minutes

Enjoy! And if you need more of a step-by-step here are some pictures to help you out 🙂

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After mixing the dough, roll it out… no rolling pin? No problem as long as you have wine 🙂 When I am not in a kosher kitchen, or when I don’t have kosher counter tops, I roll my dough out on a flexible cutting board and use parchment paper as a barrier between the bottle and the dough. This keeps the bottle mostly clean 🙂

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After rolling out the dough, spread the earth balance and sprinkle the cinnamon & brown sugar.

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Roll the dough up length-wise then…

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Slice the rolls and …

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Place in your crock-pot lined with parchment paper and heat on high for 1 1/2 hours

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If your crock pot gets steamy, wipe the lid and let the cinnamon rolls keep on cooking

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When they are done drizzle with frosting/glaze and enjoy! These are great hot, but they are also great cold so really, there is no going wrong here 🙂 Enjoy!

Your Rosh Hashana Main Dish…

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This thing is gorgeous. It smells great, tastes better, and BH is SUPER easy to throw together! What’s better? All you need is a crock pot and 8 hours!

It was my mom’s birthday and I wanted to something special. I’ve been doing the whole 30 diet *my sister is a great influence on me!* So I was looking for something that would both meet my new diet and also be a great meal for my mom. After much google searching and debating I finally decided on this one: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/crockpot-sweet-sour-pomegranate-short-ribs-creamy-polenta/  I only made the beef, and I used cholent meat instead of short ribs… man this thing was SOOOOO good!

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients:

  • A splash of Olive oil to coat the crockpot
  • 2 1/2 lbs of cholent meat (I used grass fed because it’s what I had in my freezer… and officially it’s better for you. It’s also part of the reason I chose this recipe, because grass fed beef needs to be cooked low & slow or it can become tough)
  • 5 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 4 carrots – chopped
  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2-3 TBSP Date Sugar (yay whole 30!)
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (yay whole 30!)
  • 7-10 sprigs worth fresh thyme (check here to learn how to de-stem thyme the easy way!)
  • 3-4 springs worth fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Seeds of 1/2 a pomegranite (save the other half for the garnish)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Use olive oil to coat your crock pot (to make clean up way easier). Then add all the ingredients listed above. (The original recipe says to sear the meat, but I wanted easy… plus my meat was frozen and I was not about to wait till I could separate it into smaller pieces to sear. Since I used cholent meat, I figured it would be okay and BH it was!) Set your crock pot to low and come back 8-9 hours later. I made mine overnight and it re-heats great when you want to eat it!

When you are ready to eat, garnish with the remaining pomegranate seeds and any remaining parsley you have.

Enjoy!