Chicken Cacciatore Skillet Recipe

We all liked this, even the boys.  I used fresh mushrooms and next time I’ll use a whole cup of rice.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 30 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  •         1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  •         1/4 cup chopped onion
  •          2 garlic cloves, minced
  •          1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  •         3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  •          1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained, or 1/2 cup fresh, sliced
  •          1 bay leaf
  •          1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  •          1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  •          1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •          3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  •          1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce

In a large skillet, cook the chicken, onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons broth until chicken juices run clear. Stir in the green pepper, mushrooms, bay leaf, oregano, basil, pepper and remaining broth. Bring to a boil. Add the rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add the spaghetti sauce; heat through. Discard bay leaf. Yield: 4 servings.

Originally found here:


Posole Soup in the Slow Cooker

I found a nice site with some great looking recipes, The Crock-pot Ladies.  Lots of good stuff, but the Posole Soup caught my eye.  When I worked in Cardiff, there was a Mexican place across the street that served a fabulous Chicken Posole soup that made me a fan.  I was hoping to recreate that.  This recipe came close.  I hope to fine tune it with time.  The ingredients…

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 jar (6 Oz.) mild salsa
  • 1 (15.5 Oz.) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (4 Oz.) can diced, fire-roasted, green chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste

The original recipe calls for browning the meat, as step I usually skip, but ultimately regret. The problem is, I often assemble the crock meal the night before and I’m hesitant to start browning meat when people are asleep.  Anyway,  I skipped it (again) and the resulting broth was a little cloudy.  Next time I brown!  This time I put all the ingredients, except the cilantro, in my 3 quart crock pot and filled it to 1/2 inch below the top with low-sodium chicken stock.  A quick stir and I covered it and put it in the fridge, overnight.

The next morning I put it on low for 8 hours.  Added salt and pepper to taste and served it in a bowl with some shredded cabbage, sliced carrot, sliced radish and the cilantro.  Lisa and I thought it was fabulous.  The boys, not big fans of soup, were quite pleased with some of the pork pieces wrapped in a warmed tortilla with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.  Thanks, Crock-Pot Ladies!  Original recipe here.

Beef 101 from Frugal Dad

Well, I guess I haven’t done this for a while.  I read the Frugal Dad blog, sometimes, for its financial insights.  I learned a few things about beef from this post, for instance, grass-fed beef has the same fat content as boneless, skinless chicken breast. Click the graphic to see it in its original size.

Beef Infographic

Source: FrugalDad

Lunchtime with Ina

I’ve been working from my home office for the past couple of years.  My wife and I almost always eat lunch together.  We talk for a while and sometimes put on Food Network.  Usually, the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten is on.  We laugh at the Ina-isms like “Be sure to use *really good* vanilla” and at her husband Jeffrey always hanging around the kitchen ready to sample her dishes.  We speculate that she’s always at home because she’s under house-arrest for some trumped up drug trafficking charges.

Ina was even mentioned on NBC’s “30 Rock” this season.  Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) is dating a pilot who she only sees every couple of weeks.  She says “I’m like that woman on Food Network whose husband only comes home on the weekends and she spends the rest of her time eating and drinking with her gay friends…” has a funny spoof on Ina, link is here.  I actually laughed out loud.  Enjoy…

New Cookbook: Modernist Cuisine

Wok Cutaway

Full title: Modernist Cuisine: the art and science of cooking.  I got news of this book in a tweet from Bill Gates, of all people.  So, of course, I had to check it out.  It turns out that one of the authors is Nathan Myhrvold, the first Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft.  The book isn’t out, yet, but is available for pre-order from Amazon and B&N.

From the teaser web site here, the photography looks amazing. The website has a lot of pictures, including the wok cutaway above.   There is also a 10 page PDF file on the site with excerpts from the book.  It *is* 6 volumes, but I think the $500 price tag is a bit steep. We’ll see how well it’s reviewed…

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

My kids like an occasional chocolate milk and we sometimes have chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream.  We usually buy the “chocolate flavored” syrup from Trader Joe’s.  I remembered an Alton Brown show about cocoa and decided to make my own syrup.

The recipe is pretty simple: water and sugar to make a simple syrup, then add cocoa powder, vanilla, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt.  Full recipe is here.  The recipe calls for “Dutch Processed” cocoa, while I only had Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder on hand.  I took a tip

from the comments and added a single tablespoon of butter to the mix with the cocoa powder.

In later research, it seems like it was unnecessary.  The Cooks Illustrated website had done extensive testing and found no difference in using Dutch Processed cocoa or regular cocoa.  I’ll try it next time without the butter.

When it was cooling, it looked like this…

Chocolate Syrup

We sampled a bit and it’s very good.  I’ll let you know how it is over ice cream.  Enjoy!