Book: My new favorite cookbook right now is “Healthy Slow Cooker” by America’s Test Kitchen. This book takes many of the awesome slow cooker recipes from their other two books and puts them into the this one. You can learn to make side dishes, soups, desserts and main dishes with their nifty tricks and techniques – all in the slow cooker. Like to make mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, they recommend spraying the top of the potatoes with cooking spray, then putting parchment on top to keep the steam in, and then adding the lid onto the slow cooker! So easy and yields much better results.
I like my slow cooker in the summer. When I don’t feel like grilling, the slow cooker doesn’t heat up the house like the oven does and still cooks quite a large meal.
Now, if you need a book for your kids. My 8 and 4 year old LOVED this book I ordered from Amazon called Paper Flying Dragons. We worked on the Best Ever Paper Airplanes book last year and he is having a blast making Paper Flying Dragons out of this book.
Recipe: Since it has been 39 degrees some mornings here in St. Louis (I read that it is actually warmer in Alaska right now…), I made chili this week and this slow cooker chicken noodle soup. My husband and I cannot stand chicken noodle soup out of a can and this is the easiest way I have found to make chicken. Well, pretty much because the shredding is the worst part I think and the slow cooker does the work for you.
Leave out the noodles and you have a total freezer meal ready to go. Just add noodles!
Make a big batch and share with a friend in need 🙂
- 4-5 carrots, peeled and chopped (1 and ¾ cup)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped (1 and ¼ cup)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 cups (3 - 15 oz. cans) low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 and ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (3-4 chicken breasts)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tb. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Into a 5-7 quart slow cooker: add carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Spread that on the bottom. Pour in the chicken broth and water. Nestle the chicken into the liquid. Sprinkle thyme and rosemary on top. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. (If you want to use chicken thighs, the cooking time is 4-6 hours on low).
- About 30 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil the noodles per the directions on the package. Drain.
- Test chicken to make sure it is no longer pink and temperature is at least 165 degrees. Shred it inside the slow cooker with two forks.
- Add noodles to slow cooker. Stir in parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with crackers, Parmesan cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.