Monthly Archives: September 2016

09/22/16

Bistro Style Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice

Chicken and Rice. Oh boy. Two of my favorite things together.

It really is my ultimate comfort dish.

Past and present.

And this version? This is a delicious, healthful, quick and easy Slow Cooker meal that is the ultimate in tummy-pleasing. Just throw in all your ingredients to your Crock pot, set it, walk away, and forget about it… At least until you come home from work or errands and smell the delicious lemon and herb aromas. Then, it will become impossible to ignore and will demand to be consumed immediately.

It’s loaded with chicken, long grain rice, citrus and lots of herbs. Who could possibly resist?

Serve all on its own or alongside a tossed green salad or green vegetable of choice for a complete meal.

Bistro Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice 

original Recipe from A Spicy Perspective … I have adapted it just a bit. Check out more of her delicious recipes using the link provided.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 2 1/2 cups Organic Wild Rice (could also do Jasmine, Basmati, or Brown Rice if preferred)
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 lemon, sliced and seeds removed
  • 1 lemon juiced, or about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 5 cups chicken broth

Directions:

Place the butter in a medium skillet and set over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes to soften, then pour the onions and butter into the crock of a medium-large slow cooker insert.

1

This smells just heavenly. Already. Really all you ever have to do is saute a little onions and garlic, and suddenly, all is right in the world again!

Add the chicken breasts to the slow cooker directly on top of the onion and garlic mixture. Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, and the sprigs of fresh Thyme and Rosemary.

4

Pour the rice over the top and lay the lemon slices over it. Then pour the chicken broth & the freshly squeezed lemon juice over the rice.

2

Isn’t that so pretty? I love the black, long-grain rice with the rosemary poking through and the bright yellow slice of lemon on top.

5

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 3-5 hours. (The first time you make this dish, be watchful of the rice. All slow cookers are slightly different, and you do not want the rice to cook to mush. Turn the slow cooker off when the rice is firm and fluffy. My slow cooker takes right at about 2-2.5 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low.)

6

The rice is plump and tender, the chicken is cooked through, and most of the liquid has evaporated. We are all ready!

7

Pull the chicken breasts and the bundle of herbs out of the crock and either cube the chicken into bite-size chunks or shred it. I prefer big, meaty shreds. I feel it absorbs the remaining liquid (and flavor) that way.  Add the chicken back to the crock pot and toss with the rice.

8

Serve warm.

11

Enjoy this one… I think you are going to absolutely love it!

10

Sometimes the simplest of things are often the best.

xoxo…

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09/19/16

Hustle v. Heart

In this world and time of “I need that now” or “I needed that yesterday”, and faster, better, longer, smarter, technologies. How to streamline a process, how to multitask, layer task by task, then learning to balance, flow, juggle. How to monetize, how to strategize, how to gain more followers, drive bigger crowds, and on and on… And all of this stuff is good.

I get it.

And it’s necessary stuff. It’s the stuff that makes a society or a business or even a home, function properly.

True enough.

But, the hustle is the opposite of heart.

And so often, actually far too often, we get caught in the hustle of day-to-day life. We get lost in the to-dos, and the should-dos, and the will-dos, and we lose sight of us. We lose heart.

Heart is pliable, malleable, silly, and playful, perfectly imperfect, and deeply meaningful.

Heart can be seemingly or even completely unproductive, nonstrategic, unpredictable and wild. Wholly beautiful and completely messy.

Heart is spending your first few moments out of bed, coffee cup in hand and hair not yet even brushed, out on your front porch or in your favorite living room chair reading the Word. Silent devotion and single-mindedness to begin your day.

Heart is sitting on the floor of your kitchen with your 2 year old eating fresh blueberries by the fistful, because simply holding the bowl and sitting at the table all proper-like isn’t as fun as this.

Heart is strumming your fingers on your steering wheel to the beat of the music pumping through your sound system. Even as onlookers gawk and grin.

Heart is holding someone’s hand and taking a stroll around the park so that you can focus on hearing about their day. Every single last detail. Uninhibited.

Heart is dancing in the kitchen while you prepare a meal.

Heart is doing a cartwheel up the hallway, just to see if you “still got it!” (It’s a good practice to satisfy your own curiosity.)

Heart is watching the fireflies dance on these last few days and nights of summer.

Heart is sitting around a table, in a house that is not perfect with hampers still full of dirty underwear, with friends and family who are also imperfect, but sharing a perfect story and laugh. So much laughter. Your heart overflows with gladness and gratitude.

Heart is a tiny thing, but it is to play. To purposefully waste time, if only just for a bit. Intentionally not being intentional about every single second of your day. Having no purpose- on purpose.

Just 3-5 minutes breaks and reminders that in our days, in that hustle, our days are really for learning, loving, laughing, living, and encouraging, not for the pushing, planning, strategy, and the hustle.

That is what makes life move, what makes time pass on and go forward, but our heart is the center of us.

Can we find a way in our busy days to remind us of that simple truth? That it is more important to treasure the heart, than the hustle.

And listen, I am as guilty as anyone. I love the hustle. I thrive on checking off items on my to-do lists and when a coworker comes around my cubicle and asks about a specific task, and I get to say “Already done!”, it’s a wildly satisfying feeling that is hard for me to put into words. Because we, you and I, were made for a mission. And we love those missions. But, my determination, my diligence, that motor that keeps me going from sun up to way-past sundown, that is not the best part of me.

My heart is the best part of me.

My heart is where I am striving to lead from.

Where I want to lean in from.

What could a more soulful way of living look like for you?

What does living and loving and leading from your heart look like? Feel like?

I want to reach out and grasp this type of soul-living. I want to choose Present over Perfection every day.

I want my heart, the very essence of me, to be evident first, and then my head, determination, & skills to follow. I want people to say they “know me” rather than just a standard, “I work with her.”

I want to grasp those tiny moments in my day and hold on to them tightly.

Join me? 

xoxo…

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