Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crockpot Whole Chicken

This super simple technique (can't even call it a recipe really with just 2 ingredients) came from


You'll need a whole roasting chicken, and the seasoning of your choice.

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, season with your favorite flavors, I used Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle. Others have used simply salt and pepper, or paprika. No cooking liquid is necessary.

Place chicken in a large crockpot, cover and cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours, or a combination of both. My chicken was done when it was literally falling off the bone, it was SO moist and juicy! I pulled out the chicken and placed it on a cutting board to cool. I was then able to use just my fingers and a fork to harvest all the tender juicy meat.

The girls and I ate it with mashed potatoes the first night, I then used it for chicken nachos, and also of course chicken sandwiches.

The chicken creates an amazing amount of liquid. I saved the stock, strained it and froze it for future use.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Scissors Sharpening

Nice quality fabric scissors such as Gingher deserve a little TLC sometimes. In some areas it may be difficulty to find professional sharpening and repair for scissors. I recently read that Henry Westpfal & Co. out of New York City, as well as Gingher themselves offer mail in service for your shears at a reasonable price.


Henry Westpfal & Co.

Some tips for keeping your scissors in good condition:
- Don't use sewing scissors to cut anything other than fabric, ever.
- Keep scissors away from moisture and humidity.
- When blades lose their sharp edge, use a reputable sharpening service.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Sweet Chicken! This is my daughters' name for what I would really call Braised Teriyaki Chicken (over brown rice).

Preheat oven to 350.

Take a large oven proof skillet or roasting pan (tonight we did 6 pounds of boneless skinless thighs in a Pampered Chef non-stick roasting pan), and brown the any cut of boneless chicken over medium-high heat on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper. Tonight, because of the large amount of meat, I added 2 cups of chicken stock, about 1 cup of store-bought teriyaki sauce, and a small can of crushed pineapple. Transfer dish and bake in oven for at least 1 hour, and check temperature of meat. We would pull it out at 160 minimum. I did pull it out half way through, and turned the thighs.

We often serve this with Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice (cooks for 3 minutes in the microwave), along with a vegetable. The girls LOVE it, and so did the family tonight. Note on the teriyaki sauce - try to find something all natural.

This is simple and always a big hit!

Card Sketch Challenge CPS102

I'm finding out these sketch challenges are sort of fun! It's pushing me creatively, and I'm actually getting something done for a change, instead of just "thinking" about it. *grin* This one is for Card Positioning Systems who is partnering with Papertrey Ink for this week's challenge.

Project details (all Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted):

  • Ink: Bordering Blue, Rose Red
  • Paper: Bordering Blue, Rose Red, PTI White
  • Stamps: Daisy Crazy, Sprinkles
  • Tools: Signo White Gel Pen, Dimensionals
  • Ribbon scrap

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Signing Event

This afternoon we had a huge treat - we attended a presentation and book signing by author Jeff Kinney, who was talking about his latest bestselling book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Strawwhich Madison read in 2 days. It was fascinating to learn how he came up with the original concept for this series of books, how many times he was rejected, and finally how he overcame many obstacles to become an author who's works have now been published in 30 languages! We also learned a little about the new book due out this fall. Madison was really excited to meet Mr. Kinney! His other books include, Diary of a Wimpy Kidas well as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rulesand finally Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book.

Thankfully we were number 40 in the signing line, ahead of hundreds of others. The biggest treat of all is that it's a balmy 55 degrees here today and the arctic snowpack is finally melting. YEAH!

Papertrey Ink Bitty Dot Sketch Challenge

Who doesn't like new craft supplies? This post is my entry in the Papertrey Ink Bitty Dot Sketch challenge. I've never entered a challenge before, but I've seen many on Splitcoast Stampers, and I've been following Papertrey's 2-year anniversary postings on Nichole Heady's blog. The prize is 95 spools of Papertrey ribbon, one each of their entire line! So here goes, I hope I win!

Project Details:
  • Ink: Papertrey Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Fizz
  • Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Fizz, Basic Grey Bittersweet
  • Tools: EK Success Large Heart Punch, EK Success Medium Heart Punch, Martha Stewart Scallop Dot Edge Punch
  • Ribbon: Papertrey Dark Chocolate Swiss Dot
  • Stamps: Papertrey Heart Prints
  • Other: Brads

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Winter Cards

One of my creative outlets the past few years has been stamping. I have a friend (also neighbor and old co-worker) who is now a Stampin' Up Demonstrator. I go to Stamp Club at her home once a month, and we create 2-3 new projects, as well as chat and have a glass of wine (after projects are done). I didn't get any Christmas cards out this year, but did spend some time this month making a handful of "Happy Winter" cards, which are particularly appropriate this year for our region. I'm not really fast at making these but have fun in the process.

For those who want details, the two colorways are Stampin' Up Baja Breeze and Bashful Blue.

Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans

I just put this in the Crock Pot. I'll update this post tonight and let you know how we liked it. The recipe was posted on the "slowcooker" Yahoo group. The person who posted it, originally got it from Recipezaar. Everyone who tried the recipe loved it - so here goes!

Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans
  • 4-5 frozen, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
Take 4-5 frozen (yes, frozen) boneless chicken breasts and put into crock pot. Add 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained. Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top) and let sit for about 1/2 hour. Serve over rice, or scoop up with tortilla chips. Some users have omitted the cream cheese and serve with a dollop of sour cream. If using thawed chicken, cooking time may be reduced.

UPDATE: This recipe is great! The only thing I would add would be a topping of very finely diced onion mixed with chopped cilantro, to add color and a little texture. We put this over Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, which is a product I highly recommend, even the kids will eat it. It comes in a box of 3 bags, a bag microwaves in 3 minutes and the results are nutty and perfect.

Sunday Dinner

Before my first daughter was born, we along with my husband's family, started the tradition of gathering for Sunday dinner. It's not formal, but allows us some family time, as well as an excuse to try new recipes,techniques and menus. I plan to share our Sunday Dinner menus on this blog.

This past Sunday we tried a new appliance that we received for Christmas, a multi-cooker, which can brown, slow cook (crock pot style), or pressure cook. We've never done any pressure cooking before so it was going to be an experiment! I checked out a book from the library, Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipesand decided to try "Cola Beef Roast with Sweet Onion au Jus."

I have to be honest, it was scary thinking about the pressure and the steam, plus I was skeptical about a tougher cut of meat (beef round roast) cooking in less than an hour. But VOILA - it worked terrific! The meat was tender and the juice was just like french onion soup. The next day for lunch we used the beef (sliced thin) in panini sandwiches with Munster cheese. YUM!

Note to self: put Miss Vickie's book on my Amazon Wish List. :-)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

I made this recipe last week and we always enjoy it. I'm sort of fussy about store bought salad dressing. I may be crazy, but I feel like I can actually smell the chemicals in some of them, and I don't enjoy any of the added and unnecessary sugar. It's easy and fun to make your own salad dressing. This dressing is great on an iceberg lettuce wedge with just a dash of black pepper to finish it off. Or, it's a terrific dipping sauce for chicken wings.

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except blue cheese. Add more or less milk as desired to thin the mixture. Stir/fold in the blue cheese crumbles. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

If you are a lover of blue cheese like I am, go to Sam's Club or your favorite warehouse store and buy the large tub of blue cheese crumbles. It's much cheaper per ounce than the grocery store. I end up using it on all sorts of things!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Maggie Mae

Santa brought us a new little friend the week before Christmas, he said he was going to be WAY too busy delivering presents on Christmas eve to care properly for a puppy so she arrived early. We are all in LOVE with this little girl. She is a Boston Terrier, just over 5 months old now, and has various nicknames including: Maggie Mae, Margaret Mildred, Maggie Motorcycle, and Dogzilla just to name a few. We are working on potty training and manners, but cleverly she has already mastered the art of cuddling and sleeping in our bed at night.

Introducing Midwest Creative

Hello Friends!

My name is Lisa Klingbeil (aka Mrs. K). I'm a fairly typical wife and mother living in the upper Midwest. In my spare time, I enjoy any type of creative outlet, including reading, paper crafting, sewing, quilting, needlework, cooking, gardening, hunting for antiques, digital photography, our pets, and the list goes on and on and on! Please join me in this adventure as I share some of my life experiences, creative projects, recipes, home life, and family fun!

I selected the header image for this blog (a photo of my garden this past summer) because at this point, I'm dying for some plant life around here. That won't be happening anytime soon because we have a frozen arctic snowpack of about 10-12" on the ground and the high temperature reached 14 degrees here today. I want you to know how much I love *all* the seasons, but I could really use a little green right now!