Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks

I stumbled upon this recipe at skinnytaste.com while searching for some recipes to dish up. Chicken drumsticks cooked with maple syrup and dijon mustard in a crock pot seems pretty easy and delish. Best of all, not many ingredients are needed for this dish.  I was excited and very eager to try out this dish, so  off I went grocery shopping for maple syrup (this ain’t cheap ok!) and dijon mustard.

I adapted the recipe (can’t help it. I am too adventurous when it comes to cooking!) with an oriental touch by adding a few tablespoons of organic soy sauce and some freshly cut garlic.

As you can see from the picture, the chicken literally falls off the bone and is so delish! Kid-friendly, healthy and very easy to prepare too.

I hate Mondays as they are hectic for me. I need to pick up the Drama Queen from the enrichment center at 5ish pm, then cook, serve kids dinner, send Drama Queen for hip hop dance class, dinner myself and fetch Drama Queen back from dance class. So this dish is easy and fast enough for me to dish up on a maniac Monday. I started preparing at 3pm. Preparation only takes about half an hour. Once the drumsticks are cooking in the crock pot, I am free to do other stuff.

The fried rice was cooked by the girls’ grand aunt.

Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks
Recipe from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

8 skinless drumsticks
1/4 cup pure Maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp garlic salt
Fresh cracked pepper

The above is the original recipe from skinnytaste and I adapted it by adding some honey, soy sauce and garlic. I also seasoned the chicken with garlic steak seasoning. No marination is required.

Directions:

Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Combine maple, balsamic, and Dijon in a small bowl and whisk until smooth (I only used a spoon to mix all the ingredients). Pour over the legs, making sure the chicken is covered.

Left to right: Dijon mustard, balsimic vinegar, honey, organic pure maple syrup, pepper and the combined mixture in the bowl.

 

The original recipe uses garlic salt but since I only had garlic steak seasoning, I used whatever that I have.

 

 

Before cooking…

 

After 3 hours in the crock pot in high temp setting…

 

 

Do give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare and perfect for a weekday dinner. You can dump  the drumsticks into the crockpot and set in low temp before you leave the house for work in the morning. By the time you are back in the evening, your entire house will be wafting with the sweet aroma of chicken, waiting for you to dig into :)

No. of times viewed = 173

Wednesday Night Dinner – Healthy Fried Rice

My part-time maid, M screwed up my day again yesterday.  I have always reminded her that should she be unable to come in for work, she has to send me a text message latest by 12 noon so that I can start doing chores myself.  But she just can’t seem to take instructions well and only messaged me at 5pm again yesterday!  What is wrong with her flipping mind?!  So at 5pm yesterday, I quickly started to work myself up like those hourly paid maids, rushing to complete every single freaking chore within 2 hours.  Thank God we have a small yet cozy condo unit that is pretty fast to clean up. Within an hour, I  accomplished quite a bit from sweeping and mopping the floors, washed 2 bathrooms and ironed a few pieces of clothes.

I could not decide yesterday whether to go ahead to cook fried rice or to eat out.  I had planned to cook fried rice, thinking that M would come to help me clean up.  But Alycia who is revising for her exam did not feel like going out.  So just like Nike’s tagline (which I like), I  ’JUST DO IT’  and whipped up Alycia’s favorite food – fried rice.

So here’s my healthy fried rice with garlic, tomatoes, cauliflower, sweet corn kernels, crackling minced pork, lots of scallions and eggs.

 

I added 2 big organic tomatoes and sweet corn kernels into my  jar rice cooker just when ‘holes’ started to form on the rice.  By doing so, the rice will be more aromatic and the skin will peel off effortlessly from the tomatoes when in contact with heat.   I mashed up the tomatoes and mixed everything  well before dumping the rice et al into my wok of garlic + minced pork + cauliflower.

 

The minced pork this time was crackling and tasted like bacon bits (brown meat bits in the below pic). This added intense flavor to the fried rice.  And the secret to getting crackling bacon-like minced meat?  Just fry it long enough in the wok and make sure the minced meat does not get burnt or stuck to the base of the wok.

 

Seasonings used for fried rice are a few dashes of Lea & Perrin sauce, few dashes of organic soy sauce, pepper and garlic steak seasoning.

 

Composition of Mc Cormick garlic steak seasoning: salt, onion, garlic, sugar, black pepper, mustard flour, ginger, bell pepper and parsley.  I love to add a few shakes of this seasoning to marinate meats and fried rice – adds so much flavor to my food.

 

Raw of the day was alfalfa and radish sprouts and cucumber slices.

 

Salad dressing used was tangy Citron Sesame sauce from Japan.

 

I was totally knackered by 9pm after a hard day’s work slogging in front of the computer, chauffeuring the princesses and sweating it out in the kitchen.  All the hard work put in to dish out the fried rice was worth it when my three rascals commended how tasty it was.  And Miss Drama Queen gets to bring a portion to school for recess today :)

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 210

Monday Nite Dinner

Dinner whipped up in a jiffy yesterday – fried organic spinach noodles with minced pork, meat balls, garlic, a whole head of Chinese cabbage and 5 eggs (free-range ones).

 

We had dinner at 6pm yesterday, which was earlier than usual as the girls had an extra Mandarin tuition class for the tutor to help them revise for their exam.

I used a packet of 6 organic spinach noodles.   As it turned out, there were more ingredients than noodles.  Next time, I will add in 2 more pieces of noodles since the girls seem to love the noodles more than the trimmings.

 

My most critical and finicky eldest daughter commended that the fried noodles were very yummy and helped herself to 2 bowls!   The drama queen as usual, full of drama, quickly ‘chop’ and kept some noodles in a tiffin carrier for her to bring to school tomorrow.  This morning, she woke up 10 minutes earlier to reheat the noodles in the wok, poured them into her lunch box and  put the lunch box into her new thermal lunch bag.  Full of drama and fiercely independent, this drama queen can do anything if she puts her heart into it.

The remaining noodles will be for our lunch today. My 3-in-1 yummy noodles were good for 3 meals – yesterday’s dinner, drama queen’s snack during recess today and lunch for today.  Good to the last strand! :)

 No. of times viewed = 186

Salmon & Tuna Fish Macaroni

What do you do with leftover salmon fish for dinner?  My kids and I do not like eating overnight fish.  When re-fried, re-toasted or steamed, the meat gets too dry.  So I normally ‘re-cycle’ the salmon fish and convert it into another appetizing dish.  I will add the shredded salmon flesh into fried rice, fried noodles, mix it with mayo for sandwich or wrap filling and the list goes.

Yesterday, I used the overnight grilled salmon to make Salmon & Tuna Macaroni.

 

I stir-fried the shredded salmon flesh with garlic and added a can of tuna fish.  Seasoned with an assortment of dried herbs and a dash of tomato ketchup, my Salmon & Tuna Macaroni was delish!

While the girls ate macaroni, I had my kind of health-freak lunch, consisting of raw broccoli and alfalfa sprouts, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, pumpkin seeds, toasted almonds, cashew nuts and drizzled with goma sauce.

 

The grilled  herbs crusted salmon with crackling skin that I made for dinner two nights ago.   Left-over fish was transformed into another appetizing dish.  Cass once again said this to me “mummy, you must really open your own restaurant one day. You are such a good cook!”  :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 329

Vegatarian Nasi Lemak

Here is yet another post on food and I hope that this  post will not get you rolling your eyes :D

I dished out vegetarian nasi lemak last week, using my favorite Mak Nyonya curry paste.  I added cabbage, puffed  tofu, brinjal, tomatoes, ladies fingers, potatoes and hard boiled eggs.

I used vegetarian mushroom stumps as cheat anchovies and tortilla chips to replace the usual keropok.

Rice is cooked with fresh coconut milk – my absolute love!

 

 

 

 

I made a big pot and gave some to the girls’ grand aunt.

Looking at the pix again now just makes me salivate!

 

I used 2 packets since I put in a big load of vegetables into the wok.

 

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 352

Health Freak Mommy’s Homecooked Dinner

I have been really busy the past week.  But despite the busyness, I am still not succumbing much to outside food for my girls.  Many times when I was drowned in my work, I was really tempted to just tell the girls  “mummy ain’t cooking tonight, so let’s go out and eat”.  But I know what goes into the food not prepared by ourselves– some ABC brand recycled oil (am not surprise that some eateries use oil meant for lighting up candles at the altar to cook), loads of salt and white sugar and MSG. Not to mention, the veggies and meat may not be washed thoroughly or worse still, totally not washed.

So, I sacrifice an hour  each evening to dish out something easy and yummy for my girls.

Two nights ago, I made chicken chop with orange juice and rosemary, with raw alfalfa and brocolli sprouts, cherry tomatoes and stir fried pea sprouts with garlic as trimmings.

 

I dished up the chicken chop in under an hour.  Then dashed off in my car to fetch Sherilyn back from the enrichment centre.  While she ate dinner, I quickly swallowed mine too.  Next, zoomed off to drop Sherilyn at the dance centre for hip hop dance class.

 

Yesterday, I cooked creamy spaghetti with fresh mushrooms, cauliflower, char siew (bbq meat) and Okinawa luncheon meat.


Okinawa luncheon meat which my MIL brought back from Japan…

 

So… how do you like my kind of  dinner?   In my many pigging out sessions with the foodie hubs, I scrutinized interesting dishes and then back home, I will try to reproduce them ala health freak mommy’s style. Not bad eh? This is what I call picking up culinary skills by osmosis! ;)

 

 No. of times viewed = 283

Sherilyn’s Homemade Potato Salad

Today is the first day of the UPSR examination for Primary 6 students.  Sherilyn did not have to go to school today while Alycia needed to.  Tomorrow it will be Alycia’s turn to enjoy a day off school.

Instead of going to the enrichment centre in the morning, Sherilyn decided to follow me to the mini market to get the stuff that she needed to prepare potato salad.  She will be taking part in a ‘salad making’ competition organized by the Girl Guide movement that she joins in school.  Today is testing day where she will prepare the food, to be brought to school for her Patrol Leader to try tomorrow.

I told Sherilyn that if she wanted to do something that I do not agree with, she will have to do everything on her own.  I gave her another suggestion, which was easier to whip up but she was darn steadfast in her decision. I did not want her to bring eggs and mayo to school as these 2 items have risk of breeding salmonella if left in room temperature. Sherilyn only wanted to make potato salad and nothing else!  This girl can be really pig headed in certain matters and nothing can make her change her mind!  That’s my willful child.

Back home, Sherilyn wasted no time and got off the ground immediately.  She referred briefly to the potato salad recipe stuck on the fridge door and swung into action in the kitchen, with apron on and hair tied up.

The only thing I helped her was to prepare the wok to steam the potatoes.  As I worked on my computer, she got herself really busy in the kitchen.

A couple of hours later, her potato salad was ready!

 

She forked out a little of her product and shoved it into my mouth.  I  commented her that it needed a tad more salt and pepper and she darted back into the kitchen to add more salt and pepper.  She kept a portion of the potato salad in a take-away box to be brought to school tomorrow, saved a portion for her 2 sisters and brought a small portion to the enrichment centre for her friends to try.

The final product tasted impeccable!    Cass commented that it tasted better than those served at Japanese restaurants.  Sherilyn is now at the enrichment centre.  I’ll bet she will be deliriously overjoyed when she finds out that both her sisters polished off her potato salad and praised it sky high! I think she will excel in being a chef. She’s got the natural talent and love in cooking .

Sherilyn did not chop off part of her finger (again) and did not break anything or spill anything in the kitchen. She passed the test!

 

 No. of times viewed = 445

Wednesday Grilled Dinner

I love dishing out grilled fish, meat and veggies.  I call them my ‘healthy homecooked fast-food’.  And they taste really good too.  Most importantly, grilling food in the oven is sweat-free and oil splatter-free too!

Funnily, for someone who gets ‘heaty’ very easily, grilled food somehow does not make me feel heaty or sick, unlike deep fried food, which would give me an instantaneous after-effect.  That is how sensitive my throat is. Thus, I have completely stopped eating deep-fried food for the past one year, well almost. If I am at a function and nothing else is served except deep fried food, I will then have not much choice but to eat whatever is served and then face the aftermath.

Yesterday was a hectic day for me.  Alycia and Sherilyn were back from school at 4:30pm.    They are normally famished whenever they are back from school.  My ‘farn thoong’ (rice-pot) will always demand for rice with dishes.  So a grilled dinner came to mind. I actually thought long and hard on what to cook for dinner in the morning.  After my half-hour run in the morning, I settled for a grilled dinner coz that’s the easiest and fastest dinner to dish out.  Plus the girls love anything that is grilled.

In the morning, I marinated the salmon fish and chicken. At 4:30pm, I cooked the rice and chucked the fish and chicken into the oven. By 5:15pm, we all had dinner. By 6:45pm, I sent Sherilyn for hip-hop dance class and did some grocery shopping. At 8:30pm, I fetched her back from class. Oh yes, by 9pm I was drop-dead exhausted.  I have been cooking two meals a day these days as I am sick of having takeout food.

My salmon fish and chicken were marinated with all the herbs and ingredients that you can see in the below picture.  I used black pepper, oregano, Italian herbs, turmeric (for chicken), blackstrap molasses (for chicken) and my latest new found love – ground cumin and ground coriander seeds.  These two robust herbs can add so much flavor to my meat dishes.

I marinated the chicken drumsticks with blackstrap molasses to give it a nice brown color as well as a touch of sweetness.  I actually did not know what to do with the bottle of organic blackstrap molasses that I recently bought as I did not like the taste of it when consumed neat.  I have read and heard all the ravings about how beneficial blackstrap is, so I bought a bottle to try.  Now I have found a way of using it.  Today, I used the blackstrap molasses to replace dark soy sauce when I cooked braised soy sauce chicken and it turned out very well too. :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 527

Random Thoughts

Whenever the MIL goes abroad to stay with her daughters, I tend to find it hard to get the momentum to take over the cook’s job after having enjoyed the luxury of staying away from the hot kitchen for a period of time.   For the first few days after she leaves, I will normally cook something really simple.  In the meantime, I would need to spend some time to think and plan on what to cook, as well as check out blogs of good cooks (who cook yummy yet simple to prepare dishes) to give me some ideas and inspiration to start cooking again! Hahaha!

I was and still am feeling under the weather, no thanks to the pesky bugs that the 2 younger rascals  brought home from school.    With 2 rascals who love to kiss and hug me and share my food and drinks no matter how careful I am to stay them away from my food, it really ain’t easy to escape from those virulent bugs.

This was the super simple dishes that I served the girls for dinner yesterday …

Blanched veggie and omelette with loads of onions and scallions.  Everyone needed the potent compounds from the onions and scallions to ward off flu bugs! Onions scavenge free radicals and have vitamin C! Onions are good for your liver and body cells too. Thankfully my girls love onions and they can never get tired of eating omelette with onions.

 

Steamed chicken with tong kwai herbs, wolfberries, garlic and red dates.

 

Tonight’s menu will be grilled Saba fish, stir-fried fresh mushrooms and blanched veggie again.  Pix to follow soon! :)

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 340

See No Touch

Inspired by my friend’s posting of the picture of her mum’s homecooked black sweet vinegar pig’s trotters in Facebook and also aroused by the killer aroma of this dish from the unit above ours (a lady just gave birth and dang it, her Confinement Lady is drowning me with the aroma of her confinement dishes from dawn to dusk!), I asked my MIL to cook this dish. And so she did a few days ago :)

 

 photo pigtrottervinegar_zpsa7592ae5.jpg

 

As she cooked a huge pot, there was still some leftover in the fridge. Yesterday she reheated the dish but dang it, I could only see and salivate! See no touch :(

With a fresh wound from a tooth extraction, putting black vinegar into my mouth would only leave a deadly aftermath of stings and possible infection of the wound. So as I watched everyone else sipping on the mouth-watering black vinegar pig’s trotters broth, I could only eat bread and cabbage (cut till very fine with scissors) like a sick cat using one side of my mouth, boo hoo hoo :(

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 2187