Monday, April 23, 2012

The Pizza Guy - by Lauren

The other night EJ asked me what we were having for dinner.

“Pizza!  We are having pizza!”

EJ: “The pizza guy is coming?”

Me: “No! Mommy is making pizza!”

EJ: “So is the pizza guy coming?”

My son’s inability to grasp the concept of me cooking made me think that perhaps I need to start cooking more often.  We recently began an effort in our house to eat fresh and organic foods and get rid of the processed.  I have seen a difference in all of our eating habits and I am continuing to eliminate things with too many ingredients to simplify our diets.  But it is definitely time to up my cooking.

A little over a year ago I bought a crock pot.  I was skeptical. Along with my fear of having something plugged in all day while I am not home, I was not convinced that I could make a great meal in a slow cooker. But after my first attempt, I was sold.  I am now convinced that you can make anything in a crock pot and I even made an Ethiopian dish! This whole “throw it all in, turn it on and just wait” concept is amazing.  Hard to believe something like a crock pot could make me so happy but sadly it did.

Well, it is time to break that crock pot back out and say goodbye to the pizza guy. The best recipes that I have found for slow cookers were on the blog A Year of Slow Cooking.  This recipe is one of our favorites and it is what I will be using this week to replace pizza night:

The Ingredients:

--2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

--1/2 cup bread crumbs

--1/4 cup parmesan cheese

--1/2 t Italian Seasoning

--1/4 t black pepper

--1/4 t kosher salt

--1 T olive oil

--1 beaten egg

--sliced mozzarella cheese

--favorite jarred marinara sauce

The Directions:

--spread the 1 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crock pot stoneware insert

--whip the egg with a fork in a separate bowl

--mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the parmesan cheese in another separate dish

--dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings

--place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crock

--layer 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese on top

--cover with entire jar of marinara sauce

--close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4. If your chicken is still frozen, it will take longer.

Serve with your favorite pasta. I LOVE using the new vegetable pasta from Ronzoni.  I am all about tricking my kid (and husband) into eating vegetables…

Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious almost 3-year old boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.

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