Beer Chicken in the Crockpot

beer chicken 2

Are you looking for a super simple chicken dinner you can throw in the crockpot in the morning, forget about, and arrive home at dinner time to a taste-like-you-slaved-all-day meal?

I adore cooking and baking, but many (really most) days don’t allow me the luxury to spend the time I’d like in the kitchen, so this recipe is just the ticket.  It is full of flavor, tender, and moist.

Beer Chicken in Crockpot 2

And it’s EASY!  Besides the chicken, there are only FOUR ingredients:  a bottle of your favorite beer, a tablespoon or two of seasoning (I used Montreal Steak Seasoning – yep STEAK seasoning), 2 Tablespoons of fresh herbs (I used rosemary), and 2 large cloves of garlic.

Beer Chicken in Crockpot

You can use a whole chicken or chicken parts, or boneless chicken breasts like I did.  Put it all in the crockpot on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

beer chicken

The sauce can be made into a beautiful gravy, and I served it with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

SCORE!

The chicken tastes almost like those moist, tender rotisseries chickens you get at Costco or your local grocery, but even better!

Add this to your collection of winner winner chicken dinners!  You won’t be sorry!

Beer Chicken in the Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts or a whole chicken or your favorite chicken pieces
  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer
  • 2 Tbsp Montreal steak seasoning (or your favorite blend)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Rosemary (or your favorite herb)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  • Place all in crockpot and cook for on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8 hours.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

A Pork Chop in Every Bottle of Beer

watercolor pork chop in every bottle of beer

So we have a friend…

We’ll call him “Rodney,” because – hey – his name IS Rodney.

Rodney’s 60th birthday was this past week, and he is one of our buddies at our local “Cheers” here in Mars called “John’s Bar.”

John’s Bar is hubby’s and my Thursday night date most weeks, and we have a gang of regular buddies we hang out with.

Rodney is one of them.

Rodney has a secret to maintaining his “girlish” figure – – – and I daresay he is quite a good looking boy for his ripe ole’ age of 60.

Rodney’s drink of choice is beer.  Lite Beer.  Coors Light Beer.

Sometimes beer is his dinner.

Because you see Rodney’s philosophy is “there is a pork chop in every bottle.”

rodney birthday card pork chop in every bottle of beer

So I made this silly little fun watercolor card for Rodney’s birthday.

watercolor pork chop in every bottle of beer 2

Of course this is all in jest.  Rodney usually has a nourishing meal to go with his pork chop.   

Happy Birthday Dear Rodney!  Love ya Buddy!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

 

Soft Pretzels stuffed with Bacon, Spinach & Artichoke Dip

stuffed soft pretzels

Imagine if steamy, fresh baked, salty soft pretzels had a love child with ooey gooey, creamy, cheesy bacon spinach artichoke dip…….

stuffed soft pretzels 3 filling

Can you E V E N imagine the gloriousness?

And then maybe kick up that pretzel bread dough with just enough beer to make it magical…

Look no further!  Here is the most amazing appetizer/snack/meal in a pretzel ever created!  Are you ready for the deliciousness?

stuffed soft pretzels 4

Though this is not a difficult recipe, it is definitely a bit time consuming.   But….  It is so worth it!

stuffed soft pretzels 5

If you are looking for a WOW factor treat to make and share, look no further.   Get your apron on and get ready to rock your socks!

stuffed soft pretzels 6

My son, Nick, originally found this recipe on an amazing food blog, Half Baked Harvest, and asked if I was up for “attempting these.”  Are you kidding?!?!  I live for this stuff!

Thank you Tieghan for sharing!  I tweaked it up just a bit – you know…. maybe just a bit more bacon (have you ever heard of using only two slices of bacon?!?) and always more garlic!  🙂 , but this is pretty true to Tieghan’s amazing recipe.

stuffed soft pretzels 2

Oh…. and besides going amazing well with a great draft beer, these go amazingly well with (yep – you guessed it…. a great red wine!)  🙂

Soft Pretzels Stuffed with Bacon, Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • Servings: 8 Giant Stuffed Pretzels
  • Print

Pretzel Dough Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup warm waterstuffed soft pretzels
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup baking soda (for boiling pretzels)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Coarse sea salt

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Filling Ingredients:

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 8 oz. can marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Instructions:

Pretzel dough:  Combine water, brown sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add melted butter, beer, salt, and flour to the mixture.  Mix on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 – 4 mins.  Remove dough from bowl and knead into a ball with your hands.

Coat a large bowl with oil, add dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size.

In the meantime, make the filling:  Fry bacon until crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  In the same skillet, melt  butter, add garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 mins, then pour in milk. Stir and cook 1 more minute.

Add cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan and black pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in yogurt until smooth. Add chopped artichokes, spinach, and bacon, and stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

When pretzel dough has doubled, punch down and divide into 8 equal balls.  Roll each out into a 11×3 inch rectangle.  Spread about 2 Tbsp dip filling along the length of each piece. Roll the dough up into a log, enclosing the filling inside. Pinch the seams together and then very gently roll the dough with your hands to form an even cylinder and fully enclose the filling.  Form into a pretzel shape, and press to seal.

Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 1 minute, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula.

Place pretzels on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Brush tops with beaten egg and season liberally with sea salt.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.

Remove pretzels from oven and let cool five minutes.

If made ahead, you can reheat the pretzels at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until warm.  (But they are BEST fresh out of the oven!)

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

DIY Scrabble Coasters

scrabble coasters bundled

I had a ball trying to think of fun four-letter words with Scrabble tiles to make these DIY Scrabble coasters as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

I really wanted to share them before Christmas, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for the recipients.

scrabble coasters

They would also be cute birthday, Valentine’s, new home, and anniversary gifts too!

I simply purchased a couple of sheets of cork tile, glued Scrabble tiles in a 4×4 pattern onto them with E6000 glue, hit them with a spray of clear polyurethane spray, then trimmed with a utility knife.  Voila!  Cute handmade gift!

scrabble coasters coffee mug

I bought bags of Scrabble tiles at Amazon, but if you have time, you can start scouring Goodwill, second hand shops, and garage sales for used Scrabble games cheap to get the tiles.  You might also just find yourself wanting to play this classic game again, too!

Cheers & Hugs
Jodi

PS.  If you want to make these and need further directions, there are some great Youtube videos or other DIY sites you can check out by simply searching Scrabble Coasters.