Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cuban Chicken

I am starting to think about the next teacher appreciation luncheon that I am hosting at my son's school on January 30. The theme of the luncheon is tropical and it is going to be a pseudo luau. I have a few leis to use as decorations and one of the teachers is lending me a coconut tree that she painted. It is amazing and almost life size "tree" that will serve as my decoration for the luncheon. I am trying to be economical in these times of job losses and housing market crashes but I have to be upbeat and fun, too. I decided that the theme was going to be a luau because it is so cold and wintry that I thought it would be fun to start looking ahead to summer. I am going to request a few fruit trays and definitely some tropical desserts. I am also going to offer this recipe to anyone who can't think of something to make but wants to make something tropical and fairly easy and inexpensive. The chicken is delicious. If you serve it over rice with some peas and carrots it is a very pretty dish also. I am sure the teachers will love it as much as my family did. The recipe comes from the June 17, 2008 issue of Woman's Day Magazine. I used only chicken drumsticks because I don't care for the thighs but go ahead and use both if you prefer.

Cuban Chicken
Serves 8

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 tsp chopped garlic (4 cloves)
8 each chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin removed (about 4-1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup each lime juice and orange juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
Chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Place onion and garlic in a 6-quart slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top.

2. Stir juices, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in measuring cup; pour over chicken. Cook on low 5 to 8 hours until chicken is cooked through.

3. Serve chicken over rice; spoon juices with onions on top. Sprinkle with cilantro, if using.

This is a really good quick dish to liven up any cold winter's day.

The Creative Cook

Sunday, January 4, 2009


After making this oatmeal, I found out that my husband isn't particularly fond of oatmeal. Am I the only person who likes oatmeal? I don't know but I doubt it. This oatmeal is easy and really tasty. It is pretty healthy. I'm going to try to eat healthier in the new year. I am also going to try exercising regularly, too. My only New Year's Resolution for 2009 is to get a check up from my doctor. I always go for my annual gyn exam but rarely get a full check up from the internist. It is about time that I do it. I always want to lose weight but if I try to resolve to do it I never will. Last year, I lost about 10 pounds with all my illnesses. That is a really bad way to lose weight. Usually, when I lose weight that way I gain it right back. This time I have managed to keep a few pounds off. Anyway, try this oatmeal because it is tasty.


MAKES 8 Servings
Prep: 15 Minutes


4 cups water
1-1/2 cups apple juice
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup regular barley (not quick cooking)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup coursely chopped pecans, toasted
2 medium apples, coursely chopped
Honey (optional)
fat-free milk


1. Line a 3-1/2 or 4-Quart slow cooker with a disposable slow-cooker liner. In slow cooker, combine water, apple juice, oats, barley, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours. Before serving, stir in brown sugar. Top with pecans and apples. Serve with honey and milk. Makes 8 servings.

I didn't use any pecans in the hopes that D would try the oatmeal. It didn't work so next time I'll try this recipe with the pecans.


The Creative Cook