Mediterranean Chicken (or Garbanzo Beans) Slow Cooked

Today I’m testing a new slow cooker by making Mediterranean Chicken from a recipe I found on the Hamilton Beach website.  I chose this recipe because it uses lots of great ingredients, like dried tomatoes.

Eric dried tomatoes last month.  He chose tiny ones from a friend’s superabundant garden.


He halved them and tossed them in a bowl with a little olive oil.  Then he set them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and peppered them with minced garlic and another little drizzle of oil.


The tomatoes sat inside our oven, turned to its lowest setting, 170 degrees, all day.  Our house smelled delicious!  The tomatoes emerged wizened and reminded me of arrowheads.


The Mediterranean Chicken recipe uses other great ingredients, too, like mushrooms, onions, and zucchini.


These ingredients go into the slow cooker first.


You also need lemon juice, Kalamata olives, garlic, and oregano.  I used dried oregano from our garden.


These ingredients are added to canned, diced tomatoes in a bowl.  If it were summer, I’d use fresh tomatoes instead.


For me, the hard part of the recipe was browning the chicken in oil on the stove.  I usually bake or grill chicken. The recipe called for boneless chicken thighs but organic chicken legs were on sale, so I used those instead.  I skinned them but didn’t bone them, so this will be a messy dish to eat.  I think you could simply leave the chicken out and have a great vegetarian dish, especially because garbanzo beans are another of the ingredients.


You need capers, as well.


The chicken goes atop the veggies in the slow cooker.  The beans go in next, then the tomato mixture.  The capers go on top.


I plan to serve this with penne and parmesan.  Hope it tastes good!  For the recipe, go to Hamilton Beach.

Update: The guys loved this dish.  Slow cooking made the chicken tender enough to fall off the bones, so it wasn’t messy to eat after all.  The flavors melded beautifully.  The zucchini was a bit soggy for my taste.  Next time I might cut it into bigger pieces.


Mom’s Orange Waffles

After I left home and moved across the country, my mother made orange waffles when I visited.  She always cooked in quantity. This recipe produces 16 squares (64 quarters), but the waffles freeze well.  Often I make half a recipe, which I did here. Wrap extra waffles when cool, then freeze or keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  Below is the handwritten recipe Mom sent me years ago.



6 cups unbleached, white flour (I use 4 cups white, 2 cups whole wheat)

2 T baking powder

1-1/2 C sugar (I reduce to ¾ or ½ cup)

1 t salt

2 sticks margarine (I use butter)

2 cups milk (I use skim or 2% milk)

4 eggs

2 oranges, organic, if possible


Remove margarine or butter from refrigerator and let it soften. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.


Drop softened butter into flour mixture.


With two butter knives or a pastry cutter, cut butter into slices.


With fingers, crumble butter into flour mixture.

cutting butter

Cut stems, blemishes, ink or price tags off oranges. Don’t peel. Cut into pieces, removing seeds.


Put milk, eggs (discard shells), and oranges into blender.


Blend until smooth.


Make a well in center of flour mixture.  Pour liquid ingredients into flour mixture.  Stir ‘til all flour is blended.  Bake in waffle iron, following applicance’s instructions. If not serving right away, cool on wire rack.


Serve with fried eggs, sautéed Swiss chard (drained), turkey bacon, and fresh fruit.


Eric’s Chili



2 T high heat safflower oil

1 lb. ground meat (turkey, beef, or buffalo)

1 medium onion (we prefer purple)

3 large cloves garlic

2 sweet and 1 anaheim pepper (optional)

tomatoes, chopped—28 oz. can or 2/3 box Pomi Chopped or about 8 large fresh

3 – 15 oz. cans mixed chili beans (black, pinto, kidney)

chili powder (according to taste, between 1 to 5 T)

2 t cumin

1 t salt

1 or 2 t molasses

1 shot whiskey (optional)


If frozen, defrost meat.  Coarsely chop onions, set aside.  Coarsely chop garlic, set aside.

Add oil to large saucepot.  Turn heat to high.  Add onion, sauté ‘til tender.


Add meat and break up with spoon.


When meat is just brown but not all the way cooked, push to sides of pan.

Add garlic to center.


If using peppers, chop coarsely.


Add peppers to pan.


Add tomatoes and turn heat to medium low.


Rinse beans.


Add beans to saucepot.


Add spices and salt.  Cover and simmer at least one hour.

Add water, if too dry.  If too liquid, remove lid.

After simmering, add whiskey, if using, and molasses.


Adjust salt and seasoning.

Serve with hot cornbread and green salad.

Eric’s Garlic Wings



Juice of 2 lemons

5 or 6 large garlic cloves

1 T salt

1 T olive oil

About 2 dozen chicken wings (wingettes & drummettes)


Peel and coarsely chop garlic cloves.


Place in mortar or small bowl and add salt.


Use pestle or end of knife handle to gently tap cloves, slowly reducing them to a moist mash.

Blend lemon juice and olive oil in flat pan large enough to hold chicken pieces.


Add mashed garlic mixture and stir.

Slip wingettes and drummettes into marinade.  Spoon marinade over top.


Marinate half an hour or longer. (Refrigerate if marinating for very long.)

Preheat grill to 350˚ F.  Set wingettes and drummettes on grill, discarding marinade.


Cook ’til nearly done, about 25 minutes. Turn heat up to 400˚ F and cook about 5 minutes more.  (Test with meat thermometer.)


Eric’s Tahini Mushroom Udon with Broccoli & Kale



Hawaiian black salt

black sesame seeds

1 C tahini

juice of 1 lemon

1 T tamari

1 T rice wine vinegar

½ lb. crimini mushrooms, whole

1/6 lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch broccolini

1 lb. udon noodles

lime wedges


In a mortar and pestle, crush salt & sesame seeds to make black gomasio.


We used 1 part salt to 3 parts seeds but might prefer 1 part salt to 5 parts seeds.

In small bowl, make tahini sauce.  Stir together tahini, lemon juice, tamari, and rice wine vinegar.


When well blended, stir in ¼ C Black Gomasio.


Thin with water to desired consistency.

Saute crimini mushrooms in butter and oil; add shiitakes after 5 minutes.


Saute 5 more minutes. Take out and set aside.  Add washed broccolini to same pan, adding more oil if needed.  Saute broccolini ‘til nearly tender.  Add kale and saute a few minutes.


Boil udon noodles according to package directions. Drain. Add desired amount of tahini sauce to noodles.  (Any extra can be used later on other cooked veggies.)  Stir in broccolini.


Stir in mushrooms.  Serve in individual bowls, garnishing with lime wedges.

Butternut Squash with Yogurt and Rice


Butternut squash from a Missouri roadside stand coupled with Exotic Rice Blend from the Dutchman’s Store in Cantril, Iowa, produced a colorful, nutritious casserole.  All the steps in this recipe are easy, but cleanup takes time.   Leftovers reheat well.


Butternut squash

Cooked rice (wild, basmati, white, brown, or a blend)

Salt (optional)

Water or broth


Plain yogurt

Cheddar cheese, grated

Butter or oil (optional)

Vary quantities according to taste.  A very large squash, 1-1/2 cups raw rice, 3 cups water, 1 cup yogurt, ½ cup cheese, and 1 tablespoon butter filled a 9-x-12 baking pan and proved adequate for a neighborhood potluck picnic.


Seed squash & cut into big pieces

Brush cut sides with butter or oil (optional)

Bake squash on cookie sheet at 350˚F ‘til tender

Cook rice in salted water or broth ‘til tender

Put rice in greased baking dish

Skin & cube squash and lay atop rice

Combine yogurt & cheese

Heat yogurt/cheese mixture ‘til cheese melts

Pour yogurt/cheese over squash/rice

Bake casserole, covered, at 350˚F for 20-30 minutes

Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro, and serve

Eric’s Burgers, Fries, and Arugula Salad

Mixed Fries

Eric pan-fried sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and new potatoes in oil, adding rosemary and coarsely chopped garlic when potatoes were nearly tender.


Fresh raspberry vinaigrette complemented his Arugula Salad with Sunflower Sprouts, Pear Slices, and Orange Cherry Tomatoes.

As an experiment he mounded grass-fed beef burgers before grilling.

Sliced tomatoes on mixed greens added color to the table.

Parmesan Pepper Bread from Gourmet Creations took the place of buns.

Eric’s Burrito Bowl

In individual serving bowls, have each diner layer the ingredients listed below.  Quantities will vary according to personal preference

Black beans, cooked or canned, drained & rinsed, gently heated

Rice, cooked & salted to taste

Corn, freshly cut from cob & raw is best

Chicken (optional), skinned, boned, cooked & diced

Salsa – see recipe under Huevos Rancheros or purchase

Guacamole – see recipe below or purchase

Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated

Plain Yogurt, Greek-style (full or low fat)

Eric’s Guacamole


2 Avocadoes, chopped (save pits)

Juice of one lime

Salt, pinch or two

Onion, 1 T finely chopped

1 Tomato, small to medium, chopped


Add lime juice to medium bowl

Add salt

Add chopped avocado & mash with fork

Mix in onion & tomato

Bury saved pits in mixture to prevent discoloration

Beaufort Stew


Hope and Rod’s friends Debbie and Joe visited us on Edisto Island and made us Beaufort Stew, a traditional local dish also called Low Country Boil and Frogmore Stew.  This recipe fed 20 with lots of leftovers.



20 small, unskinned red potatoes, halved

5 lbs. Vidalia  onions, quartered

1 dozen ears of corn, shucked, 2 – 3 inch pieces

4 lbs. Polska Kielbasa sausage, 2 – 3 inch pieces

2  3-oz. boxes Zatariah’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil

12 lbs. fresh shrimp, remove heads before cooking (about  8 lbs. without heads)


Boil water in 28 – 30 gallon pot

When boiling, add potatoes, cook 7 minutes

Add white onions & sausage, cook 7 minutes

Add corn & cook 7 minutes

Add shrimp & cook 7 minutes

Joe and Rod

Joe and Rod