Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | January 3, 2012

15 minutes, plus a recipe

So instead of resolutions, I’m making one week (school days only) challenges. This week’s challenge is to tackle the dining room which currently looks like this: when you are standing in the doorway to the kitchen and like this: when you are standing in the living room. There’s a nice table under there. Somewhere. The smaller table to the left in the second picture holds mostly overflow from the pantry cupboard in the kitchen. I may have to do a clean out of that to help this along. The Legos have to go. They have a home. They have a large bin to live in as seen balanced on that chair. Their owner has been warned multiple times about confining them to their designated area. There will be tears and recriminations.

I don’t know why it looks so blue outside the window. It must have something to do with the light out there – I took these when it was dusk. I’ll take another picture on Friday so you can see if I made any progress.

The house is smelling fabulous with a yummy and healthy recipe. I’m doing it in the oven since I didn’t go grocery shopping until today but if you have the ingredients ahead of time, it works really well in a slow cooker.

It’s healthy and tasty and fairly forgiving of not exactly what the recipe says. I made half the recipe tonight, and I’ve doubled it for larger groups. Serves 6 as written.

Slow-Cooker Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

3 lbs. bone-in skinless chicken thighs (I just figure one thigh per person)

2 tsp. cumin

salt and pepper

1 tsp. smoked paprika OR 1/2 tsp. chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (you can open the can, get what you need and freeze the rest in a little container for the next time you need chipotle peppers)

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup salsa (use hot if you like your food spicy, mild if not)

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (15 – 19 oz. each)

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 roasted red pepper (I always forget this so I don’t actually know how it tastes with it)

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped (I don’t always have this and it tastes good without it)

Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 tsp. cumin, salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium-high and saute until browned on both sides. Meanwhile, combine broth, salsa, rest of cumin, paprika or chipotle, garlic and allspice. When chicken is done, put it on a plate and, if you want, drain off the fat. Pour the combined broth, salsa, et al into the skillet and bring to a boil. Put the beans and sweet potatoes into your slow cooker and put the chicken on top. Pour the skillet stuff on top. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours or put it all in a casserole and put it in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 325. Put the chicken on a platter or on individual plates, stir the red pepper into the potato mixture and spoon it over the chicken. Sprinkle the cilantro on top.

from Good Housekeeping



  1. What, doesn’t everyone’s table look like that? Mine always did. Still do, just with less toys. Lol, I love this new On School Days plan you’ve invented. So inspiring!

    Cumin and cilantro! Two of my faves!

    • I need that table for other projects so I’ve got to get it shoveled off. And there’s piles of stuff under tables, on the other pieces of furniture, on the chairs . . .

  2. It’s our “office” that looks like that … times 12. Ah, tidiness. You art an elusive bitch at the Fokker Farm.

    • Actually most of our house looks like that, the dining room was just where I decided to start. It makes me wish one of us was a little more of a neatnik, but we only seem to have packrat genes, not neatnik ones.

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