The wonderful April showers we’ve had thus far in Northern California have been nothing short of a miracle and a blessing!
We’re not out of the ‘drought’ woods yet, but the downpour of rain we’ve had the past few days has certainly helped.
Today was sunny and mild, and I was able to take a walk in the neighborhood.
What were tightly wrapped buds are now happily unraveling to greet the sprinkles that fell on them.
The plum, peach and pear trees are flowering, and in the next week or two will be covered in delicate pink blossoms.
Our climbing rose has come back to life, and the arbor is no longer forlorn.
These two beauties grow along the private road leading to our driveway.
And I just adore this incredible tree around the corner, that stretches out so far, it shades the whole yard and part of the street.
Basheera walked into the yard with me and I just noticed she posed beside the fence as I took a photograph of the huge Irises.
Even the dandelions (which I keep in a section of the yard so we can have fresh greens) seemed merry today.
Following is one of our family’s favorite crock pot meals.
It’s simple enough to serve as a casual weeknight dinner, and tasty enough to serve when company is present.
You may either cook this in a crock-pot or a large pot on the stove, depending on availability of equipment and time.
Crock Pot Chicken, Italian Style
This dish is abundant in lycopene, and onions are a major source of a Quercetin, a super-antioxidant. Similar to garlic, onions and shallots seem to be most helpful in cancers of the digestive tract (e.g. esophagus, stomach, and colon).
Bell Peppers offer the antioxidant beta carotene.
Thyme It is an excellent source of iron and manganese and Thymol has been found to protect and significantly increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes and other cell structures.
- 1 large organic Red Onion, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 large organic Yellow or Red Bell Pepper, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tsp. fresh organic Thyme leaves (1 tsp. dry)
- 6- 2″ long fresh Sage leaves (1 tsp. dry)
- A handful of baby Bok Choy or Spinach leaves
- 1 tsp. organic Oregano
- 4 organic, free-range Chicken Thighs
- 2 organic, free-range Chicken Breasts, cut in half (to make 4 pieces)
- 1 shallot, diced (1 Tbs.)
- 2 cups homemade or jarred organic Marinara Sauce
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (opt)
Place half the onions, peppers and herbs in the bottom of the pot.
Add 4 pieces of chicken, then the rest of the onions, peppers, and herbs and the last 4 chicken pieces. Sprinkle shallot and seasoning on top.
Pour sauce over chicken, nudging pieces with a spoon to allow the sauce to make its way to the bottom.
For Crock Pot: Cover and place on High. Time for 3 1/2 hours.
For Stove Top: Add 1/2 c. of water to chicken, and place on medium high until sauce begins to bubble. Turn to medium low, cover and cook for 1 hour. Check at 30 minutes, gently stirring to make sure chicken is covered with sauce.
Serve with baked sweet potatoes and a fresh mixed green salad for a delightful meal.
~ Sahtein! (double health) ♥