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Stress Relief in the Kitchen

Posted Oct 16 2012 8:27pm
I am not going to sugar coat this....work has been beyond stressful this year, I realize I am only 2 months in to the new school year but the stress is already taking its toll on me.... I would use my blog as an outlet to vent about work, but I value my job as a teacher and hope to keep it....thus, I will refrain!

We all know that stress is NOT a good thing for our bodies, it can cause headaches, lack of sleep, digestive problems, chest pains and even raise your blood pressure! Most alarming for me is that stress increases cortisol levels in your body, and as we all know high cortisol levels can cause tummy fat! NOOOOOO!!! So clearly I am on a mission to lower my stress levels.... I know what you are thinking... RUN MICHELLE RUN! And believe me I do, but sometimes running just isn't enough. It definitely helps clear my head, but since I can't run for hours on end (wish I could), I need something else to do on the weekend to help me unwind from a long work week.
(source)
In the past I have turned to cooking during stressful times, I find it surprisingly therapeutic! I can turn on some music, pour a glass of wine and attempt to be a culinary genius all in the comfort of my own kitchen!  The best part about me relieving my stress in the kitchen is that you all benefit! I have had the opportunity to try out some new recipes, so I thought I would share the most recent one I have tried! This past weekend I made Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs & Sweet Potato! Hope you enjoy it as much as Danny and I did.

Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs & Sweet Potatoes

I found this yummy recipe on busycooks.com and it was really quite easy! The recipe claims that one serving will supply you will 100% of the Vitamin A you require each day.... AMAZING!

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs (boneless/skinless)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (I added more because I love it)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion chopped
1 cup peach or apricot preserve (I went to the organic section of the grocery store and found one with all natural ingredients and no additives)
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce (I omitted this)
1/2 chicken broth or water
2 tbsp corn starch


Instructions:

- sprinkle chicken with salt, cayenne pepper, paprika and ginger
- place sweet potato and onion in the bottom of the slow cooker
- place chicken thighs on top
- pour peach or apricot preserve, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce on top of chicken
- cover and cook 6 - 8 hours on low (I cooked mine on high for 4 hours)
- combine chicken broth and starch and add to slow cooker, stir, cover and cook for 10 more minutes or until sauce thickens

Would I change anything about this recipe? YES

I really enjoyed this dish, and I really think it is prefect for this time of year (my boyfriend said it was one of the best slow cooker dishes I had ever made), that being said here is what I would do differently
1) I would probably only use 2 (instead of 3) sweet potatoes, I just felt there was too much of it for my liking.
2) I would add more chicken, maybe 10 - 12 thighs instead of 8
3) I wouldn't use a full cup of apricot preserve, I found the dish a little too sweet, I think I would go with 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup next time around



All in all I thought it was delicious! I would just tweak it a bit to better suit my taste buds! If you try it out, let me know what you think!

xox 



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