We were set to go to the in-laws to watch the USC v UCLA game with kick off at noon. That would mean snack food for lunch and half time. So the last thing in the world I wanted to make for dinner that night was a snack meal. My solution was to break out the Ninja cooker, and load it up with my easy chicken stew ingredients, turn it on and go to the football party. The cooking equivalent of fire and forget. When we got back from the game, the house smelled wonderful and a healthy dinner would be ready in another 2 hours.
Recipe serves 6
1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs- but into 1 inch pieces.
10 red fingerling potatoes.
2 C low fat/sodium chicken broth.
1 and 2/3 C baby carrots – rinsed.
2 springs fresh thyme
1 onion skinned and chopped
1C frozen peas
14 oz can cream of mushroom soup, semi-condensed
1/4 C flour with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp Montreal Steak seasoning mixed in.
Pour the chicken broth into the Ninja (or slow cooker), add the onion, carrots, and thyme.
Dash of salt and pepper.
Mix the flower and salt and Montreal Steak seasonings in a large plastic bag, and the chicken thighs and shake to coat.
Place coated chicken in Ninja, and gently mix.
Turn Ninja on slow cook, cover and think of something to do for the next 6 or 7 hours.
About 30 minutes before you serve the stew add the can of creamed mushroom soup (probably does not need any water or milk) stir and add the peas which you have rinsed to clean and thaw. Cover and prepare dinner.
Here is a great vacation idea. Bozeman, Montana is a beautiful college town on the western side of the state, surrounded by mountain ranges. In the past I would occasionally ski Big Sky Resort (http://www.bigskyresort.com/). It is located midway between Bozeman and West Yellowstone. Big Sky is great, and the drive from Bozeman winds though beautiful country with mountain rapids visible most of the way to the turnoff to Big Sky. It is a fine ski resort, but at least the last time I was there, the apres ski choices were limited.
We often skied a different, closer resort, one that you may not have heard of called Bridger Bowl. Bridger Bowl is a most unusual ski resort in that it is owned by charter citizen skiers in Bozeman. The link (http://www.bridgerbowl.com/) provides a great overview of the ski resort. But it can be summed up quickly as follows: un-crowded slopes; abundant snow; steeps when you want; and oh yeah, more steeps. Last time I was there, at the top of the highest chairlift after a short hike, there was a tow rope to take you even higher. Wearing a beeper is a very good idea when venturing in that world.
So, let’s recap, Bozeman is a college town (MSU), has college football, two ski resorts, and Yellowstone National Park nearby – what more could you want? Ok, how about this little known gem. About 15 miles north of the north entrance to Yellowstone lies Chico Hot Springs Resort (http://www.chicohotsprings.com/). Chico is amazing on many levels. It has cabins and a lodge overlooking beautiful terrain. It has natural hot spring – fed hot tubs and a large pool. It has country music and dancing in a barn style venue. And, wait for it, in this pristinely beautiful, yet in the middle of nowhere location, it offers the hiker, biker, or adventurer meals and wine from their on-site gourmet restaurant in the lodge.
While living in Bozeman it was easy to drive down to Chico for an evening of great dining and dancing, but since leaving the area I have not yet been lucky enough to match my vacation schedule with a vacancy at the resort. So, my advice is, if you want to use Chico Hot Springs as your base while exploring Yellowstone National Park, book early, real early.
Is that it? Nope, Bozeman has a marvelous old downtown with bistros and restaurants, and it is close to world class fly fishing creeks.
So, Bozeman is great, yet I left, what gives? I do have a couple of issues with Bozeman. It is a tad cold in the winter And, more importantly to me, it is virtually impossible to walk to the beach from Bozeman.
But, if one is looking for an outstanding vacation spot, Bozeman should be high on the list winter or summer.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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