How to Tweak in the Kitchen

Tweaking (not to be confused with Twerking which really isn’t safe to be doing around hot appliances- I know I crack myself up:) while cooking is really great for busy moms. I don’t know how many times I’ve decided at the last minute that I want to make something for dinner but I didn’t have this ingredient or that or not enough time (or motivation) to cook this three different ways. Or maybe you have a really picky family member who doesn’t like onions and that other one doesn’t like mushrooms. Instead of pulling your hair out and ordering take out (though I admit this happens at our house quite a bit), you’ve just got to adjust the recipe to make it work for you. 

I bought buns the other day at Costco and after making 2 meals with them I still have about six left. Most of the time when I buy bread products at Costco at least some of it goes to waste (which makes me cringe) but it’s still so much cheaper than at the grocery store. This time, I was determined to eat as many as possible. So, tonight we will be having BBQ Chicken sandwiches. 

 Except, I don’t have BBQ sauce and really don’t want to run to the store just for that. Time to head over to Pinterest, where I found this recipe. I’ve used it before and it’s good but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I don’t like making things with ketchup for 2 reasons. 1) Expense- as with any processed food with multiple ingredients, it’s going to be more expensive to buy it than to make it. 2) Health- the store bought stuff is just not as good for you. I often buy organic ketchup but right now don’t have any and even if I did refer to problem #1. So, off the bat, I knew I didn’t want to use the ketchup. Also, I like my BBQ sauce with molasses. Since I was eliminating ketchup, I knew I could add molasses without cutting out the honey and brown sugar- since I don’t like my sauce too sweet I did reduce the honey to one tbsp. And, I didn’t have honey mustard so I just put in a tbsp of regular mustard instead. Then, I don’t like simmering something that I know I’m just cooking with anyway (if using for dipping it would be another story). 

So here’s my recipe: 

Slow cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

  

Ingredients: 

 

  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (not pictured-oops) 
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp yellow or Dijon mustard
  •  2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb chicken breasts or boneless thighs

Combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk until smooth.  

 Pour over chicken in your slow cooker.  

Cook on high for 4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and serve on buns. 

  Enjoy. 

  1. My main tips for cooking on the fly would be to make like substitutions (ie: molasses for honey) but keep proportions about the same. 
  2. Sweeten and spice to taste- I almost never take measurements for spices or sweeteners at face value- when you’re baking certain ingredients need to be added to maintain proper baking environments. This is not always the case with cooking. When you’re making a meal, it’s best to consider your own pallet and your audience’s tastes while deciding what to add or omit. If you know someone doesn’t like garlic or pepper or paprika, leaving it out won’t ruin a meal. Though, be careful because dumping in the whole jar might. 
  3. Cooking oils are almost always interchangeable. If you’re cooking something with high heat make sure to use something that can withstand high temperatures (I like avacado oil for this). The very popular olive oil actually has a relatively low temperature so keep that in mind. 

Substituting meats is also pretty easy. I often use ground turkey for beef and never make any other alterations. A lot of pork meals could probably be made with chicken or turkey tenderloin. 

Have fun experimenting in the kitchen! Hope you make some fabulous stuff. 

Now, what did I serve with my BBQ chicken?? Potatoes of course because you know I bought those at Costco as well. But, I thought we had enough potato wedges for a while so I made another favorite: Crash Hot Potatoes from the Pioneer woman. They’re pretty to die for and don’t need one single modification!
 

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