Sliders for the Slacker

Simple Sliders (my Honey Barbecue Chicken Burgers in miniature), originally published in Kids VT magazine.

Slack much?

I do. And I did. And I probably will again.

It’s my nature to slack off when not toiling away at work or making dinner or cleaning the toilet or running errands or otherwise managing the day-to-day doings of my life.

Good things happen when I let my slacker ways take over, I say. For one, I started this blog during a period of slackdom. For another, I discovered new television passions like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones” — not to mention the beauty of DVR.

But slacking has its downside. It’s made me (made me, I tell you!) neglect this blog for far too long. Love & Scraps’ 199 Facebook fans are disappointed in my performance, I know. Or maybe they don’t care and haven’t noticed. Either way, it’s time to get back into the blogging saddle.

So here goes: Check out this link to my latest (and last) cooking column in Kids VT magazine. It features my recipe for Simple Sliders (my Honey-Barbecue Chicken Burgers in miniature). They’re moist. They’re delicious. And they’re pretty healthy, all things considered. Made with ground chicken, these baby burgers are given a boost by grated carrot, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Top them off with toasted mini-burger buns (aka dinner rolls) and your favorite cheese, and all is right with the world.

Make them today and eat them by the fistfuls while you and your loved ones slack away on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

Honey Barbecue Chicken Sliders
(written by moi for Kids VT magazine)
(makes about 12 sliders)

2 pounds ground chicken
½ medium sweet onion, grated
1-2 carrots, grated*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
½ medium sweet onion, diced (optional)
1 cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup honey
12 mini-burger buns (dinner rolls work well), split and toasted
6 slices cheese of choice, divided in half (to make 12 pieces)

In a mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, grated carrot and onion, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Form 12 patties from mixture.

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Brush it with olive oil.

Place patties on the skillet, being sure not to crowd. Cook the patties for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time, until juices run clear when a knife is inserted in center. It may be necessary to cook patties in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of the skillet.

Set aside cooked patties on a clean platter.

Add diced onion to skillet, if using, and cook until translucent. Add barbecue sauce and honey, whisking to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low and return patties to skillet, flipping them to coat with sauce.

Place toasted bun bottoms on a platter. Top each with cheese and a patty, scooping up a bit of sauce to drizzle over top. Cap with toasted bun tops and serve.

Garlic, Garlic and More Garlic

I don’t understand people who don’t like garlic. Ditto for folks who don’t like onions. Or mushrooms. I try not to judge these people, but unless we’re talking severe food allergies, I can’t wrap my feeble mind around such a phenomenon. I mean, really, how do they even eat?
Garlic is a staple in our kitchen. I use it in just about all of our dinnertime creations. Often it’s a member of the chorus, but in my Chicken with Garlic Sauce, it is the star of the show.
We eat Chicken with Garlic Sauce frequently. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It’s healthy. It loves broccoli. But, above all and most importantly, it’s garlicky.
And, yes, this post is a clear departure from my usual flour/butter/yeast/sugar antics. I hope you don’t mind. While baked goods reign supreme on this blog, I will on occasion share what I make for dinner (see Glop, Chili), if only to make myself feel less butter-filled and more balanced.

Chicken with Garlic Sauce served with broccoli over steamed white rice

Chicken with Garlic Sauce is abundant among takeout joints. Unfortunately, I don’t recall how I first came to make it (hey, I am older than I used to be), so if I am not crediting someone out there with inspiring my version, my sincerest apologies.

Chicken with Garlic Sauce
(serve over white or brown rice)

1 tablespoon sesame oil, olive oil or veggie oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (use more if you like, but I like this ratio of chicken to sauce, especially as I intend to eat mine with steamed broccoli and rice), cut into strips or cubed
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 packed tablespoons brown sugar
4-5 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced sodium would be healthier, I suppose)
1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour

Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, 1 cup of chicken stock. Set aside.

In separate bowl (I use a glass measuring cup), whisk remaining 1/2 cup stock with flour until it is free of lumps. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add chicken pieces, lightly browning but not cooking them through. Remove chicken from pan (it is not fully cooked at this point, remember; you will finish cooking it in a minute or two).

Add mixture of brown sugar/soy sauce/garlic/stock to hot skillet, whisking as you do so. Return chicken pieces to skillet.

Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 12-13 minutes.

Again, remove the chicken from the skillet but leave the sauce; use a slotted spoon. Add the flour/stock combo to the skillet.

Bring sauce to a boil to thicken, whisking all the while.

Return chicken to pan, coating it with sauce.

Garlicky goodness

I serve this over steamed white rice, with lots of steamed broccoli to help soak up the sauce. This recipe feeds two hungry, hearty eaters.


If you’re looking for culinary extravagance, Glop is not for you. It is a simple, comforting down-home medley of flavors, baked in the oven. I refuse to call it a ‘casserole.’ It is Glop, and I love it. 
I’ve been eating Glop for years. The recipe came to me from my friend Bonnie, a wonderful home cook who seriously underestimates the beauty and goodness of Glop. It’s just rice, chicken, sour cream, mushrooms, white wine, onions, oh-so-many good things baked together in the oven, but you’ll want to curl up to a dish of it again and again and again. The Glop is that good.

2 whole chicken breasts
bay leaf, parsley, garlic, any other delights you’d like to taste with your chicken
1 large onion, sliced thin and sauteed in butter
8 mushrooms (baby portobello, button, whatever kind you want; I usually use a lot more than 8, though), sliced and sauteed in butter
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white wine (that you would be happy to drink)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (the most glamourous of ingredients)
1 cup long grain rice (uncooked)
salt and pepper (to taste)
Cook chicken with herbs and garlic (boil, roast, whatever you want); let it cool, then debone and shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Combine chicken with all of the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Put in greased baking dish and bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. 
(P.S. I usually double the recipe so that I have a bunch to freeze.)