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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week 40 : Felicia's Fiesta Chicken

1 pkg chicken breasts
1 jar salsa, any kind
1 small bag frozen corn
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 pkg taco seasoning
8 ou cream cheese

Layer the following ingredients in Crock Pot: start with half the jar of salsa, add bag of corn, chicken breasts, black beans, olives, taco seasoning and remaining salsa.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours.  Pull out breasts and shred.  Return to slow cooker and stir.  During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add cream cheese.  Stir and enjoy!

Thanks so much to Felicia for providing me with this recipe!  It is so quick, easy and delicious.  It is one of those recipes that after you are given the shell of the recipe, you can make it into anything you want.  Feel free to add whatever- green chilies, bell peppers, jalapenos, etc...  I pulled out the good ol' George Foreman grill and made Cheesy Fiesta Chicken Quesadillas!  Top with sour cream, more salsa, cheese, guacamole, lettuce, whatever!!!!  Serve with tortillas, chips, fritos, George Foreman!  Serve over rice, noodles....  An appetizer or a main dish!  The possibilities for this simple little recipe are endless!  And the best part about it is the prep time is virtually nothing!  The hardest part was opening the cans of beans and olives!  Perfect for Week 40 when things are a little hectic!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 39 : Corn Chowder

10-12 slices bacon
4 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cans creamed corn
32 ou frozen corn
2 tea pepper
2 tea salt
2 tea Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs sugar
2 cups water

Cut slices of bacon into small pieces and place in skillet.  Fry until crispy.  Add potatoes and onions.  Saute for about 5-10 minutes.  Add all ingredients to the Crock Pot.  Cook on LOW 6-8 hours.

That chilly nip in the evening Colorado air means only one thing- soup and stew season has arrived!!  Ok, so I might be stretching it a little.  A high temperature in the 60's is still a respectable number.  In a couple months it will feel down right balmy!  But for right now, it is shocking to leave the house in the morning without a jacket, so I officially declare the Crock Pot back in season.  Thanks for following throughout the sweltering summer months.  I know it is hard to think of pulling out your slow cooker in mid-August.  Hopefully if you thought it was too warm, you will now look back at some of the recipes and give them a try!

This was a good way to start the season!  Someone was talking about corn chowder and it sounded good to me, even though I have never seen or heard of corn chowder.  So, off to the Internet I go to research some recipes.  I am not always the biggest fan of creamy soups, so I was a little wary about using this recipe, but it didn't call for any milk or cream or butter.  Simple ingredients, simple recipe.  How could the recipe be bad when the first ingredient is bacon!?!?  I don't have much patience when it comes to dicing up potatoes, so my potato chunks were a little bigger than I would've liked.  Small chunks might have been a better choice.  After the chowder was cooking for awhile, it was not very "soupy", so I added another 1 cup of water.  This seemed to be perfect.  This tasted wonderful.  I'm not sure what corn chowder is supposed to look or taste like, but this recipe is a keeper!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 38 : Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 large cans of chicken, drained
2, 8 ou pkgs cream cheese 
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup buffalo sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese

Place all ingredients in the Crock Pot.  Cook on LOW, stirring frequently, until cheese is completely melted.

In honor of football season coming back around again, I decided to use a recipe appropriate for a fun football gathering.  Once again, this recipe went somewhere without my camera, so I used the picture from where the original recipe is found.  Thanks to Bree N. for bringing this one to my attention.  I didn't have measuring cups with me, so I used approximate amounts of all the ingredients- a whole bottle of Ranch dressing and about 3/4 bottle of buffalo sauce.  If I would have had the time, I think I would have used fresh chicken instead of the canned.  The canned tasted fine, but I think a rotisserie chicken or a couple pre-cooked and shredded breasts would be better.  As this is cooking, or when it cools down, it gets a strange orange "glow" to it- an oily film across the top.  Just keep stirring and this goes away!  I served this with Wheat Thins and celery sticks, but I'm sure there is lots of things you could find to dip in it.  I also thought about substituting half Ranch dressing and half Bleu cheese dressing and leaving out the cheddar, but decided to keep it as is for the first time I made it.  So, next time you are donning your favorite jersey and cheering for your home team, take a second to throw these few ingredients into your slow cooker!  Your fellow fanatics won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 37 : Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

6 cups milk
1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tea salt
1 vanilla bean, split
1 large egg
1/2 tea cinnamon
8 ou sour cream

Combine milk, rice, sugar, raisins, butter and salt in slow cooker.  Stir well.  Scrape inside of vanilla bean and add to the mixture.  Add empty bean as well.  Cook on HIGH 2 1/2- 4 hours or until the rice is tender.  Place egg in small bowl; whisk together with 1/2 cup warm rice.  Return to cooker and stir.  Mix in cinnamon and sour cream.  Discard vanilla bean.  Enjoy warm or cold.

Let me first admit that I forgot to take a pic of this recipe, so the picture above is not from this batch...however, rice pudding looks like rice with some vanilla and cinnamon in it!  The cooking time on this is a bit long I think, or the amount of milk is too little.  After 3 hours, all the milk was absorbed.  This made for a wonderful first serving right out of the pot.  However, after the leftovers cooled and absorbed the rest of the milk, this became a little thick.  To fix this problem, I just scooped a serving into a bowl and poured a little extra milk over the top, microwaved until warm and then stirred it back to its original consistency.  I even chose to eat this for breakfast...why not?  I don't eat oatmeal, so this seemed a good substitute!  I love how the raisins get nice and plump in here and was later thinking that adding golden raisins as well might add a little something.  Definitely use the whole vanilla bean.  I used half of one and I wish that I had more of a vanilla taste.  This recipe came from the Fix-It and Forget-It recipe book.  Use this for dessert or breakfast!!