Tag Archives: crock pot

The. Best. Recipe. Of. All. Times.

Everyone.

I have found… MY MOST FAVORITE RECIPE OF ALL TIMES!!! Or, more accurately, I feel like maybe I should call it “my most favorite FALL recipe of all times” as it’s warm and delicious and makes your house smell like happiness. But if it was a hot summer day and you have no air conditioning… it would be just more hot. You’d be hot. It’d make your house hot. Hot. Hot. Hot.

But that’s neither here nor there… because it’s getting cold and FALL HAS ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRIVED! It’s true. The Pumpkin Spice Latte told me so.

And you guys… This. Is. So. Amazingly. Easy.

Here’s what I’ve learned… there’s nothing like throwing some stuff in a crock pot and coming home later to a perfectly prepared meal with no work to do before being able to consume it.

This whole adventure started because I’d been craving soup (because that’s just what happens to me when winter is coming) and decided to go on the hunt for a soup recipe. First stop, the lovely SkinnyTaste blog. Why? Because this lady is not only genius, but loves the crockpot. And I love her for that. And after a few clicks, I found it. I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.

I mean, doesn’t that just sound like a cozy meal? Answer: Yes.

There’s 10 servings. Which means, you can eat it night one when you come home from work and then 9 days straight… OR you can place it in ziplock bags and throw it in the freezer to take out and easily throw it in the microwave at a later date. Or heck, you could probably make it for a group… but I just didn’t think ahead like that. And after tasting it, I was reluctant to share. It was that good.

Enough talking Betsy – get to the goods.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16-oz can black beans (I made the executive decision to drain them)
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans (I made the executive decision to drain them)
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker.

No big deal. Just threw a whole bunch of stuff into a crock pot and stirred it. Done.

No big deal. Just threw a whole bunch of stuff into a crock pot and stirred it. Done.

Place chicken on top and cover.

Seriously. You just set it on top. No cutting. No dicing. Yeah, you want to try this right now don't you?!

Seriously. You just set it on top. No cutting. No dicing. Yeah, you want to try this right now don’t you?!

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.

You come back... to this. Perfectly cooked, absolutely delish chicken.

You come back… to this. Perfectly cooked, absolutely delish chicken.

Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.

It just fell apart. Easily. With two forks. Perfectly. Cooked. Tender. Chicken.

It just fell apart. Easily. With two forks. Perfectly. Cooked. Tender. Chicken.

Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in  (I’m going to be perfectly honest here… I shred it. And then put it directly into my stomach. Ain’t nobody got patience to WAIT AROUND FOR FUN when the meal is ready… Just sayin’). 

If you're wondering if this is the point where I just dipped a cracker into the crock pot... you know... to just sample it... then you'd be wondering correctly...

If you’re wondering if this is the point where I just dipped a cracker into the crock pot… you know… to just sample it… then you’d be wondering correctly…

Top with fresh cilantro (Um… yeah… I skipped that). Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream (Or high fat cheese. Or no cheese. Whatever strikes your fancy).

And are you ready to see the final product?!

Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum. Best meal I've ever made.

Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum. Best meal I’ve ever made.

I just put some on a plate. Added a little sour cream. A dabble of cheese and then scooped it up with crackers. She suggests rice or noodles as other alternatives (as in – put some rice at the bottom of the bowl and throw chili over it).

I will give you one quick PSA. I KNEW that when you opened cans you were supposed to be careful of the jagged edge. But this time, I really learned my lesson (scroll quick if blood makes you queasy!).

Ouch. Plain and simple.

Ouch. Plain and simple.

Here’s the trouble with hurting yourself in the kitchen. You’re working with food and suddenly you’re bleeding everywhere. It’s just a messy scenario. So don’t do it. Go ahead and just be careful with freshly opened cans and save yourself the frantic search for the Disney Princess bandaids. You’re welcome in advance!

It has honestly been my kitchen favorite and I can tell you right now, I’ll be using this often this winter. Group dinner? Check. Feeling cold because my windows leak cold air like it’s their job? Done. Feeling lazy and don’t want to make dinner every night for the week? Pray answered!

Got any great crock pot recipes I need to try on another cold day? I think this crock pot and I are going to have a very very happy fall together!

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Pinterest Challenge – Buffalo Chicken Wraps and Baked Pickles

I have always admired the Skinny Taste blog. This girl is great. She does a new recipe a day. She takes things people love and alters them slightly to make it a wee bit healthier… and then reports basically all nutrition information. It’s a great idea. And if you subscribe to her blog – you get a new recipe in your inbox every day. A clever way to discover meals that you’d never consider making!

This time – I was attempting the Buffalo Chicken Wraps and her Baked Pickles (which were like fried pickles… only more healthy). And the buffalo chicken? Made in a crock pot. #winning

It's healthy. And delicious.

It’s healthy. And delicious.

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 celery stalk (didn’t have… so didn’t use)
  • 1/2 onion, diced (didn’t have… so didn’t use)
  • 1 clove garlic (didn’t have… so didn’t use)
  • 16 oz fat-free low sodium chicken broth (I think you most likely need WAY more, maybe go with two cans?)
  • 1/2 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used more here too… wanted more of a kick)

For the wraps:

  • 6 large lettuce leaves, Bibb or Iceberg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (I just did one carrot… it’s all for the look anyway… right)
  • 2 large celery stalks, cut into 2 inch match sticks (whoops. consider that forgotten)
  • (I added blue cheese. Come on, with buffalo chicken wraps? It’s basically a requirement)

Directions:

In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn’t enough). Cover and cook on high 4 hours.

Poor dented little crock pot.

Poor dented little crock pot.

Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest. Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup broth and the hot sauce and set to on high for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 3 cups chicken.

To prepare lettuce cups, place 1/2 cup buffalo chicken in each leaf, top with 1/4 cup shredded carrots, celery and dressing of your choice. Wrap up and start eating!

You guys. This chicken was the bomb.com. I used it the entire rest of the week on salads and in random other things. So good. This recipe I absolutely suggest!

But the chicken wraps themself don’t make for a very glamorous dinner. So I added the baked pickles. Here’s the thing, I LOVE fried pickles. I’m not sure whoever thought – yeah let’s take this salty semi-tangy thing, bread it and then FRY it. But I like that person. That person deserves a gold star. High five dude.

Oven “Fried” Pickles (she had a homemade ranch with this, I skipped it and went for the store-bought kind)

Ingredients:

  • 2 -16 oz jars (48 slices) sliced oval dill hamburger pickles, I used Vlasic (warning – this is a lot of pickles – I mean, don’t try to eat this alone)
  • 1/2 cup of Panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika (I used regular paprika)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder  (who has this? not this girl. I went with chili powder, it was already in the spice rack)
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley (skipped it)
  • 1/8th tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg white
  • olive oil spray (about 1 tsp)

Directions:

Place pickles to drain on paper towels (you’re going to need a lot of paper towels). Mix crumbs and flour together along with paprika, parsley, and half the chipotle powder and salt. Whisk eggs and egg whites in a bowl and season with remaining chipotle powder. Dip pickles in egg mixture and then into the crumb mix, pressing down on the crumbs.

So... so... many pickles. Pickles for days! P.s. These pickles = not good reheated. Just sayin.

So… so… many pickles. Pickles for days! P.s. These pickles = not good reheated. Just sayin.

Heat oven to 450°F along with 2 baking sheets. When the oven reaches 450°, remove baking sheets and spray with olive oil spray; place pickles on the baking sheets and spray the tops of the pickles with the more oil.  Bake 8-10 minutes, turn and spray if needed and cook an additional five minutes. Remove pickles from cooking sheet and serve hot with ranch dip.

Here’s the deal. The baked ones were good. But someone in the kitchen (it wasn’t me I swear) started frying up some of those pickles. And boy oh boy were those tasty.

Whoops. Where did that pan and all that oil come from?!

Whoops. Where did that pan and all that oil come from?!

Yum. To die for delicious.

So – if you’re maybe not on a health kick, I might get out the vegetable oil and have that on hand if you get tired of waiting for the pickles to bake…

Overall, I liked every part of this, and I think the pickles would be a great dish for a big gathering. And the chicken will absolutely happen again as something to eat for lunches for the rest of the week. Yum. Thank goodness for that crock pot… and for Skinny Taste!

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The Crock Pot

Of course security would search through my crockpot bag. Hope that gave someone a laugh...

Crock pot, Tupperware and clothes. That’s what everyone carries in their suitcase… right?!

I bought a crock pot many moons ago and I rarely used the thing. It just sat in a cupboard getting dusty. Because what on earth would you use a crock pot for? It’s sad friends. But we all know it’s true.

Moving on…

Here’s what I learned a couple of months ago. You can put something in the crock pot at the beginning of the day… and then you get home… and it’s just ready to eat. Genius. So smart.

Well, when I moved, I left the crock pot in Lincoln. Not purposefully. I just wasn’t thinking about it. But now that I’m cooking up a storm, I was really craving that crock pot.

So my last trip home was a short weekend, but I decided to pack not too many things in a large suitcase, so that when I flew back – I’d have a room to put the crock pot in my suitcase. Man, how smart am I? This saved me from buying a new one – or paying someone to ship me my old one. This option was FREE!

Things I didn’t consider:

  • The throwing of my suitcase
  • Potential damage to my crock pot
  • How the guy/gal in security would feel when they opened the luggage and saw a crock pot in there. Don’t worry, I’m not smuggling drugs, just cooking supplies…

I got home and ended up with some broken Tupperware and a largely dented crock pot. Great news – it still gets hot – and there’s nothing wrong with the inner bowl. And did I mention… this option was FREE.

Now, every time I look at that crock pot I will smile. And think of how clever I thought I was being. Oh the good old days…

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