Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wonderful Crockpot Alfredo recipe

Crockpot Alfredo Tomato

  • 2 jars Alfredo Sauce (I recommend only Classico brand; I've tried many) or homemade Alfredo (takes just 10 minutes)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  1. Place breasts in the crockpot, cover with sauce and tomatoes.
  2. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6.
  3. Serve over noodles.
This is so good! It thickens as it stands. This is a meal everyone loved. I use just 1 jar and 1 chicken breast with the 1 can tomatoes and that makes enough for our family!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crockpot Refried Beans and Black Beans=Heaven

Crockpot Refried Beans (Bean and Cheese Enchilada recipe follows)
  • 16 oz bag dry pinto beans (4 cups dry)

  1. Rinse beans (maybe they're dirty? I don't know...), soak them covered with water for an hour or how much time you have, (I did an hour successfully), rinse them off again, then place them in the crockpot.
  2. Add 6 cups water and cook on high 5 hours, or until soft.
  3. Throw in 1/2 T seasoning salt, 1/2 T garlic salt, 1/2 t onion powder, 1/2 t cumin and 1 T chili powder for the last half hour.
  4. I then blended the entirety of the crock pot in my blender until mostly smooth. I like no lumpy beans, but you can choose your own consistency. You can remove excess liquid from the crockpot before pureeing if desired. Really easy and I was eating these beans like ice cream! Well, not with the exact passion but these were some seriously good, fresh, yummy beans!
I never thought I would use bagged beans. It always just seemed like something that would take too much time. Well, it does take time, but the crockpot is doing all the work and you just have to factor that into your day. The beans are SO MUCH better than canned, and the enchiladas we made with them were heavenly. Not bad for a 2 dollar bag of beans! And there are a lot of beans leftover!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 cans water (from tomato sauce can)
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/8 t. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk flour with tomato sauce in saucepan until lumps are gone.
  2. Add the rest of ingredients and heat slowly until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
Assemble enchiladas: (you know what to do)

I like using the tortillas I cook myself, but any will do. You can also use canned enchilada sauce, but this sauce is great and it's fast to make. 13x9 pan, cover about 3/4 c. of enchilada sauce on bottom of pan. If desired, add green chiles to refried beans. Place about 1/4 c. beans on tortilla, then sprinkle with cheddar cheese, roll up and place in pan. Do the same with remaining tortillas. Add remaining sauce and cheese on top (and olives if desired). Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes.

These were awesome enchiladas and the leftovers were excellent! Give this a try!

Slow Cooker Black Beans
(from 365 days of slowcooking)
1 cup dry black beans
1 Tbsp Shirley J Chicken bouillon or 2 Tbsp regular bouillon granules
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
7 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1.  Rinse beans and soak them overnight in plenty of water.  They will expand and become a bit soft.
2.  Drain the beans and pour them into the slow cooker.  Fill the slow cooker with water, about 2-3 inches above the beans.
3.  Add in bouillon, dried onion, garlic cloves, salt and bay leaf.
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
5.  Fish out the garlic cloves and the bay leaf.  Add in 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar. 
6.  Use a slotted spoon and serve.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Everyone's got a version..

Chicken Divan

  • 2-3 bunches of broccoli florets - cooked, or 1 bag frozen, thawed
  • 3 c. shredded chicken
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t- 2 T. curry powder (optional, what you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. water (if you'd like to thin out your sauce a bit)
  • bread crumbs for topping or cracker crumbs
  • 1 c. cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot with a steamer insert, bring salt water to a boil. Steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper. Whisk together to make a sauce.
  3. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with pam and add chicken and broccoli. Pour about 3/4 the sauce over the top and stir in, then add the rest of the sauce and stir.
  4. In a small bowl combine remaining cheese and bread crumbs/crackers and sprinkle over the top.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
This is a recipe that everyone has under one title or another. We really enjoy this meal, and it is one of the ways I can get myself to eat broccoli happily. You can use as much or as little sauce as desired, I like more sauce ratio to chicken/broccoli. Maybe if I can make it saucy enough I can serve it over rice sometime, which I think would be fun too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A good mexi crockpot recipe

Crockpot Chicken with Beans and Cream Cheese
( from recipezaar.com)

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 8 oz cream cheese (I used light, but I think fat-free could also work!)
  1. Place chicken in crockpot, then add salsa, beans and corn.
  2. Cook on high for a few hours, or until chicken is done.
  3. Add cream cheese and cook for another half hour, or until blended.
  4. Serve over rice or tortilla chips with cheese, sour cream , or whatever.
This was a lot like my snowman chili recipe but this used salsa instead of canned tomatoes and didn't use any cannelloni beans. But honestly, this is a good recipe! Very delicious. On recipezaar it got about 800 4 1/2 star reviews (out of 5). Fast, easy, good...what more can one want??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wendy's Chili recipe

Wendy's Chili
(from recipezaar.com)
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (29 ounce) can kidney beans (with liquid)
  • 1 (29 ounce) can pinto beans (with liquid)
  • 1 cup diced onion ( 1 medium onion)
  • 1/2 cup diced green chili pepper (2 chilies)
  • 1/4 cup diced celery (1 stalk)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water
  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Drain off the fat.
  3. In a large pot, combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  4. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.
Well, I don't go to Wendy's to get their chili...who goes to a place specializing in fast food and frostys and comes out with chili? Or a baked potato for that matter? However, I have tried it, and enjoyed it. I don't make chili that often but when we have it, I want it to be good. This recipe hit that spot. Scale down the cumin/chili powder/green chili/black pepper to own family's preference.

Kid-friendly (really!) enchiladas

Beef & Brown Sugar Enchiladas(from recipeclub.blogspot.com)

  • 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar-- or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 10-12 flour tortillas
  1. Brown ground beef in a large pan. Drain off fat & add refried beans, 1/2 of the enchilada sauce, brown sugar & onion powder. Mix well & bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  2. Fill one tortilla with about 1/4 of a cup of filling & 2 Tbsp. cheese. Roll up & place in a 9x13 pan. Repeat process until pan is full.
  3. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over prepared enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, diced onions, shredded lettuce, avocado or guacamole.
Our in-home enchilada hater (Anika) even liked these! She didn't realize they were enchiladas until the next day. I had to try this recipe because of the brown sugar. I try every main dish recipe that uses it! These don't come off overly sweet, but do err on the side of less brown sugar and add to what flavor you like. The red sauce adds subtle spiciness to offset any sweet, as does the Mexican blend cheese, if you use that. I liked the beans mixed in with the beef. Made the consistency better than just beef, imo. Plus it tasted good. Of course I used uncooked tortillas! They only take a few minutes to get ready, and they taste so much better than regular torts!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Try some puff pastry for a change

Herbed Chicken in Puff Pastry
  • 2-3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I used chicken from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 pkg Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. water
  • 1 container (4 oz.) garlic & herb spreadable cheese (I found this in the cheese section, Philadelphia brand..the other flavors would work too)
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

  1. Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 min. Mix egg and water. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14" square and cut into 4 (7") squares. Spread about 2 T. of the cheese spread in center of each square. Sprinkle with 1 T. parsley and top with cooled chicken. Brush edges of squares with egg mixture. Fold each corner to center on top of chicken and seal edges. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture.
  3. Bake 25 min. or until golden.
These were good. It was fun to use puff pastry- I hadn't ever used it before. It's located in the freezer section by the whipped topping and ice cream (well, at my store). Definitely don't skimp on the cheese spread...it adds a lot of flavor. It will be fun to experiment with some more recipes with this pastry, desserts too. I liked the flakiness and flavor. Very fun!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An awesome dessert

Apple Dumplings

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples (I used Braeburn)
  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 2 sticks butter (yikes, I know)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • 1 small can Mountain Dew (or about a cup)
  1. Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each.
  2. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
  3. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples.
  4. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 25-40 minutes (mine was about 30). Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.
This was super easy to make and though I was a bit worried about how the crescent roll would do, and if the apples would be tender enough, and the Mt. Dew addition...it was all beautiful. So great with ice cream. You can also stick two slices of apple in each roll if you want to feel more healthy. Ha...really yummy.

Choco Peanut Butter Bars

Buckeye Bars
(adapted from kraft.com)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I got away with 1/4 c.)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 22 Nilla Wafers, crushed (3/4 c.) (graham crackers work too, enough for 3/4 c.)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 of 8-oz. tub Whipped Topping
  • 2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Line 8-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Beat butter and peanut butter with mixer until blended. Mix in wafer crumbs. Gradually add sugar, mixing well after each addition. Press onto bottom of pan.
  2. Microwave whipped topping and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on high 1 min; stir. Microwave 15 to 30 sec. or until chocolate is melted; stir until blended. Spread over peanut butter layer.
  3. Refrigerate 2 hours. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting to serve.
These are rich little bars, as you can probably tell by the list of ingredients! They are tasty, though. Something akin to Reese's....quick to make. The pb layer is about half the size as the picture I got on the internet, but of course you could make whatever ratio pb-choc as you prefer.