Monday, February 28, 2011

Cowboy Beans

This recipe is my mother-in-law's. It's one of Hubby's favorite meals, and ever since I joined their family it's become a favorite of mine. It's great served with corn bread.

Cowboy Beans

1/4 lb. (4 oz) crumbled bacon
1 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey  (no need to cook it first, toss it in frozen or thawed)
small onion, chopped
1 can (16 oz) pork & beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz) lima beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, undrained
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. ketchup
1 tsp. mustard

Microwave bacon & crumble. Brown meat and onions. In large crockpot add all ingredients and stir until blended. Cook in crockpot on LOW for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

**Note: If you put the groud beef/turkey in raw and let it cook, you will probably have to skim the grease off the top before serving. However, if you cook the beef/turkey in the crock pot the results are so much better!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup

Hubby, my sweet non-soup eater, has declared this "the BEST soup you've ever made!"

The changes I made are at the bottom of the recipe...because as we all know, I rarely follow a recipe completely! :)

Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup
(Recipe courtesy of The Food Network)

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 packages chicken tenders, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
1 Tbsp. coriander, a palm full
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, 5 to 6 sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large bell pepper, quartered & thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded & thinly sliced
1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 bag white corn tortilla chips
1 cup shredded pepper Jack or sharp white Cheddar
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 lime, juiced
4 scallions, chopped
Handful fresh cilantro leaves or fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add chicken, begin to brown 4 minutes, add coriander, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste, onions, bell pepper and jalapeno, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and stock, heat through.

While the soup is working, lightly crush some tortilla chips and divide among 4 bowls. You need a couple of handfuls per bowl. Top the chips with a little cheese. Toss the avocado with lime juice. Top the chips with ladles of soup. Garnish soup with avocado, scallions and cilantro or parsley.
My changes:
  • used 3 chicken breasts, next time I'll use a rotisserie chicken for even more flavor.
  • I didn't have coriander so I omitted it
  • added cumin and garlic powder
  • added a can of yellow corn
  • used dried thyme
  • omitted scallions, parsley, and cilantro
  • used cheddar cheese

Caramel Pecan Pie

I normally only make this during the fall, but it's such a great recipe that I thought I'd share it with you. It's a ridiculously easy pie to make and so very YUMMY!

Caramel Pecan Pie

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 (12 oz) jar of caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 (9 in) unbaked pie shell

In mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Add sugar, stir until dissolved. Stir in topping and butter; mix well. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until set. Cool completely before serving. Store left overs (if there are any!) in the refrigerator

Chunky Taco Soup

Chunky Taco Soup

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
2 cups water
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) cream-style corn
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 envelope taco seasoning

In a large pot, brown beef and onion; drain fat. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.

Spicy Cheese Soup

This recipe is a must for the fall and winter. It doesn't get any easier for a crock-pot recipe! Just brown the meat, open the cans and dump it all in!! The juices from the canned veggies give all the liquid needed for the soup, so don't drain them!

I don't add the jalepeno because we don't like it super spicy.

Spicy Cheese Soup

1 lb processed cheese cube (like Velveeta)
1 lb ground beef, cooked & drained
1 (8.75 oz) can whole kernel corn, do not drain
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, do not drain
1 jalepeno pepper, seed & dice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilis, do not drain
1 (15.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, do not drain
1 envelope taco seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a 4.5 - 5.5 qt crock pot.

Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours.

Serve with sour cream and corn chips.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

You must make this just for the simple fact of using only 3 ingredients!

I put the pork on buns, but feel free to serve in whatever way your heart desires. It freezes great too!


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 (2 lb) pork tenderloin
1 can or bottle of root beer
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Place the pork in the crock pot; pour root beer over the pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or until well cooked and shreds easily.

Drain well. Shred meat; stir in BBQ sauce.


Updated 6/22/11: I recently made this with a pork butt (which is actually a pork shoulder). This is SO much better using the shoulder than a tenderloin. You will have to remove the bone, but it is only one and it's pretty large. The meat is so much more flavorful and tender...also, pork butts are much cheaper than tenderloins! :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is such a yummy, perfect-for-winter soup. Beware, this is not exactly friendly for your New Year's resolution to lose weight...but, it is SO worth it! :) It's that good!


Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 whole Chicken Breasts (no need to cook them first, toss them in frozen or thawed)
4 cans Cream Of Chicken Soup (10 Ounce Cans)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes And Chiles (10 Ounce Can)
2 cups Milk
2 cups Half-and-half
1 pound Mexican (or Regular) Velveeta
Tortilla Chips

This makes a lot, so use at least a 5 qt crock pot.

Mix all ingredients (except tortilla chips) together in crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Before serving, remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Return chicken to pot and stir into soup. Serve over tortilla chips.


My changes:
  • Added taco seasoning

Easy Chicken Divan

Here's a great recipe for an easy weeknight meal!

Easy Chicken Divan

2 (10 oz) pkgs. frozen broccoli spears
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cooked and cubed
2 (10 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook broccoli (either steam or boil) until tender; drain. Place broccoli in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Put chicken over broccoli. Combine soup, mayo, broth, and lemon juice; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ground Beef Stroganoff

This very easy recipe that can be made in less than 30 minutes. It serves three but can easily be doubled or tripled.


Ground Beef Stroganoff

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
3 cups cooked egg noodles
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream

In a large skillet, cook the beef, mushrooms, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Reduce heat. Stir in noodles and sour cream; heat through.

3 Servings

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce Muffins

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups applesauce (I use unsweetened)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins

In a bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice and baking soda; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, applesauce and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack.

This reciped makes 2 dozen so there will be plenty to freeze.

Monterey Chicken and Potatoes

I received this recipe from my friend, Heather.

Monterey Chicken with Potatoes

6 medium red potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup butter, melted and divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup salsa


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil.
Toss potatoes with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter until coated. Arrange in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove pan from oven, and push potatoes out to the sides of the dish. Place the chicken breast halves in the dish. Stir together the remaining butter and lime juice. Brush onto chicken. Return to the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. In a small bowl, toss together the cheese, cilantro and salsa. Sprinkle over the chicken and potatoes. Return to the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve with lime wedges.


My changes:

*Hubby doesn't care for cilantro so I usually put in on only one half or just omit it

*I dice the chicken before cooking

*I use russet baking potatoes and leave the skins on (just wash them really well)

*I don't separate the baking time; I add the potatoes and chicken at the beginning and let it cook

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Hubby told me a long time ago that he really liked Brussel sprouts. Of course, he hadn't had them since he was little but wanted to try them again. I hadn't had them since I was young too, but I didn't really remember thinking they were that great.

I decided to give them a try so a while ago I steamed some and added cheese. The results? Not that great. Some were bitter and they were just OK.

Well, I started seeing and hearing about roasted Brussel sprouts. I read lots of recipes online and I decided to give them another try. The results? AMAZING!!!

These are SO good! I've made them many times now and they just keep getting better. Most of the recipes I read said to roast them for about 40 minutes. I've found that is too long...they burn. 25 minutes works great for me.

Fresh brussel sprouts
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut off the ends of the Brussel sprouts and slice them in half. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt & pepper. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender.