Thursday, February 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

I've been trying a lot of Crock Pot stuff lately can you tell?
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Yield: 4 - 5 servings
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (3 - 15 oz cans)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed, finely crushed*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Saltine crackers or parmesan cheese, for serving (optional) 
  • To a slow cooker, add chicken (un-cut), diced carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over top then add in chicken broth, water, thyme, rosemary, celery seed, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat 6 - 7 hours.
  • Remove cooked chicken and allow to rest 10 minutes, then dice into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, add egg noodles and parsley to slow cooker. Increase temperature to high, cover and cook 10 minutes longer (or until noodles are tender). Stir in lemon juice and toss in cooked, diced chicken. Serve warm with saltine crackers or top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
  • *I just crushed the rosemary in the palm of my hand then for the celery seed, I placed it in a ziploc bag and crushed it with the flat side of a meat mallet.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Easy Pad Thai

I'm not sure if any of your even like Thai food, BUT if you do this turned out pretty yummy. PS-I doubled the sauce recipe cause they recommended it. 

Easy Pad Thai

(adapted from Everyday Food)
Serves 4

8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 squirt (about 1/8 teaspoon) Sriracha (optional)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  1. Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to a plate.
  5. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.
  6. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.

Notes and variations

  • Per serving: 315 calories, 7g fat (0.9g saturated fat), 3.6g protein, 60.5g carb, 1.4g fiber
  • Per serving: $1.50 or less.
  • As long as you use a gluten-free soy sauce, this is a gluten-free recipe.
  • Vegetarian, even. Skip the eggs for vegan.
  • If you’re a carnivore try this: While the noodles are soaking, cut up 1 small chicken breast (or half of one of the colossal ones) into bite sized pieces. Marinate the chicken in a little bit of soy sauce and garlic (or make a little extra of the sauce for the noodles and marinate the chicken in that). OR: use shrimp (marinate same as chicken)… heck, use both. Cook them before you add the noodles to the pan.
  • Leftovers: heat in the microwave or toss in a hot skillet for a minute to warm the noodles. Not asgood as the first day but with a little extra lime juice, it makes a nice leftover-lunch.

Crock Pot no Boil Manicotti

Crock pot no Boil Manicotti
  • Filling Ingredients (Place inside a gallon size freezer bag):
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
  • Add: 1 ½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1-8oz. package manicotti
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Jar or can of favorite marinara sauce (I use the $1 can Hunts marinara when I don't have homemade on hand)
  • cooking spray
  1. Combine filling ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag and gently knead until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Clip a small corner, about 1/2", of the bag.Spray crock pot.
  3. Spread about 1/2 cup sauce in crock pot . Pipe all cheese and place in crock pot.
  4. Pour remaining sauce on top. covering completely.
  5. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Crock on high for about 2 hours until shells are fork tender. Times vary so check to make sure it's not dry.
  7. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese the last thirty minutes of cooking time

Love me some easy Crock Pot recipes for sundays. Easy Peasy!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

15 min sweet and sour chicken

This is my go to recipe when I need dinner in 15 min or less. It's perfect for the end of the payday week. It seems that when the cupboards are empty there's always the ingredients available for this meal. 
 Mel's original recipe bakes hers for an hour to create this thick amazing sticky chicken. I cut that out and just pour the whole thing in the skillet and add a slurry to make it thick. We've discovered a new technique to make it even faster. Mix the corn starch and egg together to make a frying batter. Totally skips an extra step. Love it. 

Recipe is from 

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola, vegetable or coconut oil
  • Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken.
  2. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot and rippling. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet.
  3. Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side until the crust is golden but the chicken is not all the way cooked through (this is where it's really important to have a hot skillet. 
  4. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken. Simmer in the frying pan until the chicken in cooked through. If you like a thicker sauce add a cornstarch water slurry. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tex-mex casserole

This recipe is from

My changes are: 
-Used only 1 tsp chili powder (it's not my favorite flavor and I felt like 2T was tons. It was perfect. 
-used flour tortillas and just left them whole. 
-halfed the entire recipe and only used 4 tortillas. Fit perfectly in an 8x8. 
-used the juice of an entire lime (we love lime)
-left out the oil and butter a non stick skillet worked great and after draining the ground beef there was a little bit of grease residue to be nonstick. 

Tex mex casserole 

  • 14 corn tortillas cut into thirds
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 large poblano chile, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Arrange the cut tortillas in a single layer on two large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake the tortillas until slightly crisp, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef or turkey with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper breaking the meat up into bite-sized pieces. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Scrape the meat onto a plate and wipe the skillet clean (you may need to drain off excess grease from the meat depending on the fat content).
  4. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil and stir in the onion, bell pepper, poblano, corn and garlic. Cook until the veggies are softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir the flour, chile powder, cumin and coriander into the vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Line the bottom of the greased baking pan with 1/3 of the baked tortillas. Layer with 1/3 of the meat and then 1/3 of the veggie/sauce mixture and then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheeses. Repeat that process again twice more ending with the cheeses.
  6. Bake the casserole until hot and bubbly, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes or so before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

S'more Bars

I got assigned to make these for our New Beginnings for Young Womens. (We had a camping/hunting theme) They turned out so much better than I thought. I kinda like s'mores depending on my mood, but I loved these. They mix all the flavors so much better than a regular s'more. 

Easy No-Bake Milk Chocolate S’More Bars

10 mins
5 mins
120 mins
16 bars
With only five ingredients, these no-bake s’more bars will quickly become a family favorite. Kids will love the ooey-gooey goodness of the marshmallows, graham crackers and melted milk chocolate morsels. Moms will love how quick and easy these are to make.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morselsdivided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (about 2 cups) whole graham crackers, broken into 1/2-inch pieces


LINE 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan with foil leaving an overhang on two sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

HEAT 6 cups marshmallows, butter and salt in large, heavy-duty saucepan over medium- low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup morsels; stir until melted.

WORKING QUICKLY, stir in graham cracker pieces, remaining 2 cups marshmallows and 3/4 cup morsels. Spread mixture into prepared baking pan with greased spatula, pressing down lightly. Cool for 2 hours or until set. Lift from pan; peel off foil. Cut into squares with serrated knife.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wingers sauce copycat

I make this on a weekly basic. We inhale it with everything. This is only enough for the 2 of us. 1/2 c brown sugar 2-3 T Franks Hot Sauce: has to be franks 1 t apple cider vinegar 1 T corn syrup Bring to a boil and only boil for 1 min. If it cools it sort of sets up in a thick gel mess. Which is fine but we usually eat it fresh and soft. Doesn't make good leftovers. I've made it without corn syrup before and it's fine. Slightly runnier texture.