Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Alright so I have one more soup/chili recipe to post before it definitely gets too warm to make anymore!  I LOVED this recipe! It is SO easy because you just throw everything in the crock pot and then let it sit all day.  And it tastes SO good! Very creamy and delicious! I even used frozen chicken breasts and it turned out wonderful.  One tip for shredding the chicken when it is cooked- throw the chicken into a kitchenaid mixer straight from the crock pot and set the speed to low/medium for around 20 seconds.  You will then have beautifully shredded chicken in seconds! The best tip I've seen on Pinterest so far!

 Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
from Plain Chicken, adapted from Tried and Tasty

1 can black beans
1 can corn, undrained
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8 oz package light cream cheese
2 chicken breasts

Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken at bottom of pot, then pour out whole can of corn (undrained), rotel, and black beans. Top with seasonings and ranch mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir cream cheese into chili. Use 2 forks to shred chicken. Stir together and serve.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

I actually made these around Christmastime last year and have just not gotten around to posting them! But I made this recipe that I found in a Land O' Lakes recipe magazine on my our annual "bake day" and they were really yummy! Cranberry and orange blend beautifully together, that's for sure!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars


1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine butter and brown sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, oats and orange zest. Beat until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture.

Firmly press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add whipping cream and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over hot, partially baked crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture gently over filling. Continue baking for 27 to 30 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool completely; cut into bars. Store refrigerated.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cheesy Sloppy Joes

Lately things have been tight financially for my hubby and I since my hubby is preparing to apply for dental school and we are both finishing up our last year as students at ASU.  However, I will never give up my passion and hobby known as cooking, no matter how tight money gets.  There are such things called inexpensive dinners, and this is one of them.  Plus, was pretty quick to put together and much better than sloppy joes made with Mamwich brand sauce that I grew up on!

Cheesy Sloppy Joes

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 whole wheat buns
  • 4 slices provolone cheese (in place of this I used shredded Monterey Jack and it worked great)
  • Brown the ground beef. (If you want softer green peppers, cook them with the ground beef.) Drain and let sit.
  • In the same skillet, add the tomato sauce, minced onion, minced garlic, vinegar, mustard and brown sugar. Stir and let simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.  Add the brown beef and (uncooked or cooked) green peppers and combine. Simmer over low heat for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until ready to serve.
  • Spoon the sloppy joe meat over the buns and top cheese. Let the warm sauce melt the cheese, or microwave.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Banana Nut Oatmeal Smoothie

I haven't really tried many smoothie recipes as I usually just rely on Jamba Juice when I get a smoothie craving.  HOWEVER, this smoothie was really impressive, super easy and healthy too.

I added about 1/2 tablespoons of chunky peanut butter to the original recipe, which I think added a bit more nuttiness and creaminess.  Delicious!

Banana Nut Oatmeal Smoothie
  • 2 whole ripe bananas (best with brown flecks on peel)
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 1/3 cup Yogurt - preferably Greek yogurt flavored with honey
  • 1/2 cup Cooked oatmeal  (I just cooked up a packet of plain Quaker oatmeal)
  • 1/3 cup Almonds 
  • 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
Pour all ingredients in the blender, pouring in ice last.  Blend for about 30 seconds or until it is smooth.   Serves 2.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

It's getting warmer here in Mesa and chili/soup season is almost over!  I'm almost a little sad about the cool weather disappearing... until I think of summer and all that it entails! I cannot wait for a break from school, the beach, swimming, baking yummy summer treats and eating ice cream of course!

But before you get ahead of yourself, go ahead and make this scrumptious soup from Jamie Cooks it Up!  She has an awesome blog and I definitely want to try more of her recipes.  This one is SO easy because you can throw it in the crock pot and can even use FROZEN chicken breasts! Now that is my style :)

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Time: 10 min. hands on + 4-6 hours crock pot cooking
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

1 (14.5 ounce) can Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
2 (15 ounce) cans corn
1/2 C onion, chopped
1/2 C red or green pepper, chopped
2 chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 C milk
4 bullion cubes (or 4 t bullion granules)
1/2 t lime juice (can be bottled)
1/3 C sour cream
2 T butter

Tortilla Chips
cheddar cheese
1. Pour the whole can of stewed tomatoes into your crock pot, juice included. Diced tomatoes work best...but if you only have whole stewed tomatoes, like me :)...then stick some kitchen scissors into the pot and cut up your tomatoes.
2. Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to the pot.
3. Drain the corn and add them as well.
4. Roughly chop up 1/2 C onion and 1/2 C of red or green pepper and toss them in.
5. Pour the enchilada sauce into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the cream of chicken soup, 2 1/2 C milk and then crumble the bullion cubes over the top.
6. Whisk it all together until nice and smooth.
7. Place two chicken breasts over the vegetables in your crock pot. (I used frozen)
8. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken.
9. Cover your crock and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8, depending on how fast your crock pot cooks things.
10. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate. Shred it with a fork.
11. Add the 1/2 t lime juice, 1/3 C sour cream and 2 T butter to the soup. Whisk it in until the butter has melted and the sour cream is well combined.
12. Toss your chicken back into the pot, give it a stir and you are ready to eat.
Serve with tortilla chips and cheddar cheese. Cilantro and avocado are also fabulous.


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