Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Little Slab'll Do Ya

Anyone out there have home grown apples that they need to use up? Well, my mom and sister-in-law did. I picked a few and here is one of the things I made with them.

Apple Slab Pie



1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
9 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (9 medium)


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces


Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove pie crusts from pouches. On lightly floured surface, unroll and stack crusts one on top of the other. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle.

Fit crust into ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra crust even with edges of pan.

In large bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and apple pie spice. Stir in apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture into crust-lined pan.

In medium bowl, mix Streusel ingredients, cutting in butter with fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over apples.

Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until crust is golden brown, filling is bubbling, and streusel is browned. Cool on cooling rack 45 minutes before serving.

Source: Pillsbury website. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. It was just as much work as making an apple pie (because, let's face it, it takes a long time to peel and slice apples), but much easier to control the portion size this way. Really tasty stuff! Plus, this is great to make for a crowd.

More Pasta Salad

Pasta is my favorite comfort food. I will take it in any form. Pasta salad is always a good form to go with!

Chef John's BLT Pasta


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2/3 cup creme fraiche
2 cups ditalini pasta
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
4 cups baby arugula, coarsely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, or to taste (optional)


Pour olive oil into a heavy skillet over medium heat, add bacon, and cook until almost crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off heat. Hold a paper towel with tongs and mop up excess bacon grease with the paper towel, leave about 2 teaspoons bacon grease in the skillet.

Stir minced garlic and lemon zest into bacon in the skillet and let cook in residual heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir creme fraiche into bacon mixture.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and stir in 2 cups of ditalini. Cook till tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and add pasta to the skillet. Stir pasta thoroughly into bacon and creme fraiche mixture.

Return skillet to medium heat. Add tomatoes; cook and stir until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Mix in arugula, stirring until wilted, about 30 seconds, and turn off heat.

Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir again and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by Chef John. You can find it here.

Notes: We didn't use ditalini pasta. We used penne. This was really good. A great summery side dish.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Not Your Same Old Pasta Salad


This pasta is very summery, and definitely on the sweet side, but it is a very nice side dish, and a different way to use your garden fresh cucumbers.

Kim's Summer Cucumber Pasta Salad


1 (8 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the bow tie pasta at a boil, stirring occasionally, until cooked through yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and rinse several times with cold water until pasta is cool.

Stir pasta, cucumber, onion, and dill in a salad bowl. Whisk vinegar, sugar, water, vegetable oil, mustard, salt, and black pepper in a separate bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour dressing over the pasta mixture and toss lightly to coat with dressing. Let chill for 2 hours before serving.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by mmihlbachler. You can find it here.

Notes: I liked this. I personally would have cut down the sugar a little, but you can do that to your own taste. Very refreshing and summery!

Strawberry Shortcake Makeover

Don't you just love strawberry shortcake? It is so summery. So, why not re-imagine things and put the flavors into a different form? Well, here you go.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Bars


1 package Pillsbury Ready To Bake refrigerated sugar cookies
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1 tablespoon)
4 oz frozen (thawed) whipped topping (half 8-oz container)
1 3/4 cups chopped fresh strawberries


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.

Remove cookies from package; place cookies on cookie sheet. bake 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack; cool completely. (To speed up process, refrigerate cookies about 1 hour).

Meanwhile, line 11x7-inch pan with cooking parchment paper.

Once cookies are cool, place in food processor. Cover; pulse a few times until all cookies are crumbled. Reserve 1 cup of the cookie crumble. Pour remaining cookie crumbs into pan; press in bottom of pan to form crust.

In mixer bowl with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add gelatin; stir to combine.

With rubber spatula, fold whipped topping and 1 cup of the chopped strawberries into cream cheese mixture. Spread over cookie crust. Top with remaining chopped strawberries.

Sprinkle reserved 1 cup cookie crumbs evenly over dessert; gently press with fingers. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

To serve, cut into 5 rows by 3 rows to make 15 bars, or 6 rows by 3 rows to make 18 bars.

Source: Kraft recipes. You can find it here.

Notes: You could use any package of refrigerated sugar cookies. Just slice them and bake them according to package instructions. Also, this isn't a cookie bar that you are going to be able to pick up and walk around with as you nibble on it. These were pretty fragile for us and crumbled easily, but holy cow, they were tasty. Serve it in bowls or on small plates and plan to eat these with a fork or spoon, and you will be set.

Even More Spuds? Yes!

This time, I am not sharing another potato salad recipe, but another great comfort food method of serving potatoes...mashed, of course! Oh, and let's throw them in a slow cooker this time too, for good measure!

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes


5 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the potatoes, garlic, and bouillon until potatoes are tender, but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving water. In a bowl, mash potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese, adding reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Transfer the potato mixture to a slow cooker, cover, and cook on Low for 2 to 3 hours. Just before serving, stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by BWAYE. You can find it here.

Notes! Good stuff. Also, so nice to have these made ahead rather than rushing to get them done with all of your other dishes for dinner.

More Spuds, Part 2

I love potatoes! I just posted a couple of potato salad recipes...but here is one more!

Creamy Bacon Cheddar Loaded Baked Potato Salad


2 lb. red potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons ranch dip, dressing, and recipe mix
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits
1 cup diced green onions
Salt and pepper, to taste (my addition)


In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender. Strain potatoes and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, dressing mix, and milk. Add cheese, bacon bits, green onions, and stir.

Peel the skin off the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Add potatoes to the dressing mix and gently stir until combined.

Makes 10 half cup servings.

Source: Kraft recipes. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. Comfort food at its finest. It tastes like a loaded baked potato, for sure...the only thing that was missing was that it needed salt and pepper (which was not called for in the recipe). I would suggest adding salt and pepper to your taste.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Museum Dinners - The Finale

So I serve as a volunteer docent at the Church History Museum on Tuesday nights.  We rotate bringing in dinner and it's been a little bit of a challenge because there are a lot of dietary and tastes to consider.  Some don't like red meat, some don't like mayo based salads, etc.  So Tuesday was my last night to bring in dinner because the museum is closing down for a year and when it opens up again, we won't be rotating dinners anymore.

This was a chicken salad that was a real hit.  It was quite unusual and is billed as being "reminiscent of poppy seed dressing."  In fact, you could add poppy seeds to it to dress it up even more.

Honey-Chicken Salad


4 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 celery ribs, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Garnish:  Chopped pecans


Combine first 4 ingredients

Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients.  Add to chicken mixture, stirring gently until combined.  Garnish, if desired.

Source: Published by Southern Living June 2006, found on myrecipes.com. You can find it here.

A Surprising Mix of Flavors

Cucumbers are a revelation.  Seriously who knew that such a fresh, unique flavor could liven up so many things?  I only know that growing up a cucumber was good for only two things...to throw into a salad or turn into a pickle.  Well, here's a new use that you might not have thought of and it was so easy.  This would be wonderfully refreshing at a bridal shower.

Cucumber Lemonade


1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 (2 liter) bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage


Place the cucumber slices into a large pitcher.  Pour the lemonade concentrate over the cucumber and let stand 10 minutes.  Pour in the lemon-lime soda and pour into glasses to serve.

Source:  Allrecipes.com  Submitted by Lori. You can find it here.

Just So Easy -- Cheese Easy

We planted cauliflower in our garden for the first time this year.  It was a lot of work to grow a little cauliflower, but it is expensive stuff so it could be worth it moneywise.  And we also grew our own sage, which was an unusual ingredient this recipe used.  Emily had found this recipe posted from familystylefood.com

It was so good....rave reviews, seriously.

Cauliflower Mascarpone Gratin

Yield: 6 servings


1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 8 oz. container Wisconsin Mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Wisconsin grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly grated black pepper


Blanch the cauliflower in a pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes; drain.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 7 x 11 gratin dish with butter; arrange cauliflower in dish.

Stir together Mascarpone, cream 1/4 cup parmesan, sage, garlic, salt and pepper to taste until smooth; pour over cauliflower.  Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan.

Bake 30 minutes or until top is browned and sauce is bubbling.  Rest 15 minutes, loosely covered, before serving.

Source: familystylefood.com

Notes: Seriously, so good!

Above: Made this time with home grown cauliflower (which naturally has a bit of a green tint to it).

Friday, September 19, 2014

More Spuds, Part 1

I can never get enough potatoes. I love all the forms they come in. I love potato salad. I really do. I can't get enough of it. I love to try new kinds (though I do have a favorite, which I originally shared here, but I will share again below--Mr. Wendel's Potato Salad). The other potato salad is pretty tasty too though!

Oh, and you may ask, "Why is this blog post called 'More Spuds'? Where is the first spuds post?" My answer to you would be to just check out our "Potatoes" label to see how many recipes with spuds we have already posted! Check it out.

Bacon and Eggs Potato Salad


2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup petite green peas
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Once potatoes have cooled, mix potatoes, mayonnaise, peas, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, onion, mustard, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl. refrigerate to allow flavors to blend and bacon to soften, about 1 hour.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by soupy. You can find it here.

Notes: I think the title is misleading. It almost makes you think this will be some kind of breakfast potato salad. It isn't. I love the addition of the peas. It adds such a great taste and added texture. The bacon, of course, is to die for here. I would probably add more bacon in the future.

Mr. Wendel's Potato Salad


7 lbs. potatoes
1 jar Best Foods Mayonnaise (regular size--larger jar)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 tbsp dry mustard
1/ tsp (heaping) pepper
2 tsp salt
3-4 medium dill pickles, diced
1 medium onion, chopped very fine
Large handful of fresh parsley, minced
12 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, and quartered


Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water with the skins on. The skins will peel off easily after they have cooked (so you can save yourself the step of having to peel the potatoes prior to cooking them).

Slice the potatoes lengthwise only (they break up further when you stir all of the ingredients together). Then stir in mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, prepared mustard, dry mustard, pepper, salt, diced dill pickles, chopped onion, and minced parsley. Mix well.

Once everything else is mixed, stir in the eggs (adding them too early will break them apart too much). Chill until ready to serve.

Source: I had the most awesome choir teacher (Mr. Norman Wendel, as evidenced by the title of this recipe) when I was in high school. For one of our parties, we had a potluck and Mr. Wendel brought this fantastic potato salad. I craved this potato salad for years afterward and begged for the recipe. The problem was that he was one of those cooks who creates a recipe in their mind, but never writes it down. Luckily for me, his daughter (who I am friends with) finally pinned him down and watched him make it while she wrote down the methods, measurements, and equivalents for this recipe. She then shared this recipe with me. Yum! I'm sooooo grateful!

Notes: This is definitely a savory potato salad with some bite to it. I love the addition of dill pickles and hard boiled eggs. If you like a wussy, bland, or sweet tasting potato salad, this one isn't for you. Coincidentally, this potato salad is very similar to the potato salad that my in-laws have been making for years too (a recipe that THEY made up too. Though I'm not sure if they wrote theirs down or not). Destiny or coincidence? You decide!

Also, the picture I took doesn't do it justice.  This is a fantastic potato salad.  When catering to picky eaters, here is what I do: I make the whole batch, but I divide it into two bowls.  One bowl is made with pickles and eggs, the other bowl is made without the two "offending" ingredients.  All of the other ingredients stay the same for both bowls.

Appetizers Turned Into Side Dishes


I love when foods are re-imagined. This pasta salad has all of the flavors of Italian antipasto thrown together in a delicious side dish.

Antipasto Pasta Salad


1 pound seashell pasta
1/4 pound Genoa salami, chopped
1/4 pound pepperoni sausage, chopped (we used mini pepperoni)
1/2 pound Asiago cheese, diced (diced firm mozzarella can also be used)
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, and cool under cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, salami, pepperoni, Asiago cheese, black olives, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and tomatoes. Stir in the envelope of dressing mix. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad, and mix well.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by Dayna. You can find it here.

Notes: My picky eater boys loved this and ate it for lunch until the leftovers were gone. They especially loved the salami and mini pepperoni. That is a win in my book!

Hot Dogs According to My Mom

My mom likes to go all out. If we are having hot dogs for Sunday dinner, you can bet your boots that a lot more is going to be involved than just buns, relish, mustard, and ketchup. First of all, there will always be plenty of side dishes...but basic hot dog toppings just aren't going to cut it.

Here are the hot dog toppings (aside from the relish, mustard, and ketchup) that my mom included in our hot dog Sunday dinner:

Above: Chili (of the canned variety) for chili dogs.

Above: Shredded cheese to top the chili dogs.

Above: Crushed Fritos for another chili dog topper.

Above: Sauerkraut tossed with caraway seeds. This was paired with pretzel buns, brats, and spicy brown mustard. This is the hot dog I went with. It was so good!

Above: Coleslaw.

Above: This tomato mixture was for bruschetta-style hot dogs. I didn't try this on a hot dog (I limited myself to one, especially since there were a ton of sides to try too), but I did try some of the tomatoes plain as a side dish. They were fantastic. I need to get the recipe from my mom. I will post it as soon as I get it. There were also chopped onions for the bruschetta dogs or the chili dogs.


Above: So many toppings!

Copycat JDawg Sauce


3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder


Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Source: We found this on the "Your Home Based Mom" site. You can find it here.

Some Good Things About School Lunch

My mom usually packed a lunch for me while I was in school. However, every now and then, I had school lunch. The good things I remembered were the days that we had nachos for lunch...and the rolls. A good roll can save the day. So, if your day needs saving, check out these rolls.

School Lunchroom Cafeteria Rolls


3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon white sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
3 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
10 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, melted


In a large bowl, mix together the warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let it stand for about 10 minutes, until the yeast is foamy.

Mix the milk, eggs, and salt into the yeast. Measure the flour into a separate bowl, add 2/3 cup sugar, and crumble the shortening into it using your fingers until it is barely noticeable. Gradually stir the flour into the wet ingredients. Mix using a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball around the spoon. Cover with a hot wet towel that has been wrung out, and set in a warm place to rise until double in bulk. This should take about 45 minutes.

When the dough has risen, pour the melted butter over it, and knead for about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for a few minutes, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1 inch thick. Use a knife to cut into 2 inch squares. Roll squares into balls and place into greased round pans, spacing about 1 inch apart. Let rise again until doubled in size. You could also refrigerate the dough, and let it rise overnight for baking the next day.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the rolls for about 12 minutes, until golden brown.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by MOMMY2THREEANGELS. You can find it here.

Notes: To be perfectly honest, I remember liking the rolls in elementary school, but I don't really remember what they taste like. These rolls are some of the best ever. Trust me, these are fantastic. They will be just as good (but most likely, even a whole lot better) than the rolls you had in elementary.

This makes a lot of rolls. I think this made around 45 rolls. Two 9x13 pans with 18 rolls each and one round pan with, I think, 9 rolls...but maybe there were a few more. I didn't take a picture of that pan, so now I can't remember how many rolls fit in that pan.

These were so good. I brought them to a family dinner. We served them with butter and strawberry freezer jam. They got gobbled up fast!

They took awhile to rise (maybe my house was cold?), but they were worth the wait. Also, they took a little longer than 12 minutes to bake. Just bake them until they are golden brown...but watch them so that they don't get too browned, and you will be just fine.

A New Way to Eat Your Vegetables


Above: I like a lot of sauce!

It's fun to find good meatless meals for dinner now and then because it is cheaper, and it is an easy way to get in your veggies for the day. Here is a great one that my sister made in preparation for the birth of her baby (who is now a year old) because it can be frozen ahead of time.

Broccoli Calzones


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Flour, for rolling dough
2 packages (1 pound each) balls fresh or frozen pizza dough, thawed if frozen
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded (6 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Prepared tomato sauce, for serving
1 medium red onion, finely chopped


Step 1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion; cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside to cool.

Step 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Form calzones: Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, stretch each piece out, first to a 3-by-4-inch oval, then stretch again, this time to a 6-by-8-inch oval. (Let dough rest a few minutes if too elastic to work with.)

Step 3. Stir cheeses into cooled broccoli mixture; season generously with salt and pepper. Assemble calzones: Spread a rounded 1/2 cup broccoli mixture over half of each piece of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border; fold over to form a half-moon. Press edges to seal. With a paring knife, cut 2 slits in the top of each calzone.

Step 4. Using a wide metal spatula with a thin blade, transfer calzones to 2 baking sheets lined with parchment or waxed paper; reshape if needed.

Step 5. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce, if desired.

Freezing instructions:

To freeze: Prepare recipe through step 3. Tightly wrap each calzone in plastic; freeze until firm. Transfer calzones to resealable plastic bags; label and date. Freeze up to 2 months. To serve, unwrap calzones, and place on parchment-lined baking sheets; bake without thawing until golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, April 2006. You can find it here.

Notes: These were really good. So flavorful...you won't miss the lack of meat! I promise! I definitely recommend serving these with the marinara sauce. It adds so much. It is a must.

Breakfast For Dinner...mmm


Breakfast is great any time of the day. Take this recipe for example.

Overnight Tex-Mex Egg Bake


12 oz bulk spicy pork sausage
5 cups frozen southern-style has brown potatoes (from 32-oz bag)
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles, undrained
3 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (12 oz)
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup salsa


Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Drain on paper towel.

Spread frozen potatoes in baking dish. Sprinkle with sausage, green chiles, and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, and salt with fork or wire whisk until well blended. Pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, but no longer than 12 hours.

Heave oven to 350 degrees F. Bake uncovered 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into swuares. Serve with salsa.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

Notes: This is so good. You can serve it with sour cream too, but it is great with just the salsa, so it isn't necessary.

Slow Cooker to the Rescue


I was in the mood for Mexican food this night, but I wasn't in the mood to put in the amount of work required for good Mexican food. However, this recipe did the trick quite nicely (with a lot less work).

Tex-Mex Chicken with Black Beans & Rice


6 chicken leg quarters, skin removed
1 envelope taco seasoning, divided
1 can (14.5 oz) Mexican diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 can (14.5 oz) canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips, optional
Minced fresh cilantro


Place chicken in a 5-6-qt. slow cooker and sprinkle chicken with 1 tablespoon taco seasoning.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, soup, onion, chilies, and remaining taco seasoning; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or until chicken is tender.

Prepare rice according to package directions. Stir in beans; heat through.

Remove chicken from cooking juices; stir sour cream into cooking juices. Serve chicken with rice mixture and sauce. Sprinkle servings with cheese, tortilla chips, and cilantro.

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 serving equals 590 calories, 26 g fat, 139 mg cholesterol, 1,451 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 38 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: This was so good, and the leftovers were even better. I initially mixed in a little salsa with the rice and beans for flavor, but this isn't necessary because this makes a LOT of sauce. When I was storing the leftovers, I mixed the rice/bean mixture with the remaining sauce...it made the leftovers SO good! The sauce is fantastic. I actually used a 10 oz can of spicy/hot Rotel. It made things very spicy. In the future, I will use mild/medium Rotel.

I also used 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of 6 leg quarters. This recipe is versatile and would work with leg quarters, breasts, thighs, etc.