Monday, September 23, 2013

Favorite Crock Pot Recipe: 3 Bean White Chicken Chili

This is my favorite Chili Recipe. It was adapted from a Pinterest find and is now a staple meal at our home and events! For this post there is only one picture. Why you may ask? It is so simple!

3 Bean White Chicken Chili

Here's what you need:

4 Frozen Chicken Breasts
1 can each of Corn, Black Beans, Chili Beans, Kidney Beans
1 8oz pkg Cream Cheese
1 Ranch packet
1/2 tbsp each of Cumin, Onion Power, & Chili Powder

Step 1: Turn on Crock Pot
Step 2: Put all ingredients into Crock Pot- cream cheese on top. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.
Step 3: Before serving shred chicken
Step 4: Enjoy! Serve with rice, corn chips, sour cream, cheese... whatever your heart desires!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Muffins: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

The Apple Season is upon us! We will hopefully be picking apples next month in Ellijay, GA, but for now store bought apples will have to indulge my fall cravings.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Cook time: 16-18 Minutes
Yields 9 muffins
Preheat oven to 400

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/3 cup Canola Oil (or Veggie- doesn't make a difference)
1 egg
1/2 cup plain Apple Sauce (if you have cinnamon apple sauce just cut the ground cinnamon in half)
1 apple (I use Gala apples when baking- they are my favorite but you can use whatever you prefer)
1/3 cup each of Flaxseed and Oatmeal

Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Then add the oil, egg and apple sauce.

Step 2: Dice the apple in small pieces- fold them into the mixture along with the oatmeal and flaxseed. 

Step 3: Mix well and scoop into your muffin pan. If you are not using muffin liners make sure to grease your pan well.
Tip: When you do not use the whole muffin tin add a small amount of water to the unused cups. It will protect your pan and make your muffins/cupcakes moist.

Step  4: Place in your preheated oven for 16-18 minutes. I put a small amount of sugar on top of the muffins, too.

Step 5: Enjoy! 

Bacon Cheddar Bites

Last Saturday I had the privilege to do my first Pampered Chef Party as a new consultant. We had a brunch party and this recipe was so yummy I had to make it for my husband! You'll see some of the Pampered Chef products displayed in this post as well. You can see the original recipe here, I changed it a bit- not on purpose this time but because I was doing it by memory and I love more garlic :).

Bacon Cheddar Bites

Here's what you need:
  • 1 pkg of Pie Crusts (from the refrigerator section)
  • 1 pkg 8oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 slices of thick cut Bacon, baked
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, pressed

Preheat oven to 400

Step 1: I already had cooked bacon saved from the other day, but you'll want to cook 8 slices of Bacon on a baking sheet lined with foil at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Once cooled you can chop the slices into small pieces. I used my Manuel Food Processor for this step.

Step 2: Whisk the cream cheese, bacon pieces, cheese and garlic together.

Step 3: Turn your attention to the pie crusts. They will need to be softened. Then cut small round disks from the crusts. I used my Measure All cup to make the disks. Then I rolled the scraps and rolled them out. I don't like to waste! Place the disks onto the mini muffin pan and press them down, I used my Mini-Tart Shaper, but your fingers will work just fine. I was able to make 22 tarts with one pie crust.

Step 4: Scoop the Cream Cheese, Bacon, Cheddar mix into the shaped tarts. I used my small scoop- its a tablespoon.

Step 5: Place into your preheated oven and bake for 16-18 minutes.

Step 6: Enjoy! We ate them for breakfast :) But they are great appetizers too, I plan to make them for my next house guests!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Wreath

Newest Craft Project: Fall Wreath!

I really love having a wreath on my door for every season. If you have ever went into a store to buy a wreath you would be surprised at the prices. Even on Etsy they can get to be over 100$ for a wreath! Well I wouldn't want to pay that especially when I can just do it myself! 

First I went to Michael's Craft store to get a wreath. I picked a medium sized one and got it for 50% off with my weekly ad coupon! 

Then I went to the Dollar Store. Sometimes I have to shop around for flowers but currently they were the cheapest. I got 6 stems, four different flowers and two different leaves. 

 The stems can be hard to work with sometimes so I pull the flowers off.

I laid out the flowers on the wreath how I liked them. I started off to one side at first but then I decided to go ahead and put all the flowers at the bottom. I used hot glue to glue them down once I decided I liked how I had them.

I got some ribbon while at the dollar store, too! I formed a double bow and cut the ends. Took me a while to figure out what kind of bow I wanted but I like how it turned out.

 Here is my finished product!

Total cost: 10$
Total time: 30-45 minutes

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

I love organization! From alphabetizing the DVDs by title and Books by author to storage bins with labels I so love things to be in their place. One of the problem areas I have noticed lately was under the kitchen sink. It was getting to be a cluttered mess of cleaning products and Wal-Mart bags!

There's the before! I'm a little embarrassed to even show it! Then insert 4 bins and two stack-able bins thanks to the dollar store and now everything has a place! I might even go back and get one more stack-able one I just wasn't sure if three stacked would be too tall.

For me it would be organizing without some labels. They are pretty simple as labels go- handwritten on the back of a 3x5. They read Sink/ Dishwasher, Sanitize, Floors and Dusting. I didn't give the stack-able ones label but in the bottom is the Wal-Mart bags we like to save and the top- trash bags.

We actually use the under the bathroom sink to hold the bathroom clean supplies and a role of paper towels which helps utilize our under the kitchen sink better and a quick easy bathroom clean-up.

Total cost for under the sink organization: $6.00 plus tax! I'm sure you can be even more thrifty but I wanted them to match and be the same size :)

Sriracha Ranch Chicken

The other day on Pinterest I found this picture of yummy "Crispy Sriracha Chicken" and it looked so good and my Husband and I love Sriracha Sauce so I went to the website. Come to find out that they had the list of ingredients and pictures of the steps but no bake temperature, no cook time and no real instructions! When I went back later I realized there was a link to take you to another page to get the instructions but but by that time I had already decided how I was going to make it, HA! So anyways I used some of the ingredients and added my own twist!

Sriracha Ranch Chicken

Here's what you need:
  • One individual size Vanilla Greek Yogurt (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsbp Rosemary (I used dried, but fresh is always good, too!)
  • 2-3 tsp minced Garlic (For Garlic lovers go 3)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1- 1 1/2 lbs. Thawed Chicken (I used 5 chicken drumsticks, the original recipe called for boneless chicken breast- so whatever you have on hand or prefer)

Not pictured: Parmesan Cheese and Chicken

Step 1: Place Chicken into a gallon zip lock baggie. Then add all the ingredients except for the cheese, shake well! Set in fridge to marinade for at least an hour. Tip: If you are using boneless Chicken Breasts slightly slice the tops in a crossed pattern- The Chicken will take in more marinade.

Step 2: When you are ready to bake place chicken in a greased pan. Use a basting brush to smother the chicken in left over marinade.

Step 3: Grate Parmesan Cheese on top!

Step 4: Bake in oven at 400 for 40 minutes.

Step 5: Transfer the chicken only (no sauce) onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 8-10 More minutes. Your chicken will get slightly more crispy, yum! (Sorry don't have a picture for this step-we were getting hungry!)

Step 6: Enjoy! 

I served the chicken with quinoa and summer veggies! My Husband used Blue Cheese for dipping and I used Ranch! Both so yummy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Soup: Potato, Broccoli & Cheddar

Its starting to feel a lot like fall here in Chattanooga! Fall is my favorite season, I love to cuddle up with warmth surrounding me, watch the leaves change color and feel the brisk air outside. One thing I love for fall especially for my tummy is a good hearty soup. I hope you enjoy this as much as my Husband and I did. He is still talking about it (days later).

Potato, Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Here's what you need!
  • 8-10 slices thick cut bacon (Or more for you bacon lovers)
  • 1 Medium Onion, minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves about 1 1/2 tsp, minced
  • 1 Medium size crown of Broccoli (or more if you'd like), cut into small florets
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth - I used regular sodium but you can use low sodium it won't change the taste
  • 6-8 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • 3 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream (light or regular- doesn't matter)
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp Salt and 1/2 tsp Pepper or more to taste
Not pictured: Broccoli and cream cheese, sorry i'm human! Forgot them! Ha! :)

Step 1: Cook the Bacon in the oven on a baking sheet lined with foil at 350 for 12-15 min. Your bacon will cook evenly and not shrivel up! Yay! Tip: This makes for an easy clean up to, when foil has cooled roll up and throw away. No dealing with grease or washing yet another pan!

I know there is a lot pictured there, you only need 8-10 pieces, I'm using the rest for another recipe!

Step 2: Heat Skillet on medium high heat with about 2 tbsp of Cooking Oil (I used Olive Oil). Meanwhile mince the onions. I have a great Pampered Chef Product that makes it easy: Manuel Food Processor

Step 3: Add the Garlic and Flour
It will start to smell soooo yummy!
Step 4: Mix ingredients well- It should become lumpy. Tip: Pour flour only onion, not directly on pan. You are currently making a rouge, aren't you proud of yourself!
Step 5: Add in 1 cup of Chicken broth and stir till mixture becomes thick. During this time turn your crock pot on to low. You will be adding the hot mixture to it so you'll want it to be warm to avoid cracking the stone.

Step 6: Turn the mixture to low/simmer while you dice the potatoes. (Next time I will cut mine smaller). You want them to be small enough pieces to fit on your spoon!  Remember to rinse your potatoes before you peel. I warn you because I forgot and had to rinse after- much harder to handle!

6-8 Medium Potatoes: Should be equal in cups.

Step 7: Add you rouge (onion mixture), the potatoes, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, thyme and the remaining amount of Chicken broth (3 cups) to the Crock Pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs.

Step 8: About 1 hour before serving. Take about three cups of the potatoes out of the crock pot and mash them with the half and half, sour cream, cream cheese and shredded cheese. Mix well and pour back into the crock pot along with the broccoli florets and bacon pieces. 

Here's what the bacon looks like- You can do this step anytime.

I used my Pampered Chef Salad Choppers to cut my bacon. I've always found that cutting bacon with scissors is so much easier than using a knife. Then I added it to the Manuel Food Processor to get it even smaller.

Step 10: Enjoy! Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Other ways to make this yummy meal.
1. Leave it on the stove instead of crock pot, it won't change the taste. (If you plan to leave the house, go with the crock pot.)
2. Sub bacon for ham or Canadian bacon.
3. Leave out broccoli to make it a Baked Potato Soup and serve with bake potato toppings such as chives, chili, various cheeses, gravy the possibilities are endless there.
4. Make it Gluten Free by substituting Rice Flour.