School is right around the corner, which means school lunches are too. All busy moms and dads know that anything that any meal that is easy to to put together and makes great leftovers is a winner for school lunches. With this thought in mind I decided to work on a new recipe that would be a nice twist on a taco but a lot easy to send. Baked chicken won ton tacos was my first try at it. My boys gave it a thumbs up and my husband asked me to make them again (always a good sign). My husband loved them so much that he finished the leftovers off the next couple of mornings for breakfast. I made the tacos pretty mild since my boys do not like a lot of spice. (I am working on that though).
- 2 chicken breast
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 oz cream cheese – room temperature
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 3 T. green salsa
- 1/4 t. cumin
- Shredded cheese
- Won ton wrappers
- Muffin tin
- Toppings (lettuce, sour cream, salsa etc.)
- Preheat oven to 425 º
- Cut chicken breast into pieces. They don’t have to be very small since we will shred the chicken.
- Sprinkle the chicken with the black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
- Brown the chicken pieces in olive oil until completely cooked.
- Place the browned chicken, cream cheese, and green salsa into a mixing bow. A mixer works great to shred the chicken while combining the ingredients at the same time.
- Place a won ton wrapper in each cup of the muffin tin, pressing the center down into it with the edges sticking up.
- Scoop about 1 T. of chicken mixture into the bottom of each wrapper.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Bake for approximately 8 minutes. The wrapper edges will be golden brown and crispy
- Serve with any toppings desired.
I really enjoyed them with shredded lettuce, sour cream, and a little salsa. I like a little spicer food than my boys. My boys liked them as is. They tell me “salad” is for girls. My husband enjoyed them topped that night and as is the next morning.
- I love using my Kitchen-aid mixer to shred chicken. It works wonderful. I will never shred chicken by hand if I can help it.
- You can use rotisserie chicken and skip the browning chicken step. Just add the spices to the mixer step.
- They will store in plastic wrap in the fridge for a couple days before the wrappers are too soggy.
After the holidays, things only slow down for just a little bit before I become a soccer mom again and life gets hectic. So in preparation for those busy weeks to come, I am trying slow cooker meals and meals I can freeze and pull out to cook when needed. So just a heads up with what you will be seeing in future posts.
The first place I looked when I want to try some new recipes is one of my favorite blogs (www.sixsistersstuff.com) that have many wonderful recipes. So last weekend I started browsing. The only problem I had, was I kept finding so many recipes that I wanted to try that my list of possible dinners kept growing. The best part about the recipes I found on their blog was that it didn’t call for many new ingredients that I didn’t already have. The recipe below is the first one that I tried on my new search to expand my family menu and have recipes for that busy soccer season.
Slow Cooker Garlic and Brown Sugar Chicken
- 4 – 6 chicken breast
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 2/3 c. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 c. lemon-lime soda (I used diet to help cut the calories)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 t. fresh ground black pepper
- 2 T. corn starch
- 2 T. water
- Rice or noodles, cooked
- Red Pepper flakes if desired
- Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or use liner.
- Place chicken breast(may be frozen or thawed) on bottom.
- Mix together brown sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic, soy sauce, and black pepper.
- Pour over chicken.
- Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Take chicken out of slow cooker. (It will be falling apart) and pour remaining sauce into saucepan.
- Whisk in the corn starch and water to the sauce and cook on high heat.
- Bring to a boil and boil for 2 – 3 minutes or until the sauce resembles a glaze. Remove from heat and cool slightly. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Pour over the chicken and mix.
- Serve over rice or noodles.
- Sprinkle red pepper flakes if desired for more heat.
- Thighs will work as well.
- At first the smell and taste of the vinegar will be overwhelming. Don’t worry as it continues to cook it will disappear. By the time it is ready to eat the only part you will notice is the slight “tang” from the vinegar mixed with the sugar.
- This meal can be frozen ahead of time. Place all of the ingredients except the corn starch and water into a freezer bag and freeze. When ready to cook just pull out and put in crock pot. Allow extra cooking time because it is frozen.
Recipe from Six Sisters Stuff Blog
I love taquitos, crispitos, flauta,and anything else that resembles those, but don’t eat them very often because of the calories and grease from frying. So when I found this recipe, I couldn’t wait to try this baked version. I was also excited that it had directions for freezing them to make later. What a great idea for a fast good meal later as well as for dinner tonight. I had to try it. I found this recipe on www.chef-in-training.com website. I have only changed it a tad to accommodate what I had in my pantry.
Baked Creamy Chicken TaquitosMakes 12 servings
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup green salsa
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1/2 t. onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T. dried cilantro (fresh can be used)
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 flour tortillas (6 inch works well)
- sea salt
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, onion powder, garlic, and cilantro.
- Add shredded chicken and cheddar cheese and mix until combined.
- Spread 2 – 3 tablespoons of chicken mixure on 1/3 of tortilla and then roll as tight as possible.
- Place on cookie sheet seam side down.
- Continue with the rest of the tortillas, placing so they are not touching.
- Spray lightly with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. (Stop at this point if wishing to freeze)
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until tortillas are crispy and lightly brown.
- If tortillas are not very soft, warm a couple at a time between paper towels in the microwave for just a few seconds to make soft.
- If you want to freeze for later, flash freeze them at the point before baking them. Then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat them just pull the desired amount from freezer and cook in preheated 425º oven for 20 minutes. There isn’t a need to defrost first.
- I used some rotisserie chicken that I had. Not having to cook chicken first helps speed up the prep time.
- The cooking spray and sea salt are important. They are what help the tortillas to crisp up.
- Light cream cheese works just as well as regular if you are watching calories. I used the light version.
- Estimated 196 calories per taquito
You probably have figured out by know that I love recipes that taste wonderful but aren’t time consuming. With two boys, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. So I am always on the look out for slow cooker recipes that will pass the family approval and be ready when we get home. I tried this one and was very impressed. Potato soup is always a warm filling meal, but I was looking for a twist. Even though this recipe has the word “cheesy” in it, it isn’t an overpowering cheese flavor.
Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 t. onion powder
- 5 cups diced peeled potatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. sea salt
- 1 T. dried chives
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. skim milk
- 2 T. butter
- 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook bacon until crispy. Allow to cool on paper towel, then crumble. Place in fridge for later.
- Spray 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix potatoes, chicken broth, onion powder, pepper, salt, dried chives, and sea salt.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until potatoes are starting to be soft.
- Melt butter and mix with skim milk and heavy cream. Whisk in flour to cream mixer and add to slow cooker. Cook on high for 30 minutes or so until soup starts to thicken.
- Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in bacon and serve.
Makes 6 servings of 1 2/3 cup each)
This recipe was so easy to make. It makes a quite a large quantity and warms up well. It tastes good over rice and potatoes as well on its own. My sons rated this dish as a “Mommy, you can make this again” meal.
Poppy Seed Chicken
- 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
- 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz cans)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 cup crushed butter flavored crackers ( I used club crackers)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, soup, sour cream, and poppy seeds.
- In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter. Set aside 1/2 cup for the topping. Stir remaining crumbs into the chicken.
- Transfer to a 11 x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Top with the reserved crumbs, sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.
- Tastes great served with additional fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- It freezes well.
Summer is the time that my thoughts turn to barbecue. But with the current temperatures of over 100 degrees, it doesn’t make it a pleasant experience to cook the meat. So, I started to look for pulled pork recipes that could be prepared inside but taste like great barbecue. I found this recipe online, and it had great reviews, which was good considering what one of the ingredients was. Also it was a slow-cooker recipe as well, so I could prep it in the morning and come home to a great dinner. I tweaked it a little to give it more spice, so if you like mild flavor forget the spice. When I put the pulled pork on the bun and ate it, I finally had my barbecue without being in the sweltering heat. This recipe gives a mild sweet taste to the pork, so I used a strong spicy barbecue sauce with it to add depth of flavor.
BBQ Pulled Pork
- Pork Tenderloin
- Italian spice mix
- 1 liter of root beer (I used A&W)
- Favorite BBQ sauce
- Cut most of the fat layer off of the pork tenderloin and cut into 2 or 3 pieces to fit into the crock pot
- Place pieces of pork into crock pot fat side up.
- Pour root beer over pork until it almost covers it.
- Sprinkle the Italian spice over pieces
- Cook on high for 6 – 7 hours until pork tears easily with a fork
- Drain root beer
- Tear pork with forks until shredded.
- Mix barbecue sauce in.
- Serve on buns and enjoy. (I like to put a little more sauce on top pork on the bun.
Oh so good!! In case you haven’t heard of pasties (pronounced with a short “a” like cash). It is a pastry filled with savory ingredients. It is a popular Scandinavian dish. My paternal grandparents are Swedish, so I grew up enjoying them. This recipe is my grandmother’s. Pasties are involved to make and take time, but if you make a bunch in one sitting and freeze them it is so worth it. I will make about 16 at a time and cook a few for dinner, and freeze the rest for another time. This is a very cheap dish to make not only because of the ingredients, but because of the volume it makes.
- 1 quart raw carrots cut
- 2 quarts diced, skinned potatoes (raw)
- 2 lbs hamburger
- 1 onion chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 1 c. shortening
- 1/2 c. plus 2 T cold water
Instructions for pastry:
- Combine flour and salt in a bowl
- Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Sprinkle cold water 1 T. at a time evenly over the surface.
- Stir with fork until dry ingredients are moistened
Makes 8 pasties (will need to double recipe for the amount of filling above)
Instructions for making the pasties:
- Roll out a portion of pastry dough until about 1/8 inch thick circle
- Place filling into center of pastry dough
- Fold over to resemble a turnover
- Roll pastry top and bottom edges together to seal.
- Place in pan in preheated 350 degree oven
- Bake for 1 hour, until pastry is golden.
- Serve with brown gravy
- If freezing, wrap unbaked in aluminum foil and place in sealed container into freezer.
- To cook frozen pasties, set out for 1 hour to defrost, then bake for one hour at 350 degrees
- Make them rather large to place more filling in them, so there is more filling then crust.
If you have ever been to a potluck at our church, then you have seen or had this recipe. My grandmother used to bring it ever time before she died, and now I bring it. I can almost guarantee that you won’t be bringing any home. It is wonderful eaten by itself, or served over rice. Besides the wonderful flavor, the best part is it is a “fix and forget it” meal to prepare. It cooks in a crock pot for at least half a day or more.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- 15 1/2 can of crushed or diced pineapple
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 package meatballs
- Place 1 package of meatballs into crock pot on high.
- Drain 15 1/2 oz can of pineapple (crushed or pieces) into a 1 cup measuring cup.
- Add enough water to the pineapple juice to make one cup, and pour into a sauce pan.
- Mix with juice: 2 T. cornstarch, 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2 T soy sauce.
- Whisk with juice in saucepan to get rid of the lumps
- Heat and stir until clear and beginning to thicken.
- Add the drained pineapple to sauce
- Pour over meatballs in crock pot.
- Cook for at least half of the day or longer.
- It needs to cook at least half of the day to get the sauce to go through the meatball.
- If you use 2 packages of meatballs to fill your crock pot, then double the sauce recipe.
- It freezes well for another meal.
This recipe is for those that love having a home-cooked meal, but don’t have time to make it. In other words, a crock pot meal. I tried this recipe and was very impressed. The concept is easily adaptable to other meats and sauces.
Open Faced Chicken Parmesan SandwichesPrep time: 6 minutes Cook time: 7 – 8 hours in a crock pot Oven time: 5 minutes Makes up to 10 sandwiches
- 5 boneless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce (15 oz)
- grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 cheese Texas toast (12 pieces)
- Place boneless chicken breast on bottom of crock pot.
- In a bowl, mix tomato paste and spaghetti sauce. “Tweak” the sauce if desired. I like to add Italian herbs.
- Pour mixture over the chicken.
- Cook on high for 7 – 8 hours depending on how many and how big the chicken breast is. It will be done when the chicken can be easily shredded with a fork or tongs.
- Shred chicken
- Place Texas toast into the broiler for 5 minutes.
- Put shredded chicken on top of Texas toast and then grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
- This recipe has lots of potential. One variation I am excited to try is pork in barbecue sauce. Another is use turkey instead of chicken.
- I never stirred the whole time it cooked, so it is truly a put together in the morning and have dinner almost ready when you get home meal.
I look forward to cold evenings so I can make recipes like Taco Soup. There is nothing that tastes so good when it is cold (or cool like Texas) than a warm, slightly spice soup with lots of cheese. Deborah, a friend of mine shared this recipe with me awhile back, and I have loved it ever sense. Besides how good it tastes, it has a few other things going for it. It only takes a small amount of work to make a big pot of soup. I hope you really enjoy it. It re-warms very well and freezes well too. Just add the cheese and tortilla chips after you re-warm it.
- 2 cans Original or Chunky Rotel Tomatoes
- 2 cans chicken broth
- 2 cans Ranch style beans
- 2 cans Minestrone Soup
- 2 lbs ground beef
- Tortilla chips
- Shredded cheese
- Brown the 2 lbs of ground beef. Season with a little Johnny’s seasoning salt and fresh ground pepper. Drain grease.
- While beef is browning, pour all of the cans into a large pot and begin to bring to a boil.
- When the beef is cooked, add to the pot and let simmer until boiling.
- Dish soup into a bowl, add broken tortilla chips and mix.
- Add shredded cheese to top