Friday, July 20, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Sweet 'n' Spicy Chicken

I saw a recipe on Pinterest that inspired this recipe.  My husband LOVES bacon so I'm always willing to try new things with it.  I have to say, this was so stinkin' delicious, I even surprised myself!  Pretty simple too because it goes in the Crock Pot and makes your house smell delicious!  Enjoy!

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package thick sliced bacon
Frank's Red Hot or any other hot sauce of your choice
2 cups brown sugar

Cut chicken breasts into halves.  Lay the chicken breasts out on a plate or cutting board.  Now you're going to season them heavily.  Start with salt and pepper then you're going to use garlic powder, onion powder, mild chili powder, and paprika (7-8 shakes of each on both sides).  Next, drizzle the hot sauce on each chicken breasts then rub it in gently with your fingers, make sure to coat both sides.  With the hot sauce you can use as little or as much as you like depending on how spicy you want the chicken to be.  Depending on how big the breasts are is going to decide whether you use one or two strips of bacon per breasts.  In the package I had, I had enough for all the breasts to have 2 strips each.  Wrap the strips of bacon around each chicken breasts then place them in the bottom of the Crock Pot in a single layer if possible.  To finish the chicken off you're going to cover them completely with brown sugar, 2 cups should be about enough but you can always use more if you need to.  Cook in the Crock Pot on Low for 5-6 hours (mine were done in 4 because my Crock Pot cooks fast).  When you're ready to eat, remove the chicken, place on a plate then drizzle some of the drippings from the Crock Pot over the top.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Watermelon on a Stick

I saw this on Pinterest and thought "What a genius idea!".  We were going to a BBQ for the 4th of July so I thought this would be great to take.  They were a hit, especially with the kids!  I found the craft/popsicles sticks at Target in the kids craft section.  For $2 I got a package of 60 sticks so I had plenty with lots extra in case I want to build a popsicle stick birdhouse. :)

1 whole watermelon
1 package craft (popsicle) sticks

Lay the watermelon on it's side and start at one end and begin to slice watermelon into about inch thick slices.  Then cut each slice like a pie into about 4 pieces (maybe 6 if it's a big watermelon).  To insert the sticks, take a knife that has a really pointy tip and insert the knife into the rind of the watermelon about a half inch deep.  Take the popsicle stick and push it into the rind.  This will take a little practice, the first two I did the sticks came right out the flesh part of the watermelon!  Once you do it a couple times though it's easy to get the hang of keeping the stick straight and not going too far into the watermelon.  You'll definitely want to store and serve these in a bowl because the watermelon gets super juicy!  

Crock Pot Hail Caesar! Sandwiches

chicken sanwiches yummy
So simply and delicious!  The chicken practically shreds itself and this is so easy to serve!  This is one that I have in our dinner rotation a lot and my husband is always excited to have these!  Enjoy!

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 bouillon cubes
6 cups warm water
1 bottle of your favorite Caesar dressing
1 package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 package leafy romaine
1 package of buns

First you're going to start this off by cooking the chicken breasts in the Crock Pot.  Since you're not going to be using any of the chicken stock after it's cooked, I don't get too particular about what the chicken is cooked in and bouillon cubes are super easy and I always have some in my cupboard.  Salt and pepper the chicken generously, don't be stingy!  I also season mine with garlic powder, onion powder and some oregano.  Place 6 cups of slightly warm water into the Crock Pot.  The reason for this is so that it will start to break down the bouillon cubes faster.  Don't make it too hot or you'll start cooking the chicken! Add bouillon cubes and place chicken into water. Cover and cook for 4 hours on Med/High or about 5-6 hours on Low depending on how fast your Crock Pot cooks.  I can easily cook mine on Low for 4 hours and have them completely cooked. 
When the chicken is done, remove chicken and place on plate or cutting board to shred.  Shred into whatever sized pieces you prefer.  For this recipe I like my shreds to be a little chunkier to really hold onto the Caesar dressing.  Once chicken is shredded, dump out the chicken stock in the Crock Pot leaving just about a cup behind, then put the shredded chicken back into the Crock Pot.  Now you're going to add the Caesar dressing.  This is going to be purely about preference.  I typically use about a half bottle but if you have more chicken you're going to want to use more and less if you used less than 3 breasts.  The first time I made this I actually didn't use enough dressing so I added more after I tasted it.  Mix the chicken and dressing together until all the chicken is coated.  Turn your Crock Pot on Low if it isn't already and cover and let sit for about 30 minutes.  When you're ready to eat, place a heap of chicken on a bun, top with shredded Parmesan and lettuce.  This is really good with chips and dip or waffle fries.  Yum!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I've never had chicken tacos before but decided it was something I definitely wanted to try and my husband about squealed when I told him I was making them!  This is so incredibly easy but tastes like you put a whole lot of effort into them.  My husband said they are pretty even par with taco truck tacos! Enjoy!

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg taco seasoning (I used Taco Bell)
1 jar salsa (I used Chi Chi's)
1 package small tortilla shells
Shredded lettuce
Shredded Mexican cheese
Sour Cream
1 lime

Season chicken before placing in Crock Pot.  I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, mild chili powder and cumin.  Place chicken breasts on bottom of Crock Pot, sprinkle taco seasoning over the top then pour entire jar of salsa on top.  Let cook on low for about 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 (depending on how your Crock Pot cooks, mine was done in 4 hours on Low).  Remove chicken and shred into small pieces then return to Crock Pot to soak in the juices until you're ready to eat.  Place chicken into soft tortilla.  I topped ours with shredded lettuce, Mexican cheese, sour cream and a squirt of fresh lime. I served it with Chi-Chi's Corn Cake, black bean and Spanish Rice......YUM!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mostaccioli Salad

pasta salad
This isn't your typical pasta salad.  It has a hint of sweetness that really adds to the flavor.  This is something you definitely want to make the night before to let it sit and have the noodles soak up all the flavor.  Enjoy!
1 lb. Mostaccioli, cooked and drained
1 cucumber, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 can garbanzo beans (also called Chick Peas)

Cool Mostaccioli, place in large bowl and mix in veggies.

1 cup olive oil
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. parsley flakes

Mix together until well incorporated.  Pour over noodles and veggies and mix together until all noodles are well covered.  Refrigerate overnight, covered.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Best Green Bean Casserole

I LOVE Green Bean Casserole! I eat it as an entree sometimes! I've played around with the recipes for a couple years now and this recipe is how I've made it the last several times we've had it and it's just so yummy I just have to share! Typically with my recipes I don't use brand names but with this one I am going to specify what brands I use because it's what really makes it so delicious! Generics just aren't going to cut it for this recipe! Also, I don't use the smaller can of the french onions, oh no! I go for the big daddy and use the 6 oz. size, makes all the difference.

2 cans Kitchen Sliced Green Giant green beans, drained
1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
1 6 oz. container French's French Fried Onions
2/3 cup whole milk (you can use skim but whole is definitely tastier)
Salt and Pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 2 qt. casserole dish combine green beans, soup and milk. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, garlic powder and onion powder (typically 6 shakes of each) and stir together. Once ingredients are completely incorporated, pour half the container of french fried onions in the mix and mix together completely. Put into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Take casserole out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining french fried onions on top. Place back in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes or until french fried onions look really golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken and Rice Skillet

One night I was looking at the raw chicken breasts I was going to make for dinner and decided I was going to try to make a new recipe.  I used some things I had in my cupboards and after making it several times I feel confident calling it a "recipe" now.  This is incredibly quick and easy and it heats up wonderfully the next day.  Here's my very first original recipe for Chicken and Rice Skillet.  Enjoy!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 package Knorr Chicken flavored rice
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cups Minute rice
1 cup milk

Cut raw chicken into bite size, cubed pieces.  Salt and pepper chicken thoroughly.  In a large skillet on medium heat melt coconut oil until completely liquid then add chicken.  Cook chicken until no longer pink.  Add remaining ingredients and stir, mixing ingredients completely.  Bring to boil.  After about a minute, reduce heat to simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.