Thursday, October 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Happy Crock-tober! My meal for our October theme was found on Pinterest. I must have really thought it looked good, because I pinned it three separate times. The best part about it is the chicken goes in frozen, so you don't even have to remember to thaw first.

I served over rice.

2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can corn kernels, do not drain
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 T cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

Put the chicken in the crock pot.
Top with the tomatoes, corn,
the drained and rinsed beans,
ranch dressing, cumin, onion and chili powders,
stir to combine then top with the cream cheese.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring one or twice
to blend in the cheese. (I didn't do this, and it was fine)
Shred the chicken into large pieces

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baked Potato Soup - Slow Cooker Style by The Big Cheese

Happy Crock-tober!

I turned to one "go to" food blogs to see what she had to offer for a classic crock pot recipe. The Cheese household enjoyed this pot of creamy deliciousness this weekend. Bless you, crock pots.

p.s. I feel like I've posted something like this before...oh wait, I have!

"Go To" food blog:

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Ingredients:

5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but NOT peeled. Diced into 1/2 inch(ish) cubes
1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
10 cloves of garlic, minced (if you use jarred, it's a 5 teaspoon equivalent)
64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
16 oz cream cheese, softened (I use low fat)
1 tablespoon seasoned salt (I use Aunt Cora's Soulful Seasoning)
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Directions:

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. (Alternately you could remove half the soup and the cream cheese to an upright blender, then re-incorporate).
Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!

Yields about 10-12 servings.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

Happy Crock-tober!!

For this month's slower cooker theme, I did Slow Cooker Jambalaya. I was really pleased with how easy it was to put together. (I cheat and buy pre-chopped onions.) Also, the recipe I'm posting serves 8 people. I just halved it for Divas so it should (hopefully) serve "4."

Hope you enjoy!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound (turkey) smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice mix
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound extralarge shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
Parsley, optional


Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meatloaf Braciole

This is my favorite meatloaf recipe ever, and so far it's won over some non-meatloaf people! It's based on a Rachel Ray recipe (I made a few of my own modifications) and the "braciole" part just means it's rolled up. I would recommend not just using ground beef, because then it basically tastes like a fancy hamburger. I try to use at least two different types of ground meat.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork and/or veal mixture
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small white onion, grated
3 tablespoons grated cheese, Parmigiano or Romano
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup baby spinach
6 slices prosciutto di Parma (the thinner sliced, the better)
6 slices deli sliced provolone
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix meat and next 7 ingredients (thru parsley) as if you were making meatloaf. Flatten meat out on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet into a thin layer: 1/2-inch thick, 12 inches long by 6 to 8 inches wide. Cover meat with spinach, prosciutto and cheese then roll the meat, using the waxed paper to help roll up into a large log, working across the 6 to 8-inch side, resulting in a 12-inch long log. Drizzle the log with extra-virgin olive oil to coat lightly.

Roast meatroll 20 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices, 3 pieces per portion, and serve. Make pasta while meat is in the oven.

*Another note, I had to roast mine longer than 20 minutes. Just make sure the internal temperature reaches 160 before eating. (I like to cook mine until about 155 and then let is rest a bit before slicing.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cabernet Onions

I couldn't pass up a music theme without doing a Cheeseburger in Paradise. The great thing about burgers is you can get creative! For DTD this month I have prepared a "fancy" burger topped with a thick slice of white american cheese, cabernet onions, and dijon mustard. It is served on a whole wheat bun.

Here is the recipe for the cabernet onions...

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups sliced onions (about 2)
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium- high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to sauté until very tender and well browned, about 15 minutes longer. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.


How do you come up with a recipe inspired by music? One of my favorite bands is Red Hot Chili Peppers. So - why not use chili peppers in a recipe?!?!? Here's what The Big Cheese is brining to you this month.


7 ounces of spaghetti
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes
1/4 to 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


The measurements in this recipe can be shifted depending on your taste preferences.

Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package, until it is al dente.

Strain spaghetti and place in a large serving dish.

Add minced garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix together well.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

*I am also going to serve this with chicken, cooked on the stove in olive oil - with a dash of Salt 'n Peppa