Taco Soup

21 Nov

Delicious!

I love tacos, and I love soup. Perfect.

It was delicious. I did add onions and bell peppers to my meat (it would feel wrong to cook meat without them), and I’m glad I did. Next time I make this, I think I will add less beans. This recipe called for four cans of it! I may add only one or two cans next time.

My husband got to the food before I could take a picture.

Another great thing about this meal is that you can reuse it in many different ways when you are eating left overs. One day, I added lettuce and tortilla chips and had taco salad. Another day, I added it to hot dogs and had taco-chili hot dogs. For supper one day, my husband made nachos with it. We are definitely making this again. It lasts for several days and you can use it in different ways. We will remake it, but with less beans. Here are some pics of the way we reused the leftovers. Ignore the terrible lighting, I promise everything is delicious.  After the pics, you’ll find the recipe.

Used the soup as chili on my hot dogs, and added nacho cheese on top.

Added lettuce, tortilla chips, nacho cheese, and had taco salad.

My husband made nachos. He added tons of cheese, sour cream, chips, lettuce, everything you can imagine.

Original Recipe can be found here (this website has so many great recipes): http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/original-taco-soup-crockpot-recipe.html

This has been copied and pasted from the link.

Ingredients
–2 cans of kidney beans
–2 cans of pinto beans
–2 cans of corn
–1 large can of diced tomatoes
–1 can tomatoes and chiles
–1 packet taco seasoning (if you are gluten free, stick to McCormick)
–1 packet ranch dressing mix (make sure there isn’t hidden gluten, I went with Hidden Valley)
–1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger (optional.)
 –shredded cheese and sour cream for embellishment (optional)
The Directions:
 –brown meat if you are going to use it
–drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat.  Not the fat.)
–sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
–drain and rinse the beans and add
–add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans
–stir.
 Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. Stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
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Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken Macaroni

16 Nov

Next time I make this, I'll season it.

 

This meal was definitely a success in my house. My husband loved it and finished all of it the next day. My daughter is a sucker for macaroni. I love bacon.

First off, I want to mention that the recipe called for one slice of bacon. I felt like that wasn’t enough. I used three slices instead. I would have done more, but I was nervous. I felt that if the recipe only called for one slice, there must have been a reason. I think that next time I might do four slices. For me, that might be the perfect amount. Feel free to put your own spin on any recipe, by the way. You know your family (and your own taste buds) better than any recipe.

Also, I think that next time I make this, I will definitely add some seasoning. That’s really the only thing that was missing.

Here's the bacon and the chicken cooked in bacon grease.

Here is the mixture of soup in the sauce pan.

Here's the finished product! It disappeared pretty quickly.

One more thing that I think I’ll do differently is mix the top layer of cheese into the dish. I feel like it was unnecessary to spread a layer of cheese on top and broil it to melt the cheese. Everything gets mixed up in my plate anyway, so I might as well mix all of the cheese together. I have a feeling that it is just for show, so if I make this for company I may still put it on top.

Here’s a link to the original recipe: http://firstlookthencook.com/2010/02/26/bacon-ranch-and-chicken-mac-and-cheese/  The recipe is copied and pasted, below.

Ingredients:

  • 8  ounces  uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1  slice applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8  ounces  skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free milk
  • 1/3  cup  condensed 45% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded six-cheese Italian blend (such as Sargento)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded colby-Jack cheese

Preparation

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Preheat broiler.

Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

 

 

Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups

15 Nov

This made me excited for the day when my daughter will have sleepovers. It was super easy to make. You just butter up the cups in a cupcake pan, or a muffin pan. Then you press the bread into a cup shape in the pan. The recipe wants you to use a cookie cutter and make everything pretty, but you really don’t need to. I just tore my bread into strips and shaped it inside of the cup. You don’t even have to use a rolling-pin like the recipe says. I just flattened my bread with my fingers.

Then, you lay half-cooked bacon into the cups (it will continue to cook in the oven). The recipe only calls for one slice per cup, but I think I’ll put two slices next time I make this. If you are using microwave bacon, you don’t have to microwave it before adding it. You can just stick it into the bread cup.

Next, crack an egg into the cup. Make sure you season it a little, because it will be pretty bland if you do not. I also added shredded cheese to half of our egg cups. If you look in the picture above, the egg on the left is the one with the shredded cheese on top.

Put it into your oven at 375 degrees until your egg whites are solid-ish. The recipe says about 20 minutes. Just keep an eye on them.

Get creative with yours. If you do something different to it, let me know about it! I’m open to try new things.

Here’s the original recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/330179/bacon-egg-and-toast-cups

French Onion Soup

11 Nov

This was another crock pot recipe, and it smelled sooooooo wonderful all day long. I spent my day drooling while waiting for supper. When I actually got to eat it, I didn’t like it. It was just too plain for my taste. There wasn’t any meat in it or anything. I had to send my husband to the store to get some stew-beef. I cooked the meat and added it into the soup. It definitely improved the flavor. I also did not like the Gruyère cheese. We scraped it off of our french bread and ate it without it.

One friend from twitter (a chef, so I’m pretty sure that this advice is legit) told me that you should always use red onions.  I would definitely recommend that to anyone who wants to try this recipe. I’m pretty sure he knows what he is talking about. I didn’t have any for this recipe because he gave me the advice after I had all of my ingredients.

Also, I cried an ocean full of tears while cutting these god-forsaken onions. I love onions, don’t get me wrong. They just made me cry more than I cried in my entire pregnancy. Another friend told me (again, after I finished cooking) that if your onions are cold, they aren’t as potent while you are cutting them so you won’t cry as much. So put them in the fridge to cool off!

You might like this recipe. Don’t run away from it just because I didn’t enjoy it. My husband liked it. It also made an awesome sandwich the next day. Pic is at the bottom of this post, if you want to see it.

This is what it looked like when I was mixing them in with the butter. Looks so good.

This is after I added the juices, but before it was cooked. I wish you could smell these pictures.

The finished product, still in the crock pot.

A bowl of soup and bread.

The next day, the soup wasn’t very juicy anymore. It was mostly beef and onion leftover. For lunch, I made a sandwich. I put the beef and onions on my bread, sprinkled shredded (yellow) cheese on top, warmed it in the microwave, and added mayo. It was so good. Very very delicious.

Leftover sandwich.

Edit: My husband put broccoli and carrots in his leftovers tonight after I had already posted the blog. It was delicious. Basically like a stir fry. Great idea for next time. If I remake the soup, I’ll add meat and vegetables.

 

This recipe was found here: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/03/french-onion-soup-crockpot-recipe.html

-2 cans of beef broth
–3 T butter
–2 yellow onions
–1/2 T granulated sugar
–1/4 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine would probably work)
–1/2 t kosher salt (you might need more if your butter isn’t salted)
–slices of brown rice bread (or french bread)
–gruyere cheese (swiss could work too)

The Directions.
–heat your crockpot to high and plop your butter in to start melting
–slice the yellow onions into rings
–break up the onion slices with your fingers, and rub them around in the melted butter
–add the beef broth, sugar, salt, and sherry
–cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-12. It takes a while for the onions to get translucent and pliable
before serving:
–preheat oven to the broiling option
–toast 4 slices of the bread that you are going to use.
–cut gruyere cheese into slices
–put the cheese onto the toasted bread, and carefully float the bread and cheese on the top of the soup
 –remove stoneware from crockpot and place the UNCOVERED stoneware into the oven
–broil for a minute or two–the cheese should be all melty and turn a golden color
ladle into 4 bowls.

Chicken Parmesan

10 Nov

To avoid repetition, I’ll direct you to the side bar for an introduction to the reason I’ve started this blog. I’ve decided to move this to WordPress because of technical issues from the original location of this blog. If you’re looking for my grandmother’s recipes, see http://www.kimmycooks.tumblr.com.

First off, I need to say that most of my recipes have been found online, and I will post the original links to them. A lot of my crock pot recipes come from a blog I found on pinterest. A woman decided to use her crock pot every day for a year. That’s where I found this recipe. I thought it was delicious! I did a few things differently, though. First, I couldn’t find any sliced mozzarella cheese on my shopping trip and had to buy shredded instead. What I did was put the chicken in the crock pot with the cheese on top. I put it on high so that the cheese would melt. I did this because I didn’t want the shredded cheese to fall off of the chicken when I poured the sauce on top. After the cheese was melted, I poured on the sauce and the cheese stayed put. Then I switched it back to “low”. I also made a mistake while cooking this. I grabbed a jar of spaghetti sauce out of our pantry instead of marinera. The jars look very similar! I thought it was still delicious. My husband didn’t like this meal very much. Not because it wasn’t good, only because it isn’t his type of food.

For lunch the next day, I stuck leftover chicken into some french bread and ate it like a poboy. It was great!

Chicken Parmesan, in the Crock Pot

Dinner is served!

Link to original recipe: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/chicken-parmesan-crockpot-recipe.html

–2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves–1/2 cup bread crumbs–1/4 cup parmesan cheese–1/2 t Italian Seasoning–1/4 t black pepper–1/4 t kosher salt–1 T olive oil–1 beaten egg–sliced mozzarella cheese–favorite jarred marinara sauce
–spread the 1 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert

–whip the egg with a fork in a separate bowl
–mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the parmesan cheese in another separate dish
–dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings
–place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crock
–layer 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese on top
–cover with entire jar of marinara sauce–close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4. If your chicken is still frozen, it will take longer. Serve with your favorite pasta.