Tag Archives: slow cooker

Quote of the Week 11/11/13

11 Nov

First of all, Happy Veterans Day to all the servicemen & women out there. Thank you for your service!

This weekend was my final wedding of 2013, and it was so much fun. My mom even came down from Greenville to celebrate Ryan & Becca, and it was just a total blast of a weekend.

The other highlight of my weekend was roasting a whole chicken in my crock pot for the first time. I know that this probably isn’t a major feat for any of you out there, but for me it was kind of a big deal. So this week’s quote is in honor of my newfound chicken roasting superpowers. Enjoy!

“You could probably get through life without knowing how to roast a chicken, but the question is, would you want to?”
–Nigella Lawson

I wish I could make spaghetti look that good.

I wish I could make spaghetti look that good.

Tina Chili

8 Feb

My mom makes the best chili. Well, she makes the best pretty much any food you can name, but her chili is especially good. I know lots of people love really spicy chili, but I’m not a person who believes that chili making should actually be a process of developing new and interesting ways to set people’s mouths on fire and ensure they don’t taste things right for at least a week. I like a little bit of kick, but let’s keep it to a reasonable level people. If I have to sign a waiver before I eat your food, IT’S TOO SPICY.

Turning into a fire breathing dragon is not my idea of fun.

Turning into a fire breathing dragon is not my idea of fun.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper
  • 2-3 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 4 (16 ounce) Cans Black Beans
  • 2 (16 ounce) Cans Mexican-Style Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup Water

There are two ways of making this chili. The first is the classic Tina method, which takes a lot more work, but is totally worth it. The second is the lazy Sydney method, which involves a crock pot and very little work on your part, but takes a lot more time (since it’s in the slow cooker).

The Tina Method:

Prep:

  1. Chop Peppers & Onions and mince Garlic (set aside)
  2. Open both cans of Mexican-Style Stewed Tomatoes. Put into Food Processor and Puree. (set aside)
  3. Open Can of Tomato Paste. Put into Food Processor. Add with one cup of water and Puree. (set aside)
  4. Brown Ground Beef in 2 Tablespoons Oil. Partially Drain. I add a little of the oil from the browned ground beef to my chili for flavor. (set aside)

Instructions:

  1. Melt 4 Tablespoons Butter in a large dutch oven (Pot).
  2. Add chopped Bell Peppers and Onions and sauté until tender – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add minced Garlic, Salt, Oregano, Chili Powder, Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper, and a Dash of Cayenne Pepper. Stir all together.
  4. Stir in Ground Beef.
  5. Add Black Beans, Stewed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste.
  6. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes. Stirring Occasionally.
  7. Serve with a good crusty bread ( like a bread bowl if you can find one), some cheddar cheese, or spaghetti noodles.

Notes from Tina:

  • The first time you make it, don’t substitute any thing. You can substitute and adjust the recipe after you’ve tried it this way at least once. Like substituting Cooked, Cubed Chicken for the Ground Beef or Salsa instead of the Stewed Tomatoes. You may even want to cut back on the Crushed Red Pepper or Cayenne
  • You may find that when it’s about done you may need to adjust your seasonings as per your taste like add more cumin and chili powder. You’ll have to play with it til you get it the way that suits you. Sometimes it’s just perfectly fine. Figure out what works for you.
  • If it isn’t thick enough for you mix a little water with flour and pour into the chili, stirring constantly til thick. (Rule: Never pour flour into a hot liquid as it will clump instead of mixing) FYI: Mesa Flour is generally used to thicken chili but white all purpose flour is fine also. And again, you may not need to thicken it. Depends on personal taste.
Bread, chili, cheese... what more could you possibly ask for??

Bread, chili, cheese… what more could you possibly ask for??

The Sydney Method:

Prep:

  1. Chop Peppers & Onions and mince Garlic (or buy the stuff that’s already done for you)
  2. Brown ground beef and partially drain.
  3. Open Can of Tomato Paste. Put into Food Processor. Add with one cup of water and puree

Instructions:

 

  1. Put all ingredients in crockpot. Stir together.
  2. Put crockpot on low and cook for ~8 hours.
  3. Enjoy with sour cream, good crusty bread, and/or shredded cheddar cheese (or on its own if you’re looking for a low carb dinner option)

Notes:

  • I usually do 2 cans of black beans and 2 cans of either kidney or pinto beans for a little variety. 
  • Once, I didn’t have tomato paste and used a can of refried beans instead. It worked great.
  • That same time, I also didn’t have a plain can of tomato sauce, so I used marinara sauce instead, and it was fine.
Basically I'm obsessed with chili.

Basically I’m obsessed with chili.

Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Chili

11 Jan

Now that I’m working full time, the time that I have to spend cooking has diminished. I feel like I’m only home for ten minutes before it’s time for bed. Luckily for me, I got a Crockpot for Christmas, which is kind of like having a mini chef to do all of my cooking for me. Plus I have meals for multiple days at a time, which is awesome for my laziness.

Well? Do you?

Well? Do you?

Going along with my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve been trying to cook healthier things for myself that are still delicious. I have a bunch of recipes saved that I’m excited to try, so look forward to those! My first one is a Southwestern 2 Bean Chicken dish that I adapted from a picture I found on Pinterest. I have a smaller crockpot and was trying to avoid corn, so I changed up the recipe a bit.

The Crock Pot is my new favorite kitchen tool

The Crock Pot is my new favorite kitchen tool

Ingredients:

1 pkg chicken breast tenderloins from Costco (or 2 chicken breasts)
1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube (I use Knorr)
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (12 ounce) jar of your favorite salsa (I used Newman’s Own Medium)
1/2 Hass avocado, sliced

Instructions:

Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes over that and then layer on the beans and top with Salsa. Cook on low for 5-7 hours (mine cooked for about 8.5 hours and was perfect), or until the chicken easily falls apart when the pot is stirred. Serve and top with avocado.

It kind of looks like a flower. A beautiful, beany, avocado-y flower.

It kind of looks like a flower. A beautiful, beany, avocado-y flower.

The consistency kind of came out at a cross between a soup and chili. It reminds me a lot of the Chicken Chili from Five Loaves Cafe which is one of my favorite soups. Best of all, this recipe took me approximately 2 minutes to prepare, and most of that was opening cans. It cooked while I was at work, and when I got home, my apartment smelled AMAZING.

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