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What’s for dinner?

Don’t you just love that question? Especially at 4:30 pm…… and when you don’t really have an answer?

I try not to get in that position and take advantage of my crockpot often! It’s a great day when I can have the kitchen clean, dinner in the crockpot all before noon 😉

I made this recipe yesterday and it was well loved by all.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 chicken breasts (you can use any kind of chicken, even leftover cooked, just don’t cook as long 😉 – probably want around 4 cups diced/shredded in the end)
  • 1-15 oz can black beans (or 2 cups freshly cooked or 1 pint canned)
  • 4-5 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 TB salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin (increase for more spiciness)
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4-8 oz diced green chilies (optional, but seeing how good the chili water made this, I would add this in the future if only using chicken broth)
  • 8 cups broth (I used some leftover “chili pepper water” from roasting/canning green chilies this fall) but if I didn’t have that I would have used chicken broth 😉

Place everything in the crockpot and turn to low for 6-8 hrs, shred chicken breasts and return to soup, keep on warm till ready to serve

Serve over chips and top with cheese and sour cream

This was adapted from Passionate Homemaking’s Recipe

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Sweet and Sour Chicken
This is an excellent leave all day in the crockpot meal!

I have sort of based this recipe on THIS one and THIS one. If you want to make it with tofu GO HERE and follow some of the hints she has on making it. Otherwise, just slice or cut up whatever meat you like and go for it.
1 pound chicken, beef or whatever
(I usually use uncooked and let it cook all day, you can use already cooked, it won’t take as long – cook till veggies are done!)
4-6 cups veggies, chopped or small slices
Bell peppers, carrots, broccoli are good choices, but be creative
1 onion, chopped

In a saucepan, mix:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar or sweetener of choice
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 TB flour, cornstarch or arrowroot powder, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Mix everything together and bring to a boil, should thicken slightly

Combine with meat and veggies throughly and place in crockpot. Or do as I do, and don’t dirty something else, stir well once it’s all in the crockpot!
Cook on low 8-10 hours or until meat and veggies are done.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

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Does anyone else remember this book?

I think of it every time I make split pea soup. I am more a George here as I really don’t care for split pea soup all that much. I can eat a small bowl, but that’s about it and I usually have trouble getting rid of leftovers since it’s hard to make a small batch of soup 🙂 BUT, my husband really likes split pea soup and so I make it a couple times a year for him. And this is a good week to make it cause I have a ham bone leftover from the ham I cooked earlier this week. (Not really for Easter, we had leftovers on Easter evening, and I cooked the ham on Monday!) Here’s the recipe I am using, it does taste pretty good for split pea soup……….. anyone want to come over for leftovers tomorrow? How do you think this would freeze?

Oh and if you are looking for other good uses for leftover ham – here’s a post from Money Saving Mom with some ideas……. the white bean soup is on my list to try too!
Split Pea Soup
2 cups dried split peas, soaked overnight and drained
Add:
1 qt chicken stock and/or water- may need to add a little more during cooking
1 1/2 pound ham shank bone
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
2 potatoes, chopped
Bring to a boil and simmer 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if you think it needs it. I find if I cook it covered it keeps more liquid in there 🙂 Remove ham bone and take off any meat you want to add back in to soup – or add in leftover diced ham to warm through. Serve with warm bread and a salad!
This is easily adaptable to the crockpot as well.
I would love any thoughts on if you think this would freeze okay……… I may have to give it a try!
This post is part of Pennywise Platter over at Nourishing Gourmet!

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>Beef Stew

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Beef Stew

I personally think this is the best beef stew ever, you’ve got to try it
Work great on the stove top or crockpot!

Combine:
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Toss with 1 pound stew meat, diced till all meat is floured

Heat 3 TB oil in pot on stove
Add floured meat and cook slightly, maybe 3-4 minutes
Add:
2 onions, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 cups, or 16 ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp thyme
2 whole cloves
Heat to boiling

Add:
4 cups carrots, sliced into coins
4 cups potatoes, diced

** Put everything in crockpot at this point and let cook about 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low

OR

continue cooking on stovetop on low simmer till potatoes and carrots are desired tenderness – maybe 2 hours?

A few minutes before serving from either stove or crockpot – you can add 1 – 1/2 cups of frozen peas or lima beans. Either will cook in just a couple minutes.

BEFORE SERVING – REMOVE CLOVES AND BAY LEAF from soup!

Stores great for lunches and leftovers too!

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Spicy Refried Beans
(that I don’t actually re-fry!)
2 1/2 cups pinto beans, soaked 12-24 hours
Strain water and replace with fresh water- enough to fully cover beans plus an inch or two
Add spices:
1 onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 TB cumin
4 TB chili powder
1 TB sea salt
1/2 TB black pepper
1/2 TB cayenne pepper
Mix well with beans and water – Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down to simmer.
Simmer 6-8 hours – replace water as needed
I usually take the lid off the last hour or two and let the water cook down till the remaining water is enough to just mix in and smush with the beans. And I usually cook till the beans pretty much are mushable with a potato masher or firm spoon.
Mash/Smush/Blend beans to a pasty consistency – leave chunky if you like it that way!
If you would like additional seasoning you can add salsa at this point.
Or serve with a warm tortilla and cheese.
I enjoy adding Chipotle Tabasco Sauce to mine 🙂
This is also a great crockpot recipe – after soaking put the beans and spices in the crockpot and let it cook. You typically do not have to replace water using this method, but it is also hard to cook off the water too 🙂 BUT, it works great when you aren’t going to be home and the beans are ready to cook! Depending on your crockpot and whether you use high or low settings, it should take anywhere from 4-12 hours in the crockpot. I have also left them cook overnight……. 🙂
The beans also freeze well. I will often cook up a large batch and then freeze some and use some during the week.

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