Archive for March, 2011

Zuppa Toscana

Source: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

I made this recipe alongside Cafe Rio Chicken for the third round of the Crockpot March Madness tournament, hosted by 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

I was really looking forward to this soup — I’ve had it starred in my Google Reader for a long time! This soup was delicious, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it got better with each bite. The only real negative to this recipe is that it does not use staples that I normally have in my pantry. However, the flavor of this soup is well worth it, and I’ll definitely make it again.


Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian sausage
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup whipping cream
kale
bacon bits

Directions:
In a medium skillet, crumble and brown sausage. Drain well, and add to your crockpot. Add the broth, water, onion, potatoes, and garlic, stirring to combine. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

At end of cook time, stir in whipping cream and as many bacon bits as you want. Chop desired amount of kale and stir to combine. Serve with crusty French bread and enjoy!

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Cafe Rio Chicken

Source: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

I made this recipe alongside Zuppa Toscana for the third round of the Crockpot March Madness tournament, hosted by 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

I was really looking forward to trying this recipe, and it did not disappoint.  The flavor was really interesting and not like anything I’ve ever had before. As I prepared the recipe this morning, I was a little nervous about the chicken drying out because there wasn’t a ton of liquid. As it turned out, I was worrying for nothing! The chicken was moist and flavorful when I got home from work.

Prep time and value are huge positives for this recipe — there are only 5 ingredients! I will probably make this recipe again, but the next time we have chicken tacos I will probably go back to my old recipe.  However, it’s nice to have a another option for when I’m craving something different!

Cafe Rio Chicken
1 lb. chicken breasts
3 oz. Italian salad dressing
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions:
Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your crockpot. Combine the salad dressing, cumin, chili powder, and garlic, and pour mixture on top of the chicken. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

At end of cook time, shred chicken, and serve with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!

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Menu March 27-April 1

Sunday: Zuppa Toscana
Monday: Cafe Rio Chicken
Tuesday: Leftover cafe rio chicken
Wednesday: Homemade pizza
Thursday: Subs
Friday: Kale Soup

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Menu March 19-25

Sunday: ham casserole for lunch; BBQ chicken sandwiches
Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: Out
Wednesday: Cheddar Beef Enchiladas
Thursday: Tasty Tuna Pasta
Friday: Pizza

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Chicken Cordon Bleu vs. Creamy Corn Chowder

You’ve read about the Chicken Cordon Bleu and the Creamy Corn Chowder. Now, it’s time to figure out which dish will proceed onto Round 2 of the Crockpot March Madness Tournament.

In determining the winner, Karen asked us to consider the following questions:

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Did your family eat and like it? Yes, we both liked it. I liked it better than Rick did, but he liked it, too.
What things did you like about the recipe? I liked the flavor of the sauce and the chicken. Also, it was proof that a “fancier” recipe can come from a crockpot!
What things would you change about the recipe? I would use oregano instead of thyme. The thyme was really strong, and was the only complaint Rick had about the dish.
Would you make this recipe again? Yes, possibly. It’s something different than what I normally make, but I liked it enough that I would occasionally put it on the menu.
Were there any leftovers or was the crock scraped clean? There were leftovers, but I knew there would be (I’m only cooking for two people). I did cut the recipe in half, so it only made 4 servings instead of 8.

Creamy Corn Chowder

Did your family eat and like it? Yes, we ate it. It wasn’t one of our favorites, but it was good and filling.
What things did you like about the recipe? I originally thought this dish would be good (or even better) without the chicken, but after making it, I was glad the chicken was there. It made it a lot more filling.
What things would you change about the recipe? The sauce was too runny — I was expecting it to be thicker. Also, I would omit the cream cheese, because I don’t think it really did anything to the dish.
Would you make this recipe again? Probably not. It reminded me a lot of other soups that I liked better. But if I did make it again, I would add a diced potato to make the soup even more hearty!
Was there any leftovers or was the crock scraped clean? This dish made about 5 servings for us, which is great, because we take leftovers to work with us for lunch everyday!

Was it a close game? Or was it a blow out? It wasn’t exactly a blow-out, as we enjoyed both dishes, but there was one that we clearly enjoyed more than the other. In this match-up, the Chicken Cordon Bleu is the winner!

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Creamy Corn Chowder

Source: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

This is the second dish I made for the Crockpot March Madness Tournament, hosted by 365 Days of Slow Cooking. I made this Creamy Corn Chowder along with Chicken Cordon Bleu to determine which dish is the victor of this Round 1 match-up.

Check back tomorrow for the winner!

This dish turned out different than I had expected. I was expecting a thick soup, but the broth turned out to be pretty runny. It still had good flavor, and I think this soup really has potential. If I make this recipe again, I would consider adding a diced potato — I think that would thicken the broth and make the soup even more hearty!


Creamy Corn Chowder

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
11 oz. can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
1 can cream of potato soup
4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 tbsp. taco seasoning
1 can black beans
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese

Directions:
Combine chicken, corn, soup, chiles, taco seasoning, and black beans in your crockpot. Pour in the broth, and stir to combine. Cook on low for about 6 hours. At end of cook time, stir about 1 cup of the hot soup into the sour cream. Stir the sour cream mixture and the cream cheese back into the crockpot, stirring well. Let stand on low for about 5 minutes until cream cheese has thoroughly melted and incorporated into the soup.

Shared at Eat at Home Cooks Ingredient Spotlight: Cream Cheese.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu

Source: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

I made this dish as part of the Crockpot March Madness Tournament, hosted by 365 Days of Slow Cooking. This Chicken Cordon Bleu will go head-to-head in the first round of the tournament with Creamy Corn Chowder (which I will blog about tomorrow!). After making and comparing both dishes, I’ll choose a “winner,” which will go on to face its next opponent in Round 2.

This is not your typical “toss everything in the crockpot” dish, as there was some assembly required. I’m glad I made it on a Saturday so I had time to put everything together nicely before rushing off to work in the morning! However, I really liked this dish. It’s something different that I don’t normally make, and I really liked the combination of flavors.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

8 small chicken breasts
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. thyme
8 thin slices of ham
4 slices swiss cheese, cut in half
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz. jar Alfredo sauce
10 oz. can cream of chicken soup

Directions:
Place onion, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of your crockpot. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and thyme. Wrap a slice of ham around each breast and top with a slice of swiss cheese. Secure with one or two toothpicks. Place chicken breasts on top of onions.

In a medium bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce and the cream of chicken. Pour over chicken breasts. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

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