Crockpot Salsa Chicken

October 29, 2007 at 11:52 pm | Posted in appetizer, Chicken, football food, Mexican food | Leave a comment

Some of my friends have raved about this crockpot salsa chicken recipe that has been floating around. I loved the sound of it because I love to use the crockpot and we really like Mexican food so I thought this would be a winner. And it is beyond easy. It smelled SOOO good when I got home from work today. YUM! : )

This is taken from my friend Nikki’s blog…I believe she got it from Sparkpeople.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts – put in frozen if you’re worried about overcooking
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 16 oz jar salsa
1 can corn (I didn’t use corn)
1 can rinsed and drained black beans
1 cup reduced fat sour cream

PS – this recipe makes a ton. I will half it next time.

Directions

Mix soup, salsa, and taco seasoning together and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Before serving, shred the chicken, add corn, beans, and sour cream. Cook for a few more minutes until everything is heated through. Serve with tortilla chips or in a tortilla.

Pig Rating: He said it was good but it wasn’t something that he will crave. He said it was a little too Tex Mex for him. He says that a lot lately – all that is in this is taco seasoning and he likes regular tacos, so who knows. : ) Anyway, he thought it was okay but he likes my chicken nachos way better.

Mrs. Pig Rating: Super easy recipe which is always good. I liked this one pretty well, but I probably won’t make it again for awhile. Not my favorite, but I didn’t hate it either. I am still getting used to chicken in Mexican food so maybe that was why I wasn’t in love with it.

Recipe from Nikki’s blog, picture from my kitchen

Pasta with Sausage and Vodka Sauce

October 28, 2007 at 11:21 pm | Posted in pasta | 1 Comment

As you can probably tell, I love pasta. I could live on it – I am convinced of that. I do try to limit it though and I always use wheat/whole grain pasta to try to convince myself that it’s still okay to eat it often. HA!

My friend Amanda posted a pasta recipe that I have been dying to try. I have heard this recipe before (Rachel Ray maybe?) but had never heard how good it was. If Amanda says it was good, that was good enough for me!

Ingredients

1/4 pound spaghetti (I used penne pasta)
1tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound Italian sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled or chopped
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons vodka
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
Sprig fresh basil, for garnish
*Note: I doubled the sauce on this per Amanda’s recommendation and I agree with her. Doubling the sauce led to the perfect amount. I would say this is about 2-3 servings depending on how much you eat.

Directions

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned and all pink has disappeared, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the vodka and cook until the sauce reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat.

I served with salad and crusty Italian bread.

Pig Rating: The Pig thought this one was so-so good. In Tommy language that means it was good 🙂 He asked for some leftovers for his lunch.

Mrs. Pig Rating: I ate so much I felt like I was pregnant. HA! Does that tell you anything? I really liked this one a lot – I really liked the heat from the red pepper flakes mixed with the sausage and the sauce. Definitely a keeper in my book. YUM!

Menu: October 28 – Nov 3

October 28, 2007 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Menus | Leave a comment

Sunday: Amanda’s Vodka pasta with sausage, bread, and olive oil dipping sauce
Monday: Nikki’s crockpot salsa chicken with spanish rice
Tuesday: Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn, steamed broccoli
Wednesday: Halloween – eat dinner at Tommy’s parent’s house
Thursday: Jambalaya
Friday: Date night
Saturday: Out to eat for a birthday party

Easy week for me! 🙂

Mushroom Pork Chops

October 26, 2007 at 12:18 am | Posted in Pork | Leave a comment

Now that I have decided that I can tolerate pork chops in an effort to switch things up for my husband, I am always looking for new chop recipes that we will both like. Tommy loves mushrooms…me, not so much but I don’t mind to make them in recipes that I can pick around them. : )

Ingredients

4 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

Directions

Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste.
In a large skillet, brown the chops over medium-high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, and saute for one minute. Pour cream of mushroom soup over chops. Cover skillet, and reduce temperature to medium-low. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until chops are cooked through.
I actually followed the reviews online and changed some things up a bit. Intstead of cooking them in the skillet, I first browned them a bit and finished cooking them in the oven, covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Not sure how this changes it as I have only done it this way but everyone seems to like it better that way. : )

Pig Rating: The Pig says that this one is a keeper. He still likes the smothered chops better but says this one is a goodie as well.

Mrs. Pig: I am still getting used to pork chops, but this one is definitely good as far as pork chops go. : )

Recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com/, picture from our kitchen

Mexican Pizza

October 24, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Posted in appetizer, Mexican food, pizza | 3 Comments

We love Mexican food (as you can probably tell) and Sheridan’s favorite food is tacos so any variation of that is usually a winner. I found a recipe for Mexican pizza – we like Mexican, we like pizza, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Ingredients

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 pound ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce

Directions

Unroll crescent roll dough and place in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Flatten dough to fit the pan, sealing seams and perforations. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown; cool. In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and sour cream with a wire whisk; spread over crust. Chill 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown beef; drain. Stir in taco seasoning. Add water according to package directions and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with olives, tomato, cheeses and lettuce. Cut into serving-size pieces. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Pig Rating: Just so-so. He said having that kind of crust with Mexican food was kind of weird.

Mrs. Pig Rating: Just so-so also. It was good but it just kind of tasted like soft tacos to me, nothing really special.

Little Pigs: Sheridan didn’t like it. She likes tacos but the crust she didn’t like. Will ate, well, the black olives. : )

Recipe from www.allrecipes.com and picture from my kitchen

My Fave Bread Bowl

October 23, 2007 at 11:41 pm | Posted in bread, kitchen utensils | Leave a comment

I loved getting cool new stuff for the kitchen for our wedding – even if I didn’t really NEED it. 🙂 One of our gifts was an awesome biscuit basket made by Eucalyptus Stoneware (http://www.eucalyptus-stoneware.com/).

This basket is awesome if you eat a lot of bread, biscuits, etc. You put it in the oven for about 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Then you wrap your bread, biscuits, etc. in a cloth napkin, place them in the basket and serve. The “ropes” on the basket will cool off in a few minutes, but the base stays hot for a really long time. It’s a great way to keep bread warm on the table!

Broccoli, Potato, & Cheddar Cheese Soup

October 23, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Posted in potatoes, soup | 1 Comment

My friend Nikki gave this recipe to our friend Clara as one of her first “cooking dinner for my husband” recipes. Clara said it was awesome and of course Nikki likes it, so I had to make it. What could be better than loads of cheese and potatoes??? YUM! It has been such a cold, rainy, icky day today so I am glad that it was on the menu for tonight’s dinner!!

Recipe taken directly from Nikki’s blog: http://crazydeliciousfood.wordpress.com/

Ingredients

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cans chicken broth (the regular soup size cans)

2 cups broccoli florets chopped (I usually just use frozen broccoli … I heat it for a minute so I can cut it, then I chop it up)

1 1/4 cups milk

8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese

3 peeled and cubed potatoes
you can also top with cooked bacon and green onions (I usually skip the onions, but the bacon is good)

Directions

Mix 1/3rd cup of chicken broth with the 1/4 cup of flour until smooth and set aside
Combine remaining chicken broth, potatoes and broccoli in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 8 mins or until potatoes are tender. (now here I usually wing it and just leave it uncovered and let it cook until the potatoes are soft … you will need to taste test here so pay attention. Also sometimes I put a few more potatoes and/or broccoli in so I make sure that the broth covers them and if I use more I throw a little bit more milk in …. not half a gallon)
Then you’re going to gradually stir in the flour mixture from step 1 and cook for another 3-5 mins
Then stir in the milk and cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted and your done.
When you serve it put a little bit of cheese on top and break up a piece of bacon

The only things that I changed – I was out of broccoli so I skipped that but next time I will use it. Also no onions on ours.

Pig Rating: He said “It’s good.” He isn’t a huge soup fan, but he did clean his bowl and he seemed to like it pretty well.

Mrs. Pig Rating: I really liked this a lot!! I love potatoes and cheese…a goody for cold rainy evening for sure!

Recipe from Nikki’s blog, picture from our kitchen!

Flatout Bread Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

October 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm | Posted in appetizer, lunch, pizza | 5 Comments

I love Flatout brand flat breads. I eat them all of the time for wraps for lunch. I recently discovered that their website has a ton of neat recipes on it! http://www.flatoutbread.com/. Awesome!

My favorite food is pizza but I try to be somewhat healthy most of the time, so recently I started making these for lunch whenever I am craving pizza. They are pretty healthy and pretty tasty and quick.

Ingredients
1 Flatout flat bread
1/3 c. pizza sauce
18 pepperoni slices (I use turkey pepperoni)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (I use lowfat)
1/4 tsp. Oregano (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lay Flatout on nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Spread pizza sauce evenly over partially baked Flatout. Top with pepperonis, mozzarella, and Oregano. Bake 15 additional minutes or until mozzarella melts.

Recipe from http://www.flatoutbread.com/ and picture from my kitchen

Weekend Winery Trip

October 21, 2007 at 11:30 pm | Posted in Fun, wine | Leave a comment

This weekend we took our annual fall long weekend trip to Lexington, KY. Tommy is a UK grad and we love going back there for a weekend to go to Keeneland, a walk around campus, a UK football game, etc. This year while Tommy was planning the trip he surprised me by suggesting that we go to a winery while we were there. I knew I married him for a reason! HA! : )

I chose Talon Winery. It is out in the country in a very quaint setting. It was a super windy day so we didn’t walk around too much but I did get one pretty funny picture in front of the vineyards with my hair blowing as if though I had stuck my finger in a light socket. : )

Moral of the story is that the wine was really good. I love Traminette and they had one and that was all I needed to hear for me to choose them. They also have one called “Sweet Evening Breeze” which is like a Reisling. Both of them were so good! I definitely bought a couple of bottles to bring home. : ) If you haven’t tried a Traminette before…do it!
Check out this winery at: http://www.talonwine.com/

Spanish Rice

October 21, 2007 at 11:24 pm | Posted in Mexican food, rice, side dishes | 2 Comments

We can eat rice with pretty much anything. I love the rice that is served at Mexican restaurants so I was interested in finding a recipe that was similar to what they cooked. I found an awesome recipe on allrecipes.com for Spanish rice. If you like this type of rice at all, this is the best, easiest recipe for rice that I have found. I will definitely be making this more often with our Mexican dinners!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa
Directions
Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

Pig Rating: He loved it! He said it was better than the rice that we get in Mexican restaurants. I will definitely be making this one again for him. : )

Recipe from www.allrecipes.com, picure from my kitchen
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