Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Slow cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Can you keep a secret? What am I saying, of course you can! I am having an affair. Yes, my husband knows all about it and he’s ok with it. In fact, we tag team occasionally. The object of my latest love affair? My slow cooker. It’s been cold and my husband and I both work full-time so we’ve been working together to get dinner on. I’ll get it prepped and he’ll assemble and turn it on. We make great partners! You’ve seen my many slow cooker recipes: beef stew, chicken and wild rice soup, chicken and dumplings, creamy Italian chicken, and those are only the ones I can think of right off. I’ve been sort of MIA lately, but I’m here to share with you another delish slow cooker soup recipe. It’s different, it’s healthy, and it’s very flavorful. You can spice it up or down, whatever you like. And the best part? It’s ridiculously easy. I mean really, can it get any better? Well, ok, if it would clean up after itself, that would be pretty amazing, but in the absence of that, I’ll be making this regularly!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can roasted tomatoes undrained
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can medium enchilada sauce
1 can corn with green & red peppers drained
1 onion chopped
2 C water
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 C chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
chopped cilantro (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)

1. place all ingredients except cilantro and tortilla chips in a 4qt slow cooker. Turn on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
2. remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and use two forks to shred meat.
3. Put chicken back into slow cooker and allow it to cook for an additional 15-30 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro if desired. Sprinkle crushed tortilla chips on top if desired.
If you want spicier soup, add 1/2 tsp cayenne or you can use hot enchilada sauce, and increase the chili powder.
If you want a milder soup, you can use mild enchilada sauce and cut the chili powder in half.
This is just such a flavorful soup, with many different layers and textures.
And once again, no pics, sorry friends, it was just too good! (and I totally forgot ūüė¶ sorry!)

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Margherita Pizza on steroids

Yes, it’s me, I’m back. I have garlic and I’m not afraid to use it! In my house, garlic is a food group, along with chocolate and red wine. Sounds like a party, no? ūüôā Last summer I had a bumper crop of basil. I love me some fresh basil, also a food group. Because I didn’t want to waste any, I ran it thru my food processor with a little olive oil and put it in ice cube trays & froze it to use later. Since pesto is just basil that’s been put through a food processor with olive oil, garlic, pine nuts & parmesan, I figured I’d have the hard part already done, right? Great. So, now I’m coming up with new ways to use my bounty. And just in case you’re curious, yes, I will have basil in my garden again this year.

Today I was trying to decide what dinner would be and I saw the premade pizza shells at the grocery. I love the thin & crispy crust pizza and was thrilled to see a pre-made thin crust. Pizza Margherita is wonderful and I rarely see it when I go out. Hmmm, thin crust pizza shell, tomatoes in the fridge and basil ready to go? I’m in! But….here I go again, changing things up. You’ll be so proud, I took pictures!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In case you don’t know what Margherita pizza is, it’s a pizza crust with olive oil, minced garlic, mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and basil. Yum! It’s a very light & flavorful pizza. Mine, well, mine was essentially pesto pizza with tomatoes. In my fridge, I happen to have some gorgeous fresh asparagus that I picked on Friday at Thunderbird Berry Farm (I so wish they had a website). And a jar of pine nuts in the cabinet calling my name too. Yep, I did it. I added them to my Margherita pizza and, well, all I can say is WOW. amazing! So, if you love caprese salad, you’ll love Margherita pizza! Give it a try! You won’t be sorry!

Margherita Pizza on Steroids

1 pre-cooked thin pizza crust
2 roma tomatoes sliced thin
4 oz shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp. olive oil
5 garlic cloves (you can use less if you don’t want to stink!) finely minced
5 tbsp. chopped basil (or 1/2 C fresh basil cut into thin strips)
6 stalks of asparagus
2 tbsp. pine nuts
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. On pizza crust, spread 1-2 tbsp. olive oil all over crust using a pastry brush to be sure and get all of the crust
3. spread chopped basil over olive oil, sprinkle garlic & pine nuts over basil.
4. sprinkle cheese over basil & top with tomato slices
5. arrange asparagus around tomatoes
6. bake 10 minutes or until crust reaches your preferred crispness
7. enjoy with altoids!

****NOTE-if you don’t want your tongue to slap your brains out, feel free to decrease the amount of garlic and/or basil. If you use fresh basil, the taste will be delicious, but not quite as powerful as my version.

enjoy!

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Healthy Blueberry Coffee Cake

Yum. I love healthy and delicious, have you noticed? I love trying new things and combinations. If you want something that is as delicious as it is healthy for a breakfast/brunch recipe, I’ve got you covered. But as is my MO of late, no pics, so sorry my friends. I promise I’ll do better!

Healthy Blueberry Coffee Cake

1-1/3 Cflour

3/4C oatmeal

1tbsp ground flax (optional)

2 tsp baking powder

1/3C sugar

1/2C fat free milk

1/4C applesauce

1/4C vanilla yogurt

1 egg

1C fresh or frozen blueberries

TOPPING:

1/4C oatmeal

3tbsp flour

3tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp cold butter

1tsp cinnamon

 

1. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, including sugar.

2. Beat egg, applesauce, yogurt and milk.

3. blend wet and dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in blueberries.

4. Pre-heat oven to 350F.

5. Pour batter into a greased 9″ pie dish.

6. for topping, using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs and sprinkle evenly over top of batter.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 min, or until knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

 

If you like more streusel topping on your coffee cake, you can easily double the quantity. this is delicious and moist, without being overly sweet. The topping makes it seem more decadent than it really is. Yum!

 

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Sam’s Lemon Crunch Cookies

O.M.G! I have a new fave!¬† And I have to tell you, Sam is the innkeeper in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, not Sam as in ‘Sam’s Club’. They don’t share recipes. And I have a feeling if they did, they wouldn’t be 4 ingredients! We enjoyed a wonderful stay with Sam and Jeff last weekend. When we checked in, a plate of these were sitting on the bed waiting for us. These cookies are very lemony and have a surprising little crunch to them.¬† I’ve never had anything like them and I’m sure you’ll love them too if you like lemon!

Mmm! I have a new favorite!

Sam’s Lemon Crunch Cookies

1 pkg lemon cake mix

1 egg

1 C crisp rice cereal

1 stick butter melted

1. melt butter. preheat oven to 350F.

2. mix all ingredients, including butter. dough will be rather thick and stiff.

3. place in 1-1/2 tsp balls on ungreased cookie sheet. bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. 8 if you want softer cookies, longer if you like crispier cookies.

4. store in an airtight container to maintain chewiness.

Seriously, 4 ingredient cookies? Count me in! If you want them a bit more lemony, you can add some lemon zest or lemon extract.

Thanks Sam! These are wonderful!

You can find out more about Sam and their beautiful Circa 1884 Victorian B&B in Eureka Springs here www.bridgefordhouse.com

It’s a wonderful place to stay for a nice relaxing weekend.

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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

So you remember my post about all the ways I love garlic? Here’s a quick, easy and healthy way to get it into your diet!

Garlic chicken stir fry

1 lb chicken cubed

1 bunch green onions, sliced diagonally

1 can sliced water chestnuts drained

12 to 15 cloves garlic sliced very thin

16 oz pkg fresh mushrooms  sliced

1 C water

2 tbsp chicken broth

3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp canola oil

1. in a wok, heat oil to med/high and stiry fry the vegetables 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. remove from pan.

2. put chicken in pan and cook until no longer pink, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.

3. mix chicken broth, water and soy sauce.

4. push chicken to the side of the wok, pour liquid mixture into center of wok. stir and cook until bubbly and slightly thickened.

5. add vegetables, including water chestnuts, back to wok. stir and cook until completely heated through and blended.

6. serve over hot cooked rice.

Delish and nutrish! It goes together really easily and is healthy. And the best part, it’s even better the next day! enjoy! Sorry, once again, no pics, we were starving and dove right in!

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Chocolate Truffle Cake (serve w/a side of insulin!)

WARNING: Do not read this if you don’t like very rich, decadent desserts. This is not for the faint of heart.

O.M.G. If the title of this post doesn’t explain it, one look at the picture should!

Just the photo alone will cause a spike in blood sugar and cause the waist of your pants to become tighter!

Yesterday was my daughter’s first communion. We had everyone over after and I wanted to make a special dessert. I searched my magazines and found this on the cover. I cannot take credit for it, I’m simply sharing what I found, but beware: Do not eat this close to bed time. And do not eat this unless you have coffee/milk/red wine to wash it down! It is incredibly rich and very delish, and totally unhealthy! Which is why I took half the leftovers to my next door neighbors! Thanks Kari!

Oh, and don’t be afraid. My friend said it looked intimidating. Seriously, if you can read directions and assemble things, you can totally do this and amaze and astound your friends and family!

Chocolate Truffle Cake

1 pkg brownie mix (8×8 size, or 13×9 size for a thicker brownie)

3 C (18oz) semi sweet chocolate chips

2 C (16 oz) heavy whipping cream

6 tbs butter, cubed

1 tbsp instant coffee granules

3 tbsp vanilla extract

approx 24 Pirouette/Pirouline Cookies cut in half

1. Mix brownie mix by package instructions. Cut a circle of parchment paper to put in the bottom of a 8 or 9″ springform pan. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the brownie batter in prepared pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

2. Place springform pan on a cooling rack and cool completely.

3. In a food processor, process chocolate chips into a fine powder

4. In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave on high 1 to 1-1/2 min, melt butter with coffee granules and 1 C heavy whipping cream. Stir to blend.

5. With food processor running, add butter mix in a slow stream into chocolate chips.

6. add the vanilla and process until smooth.

7. Place 1/4C of chocolate mix in a sandwich or pastry bag and set aside for use later as a garnish. Place remaining chocolate mix in a large bowl.

8. Remove the sides of springform pan and parchment paper from the bottom of the brownie. Place on a decorative cake plate, or whatever you will serve on. With half of this chocolate blend, cover the top and sides of the brownie.

9. In a small bowl, beat remaining whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.

10. Spread the whipped cream/chocolate mixture on top of the brownie.

11. Cut the cookies either in half, or in 1-1/2″ pieces (I’ll explain more later)

12. Gently press the cookies into the side of the cake. Cut a small hole in the sandwich bag containing the reserved chocolate mixture. Garnish with the reserved chocolate mixture.

13. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, to overnight. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes prior to serving.

14. Be ready with milk/coffee/red wine/insulin when you serve, you’re gonna need it!

As for the cookies, the original recipe¬†called for cutting the cookies into 1-1/2″ pieces. When I did¬†it that way, I ended up with a piece that was about 1/2″ long that was going to be waste, so I cut them in half. I ended up with a much more uneven line across the tops and it was not even with the top of the truffle layer. My friends thought it was awesome, my daughter-the princess of the day did too,¬† and that’s good enough for me!

¬†If¬† you make this, be ready for loads of compliments, and maybe even some complaints….that your dessert will force some extra time at the gym! Enjoy!

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Italian Flag One Pan Dinner

As per my norm, I saw this recipe and immediately altered it! You know me, I can’t seem to leave anything alone! This is really delicious, extremely simple and very healthy. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and, wait for it….TASTE! I promise, you will so love it!

Italian Flag One Pan Dinner

1lb chicken cut into 1″ pieces

1 can 18 oz cannelini/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans diced tomatoes-one plain and one Italian

16oz frozen chopped broccoli/broccoli florets thawed

1C orzo

1 tsp Italian seasoning

6 garlic cloves pressed (more or less, depending on what you like)

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain.

While orzo is cooking, in a large skillet, cook chicken in olive oil 5 to 6 min, or until no longer pink. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add garlic to remaining oil and cook about 1 minute. 

Put tomatoes, beans and italian seasoning into skillet and bring to a boil.

Add in broccoli and chicken, reduce heat stir to blend and allow all ingredients to com to the same temperature.

Put orzo in the chicken mixture and stir to blend.

Serve with a nice green salad and you are done, done, so done!

Calorie info: 1-1/2 C =approx 350 calories.

You can’t beat that! Enjoy and do tell me if you give this a try!¬† So sorry I have no pics to share, we dove in so fast, I didn’t have a chance to grab my camera!

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Oh man. This was so delicious and so easy, I had to share. It was perfect for this cold weather we’ve been having. ¬†And I didn’t have to mess with it all day long, what could be better?

YUMMMMMM

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat

1 medium onion chopped

4 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 to 5 carrots peeled and sliced

1 bag (12oz) frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, green beans)

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)

2 bay leaves

1/4 C dry red wine

5 tbsp beef broth

2 C water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1. brown stew meat and onion in a skillet. Drain.

2. Parboil fresh potatoes and carrots until partially cooked. Drain.

3. microwave frozen vegetables according to pkg directions.

4. In 4 qt slow cooker, place all ingredients and stir to blend. Cook on high for 7 hrs, then turn to low until meat is tender and all veggies are cooked. Remove bay leaves. Serve with crusty bread or biscuits.

Wanna bite? Come on over!

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