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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Hamburger Soup

I know, I am so sorry, I feel like I’ve completely neglected my duties here. I’ve been working really hard and taking the easy route way too often. Don’t be like me. I have had this recipe for a while, but as with things, I forgot about it until someone mentioned it. Ah, yes. I need to make some. No, it’s not like a hamburger in soup form. It is soup with hamburger (read ground beef) in it. I think it was originally titled “Steak Soup” meaning ground steak, but since I’m poor, it’s hamburger!

I actually got this originally from my cousin’s grandmother. Wait, how is she not my grandmother too? Oh, right, because she is the mother of my Aunt, who was married to my Uncle-dad’s brother. Are you confused yet? I am. I need to sit down. Anyway, she made this and I loved it and I begged her to share the recipe. I bet my cousin, Steph will remember it! I love it, it’s hearty, delish, reheats well and makes a big batch. I did change up a few things from Grandma Bunny’s original just to make things a little easier and quicker on the preparation, but without changing the taste.

Hamburger soup

Hamburger soup

Hamburger Soup

1/2 stick butter
1C flour
1C onion diced
1C celery sliced
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables 10-12oz (steam in bag)
1lb ground beef
2tbsp beef base
1 can diced tomatoes
1lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
8C water

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef with onions. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter and mix with flour to make a roux (a giant ball of flour goo).
3. Stir well and cook slightly.
4. Add water gradually, using a whisk to break up clumps and help blend water & roux
5. Cook frozen steam in bag vegetables.
6. Add all veggies, meat, beef base and tomatoes bring to a boil and drop temp and simmer until veggies are tender, approximately 30min-1hr, or until done.

I just really love this soup. It’s very hearty. The picture doesn’t adequately show all the yumminess, but you’ll love it!

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Ham and Beans For Dummies

I know, I’m probably going to be hit for the title, but really, this recipe is so easy, I wanted you to know it when you clicked on it. You see, if you’re new to my blog, I’m easy. Yes, I said it. I am. I freely admit it. when it comes to recipes anyway. Not easy that way, you naughty friend! When I’m choosing a recipe, ease of preparation is key. If the ingredient list is as long as my arm, I’ll read it, but when it’s got 24 steps to completion, I’m gone. A couple of years ago, we had ham at Thanksgiving and when the food was gone, and leftovers packed away, I was looking at this great big gorgeous ham bone and really not wanting to just throw it out, it seemed so wrong to waste such potential. So I scoured the web trying to get an idea how to use this hunk of meaty goodness. The result is a mashup of several good ideas I found. If you can boil water, you can so make this! In fact, I’ve got a beautiful ham bone from Thanksgiving I’ll be cooking up tomorrow, just in time for a nasty cold front coming through. Get ready my friends!

Ham & Bean Soup
1 big fat ham bone w/meat on
1 lb navy beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced or cut into chunks
2 celery stalks chopped
2 medium onions chopped
5 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
handful of peppercorns
2 tsp dried thyme

1. In a large pot, put ham bone & water to cover it completly. Put onions, garlic, peppercorns, & bay leaves. Boil at least two hours covered, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove ham bone. Debone ham; cut up meat, put back in pot.
3. Drain beans, add to ham stock.
4. Add carrots, celery and thyme.
5. Simmer two hours, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, simmer another 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until beans are soft.
This is delicious with crusty bread or biscuits.
Enjoy!

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Super EASY Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

Long time no hear, I know. I”m a slacker. But I”m here to share a really delicious and easy recipe. Really what I wanted to title it was ‘The chicken soup recipe for those who don’t cook’ or maybe the ‘if you can boil chicken, you can make this’ but I just thought it’d be a little too long. Crazy I know.

I’ve always loved a nice hot bowl of chicken noodle soup when it’s chilly out. I mean, really, who doesn’t? But I really want to avoid all the salt in the condensed soups, besides, isn’t fresh always better? So, here we are. This really is easy, so if you want a tough, complicated recipe, you’ll just have to go elsewhere! Are you ready? Ok, here we go.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 containers of chicken broth (32oz each)

2 to 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

3 carrots-peeled and sliced

3 celery stalks-sliced

1 med to small onion diced

1-2tbsp butter

1 tsp each dried basil & thyme

1-1/2 c rotini cooked al dente OR 12oz pkg frozen egg noodles

salt to taste

Instructions

1. in a large pot, chicken breasts w/at least 1-2″ water to cover them. boil until chicken is completely cooked.

2. in a separate large pot, melt butter, add onion/carrots/celery and cook until veggies are crisp/tender

3. pour in chicken broth, salt & spices. bring to a rolling boil & reduce heat to a nice simmer, or you can leave it on a nice gentle rolling boil for a while, it won’t hurt anything, just keep an eye on it.

4. Remove chicken from pot DON’T THROW OUT THE WATER¬†and either cut into chunks or shred using two forks-this one is your preference, I like it both ways. (My family has decided they prefer the frozen egg noodles to the rotini. I cook the noodles in the chicken broth/water, then put in the pot with the soup mixture)

5. Add the chicken, as well as the water used to cook the chicken to the bigger pot w/the broth.

***NOTE: If you have the time, you can let it simmer for a few hours, it will condense and strengthen the flavors, as well as making the chicken really tender. Or you can add the noodles directly after adding the chicken, let it cook another 10 minutes or so and serve.

6. When noodles are done, add them to the big pot w/the chicken broth etc. Let it cook another 10 minutes or so and serve. It goes really well with crusty bread or biscuits for a nice hearty chilly evening dinner.

If it’s not soupy¬†enough for¬† you, you can always add more broth. I’ve done it and it makes a really big batch, but in my world, that’s not a bad thing!

This is just so darned simple, and delicious, I seem to find myself making it about once a week. At first my kids were really excited. Now, well, not so much. It used to be ‘Oh yay! chicken noodle soup!’ Now its ‘oh great. soup again.’ But they eat it, b/c it’s good and it’s what they get for dinner. They know I”m not a short order cook, you get what you get.

Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Over the summer, my slow cooker is my best friend. In cooler weather, it’s my friend too! I’ve got several delicious recipes I like to use it for. Our summer ended rather abruptly this year <NO, I”m not complaining!> so rather than waiting for October to make soups & stews, I get to do it now! One of my husband’s favorites is this one I’m getting ready to share. I got this from¬†my husband’s twin sister. Thanks Kim!¬†I will tell you , I didn’t take any pictures of it, it doesn’t photograph well, but it’s super easy and delicious! It’s warm and hearty, without being really heavy.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/2C wild rice

5-1/2C water

2 stalks celery sliced thin

2 carrots peeled and sliced

1 medium onion chopped

2 tbsp chicken boullion crystals or 3 chicken bullion cubes crushed

2 cans chicken breast

2 tbsp flour

1C heavy cream or half & half

1. rinse wild rice. Place first¬†6 ingredients in slow cooker. Set to high and cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until rice is tender. (if not cooked long enough, the rice is crunchy….gross!)

2. pour undrained cans of chicken in crockpot. Mix flour and cream/half & half and pour into crock pot. Cook another hour or so.

Serve with crusty bread. Delicious and you hardly had to do a thing! If you need to, I think you could totally cook this on low all day, and then add the chicken/cream when¬†you get home from work and give it time to finish cooking. My children grumble and don’t like it, but hey, that’s more for us, right? ūüėÄ Enjoy!

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Recipe substitutions

Well, I have learned the hard way that sometimes, one thing cannot be substituted for another when cooking. I was really surprised and thought it would not make that much difference, but in the end it really did.¬† I was making a chicken and wild rice soup in the crock pot.¬† It’s¬† a really delicious recipe i got from one of my sister-in-laws.¬† I’ve had it before and enjoyed it, so thought hey, it’s cold outside, definitely soup weather, let’s try something different.

It calls for heavy whipping cream. Guess what, I have no heavy cream, but what I do have is 1/2 & half, it’s half cream, it should work, right? Well, in a word, wrong. The soup was ok, but it was very runny, and I don’t believe it’s supposed to be quite as watery as mine was.¬† It tasted fine, but I have learned my lesson.

There are somethings I’ve learned that I can sub for another item and things are just fine, as in green bell pepper instead of red.¬† The red peppers sometimes around here are $1.50 each, which is pretty steep for a single pepper.¬† Oddly enough, the green peppers are usually less than half that.¬† Ok, it still works.¬† When I’m baking cookies, I use butter flavored Crisco sticks.¬† My mother in law gave me the tip.¬† She said it makes the cookies a bit moister and they don’t scorch.¬† Hmm, ok, I’ll give it a try. It works wonderfully.

I have happy accidents in the kitchen regularly, unfortunately, this was not one of them. I was underwhelmed by the result. Oh well, live and learn right?

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