Monday, April 13, 2009

Twas the day after Easter, and all through the house

Did you have a good Easter? We did, and I will upload pictures of Sailor Suits '09 as soon as I get my camera back from my mother-in-law's where it got left. Now I sit exhausted, feeling not one bit guilty for pilfering all the good candy out of the kids' Easter eggs (Dove chocolates and Butterfinger eggs are not to be wasted on the preschool set, who would be just as satiated with a box of Nerds.) And the smell of crockpot fajitas fills my home.

I must say I have been on a little bit of a roll lately, cooking wise. Which is a good thing because for a while there, I was cooking up some ABYSMAL meals. I was just cursed by the crockpot gods. If we had a dog, and praise Jesus we do not, but if we did I am sure he would not even eat some of the concoctions that came from my kitchen.

Just a word from me to you: Crockpot Chinese Cashew Chicken may sound cheaper and easier than ordering in, however, your husband might declare it "a blob of flavorless mush," and those were really not the adjectives we were striving for. (Or as Shannon would have me say, for which we were striving.) Plus you will have wasted all your cashews, which is a crying sin.

I sacrificed the fruits of my labor to the Insinkerator god and now the hex has been lifted, for which we are all thankful. Momma got her cooking groove back. Hallelujah.

I have recently found some really good crockpot meals, which expand beyond the typical chicken-and-cream-cheese-over-rice recipe.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But if you too are looking for a chance to break out of the cream cheese rut, I'm here to help, sisters, I'm here to help. As a bonus, there are some non-crocks too.

Crockpot Tortilla Soup
Oh, my word. I am a tortilla soup snob, being a native Houstonian and all. And this rocked the crock. It was too spicy for the kids, so next time I might sub the Rotel with regular tomatoes. Or I might just give them mac & cheese. With Nerds for dessert.

1 46oz carton chicken broth
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (do I really need to say boneless skinless? Does anyone really still cook with boneful skinful chicken breasts?)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can Rotel
2 cans beans (I used black and pinto)
1 onion, diced fine
1 can corn, drained
garlic, to taste, which is code for lotsa
1 T chili powder
2 t cumin
2 t pepper
1 t salt

Cook on high 4-5 hours. Just before serving shred the chicken breasts and put back in the soup. Top with tortilla chips, avocado, & cheese. Oh, glory. Even better the next day.

Mary in my old MOPS group gave me this recipe and the first time I made it, Walker said he wanted to have it the next night too. So he is a little obsessed. I double the sauce because it is so yummy.

6oz stuffing

3 large eggs

1 cup salsa

1/2 cup bbq sauce

14 oz sausage, diced fine (I use the Healthy Choice lowfat kind)

2lbs ground beef (I use turkey)

It makes two meat loaves- bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes- for the last 5-10 minutes glaze it with this odd but heavenly mixture: 1/4 cup grape jelly, 1/2 cup bbq sauce and 2 T of salsa (this is the part I double. Or triple.)

Noodle and Spinach Casserole: delicious, and pretty healthy with ground turkey. The whole family loved it. And it would be perfect for a new mom casserole dropoff.

Shrimp Casserole: yummy and not at all healthy. Seems very fancy. Needs some cayenne pepper though.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry: This is my new favorite recipe because we are curry addicts around here. So of course I use about 5x the curry it calls for. I am also a sour cream addict. Oh my word, I could eat the PAN.

Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken: from the Crockpot Lady. She's right, the kids love this.

Crockpot Bleu Cheese and Cherry Meatloaf: The mom loves this one. I use craisins instead of dried cherries because they are cheaper.

Speaking of bleu cheese, in Boo's Crockpotaloosa, someone said to put pork chops in the crockpot, add a bottle of bleu cheese dressing, and voila. It was delish and truly, it does not get any easier than that. We had it with couscous and asparagus.

I have only gotten through about a third of the 'paloosa, but so far, it has changed my life.

I have fajitas in the crock now...we'll see how they are. Sure smell good but alas, I have been fooled before.

I have brought out my inner Padma for you.

Update: the fajitas were fantastic!! Here is the link to the recipe. (And turns out she is also the bleu cheese-pork chop crockpot lady!)


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