Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken

Everyone loves a tasty crockpot recipe!!! I've made so many different versions of frozen chicken breasts in a crockpot that I've lost count. Sometimes you just have to go back to the basics and good ol' comfort food. This is the type of recipe that our entire family loves and is a no brainer to throw together on a busy day.  Add these ingredients to your next grocery list for an easy yummy crockpot dinner!!!

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken

1 lb frozen chicken breasts (5 or 6 breasts)
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 small can diced green chiles
1 block Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste

Spray non-stick spray (Pam) inside crockpot.  Place frozen chicken breasts on bottom of crockpot and then pour both cans of soup and can of chiles on top. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.  Use a fork and knife to lightly shred the chicken inside the crockpot. Sprinkle a few dashes of salt, pepper and garlic powder, if desired.  Add the shredded cheese, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve over cooked rice. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sausage Pasta Skillet

The past few months have been a time of many changes for my family….. my husband just recently retired after serving 20 years in the Air Force, my three kids started back at school and I went back to work as a Speech Pathologist in a school district working with kids ages 3 to 18 years. Needless to say our schedule remains busy…and it will go into fast forward as the Fall soccer season begins and the kids attend weekly dance classes, cub scouts, music lessons, etc…
 As my family knows I'm constantly on the lookout for "new" recipes. I especially love those easy one skillet dinners that require little clean-up and come together quickly. I was thrilled to see this recipe posted by the website Kevin and Amanda. (The original recipe is from the cookbook The Best Simple Recipes by America's Test Kitchen.)  It had all of the basic ingredients for a yummy but fast meal. I adapted it to my own tastes but for the most part it is a definite keeper!!! 

Sausage Pasta Skillet
adapted from's recipe for Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced 
1 1/2 cups diced onions (I left this out)
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel, Mild (or use 1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes if you like it less spicy)
8 oz. penne
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
green onions, thinly sliced (optional)

Add olive oil and sliced sausage (and diced onions if you like) to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, broth, tomatoes, penne, heavy cream, salt and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil; cover skillet with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender; about 15 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese.  Then add the remaining 1 cup of cheese evenly across the top of the skillet right before serving.  Makes 4 servings. 

My family ate every last bite of this skillet meal and agreed this is a tummy pleaser. The next time I make it I will definitely use a can of diced tomatoes….I liked the extra kick but it was a little too much for my youngest son.  You can also play around with the sausage by using turkey sausage or a lite version of smoked sausage.  The pasta can also be swapped out with whatever type of pasta you have available in the pantry.  Add this recipe to your weeknight rotation for an easy skillet meal the whole family will enjoy!!!