Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchiladas

I love me some Mexican food – especially enchiladas. But, I don’t like the prep time that cooking chicken and rolling enchiladas involves – especially since mine usually cook together and turn out to be a gooey mess of delicious tortilla, chicken and cheese mixture anyway.

But yesterday I was hankering for some enchiladas – my first food hankering in months. I googled around and combined a bunch of different recipes to create the least amount of work enchilada recipe this lazy bum could find.  And it was delish, so I thought I should share.

Semi-Crockpot Lazy Girl’s Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

For the Chicken Mixture:
4 chicken breasts (I just chuck frozen chicken breasts from the freezer straight into the crockpot)
1/2 Beer (or 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water should you abstain from alcohol).
1/2 pkg Taco Seasoning (fell free to use a whole if you’re not worried about sodium. My high school biology teacher once told our class, “Sodium will make you explodium”, which scarred me for life and curbed my goldfish cracker habit. And she thought I wasn’t paying attention in class.)
4oz can of green chiles (Mr. B would like me to add that, if you desire, you can add these after the crockpot cooking when you mix the chicken and cheese together so that you get more green chile bite. If you like that kind of thing.)
Garlic powder

Mix all ingredients and cook on low for 4 – 5 hours in a crockpot. Shred the chicken. Because I’m lazy – and also because I like my chicken in my enchiladas to be in small pieces – I throw them in my Ninja food processor/blender and speak sweet nothings to my very favorite appliance for the 25 seconds it takes to shred my chicken. But you could use a fork and just shred away, too. Crockpot chicken is easy to shred.Then add the chicken mixture to a bowl with:

1/2 cup fat free sour cream
2 cups low fat cottage cheese (I love cottage cheese in enchiladas – so creamy and delicious. Try it. B doesn’t like cottage cheese or sour cream, but loves these enchiladas).
Salt and Pepper to taste

Assembly:
You’re gonna need a package of corn tortillas. Lay them out on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan (cut a couple in half if you want perfect coverage). Layer your chicken/cheese mixture on top of the enchiladas, then add some shredded cheddar cheese.

Follow up with another layer of corn tortillas and red or green (our choice) enchilada sauce from a can…this is the lazy girl’s chicken enchilada recipe. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes. Cut into squares, rectangles or triangles…whatever makes your skirt fly up…and serve.

Enchiladas without the laborious prep work? Done.

*Note: This makes more than a 9×13 inch pan for me in casserole form – you could make a really thick enchilada, or you can make more modest layers and spread them out over two dishes, one for dinner now and one to freeze. If freezing one, keep the enchilada sauce off until you’re ready to bake.

Family Friendly Recipes

I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes lately…three on the menu for this week alone.  And most of them aren’t turning out.  So for every recipe that I declare a failure, I turn to Cooking on Clover Lane.  I swear, I have never made one of her recipes when Mr. B hasn’t said “This is definitely a do again”.

So, in Mr. B’s order of preference, here are four recipes you should try:

Clover Lane’s Feta Dip (We’ve made it three times in the last week – partly because we had a lot of Feta and a lot of parties to attend, partly because Mr. B is in love).

Clover Lane’s Crockpot Chicken Fettucine

Chuck’s Favorite Mac and Cheese (suggested by Meredith – I doubled this and delivered one batch to our neighbors who just had their 3rd kid and had my cousin and her family over for dinner with the second batch).  Delish.

Clover Lane’s Crockpot Mexican Torte

I’ll let you know next week how the new ones for this week go (provided they’re worth sharing)…and I have an awesome dessert recipe for you, too. 

Recipe Rave: Tortilla Chili

I made Sarah from Clover Lane’s Tortilla Chili a week ago – I was leaving town for work and wanted something that would provide leftovers for Mr. B while I was gone. Oh was this good – and so easy. No mixing, no chopping. Just toss the contents of the cans in the crock-pot, set it and forget it. Mr. B deemed it “A New Favorite”. He’s stingy when it comes to favoriting foods, so it must be good.


Give it a try, you’ll love it. You may even win a Nobel Peace Prize for feeding it to your family.  Just a thought.

Cold Weeknight Dinners

It was cold this week.  I kind of loved it.  But not the snow – just the ability to wear my fall wardrobe.  Corduroys, boots, sweaters.  Love.  I usually cook half the week and we eat leftovers the other half – it’s the way things are in a family of two.  So, with the need for meals Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I only had to come up with two meal ideas for the week – and worry about the weekend later.

So, Monday we woke up to a high of 50 degrees and snow flakes. I threw Sarah’s Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta into the crockpot (with yogurt in place of the sour cream because my husband – who claims to be really adventuresome and culinary – doesn’t like sour cream), tossed on a wool sweater and ugg boots, and went to work dreaming of this Chicken Tettrazini like crockpot meal. And it was so good. A new favorite. It will be making the bi-weekly rotation this fall and winter.


Tuesday: We had gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches when Mr. B got home from class. Gourmet = sourdough bread and tomato slices with our cheddar. You know how I feel about grilled cheese sandwiches, right? Oh baby, it’s love.

While I don’t do well in extremely low temperatures, I do love cooking for them.  Or, you know, grilling some cheese between two pieces of bread – all depends on the day.  But seriously, you’re going to want to try the chicken.  What are your favorite fall and winter meals?

Garlic Lemon Chicken

Crockpot recipe #2. November is slipping away, so despite Thanksgiving being tomorrow, here’s a completely un-Thanksgiving recipe to help me meet my quota for the month. This was so good and flavorful and I even ate it for leftovers. I don’t do leftovers, so this is a big deal. I’m going to do my best to recreate it for you since I really just threw some random stuff together based loosely on a recipe. So bear with me.

Garlic Lemon Chicken
Adapted from TheKitchn.com

Meet the Team:

2-4 Chicken Breasts
3 Garlic cloves minced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt
Dried Thyme
Dried Rosemary
1 Lemon
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Water

Zest the lemon. Don’t you just love zesting? I tried to take a picture but I can’t hold a lemon in one hand, zester in the other and take a picture. I need to work on that. Combine the garlic, olive oil, salt, thyme, rosemary, and zest from the lemon in a bowl. Mix it up with your fingers to make a rub, please don’t waste a spoon on this step.


Now take your chicken and coat it in the rub. Get ‘er good. I pulled little parts of the chicken breast up and got the rub in all the crevices. Mmmm.


Put your chicken in your crock-pot. Mix together lemon juice and soy sauce and pour over the chicken. Then, take the lemon you zested, cut it into fours, and toss those in there. I have no idea if that helps, but it sounded like a good idea to me.


After this step, I threw some more thyme and rosemary on top. Just sprinkle it over the chicken, it’s delish. Then pour in the water around the chicken.

Cook on low 6 – 8 hours, and serve. Here’s a picture of leftovers being packaged with rice pilaf. I’m a bad blogger. When the chicken comes out of the crock, all I can think about is eating. You want me to take a picture before it hits the table? Tough.

Cranberry Pork Roast

Time to make good on one of my November goals and share a crock-pot recipe.

This is my mom’s go-to recipe. It’s delicious. There was a period of time growing up when she made this every single Sunday from October through March. Sunday dinner when the kids are home? Cranberry pork roast. Christmas dinner after a day of opening presents? Cranberry pork roast. Oscar party? Cranberry pork roast. You get the idea.

Despite the fact that I was raised on a cranberry pork roast diet, this recipe is a favorite. Everyone who eats it asks for the recipe. And then, they turn around and try to give my mom this “great pork roast recipe I made with cranberry” about a week later. She tries to nicely point out that she gave them that recipe, but everyone wants to claim it as their own. So here’s the mama’s famous recipe:

Not my picture, I’m a bad blogger. Photo from Southern Food.

You’ll Need:
1 (2.5 – 3 pound) boneless pork loin – any kind will do.
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup sugar (I used a little less)
1/2 cup cranberry juice (my mom uses orange juice instead because the parents always have orange juice. I use cranberry because I always have cranberry juice – I love me some Cranberry Vodka cocktails. Pick your poison.)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 Tablespoons cold water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
***Feeds 6 – 8

What to do:
Mix together the cranberry sauce, sugar, cranberry juice, mustard and cloves. Place your boneless pork loin in the crock-pot and cover with the sauce. Cook on low 6 – 8 hours – in Colorado we require less time, so I go with 6.

Before dinner, transfer the juices to a sauce pot and skim any fat off the top. If the liquid is less than 2 cups, add some water to hit the 2 cups mark. Bring to a boil. I serve it at this point – as a slightly thickened juice for the roast, but the recipe calls for more of a gravy. To make the sauce a gravy, add the cornstarch and water and stir until thickened and then serve with the pork. Then give your friends the recipe, and wait for them to give it back to you as their own.

CrockPot Basics

I’ve been slacking on my CrockPot promise to you all, but don’t worry, I’ve got a slew of recipes coming your way in the next few weeks.


Photo from www.thekitchn.com

Today, while browsing through Apartment Therapy’s Food Blog: TheKitchn.com, I found this great article on converting recipes for the slow cooker. Now, I generally assume that most recipes for soups, stews, and meats will transfer to a CrockPot well – the Chicken Braised in White Wine I made in my cute green dutch oven is a good example – but I was excited to read the tips anyway.

And, bonus, I found a few great CrockPot recipes while I was there that I can’t wait to try, so stay tuned for reviews! Head on over to The Kitchn and check out all the great recipes, you’ll be salivating in no time.

My Kitchen Essentials

When we were registering for our wedding, Mr. B and I went back and forth on so many things. Do we really need a whole cookware set? Do we want to register for that mixer? Will we ever use the spices in that spice rack? And it went on, and on, and on. I read every blog for kitchen gadget suggestions and found nothing. So we registered blindly. We use our dishes daily. We’ve yet to crack out our china, but it’s so pretty that I want to throw Thanksgiving just to bring it out. So dishes and wine glasses aside, these are my fave kitchen essentials:

My Crate & Barrel bowls. We use these daily. I switch off between the clear and the stepped (or, in my mind “pleated like my wedding dress”) Parker bowls. The Parker bowls generally get used more often for serving, while the glass bowls do my prep work for me. These bowls make me so happy, I love to see them nested all together, cozy in the cabinets.

My food scale. I bought it years ago at Target, and use it everyday. I couldn’t live (at my goal weight) without it.
I didn’t know how deeply I could love an appliance until I met this group. You all know about my CrockPot, so it needs no further explanation. My mixer. Heaven. Dear KitchenAid, you make gaining weight eating baked goods just so worth it. How did I ever make a chocolate chip cookie without you? And my darling little food processor. We’ve talked about this before, too. I’ve only ever used it to make pesto. So, doncha know, it comes out from under the cupboards a couple times a week.
Next up, my simplehuman plastic bag holder. I have it on the back of my cuboard door. It cost $10. It’s the best $10 I’ve ever spent.

We also registered for a fleet of cookware. And a cast iron skillet. And you know what I use for almost every meal? My $19.99 Walmart skillet my mom bought for me my senior year of college. I’ve never let this baby go, it’s light and easy to pull out for cooking and put away after dinner, cooks beautifully, and sizzles up chicken like it’s no one’s business. Everyone told me I had to have a cast iron skillet, so we bought one and it breaks my wrist every time I pull it out to cook.

And last, but certainly not least, my green, funky spoon rest. I love this little Crate and Barrel find. It’s inexpensive, one of my favorite colors and keeps sauce from broiling itself to my flat cooktop stove. This is love, ladies.

Alright, now it’s your turn. What are your can’t-live-without-in-the-kitchen-tools? Leave a comment or post your own post about it. Can’t wait!

Hawaiian Chicken

Darling Katie over at Bower Power requested recipes from the shower I threw last weekend, and I’m hard at work pulling those together, but in the meantime, thought I’d share the crock-pot meal we had last night. It was tasty, and I’ll make it again, but I preferred the Salsa Chicken:

Hawaiian Chicken

You’ll need:
Chicken breasts (I always use 2 because I’m not big on leftovers, but these recipes will be good for 4 – 6, too.)
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 can pineapple slices (The slices are more picturesque. I only had chunks, and you know what, they taste the same. Amazing.)
1 Tablespoon garlic
Note: If you’re making more than two chicken breasts, you might consider upping the Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar to 1/3 cup each for the sake of sauciness.

Place the chicken breasts in the CP and cover with pineapple (juice reserved). Mix Soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and pineapple juice together and pour over the mixture. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours. Serve over brown rice.

And now for the obligatory pic, my apologies that I don’t have an after and that my photo software wouldn’t turn the pic this time around:

Enjoy!

Crack out your Crocks

All right, ladies, it’s time. This isn’t the most original recipe (it’s been pimped out on The Nest all month, and while I’m not there much anymore, I definitely saw it making the rounds), but it is divine.

Salsa Chicken
4 – 6 Chicken Breasts
1 pkg low sodium taco seasoning (I substitute Cumin, Chili Powder and Paprika for a lower sodium, already have it in my spice rack version of taco seasoning) 1 can Cream of Mushroom condensed soup (can be Cream of Chicken, but I don’t want Chicken with C of Chicken, sounds a little too chickeny to me).
1 cup salsa (you can make your own, but I don’t. That sounds redic. I just go to Safeway – actually I send B, I don’t “do” the grocery store – buy a medium zest salsa that looks liquidy and go to town).
1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I skip this, Mr. B doesn’t “do” sour cream. Between the two of us and our stubbornness, we don’t “do” much).

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Top it with the taco seasoning (in my case I just pour in a bunch of each spice- no measurements).

Mix the salsa and c of mushroom soup together. It looks retched. Perservere. It’ll be worth it. Pour this disgusting mix over the chicken put the lid on, set your crockpot for 6 -8 hours on low (I do six, then set it to warm for the rest of the day), walk away and forget about what this looked like. It will be delicious. I’m providing you with the following photo just to prepare you for what the prep looks like:

An half-hour before you eat, pour in the sour cream and turn your crock to high. We omit this step, and it’s still delish. Serve this over rice with a little sauce to cover. Sometimes I like to put a little shredded cheese on top for a little something special.


Note: I considered not adding photos to this post becuase I didn’t want to scare you away from making it. But in the end I decided I need to limit my pictureless posts. I would not steer you wrong. Make it.

Now, ladies, go make this meal. It’s easy, delicious and kind of comfort foodish but on the healthier side. Seriously, go get your crock-pots right now and make it then tell me that you made it. You won’t be disappointed.