Monday, January 21, 2013

Creamy Mexican Crockpot Dinner

Creamy Mexican Crockpot Dinner

This dish is SO simple and delicious! You literally throw everything in the crockpot and serve it over rice.

-8 oz block of cream cheese
-4 to 5 chicken breasts (or substitute tenders)
-1 can drained and rinsed black beans
-1 can of corn drained
-1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
-1 4oz can of green chilies
-10 oz packet Trader Joes frozen brown rice, cooked (or cook whatever rice you would like, that amount is good for two people for dinner, there is lots of leftovers so additional rice would need to be made)
-Add whatever seasonings you liked, I literally just sprinkled cayenne, taco seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You know me, I dont measure. ;) 

Throw all ingredients EXCEPT the rice into the crockpot, and cook on low for about 6.5 hours. I stirred this a couple times while cooking because you wont be able to combine the cream cheese in the beginning very well.

Once done, break up or shred the chicken.

It will be somewhat soupy. Its supposed to be. The rice will soak it up. However, letting it set for 30-45 minutes after the 6.5 hours will let it set up more if you prefer it thicker. 

Serve over rice!

Delicious, and easy! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chili, Vegetarian Style!

So first, I apologize for the cell phone pictures. AND that these are from the next day when I warmed some over for lunch. I totally forgot to take a picture after I made the dinner, but you get the idea of how it looks. But how it TASTES is what matters right? My husband kept sneaking into the kitchen to eat more, does that tell you it was a hit? lol! 

1 Onion Chopped
1 Bell Pepper
Few cloves of garlic, however many you liked. I did about 4
Handful of pickled Jalapenos, chopped
1 can of corn
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
10oz of Brown Rice, I used a packet of Trader Joes frozen Brown Rice (SO good! My go to rice) cooked
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, optional, but its oh so good! :)


If your cooking your rice from scratch, start that first. 

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Dice your veggies. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapenos. Cook until they soften. I never add the garlic right away, Ina Garten from Food Network taught me to only add it the last few minutes of sauteing to not burn the garlic. But if you prefer to add it while the other veggies cook, you can. 

Once softened, add the garlic and the corn. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the spices, beans, crushed tomatoes, and stock. Stir well, and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat and simmer for around 20-25 minutes. 

Add rice to the pot, you can add pretty much as much of this as you would like. I added the whole pack of the Trader Joes brown rice (found in the freezer section) and it was the perfect amount for us. But you can add more or less for the thickness your going for. 

Top with your desired toppings. We did a little sour cream and shredded cheese. 

YUM. Seriously...YUM. Definitely going to be a new favorite in our house! I plan on making a huge batch of this and freezing some for when Baby R arrives (in about 60 days SAY WHAT!?, I know time is flying) so I can defrost and cook real fast.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lentil, Sausage and Spinach Soup

Lentil, Sausage and Spinach Soup

This was the first time making this recipe, and it was SO good I had to make a blog post about it even though I forgot to take pictures of each step. However, its basically just throwing it in the crockpot so its pretty easy!! 

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced 
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or dried if that's all you have)
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne (this is definitely to taste, add a little and add more in the end if you want more kick)
  • 4 links precooked chicken sausage, I used garlic herb chicken sausage from Trader Joes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid 
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup lentils 
  • 1 package of Trader Joes 10 oz brown rice, found in the freezer section, cooked in the microwave (or make your own brown rice)
  • 2-4 (per taste) cups fresh spinach
  • 2.5 T Balsamic vinegar 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. Its a large batch so it will definitely take a little bit. You can add more at the end if need be. 
Dice your carrots, celery, and onion. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute until softened. Around 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Cook an additional few minutes. Add to crockpot.

Slice your sausage, add to crockpot. 

Add the stock, canned tomatoes, lentils, a little more salt and pepper and cook in the crockpot on high for 3 hours. 

Add the rice and spinach, cook for 1 more hour. 

Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook an additional 15 minutes. 


This soup is SO good, AND healthy! Perfect for a cold evening. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Third trimester!

Guess who is in their third trimester! =D Ah! I haven't updated this blog since September, and lots has happened!

I am going to try to make it a New Years Resolution to post more in this blog. I miss doing my recipe posts, and obviously now with the baby I will have lots to post about, we'll see if I can stick to it.

Currently, I am 29 weeks pregnant. I can't believe it! It still seems like such a wonderful dream. After six years, it just doesn't feel like it will ever happen, and when it does, you can't believe it!

We found out the gender, and we are having a little boy! We were shocked! Louie and I were both convinced it was a little girl from pretty much day one. Of course we are very excited. Honestly I'm most excited for Louie in a way. He never had a Dad growing up and missed out on a lot of those father son memories, so the fact he gets to do ALL of those things he never had, with his own son, is going to be amazing I think.

We had a small gender reveal party at my moms, which was a lot of fun. We did a type of scavenger hunt with clues. Louie and I had fun making all the little clues for everyone. The morning of the party, on accident I let it slip we were having a boy. I was SO mad at myself! But it ended up being fun because we both tried to make the cake together we would cut into at the end of the night (blue cake of course) and it was a DISASTER. It was just a simple box cake! I dont know how we messed it up, but it looked like a 2 year old tried to bake and frost it. It ended up being pretty hilarious though.

Here is a video of the party:

The holidays definitely helped with making this pregnancy fly by. I cant believe within about 9ish weeks, our baby will be here. I love the holidays so on one hand it was a little sad they passed by so fast, I felt like I couldn't really enjoy them (I guess I am a bit distracted though lol!) and on the other hand Im grateful because Im so ready to meet our little boy!

The nursery hasnt even been started on lol! We were waiting until after the holidays, and now that they are over, and the decorations are put away we can finally begin. He will be having a vintage themed nursery (with a few vintage disney things thrown in) and I can't wait to see it brought to life. I hope it turns out as adorable as it is in my head!

Our shower is in a little over 2 weeks. I CANT BELIEVE IT. I have dreamed for six years about having a baby shower and Im SO excited. Its also got a slight vintage theme to it. I can't wait to celebrate with everyone.

Finally my sickness has passed. Only took about 6 months though. I was so sure I was just going to be one of those people who are sick the entire way through. I finally had stopped loosing weight and was maintaining so that was good, but I still had food aversions to EVERYTHING pretty much, and nothing helped. Nothing. So I am HAPPY I can finally cook again, and hold down my meals.

Louie had gallbladder removal surgery the day before Thanksgiving. Took multiple doctors, and months to figure out what it was. I have never seen someone in so much pain in my life. It was horrible. Thankfully though, we found an amazing surgeon and Louie is pain free now.

Well, in short, thats catching you up to speed I think. Next up is the nursery, and baby shower! Can't wait!