Sunday, April 9, 2017

Crockpot Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Tortellini ****

This is nothing special, but we all absolutely loved it.  I've made it twice now, and each time, it just seems to get better.  I love how simple it is, and you can use so many different add-ins to mix it up.  We like it as-written, though.  We're pretty plain-Jane when it comes to this one.  You could definitely use thawed chicken and just go for a shorter cook time.  My crockpot tends to run hot, so using frozen breasts gives me a little extra time to play with before supper.  I typically come home on my lunch break and throw everything in the crockpot, so I really need about a 6-hour cook time, if it's going to be ready to eat (and not overcooked or just warm) when we walk in the door after a full day at work and school and activities.  This one just works perfectly for us!


CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND SPINACH ALFREDO TORTELLINI
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

4 frozen chicken breasts
2 jars Alfredo sauce
1 bag fresh spinach
3-4 cups refrigerated cheese tortellini

Place chicken, sauce, and spinach in crockpot.  Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 4 hours (until chicken is fully cooked).
Once chicken is fully cooked, prepare tortellini on stovetop as directed.  Shred chicken in sauce.  Combine cooked tortellini and sauce and serve warm.
Note: You can also add the uncooked tortellini to the crockpot and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Crockpot Corn & Crawfish Bisque ***

I found this one in an old cookbook.  We adore crawfish, so we tend to try a lot of new ways to work them into our menus.  The recipe below is doubled from what was posted in the cookbook.  It's me and three me/boys in our household, and the 3-5 servings that was listed in the original recipe would NOT have held up for us, lol.  I also like to have quite a bit left over for their lunches, now that the teenager prefers to take leftovers like his dad instead of sandwiches.  The original recipe had a full stick of margarine (so it would have been two sticks for my version), but I cut it down to just 2 tablespoons.  Honestly, I think you could skip it altogether.  I don't really see a need for it at all.  That's why I just put "optional" in the recipe below.  The original recipe also said to use cayenne pepper, but I went with the Cajun seasoning instead, so that it would have that Cajun-ish flavor to it.  Anyway, we all loved this.  We had it on a cold and icy night with some crusty rolls, and it hit the spot just perfectly.  Now I just wish it would go back to being cold so that we could have it again.  Ha!


CROCKPOT CORN & CRAWFISH BISQUE
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ an old cookbook)

4 cans cream of potato soup
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 oz cream cheese
2 pints half-and-half
2 pkgs frozen crawfish meat, thawed
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (to taste)
2 Tbsp margarine (optional)

Add all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 6-7 hours.
Stir until well-combined.

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Pasta ***

We all really enjoyed this one.  It wasn't one of our favorites or anything, but it was quick to throw together and tasted pretty good.  I used angelhair pasta, just because it's our preference.  I also just threw in a frozen bag of fajita blend peppers and onions, to cut down on the prep time.  Mine cooked on high for about 6 hours, and it was perfect.  It kind of reminds me of my mom's recipe for Chicken Spaghetti, without the rotel and Velveeta.  I can't stand Velveeta, so this definitely played in its favor for me.  I would definitely make it again, but I think that next time I'll add in a can of diced green chilies.



SLOW COOKER CHICKEN FAJITA PASTA
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ MyHeavenlyRecipes)

1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Onion, diced
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 TSP Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
5-6 chicken breasts
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Box Barilla Spaghetti or Angel Hair, cooked and drained
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
3/4 C Chicken Stock (or water)

Place onion, bell pepper, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken, mushroom soup and 1 cup of grated cheese together in a crock-pot. Stir to mix ingredients. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is fully cooked.
Remove chicken breasts from the crock-pot, dice and return to crock-pot. Pour in cooked spaghetti, tomatoes and remaining cheese. Using a pair of tons coat the pasta in sauce and melt cheese, adding in a few splashes of chicken stock (or water). Cook another 20-30 minutes on low and serve.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I used a bag of frozen fajita blend peppers.  Next time I'll add a can of green chilies.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

One Pot Crawfish and Shrimp Creole Pasta ****

This one was basically inspired by what we were craving tonight, lol.  It was such a winner, though.  I'm so ridiculously far behind on my postings, but I wanted to hurry and get this one down before I forgot how I did it.  We all know how that can be!  I love that it only uses the one soup pot on the stove, though, and even the noodles cook right in there.  It's super easy.  Plus, everything starts from frozen, meaning that it's easy to throw together at the last minute (which is where a lot of the inspiration came from tonight - ha!).  The kids are on Spring Break this week, and they're already asking if they can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


ONE POT CRAWFISH AND SHRIMP CREOLE PASTA
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 package frozen crawfish tails
1 package frozen extra small shrimp (precooked and deveined)
1 package frozen fajita blend peppers and onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
16 oz box angelhair pasta
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp Creole seasoning (we use Tony Chachere's)

Pour olive oil into the pot. Add frozen crawfish, shrimp, and peppers and onions.  Sprinkle with Creole seasoning. Cover and cook on medium heat until veggies are tender and everything is well-thawed, adding mushrooms and garlic about halfway through (about 10 minutes total).
Remove lid and let some of the liquid cook out, stirring occasionally to keep everything cooking evenly.
Add the dry pasta to the pot.  Pour in the chicken broth, cream, and Parmesan. Stir until everything is well-combined.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, keep covered and bring the heat down to a simmer for 10 minutes (stirring every couple of minutes).
If it's still soupy at the end (mine wasn't), you can either continue cooking, to cook out some more of the liquid, or you can add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

World's Greatest Nana Puddin' ****

There are a zillion banana pudding recipes in internet-land.  I combined my favorite parts of each and came up with this one.  I let the 11-year-old come up with the name, lol.

This was another winner for us.  To show how far behind I am, this was actually my contribution to our Thanksgiving get-together.  What little bit was leftover from dinner was scarfed down at breakfast the next morning.  I think it's safe to say we'll be having this one again. ;-)



WORLD'S GREATEST NANA PUDDIN'
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

2 boxes Nilla Wafers
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5 oz.) box French Vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
Using a different bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together, and mix until smooth.
Line the bottom of a large trifle bowl with a layer (or two!) of cookies.  Layer sliced bananas on top.
Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
Line the bottom of a 13×9 inch inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
Pour some of the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with another layer of cookies.  Alternate layers until you get the top.
For garnish, crumble a few cookies and sprinkle on top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cranberry Kielbasa Bites (Crockpot) ***

This was my second new appetizer recipe for our Christmas Eve gathering.  Super simple, but very flavorful.  My boys (even the grown-up one, lol) ate this one up.  They all loved it.  It's similar to the Lil Smokies or meatball recipes that use the grape jelly, but I think that the cranberry adds a nice mellowing factor to it.  The grape jelly ones are just a tad bit too sugary-sweet for me, but the tartness of the cranberries kind of tone that down a bit.  Whatever it was, it was a winner for us.  My kids ate the few remaining leftovers for snack the next day and still loved them! (Sorry, but there's no pic on this one either.  I was too busy trying to get everything ready and out the door in time for the party!)

CRANBERRY KIELBASA BITES (CROCKPOT)
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ TheFrugalGirls)

1 can Jellied Cranberry Sauce (14 oz.)
1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce (12 oz.)
2 links Hillshire Farm Beef Polska Kielbasa (12 oz.)

Slice Kielbasa links into round pieces 1/4"-1/2" thick.
Place sliced Kielbasa pieces in Crockpot
In mixing bowl, stir together Jellied Cranberry Sauce and Chili Sauce.
Pour sauce mixture over Kielbasa in Crockpot.
Cook on HIGH for 1-1/2 hours, or LOW for 2-1/2 hours, or until hot.
Serve with toothpicks and Enjoy!

Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts ***

I am so far behind on my postings that it's not even funny.  Hubby was unemployed for a while, and everything was so crazy that I mainly just stuck to old tried and true recipes.  I'm going to try to catch myself up on all the new stuff we've tried, though, so you've been warned. ;-)

These were AMAZING.  I mean, our family is crazy about Brussels sprouts and bacon, so there really was never a question.  I took these to our family Christmas Eve celebration, though, and even the folks who don't like Brussels said that they were good!  The general consensus is that they don't even taste like Brussels, since the bacon flavor is so predominant.  However you want to look at it, they were great.  Not to mention easy.  I can honestly see doing these as a side dish over the weekend or something (when you have a bit more time).  I used those sprouts that come cleaned and in the steaming bags, mainly just because I'm lazy.  Worked perfectly, though!  I forgot to take a pic of this one, but if you follow the link, you can see hers.  Mine were basically the same.  Some of the larger sprouts worked better when cut in half, so mine we're necessarily as pretty.  Ha!

BACON WRAPPED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FitFoodieFinds)

12 strips of bacon
12 medium/large brussels sprouts
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375*F and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
Then, prep brussels sprouts by washing and patting dry with a paper towl.
To make bacon wrapped brussels sprouts. Place a brussels sprouts at the top of a piece of bacon. Then roll it up, your bacon inside the brussels sprout and place on baking sheet. Season with pepper, to taste.
Bake at 375*F for 30-35 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
To serve, insert a toothpick into each sprout.