Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup |the Prairie Cottage|
This is a combination of 3-4 different tortilla soup recipes… All of them sounded super delicious, but had ingredients I didn’t have on hand.
Or something a person (or persons) in my house wouldn’t eat care for :)
The other thing is, I always have a few cooked and cubed chicken breasts in the freezer and these recipes all required cooking the chicken at the time of making the soup.  It cuts down on prep time SO much to have the chicken already prepared in their little containers or zipper bags!
This soup is mildly spicy… if you like more heat be sure to add in chopped jalapenos and/or hot sauce.
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast
3 cups chicken stock
1 can of corn (no need to drain)
1 can pinto or black beans (I use freezer beans)
1 jar/can of meatless spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)

16 ounces grated Colby-Jack cheese
Combine all ingredients except the cheese in a slow cooker. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Near the end of cooking time, add the grated cheese and stir until melted. 
***If you don’t have 4-6 hours before mealtime, it can also be made more quickly on the stovetop:  Combine ingredients in a Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add cheese and stir until melted.
Serve in bowls with any (or all) of these toppings: Tortilla strips or chips, additional cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, green onion, cilantro, etc.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

There were several mint cookie recipes on Pinterest over the holidays and I really wanted to try one of them out.  And I’m sure they are all delicious.
The problem was, these recipes called for either Andes Mints, mint chocolate chips or mint M&M’s… none of which I had on hand at the time.
So… I altered our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe by adding green food color to the dough and replacing the vanilla extract with peppermint extract.  The results were so yummy and required no extra trip to the grocery store!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Prairie Cottage
I made the dough up to the point of adding the chocolate chips and then added green paste food coloring a little at a time, until it reached a minty green shade.  Then I replaced the 1 teaspoon of vanilla called for in the recipe with 3/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.  I would recommend starting with slightly less peppermint and then adding more if it isn’t minty enough.

Here’s our recipe, but you certainly can use your family’s favorite:
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla or 3/4 –1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Mix together in a large bowl until light and well blended.
**To make Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, at this point mix green paste food coloring into the dough until it reaches a minty green shade.  Replace vanilla extract with peppermint extract, starting with less and adding more if it isn’t minty enough :)
Stir in 12 ounces of chocolate chips (about 2 cups).  Add dry ingredients:
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Drop on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.


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