CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE ala Slow Cooker

CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup WHOLE milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup sour cream
1 can original ROTEL tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained WELL
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (see recipe below)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag FRITOS
1 small tomato, chopped
1 SMALL bunch green onions, sliced thin

  • Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
  • Blend in flour and salt. Cook until bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in liquid.
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.
  • Whisk together the white sauce and sour cream until smooth.
  • Add in taco seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Stir in Rotel tomatoes, black beans and 1 cup of the cheese.
  • Spread mixture into slow cooker insert.
  • Top with chicken pieces in a single layer if possible.
  • Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours* until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  • Mix chicken back in.
  • Top with Fritos and remaining cheese.
  • Cover a few minutes JUST until cheese melts.
  • Top with chopped tomato and green onions.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • Time varies based on chicken breast sizes.
  • I accidentally bought re-fried black beans this time actually liked it too.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together and use with your taco meat.
  • Pour the water in the pan and cook just like you would for tacos.
  • The amount above is the same amount that is in one packet of taco seasoning mix at the store.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 19 of 2019

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING sweet friends.  I hope you have all had as great a week and weekend as we did.  The weather has been PERFECT and even though I haven’t gotten everything accomplished I wanted to, I did get enough done for now. 🙁

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING The weather has been unusually warm for this time of year here and unseasonably dry too, but after such a wet winter I’m not complaining. 

That said, I’m glad we leave on our trip later this week and the temperatures will be cooler which I soooooo much prefer. Note the 29 degree difference on Thursday.

We’re going to take the last trailer full of wood to the re-cycler (there’s a local guy who will chip up all the cedar pickets into mulch) so I have on old Levi’s, a t-shirt and pops. Then I’ll change to head into town for errands.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Peach yogurt, hot water and a banana.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… one load before we go
  • LIVING AREAS… a bit of tidying
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • YARD… YAY! hubby finished the fence!
  • BLOG… nothing much for a couple weeks while we travel
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… nothing at all for a few weeks
  • APPOINTMENTS… Tire rotation, fill up on gas, pedicure, mammogram
  • TO DO… last minute errands, pack…

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY We leave later this week for our family reunion trip later this week and we’re REALLY getting excited!  We have a side trip planned on the way there AND on the way back besides visiting with hubby’s elderly father.

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We rented Serenity with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke and Diane Lane.  Such a different part for MATTHEW!

I’M READING Kristin Hannah’s Night Road that my friend Heather loved and recommended I read.  It will be perfect for vacation 😀

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH things will build up while we’re on our trip so I’ll sort it out later 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Hubby finally finished the fence!!! What a feat.  This was the last leg of the 300+ linear feet.  Fortunately the 100 feet to his right was done 4 years ago by our neighbor.   His feet are killing him from working in the rocks so our vacation is well timed.

INSPIRATION

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – TACO CASSEROLE & SALAD
TUESDAY – C.O.R.N.
WEDNESDAY – C.O.R.N.
THURSDAY – ??
FRIDAY – ??
SATURDAY – ??
SUNDAY – ??

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

GRANDMA DOLL’S POTATO SALAD

Hubby loved his grandmother’s potato salad and kept asking me to make some like it.  It took me quite awhile to perfect this potato salad for hubby, but I FINALLY got there a few years back.
GRANDMA DOLL’S POTATO SALAD
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, baked and cooled
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 large kosher dill pickles, chopped AND their juice
2 tablespoons dill relish
Lots of mustard
A little mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

  • Grate potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs, onion, pickles, pickle juice and relish, mixing to blend well.
  • Add mustard and mayonnaise to taste and desired consistency.
  • Add seasonings to taste.

BAKED HAM & CHEESE SANDWICHES

These little gems have become an ALL TIME tailgating appetizer favorite for any gathering!  You can change up the meats and cheese for your own liking 😀

BAKED HAM & CHEESE SANDWICHES
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons HEINZ yellow mustard**
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
3 teaspoons sugar
1 package King’s Hawaiian rolls (I use the 8 pack small burger size)
8 slices COLBY cheddar cheese, halved
8 thin slices of deli ham, halved
8 slices Provolone cheese, halved

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the butter, mustard or mayonnaise, onion, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and poppy seeds.
  • Place the bottoms in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Brush each bottom with butter mixture.
  • Top each bun with layers of Colby cheese, deli ham and Provolone cheese folded to fit accordingly.
  • Brush with half the butter mixture.
  • Put roll tops on. Brush with remaining butter mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

NOTE: I’m deathly allergic to mustard and substitute mayonnaise for the mustard and then put mustard on the serving table for others to use at their pleasure.

TERIYAKI SESAME CHICKEN SALAD

This is the perfect spring salad full of sweet and tangy fruit and asian blended flavors.

TERIYAKI SESAME CHICKEN SALAD
16 ounces fusilli pasta, prepared per package directions and WELL drained
1/2 cup avocado oil
2/3 cup champagne vinegar
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup sugar
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans mandarin oranges, WELL DRAINED
2 small cans water chestnuts, WELL DRAINED
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups honey roasted peanuts or cashews
2 cups torn baby spinach leaves or romaine lettuce
5 ounces dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 large bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup sesame seeds

  • Add prepared pasta and chicken pieces to a large salad bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the avocado oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, sugar and pepper.
  • Pour over pasta and chicken, tossing to coat well.
  • Top with mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, cranberries and green onions.
  • Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Just before serving add cashews, tossing well to mix.

BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE

BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/4 cup Bleu cheese dressing
1/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups spiral pasta, cooked and drained

  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
  • Blend in flour and salt. Cook until bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in liquid.
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.
  • Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Stir together the soup mixture, dressing, hot sauce and half of the cheese.
  • Fold in onions and celery.
  • Spread into slow cooker.
  • Top with chicken.
  • Cover and cook on low 4 hours until chicken is cooked through.
  • Shred chicken and fold into sauce.
  • Fold in prepared pasta and remaining cheese.

ORANGE CHICKEN PANDA EXPRESS COPY CAT COPY CAT

ORANGE CHICKEN PANDA EXPRESS COPY CAT 4 servings
CHICKEN
1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour
1 small egg
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 cup coconut oil, for frying

ORANGE SAUCE
1 tablespoon avocado oil
¼ teaspoon chili flake
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, white pepper, cornstarch, and flour.
  • Add the egg, water, and oil until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Add the chicken to the batter and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a wok or heavy bottom pan to 350˚.
  • Gently add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • In another saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat.
  • Once oil is HOT and shimmering add the red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly until fragrant.
  • Add the sugar and brown sugar, stirring to combine.
  • Add in the orange juice and allow the sugars to dissolve in the liquid, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the vinegar and liquid aminos, blending well.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water until combined. Add to the pan and stir to blend. Continue to cook the sauce until maple syrup consistency is achieved.
  • Add in the chicken pieces and stir until completely coated in the sauce.
  • Top with sesame oil and blend again.
  • Enjoy!

BAKED HAM with CHERRY SAUCE

BAKED HAM with CHERRY SAUCE

8-10 pound bone-in cooked ham
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 LARGE orange
12 cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold water
1 can undrained pitted dark sweet cherries
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Using a sharp knife score the ham in a diamond pattern 1/4 inch deep.
  • Mix together the brown sugar, maple syrup and creamy horseradish. Rub all over ham making sure to get it deep into the slits.
  • Push cloves into the orange rind and place orange in roaster next to ham.*
  • Bake covered and undisturbed for 2 hours (15 minutes per pound) until thermometer reads 140°.

NOTE:  Make sure it is a LARGE and JUICY orange.  This will help keep the ham moist.

  • In a small saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and water until smooth.
  • Stir in cherries and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  • Serve over ham.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 18 of 2019


Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING sweet friends.  I hope you had as nice a week and weekend as we did.  The weather has been wonderful and allowed us to catch up a bit after the less than stellar winter we had!  Hubby has been working on the fence and I’m trying to get caught up on a shelf that he built me, but it’s been too cold to paint before now.  Hopefully I’ll get the shelf finished later today.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING We have another BEAUTIFUL week predicted with no rain in sight!!! YAY!!!! It’s starting to finally feel like spring.  I’ll have on my usual uniform 😀 Levi’s, a comfy t-shirt and my gray pops.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Carrot and Apple baby food squeezer with hot water

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… all done for the moment 😀
  • LIVING AREAS… need a bit of tidying
  • KITCHEN… needs a bit of tidying
  • YARD… fence repairs continue and a bit of gardening
  • BLOG… updating a few recipe posts and planning for some trip posts
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… nothing this week or probably the next couple of weeks either, but then I’ll get started on the wool ball garland so I can get a picture posted for you to see
  • APPOINTMENTS… just a couple this week which will give hubby a bit of a break from fence building…
  • TO DO… errands, groceries, paperwork and a few phone calls

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY Our family reunion trip is coming up and we’re looking forward to catching up with those we haven’t seen in a few years.  We always have such a GREAT time together.  I recently found this image that TRULY depicts our group.

We’re also going to spend some time with hubby’s elderly father while we still can.  He’s still sharp as a tack, but his body isn’t cooperating 🙁  

While we’re gone we’re also going to tour the Winchester Mystery House, a story and place that has always intrigued me!  Right now they have a “Mansion and More” package that also tours areas that have been previously closed for more than 90 years AND as a bonus you can now take pictures!

I’M READING Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series is always a fun read.  I’m finishing up Fortune Furlough book #14 and then beginning Kristin Hannah’s Night Road that my friend Heather loved and recommended I read.  It will be perfect for vacation 😀

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH We are still getting used to the new system and with it being the end of the season for most shows I’m really glad there isn’t an overwhelming list of things to catch up on 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I always find it amazing how others do things.  And while this was an older builder grade fence, it still amazes me that they installed parts wrong and didn’t even bother securing the frame pieces to each other.  Hubby is doing a GREAT job of updating AND securing the pieces together.  He even built himself a template for spacing the boards evenly 😀

INSPIRATION

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

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HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – C.O.R.N or TAVERN for sandwiches
TUESDAY – SESAME CHICKEN SALAD
WEDNESDAY – BAKED HAM & CHEESE SANDWICHES with SALAD
THURSDAY – BAVARIAN MEATBALLS & BOSTON BAKED BEANS
FRIDAY – HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN
SATURDAY – CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE
SUNDAY – TROPICAL LIME CHICKEN BITES

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

PORKY PIG FARMER’S MARKET SALAD

This light and bright salad is oomphed up by FRESH basil, FRESH parsley and FRESH lemon juice to make this a spring favorite!

PORKY PIG FARMER’S MARKET SALAD
8 ounces pasta, bowtie or campagnelle
1 cup FRESH chopped green beans
2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
2 cups chopped seeded cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 cups chopped ham steak
1 1/2 cups mozzarella balls
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup FRESH chopped basil
1/2 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1/2 cup Avocado oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds

  • In a large saucepan bring salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
  • At 10 minutes add green beans and bell pepper cooking for 2 more minutes.
  • Drain and rinse WELL with cold water.
  • Transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Stir in tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, red onions and mozzarella balls.
  • In a small bowl combine lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, shallot, salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • In a small food processor add the lemon juice mixture, champagne vinegar, basil, parsley and oil, pulsing until well blended.
  • Pour over pasta mixture.  Toss to coat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add pasta mixture to the veggie mixture, sprinkle with seeds and toss to mix.
  • Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES with LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

This makes a wonderful bundt cake for any holiday!

CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES with LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING adapted from Al Made It For You yield 10 cupcakes

CUPCAKES
1½ cups grated carrots
½ cup WELL DRAINED crushed pineapple
1 cup (120g) cake flour
¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ heaping teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 LARGE eggs
¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar
½ cup (120ml) Avocado oil
1 (5 ounce) (142 grams) OUI lemon Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/3 cup crushed finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins

  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners, and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
  • Combine the flour mixture, crushed pineapple and grated carrots mixing just until combined.
  • Add to wet mixture and blend well.
  • Fold in raisins and all but 2 tablespoons of walnuts.
  • Scoop out the batter evenly into 10 paper liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes before taking them out to a wire rack to cool completely.

FROSTING
8 oz (225g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1½ cup (188g) powdered sugar
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • In a mixing bowl, beat the unsalted butter until it becomes fluffy.
  • Add the cream cheese and continue to beat.
  • Add powdered sugar and lemon zest, beating to incorporate until smooth.
  • Add frosting to piping bag and pipe cupcake tops as desired. The frosting recipe makes the right amount for piping swirls. You’ll only need two-thirds of the recipe is needed if piping bursts instead.
  • Sprinkle with reserved walnuts.

NOTE:  This makes a WONDERFUL small bundt cake.  Adjust the baking time from 18-20 minutes to 35-45 minutes.

BALSAMIC POMEGRANATE CAPRESE CHICKEN

While this recipe is an entree it turns into a salad for us. We usually go heavy on the micro greens and then cut up all the parts to toss with the sauce and YUMMY salad just magically appears before it quickly disappears!

BALSAMIC POMEGRANATE CAPRESE CHICKEN 
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup STRONG QUALITY balsamic vinegar
2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts** (SEE NOTE)
FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced 1/4- inch-thick
1/4 cup crushed pistachios
Fresh BABY basil leaves or micro greens, for garnish

  • Bring pomegranate juice and vinegar to a SLOW simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, then let cook until very syrupy, thick and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 45 minutes. Season to taste and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Generously Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Add oil to a medium ovenproof skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Place chicken in the skillet skin-side down and cook until the skin is nice and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Flip chicken and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cooked through and juices run clear, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice the cooked chicken breast 1/4-inch-thick.
  • Layer tomatoes, onions, chicken and mozzarella on a platter.
  • Drizzle with the pomegranate reduction.
  • Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
  • Scatter basil leaves or micro greens on top.

NOTE:  Skinless, boneless breasts cans be substituted, but the browned crispy skin is a MUST for us.  If you do substitute, be sure to also adjust the cooking time. You can also start with a thick slab of bacon under the chicken to create the illusion of crispy skin.