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Showing posts with label Crock Pot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crock Pot. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011's Top 11 Recipes

As 2011 comes to a close (how is that possible?? Didn't it just start?) I'm going to share this year's most popular recipes.  There are a few repeats from last year as some of the "greatest hits" continue to pop up. 

The number one recipe is this White Cheddar Chicken Pasta.  This recipe has become a staple around here and is a quick and easy dinner to throw together.  It's also super versatile.  No wonder it remains a hit.

In the number two spot is this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup.  Perfect on a chilly fall or winter day, this soup can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot. 

In third place is another all-time favorite still sticking with the spicy trend... Spicy Chicken Tortilla Roll-ups.  These are a perfect appetizer for a New Year's or Superbowl party.  They come together quickly and you can make them in advance too.

For fourth place, you moved on to dessert and like these S'mores Cupcakes as the top cupcake recipe I've posted over the last three years.  And I can understand why, they are quite impressive especially when you break out the kitchen torch to give them the marshmallow frosting that toasted look and taste.  If you haven't made these yet, you really should try them.

Coming in fifth is another easy weeknight pasta dish.  These lasagna roll-ups are the perfect solution to a classic Italian dish without all the work and without three days of leftovers in the fridge if you're not cooking for a crowd.  Plus these can be made with so many variations.  Try using chicken, beef or Italian sausage in place of the turkey, an alfredo sauce or pesto cream sauce in place of the marinara.  There are all kinds of options to keep these fun.

New to the list of favorites this year is another appetizer that I originally made for the Superbowl this year.  These classic soft pretzels with jalapeno cheese sauce are easier than you might think and make a fantastic weekend snack or party appetizer.  The cheese sauce can be used with the pretzels or use at a queso dip for chips or pour it over enchiladas for even more cheesy goodness.  If you want to experiment with some pretzels, compare this classic method which uses bread flour and boils the pretzels in a baking soda bath to this latest version of Cheese-Stuffed Everything Pretzels that I just tried which uses all-purpose flour and skips the baking soda bath with fantastic results.

In seventh place, a cookie recipe that mimics those super soft grocery store sugar cookies.  Made with a cake mix, this isn't your standard sugar cookie recipe but it does yield delicious cookies and it takes about five minutes to mix up.  You don't have to roll and cut anything and decorations are as easy as a few colored sprinkles if you want them.  I know it's past "cookie season" but these Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies are worth it.

The list is rounded out with cupcake recipes. 

In eigth place, Snickers Cupcakes, a rich chocolate cupcake, filled with caramel and topped with caramel buttercream and chopped Snickers bar pieces.  I've since decided I prefer to add a little chopped candy bar to the caramel filling in the center as well as it helps hold the cupcake together a little better. 

Next up is another chocolate favorite, Chocolate Cherry Coke Cupcakes.  Again these start out with a chocolate cupcake base but this time they get filled with a cherry filling, topped with a Coke glaze and frosted with whipped cream frosting.  A cute little cherry on top make these an adorable and nostalgic favorite.

Next on the list, is a cupcake that could be breakfast or dessert.  Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes are a delicious, portable (although still sticky) cinnamon roll baked up in cupcake form.  The method is the same as a classic cinnamon roll but the cupcake presentation adds a cute touch for a brunch or other gathering.

Finally, the last favorite of the year is a cupcake I baked up for my husband for his birthday this year.  These Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes would definitely make my short list of favorites as well.  The cake is super moist and has a light orange flavor.  The combination of orange buttercream and marshmallow cream filling give the cupcake that creamsicle flavor that takes these over the top.

That wraps up the list of 2011 reader favorites.  All in all, 2011 was a great, although extremely busy, year for my family. 

Of course, my favorite thing I "baked" in 2011 was our daughter, Aubrey, who arrived in February.  I can't believe it's time to start planning her first birthday party now.


From there the year was a blur of selling our house, weddings, vacations, and buying and remodeling our new house that still hasn't really ended but as the year comes to a close, I'm trying to appreciate what we have and live more in the moment rather than rushing to get to the next big thing.  Happy New Year to all my wonderful readers, thanks for putting up with a lot more sporadic posting than I would have liked this year.  Although I don't see 2012 calming down any, I'm hoping I can squeeze in some recipes with a bit more regularity.  I've got some great ones to share with you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beer Cheese Macaroni

As I've mentioned a time or two in the past, macaroni and cheese is definitely up there on my list of favorite foods.  In my mind, it's pretty much the perfect comfort food.  While I definitely have a favorite traditional mac and cheese recipe, I also like to experiment with variations.  Check out these other macaroni recipes I've posted previously - Spicy Crab Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Mac and Cheese, Stovetop Mac and Cheese, and this chicken version - White Cheddar Chicken Pasta.

Well when I saw this beer cheese soup turned mac and cheese recipe on Pinterest, I couldn't pass it up.  I figured it would be perfect for our tailgating party for the upcoming game.  Let me tell you, don't wait to make this one.  This is some fantastic pasta.  The beer combines perfectly with the smoked and sharp cheddar cheeses and whole wheat pasta.  I used a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer but any decent beer should work, I think I would avoid the light beers for this recipe, as you want something with a bit more flavor.

Feel free to adjust the cheeses but I think the blend of 1/3 smoked cheddar, 1/3 sharp white cheddar, and 1/3 mild cheddar, along with a little American cheese gives great flavor.  I added the American cheese slices because I like the creaminess that it adds.  I just used slices from the deli but you could shred it as well.  The recipe that I used baked the mac and cheese but I opted not too for this one since it was so creamy straight from the stovetop.  If you want to bake it, I recommend adding a bread crumb topping.

Beer Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from HowSweetEats

12 oz uncooked whole wheat elbow or shell pasta
2 T unsalted butter
2 T flour
1 cup milk
1 cup beer
4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz mild cheddar cheese, grated
6 slices American cheese
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
10 basil leaves

Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add a liberal amount of salt when boiling and add pasta.  Cook to just al dente, according to package directions.  Drain and return to pan or crock pot if you want to keep it hot for a while (you don't want to cook it in the crock pot but it can stay on low for a short while, if you plan to leave it in the crock pot for an extended time, you'll want to cook your pasta just shy of al dente so it doesn't turn mushy.)

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk to make a roux.  Continue whisking until the roux start to turn golden and bubbles, about two minutes.  Add milk and beer, stirring constantly.  Cook for about five minutes until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.  Reduce heat to low and add cheeses by the handful, stirring to melt and incorporate.  The sauce will thicken slightly but will not be as thick as regular mac and cheese at this point.  Add paprika, mustard, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour sauce over pasta and stir to distribute.  Chiffonade basil leaves by stacking and rolling tightly, then use a sharp knife to cut thin slices to form ribbons.  Stir basil into pasta and serve. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Soup

It’s cold and gloomy here which is perfect soup weather. Especially when that soup has a little heat of its own from some spicy jalapeno peppers. I'm not really ready for winter weather yet -- I held out as long as I could before having to turn the heat on but with temperatures getting down in the 30s and 40s, this week was the end. The beautiful fall weather is over; it’s cold and dark before 6:00 at night, which means it’s almost winter. Have I mentioned that I really don't like winter? I look forward to the holidays, my birthday, etc but after that, I pretty much look forward to spring. I could do without the snow and gloomy dark days. But anyway, you're here for the soup recipe not to listen to me complain about the weather.

I'm calling this chicken enchilada soup because the flavors remind me of the enchilada soup at Chili's. This one has a few extras in it though with some corn and black beans. I used two kinds of cheese, a grated pepperjack cheese which adds some extra heat and melts beautifully and some crumbled cotija cheese which has a very mild flavor but adds a delicious creaminess to the soup. I poached the chicken in chicken stock with some spices and then shredded the chicken and returned it to the soup later in the cooking process. You can use boneless or bone-in chicken for this just remove the skin before cooking.

You could also make this soup in a crockpot, you'll just have to extend the cooking times - expect that it will take at least 3-4 hours on high and you'll probably want to use a 5 quart crockpot.  You can cook the chicken prior to adding to the crockpot or just put it all in together using chicken breasts cut into smaller chunks.  Add everything except the cheese and cilantro and cook.  Add the cheese and most of the cilantro just before serving to allow it time to melt, serve and top with cilantro.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
8 oz pepperjack cheese, divided
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Simmer about 30 minutes, covered until tomatoes have begun to break down. Add black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add cotija cheese and half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt. Return chicken to soup and cook about 20 more minutes until desired consistency.

If soup isn't as thick as desired, you can add strips of flour tortillas. They will dissolve into the soup to thicken the broth. Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls if desired. Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved pepperjack cheese and cilantro if desired.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crab Queso Dip

This is a great appetizer for a game day tailgate or any fall party.  You can make it on the stovetop and serve or transfer to a crockpot to keep warm.  It's great with tortilla chips or pita bread. 

This is one of those places that you can save a few calories and fat grams and use the reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream as well.  I don't think you'll notice the difference.  Add in plenty of jalapeno peppers to give this a good kick.  Using canned crab meat will also save you a few dollars or comes in handy if you can't get fresh.  Getting fresh quality seafood for an affordable price in Kentucky isn't always easy so I went with canned here.

Crab Queso Dip
Recipe inspired by Paula Deen

1 T olive oil
1/2 large or 1 whole small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, cut into 1 oz pieces (I used 1/3 less fat Neufchatel)
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated/shredded
12 oz lump crab meat (I used well-drained canned crab meat)
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

In a dutch oven or deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos and garlic.  Cook 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.  Reduce heat to medium and add cream cheese.  Stir to distribute and melt.  When melted, add sour cream and milk and stir to incorporate.  Mixture should be relatively smooth aside from the vegetables.  Add shredded cheese and stir to melt.  Add crab meat and spices.  Stir until well mixed and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with chips or transfer to a crockpot and set on "warm" setting to keep hot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crock Pot Apple Butter

***Updated October 2010:  I added cider to the recipe per a co-worker's suggestion and added a picture of my own -- you learn a little with a little more blogging experience, like remembering to take pictures when you want to blog something.  I also increased the cinnamon and added a little nutmeg this time around.***

Such an easy treat... and a great way to use up apples - especially ones that are a little bruised or starting to get mushy.

Part 1:
About 15 apples (depends on the size of your crock pot and your apples - I used a 5 qt crock pot and had medium sized apples)
1 cup apple cider

Peel, core, and thinly slice all the apples until your crock pot is full. Turn it on high, add cider and cook for about an hour, then turn heat to low and cook about 8-10 hours.

(Picture via Google Images - I forgot to take one)
Part 2:
2 - 2 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

When you take off the lid, the apples should be reduced to about half their volume and most of the chunks should be gone.  Add sugar and spices, stir until well mixed and cook on low for approximately 8 more hours. If its still not smooth, blend with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender.  Spoon into jars and enjoy. Keep refrigerated for about 2 weeks or can by processing in a water bath.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Smoky Mountain Chili and Cornbread

We spent this past weekend with a lot of friends in the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. While I'm definitely a beach person, the mountains were beautiful too.

We rented a huge cabin and had a great time! I volunteered to bring chili and decided some cornbread muffins would be a good accompaniment.

Of course, I forgot to take pictures of the chili when I made it or on Saturday so scenery and muffins will have to do this time. The chili turned out really well and for future reference if you ever have to transport a large amount of chili (I made about 12 quarts) or you just want to make it ahead of time and freeze it; transfer the cooked chili to gallon size freezer bags and freeze it flat. Then just reheat in a crockpot or on the stove. The recipe below is cut in half to make a "normal" amount of chili but this would still serve about 10 people and fill a 6 qt crock pot.

Smoky Mountain Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz dark beer
1 green pepper, diced
3 jalapenos, finely diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels (frozen)
1 T ancho chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground cumin

Brown meat in a large dutch oven or skillet over medium high heat, crumbling with a wooden spatula. Drain off grease and transfer meat to a bowl. Return pan to heat and add onions and garlic. Cook about 2 minutes and add beer to deglaze the pan, scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan and let the majority of the beer cook off. Transfer to a crockpot if desired. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans and stir to combine. Add corn, peppers and spices and cook for at least 60 minutes covered on the stove, stirring occasionally or 3-4 hours on low in the crockpot. Stir in tomato paste as necessary to thicken to desired consistency.

Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, Fritos, etc. as desired.

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
Recipe slightly adapted from Elly Says Opa originally from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 18 muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (I used Martha White)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (Monterrey jack, colby, and cheddar)
1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray muffin tins with baking spray. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the center.

In a food processor, combine, corn, sugar and buttermilk and pulse several times. Add eggs and blend until well mixed, the batter will be lumpy from the corn. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients and begin to gently combine. Add melted butter and continue mixing just until dry ingredients are all mixed in. Stir in cheese and jalapenos.

Spoon into muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 of the way full and bake about 20-25 minutes until the tops spring back when touched. Cool in pans for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Serve warm with chili and butter or store in an airtight container.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Southwest Spicy Chili

When the weather starts to get chilly and football games become our regular Saturday entertainment, I always want chili. The hot, spicy soup is the perfect thing for a lazy Saturday or Sunday. Throw everything in the crockpot and let it cook. The longer it sits, the better it gets. (The hotter it gets too - so be careful when you're adding the spices up front!)

Southwest Spicy Chili
(Serves a whole bunch of hungry people)
3-4 cans diced tomatos
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 small can tomato paste
2 lbs. ground turkey
2 jalepenos, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can chipotles in adobo
2 small cans green chilis
1-2 T chili powder
1-2 T ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cayenne pepper to taste
4 green onions, diced
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Brown ground turkey over medium high heat with garlic. Add 1 T chili powder and 1T cumin. Drain any excess grease when browned and add to crock pot.
Meanwhile dice bell peppers and white onion. Remove ribs and seeds from jalepenos and finely dice. Add to crock pot.Add 3 cans of tomatos and beans. Stir to combine. Remove chipotles from adobo sauce and chop. Add peppers to crockpot with 2 T adobo sauce. Reserve any remaining sauce and add later if desired. Add corn, green chilis, cinnamon and tomato paste and stir to combine.
Cook on high for 2 hours. Taste for seasoning, add additional cumin and chili powder if desired. If the chili is too spicy, add remaining can of diced tomatos. Turn heat to low and continue cooking an additional 2 hours. Add additional chili powder and cayenne pepper if desired. Add shredded cheese and green onions, stir gently and serve.
I always serve mine over Fritos corn chips with a spoonful of sour cream.
NOTE: I make this in a 6 1/2 quart crock pot, you will have to adjust the quantities above if you wish to make it in anything smaller than 6 quart capacity.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yesterday, we got U-Verse installed at our house. It took about 6 hours from start to finish since they had to run new cables and figure out some issues. So basically I couldn't watch football or use the internet for 6 hours, but I had to be home. Bored, I decided to make a crockpot of soup. I was originally thinking chili but I had the ingredients for tortilla soup on hand.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Serves 8-10)

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used leftover chicken from this recipe)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 large can Ro-tel (use regular diced tomatoes for a milder soup)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (if desired, depends on how hot your jalapenos are)
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
Corn tortillas or tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot (I used my 6 qt and had plenty of room), starting with soups, tomatoes and stock, stir until well mixed and add in vegetables, beans and garlic. Add chicken, cumin and chili powder. Cook on high for 2 hours. Taste and add cayenne pepper if desired. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 2 hours. Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Brown tortillas in a small skillet with a small amount of oil, sprinkle with garlic salt (I use Lawry's) and cut into small pieces. Ladle soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips or crushed chips and more cheese if desired.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Crock Pot Lasagna

This is a quick and easy way to get the fantastic flavors of lasagna without all the time and effort. Perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon or busy weeknights.

Crock Pot Lasagna
Recipe adapted from Kraft Foods
(Serves 6)

1 lb. ground beef or turkey (I used 93/7 ground turkey)
1 jar marinara sauce (I used Prego Traditional Heart Smart)
1/2 jar water
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I used part-skim ricotta)
2 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 egg
3 T parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp caraway or fennel seeds
1/2 tsp basil
4-6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese (I used 2% mozzerella)

Brown ground beef or turkey with minced garlic. When cooked through, add marinara sauce, water, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and caraway or fennel seeds. Simmer about 5 more minutes for flavors to combine and remove from heat.

Stir together ricotta cheese, egg, chopped spinach, parmesan and basil.

In a 5 qt. crockpot, ladle approximately 1-2 cups of meat sauce. Layer noodles, breaking to fit until covered. Spoon in half of the ricotta mixture. Add approximately 2 cups of meat sauce. Add another layer of noodles, breaking to fit. Add remaining ricotta mixture. Cover with remaining meat sauce. Cover with mozzerella. Cook on low for approximately 4-5 hours.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mexican for a crowd

On Saturday, we had a few people over for the big Louisville vs. Kentucky football game. I decided a build your own taco bar would be an easy route for football food. I made a couple of salsas, a couple hot appetizers and a crockpot full of shredded chicken plus cake for dessert. It was all a big hit. Sorry for the lack of pictures.

Crockpot Taco Mix
(Serves 10 with plenty of leftovers)

5 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 green peppers
1 large white onion
1 1/2 cups chipotle marinade
1 T lime juice
2 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
1 cup water

Put chicken breasts, water and 1 cup marinade in crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours. Do not open crock pot lid. Cut up peppers and onions and add remaining marinade to a plastic bag and refrigerate. Shred chicken with 2 forks and drain excess water from crockpot. Return chicken to crockpot, add peppers and onions, spices, and lime juice. Continue cooking on low for 1 additional hour. Serve on warm tortillas with desired toppings.

The leftovers made delicious quesadillas when we added 1/4 cup of cheese and some leftover black bean salsa.

Peach-Mango Salsa

3 peaches, peeled, pits removed
1 mango, peeled, core removed
1 jalapeno
1 plum tomato
Handful chopped cilantro

Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until desired consistency. Serve with cinnamon chips or tortilla chips.

Enchilada Bites
(Serves 12, 2 per person)

8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded chicken, cooked
1 cup cream of chicken soup (I used Healthy Request)
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (I like Old El Paso Hot)
1/2 cup shredded colby jack or Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 2" circles out of tortilla shells (3 per shell). Warm tortilla rounds in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds and press each round into wells of a mini-muffin pan. Combine chicken, soup and enchilada sauce in a small pan and heat to bubbling. Spoon mixture equally into muffin cups. Top each with shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. Use a spoon to pop out bites.

Black Bean Baked Empenadas
(Serves 12, 2 per person)

1 pkg refrigerated pie crust
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes (I like the garlic and onion or zesty blend), drained
1/2 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup roasted corn, removed from cob
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 egg whites
Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out pie crust and cut into 3" rounds. Put rounds onto a greased cookie sheet. Mix vegetables and spices together for filling, lightly mash beans. Put approx 1 T of filling onto each round. Fold over and seal edges with a fork. Brush tops with egg whites. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake in the oven for approx 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tailgating Menu

This weekend marks the beginning of college football season and I am so excited. I can't wait to cheer on my Hawkeyes and go to the Louisville games. My husband is a huge UofL Cardinals fan and since we live in town we have season tickets. I'm a diehard Hawks fan but live too far away to make it to many games and I dont think our schedule is going to allow for any visits this fall. But I'll be supporting via radio/television all season.

So this Saturday's UofL game is at 7:30 pm - perfect tailgating game time. Noon games make things difficult. So our plan is to tailgate all afternoon starting around 2 pm. Here's what I'm bringing to the party:

Crockpot BBQ chicken
(Serves 8)

3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
1 8 oz bottle of BBQ sauce - I like to pick a hickory smoked sauce
3 T. Honey
2 oz. Bourbon (I use Makers Mark)
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
2 T. Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 T. chili powder

Put the chicken in the crockpot, season with S&P, and add 1 C of water and cook on low for at 4 hours. Shred chicken with 2 forks and add the remaining ingredients, cook on low for at least 1 more hour.

Black Bean Salsa Dip

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans Ro-tel Original
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
1 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup Italian dressing (I like the fat-free wishbone)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. It can be served immediately but its better if it sits in the fridge for a few hours first. Serve with tortilla chips or Frito's corn chips. This is also really good on salads or in tacos.

Guacamole - see recipe here

Dessert - I'm thinking about making these cookie dough truffles from Macaroni and Cheesecake but shaping them like little footballs but I haven't decided for sure yet - it sort of depends on the weather and how much of a pain it would be to keep the chocolate from melting. I might have to save them for a cooler weather game.

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