Things on Tuesday

Loathing:

  • Professional adults that make appointments and then don’t bother showing up, calling to let you know they can’t be there or even calling you back after you’ve called them several times!
  • Anxiety about decisions made and the outcome
  • Not knowing what the future holds or what God’s plan is for me

Loving:

  • Quiet alone time with the rain
  • All of the love & support of my awesome family and wonderful friends – it warms my heart to know there are so many people that genuinely care and I don’t know what I would do without them.   When things don’t turn out as I planned or even hoped, I have to remember how truly blessed I really am…

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

This time of year I tend to make more crock pot meals than usual.  It’s so wonderful to come home and dinner is already done – especially now that it’s dark by the time I get home from work.  This would be great over rice, but since we just had rice the night before I had planned to serve this on flour tortillas.  Unfortunately, when we were ready to eat it was still very soupy.  So instead of having soggy tacos I actually drained it a little bit.  Even if it was served over rice I think it was a little runnier than I would prefer and I had drained my tomatoes and beans beforehand.  Next time I will use less of the chicken broth and maybe try canned corn instead of frozen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken
  • 1 (14.4 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper

Preparation:

Combine the chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin,cayenne pepper in the crock pot.  Season the chicken with salt/pepper and lay on top.  Cook on low for 10 hours or high for six hours.  Half an hour before serving, shred the chicken and return to crock pot.

Source:  Chef in Training

Warm Quinoa Shrimp Salad

Want a quick easy and healthy dinner?  Try this one!  I was a little bit skeptical because the ingredients didn’t seem to go together but I took a chance.  I did make a few adjustments.  The first time I made it I didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes so I used some sun-dried tomato spread that I usually put on greek-style naan pizzas.  I also skipped the asparagus and it turned out wonderful.  It was so good that it was all gone before I even thought about getting a picture.  The second time I had the sun-dried tomatoes but I forgot we ate all the cashews.  I took a quick pic of the second attempt which doesn’t look as good as it was the first time around.  Just trust me, this recipe is much better than my photography skills – or lack thereof.

INGREDIENTSphoto(14)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not reconstituted, julienned
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
  • 6 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

PREPARATION:

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Add broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa and simmer on low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until quinoa is almost tender.

Arrange shrimp on top of quinoa in pot and simmer for 3 minutes. Add asparagus and peas on top of the shrimp and simmer for 3 more minutes. Top with cashews, green onions and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Source:  Whole Foods

Things on Tuesday

Loathing:

  • sore, tired heels
  • not having dinner planned ahead of time
  • dry contacts
  • getting old

Loving:

  • making a decision – although the unknown is still a little scary
  • love and support from family & friends
  • daydreaming about what could be

Creamy Crockpot Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese is one of those perfect foods – if it’s made right.  As much as I LOVE cheese, I’ve tried several mac & cheese dishes that I don’t care for – shocking, I know!  I prefer creamier cheese so I’m not a fan of baked mac & cheese.   With the sour cream and cheese soup, this one is definitely one of the creamiest (is that even a word?).  The next time I make this (and there will surely be a next time) I think I might skip melting the cheese in the saucepan and just put it straight into the crock pot.  I mean the only reason I use a crock pot in the first place is the simplicity of it.  Also, for a more natural cheese taste, I’d do less of the cheese soup – I opted to do several different kinds of cheese instead of just cheddar, gotta share the love!photo(13)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz pasta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 3 (10 oz) cans condensed cheese soup
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper

PREPARATION:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 6 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.  In a saucepan, melt the butter and cheddar cheese. Stir until all of the cheese is melted.  In a crock pot combine the condensed cheese soup, milk, salt, dry mustard, sour cream, paprika and pepper. Stir well. Add in the melted cheddar cheese and stir well.  Add in the drained pasta. Mix well to combine. Set crock pot to low, let cook on low for 2.5 – 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Source:  Big Bear’s Wife

Pork Carnitas

I’m not a big fan of pork, but I am a fan of Mexican style dishes and crock pot meals so I decided to give this one a try.  Let’s just say this will be part of the regular rotation!  The pork was just spicy enough and you can’t get much easier than turning on a crock pot.  I didn’t usually have tequila in the house (not since my 20s!) so I used extra chicken broth.  The juices in the crock pot made the pork a little wetter than we like so I ended up draining it a little before putting it in the tortillas – maybe the tequila would have been better.  I topped this with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and some pico de gallo.  This one got a “damn that was good” from the hubs!

INGREDIENTS:

photo(11)

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3-4 pounds)
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tequila (or additional chicken broth)
  • 1 (7oz) can chopped green chilies
  • Tortillas
  • Toppings as desired

PREPARATION:

Cut the pork roast in half and place in a slow cooker.  Sprinkle with sliced garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper.  Add green onions, cilantro, salsa, chicken broth, tequila and chilies.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Remove from heat and shred.  Place the pork back in the slow cooker.  Cover and heat for an additional 30-60 minutes.  Serve in warm tortillas and top as desired.

Source:  Dinner Dishes & Desserts