Tuesday, November 19, 2013

chicken fajita chowder

I am so, so, so, so excited that fall finally seems to be in the air!  We actually had to bust out our coats this week, and we finally turned the heater on!  Of course, it was back up in the 70s today (we do live near Dallas, after all), but the cool weather this past week felt refreshing.

Fall weather puts me in the "mood".  I start baking pies, listening to Christmas music, and wearing my cozy socks again.  I also start eating soup...lots and lots of soup.

I featured this chicken fajita chowder on my review of Everyday Simple Suppers, and so many people asked for the recipe that I thought I'd indulge them.  :)

Random note - Everyday Simple Suppers would make a great Christmas gift for the cook in your life...just sayin'!

This soup is delicious and sure to warm you up when fall weather hits!  We like it topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt).  Chock full of beans, veggies, and chicken, it was delicious!

Chicken Fajita Chowder
from Gooseberry Patch's Everyday Simple Suppers
3 T. flour
1.4-oz package fajita or taco seasoning mix, divided
4 chicken breasts, cubed
3 T. oil
1 onion, chopped
1 t. garlic, minced
15 1/4-oz. can sweet corn and diced peppers, drained
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
14 1/2-oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
3 cups water
1 cup instant brown rice, uncooked
10 3/4-oz. can nacho cheese soup
1 1/4 cup water

Combine flour and 2 tablespoons seasoning mix in a large plastic zipping bag; add chicken.  Seal bag and shake to coat.  Saute chicken in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat about 5 minutes, until golden, stirring often.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining seasoning mix, corn, beans, tomatoes, chiles, 3 cups water, and rice; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Add soup and 1 1/4 cups water; stir until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with desired toppings; garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serves 8 to 12.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

slow cooker toasted pecans and pumpkin seeds

Did you know that you could toast nuts and pumpkin seeds in your slow cooker?  I didn't!  Well, that is, until I tried it.  It's now my favorite method - they always end up toasted evenly with lots of flavor, and if I forget them for a while, they don't get burned!

So here's how you do it...

Pour your desired amount of nuts or seeds into your slow cooker.  Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil (enough to lightly coat everything when you stir it) and some seasonings.  When I'm making nuts, I like salt, pepper, chili powder, and oregano.  When I toast pumpkin seeds, I stick with just salt.

Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 15 minutes, just to get everything nice and warm.  Then, take the lid off and continue cooking on high for a few hours (usually about 2), stirring occasionally, until everything is toasted to perfection.  I try to stir every half hour or so, but like I said...because the slow cooker is slow, you most likely won't burn anything if you accidentally let it go longer than that.

This is the perfect low maintenance way to create the perfect party appetizer!

Slow Cooker Toasted Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2-4 cups pecans, pumpkin seeds, or other nut
  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • seasonings (salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano)

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and stir.  Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes; stir.  Uncover and continue cooking on high, stirring occasionally, until nuts or seeds are toasted to your liking (about 2 hours).
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