Chicken Taco Soup

This was the main part of our Father’s Day meal last night. It was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in the family. My husband was saying that I had a week’s worth of posts last night because every part of dinner was so good! I love my husband and his complimenting ways :)

I loved how easy this recipe was to put together. The only real chopping was for the onions. I did cook the beans as well – I soaked the black and pinto beans together (about 2 cups of each) and then this morning I rinsed them and cooked them for an hour before starting the soup. I also felt that the soup ended up pretty thick and would go well with rice if you wanted to stretch it further.

Chicken Taco Soup

  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • Corn chips
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Jalapenos
  1. Saute onions in about a Tablespoon of olive oil until they begin to wilt, but before they become browned.
  2. Add chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing packet. Simmer on low for an hour. This can easily go in the slow cooker instead of the stove – on low for about 5 or 6 hours.
  3. Serve with chips, sour cream, cheese and jalapenos.

Recipe inspired by Paula Deen. Original recipe found here.

Cookbook Review: Fix-It and Forget-It

What week dedicated to slow cookers would be complete without a tribute to the mother of all slow cooker cookbooks?! The Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook has been my go to resource since I first bought my slow cooker as a newlywed back in 2002. (I don’t know what it is with me and the run on sentences today!) This book is a compilation of submitted recipes. If you want a recipe for Pea Soup, there are seven to choose from. This book really gave me a feel for how recipes come together. By being able to look at multiple recipes for the same thing, you can get an appreciation for flavors and differences. This book has helped me come up with a lot of my own slow cooker recipes, because now I know how long everything cooks for, and I know what does and does not work in a slow cooker. If you’re a novice with the slow cooker this is a book that I highly recommend.

Recipes Tried: Chick Roast, Beef Ribs,  Tangy Barbecue Sandwiches, Cranberry Pork Roast + many, many others!

Pros: I think the barbecue sandwiches are worth the price of the book! I love all of the helpful hints that are throughout the book. There is amazing variety… if you can make it in a slow cooker, you can find the recipe in this book!

Cons: Once again no pictures (that’s probably not all bad, since a lot of these recipes don’t look appealing when they come out of the pot! Sometimes it’s a bit of an overload. I don’t always want to choose between ten million recipes for brisket!

Sweet Potato Stew

I was thinking about what to make for dinner last night.  Something told me I should be making a Cinco de Mayo dish, but I hadn’t planned ahead and the thought of taking my three little jumping beans to the supermercado ended with me beating my head like a pinata. So, instead, I dug through the pantry and found a couple of sweet potatoes that I had left from something I made last week. And then I saw the coconut milk. And then I was thinking curry. And finally stew because it’s been so cold here lately!

At dinner, my husband asked me where I had gotten the recipe.  He liked it – a lot – and had never had anything like it before.  I just pulled a bunch of things together and it worked! I hope you like it too.

Sweet Potato Stew:

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 14 oz coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 t tumeric
  • 1/8 t dry mustard
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  1. Turn slow cooker on high and toss in olive oil, garlic, and onion. Put the lid on and let those flavors come together while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Open your cans, dice and chop your vegetables and throw everything in the pot! Cook on high for 4-6 hours. It took four hours for me, but I think my crock pot is on the hotter side of things.

Pulled Pork Burrito, Enchilada Style

Shh… don’t tell anyone, but when I moved to San Antonio from Salt Lake City, one of the things I missed the most was Cafe Rio’s Pulled Pork Burrito, Enchilada Style.  I know, I could get deported from Texas for preferring Utah Mexican to Texas Mexican! There’s just something about a gigantic burrito filled with insanely sweet pork. I have written letters trying to convince Cafe Rio to build a restaurant down the street from my house. I have also made kindly asked my husband bring me Cafe Rio when he’s had to go to Utah for business trips. I have scoured the internet looking for just the right recipes. Lots of people write about the salads. I’m sure they’re wonderful, but who needs a salad when you can have a burrito?! The nice thing about San Antonio is that fresh tortillas are available everywhere. If only I could find fresh 12″ tortillas, then I’d be all set. This really couldn’t be any easier. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but none of them are difficult, and they’re all worth it! So, get ready to enjoy your cinco de mayo the Utah way!



  • 1 c. grated Cotija cheese, set aside until the very end
  • pico de gallo, also for the end
  • 8-10 fresh, large tortillas
  • 2-3 lb. pork (I use boneless rump roast)
  • 2 ltr. Coca Cola Classic (You need the sugar here, so don’t go Diet Coke crazy!)
  • 1 1/4 c. Brown Sugar (I use dark, but I don’t think it matters too much)
  • 1/4c. water
  • 1 can (4oz) sliced green chiles (If you want it really mild you can use Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles)
  • 1 large can enchilada sauce (I use mild, but again it’s whatever you prefer)


  • 2 c. Minute Rice
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. pan drippings from the pork
  • 2 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

Black Beans:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 c. Tomato Juice (You can also use vegetable juice for an added kick)
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh Cilantro

Fresh Cilantro


  1. The night before you want to serve, marinate the pork in a zip top bag along with 1/4 c. brown sugar and 3 c. of the cola.
  2. The next morning, drain the marinade and put the pork in the slow cooker along with 1 c. cola and the 1/4 c. water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (If you forget to do this in time, just turn the slow cooker on high for half the time).
  3. After the pork has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker. Reserve 1/4 c. liquid for the rice and discard the rest. Put the meat back in the slow cooker and shred with two forks.
  4. In a blender, combine 1 c. cola, the chiles, 1 c. enchilada sauce and 1 c. brown sugar. Blend until smooth.
  5. Add the sauce to the pork and cook, on low, for another two hours.
  6. About a half an hour before you’re ready to serve, start the rice. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add garlic and 1 tsp. lime juice.
  7. Bring 1 3/4 c. water and the 1/4 c. drippings to a boil in the same pot. Add rice, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for five minutes.
  8. Add remaining lime juice and 2 Tbsp. cilantro to rice and fluff with a fork.
  9. While the rice is sitting, prepare the black beans. Start by heating up the olive oil, taco seasoning, and garlic in a nonstick skillet.
  10. Add the rinsed beans and tomato juice and stir until heated through. Add the cilantro right before serving.

Putting it all together:

This is where it gets a little tricky for me, because I’m going off my memories of walking down the line. So bear with me, and feel free to let me know if I’m out of order.

  1. Lay a tortilla flat
  2. Add 1/4 c. rice
  3. Place 1/4 c. beans on top of rice
  4. Add 1/4 meat mixture on top of beans
  5. Add a little bit of cheese and enchilada sauce
  6. Fold up burrito style

If I’m doing this for my family, I put all the burritos in a casserole dish. After the dish is full I top the burritos with the remaining enchilada sauce and cotija. I then put it in a 350 degree oven until the cheese melts (about 7 min.). Serve it with a side of pico de gallo, and you might as well be in Utah!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken by Rhonda Steed

I’m so excited for our first guest post today! I met Rhonda while our paths briefly crossed in Nova Scotia. I had a chance to taste her donuts, which are pretty much the best I’ve ever had, so I thought that we would be great friends. But they moved. And we moved. And now we get to be friends through the blogosphere! She’s uber-talented: a great cook, mom, photographer, scrapbooker, and super-crafty. You can check out her blog here.  Thanks, Rhonda! -Christina

When most people think of using a crockpot the first thing they probably think of is Stew. Using it on a cold winter day with something with tomatoes and is soupy. Not me! (nothing against tomatoes or soup, I happen to love both).  I use my crockpot at least once a week all year long. The beauty of a crockpot in the summer and spring time is that your house doesn’t have to get all hot while you are cooking dinner!! If you haven’t used your crockpot since the calendar said it was spring time pull it out!!
I have a few favorite recipes including desserts that cook great in the crockpot. But this is one of my favorites.
And it is full of MEAT. :) No meatless meal here!  This recipe doesn’t really have a name to my knowledge. I got it from my mother in law. I call it the fancy chicken since she makes it on Sundays and we eat it the dining room. :) But you can call it whatever you want!

First up you need bacon, thawed chicken breast and pastrami.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Ingredients

Layer the inside of your crockpot with the pastrami.

Then take your chicken breasts out and cut them up into smaller pieces. I made mine this big. :) If you want them bigger you can, they’ll just need to cook longer and be cut up more when you serve them to your kids. Hence, I cut them!

Take each chicken breast piece and wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick. mmmmm bacon!

Then layer them all in the crockpot on top of the pastrami.

Cook that on low for 3 hours. Then add in two cans of mushroom soup undiluted. The meat will be swimming in juices so you don’t need to add anything to the soup but you CAN add sour cream to give it a bit of a thicker sauce. Or if you are all worried about all that fat then scoop some of the juices out and add some sour cream with your soup.

Then put the lid and cook for another hour and the sauce will be wonderful and saucy.
I totally forgot to take a picture of this meal on my plate since it was a bit of a hectic night (hence the beauty of a crockpot and having a great dinner all ready on time)
But when you serve this, serve it with rice to use up the yummy sauce and a vegetable to balance out all the MEAT. :)
Hope you enjoy it.
And thanks for having me Frank ladies.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Chicken curry

I love using the slow cooker in the middle of winter when I’m in the mood for something warm and cozy, but I also love the slow cooker when it starts getting warm out. I can make dinner in the morning while it’s still cool, and I can let it cook all day without heating up the house!

I don’t generally use a lot of recipes that involve a can of condensed soup (not that I have anything against those recipes!), but this one is just too good. I’m not bragging, because the whole thing was my husband’s idea, but it is that good! Another nice thing about this recipe is that the sauce is dark, so if you wanted to hide something healthy, like grated carrot, no one would notice. We also used the Roti Chapati from Costco. It took me a few tries to get it right (which is kind of ridiculous since it only uses a skillet), but once I got the hang of it I was very happy.

If you don’t like too much salt, you might want to try the lower sodium version of the soup. No one in my family minds, but you can taste a difference. Also, I always spray my slow cooker with cooking oil so that it’s easier to clean. You can also top this dish with chopped cashews if you have no allergies in your house.


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 Tbsp. curry paste (I use Patak’s mild), or you could use 1-2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 apple, chopped


  1. Add everything but the apple  into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. About a half an hour before you’re ready to serve, add the apple.
  3. Serve over rice, and top with mango chutney, if you like that sort of thing!
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