Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

The first time I met the Fox family was at Mythbusters Live. I’ve lived in Kansas City for about 15 ½ years. I barely ever run into people I know out and about. But since I met Jeremiah, it seems like we run into people he knows everywhere – Sam’s Club, the grocery store, dinner, and yes, even at shows. I think we also ran into an old coworker of his at Mythbusters Live.

Travis is the brother of Kelly (mentioned in a previous post). Jeremiah has been friends with the Fox brother since they were little kids. It’s actually really cool because everyone seems to get together around the holidays to celebrate Layla’s (our own niece) birthday. Travis and Molly’s son Lex is pretty close in age to our nephew Aiden. It’s nice to see a second generation of kids playing together.

I’ve made chicken and dumplings before but this is my favorite recipe. It’s easy-peasy since you can cook it in the slow cooker.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings by Travis and Molly Fox
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2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 T. butter
2 cans cream of chicken
1 can chicken broth
2 T. dried onion
1 T. parsley
4 Grands biscuits

Put chicken in Crockpot with butter. Add soups, broth, onion, and spices. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

After it’s cooked, shred chicken and add back to soup. Cut biscuits into 9 pieces. Stir into soup. Cover and cook on high for 1 more hour.

Notes:

  • I used 2 T. of Lipton’s dry onion soup mix.

Goulash

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Look at this adorable card she made for Jeremiah’s birthday. He LOVES Minions and Stuart is his favorite.

My mother-in-law is super creative. She quilts and scrapbooks. Never a holiday goes by that we don’t receive a handmade card. So, I knew Lynn could take an item I found at a craft show and help me replicate it for our wedding favor.

Starbucks

We did our first look just outside the Starbucks in the Kansas City Overland Park Marriott. It was the venue of our wedding. Photo by: Joseph Sands Photography

Jeremiah and I went on our second date to Starbucks. It was after dinner at Bonefish Grill. We often debate if our first kiss was in the parking lot of the restaurant or at Starbucks. But we know we sat on the patio and talked for hours. Since we both love coffee, we go to Starbucks a lot for dates, meetings, or working on projects. Sometimes, it’s even motivation to workout. We also had three Keurig makers at one time. On any given day, we probably have between 100-150 K-cups in our apartment. What can I say, we like variety? That said, we do have our favorite flavors of coffee.Starbucks2

Lynn examined the sample I gave her and listened for my vision of having “Love is Brewing” and “Mr. & Mrs.” on each of our favorite kinds of coffee. Lynn searched the internet for a template and a video tutorial. Then, she made a template. Her scrapbooking friends even sent her some tools to add a little extra to the design. The next step was trips to Jo-Ann’s and Michaels. (Lynn is also price conscious so she helped me find some coupons to save us some money on the purple paper.) She scored all the paper so all we had to do was assemble them. It sounds simple but we spent almost an entire day making 60 of these K-cups. My sister and her friend Susan also joined us late in the day to finish the project.

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The “Mr.” was Donut Shop Regular. The “Mrs.” was Gloria Jean’s Hazelnut. We also made some without coffee for people like my mom who have a Keurig but don’t drink coffee.

 

This adorable little piece cost us about $1 each to make.

Today’s recipe comes from Lynn. Both our mothers forgot to bring recipe cards to the wedding but we knew what recipes we wanted them to share. Jeremiah was like, “I love my mom’s goulash.” I was like “I hate goulash.” He was like, “You have to try my mom’s recipe, it’s soooo good.” When I think of goulash, I think macaroni noodles with barely any meat and tomato sauce scooped with an ice cream scoop onto a lunch tray. Thank you, school lunch ladies, for making it so bland and gross looking. But I have to admit, Lynn’s recipe is really good. It has cheese. That’s what was missing in the version I had eaten in elementary school.

We don’t know for sure if the recipe is from his Oma (Grandma Martin) but we are guessing that his Oma probably made some sort of goulash as Lynn was growing up. Lynn’s parents meet in Germany as her father was stationed there in the military. In fact, I think Lynn didn’t move to the states until she was six years old. Goulash is typically a Hungarian dish but there are German versions too.

I’m really proud of Jeremiah because he made this dish all by himself. I was running late getting home from work so he started cooking without me. Normally we tag team cooking. I will tell you though to pay attention to the words “cooked macaroni”. Jeremiah didn’t know pasta doubles in size. So, needless to say, we then had some extra noodles cooked for another dish. He thought it was a little cheesier than his mom makes it but I thought it was just perfect.

Hamburger Goulash by Lynn Slater
IMG_01071 lb. ground beef
½ c. chopped onions
½ tsp. salt
3 c. cooked elbow macaroni
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
½ tsp. pepper
2 c. Velveeta cheese cubed

Brown beef and chopped onion. Add spices and tomatoes. Add cooked macaroni and cheese. Cook until cheese melts.

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

For our wedding, we did things a little less traditional. One thing I was adamant about was asking for guest to provide a recipe in lieu of signing a guest book. My thought process was to put together a cookbook/photo album. The idea being we would look at our photos more often. Plus, we would think of all our amazing friends and family being at our wedding when we prepared their recipes.

c21ff084-03cf-4e12-89d3-ec296f8c478cThe first step was creating a recipe card. In a former life, I used to spend a fair amount of my day creating items in software like InDesign. When I couldn’t find what I wanted or wasn’t willing to pay the price on Etsy, I created items myself for the wedding. This is a copy of the recipe card I created. We mailed them with the wedding invitation so people could be prepared. I figured none of my friends and family have a web-based recipe blog like I do actually pull up their favorite recipes when they arrived at the wedding.

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Photography by Joseph Sands Images

After the wedding was over and we had the disk of our photos, I spent several days putting this cookbook together. This included everything from picking just the right font to counting the number of family members on each of our sides in the photos to make sure it was a fair representation. The end result was a cookbook that we printed for our parents and siblings as a Christmas gift. A few years back, I had done a family recipe cookbook for my mom and sister. They loved it and use it often.

The first recipe we prepared from our cookbook came from Jeremiah’s Uncle Johnny and Aunt Angie. I think the first people I met in Jeremiah’s family may have been Johnny and Angie. As you know, we are breakfast/brunch people. We used to go early on Saturday mornings to Corner Café before I headed out to work. Johnny and Angie would join her family for breakfast at the restaurant. They’d usually be arriving as we were leaving. Such a sweet couple. Unfortunately, we are no longer close to that Corner Café so we don’t run into them at breakfast time anymore.

Johnny and Angie shared their meatloaf recipe. It’s very tasty. That said, I would make a recommendation that you mix it right before you cook it. We get home so late from work that we decided to prep it the night before. When pulled it out of the fridge to cook it the next day, the pan was a little watery from the diced tomatoes. We hope you enjoy this more complex meatloaf recipe – and Jeremiah’s artist side with the pepper rings.

Meatloaf by Jon and Angie Slater
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1 lb. ground beef
½ c. chopped yellow onion
½ c. chopped green pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. canned diced tomatoes with juice
½ c. quick oats
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

Topping
1/3 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all meatloaf ingredients except topping. Shape into a loaf in baking dish. Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread over loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

A few ago weeks, I was going through my Pinterest account looking for some new recipes. This is a new one we tried and really liked. I hope you like it took.

Smothered Bacon Ranch Chicken Penne Pasta from Laugh with Us Blog
img_1185One package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. chicken breast
2 garlic cloves
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 package ranch seasoning mix
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water

In a large bowl, mix garlic, ranch seasoning, cream of chicken, sour cream, pepper, and water. Place chicken in Crockpot and cover in sauce. Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high. About 30 minutes before it’s done, add cooked pasta and bacon.

Notes:

  • I used reduced sodium cream of chicken soup and light sour cream. 
  • I substituted a spiral pasta. 
  • Instead of mixing in the bacon, I cooked half a package and just sprinkled on top with parsley.

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

When my husband was out of town a few weeks ago, I was cooking up a storm. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest. The pin generated several re-pins from a few of my friends and family. Jeremiah asked if it was like my mom’s Hamburger Casserole but I said it reminded me more of Crockpot Chicken Casserole.

IMG_1133Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole from Plain Chicken
1 1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked
3 oz. pre-cooked bacon
2 c. cheddar cheese
1 package of tater tots
1 can cheddar cheese
16 oz. sour cream

Mix ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halfed the recipe and cooked it in a 9 x 9 baking dish. I halfed all the ingredients except I used 1 lb. of ground beef, full serving of bacon, and a full can of soup. I cooked it at the same temp and time.
  • I used light sour cream, 2% cheddar cheese, and real bacon.
  • I think you could cook some onions in the beef and it would be good. 

 

 

Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Gipes

In fall 2014, Jeremiah and I took our first class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I had wanted to go forever but just been able too. We took as tasting class called Drive Ins and Dinner Done Right. Aka – how to cook fried food. We made fried tacos, onion rings, and adult root beer floats (so good). We were so stuffed by the end of the night!

Our chef educator’s family used to own a restaurant. In fact, you may have seen her on television. She beat out thousands of chefs to appear on America’s Next Great Restaurant. She was very entertaining and had lots of great stories to share along with cooking tips.

The class was very hands on and we had to learn to cook with strangers. Jeremiah and I learned that we cook really well together. Unfortunately, we did not cook well with strangers. We were always the last group to finish. But in our defense, I think the other groups knew each other and our stove was clear on the other side of the room.

Jeremiah and I made this recipe once for his parents. It was a little liquidy when we made it the first time so we decided to cook our some of the juice this time. We liked it a little better this way. And to be quite honest, I don’t normally eat Sloppy Joes/taverns. It was also a hit with Jeremiah’s parents. The best part of the night though was Don offering to wash the dishes. If you know me at all, it’s one of my least favorite task.

Gipes (Italian Sloppy Joes) by Sandy Digiovanni
IMG_00531 lb. of ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves
¼ c. fresh parsley
¾ c. beef broth
1 can crushed tomatoes
butter, softened
slice fresh mozzarella cheese
a package of Ciabatta rolls

Brown the ground beef. Add onion and pepper. Cook 5-8 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, and parsley. Cook on a higher heat to reduce liquid.

Mix remaining garlic, butter, and x. Spread on slice Ciabatta rolls. Top one side of the roll with cheese. Broil in oven for 2-3 minutes to melt. Top with meat and serve.

Notes:

  • We used smaller Ciabatta rolls and cut slices of cheese in half. It made 12 sandwiches.
  • We used a yellow onion and green pepper. I think you could use whichever onion and pepper you wanted too.
  • We used reduced sodium beef broth and dried parsley.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Over the years, I’ve made several roasts. My sister is an oven fan but I prefer it to be made in the Crock-pot. I love the tender meat that comes from making it in the Crock-pot. This is my favorite French Dip recipe. You know what they say, “When you find a good recipe, stop.” This is flavorful but also keeps your meat juicy. I’d recommend adding a little melted provolone to the top of this sandwich and you’ll love it even more.

FullSizeRender (1)Italian Beef Sandwiches by Jan Kent (Quick Cooking January/February 2004)
1 beef sirloin roast
1 can beef broth
1 can beer (or one additional can of beef broth)
1 c. water
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregeno 
1 tsp. dried basil

Place roast in the Crock-pot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Crockpot Pork Chops

My days used to be long because I’d stay at work late…usually trying to keep up on my inbox. When I got home, Jeremiah had either finished cooking dinner or it was close to being done. Oh, the good old days.

A few weeks ago, Jeremiah took a job downtown. Part of the deal in him taking the job was for us to carpool. Although our offices are only about five miles apart, it takes me – on a good day – about an hour to get to and from work. I also have a new level of traffic stress sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or dodging car accidents in mid-town. By the time we get home, we are tired, hungry, and stressed.

One thing that has become a saving grace for us is our crockpot dinners. For Christmas, Jeremiah bought me a Crockpot with a timer. (And yes, I requested this gift.) And thanks to Pinterest, we can find lots of tasty recipes to cook in it.

This is a recipe we made for dinner last Monday. We got done eating our serving and Jeremiah said, “Do we have more?” I seconded those words. May you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

FullSizeRender (1)Crockpot Pork Chops from Pinterest
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
1 envelope of onion soup mix
1 envelope of brown gravy
4-6 pork chops

Mix together the first four ingredients in a bowl. Salt and pepper pork chops and place in the bottom of the Crockpot. Pour mixture on top of pork chops. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

Taco Braid

The first time I tried Stromboli was with my Grandma Fletcher in Yuma, AZ. She took me to this little pizza place in strip mall and said, “you have to try it.” If you aren’t familiar with Stromboli, it is a turnover filled with meats, cheeses, and/or veggies.

At the Minsky’s in Independence, MO, they have something similar called a Mexican Pizza Roll. I actually ended up with it by mistake one night. They gave me someone else’s order – something I realized just as they were calling me to apologize. Since they couldn’t take the pizza and pizza rolls back, I ended up trying these tasty bits that seemed to me like a Mexican Stromboli. Since I no longer live in Independence, it is a rarity that I make it back over to the only Minsky’s location I know to make these delicious bites.

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest some time ago. I forgot about it until Jeremiah and I were looking for some new recipes in my Pinterest boards before we headed out to buy groceries. It’s good but I still miss the Mexican Pizza Rolls at Minksy’s.

Taco braidTaco Braid from Pinterest
1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning
1 c. of water
1 can of refried beans
½ c. salsa
2 c. shredded cheese

Cook a pound of ground beef. Drain the grease. Add packet of taco seasoning and 1 cup of water. Cook until a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Layout pizza dough and form into a rectangle. Cut in edges in strips about 3 inches in on each side using a pizza cutter. Spread with refried beans in the middle of the crust. Top with cooked taco meat. Spread with salsa. Sprinkle with cheese. Lace up crust and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used half the can of refried beans. I used about ¾ lb. of ground beef.
  • I used Wildtree Taco seasoning.
  • I only used about 1 cup of cheese. It was a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
  • I wish I had prepared it on the pan or foil as it was difficult to transfer to the baking sheet. I’d also suggest maybe not buying the store brand of pizza crust as it tends to come apart a little easier than the Pillsbury brand.
  • My fiancé suggested we kick it up a notch. Perhaps by adding some cilantro or green onion to the bake. Jeremiah added some spicy salsa on top before eating his second piece. We also said guacamole or sour cream on top would be delicious.