Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chicken Con Queso

Ok, so I know that picture may not look the most appetizing, but this was incredibly delicious!  (I took all the pictures with my iPhone on the fly!) See, I was at my sister's house and she has 4 kids.  Add my 2 kids into the mix and we practically had a zoo!    We had to get something in the crock that was going to feed 6 hungry kids and 3 hungry adults.  This is what I came up with from what my sister had in her freezer/fridge/pantry! (I love when I can do this!  Such a fun challenge!)

My sister really had her mind set on shredded chicken, so ended up shredding this and mixing it all together.  However, if you just scoop it out the way it is, as a casserole, you will be able to give each person a beautifully looking breast, topped with deliciousness!  My picture would have been really pretty had I done that!  LOL  Oh well!  I assure you, this was super yummy!  The 3 adults all had 2 helpings, Ella and Gavin each had 1 serving and my sister's kids (extremely picky eaters) wouldn't touch it.  They rarely eat anything my sister or I makes, so don't let that keep you from giving this to your family.

I found this to be extremely flavorful and filling!  The corn added just the right amount of texture and the beans were a huge hit!  I'm sure my sister will be making this again!

Chicken Con Queso

Ingredients: (I used a 6 Quart Slow Cooker)
2.5-3 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast FROZEN (if yours is thawed, you'll cook about an hour less)
1 (15 oz) jar Mild Salsa con Queso Dip
1 (15.25 oz) can Corn (drained)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 (15.5 oz) can Pinto Beans
1.5 cups crushed Tortilla Chips
1 cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

In a bowl, mix together the corn and onion, 
diced tomatoes, pinto beans,
and queso.

Place the frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of your crock, then cover with your mixture.

Top this with the crushed tortilla chips,
then the shredded cheese.

Cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
It will look like this when it's done.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Winner Announced! Jamberry Nails Giveaway!

Thanks to Kim Peters, and Independent Jamberry Nails Consultant, 
"Jen" won a set of Jamberry Nail Shields of her choice!

Jen, you've been emailed!  Congrats!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 2012 Update

I hope this blog post finds everyone well!  As some of you may have noticed, I've changed things up a little bit here and there as life has changed!  Most of you know, I'm a mother, wife, teacher and blogger.  I'm REALLY good and packing my "plate" as full as possible......sometimes a little too full!

As the school year came to an end, I was finding myself more than a little bit stressed out.  Because of that, I had to make some changes.  The biggest thing you may have noticed is, I'm posting a little bit less here on the blog.  I apologize for anyone this inconveniences, but please remember, I blog for "fun!"  I have to keep reminding myself that sometimes!  This blog all started so I could share my love of slow cooking with my family, friends and co-workers. It has blossomed into SOOOO much more! Much more than I could have ever imagined! It's because of ALL of you, I am able to reach more and more busy moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, etc. every day! I'm amazed sometimes at the large number of you I reach. I am humbled and blessed.

Another change you may have noticed is I no longer post my "Weekly Plan" like I used too. I have received feedback from some who miss this. I empathize with you, but I have to do what's best for me. I was putting A LOT of pressure on myself to post on certain days because many of you were "expecting" recipes and when I wasn't able to post them within a day or two of making them, I would receive comments from many asking for them. I then felt very guilty for not being able to post them quickly enough. I am extremely hard on myself, and although many of you always tell me "Take your time!!! We'll be here!," my anal-retentive self freaks out! LOL I LOVE that so many of you anticipate reading my recipes. That excites me! Unfortunately, I'm just a "bit" too hard on myself! LOL 

On Facebook, I've been attempting to post "teaser" pictures of upcoming recipes when possible. Because of life, it isn't always possible, but I do the best I can. ;) For those of you who follow "A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures" on Facebook, you know we are approaching 10,000 facebook followers!!!! Can you believe it?!!! I'm truly amazed! We'll be having a 10,000 facebook fan giveaway when we hit 10,000, so if you don't follow us already over there, you'll want to! You'll have to be a fan of the "A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures" fan page to be eligible to enter to win! We're just over 9,500 now and I hope to hit 10,000 by the middle of August....if not sooner!

I've been blogging for The Patch for a while now and am now and Oakland Press blogger as well!  I find it incredible that so many people want to see my recipes.  I'm honestly just a little lady who likes to use her slow cooker!  I swear!  (If you've met me in person, you know I'm seriously just a normal person!!!!)  Because I'm gaining more and more publicity (hee hee) I asked my aunt (who is an AWESOME photographer) to do a photo shoot with me, the kids and a slow cooker!  LOL  Here are some of the photos!!!  I love her, she is amazing!!!

 Aren't these awesome!???????!!!!!!  I'm so lucky!!!!

 It's been so much fun running into some of you while I'm out and about!!!!  I'm always amazed when someone "recognizes" me!  Hee hee!!!  You can always look for me in my pewter colored PT Cruiser with the "A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures" magnets on the sides and back!  Funny friend Maja called me while I was in the Penguinarium at the zoo last week.  She said "You don't hide very well!  Your car is a dead giveaway!  I know where you are!"  BUSTED!!!!  Hahahaha!!!!

As some of you may have guessed, blogging is not a big "money maker." If you're shocked, please pick your jaw up off the floor. LOL I make a tiny bit of money here and there through affiliate links you see within the text and some of the affiliate links on the sides of my blog. When you click on these things, I get a tiny bit of money back. For instance, if you visit through one of the links on the side and place an order, I get a small kick-back. It's nice, but won't pay the bills, LOL! I also sell ads on the sides, like you see, so please be sure to visit those sites! I truly believe in all the businesses I advertise for here on the blog!

 If you're a twitter"er" please be sure to folow me over there! You can find me at @BusyCrockPotMom. If you're on Pinterest, you can also follow me at @BusyCrockPotMom.

My family is all doing well.  My husband has been busy working with the Competitive Marching Band he works with throughout the summer and into the fall. Ella, my 4-year-old is becoming quite the little lady! She loves to learn, take care of her brother, play with her friends and make art projects! Gavin, my 1-year-old is becoming quite the talker (like his sister,) and is almost running everywhere he goes! He has quite a sense of humor and is ALWAYS smiling!!!! We call him "trouble!" I've been busy catching up on all the things I wanted to do all year. I've mostly been enjoying spending time with my kids and husband. They mean the world to me! I've been cooking, doing my nails (I've learned how to do those Shellac nails myself and I'm totally addicted) and have revived my love for sewing! I made a dress for Ella with a friend of mine and am about to start a second! 

I'm going to be a part of the Cooking Matters series from the people of Gleaner's Food Bank in Detroit as well!  I'm going for a tour of the Eastern Market soon.  I will hopefully participate in a cooking challenge, and might even be a guest judge for a Teen Cooking Challenge they host!  I'm so excited!  I can't wait to tell you about all of it!

I hope you'll leave me a comment below telling me what you've been up to this summer. I try to respond to each and every one of you, but sometimes comments get inadvertently skipped over! It's never intentional! Enjoy the remainder of your summer!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spicy Florentine Pasta Sauce

We were at Costco the other night and Ella spotted some beautiful Tortellini.   I'm a sucker for 3-Cheese Tortellini, so we came home with it.  I could have easily used some jarred sauce and been done with dinner, but you know I only do that in emergencies!  LOL  

My husband was truly amazed at my mad skills at improvising in the kitchen as he sat with the kids and ate lunch.  I'm happy I can still impress him now and then! LOL  I honestly only used things I had in the house......and from my garden.....that I still haven't planted, but am watering in their little holders every day.  LOL  (Don't judge!)

There is nothing like a DELICIOUS homemade pasta sauce, and this one is my most favorite I've made!  My husband couldn't stop telling me how delicious it was!  Mine had a kick to it from the Mexican tomatoes I used, but you can cut out the heat by using regular tomatoes if you would like.  Remember, it's all about making things work for YOUR family!

This was incredible over Tortellini, but it would be great over any kind of pasta!

Spicy Florentine Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Makes about 6 servings.  (I used a 3 Quart Crock for this)
1 (29 oz.) can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 (10 oz.) can Mexican Lime & Cilantro diced tomatoes (I used Ro-Tel)
1 (10.75 oz.) can Condensed Tomato Soup 
1 (13.5 oz.) can Fresh Cut Leaf Spinach, drained
10 Fresh basil leaves, diced
1 small shallot, minced
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Pour the cans of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and condensed soup into your crock.
Mix it up.
Stir in the drained spinach.
Add the basil, pepper, salt, garlic powder and shallots.
Stir it up.
Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
Serve over your favorite pasta and ENJOY!

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Jamberry Nails GIVEAWAY!

Jamberry Nail Shields are nail shields in fun colors and designs you apply with heat and pressure!  No need for a salon appointment anymore to get that "Celebrity" look for you nails!  These nail shields can be applied to natural or acrylic nails.  They are not made with any harsh chemicals, are latex free and are made in the USA. 

These nail shields can be applied to your fingers or your toes in just 15 minutes!  Best of all, they can last up to 2 weeks on your nails and up to 6 weeks on your toes!  There is no dry time and they won't chip!

With over 150 different designs to choose from, you're sure to find something you like!  Each sheet of Jamberry Nail Shields will last approximately 2-3 manicures, so you get quite the bang for your buck!

Special Offer: Jamberry Nails is having a Buy 3 Get 1 FREE special now!

I used my Jamberry Nail Shields from Kim for my daughter, Ella (4 years old) and she aboslutely ADORED them!  She showed them to everyone.....and I do mean everyone.....wherever we went!  Kim was super helpful with lots of tips on how to adhere them properly to children because their nails are more oily than adults.  It's a learning process, but I have enough Jamberry Nail Shields for at least 6-10 more little girl manicures, just from 1 sheet!  Here's Ella, very proud of her Jamberry Nails!

You can combine different Jamberry Nail Shields to get this fun effect!

Kim Peters is an Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails.  She hosts parties, (in-home, online or book) which is a great way to earn free products for yourself.  If you'd like join "Team Glam Jams," Kim is looking for people to join her team.  If you're interested in hosting a party, or becoming an Independent Consultant, please contact Kim.

Giveaway Details: 

One Set of Jamberry Nail Shields will be given away to one lucky reader, chosen randomly through rafflecopter at the close of the giveaway.  The winner will be announced on the widget as well as by email.  

To enter, please complete FIRST option below on the Rafflecopter Widget. You will not be entered to win this prize if you do not complete that option.  If you would like additional chances to win these Jamberry Nail Shields, you may complete the other 3 other options on the Rafflecopter Widget below, but they are not mandatory!

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.  I was given a set of Jamberry Nail Shileds from Kim Peters in exchange for my honest review and opinion, as well as hosting this giveaway.
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Margarita Chicken

OMG was this good!!!!!!  I'll admit it, I've had "frozen drinks" on the brain, with the heat and what not!  When I saw Margarita Mix on sale at the grocery store this week, I decided to make something with it!  Margarita Chicken it was!  And, WOWSA was it good!

We served our margarita chicken in soft taco shells, but it would be equally as delicious in hard shells or on nachos! Mmmmmmm! Use whatever toppings your family likes, but we used shredded cheese and some fresh salsa.

We accompanied our  Margarita Chicken with a salad topped with strawberries and a nice balsamic vinaigrette.   It was the perfect accompaniment to this dish.

I used the Margarita mix without the tequila already mixed in, but you can use the "leaded" version if you would like!  I'm so excited for you to try this!!!  Wait till you see how easy it is!!!

(I would like to thank Tracy and Dan for giving me a couple tortillas and the lemon and lime so I didn't have to run to the store with 2 hungry kids!!!! xoxo)

Margarita Chicken
Makes about 6-8 servings

Ingredients: (I used my 3 Quart Slow Cooker for this)
1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used tenders since I had them)
1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced into half rings
1 cup Margarita Mix (mine was alcohol free, but please feel free to use the one with tequila in it!)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Place the chicken in the bottom of your crock.

Add in the yellow peppers and onions.

In a bowl (or measuring glass) mix together the margarita mix, garlic powder, cumin and salt.  
 Pour it over the chicken, onions and peppers.
Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours, or on HIGH for 3-3.5 hours.
Take the chicken out and shred it.

 Place the chicken back in the juices and mix.

Serve in taco shells or on nachos!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Raspberry Lemon Cake

I went raspberry picking last week in between some major storms we were having.  It was perfect!  We had the entire field to ourselves and got the most beautiful and delicious berries I've ever picked! Not only did we pick raspberries, but we picked some black raspberries too!  I've never done this before!  They are a beautiful deep purple, almost black and are smaller and bit less sweet than red raspberries.

I had intended to make some freezer jam with raspberries, but Gavin and Ella ate too many of them to make it worth the effort! (Not that I'm complaining about them eating fruit!  LOL)  I had exactly 1 cup left of the  black raspberries, so I decided to make a cake!  Why not?!  I LOVE lemon, so a raspberry lemon cake it was!

This cake turned out beautifully!  It was super moist and perfectly browned on the bottom.  It didn't burn at all and I did not use a baking dish inside my crock.  I was not able to let this cool all the way, (because I had an anxious little girl waiting for dessert) but it would have come out of the crock perfectly if I had.  Because I took it out when it was still warm, a chunk remained in the crock, but the majority came out.  Oh well!  It all goes in the same place anyway!

We sprinkled out cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, but a yummy butter cream or cream cheese frosting would be delicious as well with this!  Oooooh, or a butter cream with some lemon zest in it?!!!  Now THAT would be awesome!!!!  I'll tell you though, it was delicious without any frosting or powdered sugar on it as well!

Raspberry Lemon Cake

Ingredients: (I used a 3 Quart Crock for this recipe.  I wouldn't use bigger than a 5 Quart though)
1 box yellow cake mix, mixed according to the box directions (so you'll probably need eggs, water and oil)
1 (3.9 oz) box Instant Lemon Pudding
1 cup black raspberries (or red raspberries)

Mix your cake mix according to the box directions along with the lemon pudding.

Pour your raspberries in and gently fold them into the batter.

I learned a little trick from another slow cooker blogger in which you put some foil in the "hot spot" of your slow cooker.  I happen to know mine is toward the back, so that's what I did!  It really works and kept my bread cake from burning in that spot!
Spray your crock with non-stick spray and pour the batter in.

I stuck a piece of paper towel under the lid to catch the condensation.

Cook on LOW for about 3.5-4.5 hours.  When you can poke the middle with a toothpick and it comes out clean, it is done!
Let it cool COMPLETELY and then run a knife around the edge.  Turn your crock upside down on a platter and shake gently.  It should slip right out for you.
Dust with powdered sugar and Enjoy!

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