August 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Our family loves Mexican food.  Before we moved to the Northeast, we lived in Texas where delicious Mexican food was easy to find.  The grocery store I shopped at in Texas had a whole aisle just for different kinds of tortilla chips.  That was awesome!  There are a lot of great things about where we live now, but good Mexican food isn't one of them.  We are usually disappointed each time we try a new Mexican restaurant.  Right now, there is only one Mexican restaurant that we like and it is about 40 minutes away.  So, we usually cook it ourselves.  

My son requested fajitas for dinner this week.  I decided to try this slow cooker version of Chicken Fajitas from Eat at Home.  I know a slow cooker recipe for fajitas won't be the same as sizzling fajitas hot off the grill.  But, I'm still hoping this dish will be full of the fajita flavors that we all like and also be super easy to put together on a busy day.

 Ingredients (printable recipe)
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 med. onions, sliced
1 bell pepper and plus about 20 mini sweet peppers (it's what I already had on hand)*
2 pkgs. Taco Seasoning (use homemade taco seasoning if you prefer)
Flour tortillas
Toppings--sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole , etc... 
1. Spray inside of 5-6 quart slow cooker with cooking oil spray. Slice peppers and onions and place them on the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Put chicken on top of the onions and peppers.
3. Sprinkle seasonings on top.
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.
5. Take chicken out and slice. If chicken is too tender to slice, just shred it.
6. Serve in a flour tortilla with your favorite toppings.

*Original recipe calls for 3 bell peppers, one of each color (red, yellow and green)

Adapted from Eat at Home

I used what I already had on hand. I mixed up a green bell pepper along with some small sweet peppers.
Onions and peppers on the bottom
Chicken and seasoning on the top. So Easy!

The Results... 
 What surprised me most about this meal was that the kids all really liked it!  I heard 4 and 4 1/2 stars (out of 5) from them.  The chicken turned out very tender and the peppers were super soft (the way the kids like them).  I'm adding this recipe to my family favorites list because it's something my kids will eat again.  

My husband thought it was OK.  We both think fajitas are best when they are sizzling hot off the grill with crisp tender veggies and of course there isn't any other way to get that smoky, grilled flavor.  I still thought this was tasty and it was nice that this was so easy to throw together on a busy day.  Overall, I'm glad I gave this recipe a try and I would make it again.

More Slow Cooker Dinners.....

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August 6, 2014

Chocolate Banana Bread

Here we go again with too many ripe bananas!  We love our usual banana bread recipe, but I wanted to try something slightly different.  I figured Chocolate Banana Bread will help me use those ripe bananas and give me an excuse to have some chocolate, too. :)

Ingredients (printable recipe)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
6 medium bananas, mashed (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
Optional ~ 1 cup more of chocolate chips to sprinkle on top of loaves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter, sugar and eggs. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa; mix well. Stir in sour cream and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pans. If desired, sprinkle more chocolate chips evenly over the batter.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing bread from pans. Remove and cool completely on wire racks covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep moist. Slice and enjoy!
makes 2 loaves

Adapted from Allrecipes

These 6 ripe bananas......
turned into 3 cups of mashed bananas
First, cream the butter, sugar and eggs together
Stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla extract
Sift in the dry ingredients
Stir in the sour cream and chocolate chips
More chocolate chips sprinkled on top of the batter
It turned out moist and yummy!
The Results...
Moist and yummy!  If you like banana and chocolate together, then I think you will like this bread.  The bread itself still tastes very much like banana bread with a hint of cocoa added.  The chocolate chips are what really add some rich chocolate flavor to this recipe.  My girls suggested I add more chocolate next time. :)  I noticed after I made this bread, that there isn't any salt in this recipe.  Next time, I think I will add a teaspoon of salt to see if it helps.  Overall, we were not disappointed.  Chocolate Banana Bread was moist, flavorful and we decided to give it 4 stars (out of 5).

More Banana Bread Recipes...
Not Your Ordinary Banana Bread
Banana Bread
More Banana Recipes...
Banana Ice Cream
Not Yo' mama's Banana Pudding (Paula Deen)
Browned Butter Banana Bread Brownies
Pumpkin Banana Muffins

I share recipes at these link parties.

July 12, 2014

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie (with Cap'n Crunch Crust)

This piece of pie was the result of playing in the kitchen today with my little girls.  They wanted to help make something---something with chocolate.  That sounded like a good idea to me. :)

We found a recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie.  Since we had a big box of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, we decided to use it for the crust.  The filling is simply chocolate pudding and peanut butter.  We topped it off with some cream, lots of chocolate syrup and a little more peanut butter. 

Ingredients (printable recipe)
6 cups Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal
6 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 large box (6 serving size) cook and serve chocolate pudding & pie filling mix
3 cups milk
3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Any garnishes you like: whipped cream, chocolate or peanut butter chips, Reese's peanut butter cups, chocolate syrup, etc...
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cereal in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and crush with rolling pin.
2. In an ungreased 9-inch deep dish microwaveable pie plate, add butter and 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir until blended. Stir in crushed cereal until evenly coated. Press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool 10 minutes, then place in freezer.
3. Make pudding mix as directed on box for pie filling, except after cooling for 5 minutes, add 3 Tablespoons of peanut butter. Stir a few times until it is melted and marbled throughout. Pour into cool crust.
4. In small microwaveable dish, microwave the remaining 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter uncovered for 30 seconds on high. Drizzle over pie. Refrigerate at least 3 hrs. but no longer than 24 hrs. until filling is set.

Tips: Use a regular table fork to do all the mixing in the pie plate.

Adapted from Betty Crocker

We melted the butter and peanut butter together right in the pie dish.
Crushing the cereal
Stirring the butter and peanut butter together
Baking the crust
We let it cool for 10 mins. before we put it in the freezer.
While the crust was cooling, we started the filling.
After the pudding cooked and cooled, we stirred in the peanut butter. It didn't really marble or swirl for me?
Here is the finished pie! We waited 4 hrs. for this to cool in the refrigerator. It actually could've been colder.

The Results...
Fun!  It was fun to work with my girls on this pie.  They could help with most of the steps.  My 3 yr. old helped crush the cereal.  My 6 yr. old stirred the pudding as it cooked.  Drizzling the peanut butter on top is another job the kids can do.

How did it taste?  If you ask the girls (like I did) they will tell you that this is the best pie EVER!!!  The rest of us liked this pie, too.  It was tasty and it averaged about 3 (out of 5) stars.

Here are some more pies that we've made...
I share recipes at these link parties.