February 26, 2013

South Western Soup

 I have been having a hankering for some good southwestern soup.  
I love what they have at Chili's but haven't ever found a recipe that I loved. 
So I tried my hand at making a crockpot recipe wit the items that Russel and I like in our South Western soup.  
It turned out yummy. 
Here's our recipe!

2 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can Mexican Ro-tel (diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro)
1 packet Taco Seasoning (whatever hotness you desire - I used mild)
2 cans (14.5 oz cans) Swanson's Chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) black beans drained and rinsed
Whole kernel corn  **I used a bag of Kroger frozen whole kernel but you can use drained rinsed canned corn too.  I would probably use 2 cans if I wasn't using bagged**
1 medium sweet onion chopped

Optional ingredients:
shredded cheese
avocado sliced
sour cream
tortilla ships

This recipe made my crock pot about 2/3 full.  I would say enough for 8-10 full bowl servings
Place two frozen chicken breasts on the bottom of an ungreased crock pot.  Pour the ro-tel (including all its juicy goodness) over the top of the breasts.  Fill the ro-tel can about 1/2 full of water and pour beside your chicken onto the bottom of the crock pot.  Do not pour over the chicken.  You want the ro-tel to stay on top of the chicken.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
After your 8 hours is up, pull the top off your crock and smell the yummy delishiousness that is your cooked chicken.  Take two forks and shred your chicken right in the crockpot.  It should shred REALLY easily and be super tender and juicy.  Now you are going to add all but your optional ingredients. So get to it and add your taco seasoning, chicken broth, black beans, corn, and onion.  Stir it all up good and let it cook on high for an hour - or low for a couple more hours.   
You've waited long enough now - so ladle out a big helping of our South Western Soup and top with your favorite optional ingredients.  We go for the shredded cheese and sour cream but add all the South West toppings that you like.  
I hope that you love the recipe - I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions - If you want to share this recipe please do but please give credit where credit is due and link back up to this post.  
Thanks!  Stacey 

February 18, 2013

Stuffed Shells

On my way home from work on Friday I decided that I wanted to make Stuffed Shells. 
I have never made shells stuffed with anything.  
I've made plenty of lasagna and spaghetti but never tried to stuff shells.  
So I stopped into the local grocery and picked up what I thought I would need.
1 pound ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
1 box Jumbo Shells (you won't use the whole box)**
1 small onion - chopped
1 tablespoon minced Garlic (if desired)
1  16 oz tub of ricotta cheese
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 29 oz jar of tomato sauce  
Italian seasoning
I want to preface this with:
If you don't want to season your own sauce - just pick up your favorite spaghetti sauce and drop the Italian seasoning and tomato sauce from your list. 
You can use whatever shredded cheese makes you the happiest - I like mozzarella because it melts so good. 

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, brown your ground beef, onion, & garlic until done. 
While your beef mixture is cooking, boil water and cook your shells according to the package directions.   Let shells drain in a colander while you finish making your stuffing mixture.  
**We used about 25 shells and stuffed them very full.  Adjust the # of shells that you cook depending on how full you want them to be stuffed.** 
Drain grease from meat mixture. Salt and Pepper to taste.
To your meat mixture add all of the ricotta cheese and half of the mozzarella.  
Mix well.
If you are seasoning your own tomato sauce use a large bowl and combine your tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. 
 I have found that everybody likes their sauce differently so I leave the seasoning to you. 
In an ungreased 11*13 (do as I say - not as I do....my first pan was too little), spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom.  Just enough to use as a barrier. 
Next stuff your shells. 
 The jumbo shells were easy to open with one hand and then stuff using a tablespoon.  
   Lay your stuffed shells open side up in your casserole dish.  
When you have stuffed all you shells spoon the remaining sauce over the shells making sure to get some on each shell.  

 Pop these bad boys in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. 
Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on the shells and cook for about 10 more minutes or until cheese is good and bubbly. 

I wasn't sure at first how these would turn out but they ended up being very tasty. The hubby loved them.
We had left overs and I stored them in the fridge making sure to keep plenty of sauce.
These reheated nicely 2 nights later.    

Hope that you enjoy this easy Stuffed Shells recipe. 
I'd love to hear your comments!

February 14, 2013

Share the Love 2013: Recap

Again - I am so blessed to have Annie from The Farrar Four to call my friend.  Her post about Share the Love brought me to recognize my actions toward others every day not just in the first 14 days of February.
I have enjoyed Sharing the Love. 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 
John 13:34

  Ways I've shared the love....

Smiling more at people instead of having the dead ahead stare walking to work. 
Giving Dove Candy to the players on my niece's basketball team.
Donuts for work....and random people on the way in. 
Dove Candy for people in my office building. 
Candy Canes for a friend.
(I like candy can you tell)
Cooking more when my husband is home.  
Spending extra time talking with friends.
Saying hello to people. 
 Taking the time to give a great review to a very competent waiter.
Cards to friends that I don't get to see or talk to nearly often enough.  
Flowers & a visit to a friend who had surgery. 
Buying an extra couple Contributor papers through the month. 
Not giving dirty looks to the non drivers in Nashville that cut people off in traffic.

I hope that you have been inspired to Shared the Love not just in February but every day.
It can all start with just one smile. 


Join the Blog Hop: (hope I did this right!)

February 8, 2013

Share the Love: Act 3

Today I decided to Share some more Love.  
Cards to random friends that I don't get to see or talk to nearly enough.
Complete with Christmas stamps of Santa and reindeer to make people laugh.  

Share the Love: 2013

February 5, 2013

Share the Love : Act 1

This morning I decided to Share the Love using Shipley's do-nuts. 

Not just at work but with random people on the walk to my office.  
I stopped across the street from my building and shared with the parking lot attendant then
in the building with our security officers and maintenance crew, and also in the office with my fellow coworkers.  

February 4, 2013

Share the Love: 2013

My friend Annie is a blogger.  She is the reason I started to blog.  I love to read her blog and keep up with what is going on in her daily life and to learn things along the way.  
I met her year's ago at work. She has an unmatched love for life, family, friends and the Lord and she is an inspiration to me daily. So when I read her blog The Farrar Four today and saw that she is involved in a "share the love" event with her friend Lyndsay from Pink Coffee Photo I had to learn more.  

Here's the simple - Two weeks of random acts of kindness to share the love.  
You can journey on over to their linked websites above for all the particulars about "linking up" on the 14th.  I've already asked Annie about that because I am a "personal" blogger and I am not so sure about the "linking up" portion of the event.  

So what will your first act of kindness be???
Tweet it, Instagram it, Blog it, Facebook it and Share the love.