Tag Archives: crock pot

Cheesy Beer Pulled Chicken

I hope you all had a great weekend! I spent the weekend in New Jersey because my best friend (who’s really more like a sister than a friend) got married yesterday! We met online, so our friendship has always been long distance. Of course, I would’ve been at her wedding no matter what, heck I would’ve gone overseas if that’s where her wedding took place! But because we don’t see each other as often as we’d like, being together on such an important day is particularly special. I’m not going to post a bunch of pictures because it was her wedding, not mine. But I do want to share one picture of  the gorgeous bride and myself. Oh and I caught the bouquet, so you know what that means… 😉

For some reason my train was 2 1/2 hours late this morning 😦 (I’ve taken the train between DC  and Newark 6 times now and it’s never even been a few minutes late until now) and I got home at 3:30 instead of 1:00. So my plans to go to the grocery store were scrapped and dinner ended up being pizza. But I wanted to share this recipe that I made last weekend but didn’t have the chance to blog about yet.  It’s easy (crock pot alert!), it’s delicious, and it will definitely become a regular at my house.

This was actually the second time I’ve made it. The first time, I followed the original recipe except for omitting some of the spices I didn’t have and using one less chicken breast. The second time, as I was mixing the spices, I spontaneously decided to make a few changes, and this time it was even better than my first try. You can use this chicken multiple ways, but I highly recommend putting it in tacos!

Cheesy Beer Pulled Chicken Tacos
*Serves 4 or more

You’ll Need

3-4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts (If you use 3, use slightly less of each spice than the recipe calls for)

1 bottle beer of choice (I used what I had on hand, Shiner Bock)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Shredded cheddar cheese

Desired taco toppings

Hard or soft taco shells

Directions

1. In a bowl, mix all the spices thoroughly

2. Place chicken breasts on a plate and rub both sides with the spice mixture (I used pretty much all of it, but amount is up to you)

3. Put chicken in the crock pot and pour entire bottle of beer over the chicken (I added a little water too and drained my chicken when I was done. That way there’s plenty of liquid so it cooks evenly but the tacos don’t get soggy)

4. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Shred the chicken as you cook it and once finished, drain in a collander if desired

5. If you’re not making this for a large group and you know there are going to be leftovers, I recommend adding the cheese as you use it. Just microwave the chicken and cheese slowly before serving. If you DO plan to finish it all at once, transfer the chicken to a large bowl and add cheese to taste. Toss it all together  so it melts and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

Tonight I have another recipe for you from The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart. I made it the night after I made her Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup (yes, the very first time!)and this dish was delicious as well. It was also my second time using my new crock pot. I’ve found a lot of crock pot recipes that sound good, but they call for several steps or adding things at specific times. Is it just me, or isn’t the whole point of using a crock pot being able to throw everything in it and not have to bother with it for 6-8 hours? So I was happy when I found Ruthie’s simple, two step, and yummy sounding crock pot recipe for Crock Pot Mexican Chicken . I don’t have as many pictures, since the prep was done in a rush before I ran out the door this morning, but as Brittany likes to say, I got the money shot 🙂

You’ll Need

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts*

1 16 oz jar salsa of your choice

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 block of cream cheese

* I learned from my first experience with the Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken that 2 lbs of chicken breasts makes way more shredded chicken than I could possibly eat. So for this recipe, I only used 3 chicken breasts and it didn’t affect the other ingredients as far as I could tell

1. Put all of the ingredients except the cream cheese in the crock pot and mix well. Cook on low for 6 hours (mine cooked for longer than 6 hours because I had to start it before I left for class and I wasn’t ready for dinner at 5:30. It was just fine though)

2. The recipe says to stir occasionally. But as I said, I was gone all day and it was fine unattended. Shred the chicken either as it cooks or before serving.

3. 30 minutes before serving, add the cream cheese and stir very well.

4. serve in tortillas, over chips, or on its own and enjoy!

XO,
V

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Crock Pot Virgin

Sorry I forgot to post yesterday! I’m at my parents’ house for the holidays so I’m totally out of my routine. here’s a post I wrote while the blog was on hiatus. Since Brittany recently posted a new crock pot recipe, I thought now was a good time to publish this post.

When I moved into my first apartment two years ago, I bought all the basics: one sauce pan, one skillet, a $5 collander from Walmart, one paring knife, silverware service for four, etc., etc. Over time I’ve slowly collected all the “extras” like: a hand mixer, a blender, prep bowls, more pots and pans, better knives, etc. Some were hand me downs from my mom, some were gifts, and some I bought myself. Unfortunately, the more new things I learn to cook, the more gadgets I find myself wanting. Funny how that works. Well, a few days ago I bought something I’ve been thinking about getting for awhile now and should’ve bought a long time ago!

Well hello, where have you been all my life?!

Walmart was selling this 5 quart Hamilton Beach  Crock pot for a ridiculously good price (and Hamilton beach products are already quite inexpensive for their quality). I passed the display twice over a period of a week, and finally I decided to just buy one and give it a try before they all disappeared. The best thing about this crock pot (besides the fact that it’s red (!) and cooks for you while you’re not home) is that the stoneware crock  and the lid are dishwasher safe. I don’t know about you, but in my book, being dishwasher safe is one of the best qualities a kitchen tool can have. What can I say, I love cooking but I hate the clean up. I used my new crock pot for the first time tonight and it was a success! Such a success that I texted Brittany saying “Why did I wait this long to buy a crock pot?!”

For whatever reason, I’ve been craving BBQ pulled chicken like crazy, so that was the first recipe I decided to try. When I typed that into the Google search bar, this  intriguing recipe for Hawaiian BBQ pulled chicken was one of the results. Of all the recipes I found, this one was my favorite. And I wanted to go by a recipe my first time using the crock pot. So Hawaiian BBQ chicken it was! If, like me, you’ve never used a crock pot before you will be shocked at how easy crock pot recipes are. They put my other easy recipes to shame! Anyway, I followed the original recipe pretty closely, but I’m going to write it out here because I have some notes for you all.

What You Need

Boneless skinless chicken breasts*

1 can pineapple, drained*

Onion to taste, chopped or cut into chunks

BBQ sauce of your choice*

Hamburger buns (optional)

*The recipe called for 2 pounds of chicken which I went ahead and got for the first try. But this made TONS of chicken. And after making it, exact measurements don’t seem very important)

*According to the recipe, the pineapple juice can be added if you like sweeter BBQ. But I found that it was actually quite sweet even without the added juice. Just FYI.

*The recipe calls for an entire bottle of BBQ sauce and says that you can never have too much BBQ sauce. However, my chicken was quite saucy. And despite toasting the hamburger bun, it got soggy faster than I would have liked. I conferred with the cooking Goddess (aka my mom) who said that cutting back on the sauce might help this. After all, you can always add some BBQ sauce after you serve it if you want more

Now for the ridiculously easy directions:

1. place chicken in the bottom of the crock pot then cover with onion and pineapple

2. Pour BBQ sauce over the chicken, onion, and pineapple

3. Cover crock pot and cook on low. The recipe says to cook it on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. I cooked it on low but took it out after 7 hours and it was already fully cooked and falling apart

4. Remove chicken approximately 2 hours before it’s done cooking and shred with a fork (you can actually shred it pretty easily without removing it from the crock)

5. Return shredded chicken to crock pot and stir it back into the sauce. Continue cooking for remaining 2 hours, or until you can’t wait any longer

6. Serve chicken on its own or on a hamburger bun. I added cheese because…Well who doesn’t like cheese?!

This was really good! I scarfed down an entire sandwich plus the steamed veggies I made before eating a second serving of chicken without a bun.

I originally assumed the pineapple and onion were just for flavoring. But I realized as I was trying to serve the chicken that it’s pretty hard not to getting any pineapple chunks or onion mixed in. I ended up really liking it that way. But if chunks of fruit in your BBQ don’t sound like your thing, I recommend buying fresh pineapple and using large slices instead of chunks. The same goes for the onion, cut big chunks if you just want them for the flavor.  I hope you enjoy this! The absolute best parts were coming home to an apartment that smelled like BBQ, and having dinner basically ready to serve whenever I was ready for it!

XO,
V

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Crock Pot Thoughts

Nothing says comfort food like a crock pot. It brings back the nostalgia of the 70s…I always think of the Brady Bunch for some reason. (Even though I recall that Alice usually made their meals…)

I don’t even know if crock pots were around in the 70s…but for some reason, to me, that is the era they bring to mind.

Now I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t spend my day googling different crock pots and , by proxy, recipes.

But really…this is what I googled: “Crock pots causing fires”

I’ll be the first to admit, I can be a bit paranoid. I keep  a sticky note over my laptop camera so “they” can’t see me. I worry about Glade plug ins causing fires (oddly enough I never worry about candles, cause I have never left one burning) and I have to unplug the Glade air fresheners when I leave. And now I worry about crock pots going crazy.

Despite the fact that I have successfully used a Crock Pot before, I still worry.

(If I have Boo with me, I worry less about leaving a Crock Pot going or a Glade air freshener plugged in.)

Logically, I know this fear is irrational. If you do your research and read all of the reviews and reports before you make your Crock Pot purchase…all should be well. Besides, most people leave toasters, microwaves and blenders plugged in when not in use. Crock Pots are designed specifically with that purpose in mind; to do the work while you’re AWAY.

And the fact that I’ve even made food successfully, in a Crock Pot, just proves my paranoia wrong.

But I’m done rambling on about Crock Pots…I need your thoughts. Once I get my CP back I’ll be sure to whip up some special stuff, like BBQ Pulled Chicken and my Black Bean Sweet Potato tacos!

Have you ever used a Crock Pot before? Do you have a favorite recipe?

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