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Monday, September 29, 2014

Layered Black Bean Taco Dip!

This is a really easy "Layered Black Bean Taco Dip" that's great to serve during the big game or for your card party or even for the kid's sleepovers or parties.  I like that this can be made the night before also and then brought out about 30 minutes before the party.  Here is what you will need;
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz.) Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack/cheddar blend
3-4 green onions, chopped
Beat the cream cheese and sour together with the taco seasoning mix until well blended.  Spread into a shallow dish like a pie plate or a 9"x9" baking dish.  Top with the black beans, Rotel, and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.  Sprinkle the green onions on last.   You can also add sliced black olive and jalapeno slices if you like for additional flavor.  I left those off because some don't like them at my house, but I think it's good with them.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours just so the flavors blend.   I like to take this out about 30 minutes before serving so that it's a little softer and dips out easily. 
Serve with tortilla chips, Frito scoops, or various crackers!  

Slow Cooker Nacho Cheese Chicken!

This recipe is so easy that I almost didn't even post it.  Then I got to thinking that everybody needs some easy recipes for those days when you don't have time to stand in the kitchen for several hours.  I have had a couple of days like that this week.  This time of year, there is too much to do outside also, rather than being in the kitchen, so I like to do some easy meals.  I use my slow cooker for this and I hear people say they use their slow cooker more in the winter,  but I actually think I use mine more in the summer, just because it keeps me from having to turn on the oven during the hottest part of the day.   Here is all you will need for this:

6-8 boneless chicken breasts ( I used a 3 lb. bag of frozen breasts, you can use less chicken and it will just have a lot of extra sauce)
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. taco mix
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, cubed
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
dash of Tabasco sauce

I just put the chicken breast in the slow cooker frozen.  You can use thawed chicken also, makes no difference.  Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray first for easier cleanup. Sprinkle them with the pepper and the garlic powder.  I don't add any salt to this because the soup and the taco mix  have enough salt to season.  Frozen chicken does not photograph well, sorry about the visual, but it is good when it's
Pour the canned soups over the chicken.  There is no need to mix them before you put them in. It all mixes up as it cooks. Sprinkle the soups with the taco mix and cube the cream cheese and place it on top. If you like really spicy, puts some dashes of Tabasco on top to your taste.  Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or overnight.  At the end of the cooking time stir in 1 cup of sour cream and break the chicken up into pieces.  I just like to break mine up in big chunks, not really a lot.  If you started with chicken that was already defrosted, you won't have to break it up much.
I served this over some yellow rice, but my husband doesn't care for rice so I served his over egg noodles and it worked great also.  I think even mashed potatoes would work.  I garnished each serving with green onions and cilantro, but you could also garnish with salsa, sliced ripe olives, or a little shredded cheddar cheese.  It's very versatile in what you add to it.  This makes quite a bit and with a salad and bread you can serve 5 - 6 people easily.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rum Raisin Apple Cobbler!

It's apple picking time in southern Kentucky so I am always looking for new and different recipes to use them.   We use a apple quite a bit in southern cooking, both for desserts and as a side item.  This is a little different spin on the apple cobbler and it is so tasty!  The combination of the apples with the raisins, butter and rum is just perfect.  Here is what you will need for this delicious cobbler:
1 cup butter, divided (2 sticks)
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
pinch of salt
6 large cooking apples (Granny Smith or Rome work well)
1 box yellow or butter cake mix
1/3 cup half and half cream (can use whole milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter.  Mix in the cornstarch, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, rum, vanilla and raisins.   Peel, core and slice the apples.  Add them to the butter mixture and toss until coated. 
Spray an 11"x 9" baking dish with nonstick spray and pour the apple and raisin mixture in.  Melt the other stick of butter and mix it with the cake mix.  Spread evenly over the apple mixture. This mixture will be thick so it's best to drop in on top by the spoonful and then spread it evenly.  Place in the 350 degree oven for 1 hour. 
It should be nice and brown when done!  Remove from oven and allow to cool just slightly!
 Serve while slightly warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!