Delicious Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

I often google recipes and have had good success searching the net, but my favourite recipes are generally those that I’ve collected from family and friends. Although I had never tasted this chili before trying the recipe, it was highly recommended from a friend at work. She said it was one of her family’s favourite recipes and that it was super easy to make. I had been wanting to try it for several weeks, but only got around to it last Sunday. I can’t say there was anything Easter-like about the meal, but it was incredibly good and easy to make.

The original recipe was found on Rita’s Recipes and I only made one small adjustment when I made it. I used my “go to” Spicy Red Pepper canned tomatoes instead of those Rita recommends.

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili:

Makes approximately 4-5 servings.


  • 2 frozen chicken breasts* (I love that I don’t even have to thaw them for this recipe!)
  • 1 – 19 oz. can of Spicy Red Pepper Tomatoes
  • 1 can of kernel corn (with the liquid)
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package of dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 Tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 – 8 oz. package of cream cheese


Add the first 8 ingredients to the crock pot in the order listed above. Stir to combine and then add the cream cheese on top. Set the slow cooker on low and cook the chili for 6 to 8 hours, stir it once or twice during cooking to mix in the cheese (if you are home). Shred the chicken using two forks. I did mine about an hour before serving and I  think this might help the chicken to really absorb the flavours.  Serve over a bed of rice.

Honestly, this might be the easiest meal I’ve ever prepared. It took me about 5 minutes to open the can and dump everything in the pot. No chopping or cutting….so easy and yet super yummy. I always know a meal is a hit when everyone in the family gives it a enthusiastic thumbs up and asks for seconds. I’ve come to realize that Mexican type dishes seem to have the best chance of scoring big with the whole family. I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll as the new Chicken Enchilada recipe got high ratings from my family as well.

*I think you could stretch this recipe a bit further by simply adding one more chicken breast. There is enough “liquid” base to support the extra chicken without altering anything else. I haven’t tried this, but think it would be worth a try to have some leftovers for lunches in the fridge.

Best Ever Left Over Chicken Enchiladas

I am always on the lookout for quick and easy meals that can easily be prepared after a long day at work.  I recently bought a box of chicken breasts that for some reason just didn’t seem to be of the highest quality. I decided to pre-boil the breasts and then use the cooked chicken for easy meal preparation. I found this Chicken Enchilada recipe on All Recipes. It had high ratings and looked super simple to prepare. I was able to whip it up in about 15 minutes with the chicken having been pre-cooked.

I can’t say this is anything fancy, but I give it a 5 STAR rating. It got rave reviews from the whole family which is not an easy feat and was super easy to make. The flavour was great and I made do with the ingredients I had on hand, which meant that I did make a few modifications to the original recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas:


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use cooking spray to lightly grease a large baking dish.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions and sauté until tender. Add the garlic powder, and then stir in the green chiles (or broiled jalapenos), cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. Mix well.
  3. Set aside approximately 3/4 of the sauce.
  4. Add the chicken and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the remaining 1/4 of the sauce in the saucepan. Stir to mix.
  5. Fill each flour tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the reserved sauce with the milk. Spoon this mixture over the rolled tortillas and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

The original recipe calls for 6 tortillas and suggests that it serves 6. I found the filling was more suitable for 4 tortillas, but we were all left wishing there were more. I would suggest doubling the recipe or sticking to a single recipe and serving the enchiladas with soup or salad for a more complete meal.

Pan Seared Steak with Caramelized Onions

I’m not sure if you are a collector of the annual “milk calendars” or not, but we have found that the recipes in them are really great. One of our favourites is their recipe for pan seared steak which was included in the 2005 calendar.  This makes a great winter meal for those days when you don’t feel like braving the elements and putting your steak on the grill. I also love this recipe because you can get away with a less expensive cut of meat and it still tastes tender and delicious.

Pan Seared Steak with Caramelized


  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb beef sirloin or other grilling steak, (about 3/4-inch/2 cm thick)
  • 2 tbsp  butter
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions:

Rub 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper over both sides of steak. In large skillet, melt half of butter over high heat. Add the steak and brown it on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add remaining butter to skillet. Stir in onions, garlic and rosemary.  Cover and cook, stirring often, for 10 min or until onions are very soft and caramelized. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Gradually stir in milk, then soy sauce and mustard.

Increase heat to medium and simmer while stirring, for about 5 min or until sauce is thickened. Return the steak and accumulated juices to pan; spoon sauce over top. Simmer, turning steak once and stirring sauce, for about 5 to 10 min or until steak is desired doneness. Remove from heat. Transfer steak to cutting board; let rest for 5 min. Season sauce to taste with additional salt and pepper. Slice steak thinly across the grain and serve with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.


This steak is delicious and not only good as a regular menu item for your family, but also makes a great dish to serve to guests. Enjoy!

Italian Dinner Party Success

We were having friends over for dinner on the 27th and I was really having a hard time deciding what to serve. At this time of the year, everyone feels like they’ve been eating way too much and are literally craving something light. So, it was initially my intention to serve a delicious, but light dinner so that everyone could feel satisfied without having to adjust another notch on their belt. When I decided to serve fish, I figured it would be a nice light alternative to all of the festive meals, snacks and treats that we all tend to indulge in over the holidays. However, as I began to scour my own recipes and search for some new ones, I found some great Italian recipes that I just had to try. Although the meal was not the light meal I originally intended, I did try to balance our the rich and creamy seafood lasagna with a nice big salad and a side dish of mushrooms. It is always a bit of a risk trying something new for company and I figured I was pretty much “walking the plank” when I tried four brand new recipes at one dinner party. I did stick to a tried and true dessert, but everything else was a first and all of the recipes were keepers. The meal was great and nothing was too difficult to make.

Italian Dinner Party Menu:

I must admit the pictures are not the best. Remember, we had company for dinner. No time to stage or adjust the lighting. In fact, I had to hide my frustration when my camera only allowed me a couple of shots before my memory card was full….thanks Eden!! Oh well, if you want to see fabulous pictures, you’ll have to visit the original sites that the recipes were found on.


I’m not even going to bother typing out these recipes. I followed them pretty carefully because I was trying them all for the first time. Here are the links and I’ve added a few notes below outlining a few of the changes I made and tips for success.

Big Italian Salad from Once Upon a Chef

Seafood Lasagna from Taste of Home

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Damn Delicious

Italian Roasted Mushroom Salad by Paleo Paisan

Chocolate Mousse Cake one of our family’s favourites

Exceptions and Hints:

  • Roasted Mushroom Salad:  I ended up using white, cremini and shiitaki mushrooms and omitted the portobello mushrooms that were suggested, but just as a matter of preference. Also, be sure to use trays with sides as the mushrooms will release juice as they roast and caramelize. I coated all of the mushrooms in oil and pepper at the same time in a large bowl, but separated them onto two sheets so that they had lots of room to roast. Mushrooms do not like to be crowded when they cook.
  • I used two cans of crab meat instead of imitation crab in the Seafood Lasagna. I also wondered about adding a tablespoon or two of white wine to the sauce, but didn’t and it was lovely without.  Be sure to allow time for the lasagna to “stand” before serving. Mine was a bit runny, but I could tell it would have been fine had I given it 5 more minutes to sit.
  • The Big Italian Salad recipe doesn’t list green onions under the ingredients, but it was in the pictorial instructions, so don’t forget to add them in.
  • The Chocolate Mousse Cake is a light and decadent dessert that never fails and is always delicious. I chose to make this cake because it is easy and you can make it a day or two before. I love that!  Also, my son has been eating “gluten-free” for the last couple of months (just a trial) and there is no flour in this cake. I love that this flourless cake was a favourite long before the gluten-free experiment. It is a great option if you are trying to avoid wheat/grain.

If you enjoy Italian and seafood, you are absolutely going to love this combination. The recipes blended wonderfully. Both the mushrooms and lasagna were absolutely scrumptious….and those biscuits.  Mmmmm….delicious!

Our Newest Menu Item: Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Garlic Shrimp PastaI’m always on the hunt for new recipes to add to our weekly menu board. Our life seems to have gotten 10 times busier with Eden in grade 7. It seems like she has homework most evenings and weekends and although she is a good student, she didn’t really have any experience with homework, studying or project work from elementary school and the adjustment to managing the work load has been pretty huge for her.  We are trying to support her and coach her through the changes, but it has been a very loooooong September. As the “homework cop”, I feel like I’m in grade 7 as well!

With our crazy busy schedule and the homework, new menu items needs to meet the following criteria:

  • healthy
  • quick
  • easy
  • stamp of approval from all 4 members of the family

We all love shrimp, but I really didn’t have a “recipe” that I followed when cooking it. I generally put it out for fondu nights, but rarely made a regular meal with it. I decided to look for a shrimp/pasta dish that would be both delicious and easy to prepare. I lucked out on the first one I found and I’ve already made it twice in the last two weeks. All I have to do is take the shrimp out of the freezer for the kids to be buzzing with excitement over the pending dinner. They love this and so do I ~ you can’t beat the 10 minute prep. time and I always have the ingredients on hand. All you have to do is keep of bag of shrimp in the freezer and you’re set to go! This recipe meets all of the criteria and is a new staple on our menu.

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This recipe was found on and was submitted by Jessica K. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!


  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 lb. spaghetti (depending on # of people you’re serving)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of butter (I use 1/2 cup)
  • olive oil (3 drizzles)
  • Italian seasoning
  • fresh ground pepper
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes


  1. Boil the spaghetti in water till tender, save 1 cup of pasta water for use later. (Jessica suggests adding oil, salt, and fresh herbs to the pasta water as it boils. I had parsley on hand and added some to the water. I’m guessing basil, oregano or parsley would be good. I had never heard of adding herbs to the water, but thought it was a great idea.)
  2. Cook to “al dente”. Drain (reserving 1 cup of water) and set aside when done.
  3. While pasta is boiling, wash the shrimp.
  4. Melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat. Add shrimp.
  5. Let cook till a little pink and starting to curl. (My shrimp is generally kept frozen. Although I thaw it out prior, I still find that it really waters down the butter during the initial cooking. I actually drained the liquid off the shrimp at this point and added another 1/4 cup of butter to ensure it wasn’t watered down.)
  6. Then add garlic.
  7. Cook 5-7 minutes and add oil. Continue to stir till shrimp is pink and curled.
  8. Add pasta and seasonings to the skillet.  Add just enough saved pasta water to keep the pasta moist, but not swimming in liquid either. Depending on the amount of pasta this may only require 1/2 the cup or all of it. Start with adding 1/4 of it then work up from there.
  9. Keep tossing all ingredients around in skillet till all is incorporated and hot.
  10. Serve with red pepper flakes and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

This pasta dish is very tasty and when served with a salad, makes a great meal!

Going Greek! Part 3: Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Last week, I tried 3 new Greek recipes and all of them were a hit. Like the gyro recipe, the recipe for this homemade  Tzatziki Sauce was found on Cooking Classy. I have tried a few Tzatziki recipes in the past, but always felt that they were either too much work or lacking in flavour. I loved that this recipe was quick and easy to prepare. The cuccumbers to have to “rest” for 30 minutes, but the actual preparation time is minimal. I loved the flavour and will definitely being making this recipe again. It was great served with the gyros and tasted delicious as a dip with fresh pita bread from Baraka Pita Bakery on Main Street in Winnipeg (Mmmm….delicious!)

Jaclyn’s Tzatziki Sauce Recipe:

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel the cucumber and slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Dice.
  2. Place the diced cucumber in a mesh strainer and sprinkle with salt. Toss to evenly coat the cucumber chunks. Allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Rinse the cucumbers and place over several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth).
  4. Place the cucumbers in a food processor and pulse to chop to desired size. Add in Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, parlsey and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Press pulse to blend or if you want it chunky you can simply stir the other ingredients.
  5. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Going Greek! Part 2

Nothing compliments a Greek salad more than a delicious gyro. I love this scrumptious chicken marinade. I was a bit disappointed when I asked my husband to pop the chicken on the BBQ/grill shortly before dinner and he informed me we were out of propane. Yikes! I ended up broiling them in the oven and they were still very good, but the grill would have been awesome….next time, I guess.

Gyros with Greek Chicken

I found this recipe on Cooking Classy and it both looked and sounded delicous. I generally follow a recipe closely the first time around and then “tweak” it,  if necessary. This marinade recipe was quite different than any I had tried before and so I really didn’t change a thing. Now, after having made it once, I feel there is no need to. It was very good as is.

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed)
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Place chicken in a ziploc bag. Pour marinade over the chicken and seal the bag while pressing out excess air. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for 2 to 4 hours. Remove the bag from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Allow to rest at room temperature (in marinade) for the last 30 minutes of marinating time.
  2. Brush the grill grates lightly with oil and preheat the grill over a moderately high heat. Once hot, add chicken and grill until cooked through (165 degrees). Rotate once half way through cooking. Remove from the BBQ and transfer to a plate. Brush the chicken lightly with olive oil and then cover with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into strips.
  3. Assemble the gyros by laying chicken across the centre of a flatbread and then layering the toppings. Wrap it up and serve. You can serve it with extra Tzatziki sauce, if you wish.

Gyro Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Greek Pita Flatbread
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • diced Roma tomatoes
  • peeled and diced cucumbers
  • chopped Romaine lettuce
  • diced red onions
  • feta cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • Kalamata olives (optional)

I have to admit, by the time dinner was ready we were in a mad scramble to pick-up Eden from volleyball practise and get Shay to his hockey try-outs. I can’t wait to make these gyros again, on a day when we can slow down and enjoy them in a fashion that doesn’t cause me indigestion. They were really delicious, but I had to gobble dinner down so fast that the enjoyment was lost in the tummy ache that followed. Ugh.

Stay tuned in for the delicious homemade Tzatkiki Sauce recipe that will be up later this week.


Pat’s Delicious Oven Stew with Dumplings

stew and dumplings

You may notice that I used baby potatoes in this stew. I usually just peel and chop regular potatoes, but i had these on hand and it was super easy because I didn’t even peel them. Wash and add.

It’s my day off today and I decided to make one of my favourite stew recipes. It was given to me several years ago by, Pat, a great family friend and my spiritual Mama! She was one of my mom’s closest friends and has always been there for me since my mom passed away over 15 years ago. I love this recipe because it is quite different from the traditional brown stew my mom served when we were growing up. I loved my mom’s stew as well, but I was intrigued by the flavour in this tomato based stew.

Pat’s Oven Stew Recipe:

  • 2 lbs. of stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes, puréed (I use one 28 oz. tin because we by this size bulk at Costco)
  • 2 Tablespoons of beef bouillon mix
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (or to taste)
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Mrs. Dash (regular) or pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • Vegetables of your choice, peeled and chopped  (potatoes, turnip, celery, onions, carrots)
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Optional: 3/4 cup of BBQ sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Place the puréed tomatoes in the bottom of a roaster.
  3. Put the stewing beef on top and stir to cover. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir.
  4. Cover the roaster and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the vegetables, stir and cover. Cook another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (If the vegetables are done before the two hours are up, remove them from the oven.)
  6. Dissolve the bouillon mix in 1 cup of boiling water.
  7. Place a colander into a large bowl. Drain the juice into this bowl; add the sugar and beef bouillon mix to the juices. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
  8. Set the drained meat and veggies to the side.
  9. Make a roux with the flour and melted butter in another pot. Slowly add the juice. Cook and stir until you have a nice gravy.
  10. Add the vegetables and meat into the gravy mixture. Stir and serve.

I love this recipe and wouldn’t adjust a thing. However, I did come across a similar recipe one time that included BBQ sauce. I decided to mix it in with the tomatoes and it was a nice addition, so I included it as an option. Either way is delicious!


Dumplings are the selling feature in my family. My kids absolutely love them and they are pretty easy to make. My recipe comes from my Grade 7 Home Economics cookbook “Recipes for Young Adults”. I have to say, I still use several recipes from that book.


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk or water (I use milk)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Cut in the butter and crumble by rubbing it with the flour between your hands. Slowly add the milk (or water) and mix. Drop by spoonfuls onto the top of the stew. (I usually get 4 blobs from one batch, but I always double it because my family loves stew and dumplings.) Cover. Place in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Don’t lift the cover during cooking. I don’t worry about the stew over cooking. I just crank it up for the last 10 minutes and it seems fine. The dumplings rise beautifully and are a yummy addition to any stew. (If you are making a stove top stew, just cook the same way – drop on stew, cover and cook for 10 minutes or so.)



Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Bacon Wrapped Chicken TendersWe had company a few weeks back and decided to try this recipe from Divas Can Cook. I’ve had great success with Monique’s recipes and this was no exception. This is actually super easy to make, but looks like lots of work with the bacon wrapped around it.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Author:Divas Can Cook


  • 1 lbs. chicken tenders (about 10)
  • 10 strips bacon, sliced in half length-wise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder,italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a small bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken tenders, completely coating them with the spices.
  4. Wrap two sliced bacon strips around the chicken tender. Tuck in the loose ends. I didn’t worry about putting a toothpick or anything in, once cooked they seemed to stay.
  5. Mix together brown sugar and chili powder.
  6. Sprinkle this mixture generously over bacon wrapped chicken, top and bottom. Press the sugar mixture into the chicken to pack it on.
  7. Place the chicken on a greased grill pan.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done and bacon is crisp. You can broil for the last few minutes if desired to crisp up the bacon more.

I think this would be excellent cooked on the barbecue as well. Can’t wait to try it on the grill. I was also thinking that I might like to substitute the Brown Sugar and Chili Powder Mixture for the topping used in the Island Pork Tenderloin Recipe I shared some time ago. In this recipe, you mix the following three ingredients together and then apply in the same way as this recipe suggests. I would love to try this combination in lieu of the original just to see what it’s like. I absolutely love this on pork tenderloin.

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

Happy cooking!

Skillet Chicken Salad

broccoli chicken saladThis stir fry dish is both nutritious and tasty. We usually serve it on top of a bed of steamed brown rice. This recipe makes 4 servings.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 sliced sweet red pepper

1/2 lb. of broccoli (cut into small florets)

1/4 vegetable oil

1/4 chicken stock

3 Tablespoons vinegar

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

salt and pepper

2 chopped green onions (or medium onion sliced)


  1. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/2″ wide strips.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes (or until done), stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a warm bowl.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the red pepper and broccoli (and onion if using sliced). Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and reduce heat to low; cover and steam for two minutes. Using slotted spoon, add the vegetables to the bowl of chicken. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Pour the vinegar into the same skillet and bring to a boil while scraping up the brown bits in the pan. Stir in the mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper.  Add in the mushrooms and chopped green onions.
  5. Return chicken and vegetables along with any accumulated juices to the skillet. Heat through.
  6. Serve on a bed of steamed rice.


This recipe was taken from a mini specialty cookbook that was put out by Canadian Living. The book was a freebee I got way back when I was in university with the purchase of a tank of gas and is called Easy Chicken Dishes.