Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 Tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 10 oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
5 cups chicken broth
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 2 cups shredded chicken
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp seasoned pepper
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, optional
1 oz. packet taco seasoning, equal to 3 Tbsp.
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1 package tortilla strips (found near salad dressings at Kroger)

Heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat and add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Pour veggies in crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and garnish ingredients.
Add chicken to mixture, toss to coat. Cook on low 6 hours.
Remove chicken and use 2 forks to shred, then return to the soup.
gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese and softened cream cheese. Stir until smooth and creamy.
Taste and add any additional seasonings as needed. Top with Tortilla strips. Garnish and serve! (I like to add spoonful of sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro)

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars

THE CRUST
Cooking spray
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

FOR THE FILLING
6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

FOR THE TOPPING
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
Caramel, for serving

Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9”-x-13” pan with parchment then grease with cooking spray. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until just combined.
Press into prepared pan about 1/2” up sides. Bake until lightly golden, 20 minutes. In a large bowl, toss apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt together. Spread apples over crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pecans, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in melted butter until coarse clumps form. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and bake until top is golden and apples are soft, about 1 hour. Let cool at least 15 minutes then slice into squares and drizzle with caramel before serving. Great with vanilla ice cream!

Cheesy Chicken and Riced Broccoli Skillet

Cheesy Chicken and Riced Broccoli Skillet

5 tablespoons butter-divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts-cut into bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic -minced
4 cups broccoli-riced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon mustard powder
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese-grated

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook until it is done throughout and no longer pink in the center, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl, set aside, and return the pan to the stove top. Lower the heat to medium. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan if needed and add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the broccoli rice. Cook the broccoli rice, stirring frequently until tender – about 5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli rice to the bowl of chicken and return the pan to the stove top. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet, then whisk in the heavy whipping cream and mustard powder. Cook until hot and bubbly then slowly stir in the cheddar cheese until it’s completely melted and smooth. Stir back in the chicken and broccoli rice and cook a few more minutes until everything is heated through.

Cheesy Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Cheesy Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Peppers

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground Chorizo Sausage
2 ears corn, cut from cob
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked rice
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoned pepper
4 large poblano peppers, halved and seeded
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

In large skillet, heat olive oil then cook sausage until done. Remove sausage from pan. Add corn and cook 5 minutes, add onion and cook with corn another 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Return sausage to pan along with rice, tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper, mix well and heat through. Spoon sausage mixture into poblano halves. Cook on grill (you can do in oven as well), medium high heat 15-20 minutes, top with cheese halfway through cooking. Enjoy!

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells

2 tbsp butter, divided
2-14 ounce packages shaved beef (found in Kroger meat section)
1 bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 tsp seasoned pepper
1 tsp sale
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 ounces provolone, shredded or chopped
4 ounces American cheese, shredded or chopped
12 ounce package extra large pasta shells, cooked, drained, cooled
1 jar alfredo sauce

In large skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter, add beef and cook, tossing until fully cooked. Remove to cutting board and chop the beef. Add the other tbsp butter to pan, add onion, peppers, spices and cook til veggies begin to soften. Add garlic and cook another minute. Return beef to skillet, mix well with veggies. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and 3/4 of provolone and American cheeses, incorporate well. Pour half the alfredo sauce in bottom of a baking dish. Spoon beef mixture into cooked pasta shells. Arrange in baking dish. Top each shell with spoonful of alfredo sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees 10-15 minutes

Ham & Spaghetti Casserole

Ham & Spaghetti Casserole

8-ounces thin spaghetti, broken into pieces, cooked al dente and drained
2 cups fully cooked ham, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
half small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp seasoned pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp worcestershire sauce

Topping
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except topping ingredients). Pour into greased baking dish. Mix together topping ingredients and pour evenly over spaghetti mixture. Bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Check midway, if topping is getting too brown, cover with foil.

Smoky Mountain BBQ Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup bbq sauce (or more)
4 thin slices of ham or 8 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon
4 slices Colby jack cheese
2 green onions thinly sliced
1 tomato chopped

season chicken with garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. place on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and to each chicken breast with 1/4 cup bbq sauce, 1 slice of hem or 2 crumbled bacon slices, top with slice of cheese each. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, top with onions and tomatoes.

Shoepeg Corn Salad

Shoepeg Corn Salad

3 (11-ounce) cans shoe peg corn, drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh jalapeno pepper, finely diced (more if you like)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In mixing bowl, stir together corn, tomatoes, green onion and jalapeno. In smaller bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over corn mixture, combine well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

12 extra large Jalapeno Peppers

several slices of cheddar cheese

6 THIN hot dogs

6 buns

Slice tops and bottoms off jalapenos.  Using a paring knife, dig out seeds and ribs to form a hollow tube with the pepper.

Slice hot dogs in half, lengthwise.

Cut cheese into strips the width of the hot dogs.

Place cheese strips on top of a halved hot dog, place other half of hot dog on top.

Stuff hot dogs into jalapeno tubes….2 jalapenos per hot dog.

Grill over medium high heat until jalapenos get charred on each side.

Serve in buns with mustard.

***Get the largest jalapenos you can find.  Small ones will not work.  Also make sure to get thin hot dogs, like bun-length.

Berry Pistachio Cream Pie

Berry Pistachio Cream Pie

1 small package instant pistachio pudding, made to package directions (you’ll need milk)
1-12 ounce package whipped topping, divided
3/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1 graham cracker crust
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
Sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
additional chopped pistachios

Mix half the whipped cream into the prepared pudding. Fold in the pistachios. Pour into pie crust, refrigerate at least an hour. Top with berries, coconut and extra pistachios. Serve topped with more whipped cream.