February 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

Hi Everyone!  I know I usually make freezer meals, but I have a slow cooker soup for you today.  I've been fighting a cold this week and was in the mood for a vitamin rich soup.

I found the recipe here: http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/slow-cooker-vegetable-barley-soup-recipe-124100

I almost followed the recipe but substituted a few things.  Here's what I used:

  • 8 sprig(s) fresh thyme
  • 2 turnips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 stalk(s) celery, sliced
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup(s) barley (not quickcooking)
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 small (about 6 cups) bunch Swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves chopped
  • Shaved Parmesan, for serving

  • Basically I just substituted carrots for parsnips and turnips for rutabagas.

    1. Tie the thyme together with a piece of thread or butcher's twine. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the turnips, celery, garlic, onion, carrot, thyme, barley, 8 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
    2. Cook, covered, until the barley is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high (if cooking on high, use only 6 cups of water).
    3. When the soup has 10 minutes left to cook, remove the thyme. If the slow cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high. Add the chard and cook, covered, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with Parmesan, if desired.

    Here's a picture of the veges in the slow cooker before I added the water.

    Super easy meal!  I think it would be a great meal to make on a weekend and eat all week long for lunches.  It would also be a good meal to make and bring to someone hot out of the slow cooker.  

    February 2, 2013

    Chicken Enchiladas

    Chicken Enchiladas 

    Hi everyone!   It's been a long time since I've posted, but I'm still at this!!  I've been really busy so far this year with work and beer events!  I wanted to post a quick and easy recipe for Chicken Enchiladas.  It's a great one to make ahead for those nights when you want a Fiesta!!


    10-15 Flour Tortillas
    2 8oz cans Enchilada Sauce
    1 8oz package of Mexican cheese
    1 pound of chicken breast 

    1.   Poach the chicken to cook.  For the poaching I added onion, bay leaves, peppercorn, celery, and a little salt.  You can see my detailed explanation of poaching and how to do it in my previous post here.  One a side note:  You can also just use a rotisserie chicken for this.  It's a little quicker, but I love doing the poaching myself to get extra stock that I can use for other recipes.  I just freeze the stock till I need it.  

    2.  After the chicken is cooked, let it cool till it is easy to shred.  I've heard lots of ways to shred chicken(forks, food processor, etc) but I've found the easiest and quickest is to use your hands.  After the chicken is shredded, put it in a bowl with 3/4 of a can of the Enchilada Sauce and 1/2 of the cheese as shown below.

    Shredded Chicken, Cheese, and Echilada Sauce

    3.  Mix the cheese, chicken, and sauce.  Take a tortilla and place a spoonful of the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla.  Do not overfill.

    Chicken Mixture in tortilla ready to be rolled up.

    4.  Roll up the tortilla and place the seam side down in a baking pan.  Repeat till pan is filled with enchiladas.

    Enchiladas in the pan.
    5.  After the pan is filled with the Enchiladas, pour remaining sauce(1 and 1/4 can) on top and spread around with the back of a spoon until all the Enchiladas are covered evenly.  Top with remaining cheese.

    Ready to freeze!!
    6.  Cover well and freeze until ready for use. To reheat, defrost in refrigerator for about 24 hours.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min to an hour or until browned and bubbly.  

    I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I promise I'll be posting more soon.  Let me know if you try this recipe or any of the other recipes from my blog!