Picture
    Holy deliciousness, Batman! These are the best tamales I have ever had, so I had to share the recipe! I made them with the chicken from my Chicken Taco recipe in the slow cooker, and they were phenomenal. You can also use seasoned ground or shredded beef or pork. Either way, with this masa, your tamales will be amazing!

Makes about 10 tamales

Ingredients:
For the Masa:
Corn Husks
2 c masa harina
10 oz chicken or beef stock
1/2 c shortening or lard
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

For the filling:
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 c salsa
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

    Place chicken, taco seasoning, and salsa to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When that's ready, soak corn husks in warm water for 10-20 minutes while preparing masa.

    In a large bowl, mix masa harina, stock, shortening, baking powder, and salt thoroughly, until a soft, crumbly dough forms.  This is the masa. I like to use my stand mixer because I can, but you can mix it by hand, too. 

    When the masa is both soft and crumbly, it's ready to go. Take out a softened corn husk, and flatten a handful of masa out on it.  Then, put a couple of tablespoons of chicken in the middle. Fold the sides of the corn husk in, and then fold in the top and bottom. You can tie it off with butcher's twine if you've got it, but I just peel off part of one of the corn husks and tie it around like you are wrapping a delicious little package. 

    Steam the tamales for an hour, and top with sour cream, salsa, cotija cheese, whatever you like; or just eat them plain because they are perfect, just the way they are.
    

 
Picture
    This is another inexpensive, easy meal with a big payoff. Chicken and cheese are stuffed into large shells, and drizzled with a creamy alfredo sauce. I added spinach and basil, and we all loved it.








Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 stick of butter
1 lemon, juice only
1 packet dry Italian Dressing mix
2 c chopped fresh spinach
2 T chopped fresh basil
1 c ricotta cheese
1 c shredded mozzarella
1 box large shell pasta
1 jar alfredo sauce (I used Classico's Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo and it was AMAZING!)
parmesan cheese

Directions:

Place butter, chicken, lemon juice, and Italian dressing mix in the slow cooker, and let it cook on low for about 8 hours. When the chicken is fall-apart tender, shred it with forks, and stir in the spinach, basil, ricotta, and mozzarella.

Heat a pot of salted water, and boil the shell pasta according to the directions on the package, and heat the alfredo sauce in a saucepan until it's ready to serve.

When the shells are soft, drain them, and fill them with the cheesy chicken stuffing. Pour alfredo sauce on top, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve hot, and enjoy!

You could also use marinara or vodka sauce, or mix the alfredo sauce in with the cheesy chicken, and serve it over spagetti or macaroni noodles.

 
Picture
    Shut the front door! I just made these for the first time today, and they tasted so INCREDIBLE that as soon as I was so full that I couldn't eat another bite, I ran to the computer to share the recipe. If these tacos were any easier, they'd do the dishes themselves. I can't even handle how easy and delicious they are. They should be illegal or something.











Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts. They can even still be frozen (so freakin easy).
1 8oz jar of salsa. I used Mild Pace Picante
1 packet of taco seasoning

Taco Shells
Guacamole
Cotija Cheese
Anything else you want on your tacos...

Directions:
    First, put the chicken in the slow cooker, and cover it with the taco seasoning and salsa. Let it cook all day on low, for up to 9 hours. When the chicken is ready, shred it with a fork, and mix it up with the sauce.  

    I put mine on taco shells and topped it with guacamole and cotija cheese, and was blown away by how good they were. 

    You could also use the chicken for taco pasta, in chili, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, taco salad... The possibilities are endless!

 
Picture
    Chili is one of those great things that you can make on the stove when you're hungry, or in a crock pot way ahead of time, if you know you're going to be busy. It's inexpensive, easy, and delicious. There are so many variations, that everybody makes it a little bit differently. This is how I make basic chili.






Ingredients:
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey or beef
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
3 T chili seasoning
1/2 c chicken stock (optional)

Chili Seasoning:
2 t chili powder (more if you're trying to clear out your sinuses)
1 t red pepper (more if you're spicy. My kids eat it this way.)
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
2 t sugar
2 t cumin
2 t parsley
2 t season salt
1 t basil
1/2 t pepper

Directions:
    Saute onions in olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, until they are translucent. Add garlic and meat, and cook until all the meat has browned. Add chili seasoning, and mix well. Then, add beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. If you want to drain the beans before adding them to remove some of the sodium, or if you're using cooked dry beans, add the chicken stock. If you use the liquid from the beans, do not add chicken stock. Turn heat down to low and cover.
    
    Let the chili simmer for half an hour. The longer you let the flavors mingle, the better it will be. 
    
    This chili is a little bit spicy for the kids, so I top it with shredded cheddar cheese and avocado, and mix in sour cream to tone it down. 

    Serve with corn bread. Always.

 
Picture
    My favorite dinners are the ones where everybody eats what they are supposed to, and I don't have to bribe, threaten, or bargain with anybody to finish their dinner. This is one of those dinners. Both of my kids really liked it, and I didn't have to nag anybody to eat their vegetables. To top it off, it only took about 10 minutes of effort to make. Perfect!

   




 Ingredients:
2 lbs chuck roast, cut into thin slices
1 c beef stock or boullion
1/2 c soy sauce
1/3 c packed brown sugar
3 t minced garlic
1 T sesame oil
3 c broccoli florets
2 T cornstarch

Directions:
    Place sliced beef in slow cooker. In a smal bowl, mix stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and sesame oil, and then pour over the beef. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.
    About an hour before you're ready to serve it, add the broccoli. Take out about 1/2 cup of the sauce, mix it in with the cornstarch, and add it back to the slow cooker. Stir it well, and let it cook on high for an hour. This should thicken up the sauce. 
    I like to serve it over rice, with spring rolls.
    

 
Picture
    This chicken dish combines the ease of a slow cooker with Moroccan spices and all the healthy benefits of sweet potatoes and chick peas.  Not only is it good for you, it's inexpensive, and tasty, too! And, since it simmers all day, you will have the smells of a Moroccan street fair wafting through your house. I LOVE the way this smells while it cooks! Try it, and let me know what you think!









Ingredients:
1 diced tomato, or 1 can
2 t minced garlic (as per usual, more is better)
1 onion, diced
1 t cumin
1/2 t turmeric
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t garlic salt
1/2 t ground pepper
1 t dried parsley
1 c baby carrots
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:

Put tomatoes, garlic, onion, and spices in the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Then add chickpeas, chicken,  carrots and sweet potatoes, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. I start my slow cooker on high for about an hour, and then turn it down to low for the remainder of the cooking time.

I like to serve it over Basmati or white rice, with garlic naan.

This is my version of a recipe I originally found, here.