Chicken Tortilla Soup – Freezer Cooking February

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This was the first recipe I ever collected and I still love it! When I was in high school one of my friends mom’s made this recipe anytime we all gathered at her house to study. As we worked on our homework the kitchen would fill with the wonderful aroma of cumin, bell peppers and chicken as her mother cooked. It is such a wonderfully simple soup, but all the flavors work perfectly together. One note- it calls for half a cup of fresh salsa. As a Southern Californian I take salsa pretty seriously. Please don’t try to swap in the canned salsa that is shelf-stable, the results just won’t be the same!

To speed up this recipe, I defrost some of the shredded chicken I made earlier in the crockpot. By using precooked chicken the prep time for this soup is cut in half! I love to make this early in the day and let it simmer all day long. Top it with some sour cream and avocado for a full meal.

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2 cups shredded chicken

8 cups chicken broth

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 can of corn, drained

4 ounces mild green chiles

½ cup fresh salsa

1 tablespoon cumin

 

In a large pot saute the bell peppers, garlic and onion until soft. Add all other ingredients and simmer for at least an hour. Top with cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, or avocado.

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BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Freezer Cooking February

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This recipe couldn’t be easier and it is so versatile. I love keeping shredded chicken in my freezer for last minute meals. Shredded chicken can be turned into soft tacos, chicken salad, enchiladas and so many other things. I cook and freeze the chicken breasts plan, and add any sauces or seasonings later when they defrost.

To start the recipe, place 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts in your crockpot with enough water to cover all of the chicken. I like to add some cumin and minced garlic so the chicken isn’t too bland, but it’s up to you. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours. Discard the liquid, shred the chicken and freeze. I like to fill Ziploc freezer bags with about a pound of chicken each, so this would get my three easy meals.

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The morning before you are ready to enjoy the chicken just place it in the fridge to defrost. Heat on low in a saucepan and add your favorite BBQ sauce, serve on a bun and you have the fastest dinner ever!

Veggie Filled Meat Sauce – Freezer Cooking February

 

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Freezer cooking is one of the ways that I keep my sanity as a working mom. Having a healthy meal that is all set to pull out of the freezer after a long day at work can be a lifesaver! The next two weeks will be all freezer meals, I made all of them on one day and all the prep was done in less than two hours. I know a lot of people think freezer cooking can be intimidating, but once you get going and get a good routine down it’s so easy!

This recipe is one that I love because it is so flavorful and is full of great vegetables! I use extra lean ground turkey in my meat sauce and load it up with veggies, the result is a heart-healthy dish that the entire family loves. If you family isn’t a fan of veggies, just dice them super fine- the pasta sauce will cover the taste of most of the vegetables. I love using two different kinds of mushrooms because their meaty flavor and texture makes this feel like a true meat sauce.

1 ½ pounds extra lean ground turkey

2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped,

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced

2 16 ounce jars of your favorite pasta sauce

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Brown the turkey with the garlic in a pan, drain any fat. In a large pot sauté the bell peppers, onion, carrots, and mushrooms until soft. Combine turkey, vegetables and pasta sauce simmer for 30 minutes. This easily makes 3 very large family servings, freeze the pasta sauce into whatever sized servings work best for you. I love to fill large mason jars with the sauce and fill up the freezer! The sauce can be used to top pasta, as a filling for lasagna or it can be used for a flavorful baked ziti.

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Not-So-Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I have to admit, I love to cook but hardly ever bake. Baking is so precise and I feel that I don’t get to improvise as much as I would like to. However, for Valentine’s Day I really wanted to make a great dessert so I decided to give baking another try. When thinking of the colors of Valentine’s Day I immediately thought of a red velvet recipe….until I realized that most recipes call for an entire bottle of red food coloring! We aren’t really food snobs in my house, but the idea of mixing an entire bottle of food coloring into the batter turned my stomach a bit.

After thinking for a bit, I decided to swap in fresh beet juice for the food coloring. While it didn’t give the vibrant color that red velvet recipes are known for, there was a subtle tinge of red after the whoopie pies were done baking. This is a recipe that I adapted from the Food Network and you are more than welcome to leave out the beet juice entirely if you would like uncolored whoopee pies- it tastes the same either way!

2 ounces milk chocolate, melted

12 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup light sour cream

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh beet juice

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar and beet juice together. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once everything is combined carefully add in the melted chocolate and mix well.

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Spoon batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, try to get them as uniform in size as possible and bake for about 10 minutes.

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While the cookies are baking, mix the cream cheese, butter powdered sugar and vanilla together to make the filling. Once cookies have cooled, sandwich a generous amount of filling between 2 cookies and refrigerate until firm- about 30 minutes.

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Easy Shrimp Scampi

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When thinking of what to make my husband for Valentine’s Day this recipe instantly popped into my head. Before my husband I were married we had our wedding rehearsal dinner at a wonderful little Italian restaurant in our city, the food was so delicious but the standout dish was the shrimp scampi. We keep saying that we will go back to the restaurant to celebrate our anniversary or a special occasion, but it just hasn’t happened yet. This has become my go to recipe for any romantic occasion celebrated at home, and it never disappoints.

I love that this dish looks and tastes complicated, but it is so easy to make! I am a huge garlic fan, so feel free to use a little less garlic if you don’t love it as much as I do! I really think this recipe rivals most Italian restaurants, just make sure to serve it right away or the butter sauce may start to clump together. I serve this on some freshly cooked linguine with a Caesar Salad on the side.

8 tablespoons of butter

1 pound shrimp, peeled and with tails removed

3 tablespoons garlic

Juice of 2 lemons

Splash of dry white wine

Cooked pasta

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Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pan, add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add raw shrimp and cook until pink.

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Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, juice of two lemons and a splash of dry white wine (I find 2-3 tablespoons is plenty). Sauté 5 minutes or until butter is completely melted and the flavors have mixed together.

Serve over your favorite pasta.

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Eggless Caesar Salad Dressing

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and I have no intention of leaving my house on that day. I know most people get excited to get dressed up and go out for a nice meal. I am the complete opposite! I hate the crowds and the expectations that go along with Valentine’s Day, I would much rather relax at home with my husband and daughter.

Just because I’m staying in doesn’t mean I can’t have a great meal on this holiday. This year I’m making shrimp scampi, a Caesar salad with homemade dressing and red velvet whoopee pies without the red food coloring. Caesar salads are great because they are tasty and look so nice next to almost any entrée. I love the dressing, but get a little grossed out by raw eggs that are in most recipes for this dressing. My recipe omits the eggs and it so delicious! It’s not quite as heavy as the traditional Caesar dressing and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

½ pound shredded parmesan cheese

1 ½ lemons, juiced

½ cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon anchovy paste

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 small shallot

Place all ingredients and into a food processor and blend until smooth. So easy!

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This recipe is perfect with just romaine lettuce and some croutons. I mixed my dressing with some baby spinach and greens and topped with just a bit of black pepper. The lack of eggs makes this dressing so light and wonderful!  I like to store this in a mason jar in the fridge, just give it a quick shake before you dress your salad.

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Culinary Gadget Giveaway

Deliciously Savvy’s Culinary Gadgets Giveaway ~ Ends 2/26

CulinaryGadgetsGiveaway

Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted BY:

Michigan Saving and More

Heartbeat ~ Soul Stains

Kaisy Daisy’s Corner

Mommy Makes Time

&

AlwaysBlabbing

PLUS a big thank you to all other blogs promoting this giveaway!

I am so excited for this giveaway! It’s probably no surprise that I love kitchen gadgets, this is such a fun prize package for anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen. 1 Lucky Winner Will Receive all of the products below!

A Big Thank You & Shout Out To Each Of The Sponsors Below!

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive:

KitchenPalz Smooth Edge Automatic Electric Can Opener

kitchen 1($39.99 ARV)

Shatterproof Glass Water Bottle – 3 Pack Giveaway

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