Crazy Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

IMG_9560So, I won a chili cookoff at work last week, and people are clamoring for the recipe. I based it off a recipe I found online but have made a couple of tweaks to it to make it sing. It’s like a runny queso with a bit of a kick, and we love it with tortilla chips and Fritos with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese on top. It’s just a magical, magical chili – and did I mention it takes 10 minutes to make? Dump and go.

My husband Kevin and I love it, and it’s just super simple to make. And it’s a hearty chili, so it’s a stand alone meal and perfect for a chilly day outside. It might be our new favorite chili, but we still do love our taco soup.

Crazy Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low
Serves: 8-10 big bowls

3 medium chicken thighs, still frozen
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
2 cans corn kernels, do not drain
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 packages Ranch dressing mix
2 tablespoons cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1-2 teaspoons of paprika (optional for heat)
1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 8 ounce package cream cheese

Lightly grease your crock pot, and place the chicken thighs on the bottom. Top with the tomatoes, corn, the drained and rinsed beans, ranch dressing packages, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, onion and chili powders. Stir to combine the mixture, then top with the cream cheese. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4, stirring once or twice to blend in the cheese (if you can). Shred the chicken into large pieces and serve over rice or with tortilla chips. You can also serve in tortillas or taco shells.

Dip Variation: Drain all of the cans and serve as a savory queso dip with tortilla chips.


Simple Sweet Potato Superbowl Dip

ImageSo, I know this is a baking blog, and I know that I love to bake more than I love to cook and all that. However, I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest (I know, I know, I’m not a real cook because I find recipes on Pinterest, whatever). I was looking for a dip recipe for a Superbowl party I’m attending tomorrow, and this seemed like an easy and healthy option. I made my shopping list, headed to the grocery store with my beau (who’s making buffalo chicken wings tomorrow, by the way) and embarked on the journey.

I was blown away.

So easy, so delicious, so savory and light and flavorful. The ingredients seemed simple enough and I love them all on their own, so combining them seemed like a natural fit. Plus, who can pass up a healthy-ish Superbowl dip?

Coconut Sweet Potato Dip

yields 1 3/4 cup

2/3 cup hummus

2/3 cup sweet potato, mashed

2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp shredded coconut, unsweetened (optional)

Mix together hummus, mashed sweet potato, and greek yogurt.  Scoop into serving bowl.  Sprinkle coconut over the top.  Serve with blue corn tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, normal tortilla chips, veggies, veggie chips, or really just a spoon.

Thanksgiving: Pie Party

Making a list, checking it twice.

I’m getting ready to bake pies for Thanksgiving.

My aunt Julie and uncle Steve are masters of their own kitchen and have had culinary training themselves, but I’m letting them take the year off and am baking the majority of our desserts for our big family Thanksgiving gathering this Saturday.

Around the holidays especially, I get very sentimental with my baking. My great-grandmother Margaret Frink was an incredible cook and baker, and she always made food to make other people happy. She and I share more than just my middle name, but I love to bake for the people I love and give them the gift of my time in the form of sugary sweet goodness. Honestly, nothing makes me happier than seeing my cousin Emma’s face light up when she bites into a warm cookie or my dad’s appreciative thank you when I sit a piece of his favorite cake by his chair after dinner.

Baking is a part of what I do, who I am – and I think I’m pretty good at it.

In the past week I’ve baked eight dozen cupcakes and two dozen chocolate chip pecan cookies, and as part of my journalism career I’m going to start posting pictures, recipes and edits to my own cooking style. My first apartment’s little kitchen barely has enough room to let stretch my arms out, but the oven heats up and my hand mixer still works, I’ll just keep baking.

Back to the task at hand – pies to be baked tomorrow evening:

  • Pecan Pie – my dad’s favorite, a basic pie recipe with white syrup
  • Apple Crisp – a great grandmother Frink’s recipe, a classic and favorite
  • Pumpkin Pie – another great grandmother Frink recipe
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake – delicious recipe that I found online, can’t wait to make it again

Get ready, mixer. I’m coming for you.