Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

platedsoupChicken Tortilla Soup is about as good is it gets on a cold winter night. It’s creamy, spicy, zingy, and cheesy, with every spoonful. In my opinion, The Cheesecake Factory makes the absolute best Chicken Tortilla Soup so they were my inspiration for this homemade version and I think this recipe hits the nail on the head. What’s more, it’s a perfect recipe for your crock pot or slow cooker. There are a ton of chopped veggies in this recipe so I strongly recommend busting out your food processor.

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 8

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken thighs (The flavor of bone-in meat is always so much better but if you prefer boneless then go with 1 pound)
  • 3 ribs of celery, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen or canned corn
  • 1 fresh poblano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 pint fat-free half and half (If you really want the real thing, go for it, but fat-free tastes just as good in this recipe and that means you can go back for seconds!)
  • 12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (Plus extra for garnish!)
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions: 

1. Lay the chicken thighs on the bottom of the crock pot. Layer celery, carrots, onion, garlic, tomatoes, corn, peppers, spices and seasonings on top.

veggies

Pour chicken broth, lemon juice, and zest on top and stir well.

mixed raw veggies

2. Cook for 6-8 hours on LOW or 3-4 hours on HIGH. About 30 minutes prior to serving, switch the crock pot to warm and remove chicken and set aside to cool so you can shred it.

chickencooked

Add the half and half and cheese to the crock pot and stir.

soupwithcream

3. Heat a large skillet to medium high and add the vegetable oil. Add the tortilla strips and fry until nice and crispy. Remove from oil onto a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

slicedtortillas
sautetortillas
crispytortilla

 

4. Remove chicken from the bones and shred. Add back to the pot and stir.

5. Ladle up bowls of soup and garnish cheese and tortilla strips. I also like to add more chopped cilantro, sour cream, or avocado to my bowl. When serving for a group, I’ll fill up bowls with all of these ingredients and let people customize their soup. Lots of fun and so good! Enjoy!

platedsoup

Crock Pot Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Pasta_e_Fagioli

Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli

I love having lunch at Olive Garden with friends to enjoy their delicious soups and salad. Their Pasta e Fagioli soup (similar to minestrone) is one of my favorites so it was a fun challenge to recreate at home. I found some great copycat recipes online which I adapted a bit but the twist on the challenge was to recreate it for the crock pot. The result is truly phenomenal and is an exact flavor copy of Olive Garden’s version! I recently had a large group of friends over and served this recipe and they all agreed it was identical to Olive Garden’s soup. There also weren’t any leftovers…Boo!

Quick note: If you want to make a true copycat you’ll need to use the ditali pasta. However, it can be a little harder to find and is also more expensive so I usually swap it out for fusilli or another small pasta.

Crock Pot Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Serves 6-8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, julienned or shredded
  • 4 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can great Northern beans
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 oz.) can V8 juice
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

At the end:

  • 1/2 pound ditali pasta (you can also substitute with fusilli, macaroni, or any small pasta you like)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: 

1. In a large skillet, brown the meat. Drain off the fat and transfer the cooked hamburger to the bottom of the crock pot.

photo

2. Pour the remaining items, except for the pasta and Parmesan cheese, over the hamburger.

Ingredients in crockpot

Stir everything together.

Stirred Together

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Cooked Soup

3. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the dry pasta to the crock pot and stir to incorporate. Stir every ten minutes or so to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick and that it can absorb enough liquid.

Soup with pasta

4. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve along garlic bread. Enjoy!

plated soup

The Ultimate Halloween Party: 31 Spooky Recipes

It’s that time of year…witches, goblins, ghosts, galore. With Halloween breathing down our necks, I’m seeing so many adorable recipes for Halloween parties. So here is my list of the 31 most spook-tacular recipes for planning the ultimate Halloween Party!

Marshmallow Witches

 marshmallow witches
Recipe Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/marshmallow-witches

Tombstone Brownies

Tombstone-brownies
Recipe Source: http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1000075/tombstone-brownies

Giant Glowing Pumpkin Cookies

glowing pumpkins
Recipe Source: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/giant-glowing-pumpkin-cookies/cf2d57fb-baf5-4457-8940-767d930a92aa

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

pumpkin popcorn balls
Recipe Source: http://www.somewhatsimple.com/pumpkin-popcorn-balls/

Halloween Rainbow Party Bundt Cake

halloween bundt cake
Recipe Source: http://www.cookingwithsugar.com/amazing-halloween-rainbow-party-bundt-cake-recipe/

Monster Fingers

Monster-Fingers-300x275

Recipe Source: http://www.culinaryadventuresinthekitchen.com/2012/10/06/monster-fingers/

Butterfinger Eyeballs

butterfinger eyeballs
Recipe Source: http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/134764/butterfinger-eyeballs/detail.aspx

 

Witches’ Hats

witch hats
Recipe Source: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/witches-hats/c04c58a6-9fb7-46ef-a45f-9bfabbf96b0d

Frankenstein Cake

frankenstein cake
Recipe Source: http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2010/10/Frankenstein-cookie-Halloween-desserts.html

Little Monster Cupcakes

little-monster-cupcakes-l
Recipe Source: http://cupcakekidcafe.com/adorable-halloween-cupcakes/

Skeleton Cupcakes

skeleton cupcakes
Recipe Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/skeleton-cupcakes-10000001875466/

Pumpkin Rice Krispee Treats

pumpkin-crispies
Recipe Source: http://candy.about.com/od/halloweencandyrecipes/r/jackolanterns.htm

Melted Wicked Cupcakes

wicked cupcakes
Recipe Source: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/melted-wicked-witch-cupcakes/e89b00a9-bcc1-4851-8555-49457d0eadbe

Chomping Monster Cookies

chomping monster cookies
Recipe Source: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/chomping-monsters/69e7b7ef-e3b9-452a-9966-3ad3f271cf9f

Vampire Chocolate Chip Cookies

vampire cookies
Recipe Source: http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cookies/vampire-teeth-cookies.html

Melted Witch Puddles

witch puddles
Recipe Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/melted-witch-puddles

Halloween Candy Hands

candy hands
Recipe Source: http://cakewhiz.com/cakewhiz/post/Halloween-glove-treat-bags.aspx

Jack-o’-lantern Quesadillas

jack-quesadillas-ay-1875798-l
Recipe Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/jack-o-lantern-quesadillas-10000001875798/

Crescent Mummy Dogs

crescent mummy dogs
Recipe Source: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/crescent-mummy-dogs/d52a57d7-ab8a-4a1c-8dae-f9f90d03b912

Pizza Mummies

pizza mummies
Recipe Source: http://spoonful.com/recipes/pizza-mummies

Salty Bones

Salty Bones
Recipe Source: http://spoonful.com/recipes/salty-bones

Graveyard Dip

graveyard dip
Recipe Source: http://joandsue.blogspot.ca/2012/11/graveyard-dip-and-brain-dip.html?m=1

Pretzel & Cheese Broomsticks

broomsticks

Recipe Source: http://www.navywifecook.com/2012/10/halloween-week-broom-sticks.html

Jack-o’-Lantern Burgers

Jack-o’-Lantern-Cheeseburgers-2
Recipe Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/jack-o–lantern-burgers

Zombie Eyes

zombie eyes
Recipe Source: http://www.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t–160764/zombie-eyes.asp

Healthy Treats

healthy treats
Recipe Source: http://timefortheholidays.blogspot.com/2013/10/healthy-halloween-recipes.html

Bloody Syringe Shirley Temples

bloody syringe drink
Recipe Source: http://www.neatorama.com/2013/09/12/Bloody-Syringe-Shirley-Temples/#!nf4U9

Halloween Punch

halloween punch
Recipe Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/halloween-punch

Slushy Punch

slushy punch
Recipe Source: http://lilluna.com/slushy-punch-recipe/

Zombie Punch

zombie punch
Recipe Source: http://www.thedailyblarg.com/2011/10/halloween-party-recipes.html

Pumpkin Party Cooler

pumpkincooler

Recipe Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/268772/pumpkin-party-cooler

Crock Pot Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef PlatedIf you’ve ever eaten at P.F. Chang’s, you know you’re always in for a treat. Everything on their menu is so stinking good. Unfortunately, the closest P.F. Chang’s we have is about 45 minutes away so it’s rare that we get to enjoy eating there. I love, love, love their Mongolian Beef so it was a happy day when I came across the recipe in one of Todd Wlbur’s copycat books. While it was pretty close to spot on I have made some changes which I think make it taste more like the original and also make the recipe crockpot-friendly. The result is to die for! The beef is tender and tangy and the sauce it cooks in thickens up nicely to pour over rice or noodles. It’s an easy crock pot recipe to put together in the morning and the smells you come home to are heavenly. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as my family does! And if you like a little heat, try adding some Sriracha to the sauce. 🙂

Crock Pot Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef
Serves 4

  • 1 pound flank steak or london broil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large green onions, sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Hoison sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • Green Onions, finely sliced for garnish

Directions: 

1. Turn your crock pot on low while you start preparing the ingredients. Spray the interior of your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cut the steak into thick stir-fry size pieces, making sure to cut against the grain of the meat.

Whole Steak

 

Sliced Meat

Dredge the pieces of steak into the cornstarch, making sure both sides are well coated.

Dredged Pieces

Place the coated steak in the bottom of the crock pot and discard any leftover cornstarch.

Dredged Pieces in Crockpot

3. Layer sliced green onions over the steak.

Green Onions over steak

4. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk until well blended.

Sauce mixture

Pour sauce over the steak. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4-5 hours.

Sauce over steak

Serve over rice or noodles and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!

Mongolian Beef Plated

Make At Home: 7 Simple & Essential Spice Mixes

spicesSpices are like shoes for me. I have way too many! Unlike my shoes, with as much as I cook and bake, I get plenty of uses out of my spice. One life hack that I’ve recently discovered is making my own spice mixes. I’m sensitive to monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is in just about everything nowadays so I love that I can eliminate MSG from my seasonings, limit the amount of salt that goes into them, and save a ton of time and money all at the same time. Seriously, how often have you run to the store to pick up a packet of taco or Italian seasoning because a recipe called for it and you were out? Chances are you actually already had all of the spices needed in your cupboard! Even better, if your family really loves an herb or spice (in my house it’s garlic and parsley) you can add extra to your spice mix to create a truly unique family blend. Use empty spice containers or small mason jars to hold your spice mixes. As long as you place these spice mixes in an airtight container, they should keep for six months. 

So here are my top 7 spice mixes or blends which you can make at home. Don’t forget, be creative! If you don’t like something then don’t add it. If you really like something else then add even more! Treat it like a fun home experiment. 🙂

#1: Taco Seasoning Recipe
Old el Paso taco seasoningThis is a great substitute for your store-bought taco seasoning packets like Old El Paso and McCormick. This recipe equals one ounce of taco seasoning or one packet of taco seasoning mix. Use for tacos, fajitas, or anything you want to add a little zip to.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Directions:

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

#2: Italian Seasoning Recipe
italianI use A TON of Italian Seasoning in my house so finding my own recipe was a must. This is a great copycat of the pricey bottled variety which never lasted long in my home. 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Place the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until the herbs are uniform and thoroughly mixed. Store in an airtight container.

#3: All Purpose Seasoning Recipe
all purposeI love a good all purpose seasoning and is great on meat, fish, veggies, and pasta. Basically great on anything savory. 🙂

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

Directions:

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

#4: Apple Pie Spice Recipe
pumpkin pie spice
As soon as the leaves start to turn my family starts to crave some homemade apple pie and pumpkin bars. Those teeny tiny bottles of apple pie spice can cost $3-$4 but what’s really in them? Just a few standby spices you already have in your spice cupboard! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom (optional)

Directions: 

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

#5: Seasoned Salt Recipe
lawryIf you like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt then you’ll love this MSG-free copycat substitute. Great on just about everything.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

#6: Dry Zesty Italian Dressing Recipe
Italian dressing
Dry Italian Dressing is one of those items that’s called for in a lot of my favorite crockpot and pasta salad recipes but it’s pretty pricey and always seemed to be that one item I never had on hand. Not anymore! This is a great copycat recipe for “Good Seasons” and MSG-free!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Italian Salad Dressing Recipe:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Dry Zesty Italian Dressing (Recipe Above)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 Tablespoon water

#7: Dry Ranch Seasoning Recipe
ranchThis is a great copycat and MSG-free version of a packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and equals one packet. I see these packets called for in a lot of casserole and crock pot recipes so it’s great to have a home-made version for the seasonings instead of buying all of those packets.
Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Ranch Salad Dressing Recipe:

  • Dry Ranch Seasoning (Recipe Above)
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of buttermilk

Directions:

1. Mix ingredients in a medium bowl and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve with salad.

Ranch Dip Recipe:

  • Dry Ranch Seasoning (Recipe Above)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups sour cream

Looking for other great recipes and ideas? Be sure to subscribe to my blog for the latest updates or see a few of my favorite previously published recipes and ideas below:

Cuckoo for Candy Corn: 33 Fun Recipes, Crafts, and More

Crock Pot Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

4 Ingredient Crock Pot Balsamic Pot Roast

Cuckoo for Candy Corn: 33 Fun Recipes, Crafts, and More

With Halloween just around the corner and Fall in full Autumnal swing I’ve been seeing a lot of really cute candy corn recipes and crafting ideas and I though it would be fun to dig up and compile a list of candy corn-inspired finds to share. You’ll be cuckoo for candy corn in no time. 🙂

Homemade Candy Corn

Homemade Candy Corn

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Candy-Corn

Candy Corn on the Cob

candy corn on the cob

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-halloween-treat-candy-corn-on-the-cob-179626

Candy Corn Dessert Pizza

candy corn dessert pizza

Source: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/halloween-cookie-pizza/67172821-ddfb-49ce-b658-ddc4ef4b5cf3/

Candy Corn Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Source: http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/1759/candy-corn-chocolate-cake

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/10/tutorial-how-to-frost-cupcakes-plus-candy-corn-cupcakes/

Candy Corn Cream Cups

Candy Corn Cream Cups

http://www.joyinthejumble.com/2011/10/recipe-candy-corn-cream-cups.html

Candy Corn Cheesecake

Candy Corn Cheesecake

http://www.wilton.com/idea/Candy-Corn-Cheesecake

Candy Corn Pancakes

candy corn pancakes

http://www.nataliessentiments.com/2010/10/daddy-daughter-pancakes.html

Candy Corn Jello Shots

Candy Corn Jello Shots

Source: http://www.myscienceproject.org/halloween.html

Candy Corn Caramel Apples

Candy Corn Caramel Apples

http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.de/2011/10/eek-shriek-and-be-scary-halloween.html

Candy Corn Pizza

Candy Corn Pizza

Source: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/10/10-last-minute-halloween-party-menu.html

Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats

Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats

Source: http://www.thepartiologist.com/2011/10/candy-corn-rice-crispy-treats.html

Candy Corn Meringues

meringues

http://makebakecelebrate.blogspot.com/2012/09/candy-corn-week-candy-corn-meringues.html

Candy Corn Martinis

martinis

http://www.fashionablybombed.com/2011/10/halloween-candy-cocktail-1-candy-corn.html

Candy Corn Fudge

Candy Corn Fudge

Source: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/candy-corn-fudge/0c0e074e-be0a-4b8b-bd8d-53c9ee241e73

Candy Corn Marshmallows

Candy Cane Marshmallows

Source: http://www.blog.birdsparty.com/2012/09/cake-it-pretty-diy-candycorn.html#.Ul25ZMZOMrU

Candy Corn Swirl Cookies

Candy Corn Swirl Cookies

Source: http://thesimple-sweetlife.com/2013/10/05/candy-corn-swirl-cookies/

Candy Corn Cookie Bark

Candy Corn Cookie Bark

Source: http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/candy-corn-cookie-bark/

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Source: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/10/candy-corn-sugar-cookies/

Candy Corn Oreo Truffles

Candy Corn Oreo Truffles

Candy Corn Bath Soap

Candy Corn Soap

Source: http://homemadebathproducts.blogspot.com/2010/09/easy-candy-corn-soap-project.html

Candy Corn Treat Bags

Candy Corn Treat Bags

Source: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2010/10/16/mollys-sketchbook-candy-corn-trick-or-treat-bags.html

Candy Corn Bows

Candy Corn Bows

Source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/110233766/candy-corn-bow-orange-polka-dot-pinwheel

Candy Corn Pumpkins

Candy Corn Pumpkins

Source: http://www.bhg.com/halloween/pumpkin-decorating/painted-pumpkin-ideas/#page=2

DIY Candy Corn Bottle Vases

Candy Corn Bottle Vases

Sources http://swelldesigner.blogspot.com/2011/09/candy-corn-bottle-vases.html

Candy Corn Nails

Candy Corn Nails

Source: http://www.swatchandlearn.com/nail-art-tutorial-candy-corn-nails/

Candy Corn Wreath

Candy Corn Wreath

Source: http://jellybeanjunkyard.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/tutorial-tuesday-candy-corn-wreath/

Candy Corn Costume

candy corn costume

http://www.walmart.com/ip/14907090?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3&adid=22222222227000544426&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=14008732990&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=34929526510&veh=sem

Candy Corn Socks

Candy Corn Socks

Candy Corn DIY Baby Outfit

Candy Corn Baby Outfit

DIY Candy Corn Cat Sweater

DIY Candy Cane Cat Sweater

http://www.curbly.com/users/diy-maven/posts/2877-crochet-a-candy-corn-pet-sweater

Candy Corn Dog Outfit

Candy Can Cat Outfit

http://dogoutfitsandmore.com/Halloween/Candy-Corn-Dog-Halloween-Costume—Halloween-Dog-Outfits/1216.html

Candy Corn Dog Dress

Candy Cane Dog Dress

http://www.walmart.com/ip/25440869?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3&adid=22222222227019301766&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=28254695436&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=54251379396&veh=sem

You might also like:

Halloween Crack

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars

Halloween Crack

Halloween Crack platedFall is truly my favorite time of the year. With Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, sweaters are pulled out of closets, apples are plucked from trees, pumpkins displayed on the front stoop, and I’m whipping up batches of Halloween Crack. Wait, what?!?! Yep, you heard me right. Okay, it’s actually a delicious party mix made of pretzels, M&M’s, peanuts, and other ingredients, all tossed in a homemade toffee concoction but it’s so decadent and addictive that it’s now better known as Halloween Crack. You’ll understand when you grab your first handful. Just trust me. This recipe was given to me by one of my Mom’s friends who used to make it for parties and it was a guarantee that anyone who tasted it had to have the recipe. This is one of those fall recipes that can’t be beat and should definitely make an appearance at your next Halloween or fall party!

Halloween Crack
Yields 16 cups

Important Note: You can swap out and adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. For example, instead of peanut butter sandwiches try using mini Oreos, instead of plain M&M’s try peanut or almond. There are lots of fun and yummy options!

  • 1 package miniature pretzels or pretzel sticks (11 oz)
  • 1 package miniature peanut butter sandwiches (8 oz)
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 package plain M&M (10 oz)
  • 1 package candy corn (15 oz)

Directions: 

1. In a large bowl, mix pretzels, crackers, and peanuts. Set aside. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. Using a dutch oven or a large pot with high sides, combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

butter, corn syrup, sugar.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda. Note: The mixture will foam up, hence using a pan with high sides to prevent bubbling over. 

butter, corn syrup, sugar with vanilla and baking soda

3. Pour hot mixture over the pretzels, crackers and peanuts and gently stir until coated.

 

Toffee over pretzels

 

Pour onto a large greased jellyroll or roasting pan.

Pretzel mixture in baking pan

4. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 12 minutes. Remove from oven and, while still warm, break apart any big chunks of the mixture. Toss with M&M’s & candy corn.

Added M&M's and candy corn

Allow mixture to cool completely before serving or store in an air tight container to enjoy later.

Finished mixture in a bowl

Crock Pot Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

broccolibowl
As soon as the leaves start to turn and that delicious crisp bites the air I start dreaming of soups, stews, and chilis. A number of years ago, my best friend and I got together and craved some Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar soup but wanted to make it at home. We scoured the internet for recipes and found one that sounded great so we gave it a whirl. The recipe was full of heavy cream and butter so we trimmed it down and crossed our fingers. We were both shocked and delighted at the result: Amazing Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup that was every bit as good as from the restaurant. We’ve both made our recipe many times over the years, sharing it often with friends and family. More recently, I wanted to change the recipe again, this time making it a no-fuss crock pot version. This version is just as bit as good and makes life so much simpler by dumping everything in and setting the crock pot on low. You come home to a delicious pot of home made Broccoli Cheddar soup, without the extra calories or the bill! You can still accept tips from your family, though. 🙂

Crock Pot Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Serves 4-6

***This is a GREAT “dump in the crock pot and run out the door” recipe. When making this recipe, I will often buy shredded carrots and bagged pre-cut fresh broccoli florets to make this recipe even quicker and save on chopping.***

  • 1/2 lb (about 3-4 cups) fresh broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pint (2 cups) fat-free half-and-half (If you really want the real thing, go for it, but fat-free tastes just as good in this recipe and that means you can go back for seconds!)
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions: 

1. Place the broccoli, onion, carrot, and garlic in the bottom of a large crockpot. Pour chicken stock over the veggies. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper and stir.

broccolisoupincrockpot

2. Set the crock pot to LOW and cook for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

broccolisoup

3. Cream the soup. The easiest way is with an immersion blender but you can also transfer to a blender and then transfer back to the crock pot. If you prefer a more chunky soup, you can also use a potato masher so don’t let not having a blender or immersion blender stop you. You are dealing with hot liquids so be careful!

creamsoup

4. Immediately prior to serving, add the half-and-half and shredded cheese and stir. Allow the cheese to melt and garnish with extra cheese and serve. Yum! My family loves this recipe paired alongside my garlic knots or honey wheat crescent rolls or served inside a bread bowl.

broccolibowl2

Looking for other great copycat or crock pot recipes? Be sure to subscribe to my blog for the latest recipes or see a few of my favorite previously published fall and winter recipes below:

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars

Plated Pumpkin BarsAs soon as the air starts to get crisp and the leaves start to turn, I start dreaming of my favorite fall recipes; hearty soups and stews, apple cider, and wedges of these gloriously amazing pumpkin bars. What makes these bars extra special is that they a cross between a pumpkin cake and a pumpkin pie. These pumpkin bars are so good that they were once heroically saved during a fire that accidentally ignited while I was camping in Yellowstone National Park with friends. Everyone was scrambling to put out the fire but several of the guys screamed for us to save the pumpkin bars, something we still laugh about to this day. As the guys put it afterward, “Thankfully, no pumpkin bars were harmed in the fire.” I hope you enjoy these as much as my family does.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

  • 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar together for several minutes until nicely whipped and creamy.

creamed egg and sugar

Add the applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.

Added pumpkin

Gradually add the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients until well blended.

finished mixture

3. Pour batter into a greased jelly roll or sheet pan (15×10″).

Batter in pan

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. If you don’t have a jelly roll or sheet pan or you prefer thicker bars, you can also bake in a 9×13″ for 25-30 minutes.

Pumpkin bars baked

***Allow bars to cool completely before frosting.***

4. Frosting: Whip together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Gradually whip in the powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is a thick frosting.

Combined frosting

5. Frost the cooled bars and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Plated Pumpkin Bars

Orange Creamsicle Cake

creamsicleThere’s nothing quite like spending a day at the beach or by the pool and cooling down with an ice cold creamsicle. Those yummy orange and cream flavors of a frozen creamsicle were my inspiration for this cake which is loaded with orange flavor and topped off with cream and served chilled. It was a huge hit at my house and very reminiscent of a frozen creamsicle. If you love all things orange then you’ll go nuts for this cake. Did I mention how easy it is?

 

 

Orange Creamsicle Cake

Plated Cake

Ingredients: 

  • Orange Flavored Boxed Cake Mix  (And ingredients to prepare the boxed cake, which is typically eggs, vegetable oil, and water)
  • 1 small box orange jell-o
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip
  • 1 packet Orange Creme Duncan Hines frosting creations (optional)

Directions:

1. Bake cake mix according to the directions on the box. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Orange Cake Baked

2. Using the end of a spatula, poke large holes all over the cake. (I don’t recommend using a fork. That’s what I did the first time and the jello didn’t spread evenly).

Poked Cake

3. In a small bowl, mix jell-o with hot water. Add cold water and stir. Pour all over cake.

Jello Over Cake

Then pour the sweetened condensed milk on top.

Condensed Milk over Cake

Chill for 3 hours.

Absorbed Milk In Cake

4. Mix the Orange Creme Duncan Hines frosting creation with the Cool Whip and spread all over the cake. Serve chilled.

Duncan Hines Frosting Creations

Frosted Cake

Plated Cake

 

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