Chicken Parmesan Soup in the Slow Cooker

slow cooker chicken parmesan soup

Despite the fact that it is now March, and the first day of spring is only a few weeks away, I am still bookmarking and pinning hearty winter fare.  There is still snow on the ground, more in the forecast, and we’re looking at another stretch of single digit days in the coming weeks.  (sigh) That is depressing…

This is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes because it does not require and pre-cooking or browning, like many slow cooker recipes out there.  You can just throw everything into your slow cooker and let it do it’s thing!  This is a crowd-pleaser, and all you need is a loaf of crusty bread to soak up that sauce and your meal is complete.

If you really want to up the flavor, try throwing in your leftover Parmesan cheese rinds in there and take them out right before serving.  If you’re not saving your rinds, you should be.  They add a great dimension of flavor to stews, soups and sauces.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup, adapted from Food 52

Chicken Parmesan Soup in the Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 14 1/2 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • (optional) Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy!)
  • 4 ounces uncooked dry gemelli or penne pasta
  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

Instructions

In the slow cooker, stir together the garlic, bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, chicken, broth, onion, the cheese, rinds (if using), basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours, or on low for 7 hours.

Transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board and coarsely shred them; return them to the slow cooker. Discard cheese rinds, if using. Stir in the pasta. Cook on high for 30 minutes longer or until pasta is cooked al dente. Serve garnished with more Parmesan cheese and chopped basil or parsley.

http://www.theculinaryenthusiast.com/2015/03/03/chicken-parmesan-soup-in-the-slow-cooker/

 

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Neapolitan Marshmallow Crispy Treats

neapolitan crispy treats

Looking for an easy treat to throw together for your Valentine’s?  This twist on the classic rice crispy treats recipe is perfect for tomorrow’s holiday.  It is easy to make too, so if you’re short on time or want something that the kids can help with, look no further!

The strawberry marshmallows really give these a unique flavor, but you can use regular marshmallows if that is what you have on hand.  I thought they gave these treats a nice Valentine’s touch though!  You could also mix in heart shaped candies, sprinkles, or chocolate candies if you wanted to fancy them up a little more.  Get creative and enjoy sharing them with your Valentine(s) this weekend!

Neapolitan Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) Strawberry JET-PUFFED Marshmallows
  • 6 cups chocolate rice crisp cereal
  • 1/2 bag (about 1 cup) white chocolate chips

Instructions

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add cereal and stir until evenly coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan lined with foil and coated with cooking spray or butter.

Melt chocolate chips in 30 second intervals in the microwave or over a double boiler. Drizzle on top of crispy treats. Cool and cut into squares.

http://www.theculinaryenthusiast.com/2015/02/13/neapolitan-marshmallow-crispy-treats/

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Conversation Heart Cookies

conversation heart cookies

Sometimes I feel like I’m still detoxing from my holiday sugar intake by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around.  I love baking cookies, but after baking hundreds in December a month and a half does not seem like enough of a break!  But I live with three cookie monsters, so I continue to bake them.

I wasn’t thrilled with the royal icing recipe I used.  I could not seem to get it thin enough to get that real smooth look that I was going for.  I was afraid I was going to make it too thin, and it wouldn’t dry.  Even though the cookies still turned out cute, you might want to try another recipe when making these.  Christina at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen has a nice tutorial that I should have read before I made these!  On second thought, maybe I’ll give them another try this weekend with this icing recipe!

If you haven’t tried these edible markets before, they are a lot of fun for decorating cookies, fondant, or chocolate.  Have fun!

foodwriters

Conversation Heart Cookies, adapted from Martha Stewart

Conversation Heart Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe royal icing
  • Edible markers for decorating

Instructions

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just incorporated.

Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (but preferably overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in top third and lower third. Let 1 disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Cut out cookies with a 2-inch heart cutter, and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll out scraps once, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Freeze cookies until very firm, about 15 minutes.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through and switching from top to bottom, until edges turn golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Once frosted, let the cookies stand uncovered overnight until dry.

Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

http://www.theculinaryenthusiast.com/2015/02/06/conversation-heart-cookies/

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