Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Chicken Enchilada Stack.

Spring break is always so busy with kids. Never get a minute to breathe or think. I love it. I love staying busy. But, I love healthy, easy meals even more. And, the healthier, the easier, the better; especially during spring break. When I go grocery shopping for a meal, I purchase double so I can ensure to have enough to make another night if needed. This one it was needed. More wanted than needed to be honest.

I love enchiladas. I love making enchiladas. And my family loves my enchiladas. However, I've never thought of an enchilada stack. Until I strolled across this website while searching for some slow cooker meals. Turns out, I can't cook very well on the stove...I'm best with a slow cooker. :) This meal is so filling, so delicious and so healthy, it's hard to pass up. The most time consuming part? Cutting the vegetables up. Which, you could purchase them pre-cut to save time. But I've got plenty of hands two hours before dinner time during spring break. :)

Approximate prep time: 1-2 hours (depends on your chicken and vegetables)
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 3-4 hours
Serves 8

Sorry, no picture for this one either...It gets eaten too fast to take one. :(

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion (red or white. I use both, my family loves onions.)
1/2 cup chopped seeded poblano chile (Leave the seeds in if you love spicy.)
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
1 (10 ounce) Diced tomatoes with peppers
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and oregano (I used Hunt's spaghetti sauce, the garlic and herb flavor)
Cooking spray
Slow cooker bag (If you don't have one, don't's not NEEDED. Just helpful. I don't use them.)
2 cups Chicken Breast (I buy mine raw, cut it, season it, and saute it myself, you can purchase the rotisserie chicken breast to save time. I also wind up with more than 2 cups of chicken from just one breast.)
1 Lemon or lime (Either is fine, and is only needed if cooking your own chicken)
1 cup frozen baby white and yellow corn (I use half a cup of each)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
5-6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Chop all vegetables and have in a bowl ready to go. Keep 1 clove of minced garlic to the side.
2. Cut up chicken into small pieces, place in bowl, and squeeze lemon or lime juice on top and mix.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 1 teaspoon oil into pan, let heat up. Place the 1 clove of minced garlic into the pan and allow to brown just slightly. Cook chicken pieces. Set to the side. They will not be needed until ready to layer.
4. Heat another large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 1 teaspoon oil into pan, let heat up. Pour vegetables into skillet and saute until tender; stirring frequently.
5. Stir chili powder, tomatoes and tomato sauce into vegetables. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
6. Place half of tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape. and place a clean towel over opening to avoid any splatters. Blend until almost smooth. Pour into large bowl, repeat with remaining tomato mixture.
7. Coat slow cooker with cooking spray; or place your slow cooker bag in slow cooker.
8. Place 3 tablespoons of tomato mixture in bottom of slow cooker.
9. Combine the remaining tomato mixture with chicken, corn and beans.
10. Place one tortilla on tomato sauce in slow cooker; pour about 1 cup of chicken mixture over tortilla; sprinkle cheese on top. Top with another tortilla. Repeat the procedure until out of mixture. End with cheese on top, not a tortilla.
11. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours, or until cheese melts, and edges are lightly browned. (My edges never browned, and it was still delicious. So don't worry if your edges don't brown. If the cheese is completely melted, it's probably done. I let mine cook on LOW for 2 1/2 hours, although, it would be done at 2 hours.)
12. Cut like a pizza.
13. ENJOY! :)

I know it may look like a lot of steps, but I broke the steps down a lot. :) It is very simple to do if all of your vegetables and chicken is ready to go. :) I really don't suggest trying to do both chicken and vegetables at one time...I couldn't do it. The chicken required too much attention.

You could add or take away any of the vegetables. This is my version of the recipe. If you click on the word website above the ingredients, it will take you to the original recipe where I got the idea from. :)

I hope you have scrumptious night! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Slow Cooking Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

It's Spring Break here, and I'm wanting to keep the kitchen as clean as possible. Which means, the least amount of dishes, the better! So, I decided to have a try at using a crock pot to cook dinner for the week. Now, I'm wondering why I didn't try it sooner! Very few dishes, and fantastic meals!

Last night I decided to try a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, my family loved it. It also filled them up quickly, which is hard to do it seems. And, we have left overs! Perfect for lunches for the week. :)

Approximately 8 1/2 Hours total
Serves Approximately 20

Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

1 Five-Pound Boneless Pork Loin Roast, Trimmed.

1 1/2 Cup Water

3 Cups Barbecue Sauce (My husband makes all of our bbq sauce)

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 1/2 Cups Packaged Cabbage-and-Carrot Coleslaw (This is NOT prepared coleslaw, it is bagged cabbage and carrot.)

1/4 Cup Canola Mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon White Vinegar

1/4 Teaspoon Sugar

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

20 Hamburger Buns


1. Place pork and water in a 3 to 4 quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or until meat is tender. (I left mine in for the 7 hours and that was it. Came out PERFECT!)

2. Drain the pork, discarding all the liquid. Return the pork to the slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. After shredding, stir in Barbecue sauce, Brown Sugar, Hot Sauce, Freshly Ground Pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 1 hour.

3. Combine coleslaw, Mayonnaise, Vinegar, Sugar and Salt in a bowl; toss well. (I purchased predone coleslaw to keep from having to mix all these ingredients.)

4. Place about 1/3 cup pork mixture and about 2 tablespoons slaw on bottom half of each bun; cover with bun tops.

These were absolutely delicious and everyone cleaned their plates of them. Not a single portion of this dish was wasted. I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone! :)

When you try it, leave a comment with how it turned out for you!

Have a delicious night! :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Well, it's Friday night. Which means it's the weekend, and for my boys, it's spring break! Which means, I get to find lots of crafts to keep them busy and entertained. Lots of baking as well. So, I thought I would share this delicious recipe I found online ( I tweaked it a bit for my own liking and my husband's liking. :)

Unfortunately, I have no picture for these cookies, they did not last long enough. However, I will be baking them again this week and will take a picture. :)

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) UNsalted Butter, Softened
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Butterscotch Chips


Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and egg until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.

Gently fold in butterscotch chips.

Drop small amounts of batter onto prepared cookie sheet and press down to flatten.

Place in oven and bake until edges are golden brown but center is still moist, about 7-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

These oatmeal cookies were delicious. Even the batter was delicious. I wanted to just eat the batter and not even bake them! They were very easy to make, and quite fun. Easy to clean up after as well. :) Would make a fantastic midnight snack. :)

I hope you have a very sweet night! :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Yummy Pancakes

Good morning. :)
It's Thursday, which means, you made it over the hump and it's ALMOST Friday! :) So, I thought I would share a delicious recipe for some pancakes that taste amazing. :)
My husband is not much of a breakfast person. Actually, he hates eating breakfast. He would rather have just a cup of joe and be on his way. However, he ate these yummy pancakes this morning (and not without a little grump of being up at eight in the morning). He even mentioned that they tasted better than usual. Score one! It's going to be a good day for him due to him eating something good, and filling. :)

Now, I'm not a photographer, but here's what my pancakes looked like this morning. :)
And here's the recipe I used:
1 Cup Bisquick Mix
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Egg
2 Tbs Maple Syrup
1 Cap of Vanilla Extract

You can easily double this recipe to make more. It's perfectly fine if you make too many, just put them in an airtight ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer. Perfect breakfast for when you don't want to cook, but the kids or husband are begging for some pancakes. This amount makes six pancakes, which was plenty for my honey and myself. Also, if you like things a little sweeter but not the sticky mess of syrup after they are done, just add more syrup to the batter. :)

Mix together the Bisquick Mix, Milk and egg. Then add the syrup and vanilla extract. Mix well. I cooked mine on a griddle at 250 degrees.

I hope you enjoy and start your morning off tasty. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome! :)

Hello, and welcome to The Home Life Recycler! :)
My name is Alexis, I'm currently a home-maker and mother of two with one more on the way! :)
I spend most of my time at home looking for ways to make life easier, cheaper and more fun with things that we have just laying around the house.
I enjoy making lots of crafts, body scrubs, home remedies for sickness, and homemade cleaning supplies.
This blog is to share some of my ideas with you and help your life become a little easier, cheaper and more fun like mine! :)
Looking forward to hearing from each and everyone of you who read my blog and find it useful. :)