Crock Pot

I know I skipped yesterday, but I'm sharing one "valentine" for both days.

I adore my crock pot/slow cooker. I really don't use it often enough (like, oh, every day)! I love that I can basically take an afternoon off if I just put in a tiny bit of extra effort in the mornings. And the ease of both prep and clean-up is wonderful when you have two active young children in the house. I'm sure I'm mostly preaching to the choir, though.

Here are the recipes I used  last night and today. Both came from Taste of Home magazine.

White Chili
3 Cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 jar (15 oz.) Alfredo sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 to 2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies
1.5 cups frozen gold and white corn
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1.5 tsp. white pepper (I used regular black pepper)
1 to 1.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salsa verde and chopped fresh cilantro, optional.

In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine the first 15 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours until heated through, stirring once. Serve with salsa verde and cilantro if desired.

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce (I use green, because I prefer the taste, but red would work nicely, too).
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 pkg. (8.5 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream and additional minced fresh cilantro optional

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cumin, salt, chili powder and pepper. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker; stir in the beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, onions and cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through.

In a small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs; spoon over meat mixture. Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired.

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