Hey Christmas Breakers!… Today’s Tasty Tip is a continuation from last week. Jane has given us some easy and delicious soups that can cook while we get a few other things done. Our family tried the Cheddar Chive Potato soup last week. Soooo good! So steer clear of the mall, fire up the slow cooker (you can use a dutch oven/big pot) and remember to enjoy a meal with the fam as you gear up for the big celebration on Friday.

Thanks Jane!!

…and thanks for walking the road with me.


Season Your Greetings with Soups

Keep some simple soups in the slow cooker while shopping for last minute Christmas gifts. Stocking the pantry with several of these ingredients can ease the meal planning in the midst of the merry making. The key to slow cooker success, prior to serving stir in some fresh chopped herbs, top with sour cream or yogurt and top with those super thin tortilla chips. Double up these recipes, ladle into a canning jar, label with one of those fancy stick on labels and ta-da a gift of dinner for a frazzled friend thigh high in stick on bows.

Chicken Stew

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade, for garnish
1 cup black Nyons or kalamata olives, for garnish

Combine the 3/4 cup flour and the salt in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag, several pieces at a time, and shake to coat completely.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned on both sides. Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain, then arrange in the slow cooker.

Set the sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the onion and the 2 tablespoons flour. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until some of the tomato liquid evaporates.

Pour the onion mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 8 hours, until the chicken is tender. At 3 to 4 hours, the chicken will still be firm and hold its shape.
At 6 to 8 hours, the meat is easily shredded.

Divide the chicken among dinner plates and garnish with the parsley, basil, and olives. Serve immediately.

Black and White Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 (15.5 ounce) can corn, undrained
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, undrained
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup tomato juice
Garnish with chopped cilantro and sour cream

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir beef until crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Transfer beef to a slow cooker and sprinkle with the taco seasoning mix and ranch dressing mix.

Add the diced tomatoes and green chilies, corn, and black beans, all with their liquid, to the slow cooker. Stir the black beans, white beans, onion, bell pepper, and tomato juice into the ground beef mixture. Cook on Low until the vegetables are completely tender, about 5 hours. 

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