Hello stylish hostesses! Today, I introduce you to a very special friend (and hopefully soon to be yours)!
So, without further ado, "Stylish hostesses, meet lady, Crock-Pot!"
"Lady Crock-Pot, meet the oh, so stylish hostesses!"
If you've never used a crockpot, also referred to as a slow cooker, you most certainly have been missing out. This worthy piece of kitchen equipment will have you singing it praises. I know what you’re thinking, this old lady gadget is super helpful?! The answer is yes and for the young, busy woman it’s a no brainer.
Let’s be honest. We are so busy, and coming home to cook seems like a drag, right? So, a crockpot is just the answer. I don't call it my secret weapon for no reason! At least twice a week (okay, maybe more like three times a week) I whip this baby out! It’s so convenient and easy to use that how can you not.
So, I thought I'd share five simple tips on using a crockpot as well as my very easy, yet absolutely delicious, Chicken Taco Soup recipe!
Okay, let’s get started on the tips!
Hostess Tip #1: Keep that lid on! I know it can be tempting, but constantly removing the lid will slow done the cooking process. Besides that's what the Crock-Pot is all about, cooking with no fuss!
Hostess Tip #2: Get a Crock-Pot with both high and low settings as well as a timer — the timer being most crucial. These features will allow you to leave the house completely stress and worry free!
Hostess Tip #3: Avoid overcrowding your Crock-Pot. Doing this will allow your food to cook properly. So, rule of thumb here is don't let your ingredients be more than two thirds of the way up. Want to play it safe, keep it half way full and you are sure to have a perfectly cooked meal.
Hostess Tip #4: Don’t throw frozen food into the Crock-Pot. And I mean never do this! Undercooking any type of food (especially meat) can house bacteria and cause a disaster. I’ve definitely been known to throw raw meat into the Crock-Pot and can’t say I’ve ever had an issue. However, if you aren’t pressed for time I say brown your meat in a pan before throwing it into a slow cooker.
Hostess Tip #5: The size of your Crock-Pot matters. A Crock-Pot traps heat and slowly cooks your meal, I know stating the obvious. But truthfully, if you don’t have the right amount for the right Crock-Pot it can undercook or overcook your food. So, best advice is follow the recipe to a T. If the recipe calls for more than you need, don’t cut the recipe down. Instead make the meal and freeze the leftovers for another day!
Now onto my go-to “Chicken Taco Soup Crock-Pot Recipe!”
Five boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh, not frozen)
½ a packet of Old Paso taco seasoning
1 (15 oz.) can of corn, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
Low sodium chicken broth, pour into Crock-Pot tub until all ingredients are completely covered (about 2 ½ cups)
Toppings: cilantro, light sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips.
Season chicken with taco seasonings on both sides. Place chicken into the Crock-Pot. Lay each piece next each other. Add corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Top with chicken broth until completely covered. Cook for seven hours on low heat. Remove chicken, let sit until cool to the touch, and then shred. Add shredded chicken back into pot for another hour and stir. Serve and enjoy!
As always, try this amazing recipe and then come back and let me know what you think!
Until next time, keep using Lady Crock-Pot!
Kathleen Pagan is a Founding Creator and lifestyle blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala, you can find her at endlesslyelated.com.