Cheesy Chicken and Potato Casserole – Crockpot Recipe – So easy a kid can make it!

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Before I get into this blog post, I must apologize for the horrendous pictures.   I am still learning how to use my camera, and the white chicken in this dish completely didn’t turn out correctly.  Oh well, I’m learning.

There are some days when my children surprise me.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had thawed a bag of chicken to be used for dinner, but completely forgot to put it in the crockpot before I left for work. When my husband called me to ask what needed to be done with the chicken, I scrambled to think of what we could do with the chicken once we got home.  He suggested that I call the kids and have them put together their favorite crockpot recipe.  I was very leery about asking 2 teenagers to do anything while they are on Spring Break, much less asking them to COOK something.  I decided I would call them later to see if they would be so kind as to prepare dinner for the family, fully expecting to hear groaning and complaining.  To my surprise, I received a call from my son asking what he needed to do with the chicken.  WHAT!?  Could this be true?  My husband had called my son to ask him to make dinner, and he said “yes.”  I’m still shocked.  After explaining that “slow cooker” and “crockpot” were exactly the same thing, he was ready to prepare dinner.  He didn’t require any additional help.

I was very excited when I arrived home and, 1) my house was still in tact, 2) dinner was finished, 3) the teenagers had even folded some laundry.  I felt like I had won the lottery!

If you are looking for a quick and simple dinner, this should be your go-to recipe.  It is one of our favorites.  One important note about this is that it only requires 4-5 hours of cooking time on low, and it won’t last long if you leave it on warm after it is done.  It dries out quickly.

p.s. This recipe is “naturally” gluten free

p.p.s. My kids really didn’t fold any of the laundry.  My mom stopped by for lunch and decided to do me a favor.  Thanks mom!

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Cheesy Chicken and Potato Casserole for the Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

1 bag frozen tater tots (32 ounces)

1/3 cup bacon pieces

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (thawed, diced, uncooked)

2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, mexican, etc)

3/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Cover crockpot with plastic liner or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Layer half of the tater tots in the bottom and sprinkle with 1/3 of the bacon pieces and 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
  3. Add chicken on top of the previous layer and sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining cheese and bacon pieces.
  4. Add the remaining taters tots and top with remaining bacon and cheese.
  5. Pour milk over the top.
  6. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is fully cooked.  Do not overcook or leave in crockpot on warm once casserole is finished.

I’m back – A quiet return to blogging with a big birthday cake

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I know…it has been over a year since I last posted. So many things happened that made it difficult for me to blog. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not THAT serious. I won’t bore you with the details, but it involves a broken computer, new restrictions on my work computer and a crappy camera. All of those things added up to an inability to post my recipes. Oh well…this is boring stuff, so I’m moving on.

I have been cooking and baking over the last several months, but I finally started taking pictures again recently with my new Nikon DSLR camera, so now I can start blogging.

Our youngest child turned 8 this past September. Her birthday usually falls on Labor day weekend, so she always gets ”the short end of the stick” on her birthday. We decided to have a kids birthday party for her this year, but have it at the end of September.

I was really excited when my daughter requested a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Easy right? Well, not so much. I always have to find the best recipe, so I scoured the web and came up with.a great option. I headed to the grocery store, or just ”the grocery” if you are like my friend Joe, and purchased my ingredients. I strolled through the baking aisle and a box of Swans Down cake flour caught my attention. I have used cake flour before, and I guess I don’t use it often because I never have it on hand.

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When I arrived home, I was reading the box of cake flour and noticed a recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. That’s all I needed….chocolate with chocolate! I would say that this recipe is somewhat challenging, but not extremely complicated. It certainly was delicious, and I had a wonderful time decorating it. Isn’t it cute?!

In the interest of time, cause everyone knows I have only a few free minutes a day, I will post the recipe link instead of typing it all.

Hope to see you again soon!
The Accidental Cook – Cheri

Thanksgiving Menu – Simple recipes for those that don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen

I recently had a request from a friend to post a Thanksgiving menu that is super easy, but still really good. I love to torture myself by spending hours upon hours in the kitchen, but I forget that others don’t really prefer that kind of torture. I’m not sure why, but apparently they don’t. I’m sure all of you foodies can relate.

So, what are my favorite, easy recipes for the holidays….here they are:

Appetizers


Pumpkin Dip – Serve with gingersnaps or Nilla Wafers
Chocolate Chip Dip – Tried and true! Everyone loves this one.
Sausage and Cheese Tray – I really hope you don’t need a recipe for this one.
Veggie Tray – See above

Main Dishes
Slow Cooker Turkey – I have been making this recipe for many years. It is perfect for a small family gathering and tastes amazing. I made this when I hosted thanksgiving at my own home.
Slow Cooker Ham – I just made this for the first time a month ago. You will not be disappointed in how great this ham is. No need to even turn on your oven!

Potatoes
Cheri’s Mashed Potatoes – Use the mashed potato recipe from my meatloaf cupcakes post. These aren’t tough to make, but you do have to spend time peeling potatoes. If you don’t want to peel potatoes, then move on to recipe #2.
Hashbrown Casserole – Everyone loves this casserole. It’s easy, cheesy and full of yumminess. I highly recommend these for anyone that needs potatoes and doesn’t want to spend much time preparing them.
Sweet Potato Casserole – I haven’t tried these, but they look easy and they got good reviews.

Vegetables


Green Bean Casserole – This is the same recipe that almost everyone in America uses. You can use any type of “Cream of…” soup. They all pretty much taste the same. This is my favorite Thanksgiving dish!
Roasted Vegetables – Use this recipe to roast sweet potatoes, zucchinis and carrots for a quick and easy veggie.

Desserts


Chocolate Pudding Pie – I make this pie for every holiday. Everyone loves it and it’s EASY!
Pumpkin Pie – This is the recipe from the Libby’s can. You cannot go wrong with it. Buy a premade pie crust in the dairy aisle or buy a frozen one and then pour in the mixture. It doesn’t get any easier then this. Just make sure the pie is cooked thoroughly. Serve with whipped cream!
Chocolate Eclair Dessert – This one is excellent! Make it the night before and it will be perfect by the time you are ready to eat dinner.
Peanut Butter Cookies (chocolate optional) – These are very easy and can be prepared ahead of time.

Noticeably absent from my menu is stuffing/dressing. We have a traditional family recipe that I make every year, but it is not easy and it is not quick. I’m not going to post it with this menu for that reason. I have never made stuffing any other way, so I am leaving it off the list. Feel free to grab a box of Stove Top and read the instructions. I’m sure it’s easy and probably pretty good.

Also absent is cranberries. I have never, ever had a good experience with making any type of cranberry sauce or jelly. They have all turned out terrible. If your family likes the stuff that comes out of the can, I would just keep using it. It’s easy and can easily be found in your local grocery store. I will continue to pretend like cranberries, in any form, are not a traditional Thanksgiving dish.

Remember, this menu is not meant for someone who wants to prepare a complicated dinner with fancy dishes. This menu is meant for those of you that don’t like to cook, or don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but still want to prepare a delicious meal for your family.