Archive for the ‘chelsey cooks’ Category

Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe

Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe //

The first of hopefully many successful crock pot adventures: the Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe. I say it ALL the time: I don’t like to cook. I don’t like to experiment with food and I prefer that meals come with the least amount of effort possible. A few months ago my mom, knowing my distaste for cooking, bought us a crock pot. I’ve heard MANY stories about how easy it is to create a meal with this one tool. Toss it all in and you’re done.

Well, it took me a while to actually give it a try because my husband does the majority of the cooking, and I don’t want to. Well, the crock pot has been great! My first attempt was to make a different version of this recipe. You throw ALL the ingredients in at once. The result: mushy rice + broccoli. It was still very delicious (cause cheese), but I wanted to avoid the mush. My husband suggested cooking the rice and broccoli completely separate (or just plain baking the recipe), but that sounded like way more effort than I wanted to put into this meal. Ha! So, I made a few adjustments of when you put some of the ingredients into the crock pot (like the rice and broccoli), and it worked!


Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe

  • 2 lbs uncooked chicken breasts
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 16 oz. container of sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


- Place your chicken breasts, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper at the bottom of the crock pot. Cover the chicken with the broth (about 2/3 of the broth container).

- Cook the chicken on high for 2.5 or 3 hours. Watch the liquid level. If the liquid is too low before the chicken is cooked, add some more warm broth (not cold).

- When the chicken is cooked, pull the breasts out of the crock pot and shred with two forks. Put the chicken back into the crock pot.

- Add the rice and broccoli. Add more broth if needed (just so the rice and broccoli are covered). Cook for another hour, or until rice and broccoli are cooked.

- When the rice is cooked, add your sour cream and cheese. Cook till warmed.

Serve and enjoy!

- Chelsey

P.S. the kiddo loved this! She ate the whole thing, veggies and all (again, cause covered in cheese). 

Chocolate Caramel Crack-ers

Chocolate Caramel Crack-ers //

I love sweet awesome candy goodness, but I like to pretend that I don’t want to eat it ALL the time (especially when my kiddo is looking). Admit it… you’ve snuck the candy you JUST told your kiddo they could not eat, after they go to bed. Ha! Or, maybe that’s just me? I mean, she has a crazy sweet tooth and will eat all the candy/chocolate around and then she goes on an insane sugar trip and I lose my mind.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday Goodies: Dehydrate all the things!

Banana Chips //

If an infomercial pops up on tv…. most likely I will watch it. I don’t know what it is, it’s like I have to. There’s some magical hold in those awkward/super long commercials, all in front of a “live audience”. This is where I first spied a food dehydrator. I don’t ever buy from these infomercials, but they had this guy for sale on Amazon. SO I bought it.

Dehydrating has been wonderful! Apple chips? Pineapple bites? Banana chips? Yeah. I got that. I currently have the Ronco Dehydrator. It gets the job done. That’s for sure. Buuuuut, I can’t help but wonder about those fancy dehydrators. Are they faster? Do the dehydrate all the things better? Hmmmm… I’ve been eyeing this spendy Nesco dehydrator. Shhh, don’t tell the hubs.

BUT, really: I don’t see any need to change dehydrators until Mr. Ronco craps out. So far, with non stop use since December (I’m talking…. working almost everyday since Christmas) it’s still going strong. SO: we are happy. Hopefully me typing this doesn’t jinx something and the trays all crack overnight. Ha! I doubt it. I’d really like to get a fruit roll up tray. What I REALLy love about this: these fruity treats have no added sugar. In the grocery store I’ve noticed a lot of dried fruit has added sugar. Our fruit has been so sweet as it is, I don’t see the need for more sweetness.

The kiddo eats banana chips non stop. It’s like her healthy crack……… What? She loves them. We were out of them for 3 days and she acted like the world was ending. The dried pineapple pieces are pretty sweet and is perfect to replace dessert.

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Bites //

One of her FAVORITE ways to eat the banana chips: with a bit of peanut butter in the middle. I call them Peanut Butter Banana Bites. A special little snack for my kiddo.

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Bites //

Do you have a dehydrator?

- Chelsey


If you have a Wednesday post, please feel free to link it up below. And, feel free to link up to these blogs too… Parenting by DummiesProject AliciaJenni from the Blog, In The Moment With, and Live and Love Outloud.


Water bath canning method… for high acid foods

Spicy Pickled Carrots //

I realized, AFTER I shared my Apple Pie Butter recipe, that I never shared how to actually do the Water Bath Canning Method. I am, by no means, an expert… but I’ve researched a ton and referenced a couple of reliable websites (at the end) for this post (plus my random tips). Water bath canning is the most simple method for preserving high acid – foods (I haven’t even attempted pressure canning… it’s a bit intimidating). BUT, I’ve had a ton of fun working with the water method. I’m sharing how you can do it! Check it out:

Tools you may need:

If you’re completely new to canning, I recommend buying this kit. Saves money buying it all together. BUT, if you already have some of the tools… here’s a list:

- A boiling water canner (or a large pot with a lid) with a canning rack

- Canning funnel

- Jar lifter

- Magnetic lid lifter

- Canning bands and lids

- Canning jars (if you use old jars, make sure they were meant for canning and have zero chips or nicks)

- Wooden spoons

- Ladel


- Gather your recipe ingredients and all info (including how many jars you will need).

- Wash jars in the dish washer, or warm soapy water. Check your jars for any nicks and chips, and don’t use those jars if you find them (the jar may not properly seal).

- Fill your boiling water canner with water and place your jars in. The water should be about 2 inches above the jars. Heat the jars to a simmer at medium heat, until ready to use.

- Place your lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the lids to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil the lids, this may damage the seal. Keep your jars hot until ready to use (this will prevent breakage when filling).

- Prepare your recipe using fresh veggies or fruit.

- Remove a hot jar from the pot, using the jar lifter, and dumping the water back into the canner.

- Filling one can at a time, use the jar funnel to fill the jar. Make sure to leave the recipe’s recommended head space (if not specified 1/4 inch for soft spread, or 1/4 inch for fruits, pickles, salsa, and tomatoes).

- Remove air bubbles by gently tapping the base of the jar on a hard surface, and/or run a rubber spatula or the handle of a wooden spoon along the edge of the jar 2 to 3 times.

- Use a clean damp cloth to remove any food debris from the rim and threads on the jar.

- Remove one lid from the heated water using the magnetic wand.

- Center the lid on the jar (allowing the sealing compound to come in contact with the jar rim). Apply the band and twist till fingertip tight (don’t make it too tight).

- Place your filled jars into the canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by 1 to 2 inches (if you’ve lost water during the process, add some warm water from the heated lids pan).

- Place the lid on the canner. Bring the jars back to a rolling boil: that’s when you start your processing time.

- Process the jars for what your recipe, adjusting for altitude (here’s an altitude chart).

- When your processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for 5 minutes.

- Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel. Let the jars cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Don’t tighten the bands, because that will mess with the sealing process!

- After 24 hours, check the lids for proper seal. Push the center of the lid. The lid should NOT pop up and down. Remove the band and try to gently lift the jar with your fingertips on the lid, the lid should not come off. If the lid comes off, place it in the refrigerator and eat it within a week or so.

- Clean, store, and label your jars in a cool dark space (label with the month and year). Your preserved goods can be saved for a year (give or take).

- Enjoy!

I hope this helps you! I need to thank the Ball website for help with this post. Visit their water bath canning page to see visuals for this process. The Dummies website also has quick straight-forward instructions for this method. Sooooo, I’m in a preservation club. We gather once a month to swap the goodies we’ve made (I mean… I really don’t need 8 jars of pickled carrots). There IS actually a food swap website to share some info for you to start your own food swap club! Check it out.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you’ve tired canning… or if you will be trying it for your very first time. Happy Tuesday!

- Chelsey