Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Bars1I kind of have mixed feelings toward the whole DYI craze. Cognitively I know it’s often a really good idea for the environment, for your bank account, for your health and for your sense of accomplishment to do things like make your own yogurt and can your own tomatoes and bake your own bread, but realistically it can be a little hard to put into motion. I mean, sometimes my greatest sense of accomplishment about the day comes from taking the time to rinse and recycle a peanut butter jar rather than simply throwing it away. I try. I promise I do!

Sadly, corporations are onto me and my fellow lazy busy well-intentioned members of society. Containers of pre-peeled/pre-cut veggies, packets of pre-made spice mixtures, and bags of pre-shredded cheese stare at us from grocery store aisles saying, “Buy me, buy me! Your life will be so EASY if you just BUY me!”  Basically, the fewer steps you have to do, the more expensive a product is. And the more waste and manpower go into creating it. And the more marketed it is. And the more tempting it is to toss it into your cart with a mixture of guilt and gleeful relief. Hashtag-first-world-problems.

Sometimes I manage to refrain from buying all the enticing lazy-person products out there, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. It should come as no surprise that baking aisles are already a little bit dangerous for me, especially the chocolate chip area. Who knew there were so many kinds of special delicious add-ins these days?! Things like mint-filled chocolate morsels and neapolitan marshmallows were definitely not around ten years ago. Right?Bars2

I’ve only recently become aware about the existence of wonderful little things called caramel bits, which are essentially round bits of caramel. Shocker! Whenever I do bake with caramel, I usually just use the little plastic-wrapped caramel squares, especially if I’ll be melting them down. The only problem is that it takes for-freaking-EVER to unwrap all those tiny cubes. That’s why it’s so amazing that someone came up with the fantastic idea of making caramel bits that require NO UNWRAPPING AT ALL! It’s a dream come true for nerds like me.

Naturally, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d have to incorporate caramel bits into a baking project. Sadly, baking projects don’t happen all that often these days due to my busy college life, but once in a while I find time to clear a space in my cluttered little kitchen and create something wonderful. Last time’s something-wonderful was Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Chocolate chip cookie bars are about as easy as it gets…just your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe pressed into a 9×13 pan and baked until golden-brown. Simple, standard, but always delicious!

I won’t even pretend that it’s possible for me to KEEP a recipe simple and standard, so I turned the melted butter from the recipe into browned butter (please don’t laugh, those of you aware of my obsession) and added in caramel bits along with miniature chocolate chips. It was an excellent idea, if I do say so myself. The nutty browned butter paired with chocolate and caramel was a fantastic flavor trio, especially in the form of extra-chewy cookie bars. And I didn’t even have to feel guilty for using my newfound caramel bits since I was saving a step AND saving on waste (because no plastic wrappers)! Totally economical. Totally budget-friendly. Totally healthy. Or at least we can pretend. One thing that these bars definitely WILL bring you is a sense of accomplishment. Because delicious things are always good accomplishments. Remember that!Bars5

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Makes 24 bars

12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mini chocolate chips (increase to 1.5 cups if using standard-size)

1/2 cup caramel bits (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ glass pan with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Keep whisking as the butter foams and bubbles. When the butter becomes golden-brown and fragrant, immediately turn off the heat and pour the browned butter into a mixing bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.

Whisk the sugars into the melted butter until smooth. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk, followed by the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown. Let the bars cool before cutting.

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

Healthy No-Bake Cookies

no-bakecookiesMy first batch of no-bake cookies can only be described as a disaster. I was in middle school at the time, and my friend and I were lounging around her house trying to decide what to do when her mom suggested no-bake cookies. I had never heard of them but was all too willing to try them out. The recipe called for butter, peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, oatmeal, and milk…I’m pretty sure that was it. Total health food! Luckily our pre-teen metabolisms could handle it, and we got right to work.

The standard recipe for no-bake cookies is pretty simple: melt the peanut butter, butter, and sugar; stir in everything else; drop the mixture onto cookie sheets. Let it set up, and you’re done. Fool-proof, right? Not so much…

My friend and I divided the task of measuring ingredients, and peanut butter fell onto my side. “I think there’s a jar of Skippy in the cupboard,” she said, and I obligingly skipped over to the cabinet. Sure enough there were two jars of peanut butter, one farther back than the other. I chose the emptier one in the back, if only to help her family use it up. As soon as I screwed open the jar I noticed a funny smell, but I didn’t say anything. My family always bought natural peanut butter that you had to stir, so I figured Skippy just smelled a little different. That was my first mistake.nobakecookies2

I scooped out the appropriate amount of peanut butter and dumped it into the saucepan along with the other ingredients. Five minutes later we were forming the mixture into little balls and placing them onto a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. I’ve always been a “taster” when it comes to baking (my justification is that any incorporated germs are killed by the heat of the oven…and let’s just pretend the no-bake thing doesn’t exist) so I definitely snuck a pinch or two of the dough. It tasted…bad. Not a little bad, a lot bad. It’s a taste that I now know can be described as rancid nuts (shocker, right)?! Seeing my expression my friend tried it too, and made the same disgusted face as I had.

“Why didn’t you tell me the peanut butter smelled funny?” she asked. “We could have used the other kind.”

“Well, uh…” I started to reply. “I don’t know.” Satisfying answer for sure.

We threw out the entire batch and sadly resumed our lounging around. But fear not, because we definitely made a successful batch at another point in time! I think I probably put her in charge of the peanut butter…

And now we have reached the end of the road where I stop talking about my crazy life and cut to the chase. THESE no-bake cookies are just about as easy as the originals (if not easier) but they have the benefit of actually being good for you. Yeah, there’s chocolate, but it really doesn’t count since the rest of the ingredients are so healthy. That’s how it works–you heard it from me! They’re pretty darn good too, considering the lack of butter and sugar. They definitely aren’t as sweet as “regular” cookies, so if you aren’t used to that you can definitely add in a couple tablespoons of sugar or additional honey. Also, the riper your banana is, the sweeter the cookies will be. Bananas FTW! Always.

But yeah. These easy-healthy-delicious cookies are winners, at least in my opinion. We’ve got chocolate, peanut butter, honey, AND banana all in the same place, which can only lead to good things. Just make sure your peanut butter’s not rancid, okay? Great. :)

nobakecookies3Healthy No-Bake Cookies

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 small ripe banana, mashed (1/3 cup)

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup milk (any kind)

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


Place the peanut butter and mashed banana in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth, then remove from heat. Stir in the honey, cocoa powder, milk, oats, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into rounded tablespoons and place on a lined cookie sheet. Press each mound of dough down slightly until the desired shape is reached. Chill for at least 2 hours before enjoying. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

(Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Gingersnap Kiss Cookies

IMG_2524My mom has a thing for libraries. Ever since I can remember, the library has been presented to me as a much-frequented and much-adored building of worship. Whenever we traveled to another town, my mom gravitated toward the local library. Whenever there was a rainy day during my childhood (or a sunny one, or a snowy one, or a partly-cloudy one) my brother and I were often toted along toward…you guessed it…the library.

I guess all that library-loved rubbed off onto me, because I was an avid reader from an early age. During our library visits my mom would find five-year-old me hidden away at the end of an aisle, legs splayed out in front of me as I flipped through book after book after book. Some of my most favorite children’s books were the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. I can still remember their colorful gingham covers, the paperbacks soft and smooth on my small lap. I read all about Laura and her family living in the big woods of Wisconsin, moving to the wide-open prairie, and having all sorts of pioneer adventures. I was enthralled with the idea of riding in a covered wagon, churning butter by hand, and having only one bath a week! And of course, I loved their good old bulldog, Jack.IMG_2507

Christmas in the Big Woods was possibly my most treasured Laura Ingalls Wilder book. I was as much a Christmas fanatic as a book fanatic, and I must have read that story a thousand times. The doll I received as a Christmas present in 1999 was named Charlotte after Laura’s own Christmas doll. I remember being disappointed that my candy canes weren’t straight and rectangular like the old-fashioned “peppermint sticks” in the book, and I used my own thimble to trace “frost pictures” on the window just like Laura and her sister, Mary. I was also entranced with the idea of the molasses candy depicted in the book. “Pa” would bring in a giant tub of snow from outside, and the girls would heat up molasses and pour it onto the cold snow to make beautiful, edible shapes. Since then, molasses has been a very “pioneer-y” ingredient to me.

These soft gingersnap cookies seem just like something Laura and Mary would have made. They’re simple, lightly-spiced, not-too-sweet, and full of rich flavor from the key ingredient (molasses). Being me, I couldn’t resist kicking them up a notch by adding a Hershey’s hug to each cookie, and I’m glad that I did. The milk and white chocolate pair wonderfully with the warm spices, and I could never say no to pretty swirls. I made these cookies before Christmas, but they’d be great at any time of the year! You’ll feel just like Laura Ingalls Wilder as you bake them…and whether or not that’s a good thing, I can’t quite say. But it sure was for me. :)IMG_2549

Gingersnap Kiss Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

3/4 cup butter or shortening (I like to use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening)

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup molasses

1 large egg

2 & 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

3 dozen Hershey’s hugs (or kisses), unwrapped


In a large bowl, cream together the butter (or shortening) and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and egg, scraping down the sides as needed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just until combined. Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets; set aside. Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and coat with granulated sugar. Place 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are set. Immediately press an unwrapped candy into the center of each cookie. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack.

(Recipe adapted from Red Checkered Picnics)

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

IMG_2257So I gained some important new knowledge this week. I babysat for two of my favorites on Thursday (I’m home for the holidays!), and as I played chauffeur from school to dance practice the backseat conversation shifted to Santa Claus.

“An elf called us,” I was told. Moonbeam, I believe his name was, had some very important information to relay. “Santa is gluten-free this year. The elf told us this, and elves know everything about Santa…because they are tiny.”IMG_2259

I was fascinated to learn not only that Santa Claus is now gluten-free (although should I really be surprised, given the explosion of gluten-free in the western world?) but that elves are knowledgeable because of their size. Not because they are magical, not because they are mythical, not because they live in the North Pole or have pointy ears or are master toy makers…no. Elves know everything because they are tiny. Makes total sense…or at least, it probably would if I had the ability to experience logic as a five-year-old does. I kinda miss those days.IMG_2261

Regardless of how Moonbeam got his information, I think we had better pay heed. I bet there are lots and lots of gluten-free Santas out there this year who would be more than happy to receive a plate of cookies that he (or, um, she) can actually eat! Luckily, I have the perfect solution! These peanut butter blossoms are some of the easiest cookies I know how to make…and the recipe might possibly be sneakily listed in about four of my other blog posts, in slight variations. It goes like this: 1 cup of peanut butter. 1 cup of sugar. 1 egg. Stir. Scoop. Bake. I like to add a little baking powder and vanilla just because I can’t stand leaving a good recipe alone (and it adds a little lift and flavor), but you don’t necessarily have to if you want to go with the 1-2-3 easy approach. I’m willing to bet that Santa won’t care either way ;).IMG_2266

Of course, it never hurts to add chocolate to a peanut butter cookie! Am I right, or am I right? I turned these into peanut butter blossoms (one of the quintessential Christmas cookies!) simply by pressing a chocolate kiss into each cookie. The chocolate definitely takes them to the next level, and it makes them look pretty, too. If you know a gluten-free Santa (or are one yourself!) I would definitely share Moonbeam’s knowledge with the little bakers in your family. Even if you don’t think Santa will be stopping by your house next week, you should still make a batch of these peanut butter blossoms! They’re soft, chewy, full of peanut butter flavor…and are gluten-free! Elf-approved for sure. :)IMG_2268

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2 dozen chocolate kisses, unwrapped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, and vanilla. Scoop the dough into tablespoon-size balls and drop onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until tops are set. Be careful not to over-bake, because the cookies will continue cooking as they cool on the sheets. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the top of each cookie. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

All-American Apple Pie

Pie1Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. I like to think I’m not the only one who does things such as…

  • Spend several minutes trying to turn my car on with the key to my room
  • Put a dirty knife into the refrigerator and come dangerously close to dropping a jar of peanut butter into a sink full of soapy water
  • Start panicking because I can’t find my cell phone, only to discover that I am holding it up to my ear
  • Refer to Africa as a country (I’m cringing right now)
  • Act astonished that Scrabble comes in a Spanish version…um no, it’s just the same alphabet, EmmaIMG_0500

So. Now that I’ve exposed my most Darwin-award-worthy moments (or at least a teeny tiny fraction of them), I’m hoping that the next laughable thing on my list will seem a little less laughable. I’m talking about these pie pictures, of course. The pictures that I took on my iPhone at 8pm in the yellowy artificial light of my kitchen with my dad standing two feet away practically salivating as he waited for his slice. Unfortunately my brother won’t be home for the holidays until tomorrow; otherwise I would have clearly taken advantage of his  photography skills. Which are about 10,000 lightyears above mine.

Thus, instead of making you all wait even longer for my next post (I know it’s been over two weeks and I’m sorry!) I decided to have a long, hard laugh and offer you these fantastically grotesque pictures along with a pretty stellar recipe. Use your imaginations!IMG_0504

The truth is, this is a pretty darn delicious apple pie. I love how the crust is spiked with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, and the filling is a perfect balance of sweet, tart, and spiced. I used a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples, which I would highly recommend. The filling itself is quite simple–just toss together some standard ingredients and fold in the apple slices. Pour it all into your pie crust (which, I’ll admit, is the harder part that I have yet to perfect) and bake until golden and bubbly! You’ll end up with a house that smells so good you’ll want to bottle it up and put it into a candle. And of course you’ll get a delicious apple pie, too. Horrid pictures aside, this recipe is a keeper!IMG_0506

All-American Apple Pie


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening

4-5 tablespoons very cold water


1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (or 1/4 tsp nutmeg + 1/4 tsp allspice)

6 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6 medium apples; I used 3 Granny Smith and 3 Honeycrisp)

To finish:

1 egg, beaten

Granulated sugar, for sprinkling


For the crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the cold butter and shortening until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add in the water one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork, until the dough holds together. Form the dough into two equal balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For the filling, combine all the ingredients except for the apples in a large bowl. Fold in the apples until they are coated in the mixture.

Roll out the dough into two 12-inch circles. Carefully transfer one of the crusts to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang along the sides. Pour in the apple filling and top with the remaining crust. Crimp the edges.

Cut several slits into the top crust. Brush the beaten egg onto the top and edges of the crust. Sprinkle the crust with granulated sugar. Cover the edges loosely with strips of aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes or until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbly.

Let the pie cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

(Recipe adapted from Land O’Lakes)

Classic Snickerdoodles

(You might notice a small ginormous change in the quality of these photos…I was home for Thanksgiving and able to utilize my brother once again :) )

snickerdoodles1Those who know me well know that I’m just a teensy bit neurotic when it comes to holidays. For instance, I happen to be one of the hugest Christmas freaks that I know of, but nothing can begin until the day after Thanksgiving. No Christmas carols, no Christmas baking, no Christmas movies, nada. Apparently our consumer culture has different plans, of course, with Christmas decorations cropping up everywhere on November 1st! It’s ridiculous, I tell you. Can’t even handle it. Earlier in November I might have possibly sat in the JC Penney shoe section with my phone pressed to my ear for 45 minutes as I waited for my mother to try on shoe after shoe. They were playing Christmas music, you see, thus forcing me to turn on my own Pandora station and jam my iPhone up to my eardrum. TOO FREAKING EARLY, JC Penney! Please get your act together.

Luckily, we’re now in the safe zone. Thanksgiving has come and gone, today I opened the first little window on my advent calendar, and I can fully embrace my favorite season! I decided to kick it off with some baking last weekend. Since I’m a poor, penniless college student I opted to be a little more frugal this year when it comes to gifts, and I knew that my friends would all enjoy some homemade cookies. If there’s anything you can assume about 99% of college kids, it’s that they are low on cash and highly motivated by food. Truth!snickerdoodles2

I’ve always loved snickerdoodles, and most people I know love them too. They’re basically soft mounds of butter, sugar, and white flour coated in cinnamon-sugar. What’s not to love? Although I consider snickerdoodles a year-round kind of cookie, they seem to work especially well at Christmas. Maybe it’s all that cinnamon!

I ended up making a triple batch of these incredible snickerdoodles from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I was quite pleased with the results! I wanted my snickerdoodles to be soft, thick, chewy, cinnamony (it’s a word if I say so), and full of that sweet-with-the-tiniest-bit-of-sour snickerdoodle flavor that comes from the cream of tartar. They delivered on all levels, and although I was up to my eyeballs in cookie dough (6 dozen cookies is a LOT of cookies) it was definitely worth it. Plus I figure I got in a pretty good arm workout with all the stirring, so any cookie-dough eating was completely justified. Not that I eat raw cookie dough or anything…

Start off your holiday baking (if you haven’t already) with a batch or three of these awesome snickerdoodles! They may not be packed full of fancy add-ins or crazy flavor combinations, but you can’t beat a classic. Plus they’ll make your house smell like Christmas, which is now totally appropriate. :)snickerdoodles3

Classic Snickerdoodles

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 & 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

For rolling:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and smooth. Beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly stir in the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

In a shallow dish, combine the additional sugar and cinnamon. Form the cookie dough into 1.5-tablespoon balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar. Place 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are barely golden and tops are set. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

(Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Slow-Cooker Southwest Chicken

chicken2Growing up in Colorado, I never had a single snow day. Sure, there were days when we woke up to 4 feet of snow and icy roads, fallen tree branches and skating-rink puddles, but school was never called off. Snow plows and road salt were always at the ready, and most Coloradans are pretty darn good at driving in treacherous conditions. I was a child of the rockies, and winter just entailed snow. Then I moved to the Pacific Northwest.

I still remember my very first snow day. I was in third grade, and it was my first winter in Washington. When snow showed up on the weather report, the entire school was buzzing with excitement. Snow was (and is) a pretty rare occurrence on our little island, even in the depths of winter. When I woke up to a measly 2 inches of snow and found out that school was cancelled, I was excited yet confused. Why didn’t anyone have snow tires? Where were all of the snow plows? Not to mention that snow was the only thing anyone seemed able to talk about. Still, I was a 9-year-old with a day off from school and a backyard full of snow. I happily went along with it!

Here in my little corner of Oregon, it’s pretty much the same thing. The slightest bit of ice on the roads often results in schools being called off, although with last year’s crazy 18-inch-accumulation snow storm I could understand why we got three snow days in a row. Still, last week’s cold front brought us a whopping .2 centimeters of frosty snow…and a widespread shut-down of numerous local schools. Say what?!chicken5

My university was one of the few schools in the Portland area that managed to stay open, and I was shocked that we were in the minority! My friend from Idaho and I spent the day snickering at all the weaklings who couldn’t handle a little frost. Granted I’ve probably become one of those weaklings during my eleven years in Washington, but the Coloradan in me still thinks it’s pretty funny. All jokes aside, I’m glad everyone (to my knowledge) stayed safe!

All this cold weather makes me crave hot meals more than ever. Over the weekend I busted out my beloved Crock Pot and made one of my favorites. I discovered this Slow-Cooker Southwest Chicken a few years back and continue to be in awe of its quickness, cheapness, deliciousness, and versatility! It only requires FOUR ingredients (although I’ve added a few extra spices down below) and is as easy as dumping everything into your slow cooker and flipping on the switch. I’ve made it with both black beans and white beans, red salsa and salsa verde, and even crushed pineapple subbed for the corn (sounds weird but it’s awesome)! You can eat it over brown rice, rolled up in tortillas, on top of mixed greens, or chili-style with tortilla chips for dipping. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner, and leftovers store great!

Stay warm and make this Southwest Chicken for a hot lunch or dinner. It has such simple, standard ingredients that you might not even need to make a trip to the store! Which would be a good thing, considering all the legitimately icy roads around the country right now. It’s always good to be on the safe side, whether we’re talking about an inch of black ice or a teeny tiny patch of snow crystals. Haha.chicken4

Slow-Cooker Southwest Chicken

Makes about 4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup prepared salsa

1 15-oz can black or white beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can sweet corn, drained

2 teaspoons ground cumin (optional)

1/2 teaspoon coriander seed (optional)

For topping: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped olives, sliced avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.


Spray the bottom of a slow-cooker with cooking spray. Place all the ingredients in the slow-cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken pulls apart easily. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Serve with tortillas, corn chips, rice, quinoa, etc.

(Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)