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I’m celebrating a miracle today. I survived a serious car accident in a blizzard without a scratch. Rather than my usual celebratory alcoholic drink, I’ve chosen to make the hot chocolate we usually have at Christmas. This hot chocolate can be made in a crock pot, though this time I used the stove. It’s simple, delicious and better than Starbuck’s any day.
1/2 cup dry baking cocoa (Hershey’s is fine!)
12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt (I just used a pinch or two)
7 1/2 cups water (more if you like your hot chocolate less thick)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (eyeball it)
Stir to combine (it should look like chocolate caramel).
I love this comforting drink. It’s perfect on a snowy day and best consumed with friends and family.
I love homemade applesauce. But I never make it because I always thought it was too time consuming. Then Pinterest alerted me to this surprisingly easy version in a crock pot! The most time consuming part was peeling and chopping the apples. With a few tweaks, it tasted just like Gramma’s!
8 to 10 apples of any kind (you might need more or less depending on the size of your crock pot)
2 cinnamon sticks (if you don’t have sticks, just use a few dashes)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (we actually used about 2 teaspoons)
5 tablespoons brown sugar (we ended up just using a quarter cup of light, use your best judgement and taste!)
Peel, core and chop the apples. Put them in the crock pot. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and lemon juice. Cover. Cook on low for 6 hours. We stirred every hour for a total of six time. When the apples are cooked through, use a potato masher to make chunky applesauce. If you prefer your applesauce thinner, put it through the blender or the food processor.
We left out the lemon peel and fresh lemon juice from the original recipe because we didn’t have any lemons on hand. I was a bit saddened by how little 10 apples made! There was really only enough for about 2 and a half servings. I guess I’ll need a bigger crock pot!
In honor of tailgate season (and Mizzou’s first SEC game against Georgia!) I wanted to share one of our most favorite tailgate dips, Mag Mud.
In Austin, Texas, is the most amazing restaurant, Magnolia Cafe. My very, very dear friend B insisted (it didn’t take much!) we go there whenever I visited her and it was always packed and always delicious. Regardless of time of day or night, B and I always started with their famed Mag Mud. It’s surprisingly easy and if you make it in a crock pot, last well through a long tailgate.
1-2 cans black beans, drained (or if you prefer to soak your beans, feel free to do that instead just make sure they’re ready to go)
1 package Velveeta Queso Blanco, cut into squares
1 can Rotel, drained (we used medium, but go with the level of spice you want)
2 avocados, sliced
1 cup pico de gallo (store bought is fine!)
Put the black beans in the bottom of the crock put. Turn crock pot to high. Wait about 20 minutes and add the cubed Velveeta. Stir. Let Velveeta melt (about 15 to 20 minutes). Stir. Add the drained Rotel. Stir. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips by topping cheese with avocado slices and pico.
*Note: The time depends on your crock pot. Ours has three levels, keep warm (low), Low (medium) and high. If your dip is a bit too runny (or slides right off the chips!), you can thicken it by adding shredded Mexican Blend cheese. We used about a half cup.
The original Mag Mud is layered, this one isn’t. Other than that, I can’t think of a single thing wrong with it. So good!
One thing I miss about Texas is the abundance of Hatch green chilies at HEB. And the green chili enchiladas at Chuys. We’ve tried a few recipes from scratch to match the sauce and a stew without luck. Until we found Cookwell & Company’s Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix. With a few modifications, it was the closest we’ve had since leaving Texas.
Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix
2 chicken breasts (Shredded or diced)
rice or barley (to help thicken the stew)
corn (we omitted this time, but will add in the future)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth (if needed)
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Heat stew over medium heat until simmering, turn down to low. Sautee chicken in oil until cooked through. Add to the stew. Add rice or barley. Cook for 10-15 minutes simmering until stew is cooked down, by about a third. Add the corn. If the stew has reduced too much, add the chicken broth. Add the corn and simmer for about 2 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, cook another five minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese.
Perfect for a late fall evening. Just enough spice and flavor to not need any additions. I cannot wait to try this in the crock pot later this winter!