Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Cheesesteaks

I guess it's time to hop back on the blogging wagon again. Remember that time I said I'd try and blog twice a week this year? Yeah, I've obviously forgotten it too. In other news, summer weather has finally reached KC even though according to the calender, summer is almost over. This year is just flying by! We've had some friends and family pass through recently and it's been nice to visit with people that we don't get to see very often. In our free time though, we've been staying pretty busy.

If you've talked to Joe or me recently you know what we've been up to lately. Say it with me, we've been..."working on the deck".  But we're almost done! I predict that after this 3 day weekend, the deck will be complete! Everyday after work for the last couple weeks, we've been coming straight home from work, eating a quick dinner then working on the deck until it's dark out. In an effort to maximize the amount of work time before it gets dark, I've been planning super quick or crockpot meals for or dinners. This recipe is one of those dinners. We've had these sandwiches several times this summer and we love them! I actually got the recipe from the same website that the Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches came from. The blog the recipe is from is called How Sweet It is and I promise she has recipes for more than just chicken sandwiches haha. This crockpot pulled chicken is soooo easy and delicious! Here's the recipe:

Crockpot Chicken Cheesesteaks
From: How Sweet It Is

2 green peppers, sliced
2 yellow onions, slices (I used one really huge onion)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Smoked paprika (Don't substitute regular paprika, the smoked verison is part of what makes this so delicious!)
Salt and pepper
8 ounces of beer
8 ounces of sharp white cheddar

Start by placing the peppers, onions and garlic in the bottom of the crockpot.

Season both sides of the chicken with the smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken on top of the peppers and onions in the crockpot.

Then pour the beer into the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When the time is up, use a couple of forks to shred the chicken.

There will be a lot of excess liquid in the crockpot. I typically try and scoop some of that out before adding the cheese.

Next, take you sharp cheddar and shred the whole block. Then add almost all of it to the crockpot. You can save a little bit to top the sandwiches with.

Stir the cheese in to the chicken and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Pile it high on a bun and eat up before the bun gets too soggy! It would probably help to toast the buns first, but I haven't tried that.

I guess that's it for tonight! Keep an eye out for a post about the deck next week. I want it to be done so badly. In the mean time though, I may share a couple more recipes or cakes. We'll see. Have a great night!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Baby Albert's Baptism and Cake

Good evening! Did you all have a good weekend? We did, and we made some good deck progress. I also got one step closer to finishing the cabinet doors on the built-ins. This week, we're back to work on the deck again, but we're getting closer every day. I mentioned in the last post that two weekends ago we were in St. Louis for the baptism of our little nephew, Albert. Joe's sister, Abby, asked if I'd make a cake for the reception after the baptism and told me I could have free reign on the design :) I did some quick Google searching and found some ideas I liked then just kind of pieced it together from there. The cake is chocolate with a combination of vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache on the inside. I could eat that combination everyday :)

On the bottom tier I did a sort of "quilting" design. I used a ruler with 2 toothpicks taped 1" apart to mark the top edge of the cake. Then I folded a piece of cardstock at a 45 degree angle and used that as my guide to make all the lines on the cake. It ended up working pretty well! Then I cut all the decorations for the top and bottom tiers out of modeling chocolate and used the wax paper transfer method to stick them on the cake. After transporting it to St. Louis, the icing under the fondant got a little soft, so it all ended up looking a little lumpy, but not too bad. It still tasted good!

Now for some pictures from the actual baptism. I hope Abby and Albert don't mind that they're in pretty much every picture haha. They just happen to be responsible for the star of the show!

Baby Al behaved very well!

Albert, Abby and Baby Albert

All of the Great-Grandparents

The Grandparents

The Godparents

Uncle Joe and Aunt Lisa :)

Uncle John, Aunt Theresa, Liz, Lance, Grandma and Papa

We had a great time visiting with everyone and it was nice that all of Joe's Grandparents and his aunt and uncle were also able to come in town to celebrate. It was crazy to see how much baby Al had grown since we last saw him and I know he'll just keep surprising us every time we visit! Well, we don't have to many exciting things coming up, but I have finally been documenting some recipes that I want to blog about, so hopefully I won't go to long without posting. Until then, have a great week!