Category Archives: Cooking

Mama Life Hacks {#23}: Easy (YUMMY) Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

As I sit here typing this, my stomach is rumbling in the worst way–mostly due to the fact that it’s late, and I really should be in bed, which means it’s been a while since I ate. But also because I just made a batch of the most delicious, moist, flavorful chicken EV-AH. And it smells SO good. I just had to pop on and share the “recipe.”

My sis-in-law actually turned me onto this idea when she brought multiple meals over for us during the craziness that was packing/getting the new house ready/moving…because she’s awesome like that.

So, is your pen poised yet?

Here’s what you’ll do:

Place a package or two of chicken (breast, thighs, whatever) in a crock pot and cover with enough jars of the salsa of your choice (I just use the mild picante style) to completely submerge the meat. I usually add a dash of chili powder, granulated garlic, and cumin, but the salsa adds plenty of flavor on its own.

Hit start on that bad boy and let it go until your kitchen is filled with the slightly torturous fragrance of melt-in-your-mouth, fall-apart chicken goodness.

That’s IT!

Once the chicken is cooked through (it could go all day on low, but I usually have mine on high for about 4 hours), shred it using a couple of forks, making sure to retain all of the juices and get them nice and mixed through the meat.

Trust me: you will LOVE this stuff. All of my kids do. Most of them prefer it in easy “chicken roll-up” form (flour tortilla, shredded chicken, grated cheese…heated…BOOM). In fact, everyone who’s had it in this form has gone nuts for it (I took it to a family potluck, and everybody was raving and asking me for the recipe, and I was almost embarrassed to admit how easy it was).

But Simon and I prefer it on top of THEE best nachos either of us has ever tasted.


Seriously. Just the chicken, cheese (we use sharp cheddar), and chips (On the Border, baby) are delish, but add you some tomatoes, purple onions, cilantro, and avocado, and it’s out-of-this-world good.

It would also make a great base for Chicken Tortilla Soup, enchiladas, or a taco salad. You really can’t go wrong.

Plus! If you’re like me and trying to eat clean (it’s a process, y’all; definitely not perfect), as long as you pick a salsa that doesn’t have any sugar, there’s literally nothing objectionable about the chicken itself.

Anybody else ever done this easy crock pot hack?

Got any more for me? I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump lately, and, as much as this staple is saving my bacon, er, chicken, I’d welcome any other easy, healthy suggestions you have.

P.S. I have a “grocery shopping for large families” post in the hopper. Get excited!

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Easy {Anything Goes!} Quiche

On Sunday, I posted this pic to IG and Facebook with the following caption:


There was an attempt made at crafting and cooking and cleaning this afternoon because, apparently, I was feeling very Martha Stewart.

Only one of these attempts was successful, and it was the one that is most likely to keep the natives from revolting.

In college, getting 1 out of 3 right would have meant a failing grade of 33%, and I would have been crushed.

But now, I’m all, “Yaaaay! We get to eat! Take that, Martha!” MOTHERHOOD: lowering expectations one constantly interrupted attempt at productivity at a time.
#somebodyputthatonacrosstitchplease #preferablysomeonewhoisnotamother #becausethenitwillgetfinished

But for real. Can any of y’all cross-stitch?

Thing is, I wasn’t too mad about my other failed attempts at productivity because this is what I got out of my one success. quiche7

If you’ve ever had any kind of misconception about quiche being fancy and finicky, dismiss it from your mind this very instant.

It may sound very ladies-who-lunch (or brunch, maybe?), but quiche is about as simple as it gets. And! Versatile. As in, you can throw just about anything in there, and it will still taste amazing.

Especially if you make it with my mom’s farm-fresh eggs. Oops. I guess that wasn’t exactly nice of me to say, since you can’t get your hands on any. But it’s true, and you know what they say: sometimes, the truth hurts.

ANYhoo, without further forays into mind-numbing chatter, I will share my oh-so-simple quiche recipe with you so that you too may feel successful even if you manage to completely avoid run out of time to do the laundry. Again.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • 7 eggs, the fresher the better (seriously, if a chicken has just pooped one into your hand, you’re golden)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (or cream if you just love extra calories as much as I do)
  • 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)
  • Link sausage, microwaved/chopped
  • 1 cup assorted chopped/sauteed veggies
  • 1/2 cup (thawed) frozen spinach
  • Store-bought pie crust (or homemade, if you’re an over-achiever…in which case, I don’t want to hear about it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place pie crust in the bottom of a pie plate.

Heat your fat (either oil or butter) in a skillet (preferably cast iron if you’ve got it), and then add your chopped veggies, sauteeing several minutes until they are softened but not mushy. You can use whatever you have on hand, which, in my case, was zucchini, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes. (I can also see this being great with carrots [grated], mushrooms, squash, kale, asparagus…seriously. Just about anything yummy you can imagine).


{If you’re wondering what all of the orange peels in the background have to do with anything…I was hungry}

While the veggies cook, crack all 7 eggs into a bowl and add milk and seasonings. Beat mixture until well combined.


Once the veggies are cooked, you can microwave your sausage (I like the Eckridge brand) and then, once it’s cooled, chop it into small chunks.

Likewise, you’ll need to microwave your frozen spinach to get it to a stir-able temperature.

And then, once everything is cool enough to combine, toss all of the remaining ingredients–the veggies, the sausage, the spinach, and the cheese–into your egg mixture and give it a good stir.


And now, believe it or not, you’re all ready to pour your quiche filling into the crust.

quiche5Once you’ve done that, just pop that bad boy in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is no longer the least bit jiggly (if you’re not sure, make a small cut in the middle; if it’s at all watery, it needs a few more minutes).

And bam! Serve it to a crowd of hungry humans (we just so happen to have those on hand pretty much 24/7, so this part is suuuuuper-simple).


{Just one of the hungry horde…who was not nearly as hungry after she finished that pile of cheese}

I like to make double pies (see note above about hungry humans) because any leftovers usually get gobbled up within a day, but these also freeze really nicely (and make great  one-dish dinners for new mamas or neighbors or…whoever).

So, there you have it: one of my favorite super-simple, super-fast, and super-cheap ways to trick my children into eating lots of good veggies. And protein. Whoop!

Are you quiche-eaters too?  I reeeeally didn’t like them growing up, but I’ve since broadened my tastebuds’ horizons, and now I’m a fan. In case you can’t tell.


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