First Success

Hello all!!  I hope the holidays have treated you well, and were able to enjoy it with family and friends!  Seriously the best memories I have are with my most beloved peeps especially around the holidays.  Nothing beats it.  

Now that the festivities are winding down I've begun the dreaded process of taking down my holiday decor, and packing it away until next year.  The tree is still up, but by Wednesday evening it too will be packed neatly away (pfff!) thus ending another holiday season, and year.  *tear*

If you follow me on Facebook I posted all the goodies Santa brought to me this year, and the one thing I REALLY wanted I received...a crock pot!!!  You realize you've become an adult when kitchen appliances get you just as excited on Christmas morning as a 3 year old gets over a Spiderman action figure. (Which really did happen, and it was AWESOME)!

I absolutely could. not. wait. to try out the crock pot.  I trolled the internet, countless Pinterest boards, and hit up fellow friends to find out some of their favorite recipes.  I think I may have to make a cookbook just for these.  Hmm...future DIY project?  We'll see...

I came across this Italian Chicken pasta recipe from a tumblr account on Pinterest.  It looks enticing, and TA was definitely on board.  It's super easy for a beginner to try out which was a definite bonus since this was my very first attempt at cooking anything in a crock pot. Plus it's easy on the wallet which obviously makes my wallet happy!!  I think the correct term for this type of recipe is "dump and go" (?)  Anyways it's tasty, it's cheap, and easy!  #winning

Of course halfway through cooking I forgot to take pics of the ingredients, but it really is a simple list of items you may already have on hand.  

Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta

4 chicken breasts (I used Tyson's Boneless/Skinless Trimmed and Thinned breasts)

8 oz. of softened cream cheese

2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup

1 package of Zesty Italian dressing mix

2 tbsp of garlic salt/powder

1 package of pasta

1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Add all of the ingredients (except pasta) to crock pot, and cook on Low for four hours.  Stir a few timpes over the course of the 4 hours just so everything cooks together.  Before you're ready to serve the chicken "soup", cook pasta separately and then add to the crock pot, and stir altogether.  I added a little more Parmesan once it was all stirred together, and this is the final result:

oh. my. god.  SOOO GOOD!!!

Needless to say this was a success, and feel as if I should receive a gold star from Betty Crocker or something.  My only two concerns were the amount of garlic salt seemed excessive.  Next time I'll use just 1 tablespoon.  The other is I was getting a little paranoid within the first 2 hours of cook time because the chicken didn't look like it was cooking all the way through.  I turned it up to High, and left it for another hour and it cooked.  So my question is should I have left it on Low, or do I need to cook it on High from hereon out?  I'm calling on you my fellow crock pot cooks to help me out!!

I really think this has jump-started a new outlook on how I cook now.  It's on my Resolution List for 2014 which I'll get to later.  For now I bid you all a Happy (and safe) New Year!!  Can you believe it's here?!?!

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