For part two of my posts today, I'm bringing you the less healthy way to please a Super Bowl crowd using the base from my Crockpot Chicken Tacos. Less healthy, but worth every calorie if, for some reason, you are counting.

These nachos have two layers of chips, chicken, cheese, corn and black beans. The top layer is also topped with pico de gallo, avocado and sour cream when it comes out of the oven. Basically, it's everything you could want in a nacho masterpiece. 

All of the toppings are pretty standard as far as loaded nachos go. I used canned beans and frozen corn, but didn't go so far as to add any canned jalapenos or other not-so-fresh items that sometimes end up on nachos. I made my own pico de gallo since I cooked these during the snowpocalypse in DC, and Safeway was out of their fresh salsa (pico demand is high in times of peril). Assuming pico de gallo supplies are back to normal, you can use the store-bought kind to make this recipe even easier. 

If you make the full batch of crockpot chicken tacos, you will have enough chicken for the taquitos, chicken nachos and plenty of tacos. I made the chicken using only four chicken breasts, and I still had more than enough for all three. 

Serve the nachos immediately while the cheese and chicken are still hot. I took the nachos outside to photograph when they came out of the oven, and within seconds I could see everything cooling down. No one wants cold nachos, so I sacrificed decent pictures for the food (which is pretty much what I do every time I'm faced with this sort of dilemma). 


Loaded Chicken Nachos
Serves 8

2 cups shredded chicken from Crockpot Chicken tacos recipe
1 14 1/2-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1     10 package frozen corn, thawed 
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2   teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4   teaspoon salt
20 ounces shredded cheese* (pepper jack, cheddar, monterey jack, etc. all work well for this)
1 bag tortilla chips*
1 cup salsa fresca / pico de gallo (store bought is fine)
3/4   cup sour cream
2      avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking pan or large oven-proof dish with alumnium foil. Make sure the pan has high edges so that the toppings do not spill over. 
  2. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add beans, corn and spices. Stir to combine, and heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add shredded chicken and stir to combine. Heat through.
  4. Spread a layer of tortilla chips over the baking pan. They should overlap at points and cover the pan completely, but keep in mind that this is only one of two layers! 
  5. Add half of the chicken, corn and beans mixture over chips. 
  6. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the layer. 
  7. Repeat, adding another layer of chips, the remaining chicken mixture, and the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake pan in oven for 12-15 minutes, or until both layers of cheese have completely melted and chips have crisped but are not burnt on the edges.  
  9. Remove nachos from oven and top evenly with pico de gallo, avocado and sour cream.
  10. Serve immediately.

* Use a brand that has good, sturdy chips. Often times loading nachos with toppings before baking leaves you with soggy chips. I used Mission Brand, which I usually like, but they didn't work as well for this. 
* Hand shredding cheese will give you a meltier cheese that's better for nachos. I buy the 10oz blocks of Cracker Barrel for these and use one cheddar and one pepper jack.

The most popular recipe on my blog has been Crockpot Chicken Tacos for four years running. It's no surprise why when you consider the steps to make it:

1) Add six chicken breasts, one packet of taco seasoning and one jar of salsa into a crockpot and stir to combine.
2) Turn on crockpot for 4-6 hours.
3) Shred with a fork or a hand mixer. Serve.

It makes more chicken than you would've possibly thought you could get out of six chicken breasts, so once you've had your taco fix, you can use the leftovers for soup, quesadillas, salads, crunchwraps, etc.

Super Bowl Sunday calls for delicious food that feeds a crowd. Assuming your crowd isn't full of vegetarians, one batch of crockpot chicken tacos lends itself perfectly to THREE crowd-pleasing variations using the chicken. The first of those is just your standard taco bar with all the fixin's. I usually do this by setting out the chicken and tortillas alongside bowls of sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, avocado/guacamole and salsa. Any variation is good. The more bowls the better.

The second option is what I'll cover in this post -- taquitos! It's hard to beat traditional fried taquitos, but with all the greasy food choices for the Super Bowl, I figured it might be best to give you a baked taquitos recipe. Guilt-free taquito eating to your heart's delight! Also, the next recipe I'm sharing isn't remotely guilt-free, so really I'm really just aiming for balance.

You can serve the taquitos with sour cream, ranch, and/or salsa on the side for dipping. Any of the southwestern/chipotle ranch options are especially good for these. You will need to use the smaller tortillas because otherwise you'll just have very long, awkward taquitos that require double-dipping, and nobody wants that. The pictures show the batch I made using the Mission brand "Super Soft" tortillas because that's what I had on hand, but I'd recommend using just the normal thickness so that they crisp up a bit more.

Check back later today for the next post for chicken nachos!


Baked Chicken Taquitos
Makes 10 Small Taquitos

1 cup chicken from Crockpot Chicken Tacos *
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 small flour tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Stir cheese and chicken together in a bowl.  
  4. Set out tortillas, and place a few tablespoons of the mixture in a line on the left 1/3 of the tortilla, leaving about an inch on the ends so the mixture doesn't melt out in the oven. 
  5. Roll up the tortilla very tightly, and place seam side down onto the baking sheet. 
  6. Repeat with remaining mixture and tortillas, placing tortillas at least an inch apart on the sheet.
  7. Spray the top of each tortilla with cooking spray or brush with oil. 
  8. Place pan in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are starting to turn golden brown.
  9. Serve immediately with sour cream, ranch and/or salsa.

Sometimes you need a recipe that you know will turn out well 10 times out of 10. Every so often I have a baking weekend where things just don't go as planned. I'm notoriously bad at talking while I'm baking.

How many eggs did I put in?

Did I just accidentally combine step 3 and 4?

Did I already add the baking powder to this bowl of flour?

Cooking and multitasking I can do. Baking... forget it. I've had to throw out quite a few ruined batches of baked goods in my life, and life goes on.

Such was the case when I decided to make a cake for my friend's birthday in February. She was out of town over the weekend, so I was dead set on making the Milkbar Cake (yes, this one) to surprise her.

Long story short -- I ditched that idea after forgetting to order the multitude of specialty supplies and ingredients. But, I decided I would make her a yellow cake and a red velvet ice cream cake instead (2 cakes > 1 cake). The ice cream cake went into the freezer beautiful, but behind the closed door it managed to collapse into something reminiscent of a science fair volcano post-lava flow. It wasn't even salvageable. I don't exactly remember what happened to the other cake, but I do know that it didn't work out either.

With enough hours and money down the drain, I accepted that baking wasn't in the cards that day. That's where these come in. It's a combination of all great things: Oreos, peanut butter, marshmallow and chocolate. These also have the added perk of keeping well, being easy to store/stackable, and being great for decorating. Wins all around!

They are perfectly crunchy, chocolaty, gooey, salty and sweet. I make them fairly frequently because they're such a hit, and they save me the risk of distress caused by failed baking projects. You can also make as many or as few as you'd like. Shoot, you could even have a craving hit and whip up a few for yourself on a whim.

I'm crossing my fingers Oreo to comes back out with their football shaped Oreos for football season because these would become my go-to tailgate baked good. In the meantime, they're perfect for every other time of year as well!

Chocolate Covered Fluffernutter Oreos
Recipe from Something Swanky

Ingredients *
Marshmallow Cream or Fluff
Smooth Peanut Butter
Melting Chocolate

  1. Split Oreos in half horizontally, making sure to keep the halves of each Oreo together so that final product ends up with exactly one Oreo's worth of cream filling. It doesn't matter if filling ends up on both sides of the split Oreo. 
  2. Spread a teaspoon of marshmallow fluff on one side of the Oreo. 
  3. Spread a teaspoon of peanut butter on the other.
  4. Press sides together and place on a plate. Repeat until you have your desired quantity. Put plate of Oreos in the freezer for no more than 10 minutes.
  5. Place a sheet of wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl until smooth and fully melted.
  7. Remove Oreos from freezer, and press any filling that has come out around the edges back into the Oreo to ensure it is smooth on all sides.
  8. One at a time, place Oreo on a fork or candy dipping tool and dip, making sure the Oreo is completely covered on all sides by flipping it into the chocolate or completely submerging it. Once fully coated, tap the edge of the dipping tool slightly on the edge of the bowl to remove air bubbles and excess chocolate. If you are making a large batch, you may need to remove about 10 Oreos at a time, and leave the rest in the fridge so that they stay cool.
  9. Slide each Oreo onto the baking sheet, being sure to smoothly remove the fork or dipping tool from underneath (don't just clunk it down!). The melting chocolate will dry quickly, so complete this process with a little pep and move on to the next one.
  10. If topping with sprinkles or chocolate chips, add these immediately after dipping each Oreo. Otherwise, after making all of the Oreos, add melted chocolate to a small ziplock bag, cut off a tiny section at the bottom corner of the bag, and drizzle Oreos with melted chocolate. 
  11. Allow to cool for 10+ minutes. Cookies may be stored in airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

*Note: Because you can make as many or as few of these as you'd like at a time, I did not specify exact amounts for the ingredients. You only need a teaspoon of peanut butter and a teaspoon of fluff for each Oreo, so chances are you will run out of Oreos before running out of either of those during the recipe.

The cast of characters.

The terrible picture above shows what to do if the marshmallow runs over the edges after freezing. Press everything back in the round and place the sides back together. Voila!
Tap tap tap.

Did I mention that entire story is from February? That is how behind on my posts I am! Here are the decorated Oreos.

Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite desserts: the pizookie. It'll be your favorite, too.

I've been making these since college, but I guess I've been holding out on sharing them. The concept is about as simple as it gets. You put cookie dough into a ramekin. Bake it until it's just starting to brown on the top. Pull it out of the oven, and put a big scoop of ice cream on top.

The next few minutes are pure bliss. The cold ice cream combines with the warm cookies. Everything is melting together. Your mind goes blank. You're not sure if you've ever had anything so good in your life, etc.

This is the easiest thing on my blog. You can use homemade cookie dough if you have time -- I have in the past -- but Tollhouse and Pillsbury are in every grocery store for a reason. They save you time and they've spent decades perfecting the recipes. These pictures are made with Tollhouse and Turkey Hill French Vanilla.

I gave my roommate and longtime #1 recipe taste-tester the extra pizookie after taking pictures. She's had them multiple times since I make these any time I'm tasked with dessert and don't feel like baking before dinner. After we finished them (mine was already half gone from taking pictures), she confessed that even though she knew these were easy, she thinks they're the best thing I make. I can't really take credit for store-bought cookie dough and ice cream, but seriously...they might be.

I have only tried pizookies with variations of chocolate chip cookie dough. I also prefer them with vanilla ice cream (probably the only time plain vanilla is my preference) or cookie dough if I'm really feeling the cookie vibe. There are an endless number of potential combinations. I'm sure they're all great.

You can make this in any ramekins you have around the house. You will need to adjust the amount of cookie dough you add and cooking time based on your choice. The amounts I've detailed below are guidelines based on the ramekin size I was using. You can adjust the recipe based on the number of servings and the ramekin size. I usually fill them a little over half full if I'm using smaller ramekins (4-6oz). The key is to cook them until each pot is just slightly starting to brown around the edges. The top will be set, but it's still soft in the middle.


Serves: 4
Total Time: 15 Minutes (3 Active)

16oz Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
4 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill each ramekin with approximately 4oz of cookie dough (cookie dough should be about 1-inch deep in the ramekin). Place on cookie sheet. Bake the cookie sheet of ramekins on the middle rack for 12-16 minutes*, or until cookie dough is just starting to brown around the edges and the top is set. Do not overbake! Cookies will be cooked through, but the inside should still be soft.

Remove from oven, let sit for two minutes, and top each ramekin with a cold scoop of ice cream, pressing down slightly in the center. The ice cream will start melting right away, so DIG IN! Make sure not to hold the ramekins without a napkin or something to prevent you from burning your hands (since this would really cut down on the enjoyment factor).

*Time range varies based on ramekins used, amount of dough added, and oven.

And since I was going to eat the pizookie anyways, I documented:
Immediately after dropping ice cream on the pizookie.

Eating and photographing. Photographing and eating.
And then all the bites start looking like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, which is never a bad thing.
Perfection. (Put down the camera to focus on eating)

And this is what it looks like if you don't eat it right away.

You might think my vice would be chocolate based on this blog, my eating habits/daily chocolate consumption, or any number of things I say that allude to chocolate holding a very prominent place in my heart and stomach.

I do love me some chocolate, but cinnamon is the secret (or not so secret) ingredient in the more than half of my favorite desserts. I can't even make coffee cake or cinnamon rolls with any frequency anymore because I will help myself to five servings without thinking twice. All self-control goes out the window.

So, let's talk about Cinnamon Chex. I'm not sure where Cinnamon Chex has been all my life, but I am rapidly making up for lost time. These Browned Butter Churro Crispy Treats are my new favorite recipe (Chex=Crispy, Rice Krispies = Krispy?).

I've probably made them 10 times in the past month. They are incredibly easy, and the flavor is something no one is expecting since it's reminiscent of Rice Krispies, but made with Chex and BROWNED BUTTER. It is the perfect, no-bake dessert to fix when you need something in a pinch and don't feel like turning on your oven or breaking out the mixer.

The only remotely difficult part is browning the butter, and I promise once you get the hang of it, browning butter won't be a deterrent in the least. The key is that you have to watch the butter. Do not multitask when making browned butter. Like all serial multitaskers, I like to think that because I multitask all the time I've mastered the art of it. Nope. We can put this in the long list of things that should not be multitasked. I've provided a few pictures and examples below, but there are also great tutorials here and here.

The last thing I will say about this recipe is that it nails the crisp to marshmallow ratio that is essential to any krispy/crispy dessert. Your treat should not crack in half when you break it apart. If this happens, you might as well be eating a cereal bar. It should bend. That said, eating these for breakfast is perfectly acceptable since they are, after all, made with cereal.


Browned Butter Churro Crispy Treats
Recipe from Well Plated by Erin


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Imperial Sugar Dark Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 ounces miniature marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups Cinnamon Chex

  1. Butter or coat with non-stick spray an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Continue to heat until butter melts, then foams, then turns clear golden, then starts to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from bottom as you do. Watch it carefully, especially in last minute, to ensure butter does not burn. As soon as butter turns light brown, turn off heat, then stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
  3. Add marshmallows and stir to melt. The heat of melted butter should be enough to melt marshmallows, but if necessary, turn heat on low and stir until marshmallows are smooth and no white streaks remain.
  4. Remove pot from stove and stir in the cereal and salt. As soon as cereal is coated, spread it quickly into prepared pan. To spread cereal to corners, lightly coat a sheet of wax paper with cooking, then evenly press it into pan corners. Let cool 15 minutes, cut into bars and serve.
Note: The steps below show examples from various points the process. They do not correspond directly with each stage, but your butter will look like all of these during the process. I removed my butter shortly after the second to bottom image. When it starts to look like this keep stirring and keep a very close eye on it. It's almost done, and it goes from brown to burnt faster than you'd expect!

Exhibit A & B: Bend, No Snap

I realize relatively simple granola seems like a boring thing to post. It's not something that sparks too much excitement on its own. The only reactions I ever have to different types of granola are along the lines of, "I like the dried berries," or "How is the serving size only 1/3 cup?!" It's granola. It shines when combined with other ingredients.

This granola is a different story.

It's just your run of the mill granola in terms of ingredients, but I had no idea how easy it was to make. The honey and coconut are sweet, and the pecans have a nice crunch from being slowly roasted while coated in honey. I added it to a breakfast parfait in the morning and then found myself snacking on it throughout the day plain.

The recipe comes from my mom, who said it "made such a large batch that it lasted for weeks"...mine did not last for weeks. She was right, though, it does make a huge batch. It stores wonderfully in a large mason jar or any sort of jar that can be sealed with a tight lid. You can jazz up the recipe by adding various seeds/nuts and dried fruit at the end, but don't feel the need to change a thing -- simple is a very good thing when it comes to this recipe!


Coconut Pecan Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or other nuts
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with sides* with parchment paper.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with a large spoon or sturdy spatula until fully incorporated and all oats are coated. Spread mixture evenly on both baking sheets, breaking up any large clumps. Place in oven for 70 minutes, stirring granola and rotating pans after 35 minutes. Coconut flakes and granola should be toasted.

Loosen granola from parchment immediately after cooking, but leave the granola on the pans until cool.

*Use baking sheets with sides to avoid having the entire sheet of oats sliding off into the bottom of a hot oven.

I think it’s about time I get back on the blogging train. What do you think? I figured I would start things off with a recipe that many people have requested over the past few years: a way to make Three-Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Tacos without using processed, preservative-packed salsa and seasoning from the store. For a long time I was hesitant to break down the components of this recipe into homemade versions because 1) If you make your own salsa and taco seasoning, the recipe is no longer three ingredients, and aside from the taste, that’s the best part about it. 2) The original recipe only takes about 2 minutes in prep time. 3) As we all know, making something healthier often means spending more money to buy fresh ingredients.

I decided that my approach would be to make a homemade salsa that would be delicious on its own.  Homemade salsa is easy to make if you have a food processor -- just throw in all of the ingredients you like and pulse them together. I did use canned tomatoes (no salt added) and canned green chiles in mine, but you could leave both of these out and just add in more fresh tomatoes if you're opposed to anything canned. I’d recommend blanching the tomatoes first if you decide to do that.

I used the standard All Recipes taco seasoning for the second “ingredient” in my crockpot chicken tacos. The recipe has thousands of 5-star ratings, so I made it exactly as written.

After cooking the chicken, salsa and seasoning in the crockpot for 6 hours I was ready to go. The results? The chicken tasted the same. Hooray!

I know what you're thinking: "What?! There's nothing spectacular and fresh about the taste now that I've used all fresh ingredients?" No, but the flavor in the original recipe is exactly what you want. The reward is that you feel slightly better about eating it because you know exactly what you used to make it. I’m generally not one to care too much about this (judge me, if you will), but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate knowing my ingredients, when possible.

Make the salsa on its own, or go ahead and make the salsa, seasoning and the tacos. Regardless, you will love the results. You can keep it healthy and top the chicken with fresh ingredients like corn, tomatoes, and avocado. I ate mine in corn tortillas with guacamole and cheese, BUT I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream on top. That was enough for me to justify eating another one..or two.

Enjoy, and thanks for your patience during my long hiatus. I’m back!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
1oz Homemade Taco Seasoning (See Recipe Below)
16oz Homemade Salsa (see Recipe Below)
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thawed*

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to mix the seasoning with the salsa, coating chicken. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Chicken should shred easily with a fork once it is done. 

Shred all chicken with a fork until it is fully incorporated into the remaining sauce. Serve in tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, taquitos, on salads, etc. You can't go wrong!

*Use standard-sized chicken breasts that you find at the grocery store. I often only use 4 breasts, and keep the other amounts the same. There will be slightly more liquid if you reduce the size or number of chicken breasts, but the recipe will still work.


Homemade Salsa

Juice of One and a Half Limes
1 Red Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Chopped
1 14.5oz Can ‘No Salt Added’ Diced Tomatoes, Drained
1 4oz Can Green Chilis, Drained
1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Diced*
Large Handful of Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
5 Fresh Tomatoes, Sliced


Combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until salsa has reached the consistency you prefer.

*If you want more heat, you can leave some of the jalapeño seeds in.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Recipe from All Recipes

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in airtight container if not using immediately.

If you've never tried grilled Mexican street corn (elote), go ahead and make a note that as soon as you're able to light up the grill again it needs to be on your list. If you're lucky enough to live in a place where grilling in January doesn't mean brushing the snow off the cover first, by all means, treat yourself to some grilled corn earlier. Something about grilled corn and snow just doesn't seem to go together. Maybe that's just me.

Winter doesn't mean you need to deprive yourself of the amazing combination of flavors in Mexican corn, though. It's prime dip season, and adding this Mexican Corn Dip to your repertoire can only be a good thing. 

I paired it with Tostito's Hint of Lime, which pretty much rendered me helpless against polishing off way too much of it. When I finally cut myself off of the chips, I kept thinking about how good the dip itself was, so I just ate more of it plain.... This is what happens when you make things solely for the purpose of trying out a recipe and no one else is around.

Minus the mayo, it's pretty healthy as far as dips go, so it's the perfect thing to enjoy while watching the games without ruining your new year's resolution quite yet. I think using Greek yogurt would taste fine if you're really trying to take the healthy aspect up a notch (obviously skip the Tostito's if that's the case).


Mexican Corn Dip
Recipe from Damn Delicious (originally adapted from Closet Cooking)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings


    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    5 ears corn, shucked and rinsed
    1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese (or feta), crumbled
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    1 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
    1 clove garlic, pressed
    Juice of 1 lime

  1.     Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and cook until slightly charred, about 6-8 minutes (a cast iron skillet works great for this). Stir the kernels and add jalapeño. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes.
  2.     Stir in mayonnaise, cotija, cilantro, chili powder, garlic and lime juice.
  3.     Serve immediately.