Chicken Ranch Tacos

The original title of this recipe is “Baked Chicken Ranch Tacos,” but I will get to that in a minute…

On Tuesday, I was looking for quick recipes to fix with boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. After a long search, I stumbled upon this gem…and then I kept reading the recipe and got to the part where I saw it needed to be cooked in the crock pot. That night, I never actually found a recipe and I had to make something up. I put this taco recipe on my agenda for today since I knew I would be home for dinner.

crock pot chicken

As usual, I was running late this morning, and I remembered it was crock pot night. I scrambled around and gathered the supplies, got it all together, and left for work. Approximately one hour later…

I realized that the County Wide 5th Grade Spelling Bee was tonight at 7:00. That meant I needed to come home, finish my tacos, and go back out to the library to cheer on my kiddos.

I planned on using the soft tortilla shells I had and rolling them like enchiladas and baking them somehow. I figured the shells would get a little crispy and delicious. Instead, Since I did not have ample time to do the baking portion of this recipe, we had them like regular tacos.

I have to say, they were very delicious! It really did not taste ranch-y, but I assume the powdered ranch mix gave it just the kick it needed to not taste like regular tacos. I am curious about how it would be if I had baked them. I guess I will need to try them out another time.ranch chicken taco

Here is the “recipe” as I made it (VERY EASY!!!!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 packet of chicken taco seasoning
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon of minced onions (I used the sprinkly kind, but you could probably chop some onion up and that would be good too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika

Put all of that in the crock pot for however long you feel like…Recipes always say 4-6 hours, but I always do 10 so it is ready when I get home from work. Maybe some fancy crock pot chef would scowl at my philosophy, but it has worked pretty well for me so far.

Once you are ready for it to be finished, shred it with 2 forks. There was a bit of extra liquid, but if you use the 2 forks as tongs, the excess liquid drips right off.

Then, get creative. Maybe you want regular tacos with cheese, salsa and lettuce. Maybe you want ranch dressing on them too. Maybe you want to try to bake them. Use soft shells or hard. The possibilities are endless!

 

*Here’s a little cheapskate crock pot tip that I do almost every time. I line my pot with a sheet of foil so the baked on gunk is easier to scrub off. Most of it gets tossed away. The foil is cheaper (and only slightly less effective) than those bags you can buy to line your crock pot.

Monster Cookies

I have no problem admitting that I have kind of skipped all things Pinterest for quite some time here recently. I don’t even really miss it all that much.

But then, sometimes I think about doing things that I had pinned long ago. One of those things happens to be these monster cookies and they are DELICIOUS!

This recipe is kind of like your basic peanut butter cookie recipe, but you add oats, which give these cookies just a bit of a different touch. Before the oats are added, the dough is a bit stickier than regular peanut butter cookie dough. When the oats were added, that stickiness was soaked up and it became like any other cookie dough you have probably made before.
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The original recipe called for M&Ms and semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I put my own spin on that. I always seem to have leftover extras from recipes I have made, so I searched my baking basket and found some remnants of mini M&Ms, some semi-sweet chocolate chips and some peanut butter chips. I poured all of that deliciousness into the dough and got baking.
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I used my Pampered Chef mini scoop, so they were shaped like a ball. I thought that would go away as they baked, but it didn’t. The first tray of them maintained that shape, even after they cooled. When the other trays came out of the oven, I smushed them down with my mini spatula so they looked more like cookies than a plastic scoop of ice cream that you might find in your niece’s kitchen set (that girl has fed me that ice cream cone a LOT of times!).

Scoop-shaped or flattened, they were tasty!

The website where I found this has a lot of bloggy nonsense before the recipe. I mean, who even wants to read the blog…just skip right to the recipe, right? Well, maybe next time you come to this page you can skip right to it. I kind of scammed you into reading my bloggy nonsense already.

And now…the reason why you really came to this page to begin with…

Monster Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick ) softened butter
  • 1/2 cup  light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (not instant or whole-rolled oats)
  • 3/4 cup M&Ms (any size or variety)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

(The beauty of this recipe is that you can put whatever kind of M&Ms and chips you want in there. I didn’t measure any of the ones I put in there.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream butter and sugars at medium speed for about 3 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla, one at a time.

3. Slowly mix in baking soda and flour.

4. Fold in the quick oats and chocolate chips/M&Ms. (If needed, chill the dough for 30 minutes before scooping onto the cookie sheet)

5. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Do not over-bake. Let them cool on a wire rack.

(The original recipe suggested that they last up to a week and that they freeze well. I will caution you that if you want to have these in a week after baking them, you better bake more because they probably won’t last that long)

 

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. You can pretty much imagine what they look like.