WELCOME

Welcome to this slow cooker/crockpot blog. I believe slow cookers are the best thing to happen to modern day cooks. I used mine often when I worked outside the home and continue to do so even in retirement. It is so nice to put food on and forget about it. Slow cookers also allow us to cook many things we would normally have to use the oven for; what a relief in hot Texas weather! Some of these recipes are mine, many are ones I have collected over the years.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ROOT VEGETABLE POT ROAST

1 medium turnip, coarsely chopped or diced 

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 (3 lb) chuck roast
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons snipped parsley
1/3 cup cold water
3 tablespoons all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

In slow cooker or crock pot, place the turnip, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.

Trim excess fat from roast and cut so that it will fit into cooker. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the roast and brown on all sides; drain. Place the meat over the vegetables in the cooker. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over all and pour the water into the cooker. Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. Remove the roast to a warmed serving platter. Strain the vegetables, reserving 2 cups of the cooking juices. Add water if necessary to make 2 cups.

Spoon the vegetables over the roast on the warm serving platter. Sprinkle with the parsley and cover with foil to keep warm.

Skim any excess fat from the cooking liquid then pour liquid into a saucepan. Blend the cold water slowly into the flour until smooth. Stir the mixture into the cooking liquid and cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly. Serve as a gravy with the meat.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Note: Add or substitute other root vegetables as desired.

Note: This is just a file photo

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MEAT LOAF FLORENTINE WITH OPTIONAL MUSHROOM SAUCE

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauc
2 lb lean ground beef

Drain the spinach well. In a large bowl combine the spinach, eggs, bread crumbs, milk, soy sauce, salt, and hot pepper sauce. Add the ground beef to the spinach mixture and mix well using hands. Make into either a round or oblong loaf slightly smaller than your crockpot or slowcooker's interior.

Place a wire rack (or make one using double thick strips of heavy-duty foil) in the bottom of the cooker. Place meatloaf atop rack not allowing it to touch cooker's sides. Place lid on cooker and cook on high setting for 4 hours. 

Top with the traditional ketchup topping or serve with the following sauce.

Serve with this MUSHROOM SAUCE:
1 can (3-oz) sliced mushrooms with juices
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp snipped chives

In a saucepan combine the mushrooms and flour, stirring until flour is blend in. Stir in the sour cream and chives. Cook, while stirring, just until thickened. Do not boil!

Yield: 1 1/2 cups of sauce
Yield: 8 servings meat loaf

Note: File photo

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LENTIL-HAM SOUP

1 lb dry lentils

1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried marjoram, crushed
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lb cooked diced ham or a large meaty ham bone
7 cups water

Put the lentils in a slow cooker or crock pot. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and parsley. Stir in the salt, pepper, marjoram, and bay leaf. Place the ham or ham bone over the vegetables. Add 7 cups water. Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low setting for 9 to 11 hours.

If using a ham bone, remove from the soup. Remove any ham from the bone and return meat to the soup. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Note: This is a file photo

Monday, March 20, 2017

CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

salt and pepper to taste
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp sugar
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Hot cooked spaghetti for 4 servings

Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper; place in slow cooker or crock pot. In a small bowl combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, garlic, oregano, basil, and sugar together well; pour over the chicken in the cooker. Put lid on cooker and cook chicken on low setting for approximately 8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the cooker to a warm platter. Turn cooker to high setting and stir in the mozzarella cheese. Replace lid and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is heated thoroughly.

To serve, divide the spaghetti into four servings. Top each serving with a chicken breast and a fourth of the sauce. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Note: This is a file photo of a similar recipe.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

APPLE CIDER STEW

2 lbs beef stew meat

3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 carrots, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 cups apple cider
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup flour

In skillet or large saucepan brown meat in canola oil. Drain off excess fat. Combine the 3 tablespoons of flour, salt, thyme, and black pepper. Toss browned meat in the flour mixture to coat. Place the carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and apple in the cooker. Place the meat over the vegetables. Combine the apple cider and the vinegar; pour over the meat. Place lid on cooker and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.

Turn cooker to high setting. Blend the cold water into the 1/4 cup flour until smooth. Stir slowly into the stew. Replace lid and cook another 15 minutes until thickened.

Yield: 8 servings.

Note: File Photo

Saturday, March 18, 2017

GINGER BAKED BEANS

2 tsp instant minced onion

1/4 cup water
2 cans (16-oz) cans pork and beans
1/2 cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup catsup
2 tbsp light molasses

Place the instant minced onion and the water in a crock pot or slow cooker; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the pork and beans, gingersnap crumbs, catsup and molasses. Stir to combine the mixture. Place lid on cooker an cook on low setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: File Photo

Friday, March 17, 2017

EASY SLOW COOKER SALSA

10-11 plum tomatoes

2 large garlic cloves
1 small to medium onion, cut to thin wedges
2 jalapeno peppers, steamed and seeded (leave seeds if a hotter salsa is desired)
1/4  up fresh cilantro leaves
Dash of salt
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, squeezed dry

Cui a small slit in two tomatoes and insert a garlic clove in each.

Place tomatoes and onion in a slow cooker; add jalapenos. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours until veggies are tender. Remove from cooker and allow to cool.

Pour cooked mixture, cilantro and salt into blender bowl and process until blended. Stir in pineapple.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Note: Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: File Photo

Thursday, March 16, 2017

BARBECUED PORK SANDWICHES

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 bottle (12-oz) chili sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 cups thin sliced cooked pork
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cold water
12 buns

In a skillet cook the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter until tender but not browned. Transfer the mixture to a crockpot or slowcooker. Add the chili sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chili powder, salt, pepper, and water, mixing well. Stir in the sliced pork, coating all sides. Add lid to the cooker and cook on low setting for 3 to 4 hours. Turn the heat to the high setting.

In a small bowl or cup blend the flour and cold water until smooth; stir into the pork mixture. Cover again and cook another 15 minutes or so until the sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

To serve, place approximately a third cup of the pork mixture on each bun.

Yield: 12 sandwiches
Note: File Photo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

BASIC CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned

1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
6 sprigs fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cartons (32-oz each) low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups egg noodles
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, optional

In a 5 or 6 -quart slow cooker or crockpot combine the chicken, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove the parsley, garlic, and bay leaf using a slotted spoon; discard. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board; let stand for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the bones and discard. Cut or shred chicken into bite-size pieces.

While chicken cools, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Stir the chicken back into the cooker along with the prepared noodles. Replace lid and cook on high until the chicken is hot, approximately 5 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle with the dill if desired.

Note: File Photo

Friday, March 10, 2017

ENCHILADAS

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (16 ounces) pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 flour tortillas (6 inches)

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Combine cheeses.

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer about 3/4 cup beef mixture, one tortilla and about 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until heated through. 

Yield: 4 servings

Photo: TOH where I got this recipe approximately 20-years-ago.