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!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

S'MORES FONDUE

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 cup fat-free caramel topping
1 (16-ounce) package chocolate-flavored bark candy coating, broken into chunks
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Graham cracker sticks
Marshmallows 

Combine milk, allspice and topping in a 3-quart slow cooker; add candy coating and chocolate chips.

Cover and cook on LOW setting 1-1/2 hours. Stir and serve fondue with graham cracker sticks and marshmallows.

Note: You make make the s'mores more traditional by toasting large marshmallows under a broiler for a minute or two. Place a marshmallow on a graham cracker (use regular crackers, not the strips), top marshmallow with another graham cracker and drizzle the fondue over all.

Note: This is a file photo from Bing.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ORANGE-SPICE GLAZED CARROTS

32-oz baby carrots
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cold water
2 tbsp cornstarch

Combine the carrots, brown sugar, orange juice, butter and spices in a slow cooker. Place lid on cooker and cook on low about 4 hours or until carrots are just crisp-tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots into a serving bowl; set aside.

Transfer the cooking juices to a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Meanwhile mix the cold water and cornstarch together until smooth; stir into the saucepan. Boil mixture 1 minute or until thickened while stirring constantly. Spoon mixture over the carrots.

Yield: 6 servings


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RED BEAN SOUP WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
8 cups chicken broth
1 ham hock
1 1/2 cups dried red kidney beans, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, rinsed, drained
1 bay leaf
2 parsnips, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 lb andouille* sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove to a 6-quart slow cooker.

Add the broth, ham hock, beans, and bay leaf to the cooker. Place lid on cooker and cook for 2 hours on high.

Remove ham hock from cooker and discard. Add the parsnips and sweet potato; replace lid and cook 2 more hours.

Add the sausage, replace lid and cook for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to suit taste.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MINESTRONE WITH ROTINI

4 stalks Swiss Chard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-size red onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cans (14 1/2-oz each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 can (16-oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 small-size yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into thin strips
1 small-size zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and cut into thin strips
1 medium-size red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium-size carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked rotini pasta (we like the rainbow pasta)
1/4 cup prepared pesto, optional

Cut the stems from the chard and cut stems and leaves separately. Set leaves aside for adding later.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the chard stems and onion. Cook, stirring 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.

Stir the broth, tomatoes, beans, squash, pepper, carrot and garlic into the cooker. Place lid on cooker and cook 6 to 8 hours on low until vegetables are tender.

Stir in the chard leaves and the rotini. Replace lid and cook another 30 minutes or until the rotini is tender.

To serve, place in serving bowls and top with pesto, if using.

Note: File Photo


Friday, May 8, 2015

CORN CHOWDER

  • 3 bacon slices, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups potatoes, minced
  • 2 cups milk or soy/rice milk
  • 2 cups liquid non-dairy creamer, mocha flavor, cream, milk or soy/rice milk
  • 3 cans corn, cream style
  • 2 tablespoons margarine

  • Fry diced bacon until crisp, remove from pan. Add minced onion and celery to bacon grease and saute until limp. 

    Combine above in slow cooker with water, bouillon, potatoes, margarine and corn. 
    Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours.

    Add milk and cream, cook 30 minutes more or until heated through.


    LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN

    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup water
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


    In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker.

    In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

    Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.

    Serve over pasta or as desired.

    Note: File Photo


    BOWTIE PASTA CASSEROLE

    1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
    1 onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
    1 (15 o) can stewed tomatoes
    1 tsp. oregano
    1 tsp. Italian seasoning
    salt/pepper
    10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed (I used fresh spinach)
    16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
    1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded



    Brown ground beef with onion and garlic, drain well. Put in crock-pot and add sauce, tomatoes and seasonings. 

    Cook for 6-7 hours on low. 

    Add the last 4 ingredients during the last 30 minutes of cooking and turn crock-pot to high. Add fresh spinach, pasta, parmesan and 1 cup of the mozzarella and mix well. Add the last 1/2 cup of mozzarella to melt on the top.


    Source: When The Dinner Bell Rings

    Thursday, May 7, 2015

    SWEET ONION AND RED BELL PEPPER TOPPING

    4 large (8 cups) sweet onions, thinly sliced (Vidalia onions are great for this recipe.)
    4 large (6 cups) red bell peppers, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp canola oil
    2 tsp celery seed
    3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 tsp salt

    In a 5 or 6-qt slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Place lid on cooker and cook on low 4 to 5 hours or until veggies are tender.

    Serve with a slotted spoon.
    Serving suggestions - on hot dogs, bruschetta, etc.

    Source: I got this recipe last year from TOH.


    Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    CRAZY PORK CHOPS

    4 center cut pork chops
    1/2 cup flour
    3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
    1 medium onion, chopped

    Place flour, poultry seasoning and salt into a zip-top plastic bag and shake to mix. Add chops and shake until they are lightly coated.

    Heat a heavy skillet large enough to hold all the chops over medium high heat, adding the oil until it shimmers. Place the chops into the pan and saut̩ 2 Р3 minutes per side until golden brown.

    Remove chops from the pan and, still on the heat, add 2 tablespoons flour mixture from the plastic bag into the skillet, stirring a few seconds to cook the flour. Add about ½ cup of the broth to the skillet and cook and stir to lift any browned bits from the pan. Add the remaining broth to the pan and turn off the heat. Reserve the remaining flour mixture for later.

    Place the onion into the bottom of the slow cooker and lay the pork chops on top. Pour the liquids from the pan over the chops, cover and cook on high 2 hours.

    Open the cooker and ladle out about ¼ cup of the resulting juices into a small bowl. Stir in the remaining flour mixture from the plastic bag into the juices until completely smooth. Return this mixture to the slow cooker, stirring to mix. Cover and continue to cook 30- 45 more minutes.

    Suggestion: Serve with mashed potatoes, using the sauce in the pot as gravy. 


    Source: I got this recipe from Recipe Lion several years ago.


    Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    EASY DIRTY RICE

    1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
    2 cups water
    1 cup uncooked long grain rice
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
    1/2 cup finely chopped celery
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground red pepper
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

    Brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up. Place in a slow cooker.

    Stir the remaining ingredients, except parsley, into the cooker with the sausage. Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 2 hours or until the rice is tender. Stir in the parsley before serving.

    Yield: 4 servings