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!

Monday, March 30, 2015

BALSAMIC PEAR, CHICKEN, AND ASPARAGUS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced thin
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and sliced
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until completely browned, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to a slow cooker. Add the onion to the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Place the pears and asparagus atop the chicken mixture.
  2. Mix the garlic, balsamic vinegar, apple juice, rosemary, ginger, and sugar together in a bowl; pour over the asparagus. Season again with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Serve with rice, id desired.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

PASTA FAGIOLI IN THE CROCKPOT~ just like Olive Garden

2 lbs ground beef

1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta


Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. Add pasta the last 30 minutes.


Note: A friend sent me this recipe. My family and friends know I love Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

EASY CHICKEN TAMALE PIE

1 lb ground chicken
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (15-oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (11-oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10-oz) enchilada sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 pkg (8.5-oz) corn bread/muffin mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, minced fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, cook the chicken over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring to break into crumbles. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Transfer to a 4-quart slow cooker.

Stir the beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, green onions and cilantro into the mixture in the cooker. Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until heated through.

In a small bowl, combine the muffin mix and eggs; spoon over the chicken mixture. Replace lid and cook on low for 1 to 1/2 hours more or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the corn bread layer comes out clean.

Sprinkle with the cheese and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Serve with whatever toppings you desire.

Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 359 calories, 14 g fat (5 sat), 110 mg cholesterol, 1021 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 20 g protein





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BRATS WITH ONION

1 package Bratwurst
onion
apple juice
Dijon mustard (optional)

Brown the sides of the brats in a skillet on the stove. (This will let them still have a nice coloring afterwards like the grill).

Meanwhile, slice your onion.

If desired, mix some apple juice with a couple spoonfuls of Dijon mustard.

Place a layer of onions on the bottom of the crockpot. Top with the brats, and then place the rest of the onions on top. (If desired you could also slice up a green pepper to put in here as well. I personally like it with peppers and onions, but my husband is a brat purist).

Cover the brats with apple juice*.

Put on lid and cook in crock pot for 5-6 hours on low or until juices runs clear. Because you browned them beforehand you may not actually cook them that long.

Remove when done and serve with crusty or hogie buns and whatever condiments you like. 

*There are plenty of recipes out there for cooking brats in beer in a crockpot. I don't drink beer, so therefore this is with the apple juice substitution. 



Source: Recipe Shoebox as Bratwurst in a Slow Cooker.
Note: I haven't made these yet but a friend made them for a church function and they were a hit.


Monday, March 23, 2015

CHEESY BACON STRATA

10
 Eggland's Best® eggs
2-1/2
cups  milk
1/2
tsp.  black pepper
1
pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
16
slices  French bread (3/4 inch thick), toasted, cubed
10
slices  cooked OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crumbled
4
 green onions, sliced

WHISK eggs, milk and pepper in large bowl until blended. Reserve 1/2 cup cheese. Add remaining cheese to egg mixture with all remaining ingredients; mix well.
CUT 3 (30-inch-long) sheets of foil. Fold 1 sheet lengthwise in half twice; repeat with second sheet. Fold remaining sheet to fit inside back edge of slow cooker; place in slow cooker. Crisscross foil strips; use to line bottom and sides of slow cooker. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Add egg mixture. If necessary, press toast cubes into egg mixture with back of spoon to completely moisten toast cubes.
COOK on LOW 4 hours, sprinkling with reserved cheese for the last 15 min. Cool slightly. Use foil handles to transfer strata from slow cooker to platter; discard foil.
Yield: 10 servings
Source: Kraft Foods


Sunday, March 22, 2015

SHORT RIBS WITH ONION AND CARROTS

3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
4 medium-size carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups beef broth, divided
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 large onions, cut into wedges
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cold water
salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the ribs.

In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat and brown the ribs on all sides. Transfer ribs to 4 or 5 -quart slow cooker. Add the carrots, 1 cup of beef broth, thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Place the onions in the skillet where you browned the ribs; cook, stirring, over medium heat about 8 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and tomato paste to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beef broth; bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduce about half. Add mixture to the ribs in the cooker.

Place lid on the cooker and cook on low 6 to 8 hours until ribs are tender.

Remove the ribs and vegetables from the cooker using a slotted spoon and keep warm.

Transfer the cooking liquid to a small saucepan and skim any fat from the top; discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Bring liquid to a boil.

Mix the cornstarch and cold water together until smooth; gradually stir into the liquid. Return mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve the ribs and vegetables with the gravy.

Yield: 6 servings


Saturday, March 21, 2015

PULLED PORK WITH GINGER SAUCE

2 medium onions, chopped
1 (3 lb) boneless pork shoulder butt roast, trimmed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp honey
4 tsp butter, melted
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
Hamburger buns for serving, optional
Thinly sliced green onions for garnish

Place onions in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper; place over onions in cooker.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or until the meat is tender.

Remove the meat and onions and allow to cool slightly.

Discard the cooking juices or save for another use.

Using two forks, shred the pork; return pork and onions to the cooker.

In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire, honey, butter, coriander and gingerroot; stir into the pork.

Place lid back on cooker and cook on low for 1 hour.

Garnish with the green onions and serve on buns, if desired.

Note: This is a recipe I got from an old TOH magazine. It was submitted by a lady from Columbia, SC. Yummy!



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AWESOME FRENCH ONION SOUP

2 pounds onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup margarine
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 cans condensed beef broth
2 cans condensed beef consumme
1/2 cup dry white wine (or water)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
3 soup cans water
1 loaf french bread, sliced
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Swiss cheese, freshly grated

Melt margarine and olive oil together in large skillet. Add sliced onions, sugar and salt to skillet, sauté approximately 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle onions with flour and cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes. 
 
To slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients and the onion mixture. Cook at least 8 hours or follow individual slow cooker directions. 

Brush 1 inch slices of French bread on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle one side with parmesan cheese and broil. Put broiled side down in got soup, sprinkle top side of bread with parmesan and top with grated swiss cheese. Broil intil bubbly.



ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN LEGS

6 whole chicken legs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce

Rinse chicken and pat dry using paper towels; place in slow cooker.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 5 hours.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CALIFORNIA TAMALE PIE

1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 package chili seasoning mix
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 pound can tomatoes, cut up
1 pound can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In skillet, cook meat until crumbly; drain. In large bowl, mix corn meal, milk, and egg. Add drained meat, dry chili seasoning mix, seasoned salt, tomatoes with liquid, corn, and olives. 
 
Pour into slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cook another 5 minutes.
Note: File Photo