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!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CREAMY ITALIAN PARMESAN TOMATO SOUP

2 cans (14.5 oz each) Hunt's Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 carton (32 oz.) vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups half & half
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, Italian seasoning and broth in a 5 qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. 

If you prefer a smoother soup, use an immersion blender or regular blender to process the soup (in batches, if necessary) until smooth. (If you used a regular blender, return the mixture back to the slow cooker.) About 30-45 minutes before serving, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. Slowly add the half & half, whisking constantly. Cook mixture until smooth and thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and add in the Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. Add this mixture to the slow cooker and stir well. Cover the slow cooker and continue to cook an additional 30 minutes.

Personally, I just prefer buying the bread bowls but here is the recipe that came with the soup recipe so you can make your own, if you prefer.

For the bread bowls:
1 cup + 3 tbsp. warm water 
2 tbsp. olive oil 
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tsp. sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
3 cups bread flour 
2½ tsp. active dry yeast 

To make the bread bowls:
Place ingredients in a bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the dough setting. 

When the cycle is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Shape each piece into a ball. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled - about 30-45 minutes.

Bake at 400°F for 18-23 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Allow to cool. 

To serve: Cut off the top portion of the bread. Carefully hollow out the bowl leaving a ¼-inch shell. Fill the bowl with soup.


Note: Recipe and picture from www.lovebakesgoodcakes.com

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

2 cans (10-oz each) chunk chicken, drained
2 bricks (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup ranch dressing
3/4 cup hot pepper sauce (ie Frank's)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4-inches pieces, for serving
1 box (8-oz) chicken-flavored snack crackers, for serving
Fritos or tortilla chips, for serving

Place chicken and hot sauce in a skillet and heat through. Stir in the cream cheese and ranch dressing; cook, stirring, until blended and warm. Mix in half the shredded cheese. Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, place lid on cooker and cook until hot and bubbly.

Serve dip with the celery and crackers or chips.






Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SPICY TOUCHDOWN CHILI

This is a recipe I got from an old TOH. It was sent in by a guy from Oklahoma. Note: This recipe calls for a can of beer.



  • 1 pound Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Sausage Roll
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with onions, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeno slices
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Repeat with sausage.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts).


  • Friday, January 23, 2015

    LOADED CHEESY POTATOES

    This is a Kraft Foods recipe, adjust condiments to suit yourself.

    4
    small  baking potatoes (1-1/4 lb.)
    1
    tsp.  oil
    1/4
    cup  KRAFT Classic Ranch Dressing
    2
    Tbsp.  OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits
    1/4
    cup  KRAFT Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA
    2
    tsp.  chopped fresh chives

    PRICK potatoes with fork; brush with oil. Wrap individually in foil.
    PLACE, seam sides up and evenly spaced, in slow cooker; cover with lid. Cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 4-1/2 hours).
    UNWRAP potatoes carefully; cut slits in potatoes. Serve topped with remaining ingredients.
    Note: For best results, make sure there is space around each wrapped potato when placing in the slow cooker so that the potatoes cook evenly.

    Thursday, January 22, 2015

    ANGEL CHICKEN

    This basics of this recipe are from an old Midwest Living magazine.

    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)
    1 8-oz. pkg. fresh button mushrooms, quartered
    1 6-oz. pkg. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced (I use button, again)
    1/4 cup butter
    1 0.7-oz. pkg. Italian dry salad dressing mix
    1 10-3/4-oz. can condensed golden mushroom soup
    1/2 cup dry white wine (May substitute chicken broth, if desired.)
    1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion
    Hot cooked rice or angel hair pasta, for serving

    Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the dry salad dressing mix. Using a wire whisk, stir in the soup, wine or broth, and cream cheese spread; stir until melted and smooth.

    Cut up mushrooms and place in bottom of slow cooker; place chicken over the mushroom. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

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

    Serve with the hot rice or pasta, if desired.




    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    BEEF AND PARSNIP STROGANOFF

    1 beef bouillon cube
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 lb beef round steak, trim off fat
    nonstick cooking spray
    2 cups cubed and peeled parsnips
    1 medium onion, halved lenghwise then cut into thin slices
    3/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
    2 tsp minced garlic
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup water
    1 1/2 tbsp flour
    3 tbsp sour cream
    1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/4 tsp cornstarch
    1 tbsp chopped parsley
    4 ounces uncooked wide noodles, cooked and drained

    Dissolve the bouillon cube in the boiling water.

    Cut steak in half lenthwise then cut each half into 1/2-inch strips.

    Spray a large nonstick skillet with the nonstick cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add the beef strips and cook, stirring, about 4-5 minutes until meat begins to brown. Transfer the beef and juices to a slow cooker.

    Spray same skillet again and heat over high heat. Add the parsnips and onion; cook, stirring, until browned. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and pepper; cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add mixture to the slow cooker.

    Whish the water and flour together in a small bowl until smooth. Combine the mixture with the bouillon water; stir into the slow cooker until blended.

    Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours until the beef and parsnips are tender.

    Turn off cooker; remove beef and veggies with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.

    Blend the sour cream, mustard and cornstarch together in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add the reserved cooking liquid to the sour cream mixture stirring to blend well. Stir mixture into the beef and vegetables in the bowl.

    Sprinkle with the parsley and serve over the hot noodles.


    Saturday, January 17, 2015

    ORANGE-CORIANDER LAMB

    I have never cooked lamb (you know I am not much of a meat eater!) but I do get requests for it from time to time. This is a recipe that I obviously have not tried but I got it from an old Ladies Home Journal magazine for those of you who are interested.

    3 lb lamb stew meat
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp ground coriander
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 cup orange juice
    2 onions, sliced
    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    2 cups cooked couscous for serving
    1/4 cup chopped mint for serving
    1/4 cup flat leaf parsley for serving

    Season the meat with the salt, pepper, and coriander.

    Heat the oil in a large skillet; cook meat until browned on all sides. Tranfer meat to the slow cooker, discarding excess fat.

    Add the orange juice to the skillet and simmer for a couple of minutes, scraping up the brown bits. Add to the cooker along with the onions; cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in the vinegar.

    Toss the couscous with the mint and parsley. Serve lamb over couscous.

    Garnish with fresh orange segments, if desired.


    Friday, January 16, 2015

    UNCLE JACK'S MAC AND CHEESE

    This old-time cafeteria-style macaroni and cheese comes from Southern Living Magazine.

    (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
    large eggs, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    4 cups (16 oz.) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
    Vegetable cooking spray

    1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Stir together cream, next 5 ingredients, cooked macaroni, and 2 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl.
    2. Pour macaroni mixture into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 6-qt. slow cooker; sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese over macaroni mixture.
    3. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 hours; reduce slow cooker to LOW, and cook 1 hour.


    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    BEEF AND HOMINY STEW

    1 large onion, chopped
    1 3/4 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped
    3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 can (14.5-oz) petite diced tomatoes with chiles
    1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
    2 tbsp cornstarch
    1 can (15-oz) hominy, drained & rinsed

    Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

    Place the onion in the bottom of the cooker and place beef over onion; sprinkle with the salt. Add the bell pepper, carrots, celery, and garlic. Pour the tomatoes and 3/4 cup of the broth over all.

    Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.

    In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup of broth. Stir mixture into the cooker during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Add the hominy, replace lid and cook for that last 15 minutes.

    Yummy served with tortillas and a salad.

    Yield: 6 servings
    Per serving: 274 calories, 8 g (2 sat) fat, 24 g carbs and 28 g protein

    Note: This is a great carb to protein ratio for diabetics, too.



    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    BALSAMIC CHICKEN BREASTS

    If you follow my blogs you know I don't eat chicken. However, it does seem to be a favorite of many of you readers. I am posting this for you after being told it is an excellent recipe.

    4 chicken breasts (500g/17 oz)
    – 1 tbsp oil
    – A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
    – 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
    – 6 tomatoes, diced
    – 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    – 8 basil leaves, diced
    – 60ml (quarter cup) of balsamic vinegar


    1) Put the sliced onion at the bottom of the slow cooker and then put the chicken breasts on top and then add the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.
    2) Add the tomatoes, garlic and basil and then pour the balsamic vinegar on top.
    3) Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.