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.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE

4 large chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup minute rice

In a crockpot or slowcooker combine the 3 types of soup, and the rice.  Place the chicken on top of the rice/soup mixture.  Add the celery over the chicken.  Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, October 28, 2011

SOUTHERN ARTICHOKE DIP

2 cans (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 (10-oz) pkg frozen chopped collard greens*, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips

Combine artichoke hearts, collard greens, Parmesan, mayonnaise, sour cream, shallots, and pepper sauce in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Cover and cook untilthe Parmesan melts and the dip is hot, about 1 to 2 hours on high or 3 to 4 hours on low.

After cooking, stir in the lemon zest.

Serve with the bell pepper strips.

*Substitute spinach, if desired.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS PUNCH FOR A CROWD

3 quarts bottled cranberry juice
2 quarts apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
8 cinnamon sticks
3 tsp whle cloves

In a large slow cooker or crockpot, mix the cranberry juice, apple juice, sugar, and salt together until the sugar is dissolved.  Tie the cloves and cinnamon sticks together in cheesecloth and add to the mixture.  Cover and cook for 2to 3 hours on low setting.  Remove spice bag.

Yield: 56 4-ounce servings.

Note: Lower the heat to the 'keep warm' setting if not using at once.

If your crowd isn't that big, reduced the ingredients by half.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

VEGETABLE STUFFED ONIONS

4 (3-lbs) Vidalia onions
1 pkg (12-oz) frozen soy crumbles, thawed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 bag (10-oz) bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
Juice of half a lemon
Grated peel of half a lemon
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Trim the bottom of each onion so it will stand upright.  Be careful to leave bottom intact so it can hold the filling.  Trim a tiny bit from the top of each onion.  Cut out the onions centers leaving an intact onion shell of two layers.  (Save centers for another use or discard.  They are not needed for this recipe.)

In a medium bowl combine the sooy crumbles, rice, 1 cup of the peas and carrots, lemon peel, sage, salt, pepper, and allspice.  Fill the onion cavities with the veggie filling; pack firmly.  Place the onions in the slow cooker and sprinkle the remaining peas and carrots around the onions.

Mix the tomato puree, chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the Worcestershire sauce; pour around (not over) the onions.  Place lid on cooker and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low or until the onions are fork tender.

To serve, sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of fresh dill over the onions.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LARIPIN' SOUP

This is a recipe from the area where I grew up in Indiana.
4 cans Campbell's minestrone soup
4 soup cans of water
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chilies
2 lb ground beef, browned to remove fat
1 block (16-oz) Mexican-style Velveeta cheese
Combine all the ingredients together in a crockpot or slowcooker. Place lid on cooker and cook the mixture on low setting for approximately 8 hours.
Delicious served with cornbread.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PORK AND PEPPER STEW

3 tbsp flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into cubes of approx. 1-inch
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat broiler.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, garlic, marjoram, sage, salt, and black pepper; add the cubed pork and toss to coat. Shake pork cubes to remove excess flour and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Reserve the flour. Drizzle the oil over the pork and broil 5-inches from the heat, turning frequently, until light brown (about 10 minutes).

Place the browned pork along with any juices to the slow cooker or crockpot. Stir in the bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken broth, and the reserved flour mixture until smooth. Place lid on the cooker and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low, until the meat is tender.

VEGGIE AND BEAN CHIPOTLE CHILI

1 can pinto beans
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 pkg (8-oz) fresh mushrooms, large chopped
2 large yellow bell peppers, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chile powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb zucchini, chunked
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt), if desired
In a 5 or 6-quart slowcooker or crockpot combine the beans, tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, chile powder, brown sugar, and salt. Press the vegetables down into the mixture to form a layer; Top with the zucchini. Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Approximately 20 minutes before serving, gradually stir in the cornmeal until well blended. Replace lid and and cook on high setting until the chili simmers and thickens. This will take about 15 miutes.
To serve, top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
NOTE: This is good as a topping over a baked potato, too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PIMIENTO CHEESE FONDUE

1 pkg* (16-oz) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 jar (7-oz) diced pimiento, drained well
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Combine the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream in a 3 to 4 -quart slow cooker or crockpot.  Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low setting for 1 hour.  Remove lid and stir the mixture to combine.  Replace the lid and continue cooking for 30 more minutes. 

Add the pimiento, onions and red pepper to the cheese mixture stirring to blend.  Replace the lid and and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot through. 

Serve the fondue with fresh vegetables, tortilla chips, or lightly toasted French or Italian bread cubes.

Yield: 4 cups of fondue