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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE TOPPED WITH CHIPS

2 pkgs (10-oz each) frozen broccoli spears, thawed and cut up if necessary
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 cup crushed potato chips

Grease crockpot or slow cooker lightly.

In a large bowl combine broccoli, soup, 1 cup of the cheese, and onions.  Pour the mixture into the cooker and sprinkle the chips over the top.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Place lid on the cooker and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

GOLDEN CROCKPOT APPLE BUTTER

4 lb Golden Delicious apples, peeled
2 cups apple cider
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon alspice
3 cups sugar

Cut the peeled apples into quarter and combine in a crockpot or slow cooker with the cider.  Place lid on cooker and cook apples on low for 10 hours.  Add the spices and the sugar, mixing together well.  Leave the lid off and cook on high for approximately 3 hours until thickened; stir occasionally.  Spoon the hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the top.  Seal with two piece lids.  Once opened, or any jars that did not seal, should be refrigerated.


Yield: 4 pints or 8 half pints

Delicious with pork chops, etc, on toast or biscuits for breakfast, sprinkled with cinnamon as a snack, or makes a great gift with a pretty ribbon tied around the neck of the jar.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

LAMB IN DILL SAUCE

2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill OR 4 dill springs
1 bay leaf
2 lbs lean lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup + 3 tbsp water, divided
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
fresh dill for garnish, optional

In a slow cooker or crockpot layer the potatoes, onion, salt, pepper, dill, bay leaf, lamb and 1 cup of water.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the lamb and potatoes with a slotted spoon; cover and keep warm.

Remove the bay leaf and discard.  Turn the heat to high.  In a small bowl, blend the remaining water and the flour together until smooth.  Add half the cooking juices and the sugar mixing together well; return to the cooker.  Cover and cook on high 15 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice.  Return the lamb and potatoes to the cooker, replace lid, and cook for another 10 minutes or until heated through. 

Garnish with fresh dill, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings

Friday, February 24, 2012

CHILI SLOPPY JOES

3 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp prepared mustard
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp chili powder
Hamburger Buns for serving

In saucepan or skillet brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic; drain excess fat and rinse with hot water.

In a slow cooker or crockpot, combine the ketchup, bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and chili powder stirring until well combined.  Stir in the drained beef mixture.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting 6 to 8 hours. 

To serve, spoon meat mixture on hamburger buns and serve with a relish tray, coleslaw, or other condiments.

Yield: 8 to 10 sandwiches


Thursday, February 23, 2012

VEGGIE-STUFFED PORK CHOPS

4 double pork loin chops, well trimmed
salt and pepper
1 can (15 1/4-oz) corn, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup Italian-style seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup uncooked, long=grain converted rice
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce

Cut pocket in each pork chop, cutting from edge nearest bone.  Lightly season pockets with salt and pepper to taste.  Combine corn, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, and rice in a large bowl.  Stuff chops with the mixture.  Secure along the fat side with wooden toothpicks.

Pour any remaining vegetable-rice mixture into the slow cooker or crockpot.  Add the stuffed chops to the cooker and moisten the top of each chop with the tomato sauce.  Pour the remaining sauce over the tops of the chops.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until done.

Remove the chops to a serving platter and serve with the vegetable-rice mixture.

Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CHICKEN STEW OVER NOODLES

2 cups cubed peeled eggplant
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/4 cups chicken broth +3 tbsp chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp flour
2 lb skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained
12-oz uncooked wide egg noodles

Combine the eggplant, mushrooms, onion, garlic, spices, 1 1/4 cups chicken broth, and flour in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

Lightly coat the chicken with the flour.  Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot.  Cook the chicken about 10 to 15 minutes until browned on both sides.

Remove the vegetables from the cooker using a large slotted spoon.  Layer the chicken in the cooker and then return the vegetables over the chicken.  Add the 3 tablespoons of chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and cover and cook 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the veggies are tender.

Stir in the artichokes; cover and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour or until heated through.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions and serve the stew over the noodles.


Yield: 6 servings



Monday, February 20, 2012

TURKEY TACOS

1 lb ground turkey (read label and watch fat content)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
8 taco shells
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Ground red pepper, optional

Over medium heat brown turkey and onion in a large skillet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Transfer brown mixture to a slow cooker or crockpot.

To the turkey in the cooker add the following: tomato paste, salsa, cilantro, and salt.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low 4 to 5 hours.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the hot turkey mixture into each of taco shells; keep warm.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir in the flour and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Slowly stir in the milk.  Cook the mixture over low heat until thickened.  Remove from the heat.

Combine the sour cream and red pepper, if using, in a small bowl then stir into the milk mixture.  Return to the heat and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Spoon the mixture over the taco filling.

Yield: 8 tacos

Friday, February 17, 2012

CHICKEN MEATBALL SUBS

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can (15-oz) diced tomatoes, drained; juice saved
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 lb ground chicken (read label; no ground skin)
1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs (approx 1 slice, crumbled)
1 egg white lightly beaten
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
couple dashes of black pepper
4 small hard sub rolls
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the onion, tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning in the slow cooker or crockpot.  Cover and cook on low setting for approximately 4 hours until the onion is soft.

During the last 30 minutes of the above cooking time, prepare the meatballs by combining the chicken, bread crumbs, egg white, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.  Wet hands and form the mixture into 12 to 16 equal-sized meatballs.  Spray a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  When skillet is hot, add the meatballs and cook approximately 10 minutes until browned all over and cooked thoroughly.

To make sandwiches: Place 3 to 4 meatballs on the bottom of each sub roll.  Evenly divide the sauce over each of the 4 sandwiches.  Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce, top with other part of the roll and serve.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MIXED BEAN POT

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
8 bacon strips, chopped
1 can pinto beans, do not drain
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained, reserving 1/4 cup liquid
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Brown ground beef, onion, and bacon in medium saucepan over high heat.  Stir in the beans and liquid; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the ketchup, molasses, and mustard; mix in the sugars.  Stir the ketchup mixture into the beef mixture and mix well.  Transfer to the slow cooker or crockpot.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until heated through.

Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

POTATO-CHEESE CASSEROLE

2 lb frozen hashed brown potatoes, partially thawed
2 cans (10-oz each) Cheddar cheese soup
1 can (13-oz) evaporated milk
1 small can French fried onion rings
salt & pepper to taste

Spray crockpot or slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the potatoes, soup, milk, and half the onion rings.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in well.  Cover the cooker and cook on low setting 8 to 9 hours or on high setting 4 hours.  Before serving, sprinkle the remaining half of the onion rings over the top.

Note:  I also like the frozen O'Brien potatoes in place of the hashed browns.

Monday, February 13, 2012

EASY BARBECUED BEEF

3 lbs boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Seeded sandwich buns

Place the roast in a crockpot or slow cooker.  In a large mixing bowl combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Pour the sauce mixture over the roast.  Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or 1/2 that time on high.

Remove the roast from the cooker and using a fork, shred the meat for sandwiches.  Return the meat to the cooker and stir to coat the meat evenly with the sauce.  Spoon onto the sandwich buns and top meat with additional sauce, if desired.


Yield: 12 sandwiches

Sunday, February 12, 2012

HE-MAN CHICKEN STEW

3 to 3 1/2 lbs skinless chicken pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 can (12-oz) lite beer
1 can (28-oz) whole plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into rings
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni

Season chicken pieces with the salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook chicken until browned on all sides.

In large slow cooker or crockpot, stir the beer, tomatoes, onion, and mustard together to combine.  Add the chicken to the mixture in the cooker.  Cook on high approximately 2 hours until the chicken is tender and cooked through. 

To serve, ladle the stew over the hot cooked macaroni.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Saturday, February 11, 2012

SPIRAL PASTA WITH TURKEY MEATBALLS

2 cans (14.5-oz each) no-salt-added tomatoes with juice
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup grated carrot
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dried basil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sugar
black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup dry Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
8-oz uncooked spiral (fusilli) pasta

Combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion, carrot, basil, garlic, thyme, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and the bay leaf in a crockpot or slow cooker.  Using a large spoon, gently break up the tomatoes.  Place lid on cooker and cook for 4 to 5 hours.

About 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, prepare the meatballs.  To prepare, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the ground turkey, egg, and milk together well.  Add the milk; blend in the bread crumbs and parsley and 1/8 tsp black pepper.  Wet hands and shape the mixture into small meatballs.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.  Add to the slow cooker or crockpot.  Replace lid and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions; drain.

To serve, divide pasta into 4 serving shallow bowls.  Remove bay leaf from meatball mixture.  Divide the meatballs and sauce evenly over the pasta in the bowls.  Garnish as desired.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

LEMONY ROASTED CHICKEN

1 (3 to 4 lb) whole chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp butter
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsley chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper toweling.  Remove and discard any excess fat.

Place the onion in the chicken's cavity and rub the butter over the skin.  Place in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and sprinkle with the parsley, lemon peel, salt, and thyme.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is cooked through.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CHICKEN FAJITAS WITH BBQ SAUCE

BARBECUE SAUCE:
3/4 cup chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5-oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp chili sauce
dash of Worcestershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker or crockpot; cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.

FAJITAS:
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into strips
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup sliced onion
2 cups tomato wedges
4 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and add the chicken.  Cook over medium heat to  brown.  Reduce the heat in the cooker to low and add the browned chicken, peppers, and onion.  Stir until all are well coated.  Cover and cook approimately 4 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Add the tomato and cook another 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through.

Serve the mixture with or on the warmed tortillas.


Yield: 4 servings

Monday, February 6, 2012

HEARTY CHICKEN & SAUSAGE CASSOULET

1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 lb (4) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 lb smoked turkey sausage, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp water
3 cans (15-oz each) Great Northern Beans
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add the onion and cook, stirring until tender.  Stir in the chicken, sausage, garlic, thyme, and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes to brown the chicken and sausage.  Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the tomato paste and water until blended. 

Place the beans and the skillet mixture into a crockpot or slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Just before serving, combine the bread crumbs and minced parsley.  Sprinkle over the top of the cassoulet.

Yield: 6 servings.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

BLACK AND WHITE BEAN CHILI

1 lb chicken tenders or boneless skinless breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 can Great Northern Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, with juice
2 tbsp chili powder

Spray a large saucepan or Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot.  Add the chicken and onion; cooking and stirring for 5 minutes or until the chicken is browned.

Combine the cooked chicken, onion, beans, tomatoes, and chili powder in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Friday, February 3, 2012

TASTY BEEF BOURGUIGNON

3 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, trimmed, cubed
1/2 cup flour
4 bacon slices, cut up
2 medium carrots, diced
8 new red potatoes, quartered
approx. 10 mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 to 2 dozen fresh pearl onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups Burgandy wine or beef broth

Coat the beef with flour, shaking off the excess; set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until partially cooked.  Add the floured beef to the skillet and cook until browned.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and beef from the skillet.

In a slow cooker or crockpot layer the carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, bay leaf, spices, and meat mixture.  Pour the wine or beef broth over all.  Place a lid on the cooker and cook on low setting for 8 to 9 hours or until the beef is tender. 

Discard the bay leaf before serving.



Yield: 10 to 12 servings.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CORN AND TOMATOES

1 butternut squash (approx. 2 lb) peeled, seeded, diced
1 can (14.5-oz) tomatoes, including juice
1 can (15-oz) whole-kernel corn, drained
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 canned green chili, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable for vegetarians) broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

Combine everything except the tomato paste in a slow cooker or crockpot.  Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or until the squash is tender.

Remove 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and mix with the tomato paste; stir into the cooker.  Cook another half hour or so until the mixture is slightly thickened and heat through.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FRENCH-STYLE PORK STEW

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (16-oz), cut into 3/4-1" cubes
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, sliced
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp oregano
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
8-oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, potatoes, peas)
1 jar (4 1/2-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 pkg (approx. 6-oz) long grain and wild rice
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the pork, onion, celery, basil, rosemary, and oregano; cook until the pork is browned on all sides.   Remove the mixture from the skillet to a slow cooker or crockpot. 

Stir the flour into the chicken broth and pour into the cooker.  Stir in the frozen vegetables and mushrooms.  Cover and cook on low setting for 4 hours or until the pork is just barely pink in the center. 

Prepare the rice according to the package directions.  (Omit the spice packet if you wish.)

Stir the lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper into the cooker and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. 

Serve the stew over the rice.

Yield: 4 servings of approximately 1 cup each.