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, May 19, 2012

TRISHA YEARWOOD'S CROCKPOT MACARONI AND CHEESE

This is from Singer (and cook) Trisha Yearwood's Second Cookbook -- home cooking with tricia yearwood

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 10-ounce bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
Dash of paprika

In a large 4-quart crockpot sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, milks, eggs, butter, salt, pepper, and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.  Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika.  Cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minute Turn off the crockpot, stir the mixture, and serve hot.

If you don't have a crockpot, grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan with butter, add the mixture, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND TOMATO

1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 a large red onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes with roasted garlic
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1 1/8 tsp oregano
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
whole-wheat pita chips
1 pkg (8-oz) mozzarella cheese

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage, onion, carrot, and red bell pepper; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break-up.  Cook 7 to 8 minutes until well  browned.  Transfer meat to a slow cooker or crockpot; stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and sugar.  Add lid to cooker and cook for 2 to 3 hours on high setting or 4 to 6 hours on low setting.  Mixture should be simmering and thickened when it is done.  Before serving, stir in the mozzarella cheese and stir to start melting.

Serve with the pita chips.

Serves 10 to 12.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PERFECTLY SPICED PULLED PORK

5 lbs boneless pork butt shoulder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
buns or rolls for serving

In a small bowl combine the paprika, both peppers, thyme, garlic, and salt; rub evenly over the pork.

Place the pork in a 6-quart slow cooker or crockpot; add the water.  Place lid on cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low setting or 4 to 5 hours on high setting until the meat is tender and cooked through.

Remove pork from cooker and place on a large cutting board or platter and let rest for about 15 minutes.  Pull meat from bones, discard fat, and place on buns or rolls to serve.


Add condiments to suit taste.

Monday, May 14, 2012

LEMON-DIJON CHICKEN

1/4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp minced onion
3 to 4 lb whole chicken

In a small bowl combine the oil, mustard, lemon juice,salt, pepper, basil, and onion.

Place the chicken in crockpot or slow cooker; pour the seasoning mixture over chicken.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 1 hour, lower temperature to low and cook another 3 to 4 hours until chicken is cooked through.

Serving suggestion: serve over cooked brown rice.

Friday, May 11, 2012

SLOW COOKER BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH TURKEY

2 red onions, halved
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut down to large chunks
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp water
1 lb dried black beans, cleaned, rinsed and drained
1 large smoked turkey drumstick
2 tbsp pickling spices, tied in cheesecloth
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 cups water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Sour cream for serving

Set aside half an onion and chop the remaining

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onions, carrots, and garlic.  Sprinkle the flour over all and cook, stirring, until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).  Add the 2 tablespoons of water and scrape up any browned bits.  Transfer all to a slow cooker or crockpot. 

Add the beans, turkey, spice packet, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper.  Place lid on the cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

Remove the pickling spice from the cooker.  Remove turkey and pull meat off the bone and shred; keep warm.  Remove about 2 cups of the beans from the pot and blend until smooth.  Return turkey and blended beans to the cooker.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Mince the remaining half an onion.  Ladle the soup into the serving bowls and top with the minced onion and the fresh cilantro.  Place a dollop of sour cream in the center of each bowl for serving.
Yield: 6 servings

Note:  This is basically a food network magazine recipe

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CHICKEN CURRY SALAD

1 (3 lbs) whole chicken
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp mango chutney
1 small green apple, cored, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
3 large green onions, sliced fine
1/4 cup golden raisins, if desired
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper; place into a slow cooker or crockpot. Pour the water into the cooker, cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 5 hours. 

Remove the chicken from the stoneware and after cooling enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones.  Cut the meat into bite-size pieces.  Combine 3 cups of the chicken meat with the remaining ingredients.  If mixture is too dry, you can add a little additional mayonnaise.

Yield: 4 servings.

Note: This is a good recipe to cook in the pot overnight for making the salad the next day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

WARM FRUIT SALAD

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of salt, optional
2 cans (15 1/4-oz each) sliced peaches, drained
2 cans (15 1/4-oz each) sliced pears, undrained
1 jar (23-oz) chunky applesauce
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries

In a 3-quart slow cooker or crockpot, combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, if using.  Stir in the drained peaches, pears with juice, applesauce, apricots, and cranberries. 

Place lid on cooker and cook for about 2 hours on high until heated through.
To serve, dip up into individual dessert dishes.  Decorate each with a sprig of mint if desired.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings