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, December 20, 2014

CHICKEN CHILI WITH GREAT NORTHERN BEANS

2 cans (15-oz each) great northern beans, undrained
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
1 can (10-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup chicken broth (reduced-sodium is best to use)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
nonstick cooking spray

Spray inside of slow cooker with the cooking spray.

Place one can of the beans in the cooker and mash with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to the cooker. Stir to blend.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

At the end of cooking time, remove the chicken pieces to a cutting board and carefully dice or shred. Return chicken to the cooker, stir to blend in well and serve.


Note: This is my version of a recipe I saw on Ready Set Eat.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

HEARTY JAMBALAYA

This recipe is one I got from Simple and Delicious in 2007.

  • 1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 lb andouille sausage links, cubed
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, diced
  •  1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 celery rib with leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Hot cooked rice for serving
  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 16 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Discard bay leaves. Serve with rice.
  •  Yield: 8 servings.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CHICKEN CASSOULET

This is from a small booklet from Better Homes and Gardens 70 years of favorite recipes published in 1979.

Click on picture to enlarge for easier reading.

CANNELLINI BEAN AND HAM SOUP

1 lb dry cannellini beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (14 1/2-oz) stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 lb cooked ham, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to soak overnight.

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Drain beans and place in the cooker with 4 cups fresh water. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and ham. Stir to combine, breaking up tomatoes with spoon.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high 6 hours.

Season with salt and pepper. Mash some of the beans slightly to thicken the soup.

To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley, if desired.

Tip: A crusty bread served with this soup is really good.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BBQ STEAKHOUSE CHILI

This is a recipe from Kraft Foods.

2
Tbsp.  oil
1
lb.  beef top round steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1
lb.  extra-lean ground beef
1
 onion, finely chopped
1/4
cup  A.1. Dry Rubs Bold Original
3
cloves  garlic, minced
2
cans  (15.5 oz. each) kidney beans, rinsed
1
can  (21.45 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1
bottle  (18 oz.) KRAFT Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce
3/4
cup  KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

HEAT oil in large skillet. Add next 5 ingredients; stir. Cook 10 min. or until meat is evenly browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to slow cooker.
STIR in all remaining ingredients except cheese; cover with lid. Cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours).
SERVE topped with cheese.

PUERTO RICAN SHREDDED PORK

2-3 lb boneless pork sirloin roast
1 tbsp canola or olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp dried oregano
4 oranges, juiced OR 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 limes, juiced
lettuce or tortillas for serving
pico de gallo for serving
chopped fresh cilantro for serving
sliced avocado for serving

Poke about 5 holes in the pork with a sharp knife; stuff with half the garlic.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes.

In a blender, combine the remaining garlic, cumin, salt, oregano, and the juices; blend 3-5 seconds until evenly combined.

Place the pork into the slow cooker, pour liquid over pork and let marinate about 10 minutes per side.

Turn cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.

Remove pork and shred on a large cutting board using two forks,

Remove all the liquid from the cooker except for 1 cup and add the pork back into the cooker. Cook another 20-30 minutes.

To serve, place pork in lettuce wraps or tortillas. Top with pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, and avocado.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Note: This recipe is from the National Pork Board.


CHINESE HACKED PORK

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
2 lb boneless center-cut pork roast
1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
12-oz wide low mein noodles, cooked following package directions, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy suce, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, and 5-spice powder. Place mixture in a large resealable plastic bag and add the pork; shake to coat well.

Refrigerate pork overnight to marinate.

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and place pork in cooker; pour marinade over the pork.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high 4 hours or on low 6 hours.

Remove pork to a large baking dish and keep warm.

Pour liquid from cooker into a saucepan.

In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the chicken broth until smooth.

Bring liquid to a boil and whisk in the broth mixture; cook 1 minute.

Shred pork into large pieces with two forks; stir in the sauce.

To serve, spoon the pork and sauce over the noodles. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions or green onions, if desired.


Monday, December 15, 2014

CHOCOLATE FUDGE

3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon salted butter
cooking spray to spray down the crock
parchment paper or non-stick foil to line a 9 x 9 baking pan

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. If you only have a 6-quart, that's okay, but it will melt faster, so keep an eye on your chocolate.
Spray the crock well with cooking spray (if you are using a Ninja, I'd still spray it down). 
Dump everything into the pot. Cover, and cook on high for about 1 hour, or on low for about 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes. Once the chocolate has lost it's form and can be stirred into a liquid state, spread it out into a lined 9 x 9 baking pan.
Chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours) before cutting into bite-sized squares.

If you'd like to, go ahead and add chopped nuts or candy canes for a peppermint version.

Note: This recipe is from A Year of Slow Cooking.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

PULLED BUFFALO CHICKEN SLIDERS

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup Frank's (or similar) hot wind sauce + more for serving (optional)
16 whole-wheat dinner rolls, split
1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing
celery and carrot sticks for serving, optional

Spray inside of cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the chicken breasts in a single-layer in the bottom of the cooker.

Combine the hot sauce and water; pour over the chicken.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 6 hours on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken to a place and shred using two forks. Return chicken to the cooker. Stir well to make sure all chicken is coated with the sauce.

To serve, place equal amounts of chicken on the bottoms of the dinner rolls. Top each with 1/2 tablespoon of dressing then the top of the roll.

Serve with the celery and carrot sticks, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings of two sliders each.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MAPLE-WALNUT SWEET POTATOES

8 medium sweet potatoes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 tsp salt

Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Cut halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place potatoes in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Add 1/2 cup of the walnuts, sugar, cherries, maple syrup, cider/juice, and salt to the potatoes in the cooker; toss to combine.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or until potatoes are tender. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of nuts.

Yield: 12 servings of 3/4 cup each


Note: This recipe and picture are from TOH.

Monday, December 8, 2014

PORK CACCIATORE WITH PENNE PASTA

I love pork and pasta so this is the perfect combination for me. This is a Kraft Foods recipe which is why their brands are listed.

1
can  (14.5 oz.) HUNT'S® Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1
can  (6 oz.) HUNT'S® Tomato Paste
2
large  green peppers, chopped
1/2
lb.  sliced fresh mushrooms
1
small  onion, chopped
1
 pork tenderloin (1 lb.)
1
tsp.  dried oregano leaves
2
cups  multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1
Tbsp.  cornstarch
1/4
cup  water
1
cup  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2
Tbsp.  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

MIX tomatoes and tomato paste in slow cooker until blended. Stir in vegetables.
CUT meat into 8 pieces; pound to 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle with oregano. Add to slow cooker; press into sauce with back of spoon. Cover with lid; cook on LOW 4 to 4-1/2 hours (or on HIGH 2-1/2 to 3 hours).
COOK pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Transfer meat to plate, reserving sauce in slow cooker; cover meat to keep warm. Mix cornstarch and water until blended. Add to sauce; stir. Cook, covered, on HIGH 6 to 8 min. or until thickened.
DRAIN pasta; spoon onto serving plates. Top with meat, sauce and cheeses.
Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, December 7, 2014

MEDITERRANEAN LENTIL SOUP

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28-oz) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, soaked in cold water 1 hour, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours until lentils are soft.

Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

While soup cooks, make the vinaigrette by combining the basil, oil, parsley, and vinegar in a blender or food processor. Blend mixture until smooth. Stir the vinaigrette into the soup just before serving.

Season with salt and pepper to suit taste.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

CROCK POT CHEX MIX

1/4 cup butter,
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1 box Chex Cereal

Fill crock-pot with your favorite cereal, pretzels, and nuts. 

In a sauce pan - melt butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic and onion powders, sugar, dissolve.

Pour mix over the chex mix, cover, and cook for 2 1/2 hours on LOW. Stir every 30 minutes to make sure the mix gets everywhere


Note: From myfridge.com

Friday, December 5, 2014

KEVIN BRYANT'S SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS

BEST PORK CHOPS EVER!! I KNOW because I have made this recipe a dozen or more times!!
In crock pot layer pork chops, add a can of cream of chicken soup, then sprinkle dry Ranch dressing all over.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR Low for 6 hours.
The pork chops come out very tender and the flavor is amazing! You also get a good gravy for mashed potatoes
DO NOT ADD ANY WATER!!

The above is from Mr. Bryant. I personally have not made these pork chops but I do intend to soon.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

BEEF STEW WITH BACON, ONION, & SWEET POTATOES

1 lb lean beef stew meat in approximately 1-inch cubes
1 can (14.5-oz) beef broth
2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch size chunks
1 large onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

Coat slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or line with a slow-cooker liner.

Combine all ingredients except the cornstarch and water in the slow cooker; mix well.

Place cover on the cooker and cook on low 7 to 8 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours. Meat and veggies should be tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef and veggies to a serving bowl, cover with foil to keep warm.

Turn cooker to high.

Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir into the juices; cover and cook 15 minutes or until thickened. Spoon over the meat and veggies.

Note: Carrots may be substituted for sweet potatoes, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

3601-1363948108-53986.jpg

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SPLIT PEA SOUP WITH SAUSAGE

1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 pkg (1 lb) dried split peas, rinsed and sorted
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 tsp dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
2 cans (14.5-oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth

Heat a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat; add sausage and cook approximately 5 minutes until browned. Drain.

In a slow cooker, combine the sausage, carrots, peas, celery, onion, marjoram and bay leaf; pour broth over the mixture.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low setting 4 to 5 hours or until the peas are tender.

Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Allow soup to stand for 15 minutes to thicken.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

6-QUART CRANBERRY SWEET POTATOES

1/4 cup orange juice
1 stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 lbs sweet potatoes
1 cup dried cranberries

In a 6-quart crock pot, mix the first 5 ingredients. Cover and cook on high while preparing the potatoes.

To prepare potatoes, wash, peel, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Stir the potatoes into the warm mixture in the cooker; cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours.

Once the potatoes are soft, stir to mashed consistency and add the cranberries.

Turn temperature to low and cook another 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

PEPPERMINT PRETZEL CANDY

1 pkg (20-oz) vanilla candy coating, coarsely chopped
6-oz white baking chocolate with cocoa butter, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp butter-flavored vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 pkg (16-oz) pretzel twists, coarsely chopped to make 8 cups
3/4 cup coarsely chopped striped round peppermint candies (approx 28 pieces)
3-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Place a disposable slow cooker liner in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add candy coating, white chocolate, and shortening; stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring every 30 minutes. Stir in peppermint extract. Stir in pretzels and peppermint candies.
  3. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop candy mixture by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Let stand at room temperature until firm.
  4. In a small saucepan cook and stir dark chocolate over low heat until melted; cool slightly. Spoon melted dark chocolate into a decorating bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. (Or fill a heavy resealable plastic bag with melted chocolate; snip a small hole in one corner of the bag.) Drizzle melted dark chocolate over candies. If desired, sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint candies. Let stand at room temperature until firm.
Note: This recipe and picture are from BH&G.


Friday, November 28, 2014

MASHED POTATOES

  • A friend made these mashed potatoes and said they are the best!

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces (you can peel them but I never do - I love red potato skins in my mashed potatoes!)
  • ½ cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chopped potatoes. Cover and cook 2-3 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.
  2. Add sour cream, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper to potatoes. Use a hand mixer to blend together all ingredients. (Please see note below recipe!) Give them a taste and add more salt if desired. Serve plain, or with any favorite toppings such as gravy, or cheese and bacon. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Latest Poll Results

In our latest poll 20% of respondents say they use their slow cookers mostly for making soups and stews. 80% use their cookers for meats. Side dishes and appetizers each got 0%.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CREAMY RANCH POTATOES

2 lbs of small red potatoes
1 can of cream of potato soup
1 (8oz) brick of cream cheese, softened
1 ranch seasoning packet
1/2 cup of water

Cut potatoes into bite size pieces.
In a bowl, combine the potato soup, cream cheese, seasoning packet, and water; add the potatoes and mix until potatoes are coated. 

Lightly spray crockpot with nonstick cooking spray and transfer potatoes to crockpot.

Cook on low setting 5 to 6 hours or on high setting 3 to 4 hours. 

Note: From Family Fresh Meals


MEXICAN CORN AND BEAN SOUP

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 -28 ounces can diced tomato
  • 2 -15 ounces cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 -1 pound bag frozen corn kernels
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 large orange, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 -32 ounces box vegetable stock

  1. 1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. 2. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. 3. Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin, cook for an additional minute and then transfer to a crock pot.
  4. 4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. 5. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. 6. Serve with desired accompaniments.

Suggested Accompaniments: Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Parmesan Cheese

This recipe and picture is from Weelicious

Friday, November 21, 2014

CHEESY-GREEN-CHILI-CHICKEN CROCK POT ENCHILADAS

This is a recipe I got some time ago from a "Just a Pinch" recipes. It is from a lady in Alaska.
1 box Rice-A-Roni Spanish rice
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 can diced green chilies
3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar salsa
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican-Blend Cheese
3 tsp chili powder
6 large flour tortillas
Cook rice-a-roni according to directions on box, add corn after you add water and seasoning packet.
While rice is cooking, combine in a large bowl: chilies, chicken, pinto beans, 1/2 the salsa, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of cheese and chili powder. When rice is done cooking, add half the cooked rice to the other ingredients, and stir all together.
Spray crock pot with non-stick spray. Cut the 6 tortillas in half. Put a large spoonful of filling in the middle of tortilla, and put seam-side down in the bottom of crock pot. Spread remaining rice, salsa and cheese over each layer. Depending on how large your crock pot is, you will get either 2 or 3 layers.
Turn crock pot on low, and let everything get all melty and cozy (about 4 hours on low or 2 1/2 hours on high).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SWEET POTATO APPLE SAUCE

The number of apples and sweet potatoes required will vary, depending on the size of your slow cooker. Just keep the ration at about 2/3 apples and 1/3 sweet potato. 

Ingredients: 
6-8 large apples (I used Honey Crisp), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1-2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water

Directions: 
Place the ingredients in a slow cooker, cover and cook on HI for about 3 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours until well softened. Blend with an immersion blender unless you prefer a chunkier texture. Cool and store in the refrigerator or freeze. 

This recipe is from Yankee Kitchen Ninja.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Latest Poll Results

In our latest poll, 44% of the respondents said they use their crock pot/slow cookers mostly in the winter while 55% said they use theirs year-round. I am in the year-round category.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

CREAMY CORN FOR A CROWD

  • 1 (32-ounce) bag frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 to 4 strips bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, for garnish

    1. Place corn in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle corn with salt and sugar; drizzle with water. Place cream cheese and butter on top of corn mixture (do not stir).
       
    2. Cover and cook on LOW setting 4 hours. Stir well and garnish with the crumbled bacon before serving.
    This is my version of a recipe I saw from Mr. Food several years ago.



     

    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    ISLAND PORK ROAST

    This is basically a TOH recipe from 2011.

    1 (4 lb) boneless pork loin
    1 large onion, sliced
    2 cans (8-oz each) unsweetened pineapple chunks, undrained
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup lime juice
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp curry powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1/2 cup cold water

    Cut roast in half. Place onion in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Add pork. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, curry, salt, pepper, bay leaf and reserved juice. Pour over roast.

    Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Add pineapple during the last hour of cooking.
    Remove the meat, onion and pineapple to a serving platter; keep warm. Discard bay leaf. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork. 

    Yield10 servings.

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    HEARTY CHILI MAC

    1 lb 90% lean ground beef
    1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes, drained
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    2 cups cooked elbow macaroni

    Brown beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break-up; drain off the fat. Transfer meat to a slow cooker and add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper; stir to mix well.

    Place cover on cooker and cook on low 4 hours.

    Stir in the cooked macaroni; cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes until macaroni is hot.

    Yield: 4 servings


    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    MINESTRONE ALLA MILANESE

    2 cans (14 1/2-oz each) reduced-sodium beef broth
    1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
    1 cup diced potato
    1 cup coarsely chopped green cabbage
    1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
    1 cup sliced zucchini
    3/4 cup chopped onion
    3/4 cup sliced fresh green beans
    3/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
    3/4 cup water
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/2 tsp dried basil
    1/4 tsp dried rosemary
    1 bay leaf
    1 can (15-oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

    Combine the broth, tomatoes with juice, potato, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, onion, green beans, celery, water, oil, garlic, basil, rosemary and bay leaf in a 5-quart cooker; mix together well.

    Place lid on cooker and cook on low 5 to 6 hours.

    Add the beans; cover and cook on low 1 hour or until veggies are tender.

    Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving.

    Garnish each bowl with the grated Parmesan, if desired.

    Yield: 8 to 10 servings


    Monday, November 3, 2014

    POLL RESULTS

    Our latest poll ask if you make desserts in your crock pot/slow cooker. 80% of respondents say they have never made dessert in their cooker while 20% say they have once. Thanks for participating in the poll. We have some pretty tasty dessert recipes on this blog should you decide to try making a dessert in your cooker. Check them out!

    BBQ COCA-COLA RIBS

    This is a recipe from When The Dinner Bell Rings.

    Approximately 3 pounds pork back ribs
    1 bottle barbecue sauce (18 ounces)
    1 (6 ounce) can of Coca-Cola
    ⅛ teaspoon salt
    ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    Directions: Cut rib rack in half. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper, then place in crock pot. Combine barbecue sauce and coke in bowl, mix well, then pour over ribs in crock pot. Cover crock pot with lid. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours, or until done.


    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    PUMPKIN PIE PUDDING

    This is a recipe I got from Quick Cooking Magazine back in the 1990s.

    1 can (15-oz) pumpkin
    1 can (12-oz) evaporated milk
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 tbsp butter, melted
    2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    whipped cream for garnish, optional
    ground cinnamon for garnish, optional

    Combine all the ingredients except whipped cream in a large bowl.

    Spray a 3-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and transfer the pudding mixture to the cooker.

    Cover cooker and cook on low 6 to 7 hours until a thermometer reads 160 degrees.

    To serve, dip into dessert dishes and top each with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
    Sprinkle whipped cream lightly with ground cinnamon, if desired.



    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    STEAMED PUMPKIN CAKE

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    2 cups packed light brown sugar
    3 eggs, beaten
    1 can (15-oz) solid-pack pumpkin
    Whipped cream, optional

    Grease a 2 1/2-qt souffle or baking dish that will fit into your slow cooker.

    Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.

    Beat the butter, brown sugar and eggs in large mixer bowl with mixer at medium speed, until creamy. Beat in the pumpkin. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Spoon batter into the prepared dish.

    Place hot water in cooker to 1-inch depth.

    Make foil handles by tearing off 3 18" x 2" strips of heavy-duty foil. Crisscross the stips in a spoke design and place dish on center of strips. Pull stips up to make handles for easy removal of the dish. Place into cooker.

    Place lid on cooker and cook on high 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

    Using the foil handles, lift dish from the cooker and allow to cool 15 minutes. Invert onto serving platter.

    To serve, cut cake and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

    Also try with a topping of sauteed apples or pears, if desired.


    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    NAVY BEAN BACON CHOWDER

    1 1/2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed and sorted
    2 cups cold water

    Soak beans overnight in the cold water; drain.

    6 slices thick-cut bacon
    1 medium carrot, cut in half lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces
    1 small turnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 celery rib, chopped
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 tsp Italian seasoning
    1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 can (46-oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1 cup milk

    Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat; drain and crumble.

    Combine the beans, bacon, carrot, turnip, celery, onion, and seasonings in slow cooker; add the broth.

    Place lid on cooker and cook on low 8 to 9 hours or until beans are tender.

    Place 2 cups of the soup into a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Return mixture to the cooker and add the milk. Cover and cook on high about 15 minutes until heated through.

    Yield: 6 servings.


    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    MAKE A DAY AHEAD LOADED MASHED POTATOES

    3 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup butter cubed
    1/4 cup milk
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
    1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
    4 green onions, chopped
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook 10 - 15 minutes until tender; drain.

    Mash the potatoes with the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and milk. Stir in the cheeses, bacon, onions, onion powder and garlic powder. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    Next day remove from the fridge and transfer to a 3 or 4-qt slow cooker that has been lightly sprayed with a buttery nonstick cooking spray. Heat on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until heated through.

    Yield: Approximately 10 servings.

    Note: I got this recipe from TOH a few years ago. It is great for large meals.

    SQUASH AND CHICKEN STEW

    This recipe is a Simple and Delicious magazine 2006.

    2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
    1 can (28-oz) stewed tomatoes, cut up
    3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
    2 med green peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
    1 cup water
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
    Hot cooked couscous, optional

    Combine the chicken, tomatoes, squash, peppers, onion, water, salt, cumin, coriander, and pepper in a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

    Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the couscous, if desired.

    Yield: 5 servings

    APPLE BALSAMIC CHICKEN THIGHS

    1 1/2 lbs (4 pieces) chicken thighs, remove skin
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup apple cider (or juice)
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp white whole-wheat flour*

    Place the chicken in a 1/12-2-quart slow cooker/crock pot.

    In a small bowl, combine the broth, cider, vinegar, juice, salt, garlic powder, thyme, paprika, and pepper; pour over the chicken in the cooker.

    Place lid on cooker and cook on low 4 to 5 hours until chicken is tender and cooked through.

    Remove chicken to a platter and keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid

    Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cook while stirring for around a couple of minutes until thickened. Serve with the chicken.


    This is my version of a TOH recipe.


    CRANBERRY-APRICOT OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

    Note: Steel-cut oats, sometimes labeled "Irish oatmeal," look like small pebbles. They are the toasted oat groats—the oat kernel that has been removed from the husk that have been cut in 2 or 3 pieces. Do not substitute regular rolled oats, which have a shorter cooking time, in this slow-cooker oatmeal recipe.


    • 8 cups water
    • 2 cups steel-cut oats
    • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste


    Combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker; put lid on cooker.

    Cook on low  7 to 8 hours until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy.