My toughest critics

My toughest critics

Friday, September 30, 2011

Spicey Meatballs



I thought I would try a meatball recipe. I ran home during lunch (I love working 2 minutes from my house) threw the stuff together and when I got home from work I put it in low for about an hour and it was done! Captain loved it....he is a huge meatball fan!

aprox. 2 lbs of meatballs (I bought frozen ones from my local grocery store, you could make your own if you are super woman or any type of meatball would do)
3/4 cup of chili sauce (I used garlic chili sauce...found it in the Asian food section of the store)
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
1 can jellied cranberry (like the kind you use at Thanksgiving)
Dump all in crock, turn on low and cook for one hour or until completely cooked through.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whole Roasted Chicken and Veggies


So I wanted to do another whole chicken in the crockpot. I kinda threw this together and it was Ahhh-mazing. The juices from the chicken cooked the veggies perfectly. The chicken fell off the bone.

The Princess and Little Man were members of the clean plate club tonight!

1 whole chicken (giblets removed)
1/2 bottle maranade or salad dressing (I used Parmesian Garlic dressing)
1 bunch of fresh herbs (I used Dill but Rosemary or Basil would be amazing too)
2 tbs butter
veggies (I used potatoes, carrots, onions and red peppers)

Marinate the chicken over night. Snip some of the herbs you are going to use in the Ziploc with the chicken and dressing/maranade.

cut up the veggies thin thin thin....put butter on top and the rest of your herbs. Wrap in foil and make sure they are as flat as possible. Place in the bottom of the crockpot....make it flat flat flat. Place the chicken up side down on top of the foil pack. If you are home flip the chicken right side up half way through...if not just leave it upside down. Cook for 6 hours (or so depending on the size of chicken) on low. If you want to do a lot of veggies you can make additional small foil packs and stuff them on the sides of the crock where you can find room.

Everyone loved this and there is so much room to mix things up with different veggies, different herbs etc.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

STUFFED Peppers


DISCLAIMER: I do not pretend to be a food photographer and this picture does not do justice to how pretty they actually looked and they smelled divine.


This is how Captain's plate looked when he was done! This should be taken with a grain of salt as my husband eats a total of two veggies and peppers do not make the cut.


Stuffed Peppers
4 large green peppers
1 pound ground meat (I used 1/2 spicey Italian Sausage and 1/2 ground beef)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice but a pilaf or long grain would be fabu)
1 small yellow onion chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs Italian seasoning (you can use any type of seasoning you enjoy)
1 jar pasta sauce

Cut open the tops of the peppers. Remove insides. Make a large enough hole in the top to be able to properly stuff. Partially brown meat and add garlic and seasoning Drain grease. In a seperate bowl mix onion, beef mixture and cooked rice. Stuff peppers and place in crock. Pour jar of sauce over the top. cook on low for 4-5 hours or until peppers are tender.

I put this together the night before and threw it in the fridge which was not an issue at all.

I loved this, it was warm and filling and had great flavor. Make sure you put plenty of flavor in the seasoning of the meat and pick a flavorful rice or pasta sauce. The kids did not clamor for this but the adults in the house thought it rocked. The best part is I had everything in the house but the peppers so it was super economical.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Touchdown Cheesie Chili Dip


I thought I would be using the crockpot once or twice a week for dinners but since it is football season and the Captain loves to watch the games...I am doing a few game time goodies for good measure...and major brownie points for me....to be redeemed during future shopping adventures!

This dip is super easy and hardy and is a staple. I have made many variations of it over the years but this one seems to be the crowd pleaser!

I also use 2 tbs of cream cheese....not pictured.

1 lb Mexican Velveeta (I am not a huge Velveeta fan but you can't beat it for a cheese dip)

1 1b ground beef (I used grass fed ground sirloin 90/10)

1 l can beef chilli (No beans) Normally I would use trader Joe's turkey Chilli but the captain loves plain old Hormel.

2 tbs cream cheese

cube all the cheese, place in crock pot. Add chilli on top. Brown meat, drain fat and add to crock pot. 1-1.5 hours on low. Make sure you stir every few hours. Serve with tortilla chips. If you happen to have leftovers (this is usually not the case in this house)...it is amazing over baked potatoes.

Coming attractions:
stuffed peppers
bacon ranch chicken with egg noodles

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Apple Chicken


After my fail with the paste stew (see below), I had to pinch hit. I was able to find a recipe that I had all the ingredients for. It smelled wonderful, was easy and delish!
Little Man-not a fan of the bacon but ate all the chicken and rice
Princess-ate everything but picked the pilaf out of the rice
The Captain-his type of Chicken "anything tastes awesome wrapped in bacon"
The Cook-I am more of a well done bacon person (read...practically burned) and I loved the chicken but the bacon was a little too bacon-ey for me...I picked it off and nuked it and it was perfect.

3-4 chicken breasts

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1-2 apples, peeled and grated

1 lemon, juiced

6-8 slices bacon

Serve with rice ( I also served with caprese salad and pretzel bread)

Directions:

1. In small bowl, combine BBQ sauce with grated apple and lemon juice.

2. Place chicken breasts in base of crock pot, pour BBQ/apple mixture over the chicken. Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each chicken breast. Set to low and cook for 8 hours. If using thinner chicken breasts (like cutlets) probably 5 hours on low is enough

Epic Fail...Just EPIC


I had seen on a crock blog that you could put together your crockpot meal a few days in advance (when you have time...a precious thing around here) and stick it in a ziploc in the freezer. This sounded awesome to me because on a day when I have three depositions (like Tuesday) I could just pull it out of the freezer and stick it in the crock...no prep time even! I was really excited to try the Autumn Sausage Stew which the author of my cook book claimed tasted like "heaven" and "Fall in a bowl". Mine tasted like paste in a bowl...it was terrible...by terrible I mean I would not even serve this to Nancy Grace!

I can't tell if it was the rice I used (Basmanti) or the fact that I froze it but it was terrible. At least the house smelled good...just like fall and cinnamon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Roasted Chicken...Easy Peasy


NOTICE THE CHICKEN IS COOKED UPSIDE DOWN

This is the seasoning I had in my cabinet
Okay, I am really feeling like a CROCKSTAR today. I was a little nervous about cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot but I thought I would give it a whirl. I made up my own recipe and it was amazing...A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! So easy too.
Little Man-asked for more...this never happens...he must not have realized he was eating protein.
Princess-said "Mommie this is really good...seriously"
The Captain-after this afternoon's cheese dip (see below) and this chicken I believe he mumbled something about him not being worthy!

1 whole frying chicken (I used an organic one from Whole Foods)
3 apples (can be older or bruised)
1 seasoning package (see pic above)

Cut the apples in half and place the flat part on the bottom of the crockpot. Essentially you are building a base so the chicken does not sit in its own grease as it cooks.

Place the chicken on top (breasts on the bottom)

make seasoning according to directions and brush on. (You could also use Italian dressing)

Put in the crockpot on low for 3-4 hours or until the juices run clear.

Amazing fall off the bone chicken!

I served with baked potato, peas and homemeade carmel apple cobbler...YUMMO!

Game Time Cheese Dip



They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach....let's just say I got Captain's heart today! I threw together this game dip in no time and he is in heaven. Captain gives it two thumbs and a tongue up!




1 cup of bacon (you can cook your own drain and chop or be lazy like me and get the bacon crumbles in the salad dressing aisle)
1 cup half and half
16 oz. cream cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar
1 tsp. minced onion
2 tsp. worcestershire
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
dash of hot sauce
french bread and apples or anything else you like to dip

put all of the above BUT the bacon and bread/apples into the crock. cook on low for 1-1.5 hours....must stir every twenty minutes or so. Add bacon and slow cook on low for about ten more minutes. Makes a ton...could easily 1/2 the recipe unless having company. ENJOY...GO BEARS!
recipe from Family Crock Pot Recipes

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Breakfast Casserole....the best part of waking up




THE PRINCESS AND LITTLE MAN GIVE THIS A THUMBS UP. THEY LOVED IT. CAPTAIN GAVE IT A 9 OUT OF 10!

I made this last night at about 10pm. It was very easy to prepare and the house smelled amazing this morning which made getting up at 6am on a Saturday a little less painful. This makes a massive amount...perfect for when guests are in town or holiday gatherings. Probably serves about 10 regular people or 8 of my husband/teenage boys.

1 dozen eggs
1 cup of milk (tweek use 1.5 cups...will make it more moist)
32 ounces of frozen hashbrowns
1 lb bacon (I used the ready made crumbles in the salad dressing aisle...not bacos but the real stuff...super easy)
1 lb breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean, some of the flavored sausages would be awesome like Rosemary)
1/2 cup green onion (chopped)
1 green pepper chopped (I did not use this)
4 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (I used a whole teaspoon)

Brown the sausage most of the way, it is okay if there is a little pink...drain fat
In a large crockpot layer frozen hashbrowns, onion, green pepper, bacon, sausage and 1 cup cheddar. Make two layers of this.

beat eggs, milk, dry mustard..add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour mixture over items in the crock pot

sprinkle remaining two cups of cheese on top.

Cook on low 8-10 hours I DID 7 HOURS AND IT WAS TOO LONG...the middle was perfect but the edges were a little burnt...it depends on how hot the low setting on your crackpot is. I would say 6 hours...make it on a night when you are staying up late or if your crockpot has a timer, like mine, it will just keep it warm after the allotted time.

future things to try (I will make this again)
grilling the onions first
Rosemary flavored sausage

recipe from momswhothink.com (tweeked)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old Faithful



The Captain absolutely loves this recipe. My whole crew does. Super easy and the taste can very each time depending on which beer and BBQ sauce you use. This is a 10 out of 10! We often use leftovers over baked potato with cheddar...Yummo.

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
Directions
1.Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the beer over the meat. Fill beer can up half way with water, pour that in slow cooker. Add 1 bottle of bbq sauce (thick style like Sweet Baby Rays). Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily with a fork, 6 to 7 hours. Serve over hamburger buns.

NOTE: there will be extra liquid....I usually take a slotted spoon and place the pulled pork on the buns and drizzle some of the liquid over it.

SECOND OPTION-cook the pork in just the beer and water. shred pork and mix with bbq sauce. discard beer water. This makes a thicker bbq pork with a more bbq taste...a little less beer taste.

Recipe from allrecipes.com...tweeked.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBQ Chicken Cornbread Crock



This has the potential to be excellent. It needs to be tweeked.

The Critics:
Little Man-would not eat this...at all
Grammie-too mushy. Perhaps browning the chicken first and cooking the dish for a shorter period of time.
Bahbum to sweet. This depends on the BBQ sauce you use. I used a sweet one
Princess-loved it
Captain-cornbread too dry....loved it otherwise (he is a bbq sauce lover) I will use a Jiffy cornbread mix on top next time instead of making my own.

This dish smelled amazing and I enjoyed the taste as well. I would give it a 7 out of 10 with the potential of being a 8 out of 10 with tweeks.

Ingredients
• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken
• 1 medium Sweet Potato
• 1 cup Frozen Corn
• 1 cup Red Onion
• 18 oz Barbeque Sauce
• 4 oz Water (fill up the empty bbq sauce bottle and swish around )
• 3/4 cup Yellow Cornmeal
• 1 1/4 cups flour
• 1 cup Milk
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 lg Egg
• 1 tsp Baking Powder
Directions
Spray slow cooker (4Q or 6Q) with cooking spray. Layer ingredients (chick, sweet potato, corn, onion, barbecue sauce, water) in order. Mix remainder of ingredients (cornmeal, flour, milk, sugar, eggs, baking powder) to make cornbread and spread evenly over top. Cook on low 6-8 hours until cornbread is brown and separates from side of crock pot.

recipe from Make it Fast...Cook it Slow

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crock Pot Lasagna



Ratings:
Little Man-cleaned his plate...wow
Princess-liked it especially the cheese
Captain-excited there will be leftovers

Brown together:

1 1/2 lbs hamburger (I used 2 pounds)

1 med onion, chopped

1 t. minced garlic

Drain and put back into skillet.

Add: 5 cans tomato sauce (Italian and Herb)

1 can tomato paste

1 can of water (I did not add water...the sauce did not need it)

1 t. dried oregano

Heat thoroughly. In crock pot or slow cooker, layer sauce, lasagna noodles (quick ones...the no boil kind), mixture of monterrey jack and parmesian cheese (I used lowfat). (You will need 1 package of each) 1 small carton cottage cheese (I used low fat) spoon in between layers

Keep layering, ending with sauce. Let cook for 4 to 5 hours on low. Top with remaining cheese on top, if desired. Eat and enjoy!

Recipe from Crock Pot Girls