My toughest critics

My toughest critics

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chicken and black beans!

I had seen this recipe floating around on several sites I follow and I thought I would give it a try.  It was a wonderful hearty meal and high in protein.  It is really easy and perfect for career moms who are gone all day.

Here you go!
4 frozen bs chicken breasts
2 cans corn drained
2 cans black beans drained
1 15 ounce jar of salsa (or use your own homemade)
2 blocks cream cheese (I used regular but light would work too)

Place frozen chicken in bottom of crock.  Pour corn, beans and salsa on top.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Stir and break up chicken.  The chicken should just fall apart.    Place two bricks of cream cheese on top and leave alone for 30-45 minutes.  Stir all together  and serve over noodles or baked potato or rice. 

Kids ate all of this.  It makes a lot!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Time for a short break!

I will be taking a few months off for a very very important reason....we will be adding to our crew and are very excited!  Look for more recipes from me in 2013.  Being a working mom with THREE children will mean that I will definately need my crock(s)!  I have really enjoyed this blog.  What started as just keeping recipes online for myself and my friends and family has turned into such a fun adventure.  I have found some great recipes and made some awesome new cooking friends along the way.  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Cowboy Stew

This was a great way to use what I had in the house.  The flavor was really different and tasty.  I was also impressed with how hearty the meal was and economical.  The recipe was from allrecipes.com.  I made several changes and additions.

1 pound lean ground beef
















1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

Cook the ground beef and onion and garlic in pan until completely browned.  Drain fat.  Mix all the remaining ingredients in the crock pot and add the meat mixture.  Cook on low for 5 hours.  Serve with cheddar sprinkled over the top and warm rolls.  Makes a lot so plenty of leftovers!

How to make your own cream of something soup substitute

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or fat free milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth. Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed to taste.
Use in casseroles in place of condensed cream soups. This cream soup base can be varied by using vegetable broth, sauteéd chopped celery, celery seed, or sauteéd chopped mushrooms. Add herbs and or seasonings, as desired.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shepherd's pie

Veggies, starch and protein all on one crock....WINNER WINNER!  This was something I have been thinking about for a while.  I have a great recipe for shepherd's pie in the oven and I have seen several for the slow cooker and I combined all of these to come up with what I feel is just the right combination.  It was wonderful on this chilly fall day and is a balanced meal all in one pot.  .

1.5 lbs of ground meat.  I used organic lean beef but you could use turkey or chicken if you want.
1 onion diced
1 small can tomato paste
2 tbs garlic
2 tbs paprika
1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper
4 cups veggies...fresh frozen or a mix.  I used what was in my freezer and garden.  squash, carrots, corn, peas, broccoli, zucchini.  Make sure they are chopped into small pieces
5 large potatoes.  I used organic Yukon gold
1.5 cups broth (can use any kind) I used veggie.
1/4 cup milk
2 tbs butter
1 cup shredded cheddar

First brown the onions for a few minutes and add ground meat, garlic, 1 tbs paprika, 1 tbs salt, 1 tbs pepper.  You can add more or less seasoning depending on how spicy you like your meat.  Drain fat.  Add small can of tomato paste.  Mix thoroughly. Spray crock and spread meat in bottom of crock.   Add veggies on top of meat.  Pour broth over veggies.  Add cheese on top of veggies. 
Make mashed potatoes.  You can do it the old fashioned way or what I did was wash them, poke them with a fork, microwave for 12 minutes or until skin becomes a little wrinkled.  Pull skins off, add milk and butter and mash.  Add mashed potatoes on top of crock, spread evenly so the entire top looks like it was iced with potatoes.  Sprinkle with 1tbs of paprika.  Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3.  Enjoy!

Spray crock and place beef mixture on the bottom.   

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beef Stew #2

So I have made one beef stew before in the crock (see sidebar under beef for recipe) with wine and it was delish but I wanted to try something new.  This was also equally fantastic and easy. 

 Here are the ingredients:
  About 20 carrots
 1 beef stew seasoning packet
2 potatoes cubed not peeled
1/2 onion
1 2-3 lb beef roast...I used English cut.  cut into chunks.
1 cup beef broth*take note of below
1 large jar of stewed tomatoes. (I canned these myself from the garden and added celery and green pepper) add with juice.  You can find large cans of Italian stewed tomatoes if you do not make your own.  Just add some celery and peppers (a few stalks and maybe one small green pepper chopped) If your tomatoes do not have a lot of liquid use more beef broth.

I put all of the above in the crock the night before and put it in the fridge.  I turned it on low when I left for work and let it cook for 8 hours.  Add flour for thickening if needed.

Little man only ate the beef, and gave it a thumbs down.  Princess, Captain and I all give it two thumbs up. SUPER EASY! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Beer and Potato Chowder

This was delish.  I often find potato soup to be a little bland.  The beer made such a difference and really added a kick and a unique flavor that I loved.  A lot depends on the beer you use...I used Stella Artois.  Enjoy


3lbs potatoes peeled and quartered
1 12 ounce beer of your choice
1 12 ounce chicken broth/stock
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tbs garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 block cream cheese
crumbled bacon
shredded Cheddar (optional)

Place the potatoes and carrots in the crock with the beer and broth.  Add the garlic and salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Mash potatoes to your liking.  Add cream cheese and cook on low until thoroughly mixed....make sure you stir every once in a while.  I did this for about 30 minutes.  Garnish with bacon and cheese.  Enjoy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Apple Pork Loaf

Continuing in my quest to use all of the apples from the orchard I came up with the recipe and it was really moist and tasty.  I served it with veggies and apple sauce. 
 
Princess gave this one a big thumbs up!

1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup plum sauce (in the Asian aisle)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 apple grated with skin on
1 egg

Mix all of the above in a bowl with your hands.  Form into a loaf...make sure it is really mixed together so the loaf does not fall apart.  Line crock with tin foil on bottom.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until juice runs clear.  Enjoy!









Chicken Cordon Bleu

Since this blog was started as a way for me to keep track of recipes I tried from other sites and recipes I came up with on my own.  Sort of like and online cook book.  I came across a recipe that was amaze balls.  Perfect just as it is.  It is here: http://crockpotladies.com/recipe-categories/entrees/crockpot-chicken-cordon-bleu/   I love this site and often try things from there and make little adjustments.  The only thing I added to this recipe was some bacon bits.  We love bacon over here.  Anyway, ALL of the critics loved this dish.  Enjoy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

Well, our Butternut Squash in our garden has taken off so I have been searching for recipes for Squash.  I also was able to use the onion from the garden.  The soup was really good.  I love love soup (especially when pregnant for some reason) and this did not let me down.  The flavor was fantastic.  I followed the recipe exactly.  Perfecto soup for fall!

                                                                                          
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1   medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 butternut squash (2 lb), peeled, cubed
2 cups water 
                                                                                                                                          
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves                                           
                                                                                                                                           
1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper 
                                                                                                                                           
1/8  teaspoon ground red pepper 
                                                                                                                                          
4   chicken bouillon cubes                                          
                                                                                                                                          
1  package 8 ounce cream cheese cubed                                          
         
  • 1 In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender.
  • 2In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix onion and remaining ingredients except cream cheese.
  • 3 Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
  • 4 In blender or food processor, place one-third to one-half of mixture at a time. Cover; blend on high speed until smooth. Return mixture to slow cooker. Stir in cream cheese. Cover; cook on Low heat setting about 30 minutes longer or until cheese is melted, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.
from good old Betty Crocker!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Your wish is my command

You can now subscribe to my blog.  It is at the very very bottom of the page.  Thanks for following me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Apple Cobbler

Well it is apple time again!  I am so excited.  The season came a little early this year which is fine by me.  I went to the orchard and got a a few pecks of apples (Zestars and Macs) and immediately went to town.  I canned a ton of apple sauce (the recipe is on this blog) and apple pie filling.  Today I made an apple cobbler which was fantastic.  I got the recipe from 365 days of slow cooking and tweeked it a little.  It was easy and the Little man, Princess and the Captain all enjoyed it.  Enjoy!

2 lbs cooking apples (usually a tart variety), peeled and sliced (about 6 med apples)
2/3 c old-fashioned oats
2/3 c flour
2/3 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
**I added 1/4 cup of dried cranberries (this adds a pop of tart flavor)
**I added 1/2 tsp of fresh lemon juice.



1. Add sliced apples to slow cooker. Mix with lemon juice and dried cranberries.
2. Combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg in medium mixing bowl. Cut in softened butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
3. Cover slow cooker with paper towels (2 or 3 thick). Place lid firmly over paper towels (towels will absorb some of the condensation). Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, until apples are soft.  Serve with ice cream!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Turkey Chili

This was a really hardy very flavorful chili.  Captain usually hates chili with beans, in fact he likens beans to carnations as just plain "filler".  He actually really enjoyed this chili black beans and all.  It was super easy to throw together and literally took about 15 minutes.  I did not feed this to Little Man and The Princess because it was pretty spicy.  The best part about this chili is it is healthy and full of protein!

1.25 lbs of ground turkey
1 large onion chopped
1 large clove of garlic minced
1.5 cups frozen corn
1 red pepper diced
3 small hot peppers diced (I used pablanos from my garden)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 package of chili seasoning

for toppings: the sky is the limit, oyster crackers, shredded cheese (any kind), sour cream, guac....etc.

cook first three ingredients until turkey is not pink, drain and put into crock.  Stir in the res of the ingredients until well mixed.  This will seem very dry but do not worry, the tomatoes boil down and there is plenty of liquid at the end.  Cook on low 6 hours serve with toppings. 

Recipe from My Recipes, tweeked.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Creamy Sausage Dip

This was hands down the marriage maker in dip form!  Captain was ever so happy and had a lot...I mean a lot.  We had several guest tasters over last night and this dip got a score of 10 out of 10!  Woowzer, that has never happened.  In other words, it is a keeper.  It makes a ton, even after having 6 adults nosh on it and Captain's late night fridge raid, I still have a large amount left. I will warn you, this is not healthy but sometimes a cook has gotta make her Captain happy.  :)

4 packages of cream cheese

2 cans of Rotel (this is the tomato mixture in the cans with green chiles.  If you can't find it you can get diced tomatoes and add some spices to give it a kick)

1.5-2 pounds of pork sausage (this can be Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans breakfast sausage or just ground pork.  I used a mixture of both)

3-4 hot peppers (I picked a few pablanos from my garden and left the seeds in.  You can make it as spicy or mild as you please.  You can skip the peppers all together but they add so much flavor)

cook pork and drain.  put all ingredients in the crock and heat on low for aprox. 1 hour or until the cream cheese is melted.  I put it on high for 20 minutes and back down to low because I was running late on time.  Serve with crusty french bread or a very heavy cracker that can take the weight.  Tortilla chips do not work so well as they tend to break.  Enjoy!
Got this recipe from Crock Pot Girls and Cooking.com and tweeked it a little.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Choc. Chip Zucchini cake

We have officially started harvesting veggies from our organic garden.  We will have a lot of Zucchini this year.  I love Zucchini but the rest of the family...not so much.  I am always up for trying new things to get them to eat it and this cake did not let me down.  I found it on a wonderful crock blog called A busy Mom's slow cooker adventures. 
Here is the deal:
3 Eggs

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 cup All Natural Applesauce (or use 1 cup vegetable oil)

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

3 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups peeled and grated zucchini (I did not peel the zucchini)

mix the eggs, sugar and zucchini until blended.  Add the rest of the items (not the choc. chips) and blend.  Mix in the choc chips last.  Make sure your crock is totally covered with a liner or cooking spray.  My cake was a little burned on the bottom because I did not grease the crock enough before pouring the batter in.  Cook on low for 2-3 hours (depends on size of your crock, if smaller it will take longer as the cake will be deeper). I was not able to flip the cake onto a plate because I did not grease the bottom enough.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crowd Pleaser Chicken

This was hands down a crowd pleaser in my house. It is a recipe I came across a while ago on food.com and I made a few adjustments. My kids literally loved this and did not seem to notice the veggies. It is rich and creamy and just really good. Really good.

  • 8 ounces noodles (I do not suggest a fettuccine type noodle or the like, a thicker different shaped noodle works best)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, diced (any type, I used left over rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cupgreen pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cupcelery, diced
  • 1/2 cuponion, diced
  • 4 ounces canned mushrooms don't buy the cheap ones...this matters (I used organic golden mushrooms, fantastic flavor)
  • 1/2 cupchicken broth
  • 1/2 cupParmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 1/2 cupssmall curd cottage cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

cook noodles per package instructions until almost done...a little firm.  Mix with all of the rest of the ingredients.  Make sure it is mixed thoroughly so the noodles do not stick together.  Spray your crock.  Put mix into crock and spread around so it is even.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  DO NOT...I REPEAT DO NOT LIFT THE LID.  You want it to bake and make a crusty brown outer edge.   Serve and enjoy.

I was not able to put this all together before leaving for work in the morning so I made it the night before and it worked fine.  I just pulled it out of the fridge and put the timer on. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yummy Chicken Noodle Soup

I normally do not do much cooking aside from grilling in the summer but a very special birthday girl wanted chicken noodle soup on her 6th birthday and it turned out really good.  Everything I used I had on hand which was awesome and it made such a big batch that I have LOL (lots of leftovers).  Sooo here you go!


1. left over cooked chicken pieces (no skin or bones) aprox. 2 heaping cups.  I happened to have two left over baked chicken breasts and a drumstick which did the trick.

2. 2 large containers of Chicken broth.  aprox. 60-70 ounces

3. veggies, use whatever you like.  I used peas (1 small bag), corn (1 small bag), carrots (aprox. 6 cut into small pieces), 5 stalks of celery chopped and one small onion chopped ultra thin.

4. spices.  2tsp. of poultry seasoning (in spice aisle), 2 tsp of Italian seasoning, I cut up some fresh basil and oregano, salt and pepper to taste. You could use any seasoning you like on Chicken -Mr. or Mrs. Dash, garlic...whatever floats your boat.

5. 1/2 bag of egg noodles.

Okay place all firm veggies in bottom of your crock.  Leave out corn and peas until later.  add chicken chunks....season the veggies and chicken chunks with your spices and seasonings in #4.  Mix it really well.  Add broth, let this combo sit in your fridge over night...this is KEY.  It really gives the flavor a boost. 


The next day cook on low for 3 hours.  Add peas and corn and cook for another 30 minutes.  During this 30 minutes cook your noodles in a separate pot on the stove.  Remove and drain the noodles when they are about 85% done.  A little firm.  Add to crock pot, cook on low for 20 more minutes.  Serve and Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Summer break.  Too hot to crock!  See you in the fall!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes with Cheese

It was 90 degrees outside today and there was nooooo way I was turning on my oven.  I had seen a few different sites talking abou crock pot mashed potatoes and I thought I would make a hybrid version.  The flavor was awesome and they were creamy and just fantastic.  Captain and the kids raved and the house stayed cool.  Win Win!!! Since we are heading into summer aka: Grill Season, you will see a lot more crock side dishes!

2.5 lbs potatoes peeled and cubed (I used Yukon Gold Organic)
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup butter cut into small pieces

Put the above in a crock pot on high and cook for 4.5 hours.  Stir on occassion.
Mash when tender

THEN add:

1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar
1/2 cup warm milk
salt and pepper to taste

Mash it all together and there you have it!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Baked Potatoes...who knew?

My friend sent me a link to baked potatoes in the crock.  I thought that was neat but why would I ever do that when I could just stick them in the oven?  I came across the answer to that question last week on Captain's birthday.  Now, he is a steak and potato type of guy and for his birthday (which was on a work day) he wanted baked potatoes.  I was trying to figure out how I could do this when I was working and would not be home until 30 minutes before dinner.  Of course I could have microwaved the potatoes but they NEVER taste good that way.  I remembered this and it turned out wonderful!  The potatoes were evenly cooked and moist.  Perfecto!

wash potatoes, poke a few fork holes in potato, wrap in foil, put in crock on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 
 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crockpot French Onion Soup
I followed this exactly and is was awesome.  Of course I was too busy licking the cheese from the side of the bowl and forgot to take a picture.  Captain and I loved this.
makes a giant pot, about 8-10 servings
4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
8 ounces of beer (I used Sam Adams)
64 ounces of low-sodium beef stock (I used hole Foods organic)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
french bread
gruyere cheese, sliced (I used shredded gouda and swiss.  Gruyere was like $14 for one piece)
Set your crock pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic and mix until combined. Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramely and brown on the edges. Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.
Before serving, cut french bread or baguette into slices. Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Be careful when serving as bowls will be hot!
Note: I used a very low-sodium beef stock, so depending on the stock you use, add additional salt for flavor if desired.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Italian Chicken



This was a great all in one dish! Everyone loved it and the flavor was fantastic. By using the fat free salad dressing it was a yummy low fat dish. A keeper for sure!
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 Ounce Bottle of Italian Dressing (I used non fat)
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
Italian Seasoning
4-6 Potatoes scrubbed cut in half or wedges (you can peel if desired)
1/2 bag of mini carrots
Spray crock with Pam
Squirt a small amount of Italian dressing at bottom of crock-pot.
Place two chicken breasts in crock.
Pour some of the Italian dressing on the chicken.
Sprinkle half of cheese onto the chicken.
Sprinkle Italian seasoning onto the chicken.
Place next two chicken breasts into crock-pot, if possible not directly on top of the first breasts.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of chicken.
Pour carrots on top
Pour more of the Italian dressing on top of chicken and carrots.
Sprinkle Italian seasoning onto the chicken and carrots.
Place potatoes on top.
Pour the remaining Italian dressing on the potatoes.Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the potatoes.Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchilada

The picture does not do this dish justice. I am not a photographer but I am the self proclaimed crock pot queen. This was a great dish for the kids to help me make. Princess helped me mix the chicken mixture. Little man cut the tortilla strips. It was a fun morning with my two little helpers!

Both kids gobbled this up. Super yummy.
1 package corn tortillas
1 large can of chicken
16 oz. sour cream
2 cans green chilies, drained
1/2 cup onion
2 lbs. (about 4 cups) shredded cheddar
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cans tomato sauce
Directions:Mix chicken, sour cream, chilies, onion & 3 C. cheese in bowl.Cut tortillas in strips. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.Layer 1/3 of the tortilla strips then chicken mixture and another layer of tortilla strips.Pour tomato sauce on top.Start again with chicken mixture then tortillas and tomato sauce until gone.Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese on top. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Broccoli soup


Princess loves broccoli and loves soup. She is always asking me to make soup. This was a great recipe and super easy. I loved it and it freezes really well. Taken from Crock'in Girls and tweaked.
3 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ in pcs
1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup half-n-half
1/3 low fat sour cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 scallions thinly sliced
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (optional or can use the pieces found in salad dressing aisle)
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
any other frozen veggie (I used corn, carrots and peas)
Directions:Combine potatoes, red peppers, veggies and broccoli in slow cooker. Pour broth over top; cover and cook 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.In a small bowl, stir together half-n-half, sour cream, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Remove cover and mash potatoes slightly. Stir in half-n-half mixture and scallions. Spoon soup into bowls when thickened.Garnish with bacon, cheese, and additional sour cream if desired

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5 Layer crock brownies


Now this is not a pretty dish, but it sure tastes amazing! Not something I would serve to company but man of man were Captain and I licking the crock.
This is from 365 days of slow cooking
1 box brownie mix
1 egg
4tbs butter melted
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup oats
1 can sweetened condensed milk
spray crock really really good ...really good. place melted butter in bottom of crock. Mix brownie mix, water and egg until no more powder lumps. Pour in crock, pour can of condensed milk on top. sprinkle oats followed by coconut and walnuts on top. Cook on low for 2.5 hours or until edges separate from crock. remove lid and allow to cook for 20 more minutes to get rid of condensation. Enjoy. I did not cook this quite long enough so the middle was a little gooey but nobody was complaining here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Italian Beef Hoggies


I love love love Italian beef sandwhiches with extra gravy and peppers. This is seriously one of my all time favorite meals and when I was pregnant with little man I must have eaten three a week...I know, totally gross. There is a local place here called Portillos that has the best BEST best Italian Beef Sandwhiches. I wanted to come as close as possible at home with my crock. I combined a recipe on Pinterest, one on Allrecipes.com and melskitchencafe. I think I hit the mark! Super yummy!

1 can of beef broth
1 cup of water
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
3 tbs italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 package Italian dressing powder mix
3lb chuck roast or pot roast
1 hot pepper sliced
1 jar roasted red peppers (by pickels)
1 bannana pepper sliced
mix all above together and pour over roast in the crock. Cook on low for aprox. 7 hours. Pull meat apart with a fork and put back into crock. Serve over french bread with gravy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chicken Gohan Stew


2 large bone in chicken breasts or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 – 4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
6 cups chicken broth
5 ounces frozen green peas, defrosted ( I did not add these)
5 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
3/4 cup uncooked Japanese rice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper, to taste
scallions, thinly sliced to garnish
shichimi togarashi, to garnish (optional)
1. Cut the chicken breasts in half (or thirds if the breasts are large) so that the pieces are about the same size as chicken thighs. Place the pieces in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, along with the sliced ginger. Pour the chicken broth into the slow cooker. Place the lid on the cooker and cook on a low-heat setting for 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours, until the chicken is tender (If you use bone in chicken breasts at this time remove chicken from crock and pull meat off the bones. Put meat back in the crock and discard bones)
.2. Stir in the rice, peas, and carrots and replace the lid. Continue to cook on the low-heat setting for 40 to 50 minutes more until the rice is tender.
3. Shred the chicken using two forks and then return it to the slow cooker. Stir in the soy sauce and lime juice and add salt and pepper as needed. Served garnished with thinly sliced scallions and shichimi togarashi (if desired).
Amazing citrus taste. This soup was really refreshing and the taste was unique and yummy.
From The Fuji Momma...tweeked

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner Casserole


Ingredients
1 Can of Refrigerated Biscuits (8ct)
6 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup other Shredded Cheese (I Used Swiss)
5 Cooked Pieces of Bacon Chopped
Butter
InstructionsButter the bottom and sides of the crock-pot.Layer biscuits on the bottom of the crock.Mix eggs, milk, cheese and bacon in a separate bowl.Poor egg mixture on top of biscuits.Cover crock pot and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.Cooking times can vary with the biscuits, you want the sides of the crock to show light brown biscuits. Sooo yummy. Very hardy and the biscuits added a wonderful texture. It was my favorite breakfast casserole for sure. Love this. Going to make for Christmas and Easter brunch too.
From Crock Pot Ladies tweeked

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crock Pot Cheesecake!!!!




This was me stepping out of my box big time. I was sent this recipe from a friend who saw it on Pinterest (Crock Pot Ladies) and I thought....why not? I am so glad I tried it. I have visions of tweeking with it and making oreo cheesecake and peppermint cheesecake. The possibilities are endless and it is simple and pretty no mess. Now I modified the recipe to fit a regular pyrex loaf pan. You have to have a pan that will fit into your crock. I actually like it in the loaf pan as it slices in just the right portion and seemed to cook perfectly.
2 8oz Packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (i used one regular and one light)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Sugar
6 Graham Crackers (full pieces), pulverized into crumbs
3 Tablespoons of Stick Butter, melted
Instructions
Allow Cream Cheese to get to room temperature. Open cream cheese and place in large bowl. Add Sugar. Mix until sugar and cream cheese are well blended. Add the 3 eggs one at a time. After adding an egg, blend, then add the other. In a separate bowl, add graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Mix well as this will form your crust. Choose a pan or small crock type cooking pan that will fit in the bottom of your crock-pot with room left on the side. You want to be able to pull the pan out without too much difficulty. Add the graham cracker crumbs mixture to the bottom of the pan.With a spoon, pat the graham crackers out til you have a smooth layer. Add the cream cheese mixture to the top of the graham crackers. Add 2 to 3 cups water to the bottom of the crock-pot. You need enough to last 2 hours but not too much that it will get in your pan. Place the cheesecake pan in the crock-pot and place the lid of the crock-pot on. Cook on high for 3-3.5 hours or until the center does not have a watery consistency when you stick a knife into it. The cheesecake will begin to crack on the sides. Let cool for 30m to 1h.Remove and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Serve. Note-you will get a little condensation from the lid but I did not find it to be a problem or dilute the recipe in any way.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti


1 lb diced chicken breast (I seasoned and baked bone in chicken breasts first and shredded the meat, you can lightly brown boneless skinless chicken and use that)
Italian Seasoning
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
14 oz chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley/sage and a little thyme
13.25 oz whole wheat spaghetti - UNCOOKED
Your favorite type of shredded cheese (amount depends on how cheesy you want it) I used Mozzarella
Directions:Season the chicken breast with olive oil and desired amount of Italian seasoning (I did this step the night before to marinate the chicken)Lightly brown the chicken in olive oil, set aside. Mix the soups, broth and seasoning together.Put half the soup mixture in the pot.Top with half the chicken.Add all uncooked pasta (break if necessary).Top with half the amount of desired cheese.Add remaining soup mix.Add remaining chicken.Top with remaining cheese.Cook on low for 2-3 hrs. Stir after 1 1/2-2 hrs to check consistency. Mine was ready after 2 hours.The pasta comes out tender and soaks up the soup flavor. If you want it creamier, add a little more broth and stir. (I only added 2/3 the box of pasta because I thought it was enough, but the dish was super creamy. Adding the entire box of pasta would have helped with that. I will definitely add it all next time.) I will actually use different type of whole wheat noodle the next time as the spaghetti stuck together a little. It was still a great meal.
From Crockin Girls tweeked.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Turkey Sloppy Joes

I made a double batch and this is all that is left! It was a hit and Little Man absolutely loved...LOVED this.

I love Manwich...it is one of my favorite meals. This is soooo much better.
2 lb ground beef (or turkey)
2 cups onion, finely chopped
2 cups celery, finely chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small can tomato soup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Directions:Brown first 4 ingredients.In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients.Add meat mix to slow cooker and pour over liquid ingredients.Stir together. Cook on low 6-8 hours
From Crockin Girls

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes

My "workshop"

I made this yummy chicken as well....recipe on the side bar over there under chicken ---->









This was a wonderful side dish. It can be made Low(er) fat and tastes really really good. I'll be honest, in our house anything with cheese is a winner. I had two crocks going on Sunday and with a little prep work I was able to get a wonderful meal on the table while I ran errands and went to movie during the day! I love love love the crock!














2-3lbs of potatoes sliced with the skin on







1 8 ounce package low fat cream cheese







1 can low fat cheese soup







1/2 cup milk







1/2 tsp salt







1/2 tsp pepper







1/4 tsp nutmeg







1/8 tsp paprika







1 onion sliced







1/2 cup shredded cheese (could use any kind, I used sharp cheddar and threw in a little smoked Gouda for good measure)














in a saucepan heat milk until just beforee boiling. Add cheese soup and cream cheese. Continue to stir until completely mixed. Do not let it boil. add salt, pepper and nutmeg to sauce














spray the crock with cooking spray







put a layer of potatoes, onion and cheese sauce in crock, repeat three times so you have three layers.














cook on low for aprox 4 -5 hours Sprinkle cheddar on top 15 minutes before serving.







Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Creamy Broccoli Chicken


This was really good and my children actually ate the broccoli without a peep! I guess if it is covered in cheese, they will eat anything.
1.5-2 pounds chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken cut into strips.
1 package light cream cheese
1 can low fat cream of chicken soup
1 package Italian seasoning dressing package
various herbs (I used chicken seasoning)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of milk
2-3 cups cut up raw broccoli
melt butter and add Italian seasoning and herbs. Place chicken in the bottom and pour butter mixture on top. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until you can pull chicken into shreds with a fork. add cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, cheese and broccoli and blend together thoroughly. Cook on low for one more hour. Serve over hot egg noodles or rice.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

I had to bump this post to the top of the blog. These ribs are just THAT good. I love trying s new crock pot recipe every week but the hard part is I do not get to go back to the ones I like as often as I want to. I am about half way through my year long experiment and I know at the end I will have many yummy recipes to enjoy and go back to but the ribs are hands down by far the best. They are a common request in my household, extended family and amongst friends. They are tender and fall right off the bone...the flavor is off the chain! This dish is definitely a "Marriage maker" and a party favorite. I have made them 8 times in the past six months and everyone has loved them. Erin, one of my besties from Cincy (home of some amazing ribs) gave them two thumbs up!




2 slabs pork baby back ribs (cut into 4 rib pieces)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can coke
1 bottle barbecue sauce ( I used Sweet Baby Rays)

Spray inside of 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
Remove inner skin from ribs. Mix brown sugar, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and garlic; rub mixture into ribs. Cut ribs into 4-inch pieces. Layer ribs and onion in slow cooker (see pic). Pour cola over ribs.
3 Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 7 hours or until tender. Remove ribs from slow cooker. Drain and discard liquid.
Place ribs on grill. Brush with barbecue sauce. Cover and grill on medium heat 15 minutes.

These were so good.
Good Old Betty Crocker (tweeked)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Balsamic Glazed Pork Roast

This was yummy. The glaze was really interesting and full of flavor. Big hit. A Keeper for sure. Served with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

I do not have a picture...my apologies!

1 2-3 pound boneless pork loin
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup balsamic vin.
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:
combine salt, pepper, garlic and sage. Rub all over roast. Place in slow cooker for 4-5 hours on low with 1/2 cup water. About 1 hour before roast is done prepare the glaze. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, heat and stir until thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2-3 times in the last hour of cooking.

Enjoy!

From Crock'n Girls

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Banana Fruit Cake with Icing

It tastes as good as it looks! This is not your average fruit cake!


I Love that the Princess likes to help me in the kitchen. We made this entire cake together and she was so proud when we all oohhh and ahhh'd over it.










Little Man Loved it...so did Big Man (aka Captain)


This cake was divine. I am not a huge fruit cake fan...not even a little. I saw the recipe for this on Crockin Girls and they mentioned it was great for cooking with kids so I thought Princess and I would give it a shot. It was easy and wonderful. In the future my only addition would be vanilla ice cream on the side!




1 box yellow cake mix (prepared per instructions to batter stage)


1/2 cup sour cream


1 large box banana cream pudding mix


1 bag of frozen cut up fruit. I used DOLE mixed berries


1 small bag walnuts (if wanted)


1/2 cup powdered sugar


1TBS Half and Half (or milk)


1/2 TBS Vanilla extract


SPRAY CROCK WITH COOKING SPRAY


Add pudding mix and sour cream to cake batter. Mix all the way through. Add frozen fruit....stir thoroughly. Pour into the crock. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Cook on high for 3 hours or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Should be able to life cake out in two or three sections.




In a bowl mix powdered sugar and half and half. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Microwave for aprox. 20 seconds. Drizzle over the top of the cake. ENJOY!!!!






Friday, January 27, 2012

Fall off the bone pork chops



Again, I am not a food photographer but I will tell you this meal was delicious! Thick bone in pork chops are something I normally stay away from but the organic, grass fed ones were on sale for $2.99 per pound so I thought why not. It turned out really good. The meat fell off the bone. We did not even need knives. The whole family including Bahbum and Grammie loved this meal.


4 bone in pork chops...the thicker the better

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cups water

1/2 cup flour

2 beaten eggs

1 onion


dip pork chops in egg, and dredge in flour. Brown in a skillet on both sides. (just a few minutes) Place in the bottom of the crock. Put sliced onion on top and pour in milk and cream of mushroom soup. Cook on low for aprox. 5 hours.


I served this with a potato bake as well.

2 white or red potatoes (whatever you like) peeled and cubed

2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed

1/2 small onion (I used vidalla)

3 carrots unpeeled just cut into bite sized pieces.


Mix all together with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Add sea salt and thyme and a little sage. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Yummy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Brie



I LOVE BRIE. I seriously would eat this everyday if I could. I had seen a variety of different recipes for brie in the slow cooker on several sites (365 days of slow cooking, Recipe.com and The Cooks Next Door) and I combined them all to make my own recipe using what I had. It was DIVINE!


1 round of brie (must be a round...not the huge one)

2TBS balsamic vin.

3TBS dark brown sugar

1 tsp Thyme

2 tsp water

1/2 cup dried cranberries (could use any dried fruit...apricots etc.)

1/4 cup crumbled walnuts (could use pecans)


Make a tin foil bowl and place brie in tin bowl in the crock. Make sure you cut off the top part of the brie so the hard stuff is off the top. Stir together, brown sugar, balsamic vin, water and thyme. Pour on top of brie in tin foil bowl. sprinkle cranberries and nuts on top. cook on low for 1.5-2 hours. Serve with crackers or apples or both! Would be great with french bread too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

salsa chicken



Both kids LOVED this. I LOVED this. Captain LOVED this. Sooo good. I was given this recipe by my sister in law and my friend Erin and I saw it on Pintrest so I had to try it. It is creamy and flavorful and mouth watering. Amazing and can be served over noodles, potatoes or you could even make a taco salad. Seriously peeps this is YUM!

3-4 boneless chicken breasts

1 package taco seasoning

1 cup salsa

1 can cream of chicken

1 cup of sour cream


Mix cream of chicken, taco seasoning and salsa in bottom of crock. Put chicken in and cover chicken with the mixture. Cook on low for aprox. 5 hours. Shred chicken. Put chicken back. Add sour cream and mix together. Heat for aprox. 15-20 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!




Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barley Beef Stroganoff

Okay don't judge. Little man is a little particular read super annoying when it comes to eating protein. Sooo lately he has been on an oatmeal kick and I thought hmmmmm. I convinced him it was hamburger oatmeal and he ate every bite!
My mom and dad and the Captain loved this meal. I did not care for it and have discovered I am not a big mushroom fan and I am thinking I do not love barley. If you like mushrooms and barely this is the dish for you!
It is a little high maintenance so this is not a throw it in the crock and leave it all day when you are at work dish. Should be a weekend special when you are home to make sure the barley is not over cooked.
2/3 cups uncooked barley...do not use the quick cooking type.
2.5 cups veggie broth
1 package (6 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon marjoram (I did not have this so Mr. Google told me Italian Spices would do the trick and it did)
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup half and half

Put barley, broth, mushrooms and marjoram in the crock. cook on low 4-5 hours. Watch the barley...you do not want mush.
cook ground beef and drain fat. Add celery and onion and pepper and cook and stir for three minutes. Transfer to crock. Mix in half and half cover and cook on high 10-15 minutes until beef is hot and veggies are tender. Garnish with parsley.

Wisconsin Beer and Cheese Soup

Are you licking the screen yet? This was an easy good recipe. We really enjoyed it! I made homemade croutons to top it off which were super yummy!

1 can 14.5 ounce chicken broth
1 cup of beer (use a good hearty beer...not a dark beer but a nice medium beer) We use Stella Artois. The captain enjoyed finishing the rest of the bottle at 9am when I started this recipe...Why throw away perfectly good beer?
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme (you must use thyme....it really brings in great flavor)
6 ounces American cheese shredded or diced SMALL
6 ounces of other cheese. I used smoked Gouda and aged cheddar
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Combine broth, beer, onion, garlic and thyme and cook on low for 4 hours.
Turn Crock to HIGH and stir in cheese and milk and paprika. cover and cook 45 minutes to an hour or until cheese is melted and blended. You will need to stir a few times during the 45 minutes.

CROUTONS
preheat oven to 425degrees slice pempernickel or rye bread into 1/2 inch cubes, brush top with olive oil, place on sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes flipping half way through.

Laddle into bowls and serve with brats during football game!

Captain loved this. Princess ate it but not the whole thing and Little Man hated it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate Lava Cake

It's UGLY...but a really good kinda of ugly. This is not a dish you serve to company...it is not pretty BUT oh my word it is heaven in a bowl. It is the kind of dish you save all of your Weight Watchers points for! I was seriously tempted to pull out my maternity pants just so I could eat more. I am serious. Do I even have to mention that the kids and the Captain loved it.

1 package (6 serving size) instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix
3 cups of milk
1 package (about 18 ounces) chocolate fudge cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix.
crushed peppermint candies
whip cream....and LOTS of it!

Coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pudding mix in the croc, whisk in milk. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Carefully pour into croc, DO NOT STIR. Cook on high for aprox. 2 hours, check to see if done by using a cake tester or knife inserted into the center. If it comes out clean, it is done. Let it sit for five minutes before serving.
It will be cake with a very pudding like center. Spoon into mugs and serve with whip cream and candies.

ENJOY....you will hate me for this...in a good way!