Monday, December 12, 2011

Crockpot Meatballs & Wienies

This week's recipe is like last week's sugared pecans, in that this would make a great dish to take to a potluck Christmas party, or it would be a tasty addition to any appetizer table you may be hosting or attending. I got this recipe from my Dad. When I was growing up, I was active in sports, music & theatre, so we had lots of potluck banquets to attend. My Dad usually brought these, and they were a hit. When I asked him for the recipe when I was in college, I was so surprised at how simple it was, and what the ingredients were. I whipped these up yesterday when we got home, made for a nice quick supper, too! Don't let the ingredients scare you, the sauce is not sweet, like you may think it would be with the grape jelly.

Crock Pot Meatballs & Wienies

One 32oz jar Grape JELLY (NOT jam)
Two 12oz jars chili sauce (chili sauce is by the ketchup/BBQ sauces in the store)
One 32oz bag frozen meatballs (I prefer the Italian style)
Two 14oz bags pork cocktail wienies, beef cocktail wienies, or Lil Smokies weiners (I like to use 2 different kinds, I usually do 1 pork and 1 beef)

For this amount, use a 6 quart slow cooker or larger. Now, you can put the jelly and chili sauce in the crockpot until the jelly melts, but I find that takes waaaay too long. So I throw the jelly in a glass dish (don't use plastic, the jelly gets really hot) and microwave it for about 5-6 minutes to melt it, then I combine it in the crock with the chili sauce. Then add the meat, stirring to coat all the pieces.

When I make these, they are usually for a potluck or holiday get together at midday. So I turn them on high in the morning for an hour or 2 while I get ready. Then I transport them and leave on low for a few hours when I get to where I am going, until it is time to eat. When at home, I cook on high for an hour, then low for at least 3. Everything in there is already fully cooked, so it is up to you how long you want to cook them. The longer you cook, the more tender and flavorful they are. But don't leave on high for long, because the sauce will get too thin and you don't want it to burn.

These are GREAT for football parties too! You can also make a half batch for a smaller event. which is what I do when I make them at home. Just use 1 smaller jar of jelly (around 18oz), 1 jar chili sauce, 1/2 bag meatballs, and one package of wienies. I use my smaller 4 quart crock for that.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sugared Pecans or Walnuts

I am offering a bit of a different recipe for your crock pot this week. It is a nice treat for a holiday get-together. I love the roasted sweet nuts you get at fairs and festivals. This recipe is similar to those, but you can make them at home! I used pecans, but walnuts would work well too. I am posting the recipe I used, although I admit I tweaked it some. After I dusted them with the spices, although they were tasty, I didn't think they were quite sweet enough. So I dusted on some more powdered sugar while they were still warm (a small bowl with a lid helps that process a lot!). Then they were just right! be warned though, they are so tasty when they just come out of the crock pot all warm and buttery, they may not make it to your party :)

Crock pot Sugared Pecans or Walnuts

16 ounces pecans or walnut halves
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Turn slow cooker to HIGH about 15 minutes in advance. In hot slow cooker, stir together the nuts and butter. Add the powdered sugar, stirring to blend and coat evenly. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to LOW and remove lid; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the nuts are coated with a crisp glaze. ***Make sure you stir often enough to prevent burning. I had a few pecan casualties on the bottom of my crockpot.

Transfer the nuts to a bowl. In another small bowl, combine the spices; sift over the nuts, stirring to coat evenly.

Let cool before serving (yeah right! Good luck with that!).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Double recipe fun this week! Chicken and Dumplings and more!

This week I am sharing another great comfort food...chicken and dumplings! This is an EASY recipe, which makes it even better! Not to mention how delicious it is. There is just something about tender chicken made in a crock pot, I love it. Feel free to make it your own by adding peas, carrots, mushrooms, whatever you would like!

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about a pound and a half)
2 Tbsp butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
4 refrigerated biscuits (I used the flaky layer type)
Place chicken in crock pot, and add the butter. Pour in the chicken soup and broth. Dice up the onion, and add to the pot, along with the parsley.

Cook on high 4-6 hours. When chicken is tender, break it up into pieces (I removed each breast and shredded it on a plate, then put it back in the crock). Now it is dumpling time! Cut each biscuit up into 9 pieces, and stir them into the pot. Cook for another half hour on high. You can also add additional chicken broth at this point to get the thickness you desire with this dish. Enjoy!

This week, we have a bonus recipe!!! Congratulations to Kevin Honahan, winner of Rural Route 1 Popcorn's Wild Game Recipe Contest! Way to go!


2 pounds of venison steak or roast

1 Can Golden Mushroom Soup

1 Small can of mushrooms

3 Carrots Sliced

1 Large Onion Chopped

1 Cup water

4 Small Potatoes Skinned and Quartered

¼ Teaspoon of Pepper

Put all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on high 5 to 6 hours.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

With Thanksgiving this week, and Christmas just a month after that, I thought I would share a crock pot recipe that will help you if you have to feed breakfast to some company staying with you during the holidays. That's right, breakfast! In the crock pot! Amazing! Or this would also work for a holiday brunch you may be having or attending. Now, the recipe in itself isn't anything mind-blowing, it is pretty basic ingredients, but the fact that it is ready when you wake up, and that people can help themselves on their own (sometime hectic) holiday morning schedule, is the great thing about it. Be warned that you will smell this in the middle of the night whenever you wake in bed, if you choose to cook on low overnight. It smells great, but I think it made my body wake up earlier than I wanted to on a weekend morning! Haha!

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Cooking spray
1 - 30oz package frozen shredded hashbrowns
12 eggs, whisked
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. COOKED sausages, cut up or ground up (I used ground turkey breakfast sausage, or you can use traditional sausage links or patties) OR leftover ham, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. Spray the inside of the stoneware with cooking spray (don't forget to do that!). Dump in the whole package of shredded hash browns, breaking up any clumps. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, then add seasonings, meat, cheese and veggies. Pour everything on top of the hasbrowns in the pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4. The casserole is done when the eggs are fully cooked and the edges start to brown a bit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

This week, I decided to bring a beef recipe into the mix! One of the best things I like about using a slow cooker, is the great comfort foods you can create. Beef Stroganoff is one of those dishes to me. Nothing better than meat and cream cheese combined together, right? This recipe has just a few ingredients too, which is also a plus! This can be served over noodles (which is my favorite), rice, or even mashed potatoes. Leftovers heat up well too.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

2 cans Golden Mushroom Soup

1 large onion, diced

1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp garlic salt

2 pounds cubed stew meat

1 - 8oz brick cream cheese

In the slow cooker, combine all the ingredients, except the meat AND the cream cheese. Then add the meat and mix together.

Cook on Low for 8 hours. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. Stir the cream cheese in until all combined. You might have to put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes. Serve over egg noodles, or whatever else you think it would be tasty on top of!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Penne

This week's recipe is not one of my tried and true recipes, this is a new one! I got it last week from a friend on Facebook, and thought that it sounded so delicious, that I simply had to try it ASAP. So I threw it in my pot this weekend, and it is so tasty. My husband LOVED it. It is a bit of an untraditional crock pot recipe, and it does have a bit of a kick to it. But there is enough "cooling" ingredients to bring the kick down a bit. And you can control the hotness of it by what wing sauce you choose to use. I used Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce. To cut some fat, I used light sour cream and light ranch dressing, worked fine. I also didn't put any salt in. My 2 year old gobbled it up, so if he can handle the heat, you know it isn't THAT bad! This one is great for football Sundays.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Penne

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb, thawed and chopped bite size)
1 medium onion (chopped finely)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
3/4 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1 cup Sour Cream
1/8 tsp of Salt
1/2 to 1 tsp of Black Pepper (to taste)
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 lb. Penne Pasta (cooked)

Use a 5-quart slow cooker. I used my 7 quart, and I shouldn't have, things got a bit burned along the edges. Place in the chopped up chicken and diced onion. Mix together the cream of chicken soup, buffalo wing sauce, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken and onion. Stir. Cook on low for 7 hours.

Once 7 hours is up... start to boil water for the pasta. At this point add the sour cream, cheese and ranch dressing to the slow cooker. Mix well. Continue to cook on low while the pasta cooks.

When the pasta is al dente. Drain. Mix into the buffalo chicken sauce. Let stand 5 minutes. Enjoy on it's own or with a few slices of garlic bread!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing

So far, I have only done soup meals, so this week, I am changing it up a bit! I LOVE chicken breasts AND stuffing. This easy crock pot recipe combines 2 of those loves wonderfully! The chicken gets so tender, and the cream soup mixed with the chicken juices makes a bit of a gravy for the dish. The spices and herbs in the stuffing infuse into the chicken, so no need to add salt and pepper or anything, in my opinion! Delicous! I also did this once with turkey breast cutlets, and that was good too, the turkey didn't dry out at all.

Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing

1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (about 4), fresh or frozen (I use frozen usually)

1 can cream of mushroom OR cream of chicken soup, whichever you prefer

1/3 cup milk

1 box stuffing (I use Stove Top cornbread stuffing, but you can use any flavor you like)

Lay the chicken on the bottom of the crockpot. Lay them as flat as you can, try not to stack (although that will still work, don't panic!). Mix the soup and milk together, and pour over the chicken. Prepare the stuffing per directions on the box (usually just adding water and melted butter), and then layer that on top of the chicken.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hashbrown Potato Soup

This week, I am giving you one of the easiest cream of potato recipes ever. I love this soup, and make it often in colder months. We top it with shredded cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits, so it tastes just like a loaded baked potato. It is filling enough to use alone as a meal, or it also works as a nice side dish or first course. And by using frozen hash browns, you don't have to spend time cutting up potatoes! I have also thought that chopped up ham would work well in this recipe, but haven't tried it. So if you try that, let me know how it tastes! Also, if you are looking to make a healthier version, I use the 98% fat free soups and low sodium chicken broth. It still tastes great!

Hasbrown Potato Soup

1 bag frozen shredded hash browns (30 oz)

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

32oz chicken broth

1 cup sour cream

salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in your crock pot (use at least a 5 quart size pot). Cook on low for about 6 hours.

before serving, top with some shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or bacon bits.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Slow Cooker Autumn Applesauce

Here is Julie's Crock of the Week from the week of October 10, 2011:

Slow Cooker Autumn Applesauce

14 medium apples, peeled, cored & cut into chunks (I used Jonamac apples)

1/3 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Place the apples in the crock pot. Sprinkle brown sugar and spices on top, and stir to get the spices on all the apples. Pour cider in. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Makes about 6 cups.

I am not a fan of really chunky applesauce. I take a whisk to the mixture when it is done to make it smoother. But it still has a pretty substantial consistency to it. Whatever you prefer!

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Crock of the Week! Taco Soup!

Here was the very first recipe for Julie Jacobs' "Crock of the Week" on 97.7 WGLR. I post a new recipe every week at, and then archive the previous week's recipe here on this blog.


1 lb ground turkey or beef, browned and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (15oz) cans kidney beans (I use one light red and one dark red)
2 (15oz) cans pinto beans
2 (15oz) cans corn with their juices
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 (14oz) can tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel) with their juices
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing mix
sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese for garnishing

Place the meat and onion in your crock pot. Rinse and drain the beans and add to the pot. Add corn and tomatoes with their juices, and then add the seasoning packets.
Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

When serving, add a handful of cheese and a dollop of sour cream to each bowl. I also like to throw on some crushed up tortilla chips. Cornbread is also a nice friend with this soup. It is very filling, and freezes well if you want to save some for later!