Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Slow Cooker Honey Baked Ham

With the chill in the air and leaves on the ground, it’s time to pull out that crock pot! And back by popular demand, is Julie’s Crock of the week! Every week during the winter months, Julie Jacobs will share a slow cooker recipe to help warm up your belly.

Here comes Christmas! So, this week’s recipe is geared at helping you with your holiday meal. My mom’s side of the family usually enjoys a ham for Christmas dinner, and I recently came across this recipe online and thought I would give it a go. Yes, it’s true! Ham in a crock pot! Slow Cooker Honey Baked Ham. I have to give a shout out to where I found this recipe, it is a fantastic cooking blog called “Six Sister’s Stuff.” You really need to follow them, so many delicious recipes! I also spaced out and forgot to take a photo of my ham yesterday when I made it, so I am posting their pic from their blog. Check them out! And wow, did the house smell good yesterday while this was cooking. I did have to cut a chunk of the end off to fit it in my crock pot, but if yours is too big, look here for how to cook it without the lid

Slow Cooker Honey Baked Ham

7-10lb spiral ham (mine was about 8lbs)
2 Tbs brown dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup water

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. In a saucepan, mix together the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the water. Simmer together for a few minutes until all is melted together. Put the water in the crock with the ham, and then pour the saucepan mixture over ham.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, basting every hour or so.

If you would like, you can make a glaze/gravy from the juices when your ham is done. Put the juices in a saucepan with 2T cornstarch and 1T water. i skipped this step because the hame was so good as it was! Again, this pic is not mine, it’s from the Six Sister’s Blog (link above!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Well, now that we have officially gotten our first snow, it is REALLY soup and stew time! It is also cold & flu season, and nothing is better to fill your belly when it is cold or if you have a cold, than Chicken Noodle Soup. It is a pretty basic recipe which you can easily tweak yourself, but it really gets some good flavor made in the crock pot. Enjoy with some cornbread, my favorite! Yum!



Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

1 to 1-1/2lbs of chicken (I used frozen chicken breasts)
1 large box chicken broth, about 48oz (I used low sodium)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup (or 2 if you like)
1/2 cup onions finely chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
1/2 cup green onions chopped
one 15oz can corn drained (I didn't use because I didn't have any on hand, oops!)
salt & pepper to taste
any other seasonings you would like (I used garlic sea salt, thyme and parsley)
1-1/2 cups egg noodles (I used 2c because I love noodles)

Place the chicken on the bottom of the crock. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT THE NOODLES. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Chunk up the chicken. You can do thins right in the crock pot with a few forks if you would like, or you can carefully remove the breasts with tongs, chunk it up on a plate and then place back into the crock, which is how I do it. Then add the noodles and keep cooking on low for another hour.

With the extra noodles I put in it, it resembled more of a stew than a soup, but that's how I prefer it! Store any leftovers. Noodles soak up a lot of moisture, so to reheat, you will have to add a bit of water to thin it out again. I whipped up a box of Jiffy cornbread to go with the soup, delicious! Perfect for a cold winter day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Clusters!

Holiday baking season is in full swing! Here's another recipe to throw into the mix at your baking party. After all, you need the oven free for cookies, right? So use that crock pot! This recipe comes from one of Trisha Yearwood's cookbooks. Simple and tasty! The recipe simply calls it "Crock Pot Candy" but 'chocolate peanut clusters' is a better name I think!



Crock Pot Candy (chocolate peanut clusters)

2 lb dry roasted peanuts
4oz German sweet baking chocolate
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 lb. white almond bark

Dump the peanuts into the crock pot (use at least a 4 qt crock pot). Layer the chocolate in order: german chocolate first, then semi-sweet chips, and the white bark on top. Turn crock on low and cook for 3 hours. DO NOT STIR while cooking.

**note, watch it close. After 2 hours mine looked like it was getting close to scorching a bit on the sides, so I turned it to warm for the last hour.

When done, mix it all together until well combined. Scoop into paper cupcake liners (I just lined some up on cookie sheets, so it was easy to move them around). Wait until they are set, and you can either remove them from the paper liners or leave them in there, whatever you prefer for presentation purposes :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crock Pot Lasagna

The high temp today is only supposed to be in the upper 20's. Brrrr. I don't know about you, but once it gets cold, I enjoy hot comfort meals. We all had one of those last week with Thanksgiving, but lasagna is one of my all time favorite meals. It was almost always what I asked my mom to make me for my birthday dinner when I was a kid. So I thought I would try this recipe I have seen floating around, Crock Pot Lasagna! Just like regular lasagna, you can add variations as you please (grond beed instead of italian sausage, ricotta instead of cottage cheese, throw in some spinach, etc), but here is the basic recipe. Also, the original recipe says to cook on high for 4 hours, but I have a slow cooker that runs hot, so it was too much. Ended up with some burnt edges. I think 2 hours on high and maybe 1 on low would have been better for my crock. I think this would work well on low for 4-6 hours or so too. You know your own crock pot best!

Crock Pot Lasagna

1 box uncooked lasagna noodles (NOT the "oven ready" kind)
1 lb italian sausage
1 large jar red pasta sauce (I used a 45 oz jar)
2 cups cottage cheese
4 cups (1lb) shredded mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning blend to taste

Brown and drain the italian sausage in a skillet, and add pasta sauce. In a bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 3 cups of the shredded mozzarella (reserve 1 cup) and italian seasoning blend (as much as you prefer).

Layer ingredients in the slow cooker just like you would a redular lasagna. I used my 6 qt oblong slow cooker. Start with a layer of the meat sauce, then add the lasagna noodles (break them to make them fit better), then a layer of the cheese mixture, noodles, sauce, etc. Top the last layer with sauce.

Cook for up to 4 hours on high, but keep an eye on it. 3 could be plenty.

5 minutes before serving, sprinkle on the remaining 1 cup of shredded mozzarella to let it melt on top.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crock Pot Garlic Smashed Potatoes

(This was originally posted on the WGLR website last week, so it WAS Thanksgiving week, LOL!)

Thanksgiving week is here! If you are prepping the big meal for your family, or contributing a dish to pass at your celebration, I am here to help! With the oven full, why not use your crock pot to make one of your side dishes?! Brilliant! Pull it out and make some Garlic Smashed Potatoes! You can mash these and keep them warm in the crock so you don't have to worry about the last minute mashing and prepping of the potatoes while trying to get the dinner to the table. They taste great with or without gravy! Happy Thanksgiving!



3 lb red potatoes (you can choose to peel or leave the skin on, whatever you prefer)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2/3 cup water
1 cup onion & chive cream cheese (one 8oz tub)
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream (I just used 2% milk)

Cut potatoes in half or quarters to make chunks about the same size. Place potatoes in a 4qt crock or larger. Add garlic, onion, oil, salt, pepper, and water and mix to coat. Cover crock pot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours until potatoes are tender.

Mash potatoes roughly with a fork or potato masher. Stir in cream cheese and butter until melted and mixed in, then add enough milk or cream for desired consistency.

You can serve this right away, or cover and hold it in the slow cooker up to 2 hours on low/warm. Makes about 14 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

This kind of weather begs for soups and stews to be eaten. Crock Pots and soups go together like PB & J. So this week, I am offering an easy-to-throw-together soup for your enjoyment! I took this recipe and tweaked it some by adding a few extra ingredients, to make it more like it's name...Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup! Serve this with a chunk of crusty bread, and you are all set.

Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 container Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cooking Cream, Original flavor (I used the garlic flavor since the original was sold out, it was good!)
8oz Velveeta (I use the lighter 2% variety)
1-15oz can diced tomatoes
5oz DILL pickle relish
1 small onion diced
6 slices bacon, crumbled (I used the Real Bacon Pieces by the salad dressings to save time...DON'T use the fake pink bacon bits, or you'll get pink soup!)
1 bag frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (about a pound and a half to a 2lb bag)
32oz chicken broth (I used low sodium)

Brown and drain the ground beef. Cook and crumble the bacon. Then add all ingredients into the Crock Pot. The Velveeta will work better if you dice it up instead of throwing in the whole chunk. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6, stirring every hour or so.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Caramel Apple Cider!

I am offering something different this week. I think one of the best treats of autumn and the upcoming holiday season is all the wonderful aromas that swirl around our homes, and especially in our kitchens. The scent of something apple cooking away is at the top of that list. Let me tell you, not only will this week's Crock of the week please your palate and warm your belly, it will make your house smell delicious! This is a nice thing to throw in the crock to feed a mass of kids with runny noses who have been playing outside for hours (or adults enjoying the outdoors, too!), and it makes them feel extra special when you top it with some whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. It also works great for all of those holiday parties coming up in the next few months. It's a nice change of pace from hot chocolate. I used fresh cider from a local orchard, but with those closing up now, the store bought on the shelf will work too. Don't spend 5 bucks on one of these at Starbucks...make it yourself and save some cash!

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. A double batch works well in my 5qt Crock Pot.

Crock Pot Hot Caramel Apple Cider

4 cups apple cider (juice will work too if you can't find cider)
3 T caramel sauce (like ice cream topping)
1/2 T ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
whipped cream and caramel (optional)

Combine all ingredients into a 2 qt Crock Pot. Cook on low for 4 hours to let all the spices simmer together. Serve warm with whipped cream and some caramel drizzled on top.

**Tip: Keep the cider container and pour leftovers back into that to refrigerate. Reheats well!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

This week's recipe is something that you may have prepared before in your oven, but honestly, you should make them in your slow cooker! STUFFED PEPPERS! They made our house smell REALLY good! And everybody feels special with their own little pepper on their own little plate :)

This recipe made 5 peppers and they fit well in my 6 quart crock pot (I took one out to cool down for my 3 year old before I remembered to take a photo, oops!). I probably could have fit a 6th one in too if I had to, but I used all the filling in 5 peppers. Look for wide & fat peppers with straight bottoms, as opposed to tall and skinny ones. The fat ones will sit in the crock better.

***TIP!! Traditionally, stuffed pepper recipes call for COOKED rice, but save yourself some time and use uncooked minute rice in the mixture! Works like a charm and saves you a dirty dish/pan too!


- 5-6 green peppers (yellow or red work too!)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup cooked rice or 3/4 cup uncooked minute rice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 T ketchup
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
-1/3 cup water

Wash peppers and slice the tops off, save tops. Scrape out the center/seeds. Mix the ground beef, rice, Worcestershire sauce,  ketchup, and salt & pepper together in a medium bowl. Generously fill each pepper with the meat mixture, and place in the crock pot. Set the tops back on each pepper. Pour the water into the bottom of the crock.

Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. Serve each pepper whole! Yum!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Despite the fact that we had some days last week with near record high temps in the 70's, I am passing along a true chill-in-the-air-yummy-in-your-tummy classic recipe today, Slow Cooker Beef Stew! This goes great with some fresh made baked bread. It is also one of those recipes that you can tweak to your liking, by adding or taking out some veggies and seasonings. I like to throw in some seasoning salt when I make it.

NOTE: I have a 6qt slow cooker, so if yours is smaller, you may want to cut the recipe.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

-2 lbs cubed stew beef
-1T olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-3 ribs celery, diced
-4 large carrots, sliced
-potatoes of your choice (I use about 6 yukon golds, unpeeled) diced into bite sized pieces
-one 28oz can crushed tomatoes
-1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
-3 cups reduced sodium beef broth, divided
-3 bay leaves
-1 cup frozen peas
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/2 cup all purpose flour

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.

Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker, then add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any drippings. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the meat and veggies. Stir and then add the bay leaves.

Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, add the peas (no need to defrost first), salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth, creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Cover and cook until thickened (about 15-20 minutes). Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Crock is BACK!! Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches!

Julie's Crock of the Week on 97.7 WGLR is BACK by popular demand! The leaves are falling, the air is getting that chill in it, so that means it's time to pull out that crock pot! The first recipe for this season is one that can be enjoyed as a family meal, or as an awesome appetizer for your next football party! Serve it on large hamburger buns, or mini slider buns.


-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite Caesar dressing (I like the refrigerated kind near the salads in the grocery store)
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
-1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
-shredded romaine lettuce
-12 slider buns or 4-6 regular sized hamburger buns

Place chicken in slow cooker with 1-2 cups of water, cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Remove chicken from cooker and shred it up with two forks. Remove any water left in the crock, and then put the shredded chicken back in the crock. Pour dressing, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir until mixed evenly. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until mixture is heated through an the cheese has melted.

Serve on buns with the romaine lettuce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! YUM!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Well, here we are! 70's expected this week for temps (yay!), so this will be the last Crock of the Week until the Fall. And since St.Patrick's Day is this Saturday, I am giving you a special crock pot recipe to celebrate the holiday of (some of) my ancestors, Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage! No need to go out for this, you can make it yourself, easily. Now, for some, this dish just isn't appealing no matter how it is prepared, but I made this for the first time last St.Patrick's Day, and I have to say, it turned out pretty well. It was pretty tender, not tough, which corned beef can be. I got the beef at my local meat shop, so check out your local shops, and get yourself a quality piece of beef, it makes all the difference, in my opinion.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage

•4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces (I just buy a bag of shredded carrots)
•10 baby red potatoes, quartered
•1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
•4 cups water
•1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
•6 ounces beer
•1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
Place carrots, potatoes and onions on the bottom of the crock. Pour in the water, and add the brisket on top of the veggies. Sprinkle the spice packet on top of the meat (mine came pre-seasoned already) and pour the beer over the meat. Cook on high for about 7 hours.

Add cabbage, and cook on high for another hour. ENJOY! Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Now this pic isn't mine, I didn't make this over the weekend like I usually do with the Crock of the Week, because I am saving it to make on St.Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Italian Chicken

Well folks, we are nearing the end of this weekly feature for the season. Spring is inching in, so I will shelve the Crock of the Week for now, and maybe bring it back in the Fall. Next week will be the last Crock of the Week. But don't cry, because here is another recipe to add to your collection, Italian Chicken. Super easy and tasty! My 2 year-old son gobbled this up like he was never going to get another meal in his life.

Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 to 6 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)

1 envelope dry Zesty Italian Dressing mix

1 8oz brick cream cheese

1-2 cans cream of chicken soup (depending on how much 'sauce' you want

Place chicken breasts in the crockpot (I used frozen, and it worked just fine). Sprinkle the Italian dressing mix over the chicken. In a saucepan, melt the cream cheese on low heat with the cream of chicken soup. Pour mixture over chicken in the crock, and cook on low for at least 4 hours (at least 5 if using frozen chicken), but you can leave it on all day if you need/want to.

When done, you can serve how you want. I shredded the chicken in the crock which made for a good chunky sauce. Serve over pasta or rice. We used rotini pasta this time.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder

OK, so no more naughty fudge cake for this week. Back to a good meal! Potato and corn chowder!! This hearty chowder will leave your belly full and your tastebuds happy too. Even my non-corn loving husband ate it. Although I don't think he is having leftovers, but that's his fault, not the chowder's :) And I am plugging an "As Seen on TV" gadget which helps me so much for recipes like this...the Vidalia Chopper. OMG, makes cubing potatoes and dicing veggies for recipes like this a BREEZE!

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder

-8 ounces (1/2 pound) bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled (I used the packages real bacon bits, I am all for ease in prep)
-2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (approximately 5 medium sized potatoes), NOT peeled, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
-8 cups (about 2 pounds) kernel corn (I used frozen)
-1 medium/large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
-1 cup chopped celery
-6 - 8 garlic cloves, crushed
-1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
-32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
-16 ounces (2 cups) half & half or heavy cream
-salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT half & half in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.

Blend about half the soup using an immersion blender or just scoop it into your upright blender then return to slow cooker. (Or if you are like me, and prefer easier ways, I just took a potato masher and mashed up the soup some in the crock pot, I like some potato chunks in my chowder anyway)

Add half & half or heavy cream and continue cooking, uncovered, for about another 15 minutes, until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from the blog "Mama Loves Food."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crockpot Hot Fudge Cake

I am giving you a MAGICAL recipe this week. I had intended to do a delcious soup, but our weekend became busier than planned, so I did not have the time I thought I would, which led me to try this recipe I had been saving to try, sorry for another dessert. Soup next week!

WARNING: this cake is EVIL. And it has super powers. Like magic, a whole layer of fudgey sauce appears at the bottom of your crock, with delicious, moist cake on top. The evilness of it is enhanced by the fact that it is made from basic staple pantry ingredients, and can appear to promptly be put into your belly in just 2 hours. My husband said, and I quote, "I have had fancy restaurant hot fudge cakes that aren't as good as this" while he was devouring it last night. Make it, you will love it. But don't blame me if you become addicted.

Crockpot Hot Fudge Cake

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed and divided

1/4 c. plus 3 Tbl. baking cocoa, divided

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. milk

2 Tbl. butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 c. hot water

vanilla ice cream!!!

Combine flour, one cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in milk, butter and vanilla. Spread evenly in a 3 1/2-quart crockpot. Mix together remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle evenly over top of batter. Pour in hot water; DO NOT STIR. Cover and cook on high setting for 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted one-inch deep comes out clean. Spoon warm cake into bowls; top with vanilla ice cream. Serves 4-6.

Seriously, DO NOT STIR!!!!!! I know the ingredients and prep for this sound weird, but follow the directions exactly! I used my 4 quart crock, and cook time was about 1hr 50 min.

Recipe found on the blog "Eat Cake for Dinner."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

This week's recipe is very helpful for those times when you want/need to use your oven for 2 different dishes for your dinner, but their cooking temps and times are much different. I hate that. So, instead of putting your scalloped potatoes in the oven, use your crockpot! Prep is minimal with this dish (although you do have to thinly slice some potatoes, but it isn't all that much), and it makes the potatoes so nice and tender. I have thought about adding some diced ham to this one time too, which would create a whole meal, not just a side dish.

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

- 1 cup sour cream (I used light)
- 1 can condensed cream of potato soup
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 lb small red potatoes
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend (can double cheese to make cheesier, many of you do live in Wisconsin, after all :) - 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives for topping

Thinly slice the potatoes into rounds, set aside. Mix sour cream, can of soup and worcestershire sauce together in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and stir until they are evenly coated.

Pour half of the potato mixture into your crockpot (I used my 4 quart crock for this recipe). Layer half of your cheese on that, then add the rest of the potatoes, and add the remaining cheese on top for the final layer. Cook on high for about 3 hours, or low for 6-7. If desired, top with the paprika and chives before serving, or just throw it on your plate and salt & pepper it like I do :) Makes 12 servings.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler

I'm giving you a special treat this week...Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler! I found this recipe on the back of a bag of Schwan's frozen blueberries, of all places. I kept the bag, but never got around to trying it until this weekend. Happy I did! This works best in an oblong crock, not the old tall crocks. Also, the original recipe calls for 16oz of blueberries (which is what the Schwan's bag is), but I could only find 12 oz bags in the store locally (My Schwan's guy isn't scheduled to come until this week for us, haha!). Honestly, that was enough, those 12 ounces were very juicy! I was impressed though, and the nice thing is that you can keep it warm in the crock until you want to eat it. YUM! Then that scoop of ice cream can melt on it nicely! I think I am going to try this recipe again soon with some Door Country cherries I have in my freezer.

Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler

1 c flour
1 1/4 c sugar, divided
1 t baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 c water
2 eggs
3 t lemon juice, divided
1 (12 oz) bag whole frozen blueberries
Mix together the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sour cream, water, eggs, and 1 tsp of the lemon juice. Use a whisk to get it as lump-free as possible. Pour batter into the crock.

Then in a small bowl, pour in the blueberries, remaining 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Stir to coat all the berries with sugar, and pour evenly over the batter in the crock.

Cook on high for 2 to 2.5 hours. Don't overcook, or the batter will be chewy! You want cakey, not chewy! Throw on a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Crock Pot Chili

Hi all! I apologize for the late posting of the Crock of the Week this week, I enjoyed a few days off with my family for my birthday! This week, I am giving you a traditional recipe that you can easily throw together in your crock pot. For years, I used a dutch oven on the stovetop for making chili, but the crock pot is a great way to make it too, since you don't have to pay as much attention to it once you throw it together.

Crock Pot Chili

- 2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
- 1 green or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (I use the chili-ready kind, but plain is fine too)
- 1 15-oz can of tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- Salt/pepper to taste
- 2-3 15-oz cans pre-cooked pinto beans, light red kidney beans, or dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a large skillet, saute onion until soft. Add in the ground beef and brown that up. Drain, and then transfer mixture to the crock pot. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, stir. Mix in diced peppers and spices. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6. Then add your beans (I use 3 cans because my 2 year old son LOVES beans! I use 1 can of each of the beans listed in the ingredients to make the chili pretty, haha!), and cook on high for another hour or low for another 2.

Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream when serrving, and I also enjoy some cornbread with chili. YUM! Freezes well and leftovers taste even better, in my opinion.

This week, I decided to do a photo of my son's chili plate :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crock Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken

Well, it is that time of year! Superbowl time! Even though my Green Bay Packers are not making a repeat appearance this year, we will still watch, of course. And that also means eating lots of food at a Superbowl party! So, if you are hosting or bringing a dish to a Superbowl get-together, I will help you out with this week's recipe, Shredded Buffalo Chicken! I posted a Buffalo Chicken Penne recipe a few months back that got a lot of good comments, so I am sure you will all enjoy this one too. The best part is that you can use it as a base for SO MANY dishes! My family enjoyed it this weekend in sandwich form, on toasted sourdough sub rolls. But it would also work great for tacos, nachos, on crackers, or even made into a buffalo chicken cheese dip, just throw it together with some velveeta! You can even freeze it to use later if you don't eat it all. Yum. Also, if you are like me and often forget to thaw the meat you intend to cook for dinner, this uses FROZEN chicken, so you don't even have to think too much in advance :) So, have fun with it, it will be a big hit at your Superbowl party, or any time of the year!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken

3 pounds FROZEN chicken breasts (I like tenderloins, but regular breasts will work well too)
1 large bottle Frank's Red Hot Buffalo WINGS sauce
1 envelope ranch dip dry mix

Place the frozen chicken breasts in the crock. Pour about 3/4 of the bottle of Frank's over the chicken (I used the whole bottle but it was a bit too juicy, you can always add more sauce at the end of you think the mixture is too dry). Sprinkle the envelope of ranch dip over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Take the breasts out of the crock onto a plate, and use 2 forks to shred the chicken (if it doesn't shred easily, the chicken isn't quite done, but after 6 hours that really shouldn't be an issue), and return the shredded chicken into the crock pot. Continue to cook on low for another hour, to let all of the shredded chicken soak up the sauce. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple Pie Breakfast

OK, this week, I am doing another breakfast/brunch treat! The hashbrown breakfast casserole I posted a few months ago was a big hit, so I thought I would do another breakfast crock. This one is actually pretty healthy too, which is always a plus, especially if you are trying to lose those holiday pounds :) It uses steel cut oats (also called Irish or Pinhead oats), which are supposed to be the healthiest of oats! Don't use rolled oats, as they will just turn into mush. Unless you like mush, then maybe it would work! Now, the original recipe for this says you can cook it on low overnight 7-8 hours without stirring a lot, but that you need to add an additional cup of liquid for that. Honestly, I don't think it would work well, but you can try it. I prefer the 2-4 hours on high, which could make for a nice late morning weekend breakfast or brunch. Also, peeling the apples is optional, I left the skin on this time, just because I was lazy! It all depends on your taste preference. For my taste, I also sprinkled on some brown sugar when serving, because it isn't quite sweet enough for me, but the kind of apple you pick effects that too. I used Pink Lady apples, because that is what I had onhand, but that is a pretty tart apple.

Apple Pie Breakfast
1 cup of steel cut oats
3 medium sized apples, diced or thin sliced
1 cup apple juice
3 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook for 2-4 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low until it reaches the consistency that you like. Be sure to stir every hour or so. Makes six 1 cup servings. Leftovers last for a few days in our house.

This recipe even has nutritional info for you! Here ya go! Each 1 cup serving (before any additional toppings) is: 115 Calories; 1g Fat; 26g Carbs; 2g Fiber.

I got this original recipe from the blog, Cooking with Jax.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Wow, Monday came fast this week! But, I was able to cook up this tasty meal over the weekend. My mom was visiting, and even she had two helpings, so that tells you a lot about how good this is, haha! On the surface, it may sound a bit bland, but the Zatarain's yellow rice really adds a nice spice blend to the dish. Make sure you add the rice already cooked! You can cook it the night before and put it in the fridge, or just prepare it when the chicken is almost done and throw it on in.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs)
1 large onion, chopped
1 -8 ounce box Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 - 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (regular or fat free)
1 -15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.

A few minutes before serving, take 2 forks and shred the chicken up in the crock (it is so tender, this only takes a minute to do). Then add in COOKED rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Honey Parmesan Pork Roast

OK, the holidays are over, so we can all get back on track! I haven't had much time for crocking over the holidays, so I apologize for not getting a recipe up last week. But I am making up for it with this one! Now, let me just say that I am not a huge fan of pork, but my husband is, so I thought I would try this recipe, because if seasoned right, I do enjoy a pork roast. Awesome thing about making this in a crock pot is that the leftovers shredded up so easily, that we have a bunch of shredded pork in the freezer, just waiting to be thawed and slathered with sauce for some pulled pork sandwiches. Now THAT is a pork dish that I enjoy! This dish also makes it's own gravy, although I didn't have the best of luck with it, but I am not good at gravy in general. I made some mashed baby red potatoes with it, and it was a very tasty supper.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

1 (2-3 pound) boneless pork roast
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mac N Cheese!

This week, howabout one of THE best comfort foods EVER? Macaroni & Cheese! My 2 year old asked for seconds, which is indeed rare, so I consider this recipe a success :) As a note, this recipe would probably work best in one of the older tall crockpots, as opposed to the new ones which are oblong and tend to run hot (like mine). You just jave to be vigilant about stirring occassionally, this isn't a put in the pot and leave it alone until it is done recipe. But it's tasty!

Crockpot Mac n Cheese
•2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
•4 Tablespoons butter
•2 1/2 cups freshly shredded cheddar (I use a mixture of medium and sharp)
•3 eggs (optional, I don't always use, or sometimes just use 1)
•1/2 cup sour cream
•1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup
•1/2t salt
•1 cup whole milk
•1/2t dry mustard (I don't use)
•1/2t black pepper
Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In slow cooker, combine cheese mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper. Add the drained macaroni and stir again.

Cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Makes 4-6 servings.