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.