Monday, December 30, 2013

German Dinner in the Crock Pot

**originally posted on on 12-23-13
This week’s recipe is a unique one! I came across this recipe a year or so ago, and having a lot of German heritage in me, thought I should make it! Don’t dismiss it before trying it, it really was delicious. And there is beer in it, so that can’t be bad! Although, if you are one of those people who absolutely cannot stand sauerkraut, then this recipe isn’t for you, haha!
german dinner

German Dinner in the Crock Pot

2 rings smoked sausage, sliced into 3 inch pieces
2 pounds sauerkraut
8 to 12 red potatoes, washed and halved or quartered depending on the size
1 onion sliced
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 apples, cored and sliced
2 bottles (12 ounces) beer
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
Lay the potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Then add onion, apples, bacon, and sauerkraut. Place sausage on top. pour in beer, brown sugar, and caraway seeds.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dr.Pepper Slow Cooker Roast Beef

Perhaps one of the most popular things to make in a slow cooker is a beef roast. This week, I offer you a recipe for just that, and it uses an unusual ingredeint…it’s  Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Roast Beef! This would be a nice main dish to prepare for a holiday gathering this year, or just to enjoy year ’round. Nothing says comfort food like a delicious chunk of slow cooked roast on your plate, yum!
dr pep beef

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Roast Beef

  • One 3-5 lb beef roast (make sure it fits in your slow cooker, i used a chuck roast)
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper (12oz)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves minced
  • salt & pepper
Place roast in crock pot, and add all ingredients over the top of the roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of you roast. When serving, spoon out the juices and pour on roast slices.
Remember, all recipes from ALL the years of Julie’s Crock of the Week are archived on my blog at to view ANYTIME!
- Julie Jacobs

Monday, December 16, 2013

Slow Cooker Ham Tot Breakfast Casserole

**originally posted on on 12-9-13

‘Tis the season for overnight holiday guests! Or just for more hearty breakfasts to warm your belly and carry you through the day. This dish is perfect if you have some family or friends staying at your home for the holidays, for a holiday brunch, or for Christmas morning, especially since opening presents may come before breakfast that day, if you have kids in the house! Eliminate the need to prep breakfast, and enjoy the time with your loved ones with this week’s “Julie’s Crock of the Week,” Crockpot Ham Tot Breakfast Casserole! I did a similar recipe back in season one of Julie’s Crock of the week that used shredded potatoes, but this one uses tater tots (which are their own food group, right? ha!).
Now, this would work best if you have one of those fancy programmable crock pots (I have asked Santa for one this year), because you can make it go to a “warm” setting at 4 or 5 am so it doesn’t scorch at all. I just cook it overnight, but my crock has a hot spot that does make some crispy edges. BUT, I just scoop that part off, and the rest is fine to eat :) Just a heads up! You know your own crockpot the best. Also, another “hazard” of this is that the delicious smell of breakfast may wake you in the middle of the night and confuse your mind and body, LOL!
Also, the tater tots WILL NOT HOLD THEIR SHAPE. So, don’t expect that to happen. If you overcook, it may become too mushy for some, but I liked the consistency. My husband said he really enjoyed it, too. This original recipe is called “bacon tot casserole” but that is with Canadian bacon, which I think is more like ham. So I changed the name :)
ham tot

Slow Cooker Ham Tot Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb. frozen tater tots
  • 1/2 lb diced Canadian bacon or ham
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 eggs (or 1.5 cups egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper
Use a 4-5 quart crock pot for this. Layer ingredients in order: one third of the tater tots, bacon, onions, green peppers, and cheeses. Repeat layers two more times, ending with cheeses. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, and flour and beat with whisk or egg beater until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over layers in crock pot.
Cook on low for about 6 hours. Could be less, could be more, depending on your crock pot. If you have a programmable one, I’d set it on low for 4 to 5 hours, then switch it to warm until you wake up to eat it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Crockpot Nutella Hot Chocolate

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to bring on the jingle bells! The Jacobs household decked the halls this weekend, and of course, my crock pot had a part in the fun. Yesterday, we hung some lights outside, pulled the tree and decorations up from the basement, and trimmed our 2013 tree. My 4 year old son was my decorating assistant. All of his ornaments are on the bottom half, of course! While we were decorating, I had THIS delicious treat cooking away…Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate! And yes, it is as delicious as it sounds. Make it for your family and friends all winter long to warm them up and make them smile!
To be honest, I didn’t actually use Nutella, I used the new Jif hazelnut spread. We got a free jar of it in our goodie bag at the Taste of Home Cooking School in early November. The stuff is seriously delicious! And let me tell you, this hot chocolate is divine. Thick, rich, & creamy! And yes, I did top it with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, because I am an adult, and I can put chocolate sprinkles on my hot chocolate if I want to! HA!

Crock Pot Nutella Hot Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups milk
In a saucepan, combine cocoa, Nutella, sugar & water. Bring to a gentle rolling boil. Transfer mixture to crock pot and add milk. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If desired, top with whipped cream or marshmallows when serving!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce

(originally posted on on 11-25-13)

Well, the holiday food rush is here! Let your slow cooker help you get through all the holiday gatherings at your home over the next weeks. Here is an easy recipe that you can impress everybody with, Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce! Forget the “sauce” in the can that comes out with the ridges from the can on it (although I do love that stuff, haha!)! Throw this in your crock, and you’ll have a delicious, homemade cranberry sauce for all to enjoy. Plus, it makes your house smell divine! I think I love the smells created by crock pot cooking as much as eating the delicious creations that come out of the crock!
cran sauce

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce

  • 12 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Put all ingredients into the crock. It will look like a lot of liquid, but don’t worry, it will cook down to a nice sauce. Cook on high for 3 hours, stirring every hour. After a few hours once the skins on the cranberries are soft, you can smash them against the side to “pop” them. It’s fun! Do it!
After 3 hours, remove the lid and cook another 45 minutes or so, until the sauce is a good, thicker consistency. It will thicken upon cooling and refrigerating, too. You can make this a few days ahead of time and store in the fridge!  It also freezes well. I made this the Saturday before Thanksgiving, froze it until Wednesday, then moved it to the fridge again, and it was perfect on Thursday for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Crock Pot Lasagna Soup

(Originally posted on on 11-18-13)
This week’s recipe is a new one I tried over the weekend, and WOW! It’s DELICIOUS!! Definitely going to be made again in our house! It’s Crock Pot Lasagna Soup, and you will love it. Lasagna isn’t an ideal weeknight meal because of prep and bake time. Even prepping it ahead of time doesn’t always help because you need 45 minutes to an hour to bake it, which isn’t always possible with busy schedules. Here is the solution! It’s like lasagna in a bowl! Top it with some fresh mozzarella cheese, and you have the perfect meal for your family on a chilly evening.

Crock Pot Lasagna Soup

  • 1- 20oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 lb ground beef (you can brown it first or just put it in the crock…depends on if you want to drain fat off the meat)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup V8 vegetable juice
  • 4-5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked small shell pasta
  • 1 cup water
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
Combine together diced tomatoes and tomato paste in the crock pot. Add in beef, broth, V8, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, salt & pepper. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-6. After that cooking time, add in the uncooked pasta and cup of water, and cook for an additional 30 minutes. When serving, you can top with shredded mozzarella.  Serves 6-8.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Butter

(originally posted on on 11-12-13)
This recipe was the result of timing working well with two things last week. First, I had too many apples in my pantry from a few orchard trips in October that were going soft. Second, I got a new toy! An immersion blender! I have wanted one for a while and found a great deal for one online, and it came in the mail last week. So, I had the perfect combination to try to make my own apple butter! And let me tell you, it’s REALLY delicious, it turned out better than I expected. And don’t fret if you don’t have an immersion blender. I prefer smooth apple butter, but you can just enjoy it chunkier, or throw it in your blender, too. It tastes awesome on warm biscuits, toast, crackers, english muffins, etc.! And the best part is how this makes your house smell all day! So wonderful!


  • About a dozen medium apples, peeled, cored & diced (I used 18 small-medium, and got about a pint and a half of butter)
  • 1/2 cup water or apple cider (I used cider)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
Place apples in your crock pot, add in all other ingredients. Give it a good stir to coat all the apples with spices. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. The process is similar to making applesauce, except you need to cook it down more to a thicker consistency. After the initial cooking time, put (or keep) the crock on HIGH, and either vent the lid with a wooden spoon, or remover the cover altogether, and cook for another hour or two, checking consistency. It needs to thicken up to become apple butter.
When it cooks down to a thicker consistency than apple sauce, you can give it a good mash if you want it chunkier, or you can take the immersion blender to it to smooth it out. Store it in jars or plastic containers in the fridge.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken & Black Bean Soup

*originally posted on on 11-4-13

I just love the blend of Mexican spices in dishes, especially in soups. This soup fits the bill. It is hearty and filling, and you can easily stir in some sour cream and sprinkle with cheese and crushed tortilla chips to make a taco in a bowl. Mmmm yum. Make a double batch and freeze half of it for an easy dinner later in the season. So here you go, Southwest Chicken & Black Bean Soup!

SW chix soup


  • 1 lb. chicken breasts (frozen works fine)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups no salt added chicken broth
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped (or 4 tsp dried)
Lay chicken on bottom of crock, and add all ingredients on top. Cook on low for about 6 hours, or high for 3. Take chicken out and shred up with 2 forks. Return chicken to crock pot and cook on low for another hour or on high for another half hour.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, etc. 1 cup serving is only about 150 calories! Without the extras on top, of course :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Caramel Sauce

I have to start by saying I was pretty skeptical that this recipe would actually work. I have had it saved on my computer for over a year, and finally decided to try it. I made it while at work on Friday, for two reasons: First, if it didn’t turn out, I knew my co-workers would all still eat it. Radio people love free food, LOL! And second, if it DID work out, I didn’t want an entire pumpkin cake with caramel sauce in my house, haha! Luckily, it turned out! And, it made our office smell awesome. Now, I’m sure a pumpkin cake baked in the oven is a bit better for pretty serving purposes, but the MAGIC of this recipe is the caramel sauce! With this trick, you will wow your kids, spouse, mother-in-law, you name it! When you cook a can of sweetened condensed milk, it turns into a caramel sauce! Well, I’d call it more of a dulce de leche sauce, but it’s amazing! Even if you don’t want to make the pumpkin cake here, you can cook the can of sweetened condensed milk in your crock, too! Place 2 cups of water and the unopened can in your crock, and cook for 4 hours.
The photo shows what it looked like when I put it in the crock to cook, and then the finished product!
pumpkin cake

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Caramel Sauce

  • 1 box angel food cake mix
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-14oz can sweetened condensed milk
Prepare angel food cake mix as directed on box. In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin, vanilla & pie spice. Fold into angel food cake batter.
SPRAY YOUR CROCK WITH COOKING/BAKING SPRAY! Take the paper off the can of sweetened condensed milk, and place in the middle of your crock (at least a 5.5 quart size oblong oval crock, and I put spray on the can, too). Pour the batter around the can in the crock.
Cook on high for 2 hours, then remove the cake (check with a toothpick for doneness, and it should be pulling away from the sides of the crock). Return the can of sweetened condensed milk to the crock with 2 cups of water, and cook for another 2 hours. Remove can and let cool a bit so you can open it. Give it a stir, and drizzle over pieces of the cake to serve.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup

*originally published on on 10-21-13*

This weekend was our first really chilly one of the season, so I HAD to make something to warm us up on Saturday! That meant a delicious soup was needed. This one fit the bill! I made a double batch and will be enjoying it for lunch all week at work, too.

sausage soup

Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup

  • 1 lb. bulk Italian Sausage
  • 1-24oz jar pasta sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained & rinsed
  • 1 box (10oz) frozen chopped spinach
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1 lb ditilini pasta (you can also sub rice)
Brown the sausage in pan before putting it in your crock. Throw in all ingredients except the pasta. (note...I subbed brown rice for the pasta in my soup. You can put 1/2 cup dry brown rice into the crock with everything and it will cook up just fine in the soup). Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.

Before serving, cook pasta according to box directions. Add to soup and serve!

*Note: I used turkey sausage, and brown rice instead of pasta (as noted above), and I was lazy and just bought match stick carrots, all worked well for a delicious soup! And my version is only 230 calories a cup, in case you are looking for a healthier modification.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Crock is back! Season 3's first recipe is Cafe Rio Chicken!

(originally posted on on 10-14-13)
The first Crock of the Week for this season! This is the third season of sharing recipes with you all, and I enjoy it so much.  I use my crock pot all year long, not just in the colder months. This particular recipe I made a few times this summer, it’s PERFECT for parties and get-togethers. For my daughter’s 1st birthday in June, I had a chicken taco/nacho bar, and made a huge batch of this for people to build their own tacos with. I also had some buns on-hand for those who preferred to eat it in sandwich form. I also made it when we had a cabin getaway weekend with friends, everybody loved it! It’s so versatile! leftovers can be used for a taco salad, enchiladas & burritos, cheesy chicken dip for your next football party, you name it. Plus, it freezes well. Make a double or triple batch and freeze some of it to use later for a lickety-split meal. And I admit that I call it “crack chicken” because it is so addictive! It’s so  tasty! Haha!


  • 2lbs chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 packet (3 Tbsp) dry ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
Put chicken in the crock pot. Add all ingredients, and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until chicken easily shreds up with a fork. Shred chicken with 2 forks and return to crock. I like to let it cook for at least another half hour so the shredded chicken soaks up all the juices. Enjoy!
**TIP!!! If you make a double or triple batch, here is a SUPER easy way to shred a large amount of chicken: If you have a stand mixer like a kitchenAid, put the cooked chicken in there with the paddle attachment, and in less than a minute, you will have perfectly shredded chicken!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crock Pot Seafood Chowder

(originally posted on on 3-25-13)
Well folks, here we are! It’s the last ‘Crock of the Week’ for the season! Remember, all recipes are archived on Julie’s blog to see all year ’round.  Click here:
This week’s recipe is from the winner of our “Julie’s Crock of the Week” giveaway! We had 81 entries! Amazing! 
Cathy’s recipe is Seafood Chowder, which is a perfect meal for this time of the year. Now, when I was putting this together Saturday morning, I was very much distracted by my 3 year old, 9 month old, and husband, who were all in the kitchen. I realized when it was too late that I had diced up all the potatoes and threw them in without peeling them. OOps! It was too late to go back, so I just soldiered on. It still tasted great, but didn’t look too pretty at the end (quite brown, ha!), so I am not posting a pic of it, LOL! The only other change I made was that I added in some Old Bay spice. But this was a tasty meal, thanks Cathy! My husband loved it. It’s the first time I have ever used fish in a slow cooker too.

Cathy’s Seafood Chowder

1 1/2 lbs. fresh or frozen fish fillets (Haddock, cod, etc.)
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped green onion, with tops
2 to 3 potatoes, pared and cubed
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
Thaw frozen fillets and cut into bite-size peices. In small skillet, saute bacon and onion until golden, drain and put into CROCK-POT with fish. Add all remaining ingredients except evaporated milk. Cover and cook on Low 6 to 9 hours or until potatoes are tender. (High: 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours) Add evaporated milk during last hour.
THANKS AGAIN to everybody who submitted a recipe! And thanks for all the fun from the second season of ‘Julie’s Crock of the Week.’ I always enjoy the notes and calls I get from listeners to chat about recipes :)
- Julie Jacobs

Bell Pepper Stew with Ground Turkey

(originally posted on on 3-18-13)
Hard to believe this is my last Crock of the Week for the season (You’ll still get one next week, BUT it will be the winning recipe from “The Crock of the Week Crock Pot Giveaway!”).
So, remember, I told you at the New Year that you would be getting some healthier crock pot recipes because the Jacobs’ household was making an effort to get healthy? I am happy to say we have stuck to the resolution, haha! This soup is one I have made a few times for us in the last few months. It is delicious AND healthy, and works great for The Husband and I to take to work for lunches. Make a double batch, and you’ll have lunch at work for a week for you and another person.
So now, let’s talk ground turkey. Some love it, some hate it. It is a healthier option than ground beef, BUT I have to say I am not a fan of a regular old boring turkey burger. However, I am a HUGE fan of it in combination recipes. It works awesome for Mexican dishes like tacos, and also in Italian dishes like lasagna. So, if you aren’t usually a fan of ground turkey, give it a chance in this recipe. You won’t be disappointed. Don’t let the recipe name scare you away! This tastes like stuffed peppers in a soup, it really does! And a 1 cup serving is only 140 calories!!! For real!


1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
1 onion, diced
salt & pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
30 oz canned diced tomatoes (you can use no-salt if you’d like)
32 oz chicken or turkey broth (I use low-sodium)
Two bell peppers, diced (you can use green, red or yellow. I use one green and one red)
4 oz uncooked brown rice
Brown the turkey in a skillet with the onion, garlic, some dashes of salt & pepper and paprika. transfer mixture to the crock pot and add all the remaining ingredients. You can throw in some more salt & pepper and curry to taste if you would like once everything is mixed together.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.5 hours. Serve with some shredded mozzarella cheese if you would like.

Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

(originally posted on on


Last year for this Irish holiday, I posted the classic St.Patrick’s meal of  Corned Beef & Cabbage , made easy peasy in your crock pot! So I am offering you another traditional Irish meal this week, Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie! This recipe uses beef, and I have to say that I really like how it turned out. I have made it before in the oven, and the potatoes tend to get overdone and too dry, in my opinion. But, the potatoes stayed nice and moist when made in the slow cooker. Yum, yum YUM! This meal is great year round, and will make all of your leprechauns, young and old, very happy!


  • 2 lbs potatoes (yukon gold work well)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste (or ketchup)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • salt & pepper
  • seasoned salt
Prick potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave potatoes on high, turning once, until tender, about 15 minutes (I have one of those cool baked potato microwave bags) . Remove from microwave, let cool slightly, then peel and mash with milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper. You could also peel and then boil and mash, or even use instant mashed potatoes if you like.
In a skillet on medium heat, pour in the olive oil. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, until the onions start to get translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute, then add in the ground beef.  When the meat is almost browned, add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and thyme.  in a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch with the 1 cup of water, and add to the ground beef mixture when it is all browned up. Once it thickens up some, transfer the mixture into the slow cooker. Layer veggies on top of the meat, and then top with potatoes.  Sprinkle some seasoning salt on the potatoes.  Cook on low for 3 hours.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Slow Cooker (NO BOIL!) Manicotti

This week’s recipe is sure to impress your family and friends, because it seems like you have some amazing culinary skills when you serve it…Slow Cooker Stuffed Manicotti! There is a tiny bit of prep involved (but NO BOILING of the manicotti!), but if you want to enjoy a tasty meal that everyone will not believe you made in the crock pot, this is something you should make ASAP. Pasta doesn’t have to be soggy and mushy in a slow cooker, and this recipe proves that. I used low fat cottage cheese and ricotta for the filling, worked well!


For the filling:
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (1/2 cup reserved)
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 large jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 package manicotti (uncooked, about 14 pieces)
Pour some marinara into the bottom of your crock pot. I used my 6qt oblong crock. The oblong ones work better than the tall crocks for this. Now it’s time to make the filling…mix together the cottage cheese, ricotta and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella. Also pour in the italian seasoning, about a tablespoon, but I like more, so you can use your own discretion here. Now, if you have some cake decorating piping bags, you can use one of those to pipe the filling into the manicotti shells. If you don’t have one, grap a ziploc bag and cut a hole in a corner, that works well, too! Pipe cheese into one end of the manicotti shell, about enough to fill it up halfway, then turn the shell around to pipe in the cheese on the other side. Lay shells on top of the sauce in the crock in a single layer (I had about 3 manicotti on top of others, I couldn’t fit them ALL in a single layer, still worked fine).

Pour the remaining sauce on top of the manicotti. I used more sauce than the original recipe because I know my crock runs hot. You can use less sauce if you want, but make sure you check a few times while it is cooking then, because you don’t want it to get too dry and burn. I also threw in some frozen meatballs on top because I knew my 3 year old would need some meatballs when we ate this!

Cook on high for about 2.5 hours. Check around 2 hours to see how the firmness of the pasta is. About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top, so it can melt.

Here is my pic, mid prep, showing the just stuffed manicotti in my crock pot.

Slow Cooker Sauced Chicken

This week’s recipe is mainly for the sauce. I got the recipe from a friend, and she says they use the sauce on many things, but it is especially good on chicken and ribs. I made it with chicken breasts, because that is what I had on-hand, but you can use any cut of chicken you like, bone-in or out, fresh or frozen. It just seems to be a good sauce for many different meats. Plus it is easy to make! I had everything in my pantry for it, I love recipes with basic ingredients that are so versatile and easy to whip up! I served the chicken with sauce over white rice, and it was delicious.  If you try it on ribs, let me know how it is!


  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp chili powder
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds chicken pieces of your choice
Place the chicken in your slow cooker. Mix all the other ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Butterscotch Lava Cake

Oh boy, do I have a great recipe for you! When I was making this last week, my husband said it was “Crock of the Week whiplash” because I did a broccoli recipe the week before, and then this one, Crock Pot Butterscotch Lava Cake. Oh yes, you read that right. It is pretty similar to the Crock Pot Hot Fudge Cake I made last year, in that IT MAKES IT’S OWN SAUCE, people. It’s magic. You have delicious warm and moist cake on top, with this sinful pool of butterscotch saucy yumminess on the bottom of the crock. After chocolate, butterscotch is my favorite flavor. Throw a scoop of ice cream on it or some whipped cream, and you have a delicious dessert that tastes like you got it from a fancy restaurant. Make it. Make it NOW.

Your Thompson’s IGA ingredient list:

Crock Pot Butterscotch Lava Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 pkg (3 oz.) Cook & Serve butterscotch pudding (NOT instant)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3 Tbs butterscotch sundae topping
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1-1/3 cup boiling water
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, pudding mix, sugar, baking powder & salt. Make a well int he center for the milk, oil and vanilla. Whisk everything together, and then add in the butterscotch chips. Pour batter into the crock.

In a small bowl mix together the sundae topping and sugar. Pour boiling water into bowl, and stir until it is smooth and sugar is dissolved. Pour over the batter in the crock and DO NOT STIR. That is very important! No stirring!

Cook on high for about 2 hours, then turn off your crock and let it sit for a half hour.  Keep an eye on it in case your crock runs hot, you don’t want to burn the edges.

Scoop out the cake and then scoop out some sauce from the bottom to drizzle over your cake. A scoop of ice cream send this over the top :) YUM!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

Often, you are planning dinner, but can't make just what you want because your main dish needs the oven, so you have to choose a side that doesn't need to be made in the oven. Well, why not use your crock pot for that side dish? This week I am offering you Slow Cooker Cheesy Broccoli Casserole. It's a good way to get veggies into your meal without a lot of work. I have to warn you though, if you haven't cooked with broccoli too often, it does have a pretty strong smell that some don't enjoy. So, yeah, I warned you there. Ha ha!

And I would like to welcome Thompson's IGA in Cuba City as a sponsor of Julie's Crock of the Week! Welcome aboard!

Your Thompson's IGA ingredient list:

Slow Cooker Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

  • 2 lbs fresh (not frozen) broccoli florets, washed and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground dry mustard
  • 1 cup low fat or fat free milk
  • 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 cup shredded fancy white cheese (swiss, gouda, provolone, fontina, etc)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Use a 4 quart crock pot. Cut up and wash the broccoli. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, pepper & mustard. Toss the broccoli florets in the flour mixture, coating all the florets.  Pour into slow cooker. Stir in the cup pf fancy white shredded cheese. Pour in the milk and broth. Top with the parmesan cheese and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4, until the broccoli is at desired tenderness. Give it all a good stir before serving. Makes about 8 cups, each cup is about 130 calories.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Salsa Chicken 2-for-1!

This week, I am giving you a bit of a 2-for-1 treat. I made this original recipe, Crock Pot Salsa Chicken, for the first time a few years ago and LOVED it. It comes from the great cookbook "A Year of Slow Cooking" by Stephanie O'Dea.  I recently came upon a variation of the original which made it into a soup, on her blog, which is the same name as her book (Google it, it's worth it!).  So I decided to try the soup version over the weekend and it was SO TASTY! My husband and I both agreed it is one of our favorite things I have ever made in the slow cooker. So not only am I giving you the soup recipe, but I'm also giving you the original salsa chicken recipe. Not only can you enjoy it as is, but it also works great as a filling in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, etc,  when you shred up the chicken.  It's also very low fat! YAY! Would be a nice dish for a taco bar at your Super Bowl party this weekend!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup chunky salsa (1.5 cups if you use breasts)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
Pretty simple here...put the chicken in the crock (frozen is fine), and pour the other ingredients over the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

  • 1 lb boneless chicken ( I used frozen breast tenderloins)
  • 1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained & rinsed)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1-16oz jar salsa
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end, I used light)
If you know you are going to make this the day before, I recommend using the dried beans, just soak them overnight for at least 8 hours. I really think they tasted great in this soup, and are less expensive than the canned. But the canned beans would work well too, I am sure.
Pour beans into the crock. Lay the chicken on top, and then pur the remaining ingredients over the chicken and beans. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you are using the dried beans, it will be closer to 8 hours, check the beans for tenderness. With an hour or two to go, shred up the chicken in the crock (or remove, shred, and put back in crock, which is a bit easier!).  When the soup is done, stir in the sour cream before serving.
When serving, you can top with cheese, sour cream, avocado, etc. 1 cup serving on it's own is only 200 calories!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Savory Chicken

Holy cow, it’s COLD!!!! Definitely crock pottin’ weather!  This week’s recipe is a simple, basic crock pot recipe, but I know that when I was first on my own and started cooking for myself, I needed basic recipes to start to learn how to cook, without my mom around to ask :) So here ya go. Plus a serving of this (1 breast with a good scoop or two of the veggies) Savory Chicken is this week’s Crock of the Week.

Slow Cooker Savory Chicken

  • 1.5 – 2lbs boneless chicken breasts (I used 4 large)
  • 2-15oz cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chunked up
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme (or herb blend of your choice)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
Put chicken on the bottom of the crock (Fresh or frozen works fine). Put all the ingredients in the crock EXCEPT the broccoli, and cook on low for 6-7 hours. A half hour before it is done, add the broccoli. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Simple but delicious! And good for you, too.
I used more than 1 cup of chicken broth, so you won’t have quite so much liquid as is in this photo when you make it, unless you are like me and like extra broth!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

White Chicken Chili

With this cold January upon us, I really enjoy soups & stews. Plus the leftovers I get to enjoy for lunch at work for days after is also a nice bonus! This week’s recipe is another pretty healthy meal for you and your family, White Chicken Chili! Even my 3-year old said “Mmmm, tasty!” when he tried it.  One serving (1 cup) is only 226 calories, and protein packed, so it fills you up and holds you until your next meal.

White Chicken Chili

  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 (15.5) oz cans white kidney beans (cannellini), drained & rinsed
  • 32 oz chicken broth, low sodium
  • 2 cups corn, frozen
  • 2 (4-oz) cans chopped green chilis
  • 1 lime
  • shredded colby-jack cheese, low fat
Put chicken breasts in the crock pot, and cook for about 4 hours. you can add a bit of water if you like, but it isn’t necessary. I use frozen breasts, too. When those are cooked enough to easily shred/chunk up, take them out of the crock to shred up on a plate with 2 forks, empty the cooking “junk” out of the crock.  Place shredded/chunked chicken back in the crock and add all other ingredients except for the lime and cheese.

Cook on high for an hour, then low for another 1-2 hours.

Just before serving, squeeze the juice from the lime into the chili, and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese per 1 cup serving once it’s in a bowl.

**TIP: I mashed up one of the cans of beans to give the stock a bit more texture.

Per 1 cup serving:
Calories:  226 Fat: 5.2g Carbs: 20 Dietary fiber: 5g Protein: 25g

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crock Pot Savory Bean & Spinach Soup

Ok everybody, I have to warn you…the Jacobs’ household has started a “get healthier” goal for the new year, so the Crock of the Week will be taking a healthier turn for now, since I make everything the weekend before I post it to make sure it is good (if it is a new recipe) or just to make it to take a photo for the WGLR website! BUT, since I have a 3 year old in the house, I am making every effort to make DELICIOUS healthy recipes, which your whole family will enjoy, hopefully! This week’s recipe is an example of that. I was really happy with how this new recipe turned out. I made a double batch so my husband and I can enjoy the leftovers for lunch for a good chunk of this week. One serving of this soup (1 cup) is only 150 calories! We each had 2 servings for dinner last night, and with the beans in it, it really was quite filling, and only 300 calories! AWESOME.  I hope you like it, too! And you don’t have to be on a diet to enjoy it! This is meat free, so a good dish for any vegetarians out there, or if you are just trying to eat less meat in your diet overall. 

Crock Pot Savory Bean and Spinach Soup

  • 32 oz vegetable broth (I did half veggie, half chicken stock)
  • one 15 oz can tomato puree
  • one 15 oz can great northern beans or white kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup UNCOOKED brown rice
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tsp dried basil (I used oregano because I didn’t have basil on-hand)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped spinach or kale
  • finely shredded Parmesan cheese (I forgot to add this when serving, still was good!)
Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT spinach and Parmesan cheese in the crock. Cook on low for 5-7 hours or high for 2.5-3.5 hours. Add the spinach about 5 minutes before serving. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top when serving.

One cup serving is 150 calories. Makes about 5-6 servings.


With our new & improved WGLR website, I can keep a fe recipes at a time on the Midday Buffet page at, so I am a bit behind moving som eover into the archives! These two dips were the Crock of the Week over Christmas & New Year. Both are good year 'round, and especially with the Superbowl just around the corner. Great for parties! Both can be kept warm in the crock pot for hours to serve and enjoy.

Crock Pot Reuben Dip

  • 1 8oz brick cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 lb. corned beef, finely chopped
  • 1 can sauerkraut (about 15oz can), not drained
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Thousand island dressing (depends on how soft you want the dip)
  • 1 to 2 loaves rye or pumpernickel cocktail party bread
Cube up the cream cheese and add to the crock with the shredded swiss cheese and the corned beef. Give that all about a half hour on high to melt together. The add the can of kraut, stir. Add the thousand island dressing until it is the consistency you want (it will get a bit thicker as it cooks together). Continue to cook on high for about another half hour until it is all heated through. Then you are OK to keep it in warm to serve and enjoy for a few hours. Spread on the cocktail bread to eat. YUM! Store leftovers in the fridge, and just warm leftovers in the microwave.

Crock Pot Salsa Spinach Queso Dip

  • 1 8oz brick cream cheese, cubed up
  • 1 lb Velveeta, cubed up
  • 1-10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, drained
  • salsa of your choice, about 12-16 oz (or 1 can Rotel if you want more kick)
  • a handful of chopped up fresh cilantro (optional, but tasty!)
Throw the cheeses in the pot and add the other ingredients on top. It will take about an hour on HIGH for everything to melt together nicely, stir every 10-15 minutes to keep it all blended and melting evenly. Then just set on warm for people to enjoy for hours! We used tortilla chips, but I think chunks of bread or cocktail rye would work nicely with this dip too.
You can use light versions of the cream cheese and Velveeta (2%) if you would like.
Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is a great year for you all!