365 Days of Slow Cooking: May 2009

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Studio 5 Fun Times

On Monday, I was on Studio 5 demonstrating the pineapple chicken and sweet potatoes. Matt Townsend was filling in for Darin who was gone on vacation. Matt was hysterical (as you can tell from the clip). It was a lot of fun and everyone was very nice. I hope to do it again sometime.


video

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And the winner is...

#16
Heather B.

Congrats!

And thanks to all of you who entered. Stay tuned for future giveaways...I have some good stuff coming up.

Heather, please email me your address you want me to mail the cookbook to.

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Day 128: Home Style Chicken and Stuffing

1 can cream of chicken soup of cream of mushroom (I used cream of chicken)
1/4 cup margarine of butter, melted
1 16 oz pkg loose pack frozen broccoli, corn, and red peppers (I chose to leave this out and serve my veggies on the side)
2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I used uncooked chicken drumsticks)
8 oz pkg cornbread stuffing mix

1. In a bowl, stir together soup, margarine, and 1/4 cup water. Add vegetables, chicken, and stuffing mix; stir until combined. Transfer mixture to your slow cooker. (I just put the frozen chicken drumsticks on the bottom of the slow cooker and topped it with the stuffing mixture)

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (Since I used uncooked chicken, straight from the freezer I extended the cooking time)

Review:

I pretty much changed up the recipe to meet my preferences and it turned out GREAT. The picture doesn't look that appetizing, but I promise it tasted good and I loved the use of the chicken drumsticks. They turned out so yummy, I only wish I would have put more in. The way that I made this recipe I give it 4 stars.

Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 127: Hot German-Style Potato Salad

6 cups peeled potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp pepper
6 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained, and crumbled


1. In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker combine potatoes and onion. In a bowl combine water, vinegar, sugar, tapioca, salt, celery seed, and pepper; pour over potatoes.


2. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Stir in bacon.


Review:

Well everyone, it took 127 days to get here but here is the FIRST one star dish! Seriously. It was gross. I hated every bite. I made it for a church potluck and I brought it in sneekily so no one would see that I brought this disgusting potato salad. At the end of the dinner most every dish was eaten. There was, however, a good portion of this salad left. That just goes to show, it truly was disgusting. My baby ate it though. But he is used to baby food...and if you have ever eaten baby food you know how tasteless and disgusting it is. So all in all, DON'T try this dish (just in case you were still thinking you would make it).

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 126: Slow Cooker (crock pot) Greek Chicken Pita Folds




Makes 4 servings
Ideal slow cooker size:  3 quart

1 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
½ tsp dried oregano leaves
¼ tsp ground allspice
4 pita pockets breads
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tomato, sliced
½ cup chopped cucumber
1 medium red pepper, sliced in thin strips


1.  In slow cooker mix onion, garlic, chicken, lemon pepper, oregano and allspice; mix to coat chicken with seasoning.
2.  Cover; cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
3.  Remove chicken from slow cooker; place on cutting board. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Salt and pepper to taste.
4.  To serve, stir yogurt into onion mixture in slow cooker. Spoon chicken onto warm pita breads. With slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture onto chicken; top with tomato, cucumber and peppers.

Review:
I LOVED this recipe! It was delish. I loved the flavor of the yogurt sauce. It reminded me of gyros...except with chicken instead of lamb. This is a great summer recipe. I tried to make homemade pita pockets for the first time and I'm sorry to say they didn't turn out. They were too thick and the pocket didn't really form. So I won't be posting that recipe. Anyone have tips for making pitas? I give this 4 1/2 stars and will be definitely making it again.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wedding Gift Idea

My friend told me of a great wedding gift idea (if I do say so myself). Buy the bride and groom a crockpot and then give them a little card that has this blogspot address on it! She said she's already done this 3 times. I love it!!!

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Day 125: Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken





2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese


Place chicken in slow cooker. Pour broth, salsa, corn, beans, and taco seasoning over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or on high heat 3-4 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Stir sour cream and cheese into sauce in slow cooker, then put chicken back in. Serve with tortillas, rice, or tortillas chips.

Review:
I had my sister and brother-in-law from Denver at my home over Memorial day weekend. It is always fun to cook for other people. They loved this dish. Ryan said that he would give it 5 stars because he would eat it every week. Mel said she would give it 4 stars. I made homemade whole wheat tortillas for the first time in my life. They turned out very tasty. Not at all round shaped like they were supposed to be, but they still tasted good. The only problem with this meal was that it was too runny. The chicken was perfect it was so tender and yummy. So I'm wondering if I took out some of the liquid if the chicken would cook as well??? Somebody try it and let me know. :)
4 stars

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 124: Mushroom Sauce Pork Chops

Serves 4

4 pork loin chops, cut ¾ inch thick
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup apple juice
4 oz sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp dried thyme, crushed
¼ tsp garlic powder

1. Trim fat from chops. Place onion in slow cooker. Add chops. In bowl combine tapioca, soup, apple juice, mushroom, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and garlic powder; pour over chops.

2. Cover; cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high-heat for 4 to 4 ½ hours. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 354 calories, 16 g total fat, 77 mg cholesterol, 740 mg sodium, 17 g carb, 1 g fiber, 33 g protein

Review:

This looked a lot better then it tasted. I just did not like the apple juice in it. It gave it a funny taste. I think I would make it again but next time I will leave out the apple juice. Maybe I'll substitute beef or chicken broth for the apple juice. 2 stars.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Studio 5 on Monday!

For those of you who live in Utah, I will be appearing on Studio 5 on Monday June 1st for a cooking segment. The show starts at 11:00 am and is on NBC Channel 5. I'm so excited!!! Hopefully it goes well. I'll make sure to post pictures and the video clip when I can.

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Day 123: Italian Bowtie Supper

Serves 6
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
16 oz tomato sauce
14 1/2 oz diced stewed tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz bow tie pasta, cooked and drained (I used macaroni and rotini)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In skillet, cook beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is not longer pink; drain. Transferto a slow cooker. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until bubbly.

Increase heat to high; stir in pasta, spinach and cheeses. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Review:

This was a simple meal to make, especially since I had the ground beef already cooked. I really enjoyed the spinach element and my family loved this as well. I used macaroni because that is what I had on hand. 4 stars.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 122: Creamy Ranch Chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 pkg dry ranch dressing
3 large chicken breasts, cubed
8 oz cream cheese

1. Mix soup, broth, ranch packet, and chicken in slow cooker.

2. Cook on low for 4 hours. Then stir in cream cheese. Serve over brown rice.

Review:

Excellent flavor. Easy ingredients. Loved it. This reminded me of my favorite chicken quite a bit. The broth makes the sauce thinner and stretches out the cream cheese so that it is not quite so rich and it serves more. 4 stars.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 121: Easy Italian Chicken


Serves 4-6
1/2 of a medium head of cabbage, cut into wedges (about 12 ounces)
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings (1/2 cup)
4 1/2 ounce jar of sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
2-2 1/2 lbs meaty chicken pieces, skinned (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up)
2 cups meatless spaghetti sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. In slow cooker place cabbage wedges, onion, and mushrooms. Sprinkle tapioca over vegetables. Place chicken pieces on vegetables. Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken.
2. Cover; cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Fact Per Serving: 300 cal, 9 g total fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 662 mg sodium, 24 g carb, 4 g fiber, 35 g protein
Review:
I like cabbage and I like italian chicken but I'm not sure that I like them together. It was kind of a weird taste. I won't be making this again. I ate it the night of but the leftovers kind of grossed me out. 2 stars.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cookbook Giveaway!

Time for another cookbook giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win the Fix It and Forget It Cookbook.

Deadline for entering to win is Wednesday June 3rd.

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Day 120: Chocolate Dipped Cones

On Friday, we had a little ice cream shin dig. I decided I needed to use the slow cooker somehow (of course). I decided to dip the ice cream cones in melted chocolate and roll them in sprinkles. The kids loved them and they were the first thing to go!










Pour 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into your slow cooker. Cover and turn on low. In about an hour take the lid off and stir. Then take cones and dip the top into the melted chocolate. Then dip in sprinkles. Let dry in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Review:
I loved using the slow cooker for this project. It kept the chocolate all melty and I didn't have to use a double boiler. 4 stars.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 119: Peanut Butter Granola

Serves 16-20

6 cups dry oatmeal
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup toasted coconut (I didn't toast mine)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar

1. Combine oatmeal, wheat germ, coconut, seeds, and raisins in large slow cooker.

2. Melt together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Pour over oatmeal in cooker. Mix well.

3. Cover. Cook on low 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

4. Allow to cool on cookie sheet. Break up chunks when cooled and store in airtight container.

Review:

Has anyone ever had monster cookies before? This granola tastes like monster cookie crumbs. It is so good! I'm probably the biggest fan of peanut butter that you'll ever meet though, so take that into consideration. I go through a jar of pb pretty much once a week! I buy it by the case. Do you think you could substitute canola oil for the butter? Or would it make it gross? That way you could make it a little healthier. Maybe I'll try it. 4 stars.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 118: Hungarian Goulash

Serves 8

2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced
14 1/2 oz beef broth
6 oz tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp caraway seed, if desired
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cold water
3 tbsp flour
1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips

1. Place beef and onion in slow cooker.

2. Mix broth, tomato paste, garlic, worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, carway seed and pepper; stir into beef mixture.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until beef is tender.

4. Mix water and flour; gradually stir into beef mixture. Stir in bell pepper. Cover and cook on high heat setting 30 minutes.

5. Serve goulash over noodles (We served ours over rice).

Review:
Eh. It was okay. Nothing to brag about. I probably won't make it again. Greg liked the fact that it had beef in it, of course. 2 stars.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 117: Garlic Pork Roast

10 Servings

3 1/2 lb pork boneless loin roast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chicken broth or water

1. Trim excess fat from pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Place onion and garlic in slow cooker. Place pork on onion and garlic. Pour broth over pork.

3. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours or until pork is tender.

Review:

This is a great meat dish for Sunday dinner. It is fairly inexpensive when you buy on sale and is great to eat with baked potates. 3 stars.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 116: Cherry Cobbler

6 servings

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt

1. Spray inside slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. Pour pie filling into cooker.

3. Beat reamining ingredients until smooth. (I doubled the cake part of it) Spread batter over pie filling.

4. Cover and cook on high setting 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving: Calories 270, Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 330 mg, Carbo 49 g, Protein 3 g

Review:

This recipe was a little like the Cherry Delight except it involves a little bit more work since you aren't using a cake mix. I really liked this dessert. The cake was kind of like a sponge cake. Like I mentioned, I doubled the cake part and I'm glad I did since it went fast. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. 4 stars.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 115: Chicken with Garlic, Peppers, & Artichokes

Serves 6 (I halved this recipe)
12 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 8 or 9 oz pkg frozen artichoke hearts (I couldn't find frozen so I used canned)
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (I left this out)
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs
4 cups hot cooked brown rice

1. In a small skillet cook garlic and onion in hot oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. (I left this step out and just added the garlic and onion into the slow cooker initially)

2. Combine artichoke, garlic mixture, sweet pepper, chicken broth, tapioca, rosemary, lemon peel, and black pepper. Add chicken; spoon some of the garlic mixture over chicken.

3. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6-7 hours or on high heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Serve with rice.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 341 cal, 6 g total fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 159 mg sodium, 39 g carbo, 6 g fiber, 32 g protein

Review:
This recipe tasted like a healthy version of the chicken a la king I did earlier. I'm wondering where I can find frozen artichokes? I have never seen them before and I'm wondering if it would have changed the taste of the dish. My artichokes kind of got mushy. I give this recipe 3 stars.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 114: Fruit and Nut Baked Apple


Fruit & Nut Baked Apples

4 Large baking apples (Rome Beauty or Cortland) * I used Fiji cause I couldn't find what the recipe asked for. These should be apples good for baking/cookin-i hope!

1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans *I used pecans
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar (which equals under 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup water

Scoop out center of each apple, leaving 1 1/2 inch-wide cavity about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Peel top of apple down about 1 inch. Brush peeled edges evenly with lemon juice. Mix apricots, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Add butter, mix well. Spoon mixture evenly into apple cavaties.

Pour 1/2 cup water onto bottom of slow cooker. Place 2 apples in slow cooker. Arrange remaining 2 apples above but not directly on top of bottom apples. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours or until apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature with caramel ice cream topping, if desired.

Nutrients per serving:
Calories 260
Total Fat 12 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 40 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 64 mg
Dietary Fiber 4 g

Easy Home Cooking
Slow Cooker Recipes
Publications International, LTD
Review:
This recipe is straight from the kitchen of my greatest fan, Marla. (Just a side note about Marla...she seriously has the best attitude ever. She is always smiling and laughing. It is so contagious! Also, she is like 9 months prego but only looks about 3 months along...love her!) She invited me over to her house to try out this delectable dessert. If any of you would like to do the same thing, you are more than welcome to invite me over!!! It was awesome. Make sure to add the caramel sauce and maybe a little ice cream if you so desire. 4 stars

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 113: Herbed Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole


Serves 6
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lb turkey breast tenderloins, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (I couldn't find these at the grocery store so I ended up using chicken instead)
1 medium, onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 medium stalk celery sliced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) ready to serve chicken broth
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
1. Cook bacon in 10 inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until crisp. Stir in turkey. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occassionally, until turkey is brown. Stir in onion, carrot and celery. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occassionally; drain.
2. Beat 1 can of broth and the soup in slow cooker, using wire whisk until smooth. Stir in remaining can of broth, the marjoram and pepper. Stir in turkey mixture and wild rice.
3. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low setting and cook 6 hours or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Review:
This dish turned out AWESOME. I thought it would be a so-so dish but it tasted great. I will definitely be making this again for my family because they loved it. It was so easy too. This just goes to show that you can't tell by reading a recipe how good or how bad it will taste. Aren't you so glad that I'm taking the guesswork out of it for you? Aren't I so nice? Okay I won't adulate myself any further. 4 stars.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 112: Beef Stroganoff

Serves 8

2 pounds beef stew meat
1 large onion, chopped
1 can cream of golden mushroom soup (not cream of mushroom)
1 can cream of onion soup
1 can (8 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat kind)
8 oz sour cream
6 cups hot noodles or rice

1. Mix beef, onion, soups, mushrooms, and pepper in 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low setting 8-10 hours or until beef is very tender.

3. Stir cream cheese into beef mixture until melted. Stir in sour cream.

4. Serve beef sauce of noodles or rice.

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving: Calories 505, Fat 36 g, Cholesterol 147 g, Sodium 830 mg, Carb 12 g, fiber 1 g, protein, 34g

Review:

This recipe tasted similar to this beef stroganoff recipe that I tried previously. Although I think the other one tastes better and has ingredients that I am more likely to have on hand. So all in all, if you are going to make stroganoff I would use the other recipe although this one did taste good. Oh man, cream cheese is like my favorite food. I could eat it plain. 4 stars.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 111: Fettucine with Sausage

Serves 6-8
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
2/3 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
9-12 oz fettucine noodles
1. In large skillet brown sausage. Drain off fat. In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, onion, sugar, rosemary, pepper, and garlic. Stir in sausage.
2. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.
3. Just before serving, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve sausage mixture over pasta. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition facts per serving: 358 calories, 10 g total fat, 22 mg chol, 938 mg sodium, 54 g carbo, 4 g fiber, 14 g protein
Review:
This was kind of sweet pasta sauce. I thought it was just was okay. Greg says "anything with sausage is good." 3 stars.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 110: Meatloaf Dinner

Serves 4

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 slices bread, cubed
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped green peppers (I used red peppers)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
8 small red potatoes
4-6 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks

1. Beat together eggs and milk.

2. Stir in bread cubes, onions, green peppers, salt, and pepper. Add beef and mix well.

3. Shape into loaf that is about an inch smaller in circumference than the inside of the slow cooker. Place loaf into slow cooker.

4. Spread top with ketchup.

5. Place carrots and potatoes around meatloaf.

6. Cover. Cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat and cook on low for 7-8 hours longer.

Review:

This is a recipe that comes straight from mom's kitchen. Or at least it should have. This is something that my family would have eaten when I was growing up. It is a bonus meal because it includes veggies in the main dish so everything is made and done! So easy and so tasty. I didn't know how my family would like this meal but my 3 year old had 3 huge helpings! WOW! By the way, she doesn't eat. I am surprised that she is alive with how little she eats. So for her to ask for thirds is a BIG deal. The one thing that I would do different next time is to put the meatloaf on a rack. I don't have one yet but I'm planning on getting one soon. That way all the grease would go to the bottom and it would be a little more healthy. 4 stars.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 109: Creamy Red Potatoes



Serves 4-6
2 lbs small red potatoes, quartered
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
10 3/4 oz can cream of potato soup
1 envelope dry Ranch salad dressing mix

1. Place potatoes in slow cooker.
2. Beat together cream cheese, soup, and salad dressing mix. Stir into potatoes.
3. Cover. Cook on Low 8 hours, or until potatoes are tender.

Review:
This is a great side dish for Sunday dinner. We ate ours with roast beef for Mother's Day dinner. I think it would be great with ham as well. The potatoes were all eaten and were a hit! 4 stars.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Slow Cooker Gadgets and Accessories

I am going to be on a show called Studio 5 in a couple of weeks. I am very excited! I'll let you know more details as it nears. The producer wants me to talk/bring some gadgets or perhaps great accessories for slow cookers. What is your favorite thing about your slow cooker? Does it have a great feature? Do you have any handy dandy gadgets? Thanks for the input!!!

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Day 108: Killer Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
dash of salt
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used cocoa powder and oil in place of this 12 Tablespoons of Cocoa + 4 tablespoon melted butter or oil = 4 oz baking chocolate)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Combine sugar, butter, cream, corn syrup, and salt in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.

2. Stir with a whisk until smooth to make sure sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chopped semisweet and unsweetened chocolates and vanilla extract. Cover and continue to cook on low for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Stir until smooth. Serve warm over ice cream.

Review:

Oh my goodness, if you love dark chocolate you will LOVE this hot fudge sauce. It is so AWESOME! I love chocolate and the darker, the better. I served mine over ice cream and bananas and then I sneeked a few spoonfuls (or maybe a cupful) of it plain. Ha! 4 stars.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 107: Chicken Sour Cream Enchilada Casserole

Serves 8 (I halved the recipe)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
24-32 oz green chile enchilada sauce
1 dozen soft corn tortillas, each one cut into 4 strips
2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
4 cups finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups sour cream (fat free is okay to use)

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Pour about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into the slow cooker; tilt to spread it around. In layers add 1/4 of the tortillas strips, 1/4 of the sauce, 1/3 of the onion, 1/3 of the chicken, and 1/4 of the cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times and end with cheese.

3. Spoon the sour cream over the surface of the casserole in big dollops. Use a spatula or the back of a large spoon to gently spread it all around without disturbing the layers. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4-5 hours.

Review:
This sounded so good to me. It didn't turn out that great. I used corn tortillas and they got really mushy. I only cooked it on high for 2 hours but all the layers kind of turned into a mushy mess by the end. It tasted okay, just the texture was disturbing. However, it was good for baby food :) If I made this again I would use flour tortillas and use less onions. I would probably cook it for less time, as well. 3 stars (with changes) 2 stars (as is).

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 106: Chicken Lasagna


5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika; toss to coat. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 9 minutes. Remove chicken from pan with slotted spoon. In drippings remaining in skillet, cook onion and garlic until tender. Stir in red bell peppers, spaghetti sauce, water, and Italian seasoning; bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in bowl combine cream cheese, eggs, and cottage cheese; beat until smooth. Stir in drained spinach and parmesan cheese. Break lasagna noodles in half. Place about 1 cup of the chicken mixture in bottom of 6 quart casserole.

Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, more chicken mixture, some cream cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Cover, and cook on LOW 5-7 hours or until noodles are tender. To serve, scoop down deeply into the slow cooker to get all the layers. Makes 10-12 servings.

Review:
YES! I finally found a slow cooker lasagna recipe that I really love. This one and this one were pretty good, but there was always something missing. I love the combo of cream cheese, spinach, cottage cheese and red pepper in this recipe. Next time I will also add a can of mushrooms. This could easily be made into a ground beef lasagna or sausage lasagna if you aren't a chicken fan. I give this recipe 4 1/2 stars and it will be added to my list of personal favorite's.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 105: Yummy Ravioli

Serves 8-10
1 lb ground beef or italian sausage (I used the italian sausage)
1 medium size onion, chopped (I probably used half as much onion as it called for)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 (26 oz) jars tomato based pasta sauce of your choice
3/4 cup beef broth
8 oz tomato sauce
2 tsp dried basil or italian seasoning
2 (25 oz) packages of ravioli, frozen (do not defrost)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1. In skillet, add meat, garlic, and onions. Cook meat until browned. Drain off grease. Add the pasta sauce, broth, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Pour 2 cups of tomato sauce into slow cooker. Add one package of ravioli, then sprinkle with half of mozzarella and 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Add 2 more cups of sauce, the last package of ravioli, the remaining mozzarella, and 2 tbsp of Parmesan. Cover with remaining tomato sauce.

3. Cover and ccok on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, or low for 5-6 hours. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, cover and let cook 10 minutes more.

Review:
I halved this recipe and it was plenty for our family plus leftovers the next day for the kiddies lunch. It reminded me a lot of the tortellini recipe I did previously. Reagan and Skyler loved it and it tasted good to me as well. This recipe would not be difficult to make on the stove, but sometimes it is more convenient to do all the preparation ahead. I guess that is the point of this whole blog, is preparing when you have the time. The night before, at breakfast or lunch time, nap time, etc. That is what is so great about the slow cooker! It allows you to have great meals without the hassle of making them at what can sometimes be the most busy time of the day. I heart you crockpot...you complete me.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 104: That's Good Peaches


Serves 4

4 cups sliced peaches
1/3 cup bisquick
2/3 cup oatmeal
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions: Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. Mix up dry ingredients. Stir in peaches and pour into crockpot. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

Review:
This is kind of like a peach cobbler dessert. It was really good. I would definitely serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I made mine with canned peaches but I would LOVE to try this recipe again when fresh peaches when they are in season. That would be so good! So put this on your calendar for July or August. 4 stars.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 103: Uncle Gary's Italian Chicken

4 bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skin removed

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp oregano
2 cups shredded mozzarella (optional)
1 (10 oz) can tomato soup
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms (or fresh)
1/4 tsp garlic salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Arrange chicken in the bottom of slow cooker. Stir together soup, tomato paste, onion, garlic salt, garlic, oregano, and mushrooms. Spoon sauce over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. For last 30 minutes, add cheeses on top and let melt. Serve with plain spaghetti and spoon sauce over the pasta. Makes 4 servings.


Review:
This is a recipe that I took from the first edition of the Woodward Family Cookbook (my Mom's side of the family). This cookbook is an excellent resource and if you're lucky maybe I will do a drawing to give one away :) I adapted it to the slow cooker. When I was growing up I loved this dish and would always ask my mom to make it on my birthday. It turned out great! I love the flavor and kids will love it too. I tried to make it once in the oven with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and it just didn't turn out . So make sure to use bone in chicken. I used the Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners this time because I knew the clean up would be torture. I loved them (I hadn't used them yet)! I highly recommed them. 4 stars.

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Tip #8

Adapting traditional recipes to slow cooker recipes:

*Generally the low setting is about 200 degrees and the high setting is about 300 degrees. One hour on high is approximately equal to 2 to 2 1/2 hours on low.

*Liquids will not boil away as in conventional cooking. Try reducing the amount of liquid in oven recipes by 1/2 unless there is rice or pasta in the dish.

*Spices may need to be reduced or increased. Whole herbs and spices increase their flavoring power in the slow cooker while ground spices may lose some flavor. Add ground spices during the last hour of cooking. Whole leaf and herbs will probably need to be reduced by half.

More to come...

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Friday, May 8, 2009

News clip from yesterday

For those of you who didn't see the news clip from yesterday...here it is.

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Day 102: Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Serves 2

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups water, or a combination of water and apple juice
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium apple peeled, cored, and chopped

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or overnight, or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours. Serve with milk of cream.

Review:

If you cook the apple the entire time, it blends into the oatmeal. If you prefer chunks, add the apple during the last 30 minutes of cooking. I added the apple initially. I think if I make this again I will add it at the end. I was disappointed in this breakfast. I smelled it cooking all night long and it smelled great. But it was a mushy mess and I only ate it because I felt obligated. I had leftovers but I never ate them and ended up throwing it away. I wonder if it is because it cooked too long. 2 stars.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

News Story

The news story that ABC 4 filmed earlier this week is on this link. It aired early this morning and should air again this evening at either 5 or 6 pm.
Fun stuff!

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Day 101: Pork Chop Dinner

Makes 6 servings

6 bone-in pork loin chops
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, drained and chopped
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into thin slices (I quartered my potatoes)
1 onion, sliced

Combine soup, mushrooms, mustard, chicken broth, garlic, salt, basil and pepper in slow cooker. Add potatoes and onion, stirring to coat. Place pork chops on top of potato mixture. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 4-5 hours.

Review:

I love the recipes where you literally dump all the ingredients into the crockpot and turn it on. This is one of those recipes, great for a busy day. It had a yummy flavor and I love the use of red potatoes. 3 stars.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 100: Banana Bread

Day 100! Wow! We are into triple digits now. Only 265 more days to go...

Serves 8-10
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk)
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (I left these out)

1. Spray a baking insert or 2 pound coffee can with nonstick baking spray containing flour; set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

2. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar until combined. Add egg, buttermilk, bananas, vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat until combined. Add pecans.

3. Pour into prepared pan or can. Place crumpled foil or a wire rack in bottom of 4 quart slow cooker (I used a 6 quart cooker). Place pan in slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until toothpick inserted near center of bread comes out clean. Cook on wire rack for 15 minutes, then loosen edges of bread. Remove from insert and cool completely on wire rack.

Review:
I love making banana bread when I have ripe bananas. This was a great recipe--easy and it tasted good. The slow cooker cooked the bread evenly. Usually when I make banana bread in the oven it is done on top way before it is done in the middle...so that is the advantage of cooking it in the slow cooker. 4 stars.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 99: Thai Chicken Wraps


Serves 18 (I divided this recipe by 3)

3 pounds ground chicken (I used chicken thighs and shredded them after they were cooked)
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh gingerroot
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup lime juice
3 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped cashews
(I used peanuts)
24-30 large lettuce leaves

1. In large skillet, cook chicken in two batches until almost done, stirring to break up meat. Drain chicken and place in 4 quart slow cooker.
2. Add onions, garlic, gingerroot, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, peanut butter, sugar, and pepper; stir.
3. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and mixture is hot and blended. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and lime juice and mix well. Stir into slow cooker.
4. Cover and cook on high for 20-25 minutes or until mixture thickens. To serve, set out filling, shredded carrots, chopped cashews, and lettuce leaves to use for wraps.
Review:
I was really hoping these lettuce wraps would be as good as the ones and PF Changs. They weren't, not even close. They were okay and we ate them but I was left feeling unsatisfied. I'm wondering what ground chicken is like. Is it just like ground beef texture? I've never seen it before. Anyhow, using ground chicken would probably have made them taste better. I wouldn't put cornstarch in next time, the sauce was thick enough. Also next time I would use water chesnuts too. Oh, and find some of those crunchy little rice noodles. With those changes, I would give the recipe 3 stars. The way I served it this time is 2 stars.


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Monday, May 4, 2009

Set your DVRs!!!

Greg, Peggy (my mother in law), and I with the GTU gals.


Me cooking in the kitchen with Angie Larsen.




Good Things Utah kitchen...a LOT nicer than my kitchen. Oh how I wish it was my kitchen.



In the "green room" waiting to go on!




I had such a fun time a week and a half ago when I did a cooking segment on Good Things Utah. I'm excited because they are going to have me back on in a few months. So stay tuned for more info.

Today, Nicea Degering a reporter from ABC 4 (she is also on Good Things Utah) came out to my house and interviewed me. It was a little nerve wracking but fun too. The segment will appear on the morning news on Thursday May 7th as well as the 5 or 6 o'clock news (If you aren't in Utah you can access the clip through their website all day on Thursday). So set your DVRs and please forgive me if I'm a little dorky or a lot dorky. I can't help it sometimes. Here is a picture of Nicea and the camera guy in my kitchen. She also interviewed Greg and got a shot of Skyler. Reagan didn't feel like participating (she is 3, so that explains a lot...she does what she wants when she wants). Anyway, tune in and support your favorite blogger, yours truly.





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Day 98: Slow Cooker Brownie Fudge Cake



Na na na na na na today is my birthday... na na na na na na gonna have a good time! Yay! Happy birthday to me! I love my birthday. It's so fun. I love the desserts! Not a big cake fan, but this brownie fudge treat will do the trick for my birthday. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Serves 8
1 2/3 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup water (I probably used 1/2 cup)
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I left these out)
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped (I used 3 tbsp cocoa and 1 tbsp oil in place of this)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. In large bowl combine flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In small bowl, combine egg with 1/4 cup water, peanut butter, 2 tbsp melted butter, and vanilla; mix well.
2. Stir peanut butter mixture into flour mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Spray a 3 quart slow cooker with nonstick baking spray containing flour. Add batter to slow cooker.
3. In small saucepan, combine ice cream topping, brown sugar, 3/4 cup water, and baking chocolate; cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and pour over batter.
4. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Turn off slow cooker, place lid ajar, and let stand for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Review:
Chocolate lovers rejoice! If you love chocolate like I do, you'll love this cake. Some people say to me "oh this or that is too rich for me." You won't ever hear me say that. I have a very high tolerance for chocolate. I was surprised that I couldn't really even tell that there was peanut butter in this dessert. There was just a slight hint of it. Ice cream is a must to serve with this. This is just as good as this caramel chocolate dessert I tried last week, maybe even better. 5 stars.

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