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Category Archives: Crock Pot

Apple Butter

Is there anything better than a large schmear of apple butter on a slice of fresh bread in the morning!? Every fall my family drives to a (relatively) nearby farm and goes apple picking. We come home with great memories…and buckets and buckets of apples!! At least a dozen of these apples are always put aside to become apple butter. We are barely even home from the apple orchard and my kids are already asking me if I’ve made the apple butter yet 😉 There’s very little work involved other than prepping the apples, and if you’re the canning type, you can even water-bath can the fruits of your labor.  (See what I did there? Haha)

Apple ButterIngredients:
1 dozen medium sized Apples, peeled, cored, and cubed.
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Allspice
1 Large Dollop of Honey – roughly 1-2 TBSP

Directions:
1. Prep your apples.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix them together well to combine.
3. Dump it all in your crockpot and cook on low overnight.
4. In the morning, stir the mixture in the crock. Put the lid back on but prop it open a little with a spoon and turn it on high. Let it cook on high for a few more hours – I like to go for another three hours or so to get the thickness and color I prefer, but it’s really up to what you like.
5. When you’ve tasted the apples and you’re happy with the thickness and flavor, turn off the crock and let the mixture cool a bit. Pour it into the blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one) and add a dollop of honey. Puree until smooth.
6. Pour it all into a mason jar or other air tight container and store in the fridge.
7. Enjoy!!

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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Breakfast, Crock Pot, Easy, Homemade, Kids, Sweets

 

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Homemade Baked Beans

Baked Beans are a wonderful thing. They’re easy to make. They’re delicious. They travel well so you can bring them to parties, picnics, or events. Kids and adults alike will eat them as a side. And, my favorite part, the crock pot does almost all of the cooking work.

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Homemade Baked Beans
Ingredients:

2 cups Navy Beans
1/2 lb Bacon
3 TBSP Molasses
2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar

Directions:
1. Soak your beans overnight in water, covered.
2. Drain the beans and transfer into a pot and fill with enough fresh water to cover the beans. Simmer until tender – approximately an hour and a half to two hours. Drain the beans and **reserve the water**.
3. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees if you are planning to bake the beans in the oven. If you are using your crock pot instead, you can just pull out your crock.  😉
4. In a sauce pan, combine the molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Mix to combine and bring to a boil.
5. While that is heating, pour your beans into either a 1/2 sized casserole dish or into your crock pot – whichever you will be using. Chop up your raw bacon into small bites and mix into the beans.
6. Once your sauce pan mixture reaches its boil, pour over the beans and bacon mixture and add just enough of the reserved bean juices to cover the beans.
7. If you’re baking in the oven, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake 3-4 hours until tender and add a little more of the reserved bean liquid half way through cooking if needed. I
If you’re using your crock pot, put the lid on your crock and cook for 6-7 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low. You might need to add some of the reserved bean water mid-way through the cooking.

 

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Easy Peasy Slow Cooker Pork Chops

I’m a stay-at-home-mom. My days are filled with toddlers running around screaming, crying, laughing, and playing. While this is absolutely the single best job in the world, it is also often overwhelming – I mean, these kids – they EAT! You have to feed them several times a day, every single day! And it better be tasty – but you get extra credit bonus points if it’s also (at least mostly) nutritious as well. In case you didn’t already know this, the job of being a mom can greatly conflict with the job of needing to provide good food that kids are willing to eat.

SO.

Here’s an easy meal that I turn to often. Maybe it can help you too.
You pretty much just dump four or five items into a crock pot during a spare moment in the morning, and at dinner time you have a meal. Pretty nice huh!

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Easy Peasy Crock Pot Pork Chops
Ingredients:
Pork Chops  (I used a package of 5 chops on the bone, but any type of pork chop will do
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (any “cream of” soup will work – celery, chicken, etc)
1/4 cup Ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
– – – – there is room to improvise here too. I sliced a few mushrooms and added them to the pot, feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand.

Directions:
1. Put your pork chops into the crock pot.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the cream soup, ketchup, and Worcestershire (and any extra ingredient you might want to add). Mix them all together and then pour the mixture over the chops in the crock.
3. Cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
4. Enjoy!  I like to serve mine on a bed of mashed potatoes or rice and use the resulting juices in the crock as a gravy.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Crock Pot, Dinner, Easy, Entree, Pork

 

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Lazy Legs and Taters

This dish was an experiment of mine and I’m soo pleased with the way it turned out, I just HAD to share it! I’ve had a package of chicken legs staring at me from my fridge for a few days and I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with them. Spring is here and the house was getting warm enough in the evenings that I didn’t feel like running the oven to bake them up, but at the same time Hubby has been working until long past dinner time and wasn’t available to grill them for me. (I know I know, I”m sure I could figure out how to light the grill and cook on it, but I’m not interested and darn it, that’s HIS job!)

So what it all comes down to, is that these legs needed to be cooked and I needed to figure out a new approach since my stand-by methods weren’t available to me. The obvious solution would be to use the crock pot – but these were legs! Crock pots are good at tough cuts of meat, or maybe some chicken breasts with a gravy, but really, most chicken dishes come out a little mushy and bland, and just not all that appealing for a summery weather dish.

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This is where I was wrong. These legs were not mushy. They were not bland. They were not drowned in gravy or cream soups and too heavy for a summertime meal. They were moist, packed with flavor, so tender the meat fell off the bone of a few legs, and it was SOO easy! I even tossed a few potatoes in the crock pot to cook with the chicken and those came out perfectly too….So it’s a one pot meal! Score!!!

The trick is to use a rub on the chicken, brown it in a skillet, and then build yourself some braces on the bottom of your crock to keep the juices away from your chicken while it’s cooking! Easy, easy, easy! I’ll break it all down for you. First the ingredients…

Ingredients:
1 package Chicken Legs
2 Russet Potatoes, washed and halved
1 Onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
2-3 stalks Celery
2-3 Carrots
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Directions:
First of, you need to mix all of your herbs/seasonings together in a bowl to make your rub. Once combined, proceed to rub it all over your chicken legs, both on the skin and directly onto any of the meat that is showing as well. Get a skillet on the stove top nice and hot and then place your rubbed legs in to brown them, making sure to turn them occasionally so they get a nice browning on all sides.

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While your legs are in the skillet, you can begin to prepare your crock pot. You need to work in layers so the chicken meat isn’t soaking in it’s own juices and turn all mushy on you. On the very bottom of your skillet, spread out your thinly sliced onion and smashed garlic cloves. Next up is the celery and carrots. Cut your stalks into lengths that fit nicely in the bottom of your crock, both lengthwise and crosswise. You want to put a layer or two of these ‘crossbeams’ in to allow the juice to sink, but the chicken to remain supported above it all. Next up is the potatoes. I sliced two potatoes in half lengthwise and wrapped the halves up tightly in aluminum foil. They will steam themselves nicely and will be done and ready to eat when the chicken is done!

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When your chicken has been browned, you can place it directly tin to your prepared and layered crock pot. Turn the crock on low for 6 hours and walk away!! Your dinner is cooking itself for you! I turned my crock on high for the last 45 minutes to try and crisp up the skins a little, but they were still a little too soft for my liking. You could place them under a broiler for a few minutes if you want to firm them up some.

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The chicken and potatoes should be cooked perfectly, the carrots and celery were really used for structural support, but if you are so inclined you could always save them aside to make them into a stock with the juices in the bottom of the pot. Just cook it down a little more. I wouldn’t recommend serving them as a veggie side with your chicken dish though. 🙂

Enjoy! I really hope you like it! This is going to become a regular around our house for sure!

 

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Crockpot Ham

Yesterday Hubby came home with a ham. Yup. Randomly. Just like that, he came home from work and with a sly grin he handed over a six and a half pound ham. We have no occasion coming up and no party to cook for, but he had a coupon that enabled him to get the ham for only two dollars and he assumed I would be able to figure out something to do with it.

Little secret? I have never cooked a ham before! A ham-steak, yeah sure, but an actual massive ham? Nope. No clue. Google is a wonderful little invention, isn’t it?

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Did you know you can cook a ham in a crock pot? Did you know that as odd as that may sound, the ham comes out tasting absolutely amazing – soo tender and juicy!? Best part is, it’s practically fool-proof too! AND I can see major benefits of cooking the holiday ham in the crock pot and freeing up much needed oven space for large family parties and holiday occasions too. This recipe from Tammilee Tips was clearly the way to go.

Ingredients:
1 large Ham – mine was 6.5lbs and it just fit into my crock pot
2 cups Pineapple Juice
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Maple Syrup (the real stuff, not the pancake syrup)

Directions:1. Place ham into your crock pot and give it a good rub down with the brown sugar on all sides.
2. Pour your pineapple juice and maple syrup over the ham.
3. Cover and cook on low for 4 – 5 hours.
4. About three quarters of the way through cooking, baste the ham with some of the juices in the bottom of the crock.
5. Let the ham rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

 

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Crockpot Chicken Spring Wrap

I love my crock pot. In my early cooking days, my crock pot was my best friend in the kitchen. It can turn a cheap, tough cut of meat into something edible and delicious – it can make almost any dish a creamy, savory dish that is perfect comfort food on a cold day – AND I somehow felt that the crock pot was more reliable in making sure my cuts of meat were cooked all the way through (whereas I was still learning and wasn’t as reliable…).

Now I’m older and I have found new reasons to appreciate my crock pot. Not the least of which is that I can find a few minutes at some point in the middle of the day – somewhere near lunch time – to throw a few things into the crock and turn it on….and then as my day gets crazier and more hectic and the kids are in my hair and hubby wants his dinner, all I have to do is take the lid off the crock and Wah-lah! Dinner!

This is one of those dishes that we use two different ways. Cook up the chicken, slice it nicely, and you have either a perfect set up for a “grilled” chicken cesar salad, or you can serve it up on a flour tortilla with a bed of greens and you have an easy chicken wrap. We eat the chicken both warm and cold since it’s already been cooked, so it’s great for a picnic or a lunch on-the-go too.

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Ingredients:
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 TBSP Butter
1/4 cup water
3 TBSP Lemon Juice (or the juice of one lemon)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Chicken Boullion or 1 TBSP Chicken Soup Base
1 tsp Parsley
Wrap makings/toppings: (Flour Tortillas, Ranch Dressing, Lettuce/Spinach)

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, combine oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub all of the seasoning mix into your chicken on both sides. Brown the chicken in butter in a skillet and transfer into your crock pot. (Just brown it, you aren’t actually cooking it yet.)
2. Add water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon to the skillet you had browned the chicken in. Bring it to a boil and loosen the browned bits of chicken from the bottom of the skillet. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the crock pot.
3. Cover your crock and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
4. Baste the chicken and cook on high for 15-30 minutes until chicken is tender.
5. Remove the chicken from the crock and allow to ‘rest’ 5-10 minutes and then slice into strips.
6. Serve either in a wrap or in a salad – enjoy!!

 

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Crockpot Beef Sandwich with Au Jus

Beef Sandwiches. I have recently been told that beef sandwiches are a relatively local phenomenon. I’m in the Midwest (U.S.) and supposedly if you travel to the East Coast or West Coast and request a beef sandwich, they have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m obviously not very well traveled, or I would know this for myself – but this really shocks me. Beef sandwiches are a staple around here and they are soo delicious!

There’s even two ways to eat/serve them! You can just put some beef on some bread, add a little au jus, and top with either cheese or giardiniera or what ever topping you prefer – – – OR – – – you can go all out and practically drown your sandwich in the au jus (or even dip the whole thing in) – and eat a very messy, but absolutely amazing ooey gooey, savory, beefy delight!

This recipe is one of those fix-it-and-forget it meals that is so easy it’s almost embarrassing to put it in type! The bonus is, it ends up tasting so amazing that we use it for parties all the time and people always want to know who we’ve catered in for the beef! :-D

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Crockpot Beef Sandwich with Au Jus

Ingredients:
2-3 lb Rump Roast (though basically any style beef roast works well – bottom round, tip round, and eye round are all fine)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Seasoned Salt
1 tsp White Pepper
3/4 TBSP Oregano
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 cup Water

Directions:
1. Place roast in the bottom of the crockpot and add all of the remaining ingredients on top of it.
2. Cook on low 6-7 hours.
3. THAT’S IT!!  Slice up the meat and eat!  Enjoy!

The juice in the crock after you’ve cooked the meat is the au jus. Feel free to pour it over the meat, dip your sandwich in, or go all out and dunk your whole sandwich! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 
 

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