About these ads
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: slow cooker

Smoky Baked Beans

Posted on

Summertime is packed with barbecues and picnics, and I like to have an arsenal of crowd-pleasing recipes to bring.  With Independence Day approaching, I thought I’d share one of my new favorites!  I like to bring something that’s either OK at room temperature (because it’s hard to keep cold dishes cold), or something that can hang out in the crock pot without getting overcooked.  Baked beans go great with any outdoor summer meal and these were a hit at our Mother’s Day picnic. I would definitely make these again, even as a summer meal in itself!

Smoky Baked Beans

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (31 oz) can pork and beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans
1 (16 oz) can black beans
1 (16 oz) can butter beans
1 (16 oz) can white beans (such as Navy, Northern or Canellini)
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel)
1/2 cup hickory-smoke flavored BBQ sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Brown sausage with onion in large skillet. Drain fat. Place in large slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for 4-8 hours.

Recipe source: Our Eating Habits

About these ads

German Baked Beans For a Crowd


~Photo by Jessica Rose~

Last Saturday was our 37th annual Davis Family Pig Roast.  (My maiden name is Davis, FYI.)  This family reunion was started four years before I was born, and now the responsibilities have been passed on to the next generation and I’m on the planning committee and have been in charge of creating & sending the invitations for the last five years.

The remaining Davis siblings (RIP Jimmy, Doris, and Mary): Margie, Nadene, Donnie (the one who started the pig roast), Ruby, and my Dad, Jon.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

The younger generation that runs the roast nowadays.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

The pig roast is an all day affair, starting early in the morning when a few good men get up at the crack of dawn to put the pig (prepped the night before) on our custom roaster, and it doesn’t end until well after dark, with everyone gathering around a bonfire to drink, chat, and roast hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

We spend the day mostly talking, though there are things you can entertain yourself with, such as Bingo, swimming in the lake, bike riding, or walking.  The main event however, is the afternoon meal, which we eat when the pig is done.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

Dennis leads us in a prayer before the meal, and then it’s on.  Well, after you stand in a really long line, then it’s on. :)

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

First we go inside where all the sides that family have brought are lined up on tables…

Then we go outside to the table where the meat has been cut up and laid out, along with garlic bread.

Then we go back inside (or take a chair outside) to chow down.

Some people bring the same thing every year, and I love that because it gives you something to look forward to.  Like Aunt Ruby’s Garlic Salad.  It just wouldn’t be the Pig Roast without her garlic salad (which she actually doesn’t even  make herself any more, her son Tyson does it for her!).   Then there’s people like me, who make something different every year.  This year I decided to bring a big crockpot full of German Baked Beans, which I found the recipe for on The Better Baker’s blog.  I knew when she posted it that it’d be perfect for our reunion, and I was right.  It was devoured!

Dennis said he could taste the saurkraut (and liked it), but if I hadn’t made it and couldn’t see it in there, I would have had no clue.  These beans are sweet and so good with the onion and sausage in them, but if you’d like more sass to them, you can try skipping the rinsing on the saurkraut and that might give them a bit of a zip.  This is how I made them in the crockpot for a crowd.  If you’d like the oven-baked, regular-sized recipe, you can click the link to Marsha’s blog at the end.

German Baked Beans For a Crowd

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 (15 oz) cans pork and beans
2 (15 oz) cans baked beans
2 (14 oz) cans sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 (14 oz) package kielbasa sausage, sliced & quartered

Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours, removing the cover during the last hour to let some of the liquid evaporate if desired.

Alternately, you can halve this recipe for a smaller crowd and bake it in the oven. To do this, preheat oven to 400F and combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish, coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 1 – 1-1/2 hours.

Recipe source: The Better Baker

I just love my family!

Slow Cooker Moroccan Turkey Stew


Rhonda from Dining Alone has a “Best Thing I Ever Made” feature where she highlights a favorite recipe each week from her archives. In October, she shared this stew as the best soup she’s ever made. All I had to do was take one look at her totally delicious picture (please, go look, and grab a napkin to catch the drool) to know I had to make it.

My sister’s best friend, Margo, married a Moroccan man (that’s them up there with the Twinkies during a Toot and Twinkies game night…but that’s another story for a different day) and she introduced me to their cuisine after she learned to cook it from her sister-in-law. Her Moroccan Chicken Couscous is so so delicious, and this stew has very similar ingredients so I was fairly certain I would love it.

Love it? No, I’m obsessed with it. If this soup were a person, it would have filed a restraining order on me because I stalked it for three nights in a row, made inappropriate noises while eating it, and almost cried when it was gone. I might have separation anxiety. Moroccan Turkey Stew, please don’t leave me! Come back!

So anyway, you should try this stew.  And please invite me over for dinner when you do.  I promise I’ll keep the inappropriate noises to a minimum.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Turkey Stew

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt
4 skinless, bone-in turkey thighs (about 4 pounds)*
1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juices, broken up
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
8 medium carrots, cut into 11/2-inch pieces
3 medium red onions, halved and cut into wedges
2 whole dried red chiles
1/2 lemon
2 cups fresh cilantro, including leaves and some stems
1 cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*You can also use bone-in chicken thighs, which is what I opted to use since I couldn’t find turkey legs.

Combine the allspice and 3 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Season the turkey thighs with half the salt mixture in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Toss the squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, apricots, raisins, carrots, onions and chiles with the remaining spiced salt. Pour the vegetables over the turkey (the cooker will be full; arrange the mixture so the lid fits.  And don’t be like me and think you can fit extra veg in because you can’t–trust me.). Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Spoon the vegetables and broth into bowls. Remove and discard the turkey bones and place the meat on top of the vegetables.

Juice the lemon; pulse with the cilantro, parsley, garlic, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Add the oil and process until smooth. Serve the stew in bowls; drizzle with the cilantro sauce.

*Veronica’s note: your cilantro sauce will probably not be as green as mine (compare it with Rhonda’s picture) because I didn’t measure it and probably used twice as much as I was supposed to.  I didn’t care, it was still phenomenal.

Recipe source: Food Network, as seen on Dining Alone

***

Disclaimer: I know I said I wasn’t going to apologize for my bad photos, but I do want to explain that I took these with zero natural light–all I had was the light from the light bulb overhead in the bedroom because for some reason, that is the brightest room in our house.  So I think they’re pretty good, considering.  Except for the swampy green blobs.  That’s not cool, but hey, this is real life up in my kitchen and swampy green blobs happen.

Italian Roast Beef {crockpot recipe}

Posted on

This Italian roast beef was inspired by Tami’s comment on my banana pepper roast, telling me she did the same thing but added a packet of dry Italian dressing mix, and that it made great sandwiches.  Well, I’m all about making great things better, and all about sandwiches, so I decided to try it out.  And it is even better than the banana pepper roast. And it does make killer sandwiches. Thanks, Tami!

Just as with the banana pepper roast, there is a pleasant piquant flavor from the peppers and the acid in the brine and the slow cooking makes the roast ultra-tender.  The difference is that there’s even more flavor–garlic & onion and whatever else they put in those dressing mixes.  I have tried making my own Italian dressing mix but I really want it to be exactly like the store-bought ones and so far, no luck.  If you have one that’s close please let me know! I buy at least four of those packs a month (I make our Italian dressing with them, and things like parmesan garlic chicken) and I know it would be cheaper and probably healthier to make my own.

We ate the roast straight the first day (it’s so good with mashed or baked potatoes!), then made sandwiches with the leftovers.  I’ll include my idea for sandwiches too, because it was so good!  Can you tell I thought this roast was so good? ;)

Italian Roast Beef

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (5 lb) beef roast
1 (.7 oz) envelope dry Italian dressing mix
½ cup dehydrated red & green bell pepper (optional)
¼ cup dehydrated minced onion
1 (12 oz) jar banana pepper rings

Place beef roast in the bottom of a 6-quart crockpot. Sprinkle the dressing mix, red & green pepper (if using), and minced onion over it, then pour the jar of banana pepper rings over the top, juice and all. Cover and set to cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Remove the roast onto a platter and shred with two forks. Return to the juices and mix well, then serve with mashed potatoes.

To make sandwiches, you’ll need:

Sandwich buns or rolls
Ranch dressing
Dried basil*
Italian roast beef, warmed
Fresh mozzarella or provolone cheese, thinly sliced
Tomatoes, thinly sliced
Other toppings of choice, such as shredded lettuce, sliced olives, chopped onion, etc.

To make sandwiches, split the buns and cover the insides with a generous smear of ranch dressing. Sprinkle with basil.*

*If you use fresh basil, add it along with the tomato at the end.

Doncha love those sweet Italian buns? ;)

Draining off as much juice as possible, put some roast beef on the bottom buns, then place a slice of mozzarella on top. Please slice your cheese thinner than this or you’ll have to practically burn the buns before it’s melted.  Learn from my mistakes.

Broil open-faced on high, the top buns ranch-side up, until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. If your cheese is thicker *ahem*, it may take up to five minutes and you will want to remove the top buns before the bottom so that they don’t burn.

Even after five minutes, the cheese was barely melted.  I have to show off the one I made when Dennis requested seconds.  I got the cheese much thinner, so it only took about a minute for it to melt and I didn’t have to remove the top bun before the bottom was done.  Look at this beautiful deliciousness!

Much better!  OK, once it’s melted, top it with a slice of tomato, another sprinkle of basil, and any other toppings you’d like.

Cover with the top bun and enjoy warm.

It’s 3 AM as I finish this blog, and I nearly forgot to do the drawing for the cookbook.  So without further ado….

Congratulations to Brandee Lake, you won P-Dub’s signed cookbook!

P.S. Some people were asking me why she’s called P-Dub.  Dude, it’s because she’s a straight up gangsta!  lol.  P is for Pioneer and Dub is short for the “double u” that Woman starts with.  And in my cousin Andrea’s comment, she gave me a gangster name so I can be hip like the Pioneer Woman.  You can now call me “V-Dawg.” My little sister gave me the name “Throwback Vrak,” which I LOVE, but that would require too much explaining in order for it to make sense.  So V-Dawg it is.  Until further notice.  Peace out, yo.

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Posted on

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  I can’t tell you how thankful I am to Amanda for starting this club.  The amount of fun I have with it is a little ridiculous.  My favorite part is getting my blog assignment and stealthily stalking that blog, hunting down recipes that I want to make and post for reveal day.  I always bookmark a million and it takes me an entire week to narrow down my choice to one recipe.

{You can find my past Secret Recipe Club posts here.}

This month I was assigned to A Little Nosh and unlike previous assignments, I knew which recipe I was going to make within a minute of clicking on her blog.  I still went through Amy’s archives and bookmarked half her recipes, but did eventually return to the original that caught my eye and knew I couldn’t fight it.  I had to make the crockpot chicken cacciatore because:

1) It’s beautiful and I like pretty food.

2)  I’d never eaten or made it and thought it would be fun to try something new.

3) It fit perfectly in our diet plan while we were in the 2nd cycle of the 17 Day Diet.

4) I noticed the recipe originally came from one of my blogging buddies, Renee of My Kitchen Adventures, and it tickled me to think that I’d be making Amy’s and Renee’s recipe at the same time.

 

I changed the recipe to make it on a slightly larger scale with a higher ratio of veggies, and it completely filled my 6-quart crockpot to the brim.  The leftovers were enough to last us all week, and what beautiful lunches we were bringing to work!  The vegetables and sauce were such a tasty compliment to the tender chicken breast meat, which pretty much fell apart as soon as you touched it with a fork.  So delicious.

Thanks, Amy, for sharing this great recipe.  I never even saw it on Renee’s blog, so I’m glad to have gotten the opportunity through you and the SRC to try it!

Crockpot Garden Chicken Cacciatore

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

6 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large ribs of celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 (4 oz) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons water or chicken broth
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Place chicken breasts inside the bottom of a 6-quart crockpot. Add in the bell peppers, onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Pour the juice from the tomatoes into a medium bowl, then put the tomatoes into the crockpot.

Into the bowl with the tomato juice, add the tomato paste, chicken stock, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well, then pour on top of the tomatoes and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender.

Mix the cornstarch and water together until no lumps remain, then pour over the top of the vegetables. Stir, turn the crockpot to high, and allow to cook for another 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over brown rice or your choice of starch.

Recipe source: adapted from A Little Nosh, originally from My Kitchen Adventures

To check out the other submissions in Group A for The Secret Recipe Club, click on the Mr. Linky below!



Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Slow Cooker}


The crockpot is my cold-weather friend.  I turn it on before work, and come home to a delicious-smelling house and a hot dinner ready and waiting.  Usually I use it for soups & chili, but once in a while I get a little crazy and turn a big hunk of meat into something falling-apart tender and succulent.  This is one of those rare times, and of course the husband rejoiced.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of this as soon as we took it out of the crock, but due to the early sunset in winter, there was no light left to take a photo by.  So you get a picture of the leftovers, which were also delicious, but this doesn’t quite represent how beautiful the meat was after it finished cooking.  But I figure a photo taken of leftovers by daylight is better than a grainy, dark photo of perfect meat.

What makes this dish remarkable isn’t so much the tender, juicy pork (that always happens to meat in the crockpot, right?), but the sauce.  It reminds me of barbecue sauce, but it is more like barbecue sauce’s wealthy cousin that travels abroad 3 months out of the year and has great taste in hats.  Or something like that.

Anyway, the sauce is amazing.  The meat is amazing.  Together, well, duh, they are amazing.  Make it and feel the amazement in your own kitchen.

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Recipe source: C & C Marriage Factory

Secret Recipe Club

Banana Pepper Roast

Posted on

Our friends Joe and Marissa (of the “good peas” fame) invited us to lunch after church one day a million years ago, and she served a roast along with many delightful sides.  I only took a small portion of the roast ,being much more interested in the salad, her mashed potato casserole, and butternut squash bread, but once I took a bite, I was going back for more.  I’m not much of a meat eater, so when I found her roast irresistible, I asked her what her secret was.

“Banana Peppers.”

“Banana peppers?” I repeated, surprised.  “What else did you use?”

“That’s it.  I just poured a jar of banana peppers over the roast in the crockpot.  The acid from the brine really helps tenderize the meat.”

This was so simple, I had to try it at home.  I’m just surprised it took me so long!  But I’ve made it twice in the past month, to make up for lost time. :)

I adore the salty, piquant flavor the banana peppers & juice impart to the beef, and it really is melt-in-your mouth tender after roasting all day in the slow cooker.  And talk about easy!  Although Teri taught me to sear the outside  of a roast before sticking it in the crockpot, I didn’t even do that. Easy peasy & delicious…squeezy?

I know this combo sounds a bit odd, but you’ve got to try it to believe it!  It goes really well with mashed potatoes topped with a pat of butter and garlic salt, as I discovered after taking this picture. :)

Banana Pepper Roast

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (3-5 lb) beef roast
1 (16 oz) jar mild banana pepper rings

Place roast in a crock pot and pour the jar of banana peppers, juice and all, over the top. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until tender.

Healthy Slow Cooker Meat Sauce


Dennis and I have been eating out a lot now that I work through the dinner hour.  I finally got fed up with the unhealthy food and the weight gain we’re both experiencing, and decided to cook up enough real homemade food on my days off to last us for the week.  This meat sauce was the first thing I threw together, and Dennis was in heaven!

http://a4.l3-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/106/e4b697be95db4cacb0b570413a915d69/l.jpg

This is an old picture from 2009 but I had to include it. Dennis eats everything with chopsticks-he's obsessed!

I’m not completely back on the healthy bandwagon, but this meal is a good start. The sauce is hearty, flavorful & robust, and very low in fat. I chose to sweeten the sauce mainly with carrots, and you may find this balances the acidity of the tomatoes enough for your taste, but I decided to add some agave nectar to mine to sweeten it a little more. You could also try upping the carrots to 2 cups.

Serve this over whole wheat pasta along with a salad and you’ve got a nutritious, delicious meal!

Healthy Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 pound bison, venison, or lean ground beef
2 links mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 tablespoons agave nectar or sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste

In a large skillet, cook the meat and onions until the meat is brown and the onions are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute. Do not drain unless you used meat with a higher fat content. If you used the suggested meat, you will have a little broth in the pan with only a tiny amount of fat, which I like to leave for flavor.

Meanwhile, add the undrained tomatoes and carrots to a 4-quart (or larger) slow-cooker and puree using an immersion blender (if you don’t have an immersion blender, do this with your regular blender). Stir in the tomato paste, agave nectar, oregano, basil, garlic salt, bay leaves, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Stir in the meat mixture and cover.

Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 10-12 hours, stirring caramelized sides back into the sauce. When complete, stir well, fishing out the bay leaves, and add salt to taste. Serve on top of your favorite pasta.

Recipe source: inspired by The Cooking Photographer

Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Posted on

I saved a recipe for “Perfect Pulled Pork” that I found in a magazine in an ad for pork, but since I don’t like pork (other than bacon, of course), I decided to try the recipe with beef and turn it into barbecue beef sandwiches.  It worked famously!  I’m not a huge meat eater, but I kind of went crazy for these and was so sad when the last of the leftovers were gone.  I can’t wait to make them again.

Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

5 lbs. beef roast
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2-3 cups barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Soft sandwich buns
Dilly Cucumber Salad or coleslaw (optional)

Combine all seasoning in a small bowl and rub evenly over roast. Place meat in a 6-quart slow cooker; add water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours or until beef is very tender. If you are at home, I recommend turning the roast over halfway through cooking time because the top will get a little dry. Place beef on large cutting board or platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour out all the juices from the crockpot. Pull, slice, or chop the meat and return to crockpot. Stir in as much barbecue sauce as you desire. Serve on buns and top with Dilly Cucumber Salad or coleslaw, if desired.

Serves 16-20

Recipe source: adapted from the National Pork Board’s Perfect Pulled Pork

White Chili (Crockpot recipe)

Posted on

My friend, Ashley, shared this recipe with me recently and I had to make it ASAP because although I’ve saved countless recipes for it, I’ve never actually made it or even tried it!  I have to say it’s very tasty, especially made her way with corn chips on the bottom and cheese on top (usually around here this is called a Frito pie).  You just can’t go wrong with salty corn chips and cheese in your chili!  Sooo good!  Unless of course you’re watching your calories, then you’d be better off sprinkling a bit of cheese on top with just a few corn chips for garnish, as I did above.  However, the chili is so good it can totally stand on it’s own. Any way you serve it would be great!

So here’s the recipe Ashley’s sister gave her when she got married (awww, those recipes are the best!) and that she has graciously permitted me to share with you!  Enjoy!

White Chili (crockpot recipe)

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 large white onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups cubed (raw) chicken
2 cans white kidney (great northern) beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo (chick peas) beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilis (I used 7 ounces)
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
corn chips
shredded cheese

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Transfer to slow cooker.  Add all other ingredients; except cilantro, corn chips and cheese.  Cook on low 6-7 hours (high for 4 hrs).  Stir in cilantro and serve over corn chips with cheese on top!

Recipe source: slightly tweaked from Ashley Allen

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,301 other followers

%d bloggers like this: