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Entries in Slow Cooker (4)

Monday
Nov252013

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Apple cinnamon granola

It’s the end of the month again, and that means it’s time for Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This past month, I was assigned to Erin’s blog, Table for Seven. As the title suggests, Erin is a busy mom with many mouths to feed. Being as busy that she is, the fact that she finds the time to make delicious looking food for her family and post about it regularly inspires me. I only have 2 mouths to feed, and yet we have been eating take-out way too much for our own good lately, resulting in minimal blog posting! Anyway, as per the usual, when I was assigned to her blog, I looked through from start to finish looking for recipes that sounded good. That is where I ran into a problem…they ALL did! I ultimately chose this granola for two reasons; one being that we like granola very much, and two being the fact that it was cooked in the crockpot intrigued me. I will say that it was super simple to throw together, and the result was a number of delicious breakfasts…and a few handfuls thrown in for a snack! Thanks for a great recipe, Erin!

3 1/2 cups Oats
1 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
3/4 cup Applesauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Honey
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 cup Dried Apples, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, oil, honey, and vanilla. Pour the liquid over the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into a crockpot, cover (but vent a bit), and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring frequently. Let the granola cool completely, then stir in the dried apples. (*Cooking the granola in the crockpot resulted in a slightly softer granola than we are used to. I did end up putting the granola into the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees to crisp up a bit.)

SOURCE: Table for Seven

Monday
Jun172013

Crock Pot Beer Pulled Pork-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes

I've only made pulled pork twice before, and I used the same recipe both times. It was delicious, but I'm always up for trying something new. When I saw this recipe, I decided it would be a good idea to forego the rolls and stuff a sweet potato with the pork instead. When I suggested it to Joel, he thought that was strange, so he ate his as a regular sandwich..on bread, because we didn't go to the store to buy rolls. Of course, when we finished dinner, he commented that the bread was not the right choice and that stuffing the sweet potato wasn't such a bad idea after all! It wasn't; the potato served as the perfect vehicle for the pork, and I didn't even miss the bread!

Because I am the type of person who usually fails to read a recipe all the way through until it's too late, I feel like I have to include this clause in case any of you are the same way. Because of the use of the crock pot, this meal takes a bit of planning ahead. I had it on my menu for about 3 days before I actually made it because I didn't plan for the appropriate time and I didn't feel like eating at 10pm! However, this morning, I was able to prep everything as I was boiling my water for tea, and I had everything ready before I walked out the door for work. Let me tell you, walking into a house filled with the delicious aroma of barbecue is not a bad way to end a long day at work!

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
5 pounds Boneless Pork Loin Roast, trimmed (4 pounds after trimming)
12 ounces Beer
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
2 Shallots, minced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
4 Sweet Potatoes
3/4 cup BBQ Sauce (I used a local favorite, Dinosaur BBQ…I may have used a bit more!) 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sear the roast on each side, 2-4 minutes or until slightly golden, then remove to the crock pot. Add the beer, soy sauce, liquid smoke, shallots, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cumin to the crock pot. Rotate the meat to coat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. (Ours cooked on low for 10 hours and was perfectly tender when I went to pull it.)

Before serving, scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water and pat dry. Wrap each potato in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 60-75 minutes, or until a fork poked into the potato can be easily removed without resistance. Drain all but 1/2-1 cup of liquid from the crock pot. Using 2 forks, shred the meat to desired consistency. Remove all but about 16 ounces of pork from the crock pot, add the BBQ sauce, stir, and cover to warm through for 5-10 minutes. Cut a large slit in the top of each potato and loosen the flesh to create an opening. Add 4 ounces of pulled pork to the top of each potato and serve. Freeze remaining pulled pork for another day!

SOURCE: Prevention RD

Monday
Feb202012

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie

Slow Cooker Chicken Mushroom Potpie

One of the most underutilized appliance in my kitchen is my crockpot. Sure I use it occasionally, but not nearly enough. When I got the February 2012 issue of Real Simple magazine in the mail, I was excited to see that there was a whole section dedicated to crockpot recipes. In fact, the photo on the cover of these pot pies were enough to make me drool, so I immediately flipped to that section and made a list of things I needed to make that dish. While making the pot pies, I realized that as convenient as it is to use the crockpot, it is also a huge tease. The pot pies smelled so amazing, which made me so hungry, but as soon as I looked at the timer, I realized that I still had another 4 hours to wait! I guess it is my fault for making them on the weekend when I was home all day! Maybe I should start to use the crockpot more often while we are at work, to make meal prep super easy.

8 ounces Cremini Mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved if large
4 Carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Onion, chopped
1/3 cup Flour
2 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
1 Bay Leaf
1 1/2 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (I used breasts)
Salt and Pepper
1 sheet Puff Pastry, thawed (half of a 17.3 ounce package)
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Frozen Green Beans
1/3 cup Heavy Cream

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, mix together the mushrooms, carrots, onion, flour, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 cup water. Place the chicken on top and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Using a 4 1/2 inch cutter or a large glass, cut the pastry into 4 circles (I just made 4 rectangles). Place the pastry on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, green beans, cream, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high or low until heated through, 5 to 10 more minutes; remove the bay leaf. To serve, place the chicken mixture in bowls and top with the pastry rounds.

Sunday
Feb122012

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

BBQ Pulled Pork

About a year and a half ago, I hosted a surprise party for my dad, which I posted about here. As a main dish to serve the 40 guests, I made pulled pork (I used 16 pounds of pork to make sure to accommodate everybody). After a mishap with some of the ingredients, I needed a quick fix in a pinch. Realizing that I had all of the ingredients on hand, I used the spice rub and method seen here on The Piggly Wiggly. After everybody ate, I received numerous compliments on the pork. I had meant to post the recipe, but I never ended up taking a picture. Last week, we hosted a Super Bowl party with about 15 friends. I made chili and pulled pork, using the same recipe I had made for my dad's party (with 6 pounds of pork this time). Once again, everybody seemed to enjoy it, and this time I made sure to take a picture! I ended up with a lot left over, and luckily it freezes well, so we have an instant dinner for some day in the future too!

For the Spice Rub (per 2 pounds of pork):
1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
2 tablespoons Paprika
1 tablespoon Salt

For the Pork:
2 pounds Pork Loin
1 cup Liquid (I used beer, but water, coke, or stock would be fine)
18 ounce bottle BBQ Sauce

Mix the spices in a bowl. Massage the rub onto the pork. Place the pork into a crockpot, cover with liquid, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. After the cooking has been completed, drain the liquid and shred the pork with 2 forks. Add the BBQ sauce and serve on rolls.