Friday, February 4, 2011

Slow Cooker Sundays!

So, in a previous post, I talked about our family's new tradition (and I take "tradition" lightly because with our family's crazy life nothing is ever set in stone). But, I talked about our "Slow Cooker Sundays." This has been a miracle worker for us on our busy Sundays when we spend all morning at church, are home for Jake to "nap," and then back to church for the better part of the late afternoon/evening. We started doing crock pot recipes so I could prepare the meal before we left the house around 3 or 4, and then it would be ready around 7:30pm.

The requirements for MY recipes:
1. I have to know what the ingredients are....nothing crazy that I have never heard of and have to run to three grocery stores just to find. It's all about total convenience for me.
2. It cannot have any additional "steps" to complete when I get home. The goal is to be able to spoon out whatever is in the crock pot as soon as we walk in the door. No additional making rice, boiling pasta, etc. Even "shredding meat" may be pushing it for me. I want my meal ready so that poor Brooklyn does not eat dinner at 8pm. (Jake is fed at his grandparents around 5:45 so don't worry about him! And a bonus: he goes to bed when we get home so we actually eat a quiet meal. ha ha! Brooklyn could eat then too but I think she loves to take advantage of staying up a wee bit later on Sunday nights. (EDIT: I do want to make it known that the grandparents do not starve Brooklyn. She is offered dinner but I know she likes staying up a bit later and eating what we eat, so we let her just snack over their house and eat dinner with us. :-)) The most I will do when I get home is throw a bag of steamer veggies in the microwave if we need an additional side, but that is it! :-)
3. It cannot cost an arm and a leg to make. Again, convenience and cost-effective is what I am going for with this.

And finally,
4. Personal endorsements are nice but not really a requirement.

So, here is what we have made in the house so far...

Crock Pot Roast and Veggies
*I don't have a recipe for this one because it actually came in this dehydrated packet from one of those holiday craft shows. My parents gave it to me for Christmas, and even though we were a bit skeptical (how can potatoes, onions, carrots, and mushrooms come from a 6x6 box?), it was very tasty! I just added a rump roast to the cooker, covered it in the dry veggie/seasoning packet and added water.

Crock Pot Pizza
*This recipe was given to me by a co-worker, and I have lost it in cyber-space. But here is a link to a very similar one that I think will taste the same. It just made Brooklyn giggle everytime we said "Crock Pot" and "Pizza" together.

Crock Pot Lasagna
*Now, THIS one I have the recipe for and it is FABULOUS! It was passed along to me by a college friend, and fellow blogger, Joni.

* 1 pound ground beef* 1 large onion, chopped* 2 garlic cloves, minced* 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce* 1 cup water* 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste* 1 teaspoon salt* 1 teaspoon dried oregano* 1 package (8 ounces) no-cook lasagna noodles* 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese* 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) 4% cottage cheese* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano; mix well. Spread a fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5-qt. slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over sauce (break the noodles if necessary). Combine the cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.

Ground Beef Stew (perfect served with cornbread)
*This one we actually made on a Saturday for lunch because we have been loving our crock pot so much!

1 pound ground beef
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 package baby carrots
3 cups water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (6 ounces) Italian tomato paste
In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain well. In a crock pot, combine the next 8 ingredients.
Stir in the beef. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Stir in soup and tomato paste; cover and cook for 1 hour or until heated through.

Taco Soup (also yummy with cornbread)

1 lb. ground beef (*I used ground turkey, and it was awesome!)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can white corn
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix
Brown beef in skillet. After draining beef, add all cans (undrained) and envelopes to the beef in Crockery Pot. Cook on low 2 to 4 hours.

And I have been SO in love lately that I even tried a recipe mid-week...
Chicken and Rice Casserole

1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of (uncooked) white rice
Cut the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add all ingredients to crock pot and stir together. Cook on high 3-4 hours.

That's it for now! I'll keep you posted on any future "winners" that we encounter. (This Sunday = Sweet and Sour Boneless Pork Ribs) And if you have any great recipes to share, PLEASE comment below.

Happy Slow Cookin'!


MegM said...

I can't wait to try some of these recipes!
You should get Andi's (from work) recipe on that potato soup she made when we did the potluck after our november staff meeting. It was awesome. I still need to try to make it too.
Keep posting your recipes!

Joni Barnwell said...

I made the blog!!! I am so excited!! Glad you liked the lasagna!!


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