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Tag Archives: crockpot

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

When I saw that there was no pre-cooking for this recipe, I literally “squee’d” out loud.  I pinned this from Keri Challen’s board, which she found on Tip Garden.  There were warnings posted on the site explaining the Southern-style of macaroni and cheese and how it should be cut like a brownie (which I was all for because that’s the best kind), but what I wasn’t expecting was the over-bearing sour-taste from, what I believe to be, the condensed milk.  Hopefully someone can give me some insight.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

Cooking oil spray
2 cups skim milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups preshredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
I used exactly the ingredients the recipe called for and I followed the recipe exactly:
Once everything was mixed together, I dropped it into the pot and let it go for 4 hours.  It looked like mac and cheese, and it smelled like mac and cheese, so I was very excited to try it out.
 
When served, it had the exact consistency of the custard mac and cheese and it smelled absolutely delicious!  However, upon the first taste, I found it had a very strange taste that I cannot pinpoint.  It was almost sour-tasting.  I thought maybe it was the evaporated milk, but upon further reading in the comments on Tip Gard, I thought it might be the egg?  I’m not sure, but I couldn’t eat more than 6 or 7 bites before the aftertaste completely overwhelmed me.  Mike ate the entire pot over a 3-span day, and he said he didn’t have the same taste experience I did.  I’m at a loss for words to explain the way I felt about this recipe.
Verdict:
Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Jen’s Opinion:
Taste: 2/5
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5
Next time, I’ll omit one of the ingredients (either the egg or the evaporated milk) and see which ingredient is the “offending” ingredient.
 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Crockpot

 

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Crockpot Italian Chicken

Recipe #2 for the day is, of course, a crockpot recipe.  I had found this recipe a while ago on Crock-a-doodle-do (what a great name for a blog!) and I was quite excited about trying it out.  Mike will put Italian dressing on just about anything; it seemed like it would be a major hit in this house.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 Ounce Bottle of Italian Dressing
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
Italian Seasoning
4-6 Potatoes scrubbed cut in half or wedges
1/2 bag of mini carrots
Once again, I turned to my trusty source for the ingredients for homemade Italian Seasoning:
I followed the recipe exactly, put the crockpot on low for 6 hours, and left it alone.  After 2 hours, the smell was obvious and appetizing–just what I’m looking for when I leave something cooking all day 🙂
I was actually afraid that I hadn’t used enough Italian dressing, but it turns out it was just right for Mike and a little too overpowering for my taste.  When I served dinner after 6 hours, we found the meat to be a bit tough and the potatoes to not be quite finished.  However, when Mike went back for a second serving a couple hours later (it had been cooking for 8 1/2 hours by then because I had left it on low), the meat was juicy, tender, and fell apart with the fork.
The Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 4/5 (a little too strong on the Italian dressing for me)
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5
I think when I try this again, I might lighten up on Italian seasoning, and be a little less generous with the Italian dressing–we can always add more later if it’s needed.
 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Crockpot Loaded Potato Soup

With a hurricane looming in the Caribbean, it felt like a good night for some comfort food.  Potato soup is one of my favorite heavy soups, but I wanted something without the heavy whipping cream (a slightly lactose intolerant person lives here, and I didn’t want to overload the soup with cream cheese AND dynamite).  I was greatly pleased with this find on Hannah Holzmann’s board, which she originally pinned from her own blog, It’s What’s For Dinner.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

5 lbs russet potatoes, diced, NOT peeled
5 tablespoons TS garlic garlic1 large yellow onion, chopped
64 ounces chicken broth or stock
16 ounces cream cheese
bacon, sour cream, chives or shredded cheese for garnish

I used 3lbs (even though we were expecting 2 more for dinner, 5 just seemed like an overhaul of potatoes), 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, 32 ounces chicken broth (Great Value, sodium free), 8 ounces of cream cheese, 5 strips of bacon and the leftover Monterrey jack cheese from the Alice Springs chicken.  For the most part, I cut the recipe in half and added my own flare of onion flakes, ground pepper, and a pinch of Lowry’s seasoning salt.

I got up early this morning, chopped the potatoes into dice-sized bits, and combined with the chicken broth and seasonings in the crockpot on low.  I left it on low all day while we were at work (Murphy kept an eye on it all day, I’m sure). When we got home, I pulled out my blender.  It says to use a food processor, but all I have is a Magic Bullet, and that just wasn’t happening.  I chopped the cream cheese block in half, threw it in the blender with half of the soup:

(Yes, it’s supposed to look that yucky.  It gets better).  Once I’d blended half, I added the other half of the block and the rest of the soup, then poured it back into the crockpot for easy serving purposes.

Mike offered to fry up the bacon (thanks hubby) so I could get the table set and the fixin’s ready.
  

Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5

Jen’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5 (needed a little extra pepper)
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5
Ease of cleanup: 2/5 (that crockpot took forever to get clean again)
Availability of ingredients: 5/5

This is definitely an easy, and if you’re a smart shopper, healthy recipe for a delicious pot of potato soup.

 

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Soup

 

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Crockpot Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli is one of our all-time favorite fast-food Chinese dinners.  I’ve followed a recipe before and the sauce just wasn’t right.  So, when I saw my favorite recipe words (crock pot) on Kim McG’s board, I just had to give it a try.  This recipe is originally pinned from the blog, BS Recipes.

Recipe:
Ingredients:
1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef consumme
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)
Hot cooked rice

Honestly, I didn’t have sesame oil, and when I saw the price of it at Publix, I thought “what else could I use this for?” and left it behind.  I substituted a little Worcestershire Sauce.

This recipe was perfect for our Sunday.  I popped it all together around 11:00am, and forgot about it while we spent the day relaxing and preparing for our first day of students (officially, with students back).

  We had a Sons of Anarchy mini-marathon while the house slowly started to fill with scents slightly-reminiscent of China Wok.  The broccoli went in around 6:50, and around 7:15, dinner was served.

 

It might have been the sesame oil substitute, but I found a good bit of salt was needed to help flavor the beef.

Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Notes: The sauce was a little thin, and a kick of salt was beneficial.

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 3.5/5
Presentation: 5/5 (it LOOKED like Beef and Broccoli….)
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 4/5

If I ever procure Sesame Sauce, I might give this recipe another go, but for now, I’m still on a quest for the perfect Beef and Broccoli recipe.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Beef

 

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Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops

Today, we are painting three rooms in our house with the help of my father and step-mother.  I figured people would be hungry by the time dinner rolled around, and I needed something filling and easy to meet this need.  I found this recipe on Stephannie Miles’s board, and it was originally found on Real Mom’s Kitchen.

I didn’t have time for the mashed potatoes, and too bad because I bet they are delicious, so I focused mainly on the pork.  My first problem was the pork chops were a little too small for the amount of time they would spend in the crock pot.  Make sure yours are the proper size for crock pot cooking.

Recipe:

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup

The recipe says on high for 4 hours, or low for 6.  I chose low for 6 hours, and added a can of mushrooms to the pot.  Then we let it cook and got to painting.

5 1/2 hours later, the house was finished, and I was prepping the table for dinner.  The moment the tongs hit the pork, I knew they were overcooked and dry.  It felt like picking up small pieces of brick, and we can say I was less than pleased.  I’m guessing the 4 hours on high might have been a better option, but I thought the added mushrooms might help with spreading out the cooking (silly me).

Verdict:

Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 3/5
Presentation: 4/5
Notes: I think the time in the pressure cooker for the recipe was off.  It was so dry, and meat in a crock pot should never taste dry.

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 3/5
Presentation: 4/5 (looked delicious)
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 3/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5

Overall, the flavor was very bland, the meat was dry, and the gravy was thin.  I was very disappointed in this recipe and I’m not sure if I’m willing to give it another go.  If you try something new with it and it is successful, please let me know.  I hate to give up on something that promised to be so tasty.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Pork

 

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Chicken and Dumplings in Crock Pot

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings are an all-time favorite in this house, so when I found a copy-cat recipe on Tiffany Butterworth’s page from Tasty Kitchen, I just had to give it a go.

Recipe:

2 cups Flour
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 pinch Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Milk, A Bit Less Than A Full Cup
2 quarts Chicken Broth
3 cups Cooked Chicken

Unfortunately, (thankfully), no photographs were taken of the process, but I can promise you the kitchen had a dose of white from all the flour.  I’ve never been very good at using a rolling pin, and this recipe reminded me of why I keep it hidden in the bottom drawer.  Overall though, it wasn’t as difficult as I originally thought it would be.  I think I would add some poultry seasoning or some Adobo to the dumplings next time, as they tasted a little too bland for my liking.

Verdict:

Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Notes: The gravy was delicious, but the dumplings needed a little more flavor.

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5
Ease of cleanup: 3.5/5
Availability of ingredients: 4.5/5

This one is a keeper!

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Chicken

 

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