Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Crock-Pot Creations #3 - Chicken and Ham Chili!

Ahhh, That MIDDLE of January feeling.....the snow is falling down and its cold.....winter has seemed like forever, and the only cheap fruit that is avaliable is bananas and oranges..  Enter violin and cheese platter with the waiter saying, "Do you want some cheese with your WHINE?"  I know....I know....

One good thing about the depths of January is that one can find comfort in brothy soups, heart warming stews, and the nippy heat of a good bowl of chili.  I love chili, especially with some bisquits.  Yep, that is one thing that can make me smile as I go outside to start my car way too early just to warm it up. (hopefully I won't forget to un-plug it......)

Enter Crock-Pot Chicken Chili.  I found this recipe from Kraft Canada's website. It was really a basis for my creation, inspiration really.  I found as I tweaked it up one could put just about anything they desire (within chili reason) to this dish.  So play around with the beans and meat, add some veggies. BUT, you MUST top it with cheese.  A MUST..... The best part is your slow-cooker is doing all the work for you so you can....shovel your driveway....

Happy January everyone :)

What you Need:

2 cans (19 fl oz/540 mL each) mixed beans, rinsed
2 cups salsa
1 can (14 fl oz/398 mL) no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 lb. (675 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup diced cooked ham (or your favorite sausage, try some bacon as well).
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

What you do:

1.  Combine first 4 ingredients in slow cooker; top with chicken, onions and corn. Cover with lid.
2.  Cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours).

3.  Serve topped with cheese.

It was GOOOD.  Nuff said.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Crockpot Creations #2 - Baked Potatoes and Broccoli and Cheese sauce

My first week of Crock-pot Creations has been quite the success!  Thanks so much for tuning in and seeing what I am stirring up.  If you want to share the recipes with all you know that is cool too!

Today I am going to show you how to cook "Baked Potatoes" in your Crock pot.   Who knew?!!  I sure didn't.  This is a fantastic way to cook a week-night supper.  The potatoes will be steamy and wonderful - ready for any topping that you choose.  This would be a great meal in and of itself, or as a side to some easy to cook sausages, chops or steak.  I am going to include a wonderful Broccoli and Cheese sauce.  (My favorite....or one of them)  Here are some more topping choices for ya!

- chili and sour cream
- butter, sour cream and chives
- bacon...and um...sour cream....
- cheese!!!!! ( you can put sour cream on there if ya like)
- Salsa!!  and cheese....

Crock Pot Creations #2

What to do:  

1.  With tinfoil, wrap up as many potatoes that will fit in your crock-pot.

2. Place in Crock-pot and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or 8 hours on LOW.

3.  When done, unwrap and enjoy with your favorite toppings.

 Broccoli Cheese Sauce

What you Need:

1 bunch broccoli
2 Tablespoons of water

3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 cup of  milk 
1 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons of butter

What to do:

1. When your potatoes are all done, get busy cooking the broccoli and making the scrumptious cheese sauce. Remove the large broccoli stems and chop the broccoli into small pieces. 

2.  Put the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl, that has a lid. Pour 2 tablespoons of water over the top of the broccoli, cover it and cook it in the microwave for about 5 minutes or until fork tender. 

3.  To make the cheese sauce, place 3 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper into a medium sized sauce pan. Pour 1 cup milk over the top of the dry ingredients and whisk it all together to combine.   

4.  Heat the mixture up on the stove top over medium high heat, whisking constantly. Bring it to a boil and then remove it from the heat. 

5.  Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce and 3 tablespoons butter.  Stir it all together until the butter and cheese have melted and the sauce is nice and smooth.   

6.  Top potatoes with the broccoli and pour the cheese sauce on and ENJOY!


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Crockpot Creations #1 - BBQ Pulled Pork

 Nothing saves a busy mom who doesn't want to stop at McDonald's everyday for supper like the crock pot. This sometimes underused cooking utensil helps moms and dads all over to "set and forget it" - which is nice when we are running around all over taking our children to their activities, as well trying to survive our own busyness.  But I think many people find the crock pot a tough thing to master....what do you put in it?

I've had a couple of standby recipes that help me in a pinch for sure.  I'll try to share these recipes along with each new recipe I post.  I hope that these recipes and time saving tricks help in making the day a little easier and mealtime more relaxed, enjoyable, and affordable. At the end of the day I hope that there is a mom who doesn't feel guilty, but feels confidant that in even a rushed day she can serve a nourishing and healthful meal....soooooo......(drum-roll please)

for the month of January I am going to post some of my favourite crock pot creations, as well as try a few new ones too!

Let's begin!

Old Standby #1 - Roast Beef in Mushroom sauce.  

1.  Roast of Beef (or wild meat)
2. 1 or 2 cans of mushroom soup
3.  Onion soup mix

Place meat into crock pot.  In a bowl whisk mushroom soup so that it is easy to pour. (you can add a 1/4 cup of water to thin)  Pour over roast.  Top with 2 Tbsp of onion soup mix.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.  Serve with potatoes and a vegetable.  Now you have roast and gravy together!!!!

Crock-pot Creation #1

 Pulled Pork
- adapted from Add a Pinch

This is an amazing and easy to make Pulled Pork recipe.  Everyone run to the local butcher shop and get a "pork butt" aka pork shoulder and MAKE THIS!!! 
  • 1 3-4 pound pork butt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • water
  • 1 bottle favourite BBQ sauce or your favourite homemade sauce ( I used Bull's Eye Honey Garlic Bonanza)
What to do:
  1. Place pork butt into crock pot.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar and enough water to reach half-way up meat.
  3. Cook on low setting for  7-8 hours  ( you can also play with 4 hours low, 4 hours high)
  4. Remove meat from crock pot and place in large pan.
  5. Pull the pork into pieces and mix in BBQ sauce.
  6. Place in a pre-heated (350 degrees F) oven for 20 minutes.
  7.  Serve on your favourite toasted bun for sandwiches or alongside your favourite beans or salad.  I used my favourite coleslaw on top of my meat.  So yummy.