Tag Archives: slow cooker

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Day 121: The Cleaner Plate Club

May 1, 2011

Throwing together breakfast the night before and having it ready to go in the morning is a dream. Finding an alternative to the traditional egg back is a nice change of pace. I love to make meals that are made ahead and simply heat and serve. And I love to use my slow cooker, so to combine the two concepts of make ahead and slow cooker is perfect.

The idea behind this cookbook is to help parents cook meals that are nutritious for kids. Parents need all of the help that we can get….I so love the idea behind this cookbook. Interesting combinations of food that I think one of my kids would eat but the others would pass on. There is not only recipes but also tips on getting your kids to eat more healthy. All my kids would probably eat the Sweet Potato-Parmesan “Fries” or the Chicken Scallopini. They would probably pass on the sautéed Red Chard or the Carrot-Orange Souffle. I do give the authors major points for creativity. They don’t just give you steamed brocoli. With the vegetables they also give tips on each vegetable and why it is good for you.

The Ruling: I liked it….nobody else did. I like oatmeal and so do my kids but it appears like they like the kind that is full of brown sugar and made in the microwave. I used dried cherries in my oatmeal and it turned it pink. Maybe it was the color that turned my kids off. I don’t know if any color would have mattered to them. I liked it….so isn’t that all that matters!

Slow-Cooker Oatmeal, page 161

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 2/3 cups raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried figs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a slow cooker before you head to bed. Set to LOW and cook for 8-9 hours.
  2. Stir to combine.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Slow Cooker

Southern Pulled Pork

Day 117: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking

April 27, 2011

Something to throw in the slow cooker in the morning and then come home to the wonderful smells when I walk through the door after a busy day. Yes….I can dream! Well if you plan ahead you can live your dreams. On Saturdays or Sundays I usually do all my meal planning for the week and grocery shop. I look at my schedule for the week and plan out meals. I love teaching my method of planning meals so much that I now teach classes on it. If you live in the Fargo Moorhead area I am teaching my “Meal Planning for Busy Families: Grilling part 1” on May 18. I love to share tips and tricks to leading a less stressful life. And sometimes it is nice to have a hands on class where I feed the group of ladies (and sometimes men). Feel free to contact me if you would like more details.

Sandra Lee is kind of the beauty queen of the cooking show world. Everyone of her episodes has her kitchen and dishes matching her out fit. She says how to take short cuts in the kitchen, but I just don’t see her spending little time on the food and then hours on the surroundings. The stylist is great on the show, but to me it takes away some of her genuineness. I feel like I am watching a Barbie cooking in her Barbie dream castle. Sandra Lee is more complex than this, she grew up poor and makes feeding the poor one of her missions. I would like her to take some of the glitz away and focus on what she is good at….finding shortcuts for meals. Ok, off of my soap box! Thanks for listening. Great cookbook full of lovely photos.

The Ruling: Everyone ate it….well not the youngest one! Whatever, I just roll my eyes and think it is a phase. The recipe calls for browning the meat first, I skipped that step as I did not want to brown the meat because I felt lazy. What I did do was throw it all in my slow cooker and turned it on. I can do that. I know how to do that. I did leave out one pack of the sloppy joe seasoning mix, as I felt that it had enough flavor with the two.

Southern Pulled Pork, page 157

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pork shoulder roast (3 1/2 pounds)
  • garlic salt
  • lemon pepper
  • 1 bottle (12 ounce) chili sauce
  • 3 packets (1.31 ounces each) Sloppy Joe mix
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef froth
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork roast with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Brown on all sides. Place in a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili sauce. Sloppy Joe mix, and broth. Pour over roast.
  3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or high-heat setting for 4 hours. To serve, shred pork and place on hamburger buns.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes, Slow Cooker

Texas BBQ Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Day 83: “The Potluck Club Cookbook

March 24, 2011

Making your own BBQ sauce is always a good idea as it allows you to control the sugar that goes into it. While my kids have their favorite BBQ sauce, I thought I would check out the ingredient list on said sauce.  Number two on the list was sugar.  No surprise here! So I then looked at the ketchup bottle to see what the sugar content in that was. Well what do I find but high Fructose Corn Syrup. So when looking to make your own BBQ it is a good idea to check out that label before you buy. I think tomato sauce would work in place of the ketchup. Possibly honey or agave to sweeten the sauce instead of the brown sugar?  I think I need to experiment on this one a little more. If anyone has a good BBQ sauce recipe without sugar or high fructose corn syrup, be sure to pass it on to us. I wonder if there is a no sugar added ketchup that also does not have artificial sweetener in it?

The Potluck Club Cookbook” describes potlucks as eating in as the new eating out.  I describe this as want to be cool, gather your friends together and have a potluck. I say, I have been doing this for years….who knew I was so cool! But what if you are looking for those tried and true recipes to share with a group, this is your one stop cookbook.  Need an appetizer….how about Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms?  Need a casserole…..how about Taco Casserole? Every food category is covered in this cookbook!

The Ruling: Everyone ate it….even the picky youngest one! The chicken was tender and juicy and full of flavor. Best part was I put everything in the slow cooker at 10:00am and didn’t think about it until we were just about to eat. I decided to throw some biscuits in the oven and we had our chicken on a biscuit, very yummy! I cooked ours on low instead of high so I could forget about it all day.

Texas Barbecued Chicken in a Crock-Pot, page 52

Ingredients:

  • 3-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in the Crock-Pot. Next add chicken, coating all sides with the sauce. Cover and cook chicken on high for 3-4 hours. When chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from pot and cut in bite-sized chunks or shred. Put chicken back into pot and stir into sauce. Keep Crock-Pot on low until ready to serve. This is good over rolls or cooked rice.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

2 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Slow Cooker, Uncategorized

Indonesian Peanut Chicken

Day 81: “Taste of Home Slow Cooker

March 22, 2011

I always like to find unique food items to put in the slow cooker. I had never tried the peanut butter combination in the slow cooker, but thought what the heck. I have been in love with chicken and peanuts ever since my friend Sara made me Ground Nut Stew. Sara’s was filled with a lot more vegetables but this is an easy alternative to it.  But if you have the vegetables, by all means throw them in there! 

As I have blogged before about how I love the “Taste of Home” magazine but it is often so packed full of recipes I have a hard time organizing them. And there is a thing you need to know about me, I like to have my recipes organized. So when “Taste of Home” comes out with a cookbook, I always like to take a long look at it. You know with “Taste of Home” you are going to find recipes that are family tested, not ones that are tested on people in a kitchen lab. This isn’t much different from the other slow cooker cookbooks out there, but this one does have many pictures. So many slow cooker cookbooks out there are simply missing pictures for this visual person. This cookbook also has not one but 2 indexes. One index is an Alphabetical Recipe and index and the other is General index that has the food by category. I want to try the Cherry Cola Chocolate Cake…..looks yummy! Or the Ruben Spread…..I don’t even like sauerkraut but I think I would like this one!

The Ruling: Everyone thought it was pretty good.  It was so simple to make as I had my husband cut the chicken for me the night before so all I had to do was dumpy all the ingredients in the slow cooker, give it a good stir and away I went for the day. I might actually keep this cookbook for a few more days and see what else I decide to make out of it.

Indonesian Peanut Chicken, page 139

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 6 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts
  • 6 tablespoons chopped sweet red pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken in a 4 quart, slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the onion, water, peanut butter, chili sauce, salt, cayenne and pepper; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks and return to slow cooker; heat through. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with peanuts and red pepper.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

4 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Day 59: “Betty Crocker Celebrate!”

February 28, 2011

If I can make something in my slow cooker and not have to worry about it and it tastes great, it is a home run.  This my friends is a home run!  I love sweet potatoes and their health benefits.  What I don’t like is the stick of butter, cups of brown sugar and cups of marshmallow…..well I do like it from a taste perspective but not from a health perspective.  When I saw the ingredient list, I thought to myself that it could work.  I didn’t hold out much hope however.  But the addition of the applesauce gives it some sweetness, and the limited amounts of the brown sugar and butter give you the taste of decadence without all the calories of a traditional sweet potato casserole.

This cookbook is in the area of a putting together menu ideas and other party planning ideas.  Most of the recipes are easy to follow and easy to make.  Ingredient lists are not full of odd things and most can be found at a small town grocery store.  The cookbook has many full colored pictures, which you know I love.

The Ruling:  This is a keeper.  It will go in my Thanksgiving recipe file.  Nice flavor, easy to mix and easy to forget in the slow cooker.  I love that you use fresh sweet potatoes (or yams) and not the vacuum sealed ones in syrup.  I just feel a little better knowing that the sweet potato is not loaded with preservatives.  Everyone ate it….and everyone enjoyed it!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes, page 172

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes or yams (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted

Directions:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in 2 to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.  Mix remaining ingredients except nuts; spoon over potatoes.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cook nuts in ungreased heavy skillet over medium-low heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until browning begins, then stirring constantly until golden brown and fragrant; set aside.  Sprinkle nuts over sweet potatoes.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

4 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes, Slow Cooker, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Honey-Lime Roast Pork

Day 58: “Celebrate

February 27, 2011

Pork is one of those meats that takes on any flavor that you put with it.  It is an easy meat to work with.  It doesn’t gross me out like chicken and hamburger does.  Not sure why, but I can usually even pick up a piece of pork with my hands.  My hands never touch raw chicken or raw hamburger.  Could it be that training that I received from my mother and from cooking shows where you are always warned against the bacteria and germs with chicken and hamburger?  Why did I not hear those same lessons for pork?  I have found that pork is one of those meats that often goes on sale.  It comes in so many forms that one type of cut is usually always on sale.  I usually try to find a cut of pork that does not have a lot of fat on it.  I would rather the fat be cut off so that I don’t have to try to trim it when I get home….one less step to do.

The cookbook where I found this recipe in takes special occasions and holidays and gives you a full menu for each occasion.  I found the pork recipe in the “Birthday Bash” section. Not only will you get the recipes for each occasion but your also get decorating ideas as well…..but not only that but also music selections……as well as the types of drinks to make.  If you are not a creative person and need your hand held, this is a great cookbook full of pictures and ideas that will make your head swim.  I you are a creative person, this will add to your creative juices that are already flowing in your veins.  Enjoy!

The Ruling:  We all ate it…..youngest child does it pork.  I do think that some barbecue sauce may have come out at some point.  My husband said it had a taste that he really could not put his finger on. I realized after I had started making this dish that it was supposed to marinate for at least 24 hours and it was supposed to be made in the oven.  I didn’t marinate it and I didn’t make it in the oven……I used the slow cooker.  Since I didn’t marinate it I felt an obligation to baste it several times while it was cooking.  I can only imagine the flavors if I had marinated it for the 24 hours.  If I was to make this again, I would marinate it but I still think I would use the slow cooker.  The recipe that is given is for the oven.  For the slow cooker, simply dump it in, turn it on low and let it cook for 8 hours.

Honey-Lime Roast Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless pork loin (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, make slits about 1/2 inch deep all over the pork loin.  Insert the garlic slivers into the slits. Place the pork in a shallow baking dish.
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and pour over the pork loin. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator overnight, turning the pork twice.
  3. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F.
  4. Rost the pork, basting it about every 15 minutes, until it is cooked through (150-160 degrees on a meat thermometer), about 1 hour and 10  minutes, or 20 minutes per pound.  Let the roast rest for 15 minutes, then slice and serve.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

2 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Slow Cooker, Sunday Suppers, Uncategorized

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Day 37, “Make it Fast, Cook it Slow

February 6, 2011

Can you say it with me…..Buffalo……Chicken…..Lasagna.  Wow!  Whoever thought of this was a genius.  It is like the best part of buffalo chicken wings and add some cheese and some sauce.  The author of this cookbook started like me as a blogger.  She decided to prepare and blog about a different recipe everyday that she made in her slow cooker.  She now has a huge following and has been on GMA and Rachel Ray.  You can find her blog here if you want to check it out.  What is great about her recipes is that she is cooking for a real family like I am.  She is a mom and she has some kids that are picky (like mine).  She also has at the end of many of her recipes “the verdict”, telling you what worked and what didn’t work.  Just like a good friend would do.

I think I have 5 more recipes flagged in her cookbook that I would like to make.  I tried Creme Brulee in the slow cooker, can we just say it was an epic failure and call it a day?  You should find a container that will fit perfect in your slow cooker.  I thought I had found the perfect one, however I had too much water in my slow cooker.  I even took a bunch out.  There was even a turkey baster involved.  At one point the water started boiling and when I checked on my delicious creme brulee it was now covered in water.  GROSS!  I again took out the turkey baster and tried to get the water off of it.  GROSS!  I just called it a day and my son made another batch of creme brulee the old-fashioned way.  How cool is that?!  I have a son that can make creme brulee!

I digress, back to the Buffalo Chicken Lasagna.  It tasted good, but not over the top.  The flavor was good, however the noodle texture was just odd to me.  Man I am turning into one of my fussy kids!  I put the blue cheese on the top and it lost most of its flavor as it baked in the slow cooker, which is good because remember my husband does not like his cheese with mold on it.  He didn’t even know that it was a buffalo chicken lasagna until I told him, he just thought it was spicy.  But seriously, try it one time and let me know what you think.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna, page 146

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1 (26- ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 8 to 10 uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue chesse crumbles
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Use 6 quart slow cooker.  In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, pasta sauce, and buffalo wing sauce.  Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your stoneware.  Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles.  You’ll have to break them to get a proper fit.  Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles.  Add a layer of bell pepper, and tope with some shredded cheese.  Repeat the layers until you run out of ingredients.  Add the blue cheese crumbles.  Put the water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake.  Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.  When the cooking time is complete, unplug the corck and take off the lid.  Let the lasagna sit for 20 minutes before cutting.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com

2 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Pasta, Slow Cooker