Goodness! It has been a long time since one of us has posted!
I usually shy away from slow cooker recipes involving pasta but this one intrigued me, mainly because it’s cold here in Indiana and I was craving some comfort food. Plus, with only 4 ingredients, if it didn’t work, who cares?!
- 1 box elbow mac
- 4 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar (I used sharp)
- 1 brick cream cheese, cubed
That’s it. Dump it all in your slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. My slow cooker tends to run hot so it was all done after 3 hours. This is a good weekend meal if you’re not home during the week. You do need to stir once an hour or so.
I had one bowl for lunch and my husband had two, and we had plenty of leftovers to make baked mac and cheese bites the next day. You might disagree, depending on your opinion of mac and cheese, but the crust that developed around the edges was the best part! Of course, I wasn’t the one who had to clean the crockpot. 🙂
I did add some black pepper and ground mustard seed when it was done cooking, for extra zing, but it was delicious as is.
Christmas morning is a hectic time, filled with the sounds of ripping paper, shrieks of joy and happy families. Eventually, that happy family is going to want to eat breakfast. Such a shame that you have to get up and head to the kitchen in the middle of all that noise and happy times, right??
Well, not any more!
My mother used to make a hashbrown and egg casserole that she would put together the night before to let it sit overnight. That way, all she had to do was pop it in the oven to cook while we were opening gifts. The problem with that is the length of time it takes to cook after the oven is pre-heated (an hour!!!). Too long! I went searching for something easier and landed upon this great idea. Put your casserole together the night before in your crock pot, turn it on and let it go all night while you sleep. Brilliant. Below is the recipe I made this morning, but you could change this up in numerous ways to change the flavor. This was a big hit in my house this morning!
- 1 lb breakfast sausage, browned
- 1 26oz package of frozen hashbrowns
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese blend you’d like)
- 12 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- butter or non-stick spray to coat the crock pot
Either butter or non-stick spray the bottom and sides of your crock pot. Place 1/2 your hash browns in the bottom of the crock pot, followed by 1/2 of your cooked breakfast sausage, all of your green onions and 3/4 cup of your cheese (or enough to cover your layer). Put the remaining hash browns and sausage in the crock pot.
Crack all 12 eggs into a large bowl, add your sour cream and salt & pepper and beat with a whisk until mixed well. Pour the egg mixture over the layers in the crockpot. The eggs will soak in to the hash browns and sausage layers. Cover with the remaining cheese.
Cover your crock pot and let it go. This cooks up in 4 hours on high and 8 hours on low.
**My experience this morning – as I said above, it was a big hit in my house this morning. I browned the sausage as I was cooking other things on Christmas Eve and set it aside. After an evening spent playing board games with my family, I put this all together, set my crock pot to low and we went to bed. This is so versatile – this version was pretty basic and could have been jazzed up by the addition of spices and other flavors. It would change the flavor profile enough to make this basic recipe into something different each time you make it. Definitely one I will make again (and again and again I’m sure!).
Whilst bumbling around the internet the other day, trying to figure out a TVP to ground beef ratio, I came across some interesting posts. Who knew you could brown ground beef in the crockpot?! Not me!
I used 2.25 lbs of ground beef and 3 cups of rehydrated TVP. (TVP is a product that can be reconstituted and used as a meat substitute or to “stretch” your meat. It takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with.) I broke up the meat carefully with my fingers into small pieces, added the TVP, added some seasonings (I was going to use the mixture in 2 Mexican dishes so I used just seasoned salt and black pepper.)
I’m glad I kept an eye on things because the directions initially called for 5 hours on LOW. Mine was done after 2 hours! I even checked the temperature with a thermometer to make sure.
This would be great for the summer or for times you want to cook a larger quantity of meat to freeze for later use.
This post come to us from a friend of the blog, John in Houston. He claims that this dish won his wife over or, errr, it’s her favorite in his repertoire. It was super simple and incredibly delicious. I’m just going to be lazy and copy and paste from his email. And John? You are welcome to send more recipes at any time!
1/2 cup vinegar (I use basalmic, red wine and white work well, too)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
Brown sugar to taste
4 chicken thighs (or whatever cut up chicken you have on hand)
Combine marinade ingredients in a cast iron skillet or pot. Add chicken. Let marinate at least 20 minutes, turning once. (Can marinate overnight if refrigerated, but I usually just let it sit on the stovetop for 20 minutes before turning on the burner.) Cook over medium high heat, turning often, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with vegetables and/or rice.
It is Sunday, Sunday, Sunday and that only means one thing at our household: A full day spent watching football! We recently subscribed to NFL RedZone and there is so much action that you want something easy to eat! I decided that I would make a different dip each Sunday; today I made a Three Cheese Bacon Dip that I originally found via Pinterest.
I wasn’t sure how it would turn out as, really, the only time I cook with cottage cheese is when I make lasagna. (Please, no ricotta vs cottage cheese comments!) It didn’t help that I set my kitchen timer but forgot to start it. Sigh. But it turned out A-OK.
What you need:
- 16 oz cottage cheese.
- 1 cup shredded cheddar.
- 1/2 cup parmesan.
- 8 slices bacon, chopped (I used pre-cooked).
- 3 green onions, chopped.
Reserve 2 slices of bacon and 1 green onion for garnish. Mix everything else together and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Top with reserved chopped bacon and onion.
It didn’t seem like the end result made that much but the dip is pretty filling. It was on the salty side so, if I made this again, I’d probably take out the parmesan cheese.
Enjoy and go team!
Spaghetti squash is a delicious, low-calorie mealmaker available during late summer and fall. Squash can be intimidating to cook but, really, it’s easy! What I like about spaghetti squash is that it is so versatile. First, it is called spaghetti squash because its “innards” resemble spaghetti when they are cooked; they don’t taste like spaghetti! Manage your expectations and you’ll be fine. 🙂
That being said, you can top cooked spaghetti squash with pasta sauce and cheese; you can use it to replace hash browns in a casserole (that’s what I’m cooking tonight); or do just about anything with it. One squash will provide a mass of food for you to work with.
The easiest way to cook them is in the slow cooker. Simply poke the squash all over with a knife, place the squash in the slow cooker with about 1/2-1 cup of water, and cook it on high for 3-4 hours. I cooked mine for about 4 hours and it was “al dente,” which is fine because I’ll cook it more in a casserole later.
You CAN cook the squash in the oven but that involves cutting the raw squash in half lengthwise. Not an easy feat, believe me! If you use the slow cooker, the shell of the squash eventually kind of collapses when it’s done or at least when you remove it from the slow cooker. Cut the squash open lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then use a fork to pull the strands out.
1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash only has 42 calories and 0 grams of fat! Pick one up the next time you are at the grocery — you won’t regret it! Keep the uncooked squash in a cool, dark place and it will last for quite a while.
The squash pictured above yielded the cooked squash to the right; it’s about 2 cups’ worth.
I like French dip sandwiches a lot but never think to make them. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it might be a quick and easy lunch.
I didn’t really think it through, though, as I folded each slice of thin roast beef in half and placed it on top of the crescents. That made the crescents kind of messy to eat, as the roast beef tended to slide out of the crescent. Next time, I’d tear the slices into smaller pieces. I also didn’t measure the horseradish sauce that I used, because, well, it seemed more trouble than it was worth.
- 1/2 pound deli roast beef, thinly sliced
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 tsp horseradish sauce or Ranch dressing
- 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 packet Au Jus Gravy mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Separate crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Spread 1/2 teaspoon horseradish sauce or Ranch dressing on each crescent. Top each crescent with 1/2 slice provolone cheese and roast beef. Roll up crescents and place on baking sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Prepare the Au Jus per mix directions.