Monday, October 22, 2012

New Post at Girl Going Country

Have you heard that I'm blogging over at Girl Going Country now? Well it's true! And I didn't want you to miss out on a chance to win a new head on over and subscribe/follow me there.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

It's been a long time since I've posted a new recipe...a really long time. I've been re-cooking many of the favorites I've already shared (we are serious creatures of habit), but honestly we've also been eating out a lot too. Blame it on a day job with some long hours - and you'd think I'd be taking advantage of having a hot meal ready for me at the end of the day, but instead I just can't even get myself to menu plan and grocery shop on a regular basis.

But...I was inspired by my friend Kim who recently cooked stuffed peppers and they sounded so yummy! This is a variation of her recipe - and this would normally go against my I-shouldn't-have-to-precook-to-cook-in-the-crockpot, but it really instead was a desire to avoid turning on my Houston...where it's sweltering hot...and my A/C already runs round the clock. And I have to say, I am learning to appreciate my crockpot on a whole new level when it allows me to "bake" without turning on the oven. 

So here's the recipe...

Thursday, March 17, 2011


It has been far too long since I've shared a recipe. I'm so sorry! Life has It doesn't mean I haven't been cooking in the crock pot though! I've tried some new recipes, remade plenty of favorites, and really want to focus on sharing those with you. I've tried to stay in touch a bit through the Crock Pot Virgin Facebook page too. 

And I'm so out of practice with blogging, that I didn't even take pictures of my most recent crock pot meal, but I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it anyway. (I'll try and update this post in the future with pictures when I make it again.) This is a slight variation of the recipe on page 222 of Stephanie O'Dea's  More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: 200 Brand-New, Budget-Friendly, Slow-Cooker Recipes (great cookbook by the way!).

If you've never had Mulligatawny, you're in for a surprising treat! It's a soup (in case you didn't know) and my hubby and I were first introduced to it at one of our favorite restaurants in Lake Oswego, OR (near Portland), Gubanc's Pub and Restaurant. This was one of the soup specials in the rotation and we always kept an eye out for it so we could eat this yumminess!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

French Dip

Wow! I can't believe it's been 2 months since I've posted a recipe. If you're a fan on Facebook, you'll know that I have 2-3 recipes to catch up on, but we've mostly been re-making some early favorites. Lots of Sweet and Sour Catalina Chicken being made in this house. :-)

But today, I share with you my first attempt at cooking a roast in the crock pot which was for french dip and was shared with me by my friend, Jessica.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Orange Honey Tilapia

Wow! Has it really been a month since I've cooked something in the crock pot? Not quite (but almost)...but I've only been cooking things I've already made and blogged about. No need to bore you with those (although I do keep you updated with that on my Facebook page). But last night, I cooked another one of Stephanie O'Dea's fantastic fish recipes, the Orange Honey Tilapia. Yes, you can cook fish in the crock pot!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sweet and Sour (Catalina) Chicken

This DEFINITELY goes on the must-cook-again list! I am so pleased with myself with this one. A friend of mine had told me about cooking chicken with Catalina dressing. She's right, if you Google "catalina crock pot chicken" (or something similar) you get a million variations of this idea. Of course, when I went to the grocery store yesterday, I didn't bring any of the recipes with me - but I took a chance and decided to wing it! And boy am I glad I did!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 lb of Chicken Tenders (8 tenders)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1 can pineapple chunks in pineapple sauce (not syrup - only cuz we're really trying to eat healthier)
  • 1/2 bottle of Fat Free Catalina dressing

Yes, it's really as simple as...
  • I poured a small amount of the pineapple juice in the bottom of my 4 qt crock pot so that the chicken wouldn't stick.
  • Dumped all the chicken in.
  • Cut up the onion and red pepper into chunks and put those on next. (I really wanted the flavor of the onion and red pepper, but I don't actually eat them so much. The bigger chunks made it easier to pick out. :-)
  • Put all the pineapple on top (without the juice).
  • Poured about 1/4 cup more of the pineapple juice over everything but not the whole amount from the can.
  • Squeezed 1/2 the bottle of Catalina dressing over top of everything.

  • Cook on high for 4 hours (I could have probably cooked this on low for longer, but my friend just posted on Facebook today that she thought she had food poisoning from a pork slow cooker recipe, and I really just wanted to make sure the chicken was fully cooked.)
  • Turn it down to low for 30-45 more minutes or until the chicken starts to fall apart (which it did).
  • Optional: If you want to thicken up the sauce a little bit (I'm a sauce junkie), in a small bowl mix 1 tsp of corn starch with 1/4 cup of water and mix well. Turn the crock pot back up to high, pour this mixture in and stir. Let that come back up to a little boil. Voila! (You can make it even thicker with more corn starch, but be sure to dilute it in water before adding to your pot to avoid clumps.)

I steamed up some rice to serve this on and voila! OMG! First of all, about 2 hours in it started to smell SOOO good! I really was hoping it was going to taste as good as it smelled. Totally company-worthy! And I love that it was a healthier version of one of our favorite dishes, mostly because normally sweet and sour chicken is fried chicken then cooked with sauce. 

The chicken was so tender and yummy. Oh, but the chicken gets a little dark looking from the sauce, so it looked like dark meat until you cut into it. (This is only important for people like my husband to know, as he does not like dark meat.) Plenty for leftovers for us to eat another meal - I'll probably have my portion for lunch tomorrow.

I'm really so pleased with how this turned out. I'm a little hungry after going down to the gym, and it's taking every ounce of will power I have not to finish the whole thing off! :-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Corn Chowder

I've left my crock pot cook books on the shelf today, and am trying one of the hundreds of wonderful recipes that Stephanie O'Dea has published on her blog: Corn Chowder

If you haven't checked out her blog, do it! She has the most amazing recipes and I've got a ton to try in the coming weeks.

She did a much better job taking pictures of the finished product than I did. Honestly, my picture looked like a big pot of....something you wouldn't want to eat. But, it tasted good! The ingredients and directions are on her site (here's the link again) but basically its...frozen corn, onion, red pepper, carrots, potatoes, and chicken stock. That's it! I love that this is a chowder recipe without any milk or cream! We are trying to eat healthier - doctor's orders now - and my husband and I are both lactose intolerant, so this was a win-win!

I did take a couple pictures...

Of my ingredients:

And my ingredients all prepared to go in the pot:

Yes, this required the use of a small pan to pre-cook the onions. But I liked that anyway because I don't really like the taste of onions but know they add a good background flavor. And I don't have the Pampered Chef chopper Stephanie has...but I'm going to get one at my friend's upcoming PC party! Baby carrots are way easier to chop up by hand than big carrots though, so at least I didn't have to worry about cutting a finger off in the process. But if I can't have my very own sous chef...then I was tools and gadgets to make it easier!

Oh...couple other important notes...I used less ingredients than the original recipe. This is partly because I was fighting a head cold and my husband, bless his heart, did the grocery shopping for me. He did not check package sizes (less corn than the recipe called for). And he found the very smallest "small onion" possible. It worked out okay though. I had used my 4qt crock pot and ended up not being able to fit everything (only used 1.5 quarts of chicken stock). (Next time, I'd use the 6qt pot.) And when I blended it all up it was more of a puree consistency instead of a chowder. My husband didn't mind. He was excited he "didn't even have to chew". Next time, I would have liked it a little bit thicker.

We also used regular corn (not smoked, like Stephanie) and I ended up adding a little salt and pepper to mine. I think the smokiness would have added a nice flavor (no Trader Joe's in Houston though....moment of silence please).

My husband bought three different kinds of biscuit products to go along with this. We ended up using the canned biscuits which were yummy. I just couldn't see corn bread going with corn chowder. Too much corn at one time and all. But any bread would be good.

This was also my first time using the immersion blender I bought last week (just because I knew I wanted to try this recipe). I love that thing! I compared models for hours! (Okay, maybe only minutes, but it felt like hours because I kept going back and forth and back and forth.) I ended up with the Cuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome and am so far happy with the purchase. Let's see what else I can make with that! :-)

Yeah - I love having a home cooked meal waiting for me as soon as I'm done working. Especially after a VERY TIRING day like I had today. I would have easily gone out or grabbed a bowl of cereal rather than think of cooking something. But it was nice to have this "comfort" food waiting for me. Loving my crock pot!