Tuesday, December 28, 2010

November 28 Sweet Mustard Roast

I found this recipe on the Year of Slow Cooking website by Stephanie O'Dea. Love her book and just wanted another idea. It was good but not great I believe it needed just a little brown sugar to make it better. Or maybe it was the cheap mustard we used?

  • 3 lbs roast (pork or beef)
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider)
Place meat in crock and top with molasses, dijon, and vinegar. Toss in garlic powder. Flip meat a few times to coat, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover and turn cooker on
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Place meat in crock
  2. Gather ingredients
  3. Assist Audrey
I do not think we will ever stop slow cooker meals now. They are so handy and tasty. I served this with rice made in my new rice cooker. It cooks rice without any sticking to the bottom of the crock! I cannot say enough about this wonderful new tool. I am going to try to make overnight oats in it as well. 

November 29 Muffin Tin Monday

Audrey made this beauty all by herself. She picked out the ingredients and filled the tin. We were low on most foods because of holiday travel but I feel she did pretty well considering.

Monday, December 20, 2010

November 27 Baked Oatmeal

I finally found a slow cooker recipe for overnight oatmeal that doesn't make the oats burn into the crock. It appears the secret ingredient is a little vegetable oil. I found the recipe in the Fix It and Forget It Big Cookbook.

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups dry quick oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
Pour oil into crock and coat sides. Place remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Mix well and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Crack egg
  3. Cover and turn on crock
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
Audrey and I put this in the crock before bed and set the timer to turn on in time for breakfast. For that reason we used evaporated milk. I also decreased the oil to 1/4 cup. It turns out real good. Next time we will add dried fruit as well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

November 26 Barbecue Ribs

Another wonderful recipe from the wonderful Make It Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook. There are so many good recipes.

  • 5 pounds ribs
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 (18-oz) bottle barbecue sauce
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Toss the ribs in the cooker, add the onion, garlic, black pepper, and sauce. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on low for 4 to 6 hours. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover and turn on cooker
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
I let Audrey help me dice the onion. She puts her hand on the handle and then I cover hers with mine. I believe it will help her learn how to handle a knife when she is old enough to understand the responsibility and have better fine motor skills. We talk each time about how she is only allowed to touch the knife with momma helping. She has been very good with it. The ribs were amazing. Like Stephanie O'Dea says, they fall off the bone.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

November 25 Brown Sugar Chicken

This is from the Make it Fast, Cook it Slow cookbook by Stephanie O'Dea. I have it on my Christmas list. If it is not under my tree I will go out and purchase a copy during the after holiday sales. I love this book and have fallen asleep reading it several nights.

  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Plop the chicken into your crock. Cover with the brown sugar, black pepper, chopped garlic, and soy sauce. Add the vinegar, and pour in the soda. It will bubble! Cover and cook on low for 6 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Serve over white rice with a ladle full of sauce.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover and turn on cooker
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
Nothing much to these slow cooker recipes. I learned early on not to mess with the complicated ones. This one was good but I felt the sauce needed to be thickened in order to really go well with the meal. If I fix it again I will throw in some corn starch in the end and make a thick sauce. Audrey made this for her grandparents and aunt and uncle during the holiday break. They enjoy it.

Rainbow Kit Winner!

I did not make a lot of noise and post around the Internet that we were doing another giveaway. So we did not end up with very many entries this time. We are always happy for any support and love the readers we have. Maybe we can do another big giveaway in the new year.
The winner of this wonderful Rainbow Kit from Today I Ate  Rainbow is... Becky! Congrats Becky!

Her children will be able to track their consumption of fruits and vegetables by color, making sure they eat healthy every day. Audrey loves her kit and always talks about making sure we have enough colorful foods so that she can eat her rainbow. Every time we shop she asks about a rainbow and it makes me stop and think about which colors we are low on and in need of purchasing. I really cannot say enough about this wonderful product. Check out he link above to get more information.

November 24 Wordless Wednesday

November 23 Chicken with Cream Sauce

A lot of our cooking recently has been a combination of the need for easy dinners and the desire to use up food we have on hand. Because I have been working almost full-time there has been less time to shop and plan for meals. I know, plenty of women work and still plan and cook wonderful meals. Give me some time, I am still adjusting. I plan to have this worked out better soon. After leafing through a few of my new favorite cookbooks I found a recipe that called for ingredients I had on hand. This is from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes For Two.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 2 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 thawed frozen peas
Spray the inside of the crock with nonstick cooking spray, and arrange chicken breast in the cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour Alfredo sauce and mushrooms over chicken. Add the peas. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked through.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover and turn on cooker
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
We elected to not add the peas and just serve them on the side. The girls are still learning to appreciate peas so I did not want to ruin the entire dish for them. This meal was decent, not a rave review but good enough.

November 22 Winter Split Pea Soup

After discovering the wonders of pork roasts in the slow cooker I wanted to make use of a rather large bone left over from one meal. Most of our roasts were boneless but one was not. I rummaged through the pantry and found a bag of split peas. There was no question what we do with the bone after that. I just had to locate a good recipe. Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes For Two had just the one.

  • 1 2/3 cups green split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 smoked pork chop (or leftover bone from a small ham)
  • 1/2 cup frozen petit green peas, thawed
  • Salt to taste
Place the split peas in the slow cooker; add broth, onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Nestle pork chop into the center of the crock. Cover and cook on low for 7 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours, until the split peas are completely tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the pork chop and shred the meat off the bone; discard the bone and add meat to soup. Add petit peas and cook for another 90 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover and turn on cooker
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
This was an easy meal to make with a toddler. It would be super easy for an adult to make. We decided to leave out the celery and fresh onion because we had none and instead added dried, minced onion and shredded carrot. It was very tasty. There was a debate about who got the leftovers. There was not much because I took the recipe from a cooking for two book.

November 21 Barbecue Chicken

This is a recipe from my friend Jenn. She shared this meal with me once and has since been able to use it to bargain for favors. All she has to do is offer a take home package and I am willing to do most anything. I finally had to get the recipe so I could make it myself. It really is great and super easy to fix. She keeps a batch in the freezer for times when she needs an easy meal without all the wait time.

  • 6 frozen chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients, pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours. Remove chicken from crock and shred. Place chicken back in sauce and stir to coat. Serve on hamburger buns.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover and turn on cooker
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
This was another simple meal. No wonder so many mother extol the virtues of a slow cooker. Place a few ingredients in the crock, come home and eat. Not all of our meals have been hits but this one certainly was. I served it with cole slaw. 


Monday, December 6, 2010

November 20 Salsa Chicken with Cheese

I found a recipe in my Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two cookbook that sounded great. It called for salsa and we had some leftover from a canning event a few months back. Since we are not big salsa eaters I thought this would be a great way to use our stash up. There is a reason we do not eat much salsa, we are not big fans. The meal came out fine but the family was not impressed.
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat
  • 2/3 cup of your favorite chunky salsa
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese or 3 slices white cheddar of mozzarella cheese
Spray the inside of the crock with nonstick cooking spray, and arrange the chicken breast in the crock. Pour the salsa over the chicken and drizzle the lime juice over top. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. The chicken will make its own juice as well. Sprinkle or lay the cheese over each breast, cover and let stand 10  minutes before serving, to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.

Audrey's Tasks:

  1. Place chicken in crock
  2. Pour salsa and wine on top
  3. Cover and turn on
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist Audrey
This would be a great dish for those who enjoy a good salsa. Give it a try and see what you think. For some reason I cannot locate any pictures from this meal. That may be because I did not take any. I will keep looking.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 19 Spicy Black Bean-Corn Casserole

This slow cooker project is turning into a really good deal. Audrey and Maurene get to help cook and we all have a hot meal to come home to. It is really great walking in the door to the yummy smell of dinner. Almost like having a personal chef. We will continue with our slow cooker meals as long as the weather is cool and we are gone all day. One great recipe we have not tried in a while is Spicy Black Bean-Corn Casserole from Cooking Light Slow Cooker. It is so tasty and so easy. We like things a little milder so I just leave out the green chiles and we enjoy a milder version. I have had several friends rave about this recipe after trying it. Audrey just loves to put the corn bread on top. Let us know what you think.

November 18 Tomato Lentil Soup

So this recipe was more for mom than for the girls. I did not really think they would devour it. Audrey has enjoyed tomato soup in the past so I had a small hope she could like this one. I was not so lucky. We had grilled cheese sammies and fresh fruit on the side. I found this recipe in my Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two. It is a fabulous book for small families.

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Place lentils, onion, carrot, celery, water, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme in slow cooker. Add pancetta and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours, until the lentils are completely soft. Season soup with salt and pepper, then add vinegar. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Stir to combine
  3. Cover and turn on cooker
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Saute
  3. Assist
Another easy and tasty meal. I had pre-cooked bacon on hand so I used that instead of pancetta. I also decided to saute the onion instead of adding it raw. I have cooked it both ways and have found I enjoy the flavor more when the onion is sauted first. The pictures you are about to see will belie the fact that I listed Audrey as helper. Maurene did an equal portion before Audrey showed up to help. I am starting to find the need to have tasks for Maurene as well. If not we all end up yelling. Stay tuned to see how easy it is to cook with two young children.