Monday, November 13, 2006

Slow Cooker recipes and IM tips

 Ray's daughter Steph, due with his first grandchild in December, was telling me how she had a new crock pot but hadn't used it yet.  So I put a bunch of slow cooker recipes, along with some other recipes, in plastic pages in a little binder for her.  Here are some of the slow cooker tips and recipes that I gave her. 

Slow Cooker Tips & Techniques

Brown meats and poultry first. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium for a minute or two. Add just enough oil such as canola or vegetable to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil for a minute and add the food to be browned, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown the food evenly on all sides. Although this takes a few extra minutes, it helps to seal the meat, hold in the juices, adds extra flavor and makes it look delicious!
 
Cut foods of the same type into equal size pieces to ensure even cooking at the same time. If a recipe calls for potatoes, cut them all into, for example, 2-inch chunks. Not some into 1-inch chunks and some into 2-inch chunks. The same principle applies to meats.
 
Don't peek! Lifting the lid off your slow cooker can result in longer cooking time. Because slow cookers cook at such low temperatures, uncovering it for a minute or two can cause the temperature to drop and the cooking time to increase substantially. If you must peek, do so quickly! If you feel the urge to stir every once in a while, fight it! Unlike stove top or oven cooking, the slow cooker transfers heat evenly to the food without hot spots, so stirring isn't really necessary (unless your recipe happens to call for it).
 
The low temp and long cooking method of a slow cooker often causes pasta and rice to cook up pasty and starchy, which can be disappointing. So often you will find that recipes call for these items to be cooked separately and added to the finished dish, or added raw about 1 hour before the end of the cooking time.
 
Your slow cooker is a great appliance to keep hot beverages warm for a prolonged period of time.  Keep it on the low setting for the perfect temperature.

Be sure to clean food out of the cooker as soon as possible.  Fill with warm sudsy water and let soak for easy clean-up. 
 

Country-Style Pork Ribs
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 to 12 hours (low) or 5 to 6 hours (high) + 10 minutes
Ingredients
1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
2-1/2 to 3 pounds country-style pork ribs
1-1/2 cups vegetable juice cocktail
1/2 of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
Directions
1. Place onion in a 3-1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place ribs on top of onion in cooker. In a medium bowl stir together remaining ingredients. Reserve 1 cup juice cocktail mixture for sauce; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining juice cocktail mixture over ribs.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
3. For sauce, in a small saucepan heat reserved juice cocktail mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to serving platter; discard cooking liquid. Serve sauce with ribs. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Chicken with Mushroom Stuffing
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 4 to 5 hours (high)
Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
1 tablespoon ground sage
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
8 small chicken legs (drumstick-thigh portion) (about 5 pounds), skinned
1/4 cup butter
4 cups quartered or sliced fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, baby portobello, shiitake, and/or button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 cups sourdough baguette cut into 1-inch pieces (about 10 ounces)
1 cup coarsely shredded carrot (2 medium)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley
Directions
1. Lightly coat the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the lemon peel. In a small bowl stir together the remaining lemon peel, the sage, seasoned salt, and pepper. Remove three-quarters of the sage mixture and rub onto chicken legs. Place chicken in slow cooker.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook mushrooms and garlic in hot butter over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in remaining sage mixture. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add baguette pieces and carrot. Drizzle with broth, tossing gently to combine. Lightly pack stuffing on top of chicken in cooker.

3. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Using a slotted spoon, transfer stuffing and chicken to a serving platter; discard juices in cooker. In a small bowl combine reserved 1 teaspoon lemon peel, the walnuts and parsley. Sprinkle nut mixture over chicken and stuffing before serving. Makes 8 servings

Italian Chicken and Pasta
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 to 6 hours (low) or 2 1/2 to 3 hours (high)
Ingredients
1 9-ounce package frozen Italian-style green beans
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 14-1/2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 6-ounce can Italian-style tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces dried fettuccine, cooked and drained
Finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)  
Directions
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together green beans, mushrooms, and onion. Place chicken on vegetables in cooker.
2. In a small bowl stir together undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Pour over chicken in cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2- 1/2 to 3 hours. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked fettuccine. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

4. For a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker: Prepare as above, except use 1 cup green beans, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 small onion, 8 ounces chicken thighs, one 8-ounce can tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 clove garlic, and 3 ounces dried fettuccine. Stir 1 chopped Roma tomato into cooker just before serving. Cover and cook as above. If cooker does not have heat settings, cook for 4 to 5 hours. Makes 2 (1-1/4 cup) servings.

Shredded-Beef Sandwiches
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 11 to 12 hours (low) or 5 1/2 to 6 hours (high)
Ingredients
1 3-pound beef chuck pot roast
1 large onion, cut up
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup cider vinegar
8 French rolls, split (toasted, if desired)
Spinach or lettuce leaves (optional)  
Directions
1. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place meat and onion in cooker. Add bay leaves, salt, garlic powder, and cloves; pour vinegar over meat in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 11 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5-1/2 to 6 hours. Remove meat from cooker. Discard bay leaves. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart into shreds, discarding any bones and fat. Strain juices; skim off fat.
3. If desired, line rolls with spinach leaves. Place shredded meat on rolls. Drizzle meat with some of the strained juices. Serve remaining juices with sandwiches for dipping. Makes 8 sandwiches. 

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
Prep: 25 min.
Cook: 10 hours
Ingredients
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound beef or pork stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2-1/2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup frozen cut green beans*
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn*
1 cup sliced carrot
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
2-1/2 cups vegetable juice or hot-style vegetable juice  
Directions
1. Place flour in a plastic bag. Add meat cubes and shake until meat is coated with flour. In a large skillet brown half of the meat in 1 tablespoon of the hot oil, turning to brown evenly. Brown remaining meat in remaining oil. Drain off fat.
2. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker layer potatoes, green beans, corn, carrot, and onion. Add meat. Add bouillon granules, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, marjoram, pepper, and bay leaf. Pour vegetable juice over all.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Ladle into bowls. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

*Note: If you like, substitute 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables for the beans and corn.
For a 6-quart cooker: Recipe may be doubled.

Mushroom-Sauced Pot Roast
Makes 5 or 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 to 12 hours (low) or 5 to 6 hours (high)
Ingredients
1 1-1/2-pound bone less beef chuck eye roast, chuck pot roast, eye round roast, or round rump roast
4 medium potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), quartered
1 16-ounce package frozen tiny whole carrots
1 4-ounce can (drained weight) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon or basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10-3/4-ounce can condensed golden mushroom soup  
Directions
1. Trim fat from roast. If necessary, cut roast to fit into a 3-1/2- to 4-1/2-quart slow cooker. Set aside.
2. In the slow cooker combine potatoes, frozen carrots, mushrooms, tarragon or basil, and salt. Add roast. Pour mushroom soup over mixture in slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Makes 5 or 6 servings.

Easy Chicken and Rice
Makes 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 to 6 hours (low) or 2-1/2 to 3 hours (high) plus 10 minutes (high)
Ingredients
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds chicken thighs, skinned and fat removed
1 10-3/4-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 cups instant rice  
Directions
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, celery, onion, dill, and pepper. Place chicken thighs on top of mushroom mixture. In a small bowl combine soup and chicken broth. Pour over chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
3. If using low-heat setting, turn slow cooker to high-heat setting. Stir uncooked rice into the mushroom mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Makes 4 servings.

Alfredo Chicken
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 6 to 7 hours (low) or 3 to 3-1/2 hours (high)
Ingredients
3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks), skinned
Salt
Black pepper
1 16-ounce jar light Parmesan Alfredo pasta sauce
1 9-ounce package frozen Italian green beans, thawed
3 cups hot cooked whole wheat pasta
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)  
Directions
1. Place chicken in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour pasta sauce over chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours, adding green beans for thelast 30 minutes of cooking.
3. Remove chicken and green beans to a serving platter. Stir cooked pasta into sauce in cooker; serve with the chicken and beans. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Easy Beef Stroganoff
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 8 hours, High 4 hours
Ingredients
2 pounds bone less beef round, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 10-3/4-ounce cans condensed golden mushroom soup
1 medium onion, sliced
1 8-ounce container dairy sour cream chive dip
3 cups hot cooked noodles  
Directions
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together the beef, soup, and onion.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in dip. Serve over hot cooked noodles. Makes 6 servings.

Beer Brisket
Makes 9 to 12 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 10 hours, High 5 hours
Ingredients
1 3- to 4-pound fresh beef brisket
2 large onions, sliced
1 12-ounce bottle or can beer
1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
2 teaspoons dried steak seasoning
9 to 12 Kaiser rolls, split and toasted (optional)  
Directions
1. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut brisket to fit into a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place onions in the cooker. Top with brisket. In a medium bowl stir together beer, chili sauce, and steak seasoning. Pour over onions and meat in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
3. To serve, remove meat from cooking liquid. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the cooking liquid and place on top of the meat. Drizzle with some of the cooking liquid. If desired, serve sliced meat and onions on Kaiser rolls. Makes 9 to 12 servings.

Home style Beef and Vegetables
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: Low 8 hours, High 4 hours; plus 30 minutes on High
Ingredients
Non stick cooking spray
1 3- to 3-1/2-pound bone less beef chuck roast
1 0.6-ounce envelope Italian dry salad dressing mix
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 14-ounce can beef broth seasoned with onion
1 16-ounce package frozen loose-pack Italian vegetables (zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, lima beans, Italian beans)  
Directions
1. Lightly coat a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Trim fat from meat. Brown roast on all sides in hot skillet.
2. Place roast in the prepared cooker. Sprinkle with salad dressing mix and tapioca. Pour broth over all.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Add frozen vegetables to cooker. Cover and cook about 30 minutes more or until tender. Makes 6 servings.

Cola Pot Roast
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 7 hours, High 3-1/2 hours
Ingredients
1 2-1/2- to 3-pound bone less beef chuck pot roast
Non stick cooking spray
2 16-ounce packages frozen stew vegetables
1 12-ounce can cola
1 envelope (1-ounce) onion soup mix
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca  
Directions
1. Trim fat from meat. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides in hot skillet.
2. Place roast in a 4-1/2 or 5-quart slow cooker. Top with frozen vegetables. In a small bowl stir together cola, soup mix, and tapioca. Pour over meat and vegetables in cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Home style Chicken and Stuffing
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: Low 5 hours, High 2-1/2 hours
Ingredients
1 10-3/4-ounce can reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup water
1 16-ounce package frozen loose-pack broccoli, corn, and red sweet peppers
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 8-ounce package corn bread stuffing mix  
Directions
1. In a very large bowl stir together soup, butter, and water. Add frozen vegetables, chicken, and stuffing mix; stir until combined. Transfer mixture to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Makes 6 servings.

I love using the crock pot.  I just throw everything into it in the morning and by dinner time, after very little fuss, there is a yummy meal all ready.

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A tip on blocking IM's for a very dear person who is being bullied and harassed by a few people.  Hun, we all love and support you.  I'll try to keep this as simple and easy as possible. 

The first way is pretty simple.  You can wait until their name shows up on your buddy list and just right click on it.  That will show you a box divided into 4 sections.  At the bottom of the 3 section it will say Block Instant Messages, click on that and they will be blocked from IMing you with that screen name.

Or you can set up your privacy settings by doing the following.

1. Look over at your IM box.  On the lower right corner of it you will see the Setup button.  Click that.

2. That will bring up your Buddy List Setup.  At the very bottom of that you will see where it says IM Settings.  Click that.

3. That brings up your settings with a bunch or different tabs at the top.  All the way to the right you will see the Privacy and Security tab.  Click that.

4. Now there are several options for you here.  You can either click Allow only these users, Block only these users or Block All (which I know you don't want to do).

You should also be sending copies of these harassing IM's to certain people, I think you know who I mean. 

So after you have received one, right click on the conversation screen. Click Select All, then right click again and click Copy.  Now open an email and right click on it and click Paste.  Your whole conversation will now be in the IM.

You can also print out the conversation.  Just go to the left top ofthe AOL desktop, see the File button?  Click that and go down to print.

I hope this helps you.  We ALL know how your health is and that the added stress of having people bullying you is not good for your health.  I hope these tips on how to block or report them will help you.  We ALL love you and if you ever need any of us to help, please let us know.  We are absolutely disgusted by this behavior and support you completely.

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Well have a great week everyone.  Thanksgiving is getting close, are ya'll ready? 
Hugs!
Preview

1 comment:

cherubhugs said...

Thanks for the recipes Jill! I plan on trying a few out! Ann