Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best Crockpot Recipes

Thanks to everyone from ABLOF who emailed me their favorite Crockpot recipes!!!  I honestly can not wait to try each & every one of them.  Ya'll are amazing..thanks so very much!!

Swiss Chicken Casserole
from McKenzie Crisp
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices (4-inch squares) Swiss cheese
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup milk
2 cups herb stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top the chicken with the cheese, overlapping the slices as necessary. Combine the soup and the milk in a bowl and spoon it over the cheese layer. Sprinkle the stuffing mix over the soup layer. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over the stuffing layer. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 to 6 hours.

Broccoli Cheese Soup 
So easy & everyone raves!
from Tina Reedy
16 oz bag of frozen petite floret broccoli
2 cans cream of broccoli soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 large jar chez whiz
1 pint half and half
Half packet of dry onion soup mix

Mix all the ingredients well, place in a crock pot and simmer on low for the day!

I normally double this recipe and put it in a large crockpot. And becasue I don't like my soup as thick I use low fat milk instead of the half and half. But that is my preference.
I also usually add some sprinkled cheese on top when I serve it.

Delicious Spinach and Artichoke Dip
from McKenzie Crisp
Got this recipe off the radio when living in Little Rock, Arkansas-traffic was not moving and I could write this down! Works best in a small slow cooker
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 can artichokes, drained and finely chopped
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
Tortilla chips

In a slow cooker, combine cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, pepper, artichokes, and spinach. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours, until hot and bubble. Stir well and serve with tortilla chips or homemade pita chips.

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese 
I love to take this to family gatherings and potlucks with the kids.  That way I always know there is something the kids will actually eat! 
from Tina Reedy
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked (I didn't cook mine, just threw it in with everything else)
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
2 10 ounce bricks sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
dash of paprika

In a large 4-quart crockpot sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, milks, eggs, butter, salt, pepper, and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.

Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika. Cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes

Easy Pasta Bake
from Mckenzie Crisp
1 lb ground beef
4 cups Penne Pasta, cooked, drained
1 jar (1lb 10oz) Prego Sauce (Traditional) or your favorite homemade sauce
¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 package (8 oz) shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Brown meat in large skillet and drain. Stir in pasta, Prego Sauce and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Spoon into 12x9-inch baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Bake 375° for 20 minutes. Let the casserole set out for a while at room temperature so it doesn’t burn when you bake it. Bake uncovered at 375° for about 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and it bubbles a little.

Chicken Enchilada Chili
from Charlotte Rubottom's daughter
1 1/4 lbs bonesless chicken breast (I use more)
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium yellow or green pepper chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes w/garlic and onions
2 cans chili beans in sauce undrained
1 can Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
Sour Cream

Spray your crockpot (I use a liner), cut chicken in bite size pieces. Place all ingredients in crockpot, cover and cook 8-10 hrs on low. Garnish w/sour cream and cheese.  

A very simple but surprisingly good recipe. Hope you like it.  Happy Cooking!!!

Cowboy Breakfast Casserole 
from Mckenzie Crisp
5 medium/large potatoes, sliced thin
1 pound ground beef
10 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend
1 very large white onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small red hot pepper, minced very finely, optional
olive oil
liquid smoke
charcoal seasoning

Combine the eggs with milk, salt and pepper to taste; set aside. Saute the onions in some butter until translucent. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Brown the ground beef with the garlic and hot pepper. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, charcoal seasoning (about 1/2 tsp. or more to taste), and a couple more drops of liquid smoke. Drain off fat from meat. Sauté the potatoes in some olive oil just to soften slightly. Spray or butter crock (3.5 quart) to prevent sticking. Then layer the ingredients in the following manner: potatoes, beef, onion, cheese. Repeat. Finish with a layer of potatoes. Pour egg mixture gently over all and top with a bit more cheese. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (overnight). Makes 8 servings

Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff

This is the dish that has officially changed the way I view my crockpot, FOREVER.  I admit that I have always been a little skeptical of the crockpot, they can't brown meat & what can take up to 8 hrs, I can usually accomplish in way less time in an oven or on my stove top.  Maybe it's because I lack enough patience to wait on something to cook for that long ~snickers~.  So, in my opinion, they just won't worth the hassle.  Well folks, I am sooo excited that I was able to throw all that out this week after making this dish.  The dish is wicked delicious & you would be crazy not to make this for your family.  We can not get enough of it, we LOVE it!!  I think it's safe to say that this dish has made me a better person ~snickers~.  

4 or 6 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless (approximately 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup margarine (1/2 stick)
1 can cream of onion soup
2 tsp dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Garnish with parsley

In a cast iron skillet over med high heat, brown chicken.  It doesn't need to be cooked all the way just browned on the will cook in the remaining time it's in the crockpot.  Season to taste, salt, pepper, smoked paprika.
Put chicken in bottom of crock pot.  Mix together, butter & dressing mix & pour on top of chicken.  Cook on high for 1 - 2 hrs or until chicken had reached 165F (mine was ready at 1.5 hrs)   
Add cream cheese & continue to cook on high for another 30 mins. or until heated through and warm.  Garnich with parsley & serve over egg noodles.  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Onion Buns

We love Onion Buns!!  Great with corned beef sandwiches or if you are wanting something different and exciting to go with a traditional turkey sandwich, these are perfect!!  As you know those store bought versions are not cheap.  And I have seen them run as much $5 for a package of 6...these cost less than .90 cents for all 8, I mean who can beat that, right?!  

1 loaf prepackaged dough, thawed
3 T butter, melted (divided)
2 tsp yellow onion, grated (in my opinion, could definitely have added a bit more)
Sprinkled with kosher salt

Preheat oven to 170F.  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Place dough on floured surface & cut into 8 equal pieces.  Take each piece and roll it into approximately 6 inch in length and 1/4 inch round tube (basically it's going to look like a small snake when you are done).  And I let gravity do all the work for me.  I held each piece in my hand & rolled it in my palms until it was the right length.  Starting at 1 end, roll into the center & place in the pan, repeat with each piece.  Lightly spray dough with cooking spray, then turn stove off as you place dough in to rise.  Let rise about 90 mins or until it's doubled in size, then remove.  In a small bowl, melt 2 T butter and add grated onions.  Brush on top of buns.  Preheat oven to 350F and bake for 25-30 mins.  Remove and let cool for about 10 mins then brush on 1 T, melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stuffed Shepard's Pie

Serves 2 ppl (so feel free to double it)
2 baked potatoes, coated in olive oil & sprinkled with salt...baked at 400F for 1 hr 15 mins.
2 ribs celery, peeled & diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup peas, thawed
1 T butter
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
Garnish with Sharp Cheddar cheese & smoked paprika

In a cast iron skillet over med high heat, melt butter, add veggies and garlic.  Saute for about 5 - 10 mins or until softened.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Set aside on paper plate or paper towels.

In same skillet (don't rinse, you want to keep those flavors), coat with olive oil and add lamb, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and season with salt & pepper to taste.  Once it's browned, stir in balsamic vinegar.  Add veggies back to the skillet & turn down to low to keep warm.

Cut potatoes in half and hull them out to make a boat.  Season mashed potatoes according to taste, I added salt & pepper & 2 T butter.

Stuff each potato with meat and veggie mixture, you can pile it in because the mashed potatoes are going to help keep everything inside.  Add the mashed potatoes, on top & sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese & smoked paprika.  Place back in oven at 350F & bake for 10-15 mins or until cheese is melted.  ENJOY!!

All the meat & veggies getting yummy in the skillet

I wanted to share how much stuffing was in each one

This is what they should look like right before placing them in the oven

Ready to devour!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup

This soup came to life after watching an episode of Triple D (Diners, Drive ins and Dives).  There's just something about taking classic American food & turning it into something unique, like a soup that people just love.  It's like it doubles the comfort level.  And this soup quickly became one of favorites and one of the most requested recipes that I have to this day.  Here's a secret to reduce some of the calories, without losing flavor: we use ground turkey in place of ground beef & then amp up the flavor by adding worcestershire sauce & it totally works GREAT!!  But feel free to use whatever you like, make it your own & enjoy!!!         

1 pound ground turkey
2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil 
1 large onion, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, grated 
5oz spinach 
dash worcestershire 
1 quart chicken stock 
8 ounces Velveeta cheese 
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 tablespoons butter 
1/3 cup flour 
2 cups milk 
dash cayenne
salt and pepper, to taste

In a skillet, over medium high heat add olive and brown ground beef & onion.  Add the chicken broth, spinach & Velveeta cheese. Stir continuously until cheese is melted. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and set aside.  In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk & cayenne. Continue stirring until roux thickens and begins to bubble slightly.  Add roux into the soup & whisk til well blended. Add salt, pepper & worcestershire to taste. Simmer for 30 mins, to allow it to thicken.

Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Poppy Seed Buns

We made chicken sandwiches with these last night that I will post in a moment & let me tell you that this just became our official recipe for all things that require a bun!!!  The BEST way to describe these is they are almost like croissants, crunchy and buttery on the outside and soft & chewy on the inside, very light & fluffy.  If you are looking for something quick and easy but looks & tastes like it took all day...this is it, you found it!!  

1 loaf prepackaged dough, thawed
2 T butter, melted
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
Sprinkled with kosher salt

Preheat oven to 170F.  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Place dough on floured surface & cut into 8 equal pieces.  Take each piece and roll it into approximately 6 inch in length and 1/4 inch round tube (basically it's going to look like a small snake when you are done).  And I let gravity do all the work for me.  I held each piece in my hand & rolled it in my palms until it was the right length.  Starting at 1 end, roll into the center & place in the pan, repeat with each piece.  Lightly spray dough with cooking spray, then turn stove off as you place dough in to rise.  Let rise about 90 mins or until it's doubled in size, then remove.  Preheat oven to 350F & bake for 25-30 mins.  Remove & let cool for about 10 mins then brush on melted butter & poppy seeds.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

What I love about this recipe, you are essentially making your own stock.  It's so easy & the BEST part is that you get to control the flavors that go into your stock & I am here to tell ya this has sooo much more flavor than the box versions, not that those aren't great when it comes to needing something quick.  As you will discover, there are a few ingredients in this recipe that aren't found in most traditional chicken noodles soups but 1 bite & we quickly discovered that those were the aspects about this soup that we loved most.  The cinnamon adds so much warmth & comfort, you will never again want to make another Chicken Noodle Soup, this is it!!!!!!

1 tsp dried thyme (I only had 1/2 tsp so I used what I had)
1-2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
Salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp lemon powder (1 fresh lemon cut in half & juiced)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
couple grates nutmeg
1 (12 or 16 oz bag) egg noodles (I only used about 8 or 9 oz)
Garnish w/parsley ( I used 1 tsp)

In a stock pot or dutch oven, over med high heat add oil & saute veggies, garlic, salt & pepper (1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp white pepper) to taste.  Cook for about 10 mins or until they begin to soften.  Add in the chicken & just enough water to cover everything.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium & simmer for about 20-30 mins.   Skim off any particles that are floating on top.  Add lemon (if you opt for a fresh one, throw in both halves), cinnamon, nutmeg & taste for seasoning (I added additional 1 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp white pepper).  Continue simmering for an additional another hour (we ran out of time so I skipped this step, this round).  Remove chicken thighs & shred them (use 2 forks, it's the easiet method for me) then add them back to the pot.  

In a pot, boil noodles (add plenty of salt, I used 2 tsp) & about 8 oz egg noodles, drain, return to pot & coat them with oil.  Place noodles in bowl & ladle soup on top of them (this will keep the noodles, al dente).  Serve with cheese toast.

NOTES: we both agreed that just a bit more salt was needed, I know I seriously thought I added enough but oh well.  Next time add a dash of turmeric for color & a couple of bay leaves.    

Inspired by Anne Burrell at Food Network

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Website coming...GREAT opportunity!!

Hey food family!!!
We are raising funds to build a new website for Angie's Big Love of Food.  And right now, The Site That Does Nothing ( is giving us a great opportunity to raise those fund. They have assigned us the promo code FOOD. For everyone that joins their site and uses the promo code FOOD in the box that appears after they sign up, we will get credit toward the website cost! The brains behind this operation are personal friends of mine & and they are amazingly talented & they are also the one's that will be designing the website for us.  I could not be more thankful for this opportunity. So what is The Site That Does Nothing? 

The Site That Does Nothing gives members a YEAR of downloads of MP3s, Movies, Videos, eBooks Apps, and RECIPES for just $1.99. That's right - $1.99 for the whole year! I've agreed to add several of my most requested recipes to their download catalog and they'll be posted soon! But that's not even the best part... the best part is that EVERY WEEK, The Site That Does Nothing holds BIG WEEKLY GIVEAWAYS for great prizes! As a member of the site, you are automatically enrolled in EVERY WEEKLY GIVEAWAY!!! They gave away $100 cash on Jan. 28. They gave away an Amazon gift card last week. This week, they are giving away a $50 Valentine's gift basket of luxury bath products from Covenant Creek Farm. One of their upcoming giveaways include a trip for 2 to Hot Springs and an appearance on a TV show! The big giveaways are held EACH FRIDAY at 7pm Central Time on the Winners page on their website!

Plus, they hold great games like a version of Wheel of Fortune where they invite members to play the game and the winner gets $50 cash! In addition, for every 50 people you get to join the site, they give you a $25 gift card to your choice of great places like Starbucks, Amazon, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Lowe's, Home Depot, Best Buy, Apple, many great restaurants, etc.

And if you use the promo code FOOD, then they are giving me credit toward my website cost! I'm hoping to get 400 people to join their site, enjoy their downloads (which will include some of my most requested recipes and the recipes of other great cooks!), win their prizes, and help me get Angie's Big Love of Food up & running.

Check it out - and please remember to use promo code FOOD in the box that appears after you sign up. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask, I am on the site as well...enjoying all the perks.  Also, please email me at letting me know that you have signed up, thanks so much!!!!!!

Big hugs, 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Horseradish Honey Mustard Dressing

We used up our last store bought bottle of Honey Mustard dressing this week (I will miss it but not the price) & I vowed to start making our own so here is what I came up with.  This has a little bit of a kick from the horseradish but it's not overpowering at all.  It's actually quite nice.  I didn't know if I could eat horseradish so I totally took a flying leap on this one & I am glad I did.  As you know know I can't have spicy foods.  So I am here to say don't rule out horseradish just because you can't have spicy foods, this proved to be a great alternative!!!

1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 T mustard powder (sub 1 T your fav mustard, mine is sweet and tangy)
1/2 T horseradish powder 
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika (I used sweet)
1-2 T fresh farm honey (if you use a sweet mustard, suggest only using 1T)
1 - 2 T red wine vinegar (depending on consistency preferences, I use 2)
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Combine everything in a small bowl & refrigerate for a few hours to marinate the flavors.  After it's marinated, it will thicken back up so I usually add a little water to it to thin it back out but that's just because I prefer a thinner consistency.   

Ginger Cinnamon Rolls

As you have probably figured out by now, I can't ever just make something normal, it must be unique. So, in keeping with that thought process, I would like to introduce you to my latest creation, everyone please meet, Ginger Cinnamon Rolls ~cheers & welcome~ so, as I was fumpling around the farm the other day, doing some chores & playing with our goats ~snickers~, it hit me...I shouldn't have to waste valuable time waiting for dough to rise when I can go grab a preprepared dough that's ready to be baked off in no time!!!  And a special thanks to Christy Jordan at Southern Plate who introduced me to the amazing phenomenon.  Now I can make all the bread I want & in a mere fraction of the time, not to mention the savings verses buying already prepared bread.  The package that I picked up is actually made with (get this) unbleached all purpose flour...GO KROGER!!!  So you can feel good about what you are eating, no bleach was used in the process.    

So, as we took a taste of these little guys we discovered that as brown sugar, spices & the butter melted together they created a marriage of flavors that coated the bottom of the rolls, so when you bite into them you get this caramel flavor that just warms your heart.  Now I can't eat a lot of sugar so I plan on devouring most of these frosting free.  But if that's not your thing, please feel free to add your favorite cream cheese frosting to these.  I am considering a cream cheese & fresh farm honey mixture to drizzle on top of them.  I might work on that later today.

1 loaf thawed preprepared dough (Kroger works just fine)

1/4 cup butter (4 T), softened
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 150F & then turn it off.  
Spray 2 (9in) cake pans or like

Roll out the dough on a floured surface

Spread 1/4 cup softened butter over the dough then mix together the brown sugar, spices & salt.
Sprinkle over top of the butter, don't forget to leave a little room around the edges as shown above.
Cafefully roll into a log & seal the ends & edges.

With a good, sharp knife carefully cut the log in half, 
then cut those 2 halves in half, continue til you have 16 total rolls.
Place half the rolls in one pan & the other half in the second pan.

Place rolls in oven to let rise & double in size, 
until they look like the above pic, should take approximatively 45 mins.
Remove rolls from oven, preheat to 350F & 
place rolls back in oven to cook 25 mins, or until lightly browned on top.

This is the finished product, allow to cool or add your favorite frosting & ENJOY!!!
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