crock pot

All posts tagged crock pot

Crock Pot Caramel

Published August 13, 2016 by lynn k scott

My favorite season of the year is almost here; no not the season with a bearded fat man in a red suit.  The season right before that; where leaves turn vibrant shades of oranges, reds and yellow, before they detach from the trees and begin to litter the ground.  Fall!  That’s the best season of the year (to me anyway).

That being said, it’s also the time some of my favorite dishes are made.  Ok, who am I kidding, I make fall food year round, but for most people, they tend to stick to seasonality when cooking.

Last night, I made a Fall staple that you must have in order to make caramel apples: Caramel.  I like to make it in the crock pot, simply because it allows me not to stand at the stove and there literally is no clean-up.

All you need is a crock pot, a can of sweetened condensed milk, three 4-oz mason jars and that’s it!

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Simply open the can and pour equally into the three 4-oz mason jars.  Set the mason jars into the crock pot, uncovered.

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Carefully, add enough water to cover the jars to where the milk stops.  This is how the milk will cook evenly; surrounded in water. Add the lid to the crock pot and set the cooking temperature to low and eight hours.

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I like to do this overnight or when I’m gone all day at work.  Then it’s ready when I wake up or come home and I am not hovering over it hoping it miraculously finishes quicker. Carefully, remove the jars and place on a heat-protected surface to cool.

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In addition to being able to use this caramel to cover apples for Halloween, you can use it as a great school or work snack.  Pour a bit of caramel into a container, pack some apple slices and a snack is ready to go.  You can use it to drizzle over baking creations or simply eat it with a spoon, if that’s your prerogative.

Crock Pot: Pot Roast

Published January 18, 2016 by lynn k scott

With the rising cost of meat, I do my best to never pay more than $3.00/lb for meat.  Growing up, I despised pot roast because my mother cooked in a gravy and was very fatty.  Gravy and mayonnaise are my arch-enemies in the food world.

I have conceded that in order to keep a variety of options available for my family’s dinner needs, I would make pot roast for them.  If they would just agree to be vegetarian, it would help so much.  There are so many choices.  Alas, I digress.

With pot roast, you can season it and just put it in the crock and be done with it.  I will actually quarter potatoes, add sliced carrots (and celery if I have it) to the bottom of the pot.  I lightly season the veggies with a bit of salt and pepper.

I then season the roast, on both sides with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders.  I prefer to sear the meat on both sides before adding it to the crock pot to begin its slow cooking journey.  The searing is a completely optional step.  I don’t always do it, but when I have the time, I do.

Set the roast on top of the veggies.  I had a cup or two of homemade vegetable stock.  I rarely use chicken or beef stock.  Making veggie stock from scratch guarantees me it’s gluten-free.  With preparing the pot roast this way, it doesn’t cook in a gravy, but I can use the drippings to make a gravy, should some be requested.

Add the lid, set the timer on low for about 5-6 hours (depending on size of roast).  When you return home, the house will smell wonderful and dinner and the side dish is done.  A nice salad would compliment this dish, but again, it’s optional.

 

Crock Pot Potato Soup

Published January 16, 2016 by lynn k scott

This morning, as I was checking out what happened on Facebook while I slept, my friends had posted this recipe for a Crock Pot Potato Soup.  I shared the post and thought, I have all the ingredients to make this.

After I got back from the gym, cleaned the kitchen, I decided to whip this up.  I love my crock pot and if there is a recipe that I can make in it, using fresh ingredients, I’m all over it.  Add to the fact it’s been rainy and a bit on the nippy side here today, and potato soup, with a little cheddar cheese added to it, sounded pretty good.

I adore these little video clips adding the ingredients and quickly showing you quantities.  I personally don’t need the videos, the recipe would suffice too.  However, for those who may not cook often or are new to using the ever versatile crock pot, they are quite helpful.

Watch the video to see the soup come together in mere seconds.  I’ve listed the recipe below should you want to jump to the head of the line.

  • 4 cups potatoes; diced
  • 3/4 cup of onion; chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 TBSP salt
  • 1/2 TBSP pepper
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Add the potatoes, onions, stock, salt and pepper and stir (the video omits this step).  Set the crock pot on Low for 6 hours or High for 4 hours.  After the set time has expired, melt the butter and add the flour; stir.  I used Pamela’s gluten-free flour and it worked great. Let the mixture cook for about a minute and then add the heavy cream and sour cream. Stir mixture until it thickens a bit.  Add the mixture to the crock pot, stir, reset timer for another 30 minutes on Low.

I didn’t think there was enough salt for all those potatoes.  As soon as I tasted it, I knew I was right.  It could use more, but easily corrected by the person eating the soup.  Garnish soup with cheese, scallions, bacon bits, etc.  I like the texture of the diced potatoes.  If you prefer a creamier soup, by all means use an immersion blender or blend in batches in a traditional blender.

This soup would be great in a bread bowl or served with a few slices of baguette.  Sadly, these aren’t options for me, but it’s how I would have eaten this in the past.  I will definitely be making this soup again.  With my substitutions, the soup is now vegetarian and gluten-free (for those that need/want those options).

Enjoy!

Crock pot: Beef Roast

Published March 19, 2015 by lynn k scott

Sadly, I have no idea what roast this was.  It was wrapped in a cute little netting.  I know, it’s sad.  Forgive me.  The day before yesterday, when I made this, I only had 4 hours sleep.  I’m shocked I actually made it all day, including starting dinner.

I didn’t use my seasoning shaker.  Another pathetic excuse….it was dirty and I didn’t feel like washing it.  What?  At least I’m honest.  Onto the meal.20150318_062048

Either slice some potatoes or onions and lay it on the bottom of the crock.  I usually use onions, but felt like potatoes this time around.  The veggies become your “rack” to set the meat on.  Season meat and set on the potatoes and/or onions you already put in the crock.

20150318_063136Peel and quarter potatoes.

If you lazy cook like me, if you have red or yellow potatoes, you can just wash and quarter them, as they don’t require peeling.  Arrange them around the roast.

Next peel and rough chop some carrots (an inch or two in length).  Place them around the roast, on top of the potatoes. Add about a half to a cup of water.  If you want to make gravy, add another half cup or so.  I actually cover the potatoes, because I personally, like the way they turn out when immersed.20150318_063905

I set it to cook on high for 6 hours.  It was very tender, but I think four or five hours would have been better.  It was a fairly small roast; about three pounds.  Another quick dinner.  This time, the sides were already included.

Crock pot: Whole Chicken

Published March 19, 2015 by lynn k scott

This morning I put a whole chicken in the crock pot.  I’m so proud of myself for using the crock pot three nights this week.  It truly is a time saver.

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It’s a simple recipe.  Again, it’s easily adaptable.  As you can see, I’m using a whole chicken, some olive oil, an orange, an onion and a seasoning mix.

I found the seasoning shaker at a yard sale for 25 cents.  It was the best quarter investment ever!  I am able to premix my seasonings with ingredients I have on hand.  No pre-made seasoning mixes for me.  Best part is I get even distribution of the seasoning.  This particular blend  consists of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.

The orange and the onions are quartered and will be in the cavity of the chicken.  I cut and set them aside prior to preparing the chicken.  I also use another container to hold a small amount of olive oil.  This way, there is no cross-contamination risk with touching the chicken then the oil bottle.

20150319_055306 I  rinse and pat the bird dry with some papertowels.  I sprinkle a little seasoning in the cavity, add the produce and tie up the legs.  Then I flip it over, breast side down.  Drizzle a bit of oil.  In the crock pot, it’s not really necessary, but it helps the seasoning adhere better.  Lightly sprinkle with the seasoning mixture and then flip it over.

If you lift the skin over the breast, your hand can go under the skin and loosening the skin will allow you to season the breast. After you loosen the skin, shake some seasoning in your hand and then wipe on the chicken breast.  Which, while I am typing this, I remember that I loosened the skin from the breast and didn’t add the seasoning.  Oh well….next time.

Now, drizzle a bit more oil.  Shake seasoning over the entire bird.  That’s it.  Simple, right?

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Place chicken in the crock pot.  I add about a half of a cup of water.  You don’t need much.  Cover and cook.  I set mine on High for 5 hours and the crock will revert to “warm” until I get home.   You get to pick which side dish(es) you’d like to add.

ENJOY!

Crock Pot Corned Beef

Published March 17, 2015 by lynn k scott

I live paycheck to paycheck.  That being said, I had to wait until payday, add my absent-minded memory in the mix and there I was scrambling yesterday to hunt down some corned beef to prepare this morning.

I went to one store; they only had point cut (blah!).  Then another store was completely out of any cut.  Ok, what’s going on? Is there a corned beef shortage I don’t know about?  Called another store, close to my daughter’s sitter.  They had some.   (YEAH!).  No, not yeah.  I get there and they want $5.99/lb.  Seriously…$30 for one piece of meat.  It’s not prime rib, for goodness sake!

The hunt continues and I managed to get it at Costco.  Now I was going for a flat cut, but I settled for round, because that’s what they had and I had tried five stores by this point, my dogs were waiting for me at home and I still needed to make dinner on top of my normal night routine.  I ended up paying $20.28 for one piece of meat.

I know beef prices are getting out of control.  I have never paid that much for corned beef – EVER!  I mean, don’t they know the history of the Irish? Don’t they realize we’re not generally well off to afford food at those prices?  I mean many of us are trying to catch those blasted leprechauns for their gold ya know.

If it wasn’t one of my favorite meals, I’d have told them what I thought of their outrages price hikes.  Heck, at this rate, I’ll be back to eating potatoes for my main food staple.

Now that I have secured my precious cut of meat, for the holiday that acknowledges the green in all of us, it’s time to get ready to cook that delicious, mouth-watering, can’t get enough of it, corned beef.

You could do the whole boil on the stove method, where you have to be home for hours on end, or you could simply use the crock pot.  I have been using this method for over 5 years and it’s simply the way to go.  I never looked up how to cook corned beef in the crock, but this is how I do it, it works, it’s yummy and I’m only sad I can’t do two at a time.

Crock Pot Corned Beef

  • Open corned beef package and empty into crock pot.
  • Remove the seasoning packet.
  • Fill with water until meat is covered.
  • Add seasoning packet (optional)
  • Add 1/4-1/2 cup white vinegar.  (I eyeball it, so I don’t have an exact measurement)
  • Put lid on
  • Set timer for 6-8 hours

It’s really that simple.  Always turns out perfectly.  If you want actual slices, versus pieces, then I would lean toward the 6-hour cooking time.  By 8-hours, it should pretty much fall apart.  This is where you see what your skill level is when removing it from the crock to platter it.

ENJOY!

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