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Posts Tagged ‘crockpot’

A couple of economical winter recipes


MediterraneanPorkBroccoli

My friend Betty posted a picture of a chicken recipe which she has tried recently. I followed the link to the website and was looking around and noticed that there were quite a few recipes for pork that looked really good. Boneless pork sirloin roasts are often on sale here for less than $2 a pound. I had a roast in the freezer and decided to try the recipe for Mediterranean Pork with Couscous. Rob and I both really liked it. Besides being economical it is cooked in the slow cooker, so it is very easy. The website suggests serving it with couscous but it would also be good with rice or mashed potatoes. We ate it with couscous twice and then had some on buns topped with Swiss cheese and warmed in the crockpot. There was more meat leftover which I put in the freezer. I find that these boneless roasts really help extend our food dollars.

MediterraneanPorkRoastCarrots

Another recipe which I tried recently was for Roasted Carrots. I thought I had seen it on the same website but after looking there for a while I couldn't find it. I decided to just roast them the way I prepare butternut squash. Carrots are very nutritious, and they're economical all year long. This is a delicious way to serve them. I like to prepare quite a few at a time so that we can eat them for several meals.

Roasted Carrots

10-12 carrots, washed, peeled and cut into strips of similar size
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbsps. olive or vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large baking pan combine the carrots with the crushed garlic, oil, and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are tender and browned. You may want to start checking after about 15 minutes and then check again 15 minutes later. Mine were done after 30 minutes.

Have you tried any new economical recipes so far this winter?

Becka


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A new favorite


Years ago we were invited to someone's home after church on a Sunday evening and she served hot ham and cheese sandwiches individually wrapped in foil. She had put them together ahead of time and then heated them in the oven after church.

A few weeks ago I decided to try making the sandwiches and wrapping them in foil and putting them in the crockpot just before leaving for church. I made the sandwiches using buns, ham, dijonaisse (a mustard/mayo combination), olive salad, and cheese. I put them in the crockpot on low temperature and they were just perfect by the time we returned home.

MakingHotHamSandwich

I have also been making these sandwiches for Rob to take to work and reheat in his little mini crockpot. Have you heard of these? I saw them mentioned on a blog last year and we ordered one on Amazon. Since then I have seen them locally at Target. They are just perfect for reheating a single serving of leftovers for lunch. This might be a great Christmas gift idea for your favorite office worker or college student. ๐Ÿ™‚

HamSandLittleCrockPot

What are your favorite things to serve after church on Sunday nights?

Buddy Update:
Rob took pity on Buddy and scrubbed his face and neck with baby shampoo. Buddy has been diligently working on other soiled areas and is looking much better. Rob also installed a large piece of plexiglass in front of the opening of the fireplace to prevent further exploration. As I write this Buddy is sitting on top of the desk staring at the ceiling. Apparently he's a social climber.

Becka


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Do you pin?


I enjoy looking around on Pinterest from time to time and have tried several tips and recipes I have seen there. I was intrigued recently by a pin which told how to bake Artisan No-Knead bread in the crockpot. I went right to the Artisan Bread in Five site and read the article there and was even more interested in trying this technique. I mixed up a batch of Peasant Bread dough (page 46 in the book) and refrigerated it overnight. The next afternoon I cut off a piece of the dough, shaped it into an oval and placed it in my parchment lined crockpot. After it rose and baked for about an hour and fifteen minutes it seemed to be done when I touched it and took its temperature. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the initial baking in the crockpot the loaf of bread looked pretty pale and anemic. It reminded me of brown and serve rolls if you are familiar with those. The older Betty Crocker cookbooks actually have directions for making brown and serve breads. To brown the bread the recipe recommends that you put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I was afraid that might be too hot so I just baked it at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Next time I will try the broiler method.

This wasn't a great time saving technique, but there are several advantages to this method:

1. No fiddling with a screaming hot dutch oven.

2. The dough rises and bakes in the crockpot.

3. The bread can be baked in the crock and then browned later if desired.

4. The shorter baking time in the real oven would help keep the kitchen cool on hot summer days.

We really enjoyed this bread and I plan to use this technique again in the future. The outer crust of the bread is not as crisp as bread cooked in a Dutch oven, but the interior of the bread was moist, chewy, and had a very good flavor. The leftover slices made great sandwiches the next day.

Another idea from Pinterest that I have tried recently was freezing buttermilk in an ice cube tray. I have been freezing it in one cup containers for a while. Many recipes such as biscuits, pancakes, waffles, etc. call for buttermilk in one cup increments. Our favorite Ranch Dressing calls for just 1/4 cup of buttermilk. I saw a pin recently that suggested freezing cream in an ice cube tray and thought that this would work great for buttermilk too. Just two cubes will be enough for a batch of dressing. DD Megan told me about these lidded ice cube trays which she has been using to make baby food for little Maddie.

Have you tried any ideas you have read about on Pinterest?

Becka


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Links to a few more new recipes


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Today we have so many sources for new recipes -- magazines, newspapers, blogs, Pinterest, etc. Since I cook for just the two of us most of the time I often find I have small amounts of various ingredients leftover. When I saw this idea for making Mini Lasagnas I thought it would be perfect for using up some ricotta cheese that was in the freezer. DD Nora gave me some leftover wonton wrappers that she had in her freezer and I had everything else on hand. They go together quickly and are very tasty. I baked these in silicone cupcake liners, but they are not essential if you spray the muffins tins thoroughly.


Do be sure to let them cool a few minutes in the pan before you try to remove them or they will be difficult to unmold.

A friend from church recently posted on Facebook a picture of this recipe which she had tried. I had everything on hand for this one except the enchilada sauce. I found this recipe which made enough sauce for two batches of the soup. I froze one portion for future use. Both Rob and I really liked this. If you make the sauces ahead of time this goes together very quickly. I didn't have Rotel tomatoes so substituted regular tomatoes with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

This summer friends took us to a Chinese restaurant and we had some delicious lettuce wraps as an appetizer. Aldi has recently started carrying fresh ground chicken and when I saw this recipe I decided to try making some lettuce wraps at home. Once again I substituted a few red pepper flakes for the chili garlic sauce. Can you tell I'm a wimp when it comes to hot, spicy foods? We both really liked these wraps and I plan to make them again.

What are some of your favorite sources for recipes and cooking inspiration?

Becka


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Crockpot Candy


We have been keeping busy visiting with family and friends for the past week and have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I'll try to post a few details from this week after Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe you are all ready for Christmas, but just in case you still need an idea for an easy treat this recipe might be a good one for you to try. These peanut clusters are delicious and are easy to prepare. I got this recipe from a student many years ago.

Crockpot Peanut Clusters

16 oz. dry roasted peanuts
1 lb. white almond bark
1 bar of German Sweet Chocolate
2 cups of chocolate chips

Coarsely chop the almond bark and German chocolate bar and place in a crockpot with the chocolate chips. Turn on low and heat for 50-60 mins. After this time elapses stir the chocolate to combine and be sure it is thoroughly melted. Stir in the peanuts. (I like to put them in a sieve and shake out all the nut dust before adding them.) Drop the candy by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheets or trays. Refrigerate each tray briefly until the candies harden.

These candies are delicious and are one of our favorite Christmas treats.

I hope you will all have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and look forward to the coming new year.

Becka


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