Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Creamy Slow-Cooker Tortellini Soup ***

This was pretty good.  I dearly love both spinach and tortellini, so it didn't surprise me much that I loved it.  I made a few changes, but none of them were intentional.  I only had 3 cups of spaghetti sauce, but I had some pizza sauce and diced tomatoes I could sub.  Then I had some frozen browned ground turkey to add to it.  I ran out of Parmesan, so I just topped with mozzarella.  I let my tortellini sit in there on high for about 30 minutes, and they still could have stood just a little bit longer.  There's no way they would have been ready after 15 minutes.  I used regular cream cheese, cut into squares, but it still didn't melt completely.  It wasn't noticeable in the taste, though.  All in all, it was pretty yummy.  I'd definitely make it again.


CREAMY SLOW-COOKER TORTELLINI SOUP
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ HeatherLikesFood)

6 cups of your favorite homemade meaty spaghetti sauce or 24 oz jar prepared spaghetti sauce + 1/2 lb browned ground beef + 1/2 lb browned Italian sausage
1/2 bag (4.5 oz) fresh spinach leaves
4 C chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
16 oz frozen cheese tortellini

Combine spaghetti sauce (and meat if adding it in separately), spinach, cream cheese, chicken broth, and mushrooms in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 2-3.
20 minutes before serving, turn heat to high if it isn't already an stir in frozen tortellini. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender and hot.
Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crock Pot Nachos Supreme ****

We've had this one a bunch of times now, but it deserves another shout-out.  It's one of the few meals that I can make where everyone cleans their plates. It is so great that everyone can make their nachos however they want, and the topping really is "supreme," lol.  This time, I was able to find the real deal nacho cheese, but that's the first time that's happened.  I've had to get pretty creative with trying different combos to make my own nacho cheese.  The best has been mixing two cans of Campbell's cheddar cheese soup, a can of green enchilada sauce, and about 1/4 cup milk for the cheese sauce.  Second best is a can of Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup with a little bit of milk.  Last time I made this, I made it stovetop, which worked just as well.  I just added a bit more water to the meat mixture, since it wouldn't be cooking down as much. I always sub ground turkey for the beef, and you honestly can't even tell a difference.  This time, I threw the meat in frozen (although I had browned it earlier and frozen it), and it was still perfectly done in 6 hours on low.


CROCK POT NACHOS SUPREME
(Cyndy ~ MyPB&Jelly ~ via Tried and True Cooking with Heidi)

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cans refried beans
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning (I use low sodium)
1/2-3/4 cup water
tortilla chips
1 can (15 oz) nacho cheddar cheese sauce with jalapeno peppers (add after cooking)
topping of choice (lettuce, tomato, sour cream, black olives)

Mix all filling ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6 - 10 hours. Serve over tortilla chips topped with warmed cheese sauce and toppings of choice.
* Can also be made stovetop.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes:  For my cheese sauce, I mix two cans of Campbell's cheddar cheese soup, a can of green enchilada sauce (or a can of diced green chilies), and about 1/4 cup milk and warm it on the stove.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Bavarian Meatball Sandwiches ***

I had forgotten about this one for a while, until someone reviewed it last week.  Then I knew I had to stick it up on my menu immediately.  We love this.  I had a note in my review last time that I wanted to try it with fresh mushrooms, and oh mama, am I glad I did.  I just threw them in at the beginning and let them cook along with everything else.  I also used the onion-mushroom soup mix, but I always do that.  I also always use homestyle meatballs, because I don't like the flavor of the Italian. Definitely hit the spot for an easy meal on a cold weekend!



SLOW COOKER BAVARIAN MEATBALL SANDWICHES
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Six Sisters' Stuff)

32 oz. Frozen Italian meatballs
1/2 C Chopped onion
1/4 C Brown sugar
1 envelope Onion soup mix
12 oz Coca Cola
12 Buns - split
12 oz. (3 cups) shredded swiss cheese

In a crockpot combine meatballs, onion, brown sugar, soup mix and Coke. Cover and cook on low for 3.5 to 4.5 hours or until heated through.
Place meatballs on each bun bottom and sprinkle with 1/4 C shredded cheese. Place on baking sheets and broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Replace bun tops and serve!
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I add a carton of fresh mushrooms, use onion-mushroom soup mix, and stick with homestyle meatballs.

Previous reviews:
7/1/12 ~ We all really enjoyed this one.  I just used regular homestyle meatballs, but the sandwiches were really yummy.  We put a little of the "gravy" over the meatballs and cheese after broiling them, and it really brought it all together, in my opinion.  I used the onion-mushroom soup mix, because that's my favorite.  I think that next time, I'm going to throw a handful or so of fresh mushrooms in the crockpot too.  That would be even better, but it really is pretty perfect just as it is.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mississippi Roast (Crockpot) ****

Oh. my. word.  I am practically speechless.  This was so delicious.  I'm usually not even a fan of beef roasts, because they always seem too dry.  The only way I'll eat them at all is in Slow Cooker Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders.  This is similar to that one in flavor, but I really liked the addition of the pepperoncinis.  I once made a roast that was basically just throwing the roast in the crockpot with a whole jar of pepperoncinis, and it was absolutely horrible.  For that reason alone, I've put off making this one for ages.  But with it's popularity all over Pinterest, several friends have given it rave reviews.  I knew I had to give it a shot.  I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I could absolutely make this again this weekend.  I served it with mashed potatoes (and green beans), and the gravy is just too die for over the potatoes.  My taste buds were actually sad when my belly got full!  I didn't really make any intentional changes.  I couldn't find any au jus packets at the store, so I just used a beef gravy packet.  My pepperoncinis were small, so I used 10 instead of 5.  And since I was short on time, I cooked it on high for 5 hours.  I can only imagine how much better it would be when cooked on low, because it was dang near perfection, even on high. I also used two smaller roasts because I couldn't find any large ones at the time.



MISSISSIPPI ROAST (CROCKPOT)
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FabulousFoodBlog)

1 chuck roast
1 packet Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1 packet McCormick au jus mix
1 stick unsalted butter
5 pepperoncini peppers

Place roast in crockpot.  Center stick of butter on top of roast.  Sprinkle with dressing and au jus mix.
Scatter pepperoncinis around the butter
DO NOT ADD WATER. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

One­ Pan Enchilada Pasta ***

This was really good, considering how simple it was to throw together.  I didn't have any of the preseasoned meat, so I browned the turkey and then did the water and taco seasoning, like you would for tacos.  It was just a guess, since she doesn't mention how to do the meat without the preseasoning.  It worked, though.  I used low-sodium taco seasoning and low-sodium broth, but it was still a little salty for me.  I'm thinking I might do half broth and half water next time.  It didn't bother anyone else, so it could just be me being overly sensitive to salt again.  But we all liked it, and that's what really matters. :-)



ONE PAN ENCHILADA PASTA
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Number2Pencil)

2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a small onion, diced
1.25 pounds of taco seasoned ground turkey meat or 1.25 pounds of lean ground beef and
packet of low-sodium taco seasoning
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 (19 oz) can of red enchilada sauce
8 oz (about 2 1/2 cups) of dried rotini pasta
2 cups of freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese
green onions
black olives

In a large skillet or sauté pan, sauté garlic and onions in olive oil over medium low heat until
softened.
Add ground turkey meat and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon until browned.
Once turkey meat is cooked through, add pasta, chicken broth and enchilada sauce to pan.
Bring to a boil, then reduced heat to low and cover.
Cook on low, with pan covered for about 15 minutes.
Then remove lid and let simmer for additional 5 minutes until pasta is tender and sauce has
reduced.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese.
Top pasta with additional cup of cheese and melt under broiler for a minute or tow, or place lid
back on pan and let heat from the pasta melt the cheese.
Garnish with black olives and green onions.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

S'More Bites ***

I feel silly even posting this as a "recipe," because it's so simple and seems like it should be common sense.  Well, for me it wasn't.  It really and truly never would have occurred to me to try these this way, so when I saw it pop up on Pinterest, I knew instantly that I had to make them for the kids.  They go mental for s'mores, but we normally only have them during the summers when we have campfires.  Every great now and then, I'll let them make one over the stove, but that's just too messy.  So I made these, and they loved them.  Again, you wouldn't think it would be such a big deal, but you should have seen their little faces light up.  Priceless. 


S'MORE BITES
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ MelissaDionne)

6 graham cracker sheets*, or 12 Saltine or Ritz Crackers (or as many as you wish)
6 large marshmallows (enough to fit your crackers)
12 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped (enough to top your crackers)

Break graham cracker sheets in half.
Using clean scissors (or a clean knife) cut each marshmallow into 2 halves.
Heat oven to low broil.
Align graham crackers in the center of a cookie sheet about 1/2″ apart from each other.
Top each graham cracker with a marshmallow with the cut/sticky side down.
Place marshmallow topped graham crackers under broiler (turn oven light on if you have one) DON’T WALK AWAY, watch them closely as they will toast quickly, allow to toast until golden rotating pan with oven mitt as needed.
Once golden immediately remove from oven, place 1 kiss in the center of each toasted marshmallow and gently press down.  For best results serve warm, just like a real s’more.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Blasphemous Pork Chops and Noodles (Crockpot) ***

This was amazing.  I'm not normally all that fond of pork chops (they're too dry for me), but they are fabulous cooked like this in the crockpot.  They're so tender and flavorful.  I think I may cut down a bit on the egg noodles next time, but that's the only thing I'll change.  I did have a bunch of fresh mushrooms to use up, so I threw them in there as well.  I'll definitely keep doing that.  I just love pork and mushrooms together.  Seriously, though, I will be making this again.  Two thumbs up all around!


BLASPHEMOUS PORK CHOPS AND NOODLES (CROCKPOT)
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ GoingReno)

6 pork chops or 1-1/2 pounds pork roast
1-1/2 cups liquid (I used chicken broth)
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
1 T Italian seasoning
1 T dry mustard
1/2 cup apricot preserves
Italian bread crumbs

Put the broth, butter, onion, garlic, apricot preserves, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and dry mustard into the crock of your slow cooker. Whisk to combine, then add the pork. Cook on high for four to five hours or low for eight to ten hours. About half way through the cooking time, turn the pork chops so that any part that wasn't already submerged is.
When the pork chops are done, start cooking the egg noodles. Take the meat out of the slow cooker. Remove any fat and use two forks to shred. Put the meat back into the crock.
When the noodles are cooked, drain them, then dump them into the slow cooker with the meat and broth. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and mix everything together. The bread crumbs make a kind of dressing when they’re mixed with the liquid. That’s the consistency you’re going for. I used about a cup of bread crumbs, and it turned out perfect. You might like more or less, so just use your judgement. Taste for seasoning.
Tradition calls for serving pork chops and noodles with applesauce. My kids actually stir it into their noodles. Leaving it off might have caused flat-out mutiny in my house. I like to serve this with green beans or a salad.
*Amy's notes: I added a bunch of sliced fresh mushrooms at the beginning.  SO good!