Monday, May 4, 2015

Crockpot Hamburger Fiesta Casserole ***

This was the culmination of several different Mexican Chicken/Mexican Hamburger casserole recipes.  We ended up really enjoying it.  Unfortunately, we ran way late getting home from the doc with the 11-year-old, so it was drier than I would have liked.  The flavor was fabulous, though.  I want to continue to play with it and see what other changes I can think up, but it's great as-is.  I'll absolutely make it again.


CROCKPOT HAMBURGER FIESTA CASSEROLE
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb ground turkey or lean beef
1 chopped onion
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 can Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
1 can mild Rotel
16 oz canned corn, drained
8 oz sliced black olives, drained
1-1/2 cups shredded fiesta blend cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips or corn chips (do not crush)

Brown ground turkey with chopped onion and mushrooms until no longer pink; drain juices.
Stir in soup and Rotel and heat until warm.
Spray crockpot with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle half of the bag of chips into the bottom of the crockpot. Top with half of the corn and half of the black olives.  Follow with 1/2 cup of cheese and half of the meat mixture.
Continue with a second set of layers and top with the final 1/2 cup of cheese.
Cook on high 3 hours or low 5-6 hours.  Serve warm.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crockpot Brat 'N' Tot ***

This was my attempt at turning my oven version of the Brat 'N' Tot Bake into a crockpot dish.  I've done it before, but the last time, I was limited on time (as usual) and thought I would be brilliant and skip the step of frying the bratwurst by instead using the pre-cooked brats.  Bad idea.  It made for far too much oil in there.  I hadn't thought about it, but frying the brat meat gets the grease out of it.

So this time, I smartened up and stuck with frying the cased brats.  I then put them in a colander and not only drained but also rinsed them well.  SO much more effective.  The amounts are a little different in the crockpot version, simply because I have a big crockpot and didn't want to risk overcooking.  It made for a decent amount of leftovers for lunch, though, so it all worked out.  The only difference was that I doubled the meat and onion and soup.  I kept the tots and sour cream and cheese amounts the same.  I think that next time I might try layering them a bit.  Maybe do tots, brats, soup, tots, and cheese.  We'll see.  It's great just like this, though.  The Brat 'N' Tot Bake is one of hubby's favorites, but with such a long cook time (not even including the prep time of precooking the meat), I don't get to make it very often.  This is a perfect compromise for us.   The flavor of the tots was great, and while they didn't get mushy or anything, they did fall apart a little.  So, this is definitely a keeper for us.  It was yummy and easy, which make it a winner in my book.  ;-)


CROCKPOT BRAT 'N' TOT
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

32 ounces uncooked bratwurst, casings removed (Do NOT use precooked)
1 to 1-1/2 medium onions, chopped
2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (32 ounce) package tater tots
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Remove bratwurst from casings.  Crumble bratwurst into a large skillet.  Add onions and cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain and rinse in colander.  Add to crockpot, and stir in the soup.  Cover with tater tots.  Spread sour cream on tots, and sprinkle with cheese.  Cook on low 5-6 hours.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken **

I'm kind of undecided on this.  It's super good on the bread, but it's also pretty dang salty.  I wonder if it might make a difference if I used just a pack and a half of Ranch.  I may try that next time.  I also cooked the bacon crumbles in the crockpot along with the chicken from the beginning.  That would obviously up the salt content, so I would switch that too.  It would definitely be worth exploring again, so I'll have to give it a shot.  I just wish I could think of something to add to it to expand the flavor somehow.  Maybe green onion?  I'm going to have to keep thinking on it.  The OP mentioned that she liked to do one flavored cream cheese with one regular.  Might be good to try it with the veggie cream cheese... Anyway, we did like it, but it just wasn't one of our favorites.


SLOW COOKER CRACK CHICKEN
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ CookiesAndCups)

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning
8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

In a slow cooker combine place chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until chicken shreds easily.
Once chicken shreds stir with a large fork or spoon, so the chicken shreds and all the ingredients combine.
Add in crumbled bacon and stir to incorporate.
Serve warm.
When making sandwiches, top with a bit more cheddar and place under the broiler.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crockpot Meatball Stroganoff ***

I do my reviews on a 4-star basis.  1 stars are recipes that we hate so badly that I will review, but I don't link to them from my main page.  These are recipes that will never be made in my kitchen again, for whatever reason.  2 stars are good, but there's nothing special enough to guarantee that they'll be made again.  We didn't dislike them, but we didn't necessarily enjoy them either.  3 stars aren't super-stellar, but I would definitely make them again.  We all enjoyed them.  4 stars are self-explanatory and are typically regulars for us.

The reason for that long spiel is to say that this is probably just a 2-star recipe where taste is concerned, but the fact that it's so amazingly simple earns it an extra star from me.  I would make this one again.  We all liked it.  The flavor was good, even though it wasn't anything that would blow me away.  It actually reminded me a lot of one of my regular dishes (and one of hubby's favorites), Meatball Goulash, although the Goulash is definitely our preference between the two.  I mixed my noodles directly into the crockpot at the end, just because that's how we like our stroganoff.  Next time, I'm going to throw some fresh mushrooms in there.  It just really felt like they were missing.  Other than that, I don't really think there's anything I'd change, and I surprisingly didn't have to alter the recipe to fit what I had on hand, which is a miracle in itself. :-)


CROCKPOT MEATBALL STROGANOFF
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ JuliesEatsAndTreats)

1 bag (2.5 lbs) frozen, precooked meatballs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp A1 sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg (16 oz) egg noodles

In the crockpot, mix soup, broth, garlic powder, onion and A1 sauce; add meatballs. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.
When mixture is done cooking, add sour cream and mix; continue cooking in the crockpot another 20 minutes.
While your sour cream is cooking in the mixture prepare your egg noodles according to package directions.
Mix noodles and meatballs together, or serve meatballs on top of noodles.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken and Pasta ***

This wowed all of us.  It's unbelievably quick to throw together, but it tastes like you spent longer.  I doubled the recipe so that we'd have enough leftovers for lunches, but it was a little too much.  I think next time I'll multiply it by 1.5 instead.  I used the real bacon pieces in place of strips of bacon, since that's what I had on hand.  I also went with angelhair pasta in place of spaghetti, because that's just our preference.  It seemed senseless to me to dirty an extra dish, so when I threw it all together, I put the chicken in the bottom of the crock and mixed the other ingredients right on top of it.  Worked out perfectly.  I'll definitely be making this one again.


SLOW COOKER BACON RANCH CHICKEN AND PASTA
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FamilyFreshMeals)

1 lb. chicken breasts
6 strips of bacon, cooked and diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 oz) packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup water
8 oz. of your spaghetti, cooked

Spray 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; place chicken breasts in cooker.
In medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients except spaghetti. Pour over top of chicken.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 hours or on High heat setting 3 to 4 hours.
When about 15 minutes are left, cook and drain spaghetti as directed on package.
Just before serving, shred chicken with 2 forks, and toss creamy chicken mixture with cooked spaghetti.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I used the real bacon pieces in place of strips of bacon and angelhair pasta in place of spaghetti.  I put the chicken in the bottom of the crock and mixed the other ingredients on top of it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Squash with Green Chilies ****

This was one of our favorites years ago, but according to my records, I haven't made it since 2012.  That was when my youngest was 7, and he wouldn't eat anything with any spice to it at all.  Once his tastes changed (he now loves Buffalo Chicken Pizza, lol), I had forgotten all about it.  Something on Pinterest the other day reminded me of it, so I put it on the menu.  Yum, yum, yum!  I love squash, and so do hubby and the youngest.  The oldest tolerates it, lol, but he likes it in this one.  There's something really good about pairing the slightly softened squash with the crisp corn.  It's just good stuff.  The 9-year-old kept saying, "I love these vegetables!"  Made me a pretty happy mama.  :)


SQUASH WITH GREEN CHILIES
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy )

2 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
2 zucchini squash, sliced and quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz roasted green chilies
14 oz whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup (or more) shredded Cheddar cheese

Sauté squash, zucchini, and onion in oil in skillet until tender. Add green chilies and corn; mix well. Heat to serving temperature. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand until cheese melts.
Yield: 6-8 servings

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Twinkie Strawberry Surprise ***

Oh, Twinkie Cake, how I love you!  My 9-year-old couldn't say "Twinkie" when I first started making it, so he always called it Weinie Cake.  We still tend to call it that around the house.  :-)
This cake is beyond simple, but it's oh-so-good!  It's almost like a creamier strawberry shortcake, but the cake doesn't get soggy.  It's crucial to let it sit in the fridge overnight, as that's when the topping firms up.  I wouldn't admit it to the kids, but in my opinion, it'd make the perfect breakfast, hehehe.  I have taken fresh strawberries and sliced them over the topping before, but the basic recipe is perfect as-is.  We took it for Easter lunch with the family today, and only one piece made it home.  We all had to fight for a bite, but it was worth it!


TWINKIE STRAWBERRY SURPRISE
(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via Recipezaar)

10 Hostess Twinkies
1 (3 ½ ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 ½ cups milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 boxes sweetened frozen strawberries, thawed

Slice Twinkies in half lengthwise and lay evenly flat side up in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Pour strawberries all over the top. In a large bowl, mix pudding, milk and whipped topping until well combined. Spread over strawberries.
Cover and refrigerate several hours overnight.
*** Tastes just like strawberry shortcake, but the cake doesn't get all mushy!