Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crockpot Apple and Brown Sugar Corned Beef ***

Well, we just finished our annual St. Paddy's Day meal, and it was a winner as usual. This makes the 7th year that we've had the same thing for SPD, and since we only have it the one time a year, it's always like a treat for us. The kids are always impressed that it's a "real Irish meal," lol. From the 9-year-old's first bite, he was thanking me for making it again and saying it was the best Irish meal he'd ever had. Again, remember that he also thinks that it's the only Irish meal he's had, so take it for what it's worth. We all devoured it, though. The sweetness of the apple juice really makes the whole thing. It even cuts the strong flavor of the cabbage, which is nice, even though I'm normally a big cabbage lover. This is just a nice change of pace and something exciting to look forward to every year. Plus, it's a one-dish meal, which totally rocks too. :)  The only difference I want to make is that it never has enough meat to leave leftovers for lunches.  Next time, I think I'm going to do two small briskets and cut back on the veggies some.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

1 corned beef brisket
1 quart apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
8 small red potatoes
2 medium carrots, pared, and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled, and cut into eighths
1 small head cabbage, cut into chunks

Place all ingredients in a large crock pot (cut meat in half if necessary); stir to mix.
Cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
Remove meat and vegetables and some of the cooking liquid.
Slice meat thinly across the grain.
Serve with vegetables and some of the liquid.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

McMuffin Casserole ****

I've made this so many times over the past year, and it still gets requested regularly.  This past year, it was even requested as our Christmas morning breakfast, which is kind of a big deal for us.  Only the good recipes make it to that point, lol.  It's just so easy and so good.  Hubby normally can't stand English muffins, but even he loves this one.  The recipe below is with my updated amounts.  The original recipe is in the link under the title.  I've kept all of the ingredients as-is, but I like making it in a 9x13.  Plus, all of our English muffin packs come in 6, not 4.  Seems silly not to just use them all.  I can usually squeeze breakfast for all four of us one morning, plus breakfast for just the kids a second morning, out of one pan.  So perfect.  I just use plain semi-thinly-sliced ham in ours, though.  This time around, I used Egg Beaters instead of eggs.  Still just as good!  Now I'm wishing I had the stuff to make this again tomorrow morning. :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ PlainChicken)

6 English muffins, split
9 oz Canadian bacon
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1-3/4 cup milk

Grease an 9"x13" square baking dish. Cube English muffins and chop Canadian bacon. Add half of the cubed English muffins in a single layer. Top with half of the Canadian bacon and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Layer the remaining English muffins and Canadian bacon and 1/2 cup more cheese.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Wrap the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day.
Bake at 325 degrees 45 to 50 minutes.
Serves 6.

Previous reviews:
7/29/14 ~ We loved this!  Hubby had already left for work, so he didn't get to try it yet.  The kids and I thought it was amazing, though.  I'm normally not a huge fan of overnight casseroles that use bread as the base, since it always ends up so soggy.  However, on this one, the English muffins hold together beautifully, and there's none of that mushy, undercooked eggy feeling to it.  It's a breeze to throw together, too.  I will definitely be making this again.

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.

(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.

(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!

(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.

(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. :-)

(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
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
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.