Saturday, July 30, 2016

Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Rice ***

I couldn't even guess how many times I've made this over the past couple of years, but it's always a hit for us.  I don't follow any of the steps, but I stick to the ingredients list.  I just pop everything  except the cheese into the crockpot and cook on low for about 6 hours.  I've even thrown in the chicken frozen, and it still cooks perfectly.  I just add an extra hour or two on to the cook time.  Now, granted, the rice is softer when it's cooked the full time in the crockpot, but we actually prefer it that way for this one.  It soaks up more of the flavors of the dish.  One of my favorite aspects of this one is that it reheats so beautifully.  I like to double the recipe and freeze half.  Then when I'm ready to have the second portion, I just put the entire thing back in the crockpot.  Works well on the stovetop too, though.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ SurvivalGuideByTheWorkingMom and SouthernPlate)

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large Vidalia onion (chopped)
1 (8-ounce) box of Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix (cooked - see notes)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Trim all the fat off chicken breasts and add it to the bottom of the greased crockpot.
Add the chopped onion and cream of chicken.
Cook chicken in the crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
Check to make sure chicken is fully cooked.
Cook Zatarain's rice according to the directions on the box.
Add cooked rice, cheese, and corn to the crockpot and let it cook for about 5 minutes so the corn heats up and cheese melts.
Stir the ingredients all together and serve.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I mixed everything but the cheese into the crockpot and cooked on low for 6 hours.  Right before eating, I shredded the chicken and stirred in the cheese.
AMY'S FREEZER DIRECTIONS:  Double the entire recipe. It fit perfectly in my crock.  When finished cooking, serve half of the entree.  Take the second half and put it in a gallon Ziploc bag.  Lay bag flat in freezer so that it will not take up as much space.  To reheat, place in crockpot on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

Previous Posts
UPDATE (10/6/13):  I just posted this a few days ago, and I mentioned that accidentally made WAY too much.  So I took half of it, loaded it in a gallon Ziplock bag, and threw it in the freezer.  After lunch today, I took it back out and put it in the crockpot for 4 hours on HIGH.  Every bit as good as it was the first time around.  I'm changing the recipe to add the freezer directions, because I am absolutely doing that from now on.  It's no extra trouble, and it saves me from having to make dinner an extra night.  Perfect!
ORIGINAL POST (9/30/13): This was actually really good.  I could have sworn the recipe said it served 4 people, so I doubled it, in order to have enough leftovers for lunches.  Oops.  Made LOTS, lol.  That's okay, though. We'll just throw some in the freezer for weekend lunches.  Anyway, we really enjoyed it.  I'd never had the Zatarain's Yellow Rice, and I was pleasantly surprised by it.  The oldest (10) said it tasted like "gold," whatever that means, lol.  It's perfect comfort food for these cooler fall nights.  I stuck to the recipe, but I used frozen chicken breasts and cooked on low for 7 hours.  When I got home from work, I shredded the chicken, threw the corn and cheese in the crockpot, and let those warm while the rice cooked.  All that was left to do was to stir in the rice when it was finished.  Perfect!

Slow Cooker Ham with Pineapple ****

You just don't get any easier yet flavorful than this recipe right here.  I always double the cola and the pineapple, since the kids are crazy about the pineapple rings.  I've made this for family birthdays and holidays, but my favorite thing is just that I can start it before I leave for work in the morning and not have to rush home and spend my lunch break putting together our supper.  The ham comes out so tender and salty-sweet.  We all adore it.  I've made it at least 30 times since Amylz first posted it, and I have never once had to make any changes to the recipe.  It's absolutely perfect just as it is!

Amy (amylz)
All Recipes  Servings: 14

1 (6 to 7 pound) picnic ham
1 (15.25 ounce) can pineapple rings
1 (16 ounce) can cola-flavored carbonated beverage (such as Pepsi)

Place ham in slow cooker with the fattier side facing down. Use toothpicks to attach pineapple rings to the ham. Pour juice from the can over the ham. Pour the cola into the slow cooker.  Cook on Low 7 to 10 hours.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I doubled the cola and pineapple.

Previous reviews:
1/27/14 ~ This is crazy, scary good.  I could have easily kept eating it until I made myself sick.  I took Amy's advice and used two cans of pineapple, so that we'd have enough for everyone to have some.  I also doubled the Coke in it.  Mine cooked about 10 hours, and it was sheer perfection.  I have never, ever had a ham that was so yummy.  When you take into account that it took all of 2 minutes to throw together, it's practically the perfect recipe!  The kids both asked for seconds on the ham, which is just unheard of around here.  I served it with the Too-Tasty-to-Be-Good-for-You Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese, and they went perfectly together.  I will definitely be making this one again.  Soon. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Crawfish Tortellini ***

So my original plan for the crawfish had been to sub them in another recipe (One-Pot Cajun Pasta).  Well, long story short, I apparently tore a ligament in my foot on vacation, and I'm in a boot this week.  I decided I needed something quick and easy instead.  Since most of the ingredients were the same, I just hit the store on the way home from work and grabbed some tortellini so that I could throw this one together.  It.was.perfect.  As usual.

The original recipe tells you to cook this in an oven at 350 for 45 minutes.  That seems silly to me, so I've always done it stovetop.  It comes out as pure perfection.  The kids and the hubby oohed and ahhed over it excessively, just as they always do.  Now I'm seriously thinking it about having it again this week. :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb frozen crawfish tails, thawed
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) whipping cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons parsley
1 large package tortellini noodles

Cook tortellini in pot as directed.
While noodles are cooking, sauté the crawfish tails in 2 tablespoons butter for about 5 minutes.  Add remaining butter, onion, and garlic, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring sauce to a boil, and pour into pot with drained tortellini.  Bring to a boil again.  Turn down and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so - just enough to thicken the sauce.

Previous posts:
8/10/11 ~ We've had this recipe before, and the kids loved it.  They think that crawdads are just about the coolest animals we can eat, but I rarely make any recipes with them.  This was a hit as usual.  As last time, I made it on the stovetop (still waiting for the new oven to be delivered - boo!), but it was as delicious as always.  We were on vacation all last week, and with all of the running around we had to do yesterday to get ready for the upcoming work week, we haven't eaten a homecooked meal in what feels like ages.  This was perfect.  I hated that it heated up the house, of course, but it was quick to prepare.  That was the main thing.  I wimped out and just served it with corn, but it was divine nonetheless.  I ran out of parsley, so I just used oregano in its place.  It worked perfectly.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Slow Cooker Potato, Brat, Corn, and Cheddar Casserole *

This was just gross.  I really thought it would be similar to one of our favorites, Brat-N-Tot Bake (which did convert successfully to a crockpot meal, so that wasn't the problem either).  It most definitely was not similar in flavor.  For one thing, the potatoes still weren't cooked through after the 8 hours.  I had to put it back on for another 2 hours.  By that time, it had cooked perfectly.  But it was like massive bites of steamed, flavorless potato slices.  Every now and then, you got a taste of bratwurst (i.e. flavor), but the majority of the time, it was just total blandness.  It kind of made me mad, because I took and early lunch at work and spent my entire lunch break slicing potatoes and onions, basically for nothing.  I could go on, but you get the point.  We won't be doing this one again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FamishedFish)

8 russet potatoes, scrubbed and washed
2 large white onions
1 15 oz can corn
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 26 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 pack Johnsonville beer brats

Begin by slicing the scrubbed potatoes and onions thinly with a knife or mandolin, set at 1/4″ thickness.
Layer 1/3 of the potatoes and onions in the bottom of a large slow cooker.
Slice the brats and layer 1/3 of the drained canned corn and 1/3 of the sliced brats over the potatoes and onions.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the corn and brats. Spread 1/3 of the mushroom soup over the cheese.
Repeat the layers two more times and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove lid to cool and thicken for 20 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Tater Tot Sloppy Joe Casserole ****

We all absolutely loved this one.  I did make a few changes, but not enough to affect the final outcome of the dish.  I used frozen chopped onions and green peppers, so I just cooked them with the ground turkey, which I subbed for the ground beef.  That's really all I did differently.  The flavor is phenomenal.  I mean, it's obviously nothing fancy-schmancy, but it's a nice, hearty meal with some good veggies in there.  Other than the tater tots, it's actually not too terribly bad for you.  (Forgot to mention that I also used reduced-fat shredded cheese.)  The youngest didn't like the crunch of the carrots, so if I do it this way again, I'll probably cook them ahead of time with the meat and peppers and onions.  The other problem for me is that my tots were still kind of frozen after 25 minutes.  Nothing that a little zap in the microwave couldn't fix, but it was still a bummer, especially since they were already browning on the edges.  It would be much better to start with them thawed, I think.  I actually want to try doing this in the crockpot.  I've done similar dishes successfully in there, so I have high hopes that this will convert nicely.  Or not.  We'll see.  :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ GalOnAMission)

2 pounds 80/20 ground beef, cooked and drained
2 carrots, diced into small quarters
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 large white onion, diced
12 ounces frozen corn
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
14.5 ounce can Hunt's Diced Tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans MANWICH original
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 pounds frozen tater tots

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together the cooked ground beef, carrots, bell pepper, poblano pepper, onion, corn, garlic, salt and pepper, diced tomatoes, and MANWICH in the same pan you cooked the beef in.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheddar cheese on top. Top with tater tots. Sprinkle 1 cup cheddar and mozarella cheese on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tater tots are cooked.
Freezer Directions: Prepare the casserole into a freezer casserole dish. Cover and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake at 425 degrees until the tater tots and filling are warm, approximately 25-30 minutes.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I subbed ground turkey and frozen peppers and onions, which I cooked all together in the beginning.  Next time, I will cook the carrots ahead as well and thaw my tots.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Egg Sausage and Spinach Casserole **

I actually made this one back in the spring, but I never got around to posting it.  I've since lost the picture that I took of mine.  It was basically the same as the one from the original posting, so I'm including that below.  Just know that the pic is from her meal, not mine.

I enjoyed this one, but sadly, the rest of the family did not.  I did add mushrooms to ours, but considering that we all adore spinach and mushrooms, I don't see how that could have affected the final result.  I would still like to try it again, though, just in case.  I figure I've waited long enough now that they probably won't even remember the first time. ;-)  I think I might go ahead and use the full-egg Egg Beaters, though, just to kind of *beef* it up a bit.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ LaurenKellyNutrition)

12 egg whites or 1 box of egg whites or combination of whole eggs and egg whites, whatever you prefer
1 package of lean turkey breakfast sausage
2 cups of baby spinach
1/4 cup shredded mexican cheese blend or whatever cheese you like

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place baby spinach (or whatever vegetables you like) on the bottom of casserole dish.  Next layer with sliced sausage and sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
Pour egg whites on top and bake for 35 minutes until completely cooked ( I do not like wet eggs AT ALL!)
ENJOY!!  Makes 6 servings.  Cut into 6 equal servings immediately so you aren’t tempted to eat more than the correct portion.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut ****

We've had this recipe several times now, and honestly, it seems like we like it more and more every time.  The sweetness of the apples perfectly melds with the tartness of the sauerkraut.  The kraut doesn't taste like kraut at all, actually.  It's just so absolutely divine.  I used a small package of the "real bacon pieces" instead of frying bacon (and dirtying another dish, lol).  It makes the bacon pieces puff up nicely, giving you a little taste of bacon in each bite.  Seriously, this is so good.  The Johnsonville brats come in packs of 5, so I just used two full packs.  Not a problem at all.  Mine were in the crock for 6 hours and were absolutely perfect.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ MomsWhoThink)

8 uncooked bratwurst links
1 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground mustard
8 brat buns, split

Place the bratwurst in a greased 5-6 quart slow cooker.
In a large bowl combine the sauerkraut, apples, bacon, brown sugar, onion and mustard; spoon over bratwurst.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until sausage is no longer pink.
Place brats in buns; using a slotted spoon, top with sauerkraut mixture.

Previous reviews
7/18/13 ~ Loved this.  Seriously.  The hubs wasn't quite as thrilled with it as the kids and I were, since he didn't like that the brats lost their crispness in the crockpot.  He did love the flavor, though.  I was worried about the sauerkraut, since he's definitely not a fan (he'd rather starve than eat it).  There are a couple of recipes I can get away with using it in, but I always have to wash and drain it really well.  Since that was in these directions anyway, we were golden.  :-)  There's honestly not a sauerkraut taste to this at all.  The apples and bacon completely mute the sauerkraut flavor.  My 9-year-old hates that stuff as much as his dad, and he actually ate it on top of the brats.  The 7-year-old liked the flavoring of it, but he ate the brat without the kraut (I had to rinse it off, lol).  This is most definitely a winner with us.  It's going right in the rotation!

Chicken-Chili Crescent Bake ****

Even after the several times I've made this, we still adore it.  My 10-year-old had THIRDS.  That child rarely even finishes one helping of anything, so I was totally in shock that he loved it that much.  I always add about 3/4 cup of sour cream to the chicken and bean mixture as it's cooking on the stovetop, just to soften the spice.  I'll always stick with that, because it really adds a lot, in my opinion.  The one time I forgot and made it without the sour cream, it was just a bit too spicy for the kids.  I ended up having to stir sour cream into their individual servings.  We all seriously love this one, so I should really make it more often.  The only problem is that it is getting harder and harder to find the Fiesta Beans.  I guess I need to find a copycat recipe, just for backup!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via Pearls,Handcuffs,andHappyHour)

Rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can Bush’s Fiesta Black Beans
1 can Rotel
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
1-2 cups shredded cheese
1 can crescent seamless dough sheets

Mix together chicken, beans, Rotel, and taco seasoning in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with cheese and top with the crescent seamless dough sheet.
Cook at 375 for about 18-25 minutes or until crescent topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
*Amy's notes: I used mild Rotel and added 3/4 cup sour cream to the chicken mixture.  I also just use 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Crockpot Meatball Subs ****

It's been ages since I've made this one.  I love that you can put the meatballs in raw, though.  I try to keep homemade ones on hand, but I tend to fail at that (a lot!).  This is a good compromise for me.  I don't have a lot of time on my lunch breaks, so I rarely get a chance to put them in the frying pan first.  That would be my preference, of course, but you can't beat the ease of throwing them in raw.  It's perfect when you don't have much prep time.  I typically use Italian breadcrumbs, just to give it a little more flavor.  We also prefer provolone cheese.  So good.  I always sub ground turkey, just because it's our preference.  This time, I used Egg Beaters instead of the egg, though, and it didn't really "bind" the way it normally does.  I can't even explain it.  They held together well, but they were just kind of mushy, for lack of a better word.  Still fabulous, but they didn't have the firmness to them that they normally do.  Oh well.  It was still great.  The youngest (10) was actually asking to have it again the very next night, so that's always a good sign, lol.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
6-8 sub rolls/hot dog buns
Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded

Place first seven ingredients in large bowl with hands.
Shape into approximately 30 1-inch balls. Bake in an ungreased oblong pan (13x9x2) in a 400*F oven until light brown, 20-25 minutes. OR: microwave meatballs in an ungreased baking dish, 6 minutes on High, turning once. OR: cook over medium heat in frying pan, turning occasionally, until brown, about 20 minutes.
Place cooked meatballs and spaghetti sauce in crock pot. Cook on low for about 2 hours. If you cook longer, stir every hour or so. OR: Place raw meatballs in sauce in crockpot and cook for 8 hours on low.
Place meatballs and sauce in hot dog buns and top with mozzarella cheese.
** Amy’s notes: I used Italian breadcrumbs and 1/4 tsp onion powder.

Previous Posts:
6/6/11 ~ I am so glad to be back on the cooking wagon!  May is a crazy month for us, with all the end-of-year school activities and baseball with both kids.  I dearly love baseball season, but I am so proud to have a break from all the running!  For at least 4 weeks there, we didn't have one single night to be lazy.  Whew!  Then add in the fact that my oven has been broken for about a month and a half now (again, no time to go get a new one and have it installed - grr), and I haven't cooked much at all.
These are so good.  Not to mention that they're so stinking easy!  I used provolone cheese on ours instead of the mozzarella, but I've always used the mozzarella in the past.  I think we prefer the provolone, but both are yummy.  The kids ate every bite.  My 5-year-old hates bread (I know - how could he possibly be my child???), but this is filling enough for him to just eat the meatballs with cheese on them.  I always use ground turkey, and it's never been a problem.  This time, I used meatballs that I'd frozen from the last time.  I just dumped them in the crockpot with the sauce for 6 hours on low.  Dh is already looking forward to tomorrow's leftover lunch!