Monday, January 19, 2015

Crock Pot Ground Beef Picadillo

**originally posted on on 1-12-15**

This week's recipe is probably one you haven't heard of. I follow an awesome blog for healthy DELICIOUS recipes called Skinnytaste, and that is where this recipe came from. I had never heard of the dish, but thought it sounded good and was willing to give it a try. It's called Crock Pot Picadillo (pronounced peek-uh-DEE-yo). Apparently, the term means "chopped" and is used for a few types of dishes. This picadillo is ground beef based, and is popular in Cuba and central american countries. It is typically served over rice (which is what I did with it initially when I made it), but it can also be used as a meat filling for tacos, nachos, or even as a sandwich. I used leftovers to make some hearty nachos with and wow, it was good! Lots of flavors mix together in this dish, and it isn't spicy.  So give it a try, I bet you'll like it.



  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef ( I used 93% lean)
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado (manzanilla olives, pimientos, capers) or green olives
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Brown the meat in a skillet, making sure it is well broken up into small pieces. Generously salt and pepper the meat while cooking. Drain. Add in onions, bell pepper & garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Transfer meat mixture to your crock pot, and then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water, alcaparrado (or olives), and then add the spices (you can also add some of the olive brine for some flavor).
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. Taste when done and add more salt and spices if desired. Serve over rice (I use brown) and enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Fajita Soup

**originally posted on on 1-5-15**

Well, with a cold week ahead like the one forecast, I pretty much only feel like eating soups & stews!! So, if you agree, here's a soup for you to help warm you up! It's Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Fajita soup! Pretty easy to throw together, and it has just enough spice to give you an extra warm-up while you eat it :) I was able to use some of the salsa I canned over the summer and some sweet corn off the cob that I froze. Was nice to enjoy some summer in this soup!


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
2 cups frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro (optional)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
favorite toppings like sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado, extra cheese/salsa, etc
Place the chicken breasts into the crock pot. Combine chicken soup, salsa, corn, beans, water, cumin & cilantro in a large bowl. Mix well and pour over chicken in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Remove chicken from the crock and shred it up with 2 forks. Return it to the crock pot, add the shredded cheddar, and cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve in bowls with your favorite fajita toppings!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Crock Pot Kielbasa Bites

**originally posted on on 12-29-14**

I tested this week's recipe on my lovely co-workers here at QueenB Radio at our Holiday Potluck last week, and it was liked! So, thanks to their approval, I am sharing it with all of you! It's Crock Pot Kielbasa Bites! This is a great dish to take to any New Year celebrations or playoff footbal/Super Bowl parties! I doubled the recipe for the work potluck. Just make sure you don't overcook it though, and Hubs said that the leftovers the next day weren't all that fantastic. But they sure are delicious when eaten fresh right out of the crock! You may look at the ingredients and think I'm crazy, but for real, it's a wonderful flavor. I used a mix of kielbasa and smoked sausage when I made it. I imagine this would taste great on any kind of sausage you wanted to slice up and throw in! Even cocktail weinies!


  • 1 lb. kielbasa (or smoked sausage)
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
Slice up the kielbasa and put in the crock. In a bowl, mix together the apricot preserves and mustard until well combined. Pour into the crock and stir together to evenly coat all of the sausage. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or high for 1-2.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Eggnog Cranberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal

**originally posted on on 12-22-14**

Ah, Christmas morning. The morning where everyone wants a delicious special breakfast, but nobody want to cook one! Spend more time with your family and make breakfast the night before! This week's recipe is Slow Cooker Eggnog Cranberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal! Now, there are two kind of people in this world: Those who eat oatmeal and those who don't. If you are not generally a fan of oatmeal, this recipe will not change your mind, even though it is good! Haha! But, if you enjoy oatmeal, this is a nice twist on the regular stuff. I topped mine with some extra cranberries and some chopped pecans, and it was a nice, filling dish. I would recommend doing this if you have a digital crock that can switch to "warm", otherwise it may get a bit overdone on the edges if you cook it overnight. But if you are up late and plan to get up early (about 6 hours), then you are fine if you don't have a digital one! I cooked on low for 6 hours and then my crock switched to warm for a few hours and it was fine. You could probably cook it on high for 2-3 hours too, if you just get up early enough.

eggnog oatmeal (2)


  • 4 cups eggnog
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or Craisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds or ground flax seeds
  • (optional toppings: chopped nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, additional eggnog or cranberries, etc)
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker (except optional ingredients) and mix together. Cook on low for 6 hours or until oats are cooked and softened and the edges have browned a bit. Spoon it up in bowls to serve and add additional toppings if desired! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Crock Pot Black Beans & Rice

**originally posted on on 12-15-14**

When I make Mexican meals at home, I have a hard time coming up with a side dish! In a restaurant, they include yummy beans and rice, but that seems like too much work, doesn't it? Well, thanks to the crock pot, it isn't! We had some guests for supper a few weeks ago and I made a delicious baked sour cream enchilada dish (which is in the photo below, too!), but I really wanted something to go along with that. So I hit Pinterest, and found this recipe for Crock Pot Black Beans & Rice. It was easy to throw together, and pretty delicious! Not only can you use this as-is for a side dish (or a meal in itself!), but I'm sure it would be great as a burrito filling or even just eaten with tortilla chips. It is nice because it doesn't take long to cook, too. I actually had two crock pots going for this meal, one with the rice & beans, and one with the chicken breasts for the shredded chicken mixture I used to fill the enchiladas with! Embrace your slow cookers, people! They help make meal prep easy!! :)


  • 2 (14OZ) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3/4 cup UNCOOKED rice
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. Add all ingredients into the crock pot and stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Stir well before serving! You can top it with additional salsa or sour cream, if desired.

Monday, December 15, 2014

**originally posted on on 12-8-14**

Holiday baking season is here! Did you know that your crock pot can help you with that? Here is a delicious treat that can be made quickly and easily in your crock pot, and it will be loved and devoured quickly by all! In October, I did a Crock of the Week for Autumn Harvest Chex Mix. This is a similar recipe, except it's full of chocolate and Christmas joy! It's Peppermint Muddy Buddies! Muddy Buddies are the chocolate cousin of Chex Mix :) I made a double batch of this recipe, and there was plenty of room to mix it in my crock pot. You could use a double boiler for a single batch if you wanted, but if you are doing a double batch, you won't have enough room in a double boiler. It only took about 10 minutes for the chocolate to melt completely for a double batch in my crock pot. And I only got the crock dirty which made clean up a snap! Loved it! I brought it along to the WGLR Holiday Auction this past weekend for the crew and volunteers to enjoy, and got many compliments! So add this easy treat to your holiday baking list. It would be a nice thing to package up in ziplocs and ribbon to hand out to co-workers, neighbors, or wherever you need a bunch of small gifts this holiday season.

muddy peppermint


  • 3 squares white chocolate bark
  • 3 squares chocolate bark
  • 3 cups rice (or corn) Chex cereal
  • 3 cups chocolate Chex cereal
  • 10 crushed up mini candy canes
Crush up the candy canes and set aside. Then start with the white chocolate bark, and place that in your crock. Cover and turn the crock on high until it melts. Add in the rice or corn chex, and stir until the cereal is completely coated with the white chocolate. Then pour the mixture out onto a piece or wax paper or foil, and spread it out. Immediately sprinkle the crushed peppermints all over the mixture, before the chocolate starts to harden up, because you want the peppermints to stick!
Then add the chocolate bark to your crock (no need to clean it from the white chocolate that was just in there). Cover and melt. Then add the chocolate Chex until well coated, and pour the mixture onto wax paper or foil, just as you did with the white chocolate mixture. Let it harden up.
When both mixtures are set, break up and mix together in a lidded bowl or big ziploc bag. And watch it quickly disappear!! Yum!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

**originally posted on on 12-1-14**

This week's recipe is so so sooooooo simple! And so so sooooooo delicious! I served it with mashed potatoes and gravy, but it is so versatile that it could be served in many different ways, like with pasta, veggies, tacos, gyros or even on a salad. It is Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken, and you probably have all the ingredients needed already in your kitchen. I did! It smells delicious while cooking too :)
balsamic chix


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs, bone-in or out, your choice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch fresh chopped parsley (if desired)
Combine the garlic powder, basil, salt, pepper & minced onion in a bowl. Spread it over the chicken pieces, on both sides.  pour olive oil and the garlic on the bottom of your crock pot, and add chicken on top. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.