Monday, October 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili

**originally posted on www.WGLR.com on 10-20-14**

It's BACK! Season FOUR of "Julie's Crock of the Week" is here! I just want to say thank you to all the folks who chat with me year 'round about the Crock of the Week. It is so much fun for me! Happy to be kicking off another season here on WGLR!

I'm going to start with a chili I made over the summer. This isn't your typical chili recipe though! This caters to those with a love of heat, specifically, the kind of heat you get when you eat some buffalo wings covered in sauce. My husband LOVED this one, it's definitely a "man-pleasing" meal, haha! I am a fan of dousing buffalo wings in ranch dressing when I eat them to counter the heat. So, this chili was a bit hot for me, BUT I stirred in a few tablespoons of light ranch dressing into my bowl and it gave it a great flavor and helped turn it down a notch for me to enjoy. Leftovers tasted even better with this one. Top with some crumbled blue cheese or mozzarella, and it's a delicious meal in a bowl! Enjoy!
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BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper (any color you prefer)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups diced chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cans pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 28 oz chicken broth
  • ¾ cup Buffalo wing sauce (or to taste. I used 1/2 cup of Frank's)
  • Blue cheese or fresh mozzarella for topping (optional)
Throw veggies and garlic with the olive oil into a skillet, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Dump into crock pot. Using the same skillet, salt and cook the diced chicken breast until it is browned up. Add to slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients of cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, pinto beans, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth. Cook on low for 7.5 hours. THEN add wing sauce, and cook for another half hour on low.  When serving, top with cheese if desired (or stir in some ranch dressing to "cool" it down a bit!).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Crock Pot Beer Cheese Soup

Well, this is it, folks! The last recipe of Season 3! Thanks for another fun season, I so enjoy chatting with you all about crock pots and recipes :) This week's recipe is from the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the Crock of the Week contest! Congratulations to Bernadine Mezera from Boscobel! You all need to make her recipe, it's delicious! Crock Pot Beer Cheese Soup! When this recipe was randomly chosen as the winner, I admit that I was a bit afraid because I wasn't confident that a great beer cheese soup could be made by me, but I was so wrong! This is restaurant quality beer cheese soup! Now, neither my husband or I are beer drinkers, but he does like the occasional Blue Moon, which is a wheat beer. So I went with that, since I knew there would be extra to drink up. It worked well, but you can use any beer of your choice, but I suggest not getting a cheap one or using a light beer.  Also, get a block of cheddar and shred it up instead of buying the already shredded stuff, which is more dry and has a chemical on it to keep it from sticking together. Go for the block cheese here. 

Beer Cheese Soup

CROCK POT BEER CHEESE SOUP

(FROM BERNADINE MEZERA)
32 OUNCES CHICKEN BROTH
16 OUNCES BEER
1/2 CUP CORNSTARCH
1/4 cup BUTTER, MELTED
1 CUP CARROT, DICED VERY THIN
1 CUP WHITE ONION DICED VERY FINE
4 OUNCES CREAM CHEESE
8 OUNCES SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE, GRATED
SEA SALT, ABOUT 1 TEASPOON
BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE

ADD CHICKEN BROTH AND BEER TO SLOW COOKER, AND WHISK IN CORNSTARCH AND BUTTER UNTIL SMOOTH.
ADD CARROTS AND ONIONS TO SLOW COOKER.
COOK ON LOW FOR 8 HOURS.
ADD CREAM CHEESE AND SHREDDED CHEDDAR, AND SEASON WITH SALT, ABOUT A TEASPOON IS WHAT I USED, ADD GRADUALLY TO YOUR TASTE.  ADD PEPPER TO TASTE.
LADLE INTO BOWLS, AND SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crock pot baked Potato Soup

I got this recipe on a blog called "Mama Loves Food!" and wow, is it delicious! I have tried a few potato soup recipes in the past, but non were a keeper until this one. I think it's because this recipe uses cream cheese instead of heavy cream or milk. It is delicious! I used the new product from Green Mountain Farms that is a blend of cream cheese/greek yogurt. It works well in any cream cheese recipe, and is less calories. Enjoy!


Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but NOT peeled. Diced into 1/2 inch(ish) cubes
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced (if you use jarred, it's a 5 teaspoon equivalent)
  • 64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt 
  • optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

  1. Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. (Alternately you could remove half the soup and the cream cheese to an upright blender, then re-incorporate).
  4. Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Crock Pot Beef & Broccoli

Oh this is so delicious! Honestly, one of the best recipes I have ever thrown together in my slow cooker. The flavors are fantastic!



Crock Pot Beef & Broccoli

  • 1-1/2 to 2 lbs thinly sliced sirloin steak
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  •  2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 12oz bag frozen steamable broccoli florets, prepared per package directions
  • 2 cups cooked rice for serving
In a small bowl, whisk together broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil & garlic. Pour over meat and let it marinate at room temp for 15 minutes. Put in slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together water and cornstarch until dissolved. Add to the crock pot and cook for another 30 minutes for the sauce to thicken up. 

Add broccoli before serving. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken Bacon Tater Tot Casserole

Oh boy, do I have a tasty recipe for you this week. I mean, just the NAME of the recipe is enough to get your mouth watering...Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Tater Tot Casserole! I mean, how can something called that taste anything but awesome? Low calorie? NO. Delicious? YES! And it's so easy to throw together, and cooks fast, too.

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Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Tator Tot Casserole

  • 1 (32oz) bag tator tots (I used onion tots)
  • 3 oz crumbled bacon pieces (NOT the artificial "bacon" bits!)
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts (don't use frozen in this recipe, it will create too much liquid)
  • 3 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salt & pepper
Spray crock pot with cooking spray, and then start the layering process...start with 1/2 the bag of tots, then half the bacon pieces, then 1/3 of the cheese. Add the chicken on top of the cheese and sprinkle with salt & pepper, then add another 1/3 of the cheese on top of the chicken. Next, add the rest of the bacon, then the rest of the tots, and top with the last 1/3 of the cheese. Pour the milk over the whole thing. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

One of the best comfort foods is spaghetti with meat sauce, in my opinion! But, it is made even better with homemade pasta sauce instead of the canned, pre-made stuff. Now, in the middle of winter you may have to rely on canned tomatoes to make this (unless you have a bunch canned from your garden last summer), but I still think it tastes better then the jarred sauce. And I am most definitely going to grow more tomatoes this year to make my own garden-fresh sauce! I made a double batch of this a few weeks ago and froze most of it to enjoy yet this winter. It's very versatile to use in other ways, too, like for lasagne or manicotti. Also, I did a mixture of italian sausage and ground turkey to cut the calories a bit. Tweak as you wish, as always!
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Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

  • 1-1/2 lbs bulk italian sausage
  • 1 cup diced onions (about 2 medium)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (6oz) tomato paste
Brown up the italian sausage, drain, and pour into slow cooker. Then add all remaining ingredients. Use at least a 4 qt slow cooker. I doubled it and it fit fine into my 6 qt cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken

**originally posted on www.WGLR.com on 2-10-14**

This week’s recipe is easy to throw together, you may have all the ingredients on-hand already. I am a fan of ranch flavored anything, so I was pretty sure I would like this recipe before making it, and I was right! It’s Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken!
ranch chix

SLOW COOKER RANCH CHICKEN

  • 1-1/2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 6-8 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces (I used red potatoes)
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 package dry ranch dressing mix (or 3 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • parsley to put on top when serving (optional)
You may want to spray your crock before adding ingredients. Place carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker, then lay chicken on top.  In a separate bowl, mix together soup, ranch mix, and milk. Pour over chicken in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Use the sauce as gravy on chicken and potatoes when serving.