Monday, March 23, 2015

Crock Pot Hamburger Soup

**originally posted on www.WGLR.com on 3-16-15**

Hard to believe this is almost the last "Julie's Crock of the Week" for season 4! You will get one more next week, but that will be from the winner of the Julie's Crock of the Week Giveaway (MAKE SURE TO ENTER TO WIN! Click on the link above to enter your recipe in the contest!). This recipe reminds my of my grandma, who passed away about 10 years ago. She was a fantastic cook. I wish she would have lived a few more years to see my family and help me out with recipes and tips now that I am cooking for a family instead of just myself! While I retained some tips from her over the years, there is so much more I could have learned from her. This soup is one she made. This one and her bean & ham soup were ones I remember most. My grandpa had polio, so his mobility was limited, and since he couldn't do manual labor, the two of them invested in a lot of businesses, and worked hard! They ran and owned a few restaurants and taverns, and my grandma handled the cooking. After my grandpa passed in the 70's, she went on to be the head cook for a hospital, so let me tell you, she knew her stuff. My dad is an excellent cook, too. He helped as a kid with working in the tavern and restaurants with them. I like to think I'm carrying on her passion and traditions with my family, and with sharing my love of cooking with you all through WGLR over the years. Thanks for making this so fun for me. So, make this soup and whip up a loaf of beer bread like my Grandma Bernice did whenever she made soup, and enjoy it with your family! It's an easy and relatively inexpensive recipe, too! It's Crock Pot Hamburger Soup.

Hamburger soup
 
 

CROCK POT HAMBURGER SOUP

  • 2lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 14teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 12teaspoon dry oregano, more to taste
  • 12teaspoon dry basil, more to taste
  • 14teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 (1 1/2 ounce) envelope onion soup mix
  • 6 cups water, more to desired consistency
  • 1(8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1(15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1(15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup white potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • garlic salt, to taste (after cooking)
Brown ground beef with the onion in a pan. Drain. Transfer to slow cooker and add all remaining ingredients, and stir it up. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Sprinkle on garlic salt to taste when done. Serve with shredded cheese or sour cream on top, if desired!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage Stew

**originally posted on WGLR.com on 3-9-15**
Oh my, with temps in the 50’s coming this week, and St.Patrick’s Day next week, spring is in the air! Yay! This week’s recipe is perfect for your St.Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend and next week. It’s Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage Stew! This is a great way to prepare the traditional St.Patty’s Day tradition, or it’s a great way to use up the leftovers from a meal of corned beef & cabbage! We really liked it, and the leftovers were even better. My only suggestion is to chop the cabbage up well and get the corned beef in a bite size way, because my pieces were a bit to large and made quite a mess when we tried to eat it, but the mess was worth it! Bake some crusty soda bread to go with it, and you have a perfect Irish meal to celebrate this fun holiday with. I got this from the awesome Skinnytaste blog. a serving of 1 3/4 cups is only about 280 calories. And if your corned beef brisket doesn’t come with a seasoning packet, you will have to season this up yourself.
corned beef stew

CROCK POT CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE STEW

Ingredients:
  • 2 leeks, chopped (whites and light green only)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped (I just used matchstick carrots to save some prep time)
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb lean corned beef brisket (yields 9 oz cooked)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
Place the corned beef brisket in your crock pot. Add leeks, garlic, carrots, yellow pepper, water, bay leaves, and parsley. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the brisket shreds easily. Remove the brisket from the crock pot onto a plate, and shred it up. Return meat to the crock pot, and then add the chopped cabbage and potato. Cook on low for another hour, and serve!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Crock Pot Crab Rangoon Dip

**originally posted on WGLR.com on 3-2-15**

One of my favorite things to get when we go out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant is Crab Rangoon. Oh, how I love them, dipped in sweet & sour sauce especially! So, when I came across this recipe online, I knew I had to try it! It isn’t bad, although I prefer it surrounded in a deep fried wonton wrapper! But this was quite tasty on a cracker, and easy to throw together. You could even use it as filling to make your own rangoon at home if you are feeling adventurous! For this recipe, use a small crock pot like the little dipper, or a 2.5 quart one (which is what I did).
crab dip

Crock Pot Crab Rangoon Dip

2 8oz bricks of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
4 Green Onions, chopped
1 1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 12oz Package Imitation Crab Meat, pulverized
Add all ingredients to the crock pot and mix together as well as you can (it helps to cube up the cream cheese). Cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring at least once. Serve on crackers or any dipper of your choice!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Crock Pot "No Fail" Macaroni and Cheese

*originally posted on www.WGLR.com on 2-24-15*

With another super duper cold snap upon us, I was craving some comfort food! One recipe in the crock pot that has not been a success for me in the past is mac n cheese. I made a recipe back in season 2 of The Crock of the Week, and it was good, but it wasn’t quite the creamy consistency I was looking for. I tried again last fall and failed miserably. It always curdled on me! I came across the recipe below online a few weeks ago, and the author of the blog had the exact same problems and frustration as me, and THIS is the recipe that worked for her. So I decided to try one more time, but if it didn’t work, I was never going to make mac n cheese in the crock pot ever again! Haha! Well, since I am sharing it with you this week, you can probably guess the outcome. It was AWESOME! The key is NO EGGS! Don’t use a crock pot recipe that calls for eggs in the ingredient list! This recipe uses a can of condensed cheddar soup in the mix, and I think that is what made it work so wonderfully. YUM YUM YUM!!!

Crock Pot “No Fail” Macaroni & Cheese

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons butter
18 oz grated medium cheddar cheese (about 2.5-3 cups)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil elbow macaroni in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Then, melt butter in a saucepan, and slowly stir in the grated cheddar cheese over low-med heat until it is completely melted. It should only take a few minutes, and stir almost constantly to avoid burning.
Transfer melted cheddar to the crock pot, and add in sour cream, milk, soup, dry mustard, and salt & pepper. Stir in partially cooked elbow macaroni. Cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring a few times. Keep an eye on it, as all crock pots cook differently. It was done in about an hour and 45 minutes for me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Cheesy Grits with Garlic Butter Shrimp



Ingredients
Grits:
  • 2 cups uncooked stone-ground grits
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
Shrimp:
  • 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/4 sticks butter, sliced into pats
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Combine grits and water in slow cooker and let grits settle to the bottom. Skim any solids off the top of the water. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Stir and add in cream, cheeses, salt, pepper and butter.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.
  4. Toss shrimp in olive oil and minced garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking tray.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until shrimp is pink, opaque and cooked through.
  6. Add butter directly to baking tray and toss shrimp in it.
  7. Spoon grits into bowls and add shrimp and butter on top.
  8. Serve warm.
Recipe found at 12tomatoes.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crock Pot Lemon Spoon Cake

**originally posted on www.WGLR.com on 2-9-15**

I was in Florida for a long weekend last week, and wow, did that make me desire spring and summer even more! I have had this recipe saved in my files to try for a long time, so I decided that I needed a taste of summer RIGHT NOW. Summer and fresh lemons go hand in hand, right? Plus, I LOVE lemon desserts. Lemon cake is a close second to chocolate, in my opinion. So, I tried this and wow! So delicious and moist and bursting with lemon flavor! It takes a bit of elbow grease to zest and juice the lemons (you’ll need about 4 for the whole recipe), but it was soooooooo worth it. It’s called a “spoon cake” because you spoon it out of the crock when it’s still warm and soft. Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you will have something to smile about. It is great when it’s warm right out of the crock pot, but I brought the leftovers to work the next morning and they were great, too. Making it in the crock pot, and the glaze over top makes the cake super moist, so you can enjoy it for a few days after you make it if you want. Good luck not eating it all in one sitting though if you love lemon cake like I do! That’s why I had to get the leftovers out of the house so I didn’t eat it all! 
**Disclaimer! The Husband thought it was “too lemony” (is that even possible??) so if you aren’t someone who adores lemon like me, you may want to cut back on the lemon juice a tad, and just add a bit more water to get the right amount of liquid needed. But I thought it was perfect!**
IMG_0051

CROCK POT LEMON SPOON CAKE

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (plus 2 tablespoons for glaze below)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (packed)
GLAZE:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
(You’ll use about 4 lemons total)
In a mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, 1/2 cup lemon juice, water, melted butter, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined, but don’t over mix. Spray a 6 quart crock pot with non-stick cooking spray or baking spray (I use Wilton’s cake Bake Easy spray). Pour batter into the crock pot and smooth it down evenly.
Cook on high for 1-2 hours, covered. Cook time will depend on your crock pot. I have a metal one, and it was perfectly done in 1 hour 15 minutes. It was just starting to brown on the edges and pull away, and was firm in the center. Check after an hour to see how yours is looking.
Before serving, mix up the glaze ingredients and put over the cake in the crock pot. Spoon it out to serve warm. Top with vanilla ice cream if desired. Makes about 8 servings.
Once the cake cools down it will be more firm to get out of the crock with a spatula, if you want to pack up leftovers.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Crock Pot Kalua Pork

**Originally posted on www.WGLR.com on 2-2-15***

This week's recipe was probably the easiest thing I have ever made in my crock pot. But that's not all, it was also one of the most delicious! It also took my husband back to our honeymoon in Maui when we ate it. Just 3 ingredients, and you will have many delicious meals from this recipe. It's Crock Pot Kalua Pork! It slow cooks for a loooooooong time (that isn't a typo in the recipe!) and cooking it so long is what makes it so so so tender. We enjoyed it in a lettuce wrap with some rice and barbecue sauce (the Husband used hoison sauce). It seriously tastes like the pulled pork we had in Maui from the pig in the pit that we ate at a luau. And it is so versatile! I used leftovers for pulled pork tacos. You could use it in so many ways, like on a sandwich, nachos, in a casserole, you name it. I used a shoulder blade roast, because that tends to be more lean, but still has enough fat to keep the pork moist and flavorful. I'm sure a loin roast would work, but I would reduce the cooking time so it doesn't dry out too much. But I had plenty of flavorful juices in my roast after cooking for 12 hours (my roast was about 2.5lbs, the recipe calls for 3lbs). No issues with drying out at all! You may be tempted to eat it just when it's "done," but don't! Let it slow cook as long as possible!
20150124_172438

CROCK POT KALUA PORK

  • 3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, remove any large chunks of fat
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon liquid mesquite smoke
Place pork in the crock pot and stab it all over with a knife. Rub sea salt all over the pork. Drizzle the liquid smoke all over the pork. Then, cook on low for 16 hours (yes, that is not a typo). Adjust cooking time if you have a different size roast, or if you know your crock pot cooks hot (some have their own personality!).
When done, remove from crock onto a platter. Remove any fat you may have missed before cooking, and then shred it all up with 2 forks. Remove any liquid from the crock pot (but don't toss it, I used some of it to put over leftovers in the fridge to help keep moist). Return the pork to the crock pot to keep warm for serving.