Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vegetable Garden Soup

Add to the crock pot:

2 15oz cans red kidney beans, undrained
2 14oz cans cut tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 carrots, sliced or shredded (my kids prefer shredded)
2-4 small potatoes, diced (I leave the skin on)
2 small zucchini, diced
2 small yellow squash, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced - no seeds (optional)
1/2 cup dry lentils (optional)
4 TBSP parsley
10 shakes of paprika
4 shakes cayenne pepper (red pepper)
4-6 TBSP Au Jus Gravy powder or 2-3 1oz packets

Pour over the top: 4 cups boiling water
Cover and cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours, or until your veggies are tender.

During the last hour, add:

1 cup frozen peas and/or 1 cup frozen corn
(We prefer the frozen corn)

*My pickiest eaters will not touch this with a ten foot pole. However, I HAD to include it. It's one of my most favorite vegetable soups on earth, and sooooo easy to do in the crock pot. All your chopping and dicing is done and cleaned up well before dinner time, you know I LOVE that! This soup just speaks "summer garden" and makes me feel so healthy...haha! Just make sure you cook it long enough to get all of your veggies tender. It's a FULL pot. You could cut the recipe in half and still have tons of soup.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Creamy Italian Chicken Spaghetti

Cover and cook in the crock pot:

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 14oz can of chicken broth + 2 Italian dressing packets -OR- 1 cup Italian dressing

HIGH 4-5 hours or LOW 6-7 hours

About 30 minutes before serving, remove the chicken, dice it and return it to the sauce. Add:

8 oz cream cheese

Cook on LOW for another 30 minutes, stir a few times to incorporate the cream cheese into the sauce.

Separately cook 16-22oz dry spaghetti. Drain and add to the sauce in the crock pot. Stir together and serve right away. If you don't like to pre-mix the pasta and the sauce, serve separately. With my clan, it's easier to mix all together before we eat.

*This can be spaghetti, or you can be really fancy by changing your pasta shape...ha! I don't have to tell you that this is a crowd pleaser, especially a crowd of kids. They LOVED it here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Berry Cobbler

Dump into the crock pot and stir together:

2/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
6 cups mixed berries, frozen or fresh
(I did fresh blackberries and frozen strawberries)

Cover and Cook on LOW 4 hours or until bubbly.

Separate bowl, mix for topping:

2 cups flour
4 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cut in 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) - it will be crumbly

Stir in, just until moistened:

1/2 cup milk (I was out and used canned milk)
2 beaten eggs

Drop TBSP size mounds on top of the hot fruit mixture - single layer, evenly spaced. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes. It will not brown, but will be cooked.

Scoop out and serve with ice cream if you like.

*Hold onto your hat...this one rocks!!! Cobbler in the summer without turning on the oven, we're in heaven! YUM. We even kept it on the warm setting and enjoyed it later in the evening. The biscuit topping in this recipe isn't super sweet, I prefer it that way. It would be good even WITHOUT the ice cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beef Brisket

Marinate a 4-6 lb beef brisket, trimmed if you like for 12-24 hours in the fridge. (I just put mine in the marinade the night before.)


1 can beef broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic
2 TBSP liquid smoke

The next morning, place the beef brisket into the crock pot with about half of the marinade liquid. (Discard the rest of the marinade.) Cook on LOW at least 8 hours, ALL DAY. Cooking on LOW is the key. Shred with forks, it should just fall apart. Drain the liquid if you like, I left mine in to keep the meat from drying out and just used a fork to serve it without the liquid.

Serve with steamed rice, potatoes or our favorite: Sesame Noodles from Tasty Kitchen.

*Ok, so this one will take a bit of planning ahead, but oh my heck...sooooo good!!! We loved this. It's summer time, so I loved that it didn't heat the house up. The sesame noodles were perfect with it. Leftovers, yay! It was a big hit, a definite repeat recipe.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Dumplings

Add to the crock pot:

4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cans of chicken broth (about 8 cups)
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
3 peeled and diced potatoes
1-2 cups frozen, fresh or canned veggies
diced onion or onion powder

Cook on HIGH 4-5 hours, dice the chicken and then return it to the soup.

In separate bowl for the dumplings:

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1/2 tsp favorite herb (thyme, sage, etc...optional)

Combine and then slowly add 1/2 cup COLD water, mixing gently
Drop small balls of dough, approx 1/2 TBSP into the soup.

Cook another 1-2 hours on HIGH.

*This was completely GONE tonight...I think everyone was hungry and it was a big hit. My 9 year old said it was better than macaroni and cheese and he could eat it every two weeks. I'd say that makes it a hit. This could easily be modified to suit your tastes.