Beef Provencal

Yumm…that is all I can say about this recipe. If you like beef stew you will LOVE this recipe. It was rated #1 in the Cooking Light magazine for their “Best Recipes of All Time” and let me tell you, there is a reason why. It was amazing, melt in your mouth beef. I hope you like it as much as we did!Beef Provencal

Prep: 30-40 minutes

Cook: 5 hours on high

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups cooked medium egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles) (you can also serve over rice or mashed potatoes)
  • *add any other veggies: celery, mushrooms, etc.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300°. Heat large pan over low heat, pour oil in, add garlic and cook for 5 minutes (stirring occasionally). Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high heat and add beef to pan. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brown meet on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from pan and set aside. Add wine to pan and bring to a boil. Add back in garlic, beef, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the next 9 ingredients through bay leaf and bring to a boil. Pour everything into slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours. Discard the bay leaf and serve over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

*(The original recipe says this can be made in a dutch oven and cooked for 2.5 hours at 300F, which I would actually prefer. I don’t have my dutch oven right now so I used the slow cooker method)

Happy Eating!

Spicy Touchdown Chili

Last year I had two high school kids come to the door selling magazines. I subscribed to Taste of Home and, of course, I’m now obsessed. So many great recipes are shared from people all over the country…I love it! That being said, this spicy touchdown chili is now my favorite chili. I made a couple of changes, as noted below, and the chili was not very spicy. Next time I’ll probably add a couple more jalapenos and a little more chili powder just to spice it up.

Prep: 25 minutes (mainly just browning meat)

Cook: 4-5 hours on low

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork (original recipe calls for bulk pork sausage)
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with onions, undrained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp chili powder (original recipe calls for 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno (original recipe calls for pickled jalapeno slices)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink (drain if not using lean ground beef). Transfer to a 6-qt slow cooker. Next brown the pork in the same skillet the beef was in. Transfer to slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours.

Yield: 12 servings

Heidi’s Slow Cooker Carne Asada

My girlfriend Heidi gave me this recipe and I love it! It is super easy to throw together and extremely flavorful. I served it on tortillas with guacamole and romaine. Heidi suggested adding red onions and cilantro to the top too!

Prep: 12 minutes

Cook: about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs carne asada meat
  • 2 T cumin
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t pepper
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeño
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 10.5 ounces of beef broth

Directions: Rinse meet, pat dry, and put in slow cooker. Combine spices and run over the meat. Chop tomatoes, jalapeno, and sweet onion and pour on top of the meat. Lastly, pour 10.5 ounces of beef broth over the top. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Serves: about 4 people

Happy Eating 🙂

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili

This is quite the recipe. It is so incredibly easy and not to mention pretty darn healthy. For those of you that do not like quinoa, or are not sure if you like it, I promise you will like this recipe. My husband was so impressed that he couldn’t even taste the quinoa and loved the recipe!

Prep: under 10 minutes

Cook: on low for 6-8 hours (add more time if your chicken is frozen)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)- medium or hot
  • 2 16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15 oz can of corn, drained
  • 3 Cups chicken stock (I added 4 cups but it just depends how thick you like your chili)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Right before serving scoop chicken onto a plate and shred with two forks. Return chicken to slow cooker and serve with cheese, tortilla chips, etc. Whatever you like on your chili!

Serves: 6-7 bowls

This is the website where I got the original recipe:

http://queenbeecoupons.com/crock-pot-slow-cooker-quinoa-chicken-chili-recipe/

Happy Eating!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

French onion soup is just one of those soups that really hits the spot. It’s got an incredible amount of cheese, which is so stringy and delicious, then there’s the salty flavor of the broth, and then the bread layered on top. It’s pretty amazing. That being said…this recipe is kind of sneaky. Since it says “Slow Cooker” it appears to be a quick and easy recipe. That is not quite the case. Caramelizing the onions on the stove before adding them to the slow cooker takes about 45 minutes. So, do not make this recipe unless you have time one morning to caramelize onions. I love french onion soup so I definitely thought it was worth the effort!

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com

Prep: 45 minutes

Cook: 4-6 on low 6-8 on high

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large yellow onions- sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry
  • 7 cups reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 slices of french bread
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Mozzarella

Directions:

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onions until translucent, about 10 minutes. sprinkle onions with sugar and reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir onions constantly (I went back and forth between stirring and shredding) until onions are browned, about 30 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sherry to onion mixture. Pour onion mixture into Slow Cooker and add beef broth, sea salt, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover Slow Cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours (I cooked mine on high for 5 hours).

About 10 minutes before serving, broil french bread. To serve, dish up each bowl and add french bread and each type of cheese.

Serves 4

I hope you enjoy it!

Slow Cooker Sweet Pork

Oh my goodness my friends…it has been way too long since I last posted a recipe! I am finally getting settled into my new apartment and town and also GOT A JOB! Yay! So it’s been a little hectic around here, but the good news is I haven’t stopped cooking and now have many recipes to post on here!

This recipe was AA-MMM-AAAZZ-ING. My husband and I loved every bit of this meal and the leftovers. Each time we had the leftovers we were raving again about how delicious it was. Oh and it’s super easy so I hope you try it! This recipe is originally called Cafe Rio Pork however I have never eaten at a Cafe Rio so that means very little. It reminds me very much of a sweet pork I love from a restaurant back home…hence the name change.

Sweet Pork Tacos

Prep: 3 minutes

Cook: 5 hours on high or 7 hours on low

Ingredients:

  • Homemade style soft flour tortillas (I promise this actually makes a difference. I bought a brand titled Mi Mama’s Soft Flour Tortillas and they were amazing!)
  • 2-3 lbs pork (I used chops but I think any cut would work)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Season the pork with salt and pepper and place them in the slow cooker. Add brown sugar and salsa and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 5. Remove pork and trim fat if needed. Shred the pork (I usually use two forks and shred it very carefully so I don’t scratch my slow cooker). After shredding cook for about a half an hour longer so the pork can soak up more of the juices. Serve with lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and whatever else you like on your tacos!

Yields: a lot….at least 6 full tacos

Happy Eating 🙂

Slow Cooker Tips

I found these tips about slow cookers from All Recipes (http://allrecipes.com/howto/slow-cooking-is-good-cooking/)

I thought they were extremely informative and hopefully you will too!

Is Browning Better?

You don’t need to brown meat before cooking it in a slow cooker, but there are some advantages. If you sear it with a little oil in a hot skillet, the meat develops more complex flavors. Always brown ground beef or any ground meat before adding it to your slow cooker: otherwise, the meat will clump together and add lots of grease to the finished product.

Go Easy on the Juice

Because slow cookers work at low temperatures with lids on, there’s nowhere for the liquid to go, so it just collects on the lid and bastes the food. If you’re adapting your favorite recipes from the stovetop or oven to the slow cooker, decrease the amount of liquid you use.

Lightly Spice

Whole spices such as bay leaves, peppercorns, or cinnamon sticks will give slow cooker items a very intense flavor if left in the pot for the entire cooking time, so use them sparingly. Ground spices as well as fresh and dried herbs, on the other hand, can lose much of their flavor if allowed to simmer for several hours in the slow cooker. It’s better to add these items during the last two hours of cooking if you can manage it.

Sooner or Later

The slow cooker is one of the few cooking methods where you can cut the cooking time by turning up the temperature and still get great results. If something takes 10 hours on the “low” setting, you can safely cook it for 5 hours on the “high” setting with very similar results.

 

Huli Huli Chicken

I told you I’m obsessed with my slow cooker 😛 I decided to expand my horizons a little from American and Italian food and I am glad I did because this Hawaiian chicken was awesome!

I found this recipe on the same site as the Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin (http://joelens.blogspot.com/2012/02/12-more-crockpot-recipes-for-stress.html) and made it yesterday on the last day our friends were visiting from Idaho.  We had plans to run around all day, but also didn’t want to eat out for another meal so I decided a slow cooker meal was the best way to go. Again this is a really quick and easy recipe that is extremely flavorful. All four of us loved it and my husband and I are definitely putting this in our regular meal rotation

Prep: 20- 25 minutes (includes reducing the sauce for 10 minutes)

Cook: 4 to 6 hours on low (if you use boneless skinless chicken breasts the cooking time will be shorter…you can check if the chicken is done with a meat thermometer when it reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cups crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or gluten free tamari or liquid aminos)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated ginger
  • 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (or boneless skinless chicken breast if you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped mixed bell peppers
Directions:Simmer crushed pineapple, brown sugar, ketchup, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in medium saucepan until thickened and measures 1 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.

Coat slow cooker with cooking spray.  Transfer sauce to slow cooker.

Season chicken with salt & pepper, add to slow cooker and coat evenly with sauce.  Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

About 30 minutes before the chicken is done, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and when hot, add bell peppers. Sauté peppers until slightly softened and then transfer to the crockpot. Stir to combine and allow to finish cooking with the chicken.

Serve in a serving dish with juices. I served ours over jasmine rice which was delectable!

Yields: 4 servingsEven though I don’t freeze meals very often I always like to know what meals freeze well for times when life gets super busy. The website I got this recipe from included this tip on freezing the meal:

* To make ahead/freezer meal: Prepare the recipe above as directed. Instead of transferring the ingredients into a slow cooker, place in a gallon sized freezer bag. Remove excess air, seal, (label the bag with date and recipe name), and freeze. When ready to prepare, defrost bag completely and pour into a slow cooker. Cook 4 to 6 hours on low.

Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

I am truly obsessed with my slow cooker right now so I will be posting many slow cooker recipes in the next few weeks. I love the fact that I can throw together a meal early in the day, I love the way it makes the house smell, and I’ve read on several blogs how a slow cooker doesn’t heat up your house (and considering it’s over 100 here with extreme humidity right now I’m a big fan). I hope you try some of these recipes and get a little glimpse of why my slow cooker is my new favorite obsession 🙂

I made this Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin last week (from this site http://joelens.blogspot.com/2012/02/12-more-crockpot-recipes-for-stress.html) and my husband and I both really liked it. I did have a problem with the sauce…there wasn’t enough and thickening it didn’t work for us…so I have adapted the recipe to my liking. The pork was very tender and the sauce was sweet and so flavorful.

Prep: 10- 15 minutes

Cook: on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3.5 to 4.5 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard or country-style
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or Maple Sugar Seasoning

Directions:

Wash and trim the pork and pat dry; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place pork in the slow cooker. Combine garlic, mustard, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, thyme and maple syrup for the sauce (feel free to add a little extra of everything if you prefer more sauce to pour over the pork when serving); pour over the pork in slow cooker. Turn pork to coat thoroughly. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

Remove pork to a plate and serve sliced with the juices poured over the top. (The original recipe called for pouring the juices in a saucepan and thickening them by adding cornstarch and cold water…it was way too thick- plus I just prefer a sauce over a glaze- and there wasn’t very much sauce to simmer and reduce so I will eliminate this step the next time I make it).

Yields: 4 servings

We ate this with a side of bread and roasted asparagus with balsamic browned butter!

Happy Eating 🙂

Slow Cooker Green Chile Flank Steak

So it will be good for me to tell you early on that I AM A PINTEREST ADDICT! And the main thing I pin is food. So many of the recipes you will see on my blog I have found on pinterest. That being said I got this recipe from: http://www.lifetimemoms.com/food-family-recipes/blog/flank-steak-recipe?cmpid=CNP_LTMAffil_ShannonShaffer

Even though the recipe has green chiles in it, we used half of the can, it was not spicy at all and just sooo deliciously flavorful! It has to be noted that my husband called this recipe “melt in your mouth flank steak” so needless to say it was a hit!

Prep: 15-20 minutes

Cook: 4-6 hours depending on whether you want it sliced or shredded

Ingredients:

  • 1 Flank Steak –  about 1 3/4 lbs (cut in half)
  • 1 small can of green chiles (we just used half)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced (depending on taste)

Directions:

In a small pan, brown flank steak in olive oil on both sides.

Add all ingredients to slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours if you would like the steak sliced, cook 5-6 hours if you prefer it shredded. (Seriously can it get any easier? Gotta love this recipe!)

Yields: 8 servings

We had this flank steak with our favorite Summertime Mac & Cheese and Oven Roasted Broccoli (both on the blog). I was in the kitchen for awhile (on and off the last two hours before we ate) though so if you want something quick and easy I would do a side of bread and green beans or a salad.

My parents have their leftover flank steak on sourdough bread with dijon mustard the next day…I highly suggest trying this…it’s awesome!