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Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 6: Super Bowl Bean Dip

1 can prepared chili, with beans
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can diced green chilies
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese

Cut Velveeta cheese into large chunks.  Place all ingredients in pot.  Cook on HIGH for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring about halfway through.  Serve with tortilla chips, Frito's.....

Okay, let's get it out of the way first...Velveeta.  Since Super Bowl weekend is really about gluttony, and a little about a football game, I decided this was a good time to provide the one and only recipe I routinely make that involves the "prepared cheese product."  Don't actually know where this recipe came from.  I have enjoyed this one for YEARS!!  I am not a huge fan of Velveeta, but this recipe is to die for!  I promise, no more Velveeta in the remaining recipes!  This recipe goes fast, so if you are expecting a big crowd or are bringing it to a potluck, double the recipe.  After the cheese is all melted, turn the pot to LOW or WARM to prevent the cheese from burning.  You can also make this in the oven, however I have a few reasons to use the pot.  First, your oven will probably already be full of wings, potato skins, and the like.  This just takes a little counter room, and fits in nicely on your buffet.  Second, this is a Crock Pot blog!  It's fun to use!  And last, during the 4th quarter of the game, the hot wings are cold, the ranch dip is warm, and the lettuce on the 12 foot sub is wilting.  But, the bean dip in the crock pot will still be hot!  Good luck on your football pools and enjoy the bean dip (in between the new commercials, of course)!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 5: Emergency Chicken Noodle Soup

8 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 onion, chopped
4-5 celery stalks, chopped
baby carrots, halved
1 cooked rotisserie chicken
1 tea thyme
1/2 tea sage
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 pkg frozen noodles, thawed

Place chicken broth, water, wine, onion, carrots, celery and spices in pot.  Turn on low.  Remove all skin and meat from rotisserie chicken.  Discard the skin. Cube or shred the chicken and place in the fridge.  Place the chicken carcass in the pot.  Cook on low for about 7-8 hours.  About an hour before you think the soup is done (it's finished when the vegetables become tender), remove the carcass and put the meat in.  The noodles can be added for the last 30 minutes.  Served with crackers, bread, grilled cheese....

This recipe was not planned for this week!  However, it became a necessity when I succumbed to the winter respiratory illness season!  Not really wanting much to eat except something that would soothe my throat and clear my sinuses, I decided on soup.  Now, I could have just opened a can...but my pantry was bare!  Since I had to go to the store anyways, I decided I would just spend a little extra time and buy the ingredients for this fresh, delicious concoction!

Some tips...The rotisserie chicken is a great addition to this soup.  So easy and it adds just a bit more flavor!  If you wanted to use chicken breasts instead, cube them and place in the pot in the beginning with everything else.  I would recommend 3-4 breasts.  The onions, celery and carrots are not set in stone...keep chopping until you think you have enough!  The spices are also not set in stone.  Spices are very personal and differ from household to household!  More or less of any spice can be added here- however, I caution you.  Spices are amplified in the crock pot.  If you have never made chicken soup before, start with these measurements and tinker later!  Also, if sage and thyme aren't for you, click on Robin's blog over to the right and she has a great chicken soup recipe that calls for garlic.  The parsley doesn't have to be fresh.  You can substitute with dried parsley, just use about 1/3 of the amount.  You can use any noodles, spaghetti, stars, spirals...any pasta will do.  I prefer the Grandma's Frozen Noodles.  They taste more like dumplings than noodles to me.  Whichever pasta you use will soak up some of the broth.  The measurements above should keep you "soupy", but if you notice too much of the broth is disappearing, just add more.  You can also pre-cook the noodles and add them right before serving.  This recipe makes a ton- but freezes very well.

The best thing about this recipe when you're feeling under the weather?  Turn the crock pot on, take some more cold medicine, and go back to bed!  It will be waiting for you when you wake up!  Here's to good health the rest of the winter!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Crock Pot Challenge Explained!

So, many people are asking lots of questions about this blog.  What is a blog?  What is a follower and how do I follow? I thought I would just take a minute to answer some of these questions.

This blog is just a way for you to follow my culinary experiment!  So many times people ask me for recipes- now you have them!  I was looking for some new recipes and trying to spice up my weekly menu- now I have them!  Like I said before, this is just an experiment.  Many of these recipes I have not tried before and have no idea how they are going to turn out.  I am also taking recipes I've had for years and seeing if there is a way to adapt them to the crock pot.  Most of the recipes I make can be made using other methods, so if you want a quicker way to make them, let me know and I will be happy to figure it out with you!  And, just playing with the crock pot- desserts, appetizers, drinks....items I've never made in the crock pot before.  I am open to recipe suggestions as well!

Speaking of you have a suggestion for a recipe posting you see here?  A tip on how to improve the taste or make the recipe easier to make?  Write a comment to me.  At the bottom of every recipe there is a comment section.  I realize (although it is hard to imagine!) that there may be times when some of you don't enjoy the recipes posted.  I welcome ideas on how to improve!

To be able to post a comment, you have to become a follower.  There is really not much involved with this.  In the upper right hand corner of the blog there is a colorful tab that reads "FOLLOW".  Click on it!  If you have a Google, Twitter, or Yahoo account, it is very easy.  After you click "Follow", there will be 3 more tabs labeled with these 3 accounts.  If you have one, click on the tab and enter your email address and password.  Then click on the tab that says "Follow This Blog".  That's it!  You're done!  If you don't have any of these accounts, you only have one more step.  There is a smaller link below that says "Create a Google Account".  Click on this, enter your EXISTING email address and you're done!  Easy as Crock Pot Soup!  Once you are a follower, you can comment away!  Also, I'm hoping that by people becoming followers, it will help them to keep interest, and not fade away after week 33!  I also encourage people to tell their friends about this blog.  The more the merrier- a crock pot recipe makes a ton to share!

Navigating around this blog is very easy.  Obviously, when you open the site, this week's posting is displayed.  Hopefully a pic, the recipe, and my own special tips!  Easy.  To the upper right hand corner, as described above, is the Followers section.  Right below that, there is my list of blogs I am following.  Random Kitchen Adventures With Robin is another cooking blog authored by a friend of mine.  Robin's blog has great tips, recipes, pics- it's got it all, and you don't need to own a crock pot to use her recipes! So, if you are looking to put the crock pot away for a week (don't forget about it!) or looking for a scrumptious dessert to go with your creation, click on the link! Coming soon- Cancer Awareness Info, a new blog I'm helping a friend develop.  It's still a work in progress, but it is authored by a breast cancer survivor who wants to share her potentially life saving information with as many people as possible.  Below these links, is the Archive.  This has all the previous week's recipes.  Feel free to browse and have fun!

So that's it!  That's my blog!  I am really excited to get this, and keep this, rolling!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 4: Jambalaya

1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 minced garlic clove
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tea chili powder
1 tea pepper
1 tea oregano
1/2 tea onion powder
1/2 tea thyme
1/4 tea garlic salt
1 bay leaf
32 ou chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1 tea hot sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
6 ou smoked sausage
1 lb shrimp

Add all ingredients, except shrimp, to crock pot.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Add shrimp during last 30 minutes of cooking.

This recipe was so easy and turned out wonderful!  I just ate it with bread.  I found the recipe online and then adapted it for the crock pot, with a few minor changes.  I used smoked turkey sausage to cut out some of the fat.  Also used lowfat, low sodium chicken broth.  For the shrimp, I just used pre-cooked frozen shrimp.  Make sure to use regular rice and not instant.  Also a great recipe to change and make your own.  If you don't like sausage or shrimp, leave one out!  Also add chicken thighs or cubed chicken breasts with the sausage at the beginning.  This was my first attempt at rice in the crock pot and I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out perfect.  I did some research and found that to cook rice properly in the crock pot, use 2 cups of liquid to every 1 cup of rice.  However, as this was cooking, the liquid disappeared and  I ended up adding 4 cups of broth to 1 cup rice.  If you use this recipe on the stove instead of the crock pot, make sure to cut out some of the broth.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Week 3: Beef Barley Soup

1 1/2 lbs stew meat, cut into small cubes
3 T. vegetable or olive oil
1 tea salt
1 tea pepper
2 tea garlic powder
32 ou beef broth
6 cups water
4 stalks celery, chopped
6-8 carrots, cut into larger chunks
1 medium onion, chunky
1 pkg mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh dill, whole
1 cup barley

Saute beef in oil until cooked throughout.  Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Drain.  Place all ingredients in crock pot on low for about 6-8 hours.  I served this with cinnamon monkey bread.

I made up this recipe after reading multiple different ones on  I think it needs some more salt and pepper.  I am not a huge salty fan, so I just added salt and pepper as I dished it out.  There are several monkey bread recipes on as well!  The one I used was "Monkey Bread with a Twist"- I just used the frozen raw biscuit dough instead of the refrigerated and added handfuls of raisins along with the apples.  See the link below for this recipe!

Week 2: French Dip

1 rump roast
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1 pkg dry au jus gravy mix
2 cups beef broth

Place all ingredients in pot.  Cook high 5-6 hours, low 10-12 hours.  Thinly slice or shred roast. Pour juice through a strainer.  I toasted hoagie rolls in the oven and placed a piece of provolone cheese on it- 'til melted and bubbly!  Served with mashed potatoes makes a wonderful, filling meal!

This recipe came from one of my favorites- Fix-It and Forget-It:  Feasting with Your Slow Cooker.  It calls to slice the onion, but I am not a fan of eating the onions.  Quartering the onion instead of chopping or slicing makes it easy to add the onion for flavor and easy to remove prior to eating.

Week 1: Crockpot Chili

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 large can diced green chilies
1 can black beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can chili beans in sauce, undrained
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tea tabasco sauce, plus more to taste
2 tea chili powder
2 tea cumin

Saute onion, beef, green chilis first.  Drain.  Add all ingredients to crockpot.  Cook 2-5 hours on low.  Serve with sour cream, cheese, green onions, fritos, oyster crackers....whatever you wish!

This recipe was given to me about 10 years ago (oh boy, has it been that long Erin!?!?) .  I have been adding and adjusting since.  I think I have perfected it- for my taste anyways!

Welcome to the Challenge!


Welcome to The Crock pot Challenge!  Recently, I have fallen back in love with my crock pot and have used it every week this year so far!  I decided that I should share my recipes and creations with anyone who wants to read them.  I am going to try to experiment and have 52 weeks of Crock pot Cookery!  Obviously, I don't have 52 crock pot recipes up my sleeve, so many of these will be new to me as well.  Feel free to send me ideas, as I'm sure there will be times when I need a helping hand!  I am not going to give a guarantee that these will all be edible, but I am going to try a recipe every week this year!  The first 3 will be photo-less since I have already enjoyed them, but I will hope to post some pictures so this doesn't look so wordy!  I will try appetizers, main entrees, drinks, desserts, anything that sounds delectable and worth a try!  It is so easy to just throw some ingredients into a pot and have the house smelling wonderful in the evening when you are ready for dinner!  So, dig through those kitchen cabinets and dust off the ol' crock pot!  Hope you enjoy!