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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 19 : Stacey's Pot O' Beans

1 can Original Bush's Baked Beans
2 cans cut green beans
2 cans Italian green beans
2 cans wax beans
1 can butter beans
1 can black beans
1 can navy beans
1 pkg spicy pork sausage
1 pkg Kielbasa sausage
1 cup brown sugar

Pour entire can of baked beans into pot.  Drain and rinse remaining beans; add to pot.  Brown sausage and slice Kielbasa; stir into beans.  Mix in 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Cook on LOW about 5 hours adding another 1/2 cup brown sugar halfway through cooking.

WOW this recipe is delicious!!  Thank you to Stacey R. for passing this one along.  Any recipe that is requested at an annual family gathering has to be a winner!  Now for some tips.  Per Stacey, the Bob Evans "zesty" pork sausage is what tastes good in here.  That is what I used and it added a nice kick.  Not looking for spicy?  Use the regular pork sausage.  To prepare the Kielbasa, I sliced it and then halved the slices.  I like the smaller bite-sized pieces.  Be sure to stir these beans a couple of times while cooking to distribute the different flavors.  However, be sure to be gentle when you stir so you don't break up the beans- they're fragile!  I'm sure you could play around with the different beans to make this your own, but I followed Stacey's recipe exactly and it turned out wonderful.  Now, I usually don't mind substituting sausages with turkey sausage because I think it is flavored by the various different spices in the recipe.  However, the sausages in this recipe are what give it the flavor.  I wouldn't suggest the substitution in this case.  And lastly, use your big pot and invite a crowd!!! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 18: Sweet and Spicy Pork Roast

1 pork roast
1 each yellow, red, orange bell pepper
limes, quartered
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
Dijon mustard
orange marmalade
red pepper flakes

Place pork roast into pot.  Cut up peppers in large chunks and mix with quartered limes and pineapple chunks; add to pot.  Mix about equal parts marmalade and Dijon mustard- enough that you think will cover the roast.  Add red pepper flakes to taste.  Pour over roast and cook on LOW about 8 hours.

I was very excited to make this recipe because it sounded so delicious and looked so pretty in the pot before cooking it.  In short, it didn't taste anywhere near what it looked like.  This recipe turned out very bitter- we decided it was the lime that overpowered everything else.  It was also pretty dry.  I think it might taste ok if the lime and pineapple were added more towards the end or the lime was left out altogether.  We served it with rice and broccoli...thankfully we had something to eat.  My plan is to take the rest of the roast, shred it, and add a ton of bbq sauce.  Everything tastes better with bbq sauce!!

The best part of the day though...a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park while this pot was cooking.  These little guys were right along the side of the road and posed nicely for some pics for us!  (Hmmmm, anyone have a recipe for Big Horn rack of lamb!?!?)  Since this truly was the highlight of the day, I thought it worthy of posting here.  Perhaps instead of making this meal, try Ed's Cantina in Estes Park where we ate lunch!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Week 17 : Amy's Spicy Shredded Beef Sandwiches

3-4 lb rump roast
1 tall jar peppericini pepper slices

Place roast and jar of undrained peppers in Crock Pot.  Cook on LOW for about 9 hours.  Shred beef.  Serve on toasted hoagie roll with provolone cheese.

That's it.  Nope, you didn't miss a step.  Nope, you didn't miss an ingredient.  Perhaps the easiest recipe I have posted to date!  And very tasty.  The peppers definitely give this recipe a spicy bite, so no extra ingredients are necessary.  I had this with roasted red potatoes and jello.  Yep.  I said jello.  Sometimes, it just sounds good!  Thanks to Julie Z. for donating her friend Amy's recipe. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week 16 : Stuffed Peppers

5 green bell peppers
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c instant rice, uncooked
1 onion, chopped
1 egg
Worcestershire sauce
1 can stewed or diced tomatoes
1 large can tomato juice

Cut tops off of peppers and rinse out.  (I always cut around the stem like cutting the top off a pumpkin- see pic below.)  Mix remaining ingredients, except tomatoes and juice, together in a separate bowl.  Stuff peppers.  Place in pot and pour tomatoes and juice over top.  Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.  Serve over rice or egg noodles.

This is an old favorite family recipe that I have adapted to the Crock Pot.  You can also make this in a large pot on the stove- just boil for an hour or two, until the meat is cooked through.  I threw these in the pot a few years ago when I wanted to eat them for dinner but didn't have the time to watch them on the stove.  So easy to make and always turns out great!  Some people like to add a small amount of sour cream to the tomato juice just prior to serving.  Make sure both the rice and ground beef are uncooked when you stuff the peppers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 15 : Strawberry Jam

4 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice

PUT THE CROCK POT AWAY!!!  Words I thought I would never say on this blog!  (I will explain in a minute.)  Slice and mash strawberries into a large pot.  Add sugar.  Simmer at a slow roll, on the stove, for about 1 hour.  Add lemon juice.  Let come to room temperature and enjoy!

So I'm shopping at Costco and I see this wonderful flat of strawberries.  Immediately they made their way into my cart.  Then, I arrived home and panicked- what was I going to do with 4 lbs of strawberries!?!?  Immediately my mind went to, of course, the Crock Pot.  I went online and tried to find a recipe.  There were plenty that said they were "simple".  So, I chose the easiest and got to work.  10 hours later, I had Strawberry Slop.  It was runny, however, it tasted wonderful.  Determined to get this one right, I doubled the pectin and started over.  Happy with my decision, I flipped the Crock Pot to LOW and went to sleep.  This morning, I woke to the smell of strawberry jam and couldn't wait to see if my idea had worked.  I went down the steps and turned the corner into the single worst kitchen disaster I have ever seen.  Biblical proportions!!  Some time during the night, the lid had come loose and there was Strawberry Goo EVERYWHERE!  As I was cleaning the counter, the wall, the floor, the heating element of the Crock Pot, and anything else within a 12 foot radius of the evil gunk, I was truly disappointed that this recipe didn't work out.  What was left in the pot was the exact same runny concoction that I already had.  And now I had a craving for Strawberry Jam.  So, I decided that the Crock Pot had beaten me, and I went to the stove.  This recipe has to be fail proof.  SO simple and really delicious.  And best, easy to clean up!  We will return to the Crock Pot next week!  (Sorry to let you down this week- can't win 'em all!)

I guess that is the point of this blog.  To make the mistakes so you don't have to!  But I know nothing about making jam.  Anyone out there make jam or jelly?  Any way to fix the 2 very large containers of runny strawberry sauce I have?  (It would be delicious heated and poured over vanilla ice cream, but I want jam!)  And anyone know how to get strawberry jam out of tile grout?!?

In my frenzy to find a good recipe, I looked at a ton and forgot to mark which one I actually used!  This is not my recipe and I am sorry if I stole it from you without giving you the credit you deserve.