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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Week 31 : Disastrous Tuna Casserole

2 1/2 cups dry noodles
1 tea salt
1/2 chopped onion
12 ou canned tuna
1 can cream of mushroom soup
half a can of water
1/2 cup cheese of your choice
1 cup frozen peas

Mix all ingredients, except peas, together in Crock Pot.  Cook on LOW 6-8 hours.  Add peas during last 20 minutes of cooking.

Oh no!  What every food blogger fears- a disastrous turn out!  I know what you're thinking.  Uhhhh, isn't tuna casserole easy enough without using a Crock Pot?  Well, yes.  It is.  That was my point.  I will admit that I wanted to cheat a bit this week and just throw something together that was easy and a no brainer.  Sigh, that's what I get for trying to slack at Week 31!  Terrible!  Only one word describes the consistency of this recipe...MUSH!  I didn't even cook it for the full amount of time and the edges were black and crispy.  Now, I have to soak the pot over night!!!  Oh, sorry guys!  I'm not revealing the source of this recipe this week!

Now, with tuna casserole you either love it or you hate it.  Growing up, it was a treat to get this because my dad never liked it.  We would ask for this when he went traveling for work!  Still, there are days when I wake up and crave tuna casserole.  It's so easy and such comfort food.  Also, only one of the very few ways I will eat peas!  Every family has their own version of this recipe.  I thought I would share my family's recipe here and make up for the mess I created!

Mom's Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 can tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3/4-1 soup can of milk
1 cup frozen peas
1 bag egg noodles, cooked
1 cup bread crumbs

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except bread crumbs.  Pour into casserole dish.  Sprinkle bread crumbs (can also use crushed crackers or potato chips) over top of casserole.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.  Enjoy- this one tastes great!

So, this week I am thankful that I always keep a spare package of chicken breasts in the freezer.  I'm going to go fire up the grill now and pull out the leftover pasta salad in the fridge!  Better luck next week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 30 : Wild Rice with Cranberries and Almonds

1 cup long grain brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
2 cans vegetable broth
1 small can mushrooms, undrained
1 bunch green onions
1/2 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Place all ingredients except almonds and cranberries into slow cooker.  Stir together.  Cook on LOW for about 5 hours.  Mix in almonds and cranberries and let cook for about 15 minutes.

An easy side dish that tastes delicious!  Just a warning on this recipe though.  The consistency and texture were not at all what I expected.  Instead of a rice texture it came out more like stuffing/dressing.  This would be perfect to stuff inside chicken, turkey, cornish hens, pork chops....  And the cranberries add an extra sweetness to the mix.  I think it could use a dash or two more of salt, but I am always very cautious about adding salt to the Crock Pot.  I had this with simple marinated chicken breasts in the oven and asparagus. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week 29 : Dill Pot Roast

1 beef pot roast
1 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
2 tea dried dill weed, divided
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs vinegar
4 Tbs flour
1/2 cup water
2 cups fat free sour cream

Rub salt, pepper and dill over pot roast.  Pour water and vinegar into pot.  Place roast inside.  Cook on LOW about 8 hours.  Remove roast and keep warm.  Mix flour and water in separate bowl and then add to juice in Crock Pot.  Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.  Add sour cream to sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Serve roast with sauce poured over top.

When you hear the words "Crock Pot", what is the first thing that comes to mind (besides The Crock Pot Challenge, of course)?  Pot Roast.  I realized that even though the Crock Pot was made to make a good pot roast, I haven't posted a recipe for it yet!!  I just assumed that everyone knows how- put a roast, some water and a packet on onion soup mix in the pot and there ya go!  And there is nothing wrong with that.  But how about an updated version of an old favorite!?  This recipe gives a new twist to the same old pot roast.  The dill sauce that accompanies this recipe is really tasty!  I always like to add red potatoes in with my roast to cook as well.  Sometimes I will put carrots in there too- the regular, big carrots (the mini carrots get too soggy).  This week I served this roast with corn, potatoes and bread.  This recipe came from the Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 28 : White Chicken Chili

1 large green pepper, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs plus 1/2 tea cumin
1 1/2 tea coriander
2 lbs chicken breasts
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbs lime juice
1/2 tea salt

Combine all peppers, onion, garlic, 1 Tbs cumin and 1 tea coriander in large skillet.  Saute in olive oil about 6-10 minutes or until all are soft.  Pour into Crock Pot.  Place chicken on top.  Pour beans and broth into the pot.  Cook on LOW 6 hours or HIGH 4 hours.  Remove chicken and shred; place back into Crock Pot.  Add 1/2 tea each of cumin and coriander.  Add lime juice and salt.  Serve with tortillas topped with sour cream and cheese.

I'm not really sure where this recipe came from!  I found it in my collection as a photo copied picture out of a magazine- Family Circle it says.  If you provided this recipe for me, thank you!  This turned out great!  A few tips...The original recipe for this called for poblano peppers.  I am still trying to figure out the difference between all the different types of peppers.  The grocery store I happened upon did not have poblano peppers, but the Anaheim peppers looked similar, so that's what I ended up with.  When cutting up the peppers, be careful!  The jalapenos especially can cause some problems- burning sensation to fingertips, painful watery eyes, that weird coughing fit you get when you accidentally inhale to deeply!   Be sure to discard of the seeds immediately, since these seem to be the usual source of the problems.  I will admit that I cheat and wear gloves while I chop them up!  However, if you are of the braver sort, my friend, Rachel F., says that washing your hands with olive or vegetable oil after handling the little suckers will rid your hands of the nasty oils!  If you try this, let me know how it works out.  Otherwise, just hop on over to the pharmacy section of the grocery store and they will point you in the direction of some protection (gloves people, gloves!).  I will admit that when I looked into the pot after this had cooked for about 5 hours I was sorely disappointed.  It appeared to be colorful chicken broth with 3 chicken breasts floating in it.  I thought I had come up with another watery dud.  Woefully, I pulled the chicken out and shredded it.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I returned the chicken to the pot and the consistency turned out normal.  Maybe just a little watery, so I turned the pot to WARM and left the lid slightly ajar for the last hour of cooking, in order to let some of the liquid escape.  Voila!  Perhaps next time I make this, I will add just a little less chicken broth or maybe one more chicken breast.  But the flavor is wonderful!  The recipe also called to top this with cilantro.  I am not a huge fan of cilantro, so I chose to leave it off and top with sour cream and cheese instead.  This would also be good with avocados or guacamole on top.  And, of course, I used the raw tortillas mentioned a few weeks back.  (I know for sure they can be found at Costco and Walmart.  Once you try them, no other tortilla will be good enough!)