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Friday, January 27, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Recipes of the Challenge

Last week, it was brought to a couple of folks' attentions that I had a Crock Pot blog....who knew!!??  After opening the blog and taking a peek at a couple of the recipes, it proved overwhelming to the newcomers.  After all, there was over a year's worth of recipes on there!  So, as requested:

Top Ten Favorite Recipes of The Challenge!

10. Week 40 : Felicia's Fiesta Chicken
9.   Week 45 : Kayte's Kickin' Chicken
8.   Week 16 : Stuffed Peppers
7.   Week 5 : Emergency Chicken Noodle Soup
6.   Week 14 : Spinach Pesto Lasagna
5.   Week 48 : Tortellini Meatball Soup
4.   Week 44 : Caramel Apple Cider
3.   Week 34 : Cincinnati Chili
2.   Week 2 : French Dip
1.   Week 1 : Crock Pot Chili

Now, I had 52 recipes to choose from.  This was a hard decision!  And I certainly had some close runner ups:  Week 7 : Fruit Cobbler; Week 11 : Hot Buttered Rum; Week 25 : Chipotle Taco Meat;  Week 28 : White Chicken Chili; Week 36 : Swedish Meatloaf.

So, if you are new to the blog or new to a slow cooker, here are a couple of recipes to get you started.  Easy to make, tested by me, and guaranteed to please!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Recipe 56 : Hot Broccoli Dip

2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
1/2 red bell pepper
16 ou. ranch dip
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place broccoli and red pepper in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Put all ingredients in Crock Pot and cook on LOW for about 1 hour or until cheese is melting.

I thought that since the Super Bowl is just around the corner, I would do a good appetizer recipe!  I made this dip for a Bunco party and it was a hit.  I just served this with plain crackers.  Wasn't quite sure what else to serve it with, however, I think that with the left overs (if there is any) it would be good poured over a baked potato.  I apologize for the lack of picture, but this is one of those recipes that is not too photogenic.  This recipe came from the Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Recipe 55 : Praline Apple Crisp

6 medium apples, sliced
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup toffee bits

Put apples and cinnamon into a Ziploc bag; shake until apples are coated with cinnamon.  Pour apples into a greased Crock Pot.  Mix remaining ingredients together and spoon over the top of the apples.  Cook on LOW 4-6 hours.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

This is a perfect winter recipe to use up all those apples you bought and haven't gotten around to eating!  I even made this almost sugar free!  I used the Splenda version of brown sugar and sugar free ice cream.  The only sugar in this is the small amount of toffee added in the mix- which could easily be taken out.  I've never used the toffee bits before- they can be found in the baking aisle right next to the chocolate chips.  I let this cook for about 5 hours, although it probably would have been finished at 4 hours.  Also wondering if using peaches would be just as delicious ( have to wait some more months to try that out though! ).  This recipe came from Pillsbury's Best Slow Cooker Recipes cook book.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe 54 : Chicken Marsala

8 chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 ou. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour

Mix garlic and olive oil on the bottom of the slow cooker, covering the entire bottom.  Line the chicken breast along the pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Dump all of the mushrooms on top of the chicken and pour in the wine.  Cook on LOW for about 5 hours.  Carefully remove chicken.  Mix water and flour together until smooth and mix with juices from the chicken.  Cook on HIGH for about 30 minutes.  Add chicken back to the pot and heat until the chicken is warm again.

This recipe is A-MAZ-ING!!!  And so easy to make.  I served this with a serving of orzo pasta and some fresh steamed broccoli.  I cannot eat a whole chicken breast, so I used 4 and cut them in half.  I have never used Marsala wine before while cooking.  You can do one of two things.  You can go to the liquor store and buy real Marsala wine (always a fine idea to go to the liquor store) or you can do what I did and buy the cooking wine from the grocery store.  The recipe called for canned mushrooms, but I used fresh- they taste so much better.  The amount of mushrooms appears to be a lot, but they cook down quickly.  The recipe also calls for cornstarch, but I didn't have any, so I just substituted flour.  In short, this recipe is wonderful and even worthy of serving to dinner guests.