Sunday, December 26, 2010

My favorite Stocking Stuffer!

I hope you all survived Christmas!  If you're anything like our family, you've probably got at least 1-2 more parties before you're done!  I thought I'd share a little picture of my favorite stocking stuffer yesterday (since the French Toast Casserole was a disaster!)  Enjoy!  I'll be back to more recipes later this week!

2 boxes even!!!!  Jackpot!!!

(This is also proof that I've been sitting my butt on the couch like I'm supposed too!)
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As some of you have noticed, I've had NO plan this week!  Well, we went on a little mini family vacation and since I'm on bedrest, it wasn't too exciting!  LOL  When we got back from Vacation, I slowly began to realize that I've been having contractions at 26 weeks pregnant, so I've been taking it really easy.  We took a trip to the hospital last night and I go see my doctor this morning, so we'll see what happens.  I don't really want a 3 month stay in the hospital, so I'm going to do what I'm told!

My husband and I are planning on cooking Christmas day, regardless of who comes, so we're thinking a breakfast casserole or two and a stuffed pork loin for dinner!  Of course, we'll be using the Crock Pot!

So, stay tuned!  I will do the best I can to bring you more delicious recipes as I'm able to!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Butter and Sage Cornish Hens

Last weekend, I watched a lot of FoodNetwork and picked up a little inspiration to cook these delicious little Cornish Hens!  In case you're wondering what Cornish Hens are, they are basically young chickens, so they are small in size.  Most of the time they are in the freezer section at the grocery store and sold in packs of two.

My mom used to make me Cornish Hens in the Crock Pot Slow Cooker all the time when I was growing up!  I used to eat an entire hen by myself!  Now, I think half a hen per the average person is plenty, especially if you serve it with a couple sides.

These Cornish Hens were delicious!  My husband really enjoyed them!  Even my daughter liked it and ate it right up!  The skin was crispy (go me!) and the meat was tender and juicy!  It was flavorful and there was enough "juice" at the bottom to spoon over the meat and make it even more flavorful!  We served ours with some instant Parmesan and Romano rice and a fresh salad.  Cornish Hens will definitely make more of an appearance in the Slow Cooker from now on at our house!  Maybe my mom's Cornish Hens will be next?!!!!

On a "side" note, you can easily throw your veggis in with this! Put them on the bottom of the Crock Pot.  I did not have time yesterday morning, nor the energy to peel any potatoes, so I did not cook them with my hens.

Here's what you came for!

Butter and Sage Cornish Hens
(Look at that crispy skin!)

2 Cornish Game Hens (thawed....although mine were only partially thawed and came out just fine!)
1/2 cup white wine (or just use chicken broth)
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder and sage to taste

Warm the Olive Oil in a skillet.
Meanwhile, salt and pepper the top of your cornish hens.

Place them breast side down in your skillet.
Salt and pepper the belly of your Cornish Hens.
Brown on all sides.
(This is what gives you crispy delicious skin in the Crock Pot Slow Cooker!)

Pour the wine (or chicken broth) into the bottom of your Crock Pot Slow Cooker.  Place the freshly browned Cornish Hens in the Crock Pot Slow Cooker.  Season with the sage and garlic powder.  
Place the pieces of butter on top of your Cornish Hens.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup

The aroma in my house today was heavenly!  This Potato Soup was Creamy, delicious and SOOOOOOO fulfilling!!!!  All 3 of us ate a nice big bowl and I cannot wait for leftovers tomorrow!  They are going to be so yummy!!!!!  You know, I never used to be a fan of any kind of Potato soup, but I have now become a HUGE fan!

Making this soup took a little bit of prep time.  I promise it is worth it though!  Next time I make it, I will really make it worth my time by making a double batch so I have some to freeze for later! :)  I do love when a recipe uses up things I have in the refrigerator and this was one of them!  When you make this, please remember to keep in mind your personal tastes.  I am not a huge fan of celery, so I used very little.  There is no right or wrong here!  Make it to suite your tastes! :)

Now for tonight's feature!

Creamy Potato Soup

8(ish) Potatoes (I used Idaho), chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
4 cups water
3 Chicken bouillon cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 carrots, chopped
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 8oz. block Cream Cheese, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients into the Slow Cooker insert and stir.  

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours......stirring occasionally.


TIP:  I prepped everything the night before and just placed the insert in the Slow Cooker in the morning.  Made for a nice easy day! :)
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Turkey Lasagna

My husband absolutely LOVED this lasagna!!!  We haven't had a Slow Cooker meal since early last week, which means we've been eating take-out and scrounging around for leftovers and whatever else we can find in the freezer, so this was a welcomed meal yesterday!  My one and only goal yesterday was to get this in the Slow Cooker!  It was cooking by 9 a.m. and ready for us at lunch (Inclement weather day here in Michigan)!  There was enough for lunch and dinner yesterday and for dinner again today!  So, I would say this probably yields about 8-10 servings.  I made it all in a 3 Quart Slow Cooker with a disposable liner! :) (Side note, the liner left a little residue in the bottom of the Slow Cooker this time, but nothing that needed to be soaked, which save a lot of time and energy!)

When I had this for lunch yesterday, I had originally thought it was too saucy and didn't have enough noodles.  My husband assured me it was PERFECT the way it was, and come dinner, I'd have to say I agreed with him!  This was the easiest Lasagna I've ever made and it comes from a weight watchers recipe, so I do know it's worth 6 points a serving.  I changed the seasoning slightly, and added 1-2 more noodles than it called for, but everything else is pretty true to the recipe.  I have no idea how that affects the points.  Sorry!

In a few months, I would love to try this as a Vegetarian Lasagna with spinach, zucchini and yellow squash!  I think it would be excellent!

So, here's what you came for:

Turkey Lasagna

6-8 Lasagna Noodles
1 lb. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the turkey with the onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to the browned turkey/onion mixture and simmer on low for about 5 mins.

While that is simmering, mix together the 1 cup ricotta cheese and just 1 cup of the shredded Mozzarella cheese.  Set aside.
(That's my little helper, Cinder"Ella")

In the bottom of your Slow Cooker insert, add 1/3 of the sauce.  Next, line the bottom with about 3 noodles.  It doesn't have to look pretty!

Spread half of the ricotta/mozzarella mixture over the noodles and add 1/3 of the sauce again.

Add another layer of noodles, ricotta/mozzarella mixture and the remaining sauce.

Cook on LOW for about 3 hours.

About 20 mins before serving, sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Week's Plan 12-12-10

13 days until Christmas!!!!  Whoo hoo!  Are you ready?!!!  Is your shopping done?  One bonus of being home on bed rest is that I have a lot of time on my hands to of course!  So, my shopping is done!  (Please don't hate me!  LOL)

I would like thank those of you who faithfully join me here on blogspot each week!  It's amazing to know that some of you are enjoying the recipes and my commentaries!  Thank you so much for being faithful! :)  Also, those of you who are following me on facebook as well, I'd like to thank you for passing the word on to your friends and family.  It really means a lot!  If you're not already on facebook with us, you can search for "A Busy Mom's Crock Pot Cooking Adventures" in the search bar.  You can join both the group and the fan page.  The fan page will say "Community" underneath the title.  If you join the fan page, you will get updates from me in your News Feed.  Please continue to post your comments, suggestions, recipes or anything else you would like on the facebook page, or here on the blog!  I promise to respond to them all!  Plus, it gives me something to do! ;)

I am excited about this week's Crock Pot plan!  I have a plan to make 3 things this week, but I'm not sure if they'll all happen.  It's been tougher to get things in the Crock Pot now that I'm on more restrictions and I can't just run to the grocery store for an ingredient or two when I need them.  SO, I will tell you what I would like to make, but can't make any promises on when or if they will all happen!  I watched some FoodNetwork this weekend and was inspired to try some things in the Crock Pot they were making in the oven!  I can't wait to try some of them and see how they come out!

So, here is this week's plan! (It's a vague one, sorry!)

Turkey Lasagna (or it may end up being vegetarian....not sure yet!)

Creamy Potato Soup (gonna take your lead Sarah!)

Butter and Sage Cornish Hens (doesn't that sound delish?!!!!)

Ok, so I will do my best to get these all in the Crock Pot this week!  Not only that, we are so sick of what we've been scrounging up to eat around here!  We miss our Crock Pot meals!!!!

Have a great week!!!!  And if you're in Michigan, I'm praying for a Snow Day for all of you fellow teachers out there tomorrow!!!!

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Enchilada Casserole

I am so proud of myself for putting together this DELICIOUS casserole!  I've read a couple different recipes and just picked some simple ingredients that would be easy to put together.  I know you're going to LOVE this casserole!  If you're a vegetarian, leave out the ground beef!  If you don't like beans, leave out the beans......but I have to tell might change your mind about black beans after you eat this!  They were super duper yummy in this casserole!

The Enchilada Casserole had just a little bit of spiciness to it.  I used mild salsa and mild enchilada sauce.  If you want to kick up the heat, go for it! :)  (I however, have a 2 year old to feed!)

So......I used a Reynolds Slow Cooker liner again to cook this casserole!  It was such an easy clean-up! :)  I'm in love!  LOL

Enchilada Casserole

12-14 small flour tortillas
1/2 lb. ground beef, seasoned, browned and drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 jar salsa (I used Chi Chi's Mild)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can Enchilada Sauce (I used Mild)
2 cups Shredded Cheese (I used a Colby Jack blend, finely shredded)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tsp. chili powder (depending on how spicy you like things!)
non-stick spray

Spray the Slow Cooker liner with non-stick spray.

Brown the ground beef with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder.

Line the bottom of the Slow Cooker with the flour tortillas.  You may need to cut some in half.  I used  3 1/2 per layer for my 7 Quart Crock Pot Slow Cooker.
Next, spread 1/3 of the ground beef, 1/3 of the black beans, 1/3 of the onion, 1/3 of the salsa, 1/3 of enchilada sauce and 1/4 of the shredded cheese over the bottom layer of tortillas.
Doesn't that look good?!!!!!  

Now, make 2 more layers just like this! Just reserve a tiny bit of Enchilada sauce for the top layer!
Lastly, place one last layer of tortillas on top and top that with the last bit of Enchilada Sauce and cheese!
Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.

When it's all done, it will look something like this......the top actually got crispy!!!!!

TIPS:  Remember, you can make this Vegetarian!  You could adapt this to use whatever you would like!  My friend Jenn sent me a recipe that used peppers, but since I don't digest those well, they couldn't go in my Enchilada Casserole, but maybe they could go in yours!  It would just add another depth of flavor!  Be creative!
If you like a lot of spice, use medium or hot salsa and enchilada sauce! :)
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hope's Pot Roast Again

This hit the spot for everyone in my family tonight!  Everyone cleaned their plates and had second helpings of something or another!  I actually had two helpings of meat and I can't say that a lot lately!  I've pretty much been a vegetarian since beginning this pregnancy!  My in-laws were here when I made this last and they liked it just as much as the first time.  Ella loved the carrots and meat especially!  She helped assemble this meal today and was so proud of how it came out!  It was a total family team effort!

I would like to say that the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners worked REALLY well!  To quote my husband; "HOLY CRAP!!!!  These things are AWESOME!" (as he took the disposable liner out of his nice and clean Crock Pot liner!)  LOL  I laughed really hard!  So, we highly recommend them here at our house!  He found them right by the tin foil and baggies!  There are only 4 in a box, so save yourself a trip and buy 2 boxes! ;)

So, here's a reposting of the recipe for you!

Hope's Pot Roast

1   3-4 lb.  Chuck Roast
4-5 Potatoes, peeled, rinsed and quartered
3/4 a bag of baby carrots (or just use as many carrots as your family likes!)
1-2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 head cabbage, chopped into wedges (be sure not to use the core....too bitter)
1 pkg. Onion Soup Mix
1 1/2 cups water or 1 cup water and 1/2 cup red wine! Mmmmmmmm

Place Roast in bottom of Slow Cooker insert and sprinkle with half the Onion Soup package.
Place all vegetables on top of the roast and sprinkle with remaining Onion Soup mix then add the water.  

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours.  Enjoy!
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This Week's Plan 12-5-10

Hi Everyone!  Happy first weekend of December!  Here in Michigan we finally saw snow.....2 days in a row!  It really puts you into the Holiday spirit!

This week I'm going to keep it pretty simple.  Like I mentioned in my previous post, until the end of my pregnancy (I'm not due till March 27!!) I will be making 1-2 recipes a week due to bed rest restrictions (although this week my plan is 3)!  I'm going to try and enlist my husband for more help in the "prepping" department, so all I have to do is assemble and start the Crock Pot!

So, here's my plan this week:

Sunday: Hope's Pot Roast (I've made this's SUPER easy and I have company coming today!)

Monday: Enchilada Casserole

Tuesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Lasagna

As always, this is subject to change on a whim!

Happy Crock-Potting!

P.S.  I'd like to thank my good friend Maja for always offering to grocery shop for me!  You're the best and I will be enlisting your help more and more often!  You're the best!! Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Latest......

Hi Everyone!

You may have noticed I didn't quite get to my whole plan this week.  In fact, I didn't get very far at all this week! :(  So sorry.  Unfortunately, the doctor told me this week I really need to be on bed rest with privileges to go to the bathroom only.  This means I may have to put my Crock Pot cooking off to the side for a little bit.  WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR DINNER?!!!  Ahhhhh!!!!  My goal is to make at least 1 recipe a week from now until the baby comes.  I know it's not a lot, but at least it will give me a chance to keep up a little bit with my blog as opposed to not at all.

I apologize for any inconvenience, but please remember, there are LOTS more recipes on my blog than appear when you first visit the page.  You can search for specific recipes on the right hand side of the page, or you can go month by month and see what I've made.

If you ever have any questions about any of the recipes, please feel free to post under the comments section, or send me an email!  I'm here.....just waiting (no seriously!!! I literally have nothing else to do these days!!)

For those of you wanting to make a new Crock Pot purchase for Christmas, or are asking for one from your hubby, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents or inlaws (or anyone else I forgot!), remember, I recommend sticking with the Crock Pot brand Crock Pot with just the manual dial.  The ones with the timers cook WAY faster, so it's not really "slow cooking!"  PLUS, they are much CHEAPER!  Whoot!  If there's just one of you, go with the 4 Quart Crock Pot.  For a family of 2-3, the 6 Quart would be great!  For a family of 3 or more, go with the big daddy 7 Quart!  You won't be sorry!  Think of all the leftovers you'll have!!!!!

Remember, they do make liners for the Crock Pot for those of you who are super busy.  I'm actually adding them to my grocery list for the first time!  I have a few friends who have been using them, but now that my poor hubby is literally doing EVERYTHING, I think it's only fair he not have to clean the Crock Pot too!  He can just toss the liner and clean everything else up!  LOL  I believe they are probably next to the plastic baggies and so forth.  If I'm wrong, please correct me!  (Maja, I know you buy them all the time, so maybe you can confirm!)

Happy Crock-Potting!
Hope Print Friendly and PDF