Archive for January, 2012

Southwestern Corn Chowder

Hmm. I wasn’t sure about this recipe. But Stephanie over at Stephanie Cooks wasn’t so sure, either, and she assured me that both she and her husband loved this soup. Ok. If you say so.

Well, she was right! This soup was delicious. After a quick taste test (and after I snapped the picture-sorry!) I decided this might be a good chance to try out my new immersion blender. I blended up two of the three servings of soup, and I must say, it was even better that way. Either way you eat it, this is a good, cheap, and filling meal.

Southwestern Corn Soup

1 can cream-style corn
2 potatoes, diced small
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter

Place the first 7 ingredients in your crockpot. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

At end of cook time, stir in the milk and the butter. Turn the crockpot up to high and allow to cook for another hour. Then, serve and enjoy!


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Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup

Source: Finding Joy in My Kitchen, who adapted from An Oregon Cottage

I made this recipe almost on accident. I was going through my Google Reader when I noticed that I had all of these ingredients on hand, including half a pound of sausage left over from another recipe earlier in the week. Rather than let anything go to waste, I decided to bump this onto our menu plan.

Oh. My. Goodness. I am so glad I did. This soup was so. good. Way better than I would have ever dreamed it would be. It really seemed to get better the more I ate of it, too. It was so flavorful and so delicious and (even better) chock full of veggies. I can’t wait to make it again!

My only complaint was that while this soup filled me up, it didn’t hold me over for a super long time. For example, I ate leftovers one day for lunch at around 11:30. My the time I left work at 4:30, my stomach was starting to growl.  But, that’s a small price to pay. Next time, I’ll just bring an extra afternoon snack!

Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
4 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. minced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
4 oz. fresh mushrooms (or more, but 4 oz. was all I had left)
1 large handful baby carrots
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup macaroni, uncooked

Cook the sausage in a medium pan. Once completely brown, add to your crockpot. Pour in the beef broth, then add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, frozen veggies, carrots, and tomatoes, including their juice. Add the Italian seasoning and stir to mix. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

About 45 minutes before serving, turn the crockpot to high and add the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, serve and enjoy!

Shared at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventure’s Souper Monday.

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Menu Jan. 23-27

Monday: Pumpkin Chili
Tuesday: Curried Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Salsa Chicken Pasta
Friday: Skillet penne with chicken sausage and spinach

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Mondays.

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Crockpot Bolognese

This is the 4th full year in existence for Crockpot Tuesdays. I started this blog at the very end of 2008, and since then I’ve created a nice little collection of recipes and menu plans. While I certainly don’t claim to be the best blog out there, I’m proud of what my blog has turned into. Sometimes, it downright amazes me.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to make 2012 the year of my “comeback.” I know I never went anywhere, but my recipe posts grew few and far between last year. I’m lucky enough to have kept (and gained) a lot of readers last year, so this year, I want to thank you for sticking around.

I came up with the name Crockpot Tuesdays when, back in 2008, it always seemed like I was making crockpot recipes on Tuesdays. (I’m not really sure why. Maybe it just worked out that way. But, it does have a nice ring to it.) So, in order to make my blog’s name significant again, my goal is to post a new crockpot recipe every Tuesday in 2012!

I’m not saying this is going to be easy. I use my crockpot a lot, but I’ve been struggling to find new crockpot recipes that I want to try. That’s where I need your help! Please comment on this post with your favorite crockpot recipes! I’m sure there are plenty out there, it’s just a matter of finding them.

So for today, on the third Tuesday of 2012, is my third recipe post of the year: Crockpot Bolognese. I found this recipe on one of my new favorite blogs, Plain Chicken. The sauce turned out great. It was very flavorful, and I loved the Italian sausage! I even was able to freeze some for easy dinners down the road.

Crockpot Bolognese
1 lb. Italian sausage
3 tbsp. minced onion flakes (I used Tastefully Simple’s Onion Onion because it’s what I had on hand)
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Cook sausage in large skillet until browned. Transfer to crockpot. Stir in all remaining ingredients and mix well. Cook on low for 8 hours and serve with your favorite pasta.

This makes about 8 servings, and freezes great!

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Paula Deen’s Mac and Cheese


Way back in the fall of 2008, I decided to teach myself how to cook. Growing up, I never really learned to cook much of anything, but soon after I got married, I figured I’d better start learning.

My first baby steps into the kitchen were through my crockpot. It seemed like a good place to start, seeing as how you just need to dump everything in and let it cook all day. Once I gained more confidence with crockpot cooking, I ventured out into other areas. To this day, I tell people that I learned how to cook by using my crockpot, and that’s why it still holds a special place in my heart.

Anyway, this recipe for mac and cheese was one of the first recipes I had saved. And now, more than three years later, is the first time I’m getting around to making it! This recipe is really good, and tastes just like traditional mac and cheese. I would recommend going to this recipe when you’re entertaining or making food for a crowd. Throw this in the crockpot and it’s one less thing you have to worry about!

Paula Deen’s Crockpot Mac and Cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs (I used two)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. pepper

On the stovetop, boil the macaroni for six minutes. Drain.

In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.

In your crockpot, add the cheese mixture, eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard, and pepper. Add the  macaroni and stir. Cook on low for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally (I stirred about every 45 minutes to an hour). Enjoy!

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Menu Jan. 7-13

Saturday: L: baked potatoes; D: Chicken caesar sandwiches w/ fries
Sunday: L: out; D: Sausage and pumpkin pasta
Monday: Southwestern Corn Soup w/ french bread
Tuesday: Pulled pork sandwiches w/fries
Wednesday: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: BBQ pizza

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Mondays.

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Cream Cheese Chicken

Source: Look Who’s Cookin’ Now
It was just one of those days. You know. When you need to make dinner, but you do NOT feel like going to the grocery beforehand, so you need to find something that contained only ingredients you have on hand. The last time that happened, I made American Chop Suey, and one other time it was the Alfredo Tomato Chicken, but this time I was in the mood for something different. I came across this recipe for Cream Cheese Chicken, and I immediately new what I would be making.
This recipe reminded me a lot of Salsa Chicken. Not exactly, of course, because this recipe replaces the cream of chicken soup with cream cheese, and I’m not sure how well this recipe would taste as a filling for tacos. We ate this on its own (and sometimes as a dip for tortilla chips!) and it was fantastic.
Cream Cheese Chicken
2 chicken breasts (I used about 1.38 lb. chicken)
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 can tomatoes with green chiles
1 ranch dressing mix packet
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
8 oz cream cheese (I used 5 oz. and it was plenty)
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Add in all other ingredients and seasonings (except cream cheese), and stir gently to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
At end of cook time, shred chicken and add it back into the crockpot. Add the cream cheese (chop into cubes to get it to melt faster), and stir into the chicken mixture. Cover and cook on high for about 30 minutes until the cream cheese is melted. Stir to fully incorporate, and enjoy!
Shared at Eat at Home Cooks Ingredient Spotlight: Cream Cheese.

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