Archive for June, 2012

Foil-Packet Parmesan Tilapia

Ok, so here’s my thought process on this one:

I noticed that I had a package of frozen tilapia in my freezer, and I decided it was time to get rid of it. The only other time I had cooked with frozen tilapia, I baked it and turned it into a filling for tacos. That was a great meal, but I didn’t want to do that this time. (That may or may not have anything to do with Rick’s frustration with my many variations of tacos.)

So anyway, I decided to look and see what other tilapia recipes I could find, and believe it or not, I was NOT specifically looking for a crockpot recipe. These things just fall in my hands, I tell you! But given that the Crockpot Lady is the reason why I fell in love with my crockpot (and therefore my love of cooking), I couldn’t turn this recipe down.

So that’s how I wound up making this recipe. I was worried that Rick would think I was weird and/or gross for cooking tilapia in the crockpot, so I kind of didn’t tell him until the meal was almost done cooking. He didn’t seem concerned, though. This is one of those recipes where you’re basically just using your crockpot as an oven without having to heat up the whole kitchen.

When I took the foil packets out of the crockpot and (CAREFULLY– I have had a steam burn before and they are not pretty) opened them, the smell was just amazing. And trust me, they tasted great, too. I liked these filets much better than when I baked them, so I think I’ll use this foil-packet method from now on.

Foil-Packet Parmesan Tilapia
4 tilapia filets, thawed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheese (the Crockpot Lady recommends shredded Parmesan, so that’s what I went with. She has also used cheddar)
juice of 2 lemons
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the fish.

Lay out four equal sized pieces of foil and spray them a bit with cooking spray. Place a piece of fish on each slice of foil, and rub the sauce mixture over both sides of each piece of fish.

Fold the foil together so that it forms a little packet. Put all the packets into the crockpot. Cook on high for 2 hours, then check the fish to see if it’s done. The fish should flake easily with a fork. (Mine was perfect after 2 hours.)

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Menu June 26-29

It’s a short meal-planning week this week, but here’s what we’re having for the next few days …

Tuesday: Spicy Kale Stuffed Shells
Wednesday: Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
Thursday: Brats w/ cole slaw
Friday: Pizza night

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Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

A few months ago, I made a delicious dessert in the crockpot: Chocolate Cobbler. I was a little unsure of how it would turn out, but it was so good … and so easy! Especially for someone like me who likes to eat homemade desserts but doesn’t really like making them.

Because of the success of that dish, I decided to seek out other crockpot desserts. I came across this recipe on Cassie Craves (which is an awesome blog, by the way).

A crockpot dessert + peanut butter = the magic words. I was sold.

I made this yummy dessert while we were making dinner one night. It was ready to eat at the perfect time.

While this recipe wasn’t as gooey as the Chocolate Cobbler, it was still very good. This dessert was much more cake-like as opposed to fudgey-like. Depending on which one I’m in the mood for, I can definitely see myself making both of them again.

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake
From Cassie Craves, who found it on Taste of Home

1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp.  cocoa
1 cup boiling water

Use a 1 1/2 qt. crockpot generously coated with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, peanut butter, oil and vanilla; beat until well blended. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture until blended. Spread evenly into your crockpot.

In another small bowl, combine the cocoa and remaining sugar; stir in boiling water. Pour into crockpot. Do not stir.

Cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

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Beef Stroganoff

So Rick and I recently discovered something amazing. Our local movie theater has a special every Tuesday, where all tickets are only $5. $5! How did we not know this before? We don’t see movies in the theater all that often, but we might just have to change that. Tuesday night date night, anyone?

In order for us to get to a movie (and therefore get home) at a decent hour, I decided to make sure I had a crockpot dinner ready and waiting for us after work. This Beef Stroganoff was perfect for that, and delicious, too. The sauce was just a bit too runny for my taste, but next time I make this I might play around with that, perhaps by adding a little more flour, or by draining some of the liquid from the crockpot before adding in the sour cream mixture.

Beef Stroganoff
2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. dijon mustard

Place beef, mushrooms, onions, and garlic in crockpot. Add the broth, salt, and paprika. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 5 hours.

At end of cook time, mix the sour cream, flour, and mustard together in a small bowl. Stir this mixture into the ingredients in your crockpot until everything is well blended. Cook on low for about 15 minutes until everything is heated through. Serve over egg noodles and top with parsley, if desired.

Makes about 7-8 servings.

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Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Source: Plain Chicken

So I know most people don’t eat chili in the summer, but I think for this one, you should make an exception. Bear with me …

I made this recipe for the first time during my Use Up the Ranch Dressing Mix Before It Expires Week (I didn’t succeed, by the way). I had saved it in my Google Reader, but wasn’t overly excited to try it. It looked good, of course, but nothing special.

Um. I hate saying this, but … I was wrong. This meal was very special. In fact, it was delicious. I actually thought about putting this on the menu again the following week, but I held myself back. That would be weird, after all.

But, I am counting down the time until it’s socially acceptable for me to make this again. And I will not be waiting until fall, that’s for sure.

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
2 chicken breasts (1 to 1.5 lb.)
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, undrained
1 can tomatoes with chiles, undrained
1 package Ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
8 oz. cream cheese (next time I will use less, maybe 4-6 oz.)

Place the chicken at the bottom of your crockpot. Add the corn, tomatoes, and black beans on top. Top with seasonings and ranch mix, and stir to combine. Pace the cream cheese on top, but do not stir in.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. At end of cook time, shred the chicken, and stir it and the cream cheese into the chili until mixed together. Enjoy!

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